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'Where was God in Aurora?' comments show Internet as church for atheists
Some atheists may ask questions on the Internet that they wouldn't have asked in church.
August 1st, 2012
12:03 PM ET

'Where was God in Aurora?' comments show Internet as church for atheists

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Internet has become the de facto global church for atheists, agnostics and other doubters of God, who of course don’t have bricks-and-mortar churches in which to congregate.

We see this phenomenon in motion every day on the CNN Belief Blog, where atheists/agnostics/humanists are among the most zealous commenters.

Recent string of posts around the question of “Where was God in Aurora?” (such as this and this) drew especially large waves of comments that show atheists are using the Internet to commune with one another and to confront religious believers in ways that they don’t usually do in church.

Atheists and other secularists have offline organizations that stage in-person meetings - the Secular Student Alliance has seen its number of campus chapters quadruple in the last five years, to 368 - but the Internet has probably played a bigger role in the rise of the so-called New Atheism. The movement’s adherents evangelize their godlessness, just as many religious folks evangelize their God, often taking to the Belief Blog to do so.

“A lot of millennials who are coming of age have found that the Internet is a fantastic place to talk about their doubt,” says Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance. “Before the Internet, there was no place for young people to do that. The only place to go was really church, and that wasn’t always a welcoming place.

“But they can go online and discuss these ideas without being judged by friends and families,” Galef says.

For closeted atheists, the Internet’s anonymity is a big draw. A coalition of national atheist groups recently launched a program to transition doubting clergy to lives of open atheism by first having ministers come out anonymously in a closed online community.

Plenty of other atheists, though, are using the Internet to connect with real, named people through Facebook and other online social networks.

“It’s the ability to access a larger community, particularly for people growing up in religiously conservative areas,” Galef says. “There is nobody they can point to to discuss their atheism or their doubts about the Bible or their morality, and the Internet provides that.”

On Sunday, a guest piece from a Colorado pastor argued that it’s possible to reconcile the idea of a sovereign God with the existence of evil and tragedy. The post has drawn 4,239 comments as of Wednesday morning, largely from atheists.

One of those comments - a letter from God penned by an atheist commenter named Colin - caught fire online. Here’s how his letter opens:

"Dear Christians:

"God here. I thought I would take the time to personally explain my absence in the Aurora shootings. While I was at it, I thought I would also explain my absence during every murder, massacre and crime that has ever taken place in world history, and in every war, in every famine, drought and flood.

"You see, I do not exist. I never have. Did it really make sense to you that I would create an entire universe with billions of billions of planets and wait about 13,700,000,000 years just so I could focus on a few Jews from Palestine about 2,000 years ago while ignoring the rest of the 200,000,000 people on the planet at the time? Did I make those few Jews or did those few Jews make me?"

The letter has been posted on reddit, where it attracted another 1,000-plus comments. (Warning: The reddit comments includes foul language.)

The vast majority of comments come from sympathetic atheists and other secularists (the discussion is reddit's atheism thread), a striking example of such folks doing church without God online. Many of those comments are deeply personal, confessional and poignant.

Here are five of the best ones. Some respond to Colin’s letter from God, others to the Colorado pastor who wrote for the Belief Blog last weekend.

1. CarbonEmitter

"I grew up religious and decided to be agnostic (as an) undergraduate. Even though I am now in my late 20s, I still feel slightly guilty because my parents try to ram religion down my throat. My mom converted to my dad's religion (from Christianity to Islam) right before having a double lung transplant in 1995. They are now super-religious and attribute her miraculous recovery to her conversion.

"Reading posts like these remind me of how ridiculous religion is and help relieve my guilt. Thank you /r/athiesm."

2. tazadar

"I like what Carl Sagan said about reassuring fables.

" 'The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. We long for a parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable.' "

3. RyGuy2012

"You know, it really irks me to no end to read the article from the pastor, as he claims to not have an answer for why God didn't prevent the Aurora shooting, but then claims to know for sure that God is there when people come to lend their support and sympathies for the shooting victims.

"I just can't wrap my mind around this logic. Like, the pastor must find some other explanation why people are good and do good things. It can't be that people can just be good on their own. Because, apparently (our) natural normal state is to be completely uncaring and disregarding? It's just such a very sad and low opinion to have of your fellow man.

4. funfetti_cookies

"Of course, he says that. You have to scare the people before giving them a reason to listen - "I held her hand as she died." What a great way to start your article. Also don't forget to mention Columbine so people remember that tragedy as well, but then go on to explain why God still exists and this is all part of his plan. Religion is nothing more but a scare tactic to control the masses.

5. ConstipatedNinja

"I don't share this much, but I was raped twice by my pastor when I was 6. And by I don't share this much, I mean that even my own parents don't know (as a side note, he's long since dead, so there's no sense in bringing it up). I had to sit in the same room (with) him for three hours every Sunday while he told everyone - including me - how a decent human being should act. I had to for four entire years before my family moved to a different state.

"When it first happened, I had no idea what was done. I was too young to understand. ... It's indescribable. You're told all this time about this ever-loving being that made you and has planned out your entire life. You're told that he'll protect you when you need it. You're told that if you're good, then he'll be good to you. So obviously, I wasn't good. I wasn't good enough. I was created and the creator of all things looked down upon me and decided that I was a bad egg. Do you know how rough that is for a 7-year-old? I still have problems with self-esteem. …"

That comment, which has been truncated above, provoked an outpouring of sympathy and support on reddit, including this comment:

rumpelstiltskin1

"This stuff is why I love Reddit. Yeah we are a room full of strangers but when it comes down to it we're a community. I love reading the stories of others and reading the heartfelt replies. I love that anyone can express themselves honestly and it will be well-received here (usually). And although this one is a little cheeky, I love that I can learn valuable life lessons of self-acceptance and being able to move on from a guy named ConstipatedNinja. Thank you for sharing your story, and I admire the willingness to share such a personal story; it's truly inspirational."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Colorado • Violence

soundoff (4,699 Responses)
  1. myVu

    I thank God for the survivors and so do the survivors thank God....ask them.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Why do you have to thank a god? Just curious.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • fun at last

      ... and so do the mothers of the victims.. ooops, not them.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @myVu

      The action of 'thanking God' does not *mean* that there in 'fact' actually is one.

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Christian !

      I thank God for beign real and true ansd most of all for proving it to me .. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So I guess the dead kids spat on Jeebus? Or perhaps just the crippled mother of the dead kids does?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  2. Pt8685

    I got a question: where was science in Aurora?

    According to reports, Holmes was in the care of a psychiatrist. He was student of neuroscience myself, and was being monitored by professors and councilors in the medical school. How did all that science help him with his troubles? Did they give him pills? Talk therapy? Shock treatments? A battery of tests?

    What if someone had offered Holmes the simple but powerful gift of hope that comes from basic faith in God and others? What if he had seen that the Truth of the world is not death, but life? What if he had experienced the love and fellowship that comes from a Sunday service every weekly.

    These experiences may not have cured him, but they may have helped him to hang on to enough hope and empathy for others to prevent his final attack.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Yeah because all of a sudden gravity disappeared. And where did physics hide?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You are a severely lost individual.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Last I checked there was a distinction between science and medicine.

      Doctors practice medicine, like Lawyers practice law – they're still trying to get it right.

      But seriously, who says the state of the art in medicine is 100% effective? What a silly premise. We've made lots of advances but we don't know how to fix mental problems and no one claims to be able to do this.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Furthermore, I thought it had been reported that his family did belong to a Christian denomination, so it's my understanding he had all the exposure to the 'hope' 'faith' and 'truth' you allude to.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Steve D

      Where was science? Science is a tool for understanding the world around us. It does not save peoples lives, but using it as a tool, it allows fellow humans to do things such as save peoples lives, understand the world around us, and post retarded comments on CNN.

      Science isn't "Good" or "Evil". It is a process for determining what is fact, and what is fiction.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • William Demuth

      He was a Press Head.

      Parents preached that puke to him from birth.

      It's probably what drove him mad.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Pt8685.

      you ask: "What if someone had offered Holmes the simple but powerful gift of hope that comes from basic faith in God and others?"

      The Christian Science Monitor online says:
      "It's absurd. It's so out of character for this young man," said Jerry Borgie, senior pastor at Penasquitos Lutheran Church in San Diego, where the Holmes family worshipped. "James had goals. He was going to succeed."

      Apparently all that 'hope' 'faith' and 'truth' was not enough for this young man.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  3. Chris

    God abandons nations that turn from him.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • plaster city

      Why would god even care about national borders???????

      August 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Really? Which god is that?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      That makes sense. Its because those nations have freed themselves of silly Sky Fairy beliefs. Which means he has no more control.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      So does the easter bunny that ba.stard.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Christian !

      Got proof???? God is king over all the earth...

      has he abandoned China??? NO there they have a conversion rate to Christ of 30 thousand per day.. 🙂

      but their governmetn is pure athiest... 🙂 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Christian !

      the usa has a 78% Christian population alledgedly ...I guess we will be the last that he will abandon.. 🙂 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Maybe you should move to china.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Christian !

      I'd rather wait for China to come to me 🙂 🙂 🙂

      They are coming you know? they are tunneling right now as we speak.. LOL 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Be fair

      Come on Voice of Reason.......The god of national borders.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  4. Dan

    If Athiests don't believe in God, why do they spend so much time trying to disprove him?

    August 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Why would anyone have to disprove something that is imaginary?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • myVu

      Exactly!!!!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      For the same reason we disprove all the other bigoted, racist, misogynistic and h0mophobic propaganda that hill billies throw around.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Dan, will you please grow a brain, it's not a belief, it's an absence of belief or faith in something that hasn't been proven.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • myVu

      ChristardMingle.com, you tell me, because you sure spend a LOT of time trying like Dan said.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • cavediver

      Because believers tend to do nasty things to nonbelievers (and anyone else with the wrong interpretation of their brand of madness).

      August 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • fun at last

      Athiest don't need to disprove god because we don't make that assertion.
      We are asking theists, who are making the claim that god exists, to show us their proof.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • sjenner

      Because from their perspective, God is an illogical and unprovable construct used to justify and explain much. Certainly, where God truly is the subject, I think it makes sense that the concept would be attacked. My concern is that atheists too often bring the God debate into far too many issues. An article on something great a Christian charity is doing, for example, draws irrelevant attacks on God.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Martin

      It's not that we spend our time trying to disprove god it's more a case of if we don't oppose you god followers you lot have a real nasty habit of persecuting those who don't believe as you. And the thought of this country becoming ultra religious scares us more than anything.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • NickZadick

      We refuse to accept that so many of our fellow humans accept ancient myths as facts... we would like you to join us in bettering the human race into an era of love and understanding free of braiwashed citizens.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Christian !

      I believe athiest s are ventelating agsinst all the christian phusing and shoving of their religioun in our society...

      Christians are in fact doing it rather obnoxiously and sickening... 🙂

      August 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Martin

      Yes !

      Peace...

      August 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • JhangDough

      Simple answer: to prevent impressionable minds from being suckered into believing imaginary deities are real.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Be fair

      I honestly never try to disproove the existence of your beliefs. I don't find it necessary. You make non believing easier with the things you say. "I'll pray for the souls of the victims" To Whom? The person that if he did exist could have stopped it? It's just stretching believability too far. And.....if he did exist would you not think him a sadistic SOB?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  5. John

    Christian American's Prayer:

    "O Lord, I want to thank you that I was born in the west and not some other God-forsaken place, and that I was able to become a Christian by default. I'm thankful that I don't have to think hard about what I believe. I can accept without a second thought everything that is fed to me, and that I can support the status quo with a clear conscience without interrupting my comfortable way of life. You've made me what I am today without any effort on my part. I haven't had to think, question, or change a thing, and for that I am truly grateful.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Nice!

      August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  6. Xenith

    Where was God in Colorado? God's hands were the EMT's, the police officers, the people who phoned for help, the people who helped other people. God's hands are OUR hands. God is on this board, in the the insistence of the readers that good should prevail, even when it doesn't. God is in those who argue for mental health treatment to prevent this ever happening again. When you do good, you do God's work, no matter what you believe or disbelieve about Him/Her. When you do evil, you do Satan's work and Satan is present. You have a choice. That's called free will. Use it wisely.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • John

      Even if those "hands" were atheist hands?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • plaster city

      This is all nice stuff, but if you step back and really read this you see it is a simplistic, almost childish view of our existance. Reality is much more complex.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I heard he got the bullets in Jeebus's ammo shop?

      Does that count?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      I choose to set your soul ablaze, and your god won't help you.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Be fair

      lLucifer.........You don't exist either. Just more tripe concocted by the church. Frightened people put more in the collection basket in a feeble attempt to buy their way into your heaven or to wash a few more sins away.

      August 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  7. Archived

    One of these days God is going to boot up his Sim: Earth console again and be shocked at how much he has missed in 2000 years.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  8. JPIV

    First of all Bob. I am not delusional. The only laughing stock i see is you. I am a intelligence analyst and Staff Sergeant in the US Army. I say that because GOD has blessed me with a beautiful wife, great job, and great family with a great family also in the Army. You can insult me all you want and call me every name in the book. The fact is GOD has been there for me time and time again and has bought my family from a might long way. His love and goodness endures to all generations. And it just disgusts me to read some of the posts where people are just cursing the one true GOD.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Pastapharian

      it would be nice if any of your post was true. but there is no god, just ignorant people who need some sort of reason to tink there's more than just this life. have a blessed day.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      What about all the other gods?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • John

      I'm smart and successful with a great wife and son. All the while not believing in the mythical skylord. I was blessed with a good brain that left me with many career options so that I wasn't forced to join the military because I didn't have any other options...

      August 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Perhaps Jeebus is rewarding you for killing towel heads?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • NickZadick

      JPIV .. laughing stock is you! How exactly has god done that for you.... didn't you do it yourself? why do you need it to be someone else that acheived what you did?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  9. lol

    I am an agnostic nihilist. There may or may not be a god, but it doesn't matter either way.
    If, when I die, I am sent to a pit of infernal torture or a blissful heaven, or reincarnated, find nirvana, etc, god(s) sent me there, and a god is never wrong, so I deserve what I get. If, when I die, I simply cease existing, and there is nothing else, well, so what that's what happens.

    Try to find happiness in the now.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  10. jack

    Misotheism.org is the forum of the God Haters. check it out.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      You can't hate what doesn't exist. So I don't hate your intelligence.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Poor Richard

      I hate cheese!!!!!!

      August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  11. Poor Richard

    Blessed are the cheese makers. What's so special about the cheese makers?

    It's not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products....

    August 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  12. Horsemanure spotter

    Poor, sad story ConstipatedNinja wrote in that article.

    And a work of fiction. Being a veteran of forums atheists frequent, they are proven liars when it comes to things like that.

    There is no 6 year or 7 old that will not tell Mommy and Daddy about that nasty thing that someone they see on occasion did to them, or not act very strange, drawing their parents attention, and of the congregation when forced to sit in the room for hours with them. Particularly if it hurt them.

    That was 100% a made up story.

    This is not "New Atheism". This is people with severe mental issues. Antisocials with anonymous soapboxes.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @HSS

      and your post on this anonymous soapbox isn't dripping with antisocial sentiments?

      Judge not lest ye be judged, buddy.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • sjenner

      You clearly know nothing about child abuse or how child abusers intimidate and manipulate in order to keep their crimes quiet. It's what makes the abuse so devastating. They force the victim to be a participant in their own abuse through various highly damaging and subtle mechanisms. You should be sure of your facts before you glibly accuse people of being liars. Certainly, refering broad-brush to a set of 'class' traits is hardly evidence that this person is lying.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Bob

      How ironic your name is. "Horsemanurespoter" is it? yet you still fail to spot the biggest pile of horse manure in the history of this planet. How pathetic.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Victim

      I Yes, it is absolutely possible for a child not to reveal such a thing to a parent.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • visitor

      Maybe you should have some discussions with Gay children of Evangelicals, and find out how they fared sitting week after week in Churches listening to how people like them were going to H-ll.

      Next, ask them if they discussed their gayness with their parents.

      You bet children keep secrets, especially when they are fearful.

      Adults keep secrets also. Try to find out how many of your female family members had abortions....

      August 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • visitor

      I'll bet you are one of those parents who think your kids told you everything.

      August 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  13. ziggy2

    I have no need to defend my faith to an atheist, because Blaise Pascal explained it beautifully: "The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing." ( Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas.)

    August 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • sjenner

      You do need to defend it if you're going to assert it in debate.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • light at last

      Sounds like back-peddling to me..

      August 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Bob

      Maybe you want to review "Pascal's Wager". Repeatedly. Until you finally get it.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      So true.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • The Carnal Houseplant

      That's also the definition of a delusion, FYI.
      It's also the reason the shooting happened.
      Are you sure you want to live there ?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Thank you. Celebration of emotion over reason, really is what religions are all about.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  14. The Body

    Landru 2012!

    August 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  15. ReligiousPoopShoot.com

    Hello I'm Sorry RPS!

    Thank you for visiting ReligiousPoopShoot.com! We appreciate your comments.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  16. Haldan

    To quote wikipedia: scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, supporting a theory when a theory's predictions are confirmed and challenging a theory when its predictions prove false.

    So, you could say that a benign and all powerful God who opposes violence against innocent people does not exist, since such violence is pretty prevalent in our world.

    But that might also mean that God is NOT be all powerful, or not benign, or not opposed to violence against ‘innocent’ people….

    Disproving ONE aspect of the God theory does not in any way discredit the entire theory. (Scientific Method 101 folks) We can establish a new theory, perhaps one where God is angry and vengeful, or limited in power, or content to allow humans to solve their own issues and learn and grow from that. But we can do that all day, and accomplish nothing. I can come up with numerous theories that explain God’s existence with the state of our world, but I can’t prove a single one of them.

    And THAT IS MY POINT.

    I do not like the inherent closed mindedness of organized religion, so I expect scientists (even arm chair ones) to be better then that. I may not ‘believe’ in unicorns, but I’m not sure I ‘believe’ in string theory either. (You’re not supposed to BELIEVE in a theory anyway, you dum-dums.)

    The only correct response to something you can not prove is ‘I don’t know.’

    Now there are a lot of people who believe in God. They draw strength and moral guidance and comfort from that belief. If that works for them, then that’s great. Does that make them better then me? NO, IT DOES NOT!

    There are a lot of people who choose not to believe in any God of any kind. They choose to place their faith in what is more tangible. Does that make them better then me? NO, IT DOES NOT!

    Why does it always have to come down to “I believe this!” and “I believe that!” and “this is right” and “this is wrong”…. Why do we need to ALWAYS resort to such primitive thinking?

    And THAT IS MY POINT. Many of you so called atheists are no better then the die hard religious types who rigidly and blindly believe their view over all others. You throw your chosen belief in the faces of others and think you are right to do so, and you think that it makes you a better person for having that belief (gee… does that sound familiar?).

    Believing in the non-existence of God is just as valid as believing in God, but it is also still a belief, a choice, a conscious decision to place your faith in a particular idea without proof that there is no God. (Once again, does that sound familiar?)

    If you do not want to believe in God, I am more then fine with that, just don’t push your beliefs (or non-beliefs) down my throat because I’ll tell you the same thing I told that guy who insisted Jesus loved me.

    Keep your religion (and non-religion) to yourself.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Pastapharian

      you started out ok (excpet for your continued confusion of "then" vs "than", but then stated "Believing in the non-existence of God is just as valid as believing in God," This is a false statement. Just because there are two opposing sides to a debate does NOT automatically give them equal validity whatsoever. This is a MAJOR flaw in your post, and one that needs to be pointed out. Have a nice day.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • JnJ

      Right on! Nicely said!

      August 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Haldan

      Hi Pastapharian...
      I have issues with “then” and “than”, and I constantly mix them up. It is because of how my brain perceives words. It does not make me stupid, but sometimes makes me look stupid. I’ve learned to live with it...

      Too bad spell checker doesn’t catch those particular errors, but then again I was not trying to hand in a college level report.

      I know the memory game. That was then and I am taller than Joe. I was delinquent in not going over the post for that grammar mistake, especially since I know I am prone to making that one in particular.

      Can I get a B-minus?

      As for comparing two opposing sides in a debate, I did NOT do that.

      Here is what you missed....
      I was comparing one belief that can not be proven with another belief that can not be proven, and stating that they were both equal due to the fact that both beliefs are equally not possible to prove.

      Furthermore, I was comparing the mindset of those who adhere to one belief, with those that adhere to the other belief, and concluded that they were also very similar.

      So... I guess all that went over you head huh? Good eye on catching my grammar mistake though.. . You’re good for that at least.

      August 1, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  17. Draeggo

    I'd rather have an angry christian living next to me than an angry atheist. At least there is some chance the christian will answer to a higher authority and place some limits on their hate. I'm always amazed at the pure hatred spewed by atheist and in such a manner that we should all learn from it and live like they do? Really? I'm supposed to hate everything I don't believe in or agree with? No thanks.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • OOO

      So much wrong with this post...
      1st your assumption that atheists don't have morals because they have no one to answer to. And your equally wrong assumption that religious people somehow have better morals because they have someone to answer to. Studies have proved both of these things to be incorrect.

      And I think you are projecting your hatred towards atheists rather than the other way around. Maybe because their ideas are challenging your life-long belief system?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Bob

      Maybe you should think that over again, Draeggo. Problem is, the horrid instruction manual for Christianity, AKA the bible, is loaded with instructions to do hateful acts and horrid violence, like these from both OT and NT:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      August 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • ME II

      The atheist needs to justify their actions with reason. The theist, on the other hand, can claim that God is on their side and do just about anything.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • steve

      The old argument that only those who believe in eternal damnation can have any kind of restraint or real morals. So wrong in so many ways.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • JhangDough

      So if your god killed millions of people throughout existence, your god is considered morally superior?

      August 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  18. aerodog

    Where was God during the holocaust during which there were millions of jews praying day and night for survival?

    Where was God when Col. Stauffenberg placed the bomb that only injured Hitler?

    August 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • bill

      God was there for the Israelites when he brought Moses unto them, because they were the chosen. The holocaust was simply another way of God showing his punishment since then. Included on this punishment is the fact that they will wander forever and never have a peaceful land of their own.

      August 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  19. Zo

    Everybody thinks they know the mind of God. (organized religion) If you want to know the mind of God look around nature and the universe. The problem with some humans is they worship the almighty dollar. The tragedy would not have happened if the perpetraitor had no access to such fire power. Some people made a lot of money,but they feel no responcibility for the tragedy.What type of universe would we have if God intervened in every potential event. just think about it. It is natural for us to feel that God prevented something or God was watching over me or them. Which begs the question where was God in Aurora. It is a sad thing that people are turned off to religion because of their experience with organized religion. You have to seek the answer for yourself, no one can answer it for you

    August 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  20. Eric

    "atheists are using the Internet to commune with one another and to confront religious believers in ways that they don’t usually do in church."
    Are you suggesting that sane folk should interrupt a church service? Sounds tempting but it would be a bit rude. In fact "don't usually do" is a bit stupid since I haven't heard of any instances of non-believers "confronting" any congregations during a church service.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.