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Conventions leave atheists asking: What political party represents me?
A voice vote to change the DNC party platform turned to chaos Wednesday night.
September 6th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

Conventions leave atheists asking: What political party represents me?

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – This convention season has not been good for atheists.

The word "God" was reinserted in the Democratic platform after it had been removed. A plan to raise atheist billboards in the convention cities was stymied by opponents. And though there were preachers and rabbis and other religious leaders opening and closing each day of each convention, there wasn’t an avowed atheist talking up unbelief on either convention’s speaking list.

The political lockout has left many nonbelievers asking, “What political party represents me?”

“We are deeply saddened by the exclusion of a large number of Americans by both parties,” said Teresa MacBain, a spokeswoman for the group American Atheists, in an interview on Thursday. “It amazes me that in modern-day America, so much prejudice still exists.”

After word spread Wednesday that Democrats left God out of their platform, atheists rejoiced. “Truly amazing news,” wrote Loren Miller on Atheist Nexus, a popular atheist blog. “The Republicans remain in the firm grasp of right-wing Christian religiosity, and I really don't know what it's going to take to free them from it.”

But the convention committee immediately received huge pressure get God back in the platform. Even President Obama, according to CNN reporting, said, “Why on earth would that have been taken out?” when he first heard of the omission.

In an awkward session that required three voice votes on the convention floor, the Democrats opted to add “God” back to the platform.

For atheists, the Democrats were seen to be taking away a hard-fought victory. “We had 24 hours of joy as we felt (that) finally our government values all people,” said MacBain. “But that was short-lived. The vote last night angered many atheists and left them feeling excluded once again.”

Online, atheist websites and Facebook pages went from upbeat to downcast as news spread of the platform revision.

“Obama was the first president to acknowledge non believers,” Mark Musante wrote on the American Atheists’ Facebook page. “I wish he would stick to his guns.”

Musante was referring to Obama’s 2009 inauguration speech, when the president said, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers.”

Beverly Sitherwood, on the Friendly Atheist blog Facebook page, accused the Democrats of “Pandering for power.”

Some atheist leaders used the platform defeat as a rallying call.

“I guess a tiny step was too much to ask for,” David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, told CNN. “This was a clear message to the 16% of the voting population - we don’t count. Well, guess what, Dems - we do. And we vote.”

Silverman says that 16% of the voting public identify as nonbelievers. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 12% of the electorate in 2008 was made up of people with no religious affiliation, though experts say the number of avowed atheists is much smaller.

While acknowledging atheists, Obama has given platforms to high-profile religious leaders, including Rick Warren, a megachurch pastor who prayed at his inauguration, and Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is giving the final prayer of the convention on Thursday night.

American Atheists’ plans to raise billboards ridiculing the presidential candidates’ faith ended in failure. After the group put up billboards in Charlotte, North Carolina, the site of the Democratic National Convention, last month, it quickly removed them due to “physical threats to not only our staff, but the billboard company as well.”

American Atheists had also planned on a billboard in Tampa, Florida, to coincide with the Republican National Convention there. But American Atheists said that all the billboard companies in Tampa rejected a sign taking aim at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.

Perhaps because of the Republican Party’s ties to conservative Christianity, atheists tend to be Democrats. According to a 2012 Pew study, 71% of Americans who identified as atheist were Democrats.

“The Republicans who spoke at the RNC seemed more like televangelists than politicians,” MacBain said. “The message was clear from the RNC: Get God, or get out.”

The Republican’s 2012 platform mentions God 12 times, many of which describe the “God-given” rights that the Republican Party says are inherent to the American idea.

Though most atheist groups claim that there are closeted atheists serving as representatives and senators, only one has come out as such.

In September 2007, Rep. Pete Stark, Democrat of California, affirmed his atheism in a speech at the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • God • Politics

soundoff (3,922 Responses)
  1. Sherry

    It's incredibly sad and a bit frightening to read how many people unquestioningly believe in the bible as the source not just of religious inspiration but also of historical fact. The first could be harmless if a particular faith were based on fairness, justice, and respect for all peoples, while the second is crazy scary.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • ambrose

      Look sherry facts all all over the web look one up and u choose but don't sit there and judge because ur not him. Ur no the one who gave life to ur mother or your father. Me as a Christian can prove some of the facts u wanna know, but no one has all the answers remember that.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • fileeditview

      Ever notice atheists are always shouting and demanding for others to believe for what they believe? It's really just insecurity and being obtuse. Having no belief leads to more stress and a lower life span. That's their choice, just don't bring others down with you. Of course 71% are Democrats, my guess is most atheists don't want to work and can live off subsidized housing and food. Hey it's Friday tomorrow! I'm sure you guys have the day off (again), enjoy that cold brew on your deck during day in your wife beater while the rest of us are working!

      September 7, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Do not worry, chances are that somewhere on the net there is someone saying that it is so sad that you believe, look or feel differently than they do.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • snowboarder

      sherry – a lifetime of indoctrination and groupthink is enough for religion to retain its stranglehold on humanity.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Sherry

      Ambrose and fileeditview, I have no desire to convince you of the shortsightedness of your religious thought. If you're comforted by faith, that's okay with me. I grew up in a Christian home, and my lovely mother retains a deep faith to this day. I just worry about the fact that there are people who don't looking beyond their bible or what they've been taught by their religious leaders for knowledge. After all, if some god with supreme knowledge and power created everything in the universe, (s)he could certainly, without feeling threatened, tolerate a little honest questioning about the obvious inconsistencies between what religious texts say and what we can see with our own eyes.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • Sherry

      Snowboarder, I'm afraid you may be right. Sigh.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • End Religion

      @fieleditview: "Ever notice atheists are always shouting and demanding for others to believe for what they believe? It's really just insecurity and being obtuse."

      You believe. We securely live by facts, logic and reason. Evolution is something to "believe" in the same way we "believe" in gravity. Maybe it's too much to assume you believe in gravity? Speaking of obtuse, what will it take for you to finally come to grips with the possibility there never has been a snake that could talk, a sea that could be parted with the wave of a hand, or a woman created solely from the rib of a man?

      ***
      "Having no belief leads to more stress and a lower life span. That's their choice, just don't bring others down with you."

      Please post the links or papers to all the studies proving your supposition. Meanwhile we will go on disintegrating religious belief. All it requires is presenting people with facts and giving them time to come out of their delusion.

      ***
      "Of course 71% are Democrats, my guess is most atheists don't want to work and can live off subsidized housing and food."

      Maybe 30 seconds on google would show you how religion is tied instead overwhelmingly to the poor.

      ***
      "Hey it's Friday tomorrow! I'm sure you guys have the day off (again), enjoy that cold brew on your deck during day in your wife beater while the rest of us are working!"

      Espousing that, somehow, working more than one needs to is noble. From your logic, I am surprised you find retirees worthless. Maybe don't tell your parents about this...

      September 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  2. PY

    I am a Christian. It's true that the religion of Christianity has it flaws and being a Christians does not necessary mean we are good people (we too are humans and we sin too). However, I would like to also point out that atheist is also a religion like Christianity, even though they deny it. They also have their beliefs not based on scientific methods/evidence. For example towards creation their beliefs are either the universe is created by random chance (multiverse) that cannot be observed or proven, or the faith that science can eventually explain everything even though they do not have the answer .. YET. They rather cling onto these beliefs, which cannot be proven, than to entertain that there is (a possibility of) a creator, which I agree also cannot be proven but should be given equal chance of consideration.

    One sad fact for us non-atheist is that a good percentage of atheist are created because actions of religious people angered them. We have our part in making them not belief in God ... to which we must acknowledge, apologize and improve upon.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Low n slow

      Atheism is NOT a religion. Secular Humanism and reductionist materialism are. Most atheists are one or the other.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • snowboarder

      PY – one thing is absolutely certain, considering the myriad of deities, religions and doctrines today and throughout history. man is very adept at creating god.

      nearly all things that were once attributed by ignorance to supernatural cause have been determined to be of natural, explainable origins. there is no reason to lend any veracity to stores from the imagination of ancient who did not possess enough knowledge of the natural world to properly explain it.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • PY

      BTW, I tried to join Atheist Nexus mentioned on this article. Non-atheist are not allowed to join ...

      September 7, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • ambrose

      Well said. But some of these people don't listen its like they are angry at what we say...and that's wrong.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Sherry

      Non-believers don't see science as something holy. They believe that only through the power of reason and the constant pursuit of knowledge can you arrive at the truth–a truth that can be obscured by blind acceptance of ideas formed long ago by people with limited understanding of the natural world.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  3. snowboarder

    who feels left out? we realize that politicians have to pander to the religious for votes.

    i pick the candidate i vote for based on issues that actually matter.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  4. mec

    Best try the Third Party. They need blind votes anyway.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  5. timothy

    I feel sorry for some of you who have posted certain comments. Read this scripture and pray that you are not this person JESUS is talking about Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. .. Matthew 12 verse 31
    Matthew 12:32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  6. Ryan

    You are still Americans, focus on issues that matter atheists. You feel left out because majority of this country believes in a higher power. That doesn't mean we need to change anything for you....

    September 7, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Hobbes

      1. religion is not an issue at hand.

      2. The Constitution denies any religion any sort of political primacy.

      3. The Constitution protects the rights of the individual against the tyranny of the majority, so if it is in the Constitution, you damn well DO have to change it.

      4. Get over your tyrrany-of-the-majority totalitarian theocratic oppressive unAmericanism and start behaving like a human being who can peacefully coexist. We are Americans too, with the same rights, so get over your narrow-minded confoirmist psychosis.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:11 am |
  7. touchmythigh

    Meh. Who cares? It's a marketing tool. More people believe in God or feel comfortable when the term is used. All in all it wasn't a bad decision. I'm atheist and I stopped giving a crap. Let people believe in God. It only affects you when it's forced.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  8. Walter White

    As an atheist, I am glad all of these religious nuts believe in Jesus. If they didn't, they would be complete @$*holes, rather than just annoying. Religion is the biggest cause of blind hatred in the world, not to mention its effect on reversing modern social norms, like women's rights and gay rights. Mormons think blacks are evil. Christians think gays are evil. Muslims think Jews are evil, and atheist think they're all nuts. God didn't tell George Bush to invade Iraq, or Michelle Bachmann to run for president, and too many Americans think "he" did.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      >>>"....Christians think gays are evil. Muslims think Jews are evil, "

      Well, since we have Gay and Lesbian Christians and even ones in the clergy, your statement is not 100% true. Also, Jews and Muslims have been working well together for thousands of years. There are even Synagogues in places such as Iran.

      The problem with your statement is that it leans towards the all of this group hates all of that group mentality, and even after over a year on the Belief Blog there have been Atheist and Faithful that have found a way past their differences and able to get past those whose base desire is to have conflict.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Walter White

      I guess I cannot argue with you...my statement did generalize, and that is unfair, as there are many many level-headed believers. However, my point should not be lost by my lack of eloquence...religion is commonly used as a reason to hate. i.e. many Arab countries spouting hate speech about jews/Israel, many Christians believing gays should not have equal rights, etc.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Walter, I do agree but like many things in this world it is how it is used. You will have ones that go the Rev Terry Jones route and use it to justfy their hatred. At the same time I have heard a sermon from a Lesbian and how she found that the Bible justifed her positive actions and Faith. It is the same with Islam. There are those that are ready to go to war with Jews and Christians but there are parts of the Koran that detail how they almost have to be protectors of the "people of the books".

      The problem is how do you entire into this debate. If you are already negative towards a group then maybe you would have difficulties seeing the known good sides. Even Christopher Hitchens, while believing that it would not help him, did even acknowledge the Christians who honestly prayed for him before he passed away. So, there is a way to hold on to your own view but not demonize every aspect of someone whose only crime was that they believed differently than you.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:28 am |
  9. Calvin

    Dear atheists: Quit whining and leave America to believes. There is no room for you.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Gadflie

      Do you mean believers? Just checking since clarity of thought obviously isn't really your strong point.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Jason

      Do you realize the concept of seperation of chuch and state? do you know there is such a thing as "Lincolns bible" were he tore out all the nonsence pages?

      Granted, some of the moral teachings in the bible are sound.... just as some of the morals in "Peter Pan" are valid.

      Neither is based on a true historical recounting of history though.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Fern

      I totally agree.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • snowboarder

      plenty of room. thanks.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Hobbes

      Yeah, like that's the liberty and equality the Founding Fathers were after.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • tallulah13

      Calvin:
      Since the government of the United States was intentionally created to be secular, if anyone should leave this country, it should be the believers. However, I think atheists are more tolerant than religious people, so it's probably okay if you stay. If you really want to live in a theocracy, I hear Iran's government is based on religious law. You might try living there.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Adevilson

      Dear Calvin,

      This country was founded on the principle of the separation between the church and state. Hence, I demand, as an American, that you leave this country immediately, because you are in striking violation of this fundamental principle!

      September 7, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Air Force Atheist

      This country was not founded based on a belief in God. It was an attempt to escape religious persecution – our founding fathers were not religious. I am willing to risk my life to defend this country. I will not LEAVE it because I do not share your blind and hateful views.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Low n slow

      Jason, just for accuracy, it was Jefferson that removed the miracles from his Bible. Lincoln is a different person.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Jason

      Low and Slow, your right.

      Thanks for the correction.

      The premise of my arguement still stands though.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Low n slow

      Jason, I would agree. I tend to think if there is a god, Jefferson and several other founders had the right notion. Deism makes a lot of sense.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Mark From Middle River

      Calvin, that is the same America for Whites nonsense.

      And Air Force- I doubt your argument that the Founding Fathers were not Religious. This has been argued before and we have Athiest that post this letter or that negative letter or speech from a Founding Father and expect us to believe that it over rides a pro-Faith speech the same one does. Or the work they have done within Religious insiti'tutions. Many of Faith can point to some part of their church or service that they might have issue with but until you hear the denouncing of Faith, that is all that it is. I doubt that those same men that pledged their lives for freedom against one if not the dominate military on the planet would have fear of leaving their Faiths.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:15 am |
  10. peninsula p

    The Democratic Party should not be about a religion. Why do they stand on forcible religion? No way that vote of Nay was less than 65%. That was a moral shame.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Chuck

      That Photo is going to be very very famous, get used to it.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • fileeditview

      I just want one atheist to please explain how the complex human, universe, and everything else was mysteriously created by this great "chance." Atheists believe in life on Mars but not in God, and yes we've really stepped foot on the moon..Put down the Richard Dawkins and start living life without shouting on your soapbox. God Bless.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:07 am |
  11. Willard the Polygamist

    Christians belive their magic friend loves everyone, yet babies get stuffed into microwaves. Atheism grows by the day, and no amount of blind zealotry will fix it.

    These politicians' religous convictions are so trasparently for show, but you christian sheep refuse to acknowledge it. But why should we be surprised? You believe 2 of every animal fit into a boat, and every living creature today descended from those animals and people in just a few thousand years. If you believe that crap, then you need your head examined.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Low n slow

      Actually you would do well to do some research. Worldwide, atheism is actually shrinking as a proportion of population.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Gadflie

      Shrinking? As per which study exactly?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Yeah, I'd like to see that survey, too.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Low n slow

      It is simple demographics. Religious groups, especially Christian and Muslim out breed atheist or non ligious groups by a wide margin. You can do the research yourself. The census data is available. Traditional populations of Europe and America are growing more secular, but worldwide, religious peoples in Muslim and Christian countries are breeding far more rapidly.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      So in other words, you're just making it up.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Fern

      Atheist, the lowest brain IQ people can get.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • Low n slow

      Rufus, so you're just too lazy to do any research? Or is it easier for you to just believe what makes you feel better without researching it? What are you? An evangelical?

      September 7, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • tallulah13

      Fern = Troll.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      No, Low n Slow, I am asking you to back up your statement with actual information. It is not up to me to do research to back up a statement that you apparently pulled out of thin air. It is up to you to defend it with valid information or concede it.

      That's the whole problem with talking to faith-based thinkers – they don't seem to see the need to base any assertions on evidence.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Low n slow

      So why didn't you challenge Willard on his assertion that atheism is growing? Hmmm, I suppose if someone makes a statement that supports your belief system you don't question it?

      September 7, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Low n slow

      In the last few decades atheists have been a rapidly declining percentage of world population. They are now 2.5% of world population. Agnostics and those who are indifferent to religion are also a somewhat more slowly declining percentage of the world's population, they are now 11.5%.
      There are two factors. First, the end of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and the loss of faith in communism elsewhere, particularly China. Atheists and non-religious people are overwhelmingly concentrated in communist countries. About two thirds of the world's atheist population is in China.

      Second, religious people have far higher birth rates.

      For the future the low birth rates among the more radical atheists and anti-religious people, and the agnostic and religiously indifferent will tend to lower their percentage in the population.

      There also maybe a vast decrease in the atheist and non-religious population as communism continues to lose its grip in China.

      Does this mean that the percentage of the world's population that is not religious must decrease. Probably in the short run, but not necessarily over the longer run.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Because i HAVE seen studies that support his claim. Are you just trying to redirect attention away from your claim?

      September 7, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      You stated two percentages, but no evidence that they are lower than in the past.

      Also, so what if the religious have more children than the non-religious? Are you suggesting religion is genetic? My parents are Baptist. They didn't "pass that gene" to me or my brother. Again, you're just trying to bluff your way through. Just admit you made it up. It's okay.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Low n slow

      Rufus, name the study. Support your claims. The fact is, atheism is growing in the West, but not as fast as it is declining in the East or a quickly as religious are breeding. I don't have a feeling one way or another on the subject. I'm sorry if you don't like the facts, but only a zealot would ignore them. You can look up the Georgetown University study on the subject if you would like, though I doubt you will.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Willard the Polygamist

      Or you could realize I was talking about the US and Europe. Atheist statistics grow every year. It doesnt matter if religious people have kids. They just go to college and realize how ignorant the notion is.

      I dont care what happens else where. One pkace here christians are thriving is Africa. Theyre doing a great job murdering child- "witches" in the name of your invisible sky wizard. Religion's really taking off there.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Low n slow

      I believe what Willard said cause I remember reading something somewhere, and I would like to believe it. You are just as bad as the evangelicals. Basing your beliefs on your own biases. It's ok, you can admit it.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Low n slow

      Willard, you are correct in reference to the US and Europe. Funny how badly Rufus wants to believe things that are just not supported by data. It is so much like a religious person.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • snowboarder

      low n slow – it is definitely true that the educated class tends to reproduce less, while the unwashed masses reproduce like rabbits. that can be clearly seen in the changing demographics of this country.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  12. Jason

    so much for seperation of church from state.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • CARLOS

      Atheism looks to be the new religion complete with angry people.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Argonaut

      Oh Carlos, you are just parroting a long discredited fallacy know as "equivocation", where you use different definitions to pretend a word means the same things in different contexts. The proper theological definition of "religion" is "the service and worship of God or the supernatural", which clearly does not fit at all. You have equivocated to a definition that fits another situation, a fallacy and a big fail in a debate.

      You have done exactly the same thing as saying that bananas are cowardly Asians, because they are yellow.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  13. Chandly

    Oh people, please! I beg you, do some history reading. Remember when France as a nation decided to proclaim that their was no God? Remember what happened to the people? Christians and Atheists alike were afraid for their lives, as well they should have been, it was a blood bath. Plots and schemes were everywhere, there was no one you could trust. When there s no moral law governing a land, when the consciences of men have been silenced, there is nothing holding humanity back from committing the most horrific crimes. When you believe there is no Higher power to hold you accountable there is nothing holding you back, and no reason at all to not give in to every passion and act of revenge imaginable. Over 40,000 precious people, wen, women, and even children were murdered in the 'Reign of Terror'. I for one am very happy that my country is still a God centered one, and God have mercy if that is ever lost.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • ambrose

      Nicely put

      September 7, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Gadflie

      If the rapture happened today and all the people claiming to be Christians went straight to heaven, over 90% of the prison population in this country would be gone. And, well over 90% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences would still be here. Now, what was your point again?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • zeyn2010

      Wow! I give a lot more credit to humanity than that! Please don't tell me people aren't killing and stealing because they fear God! Wow! We are much more evolved than what you think! It is time to let go of the training wheels!

      September 7, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Low n slow

      Of course the officially atheist regimes of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were also somewhat shy of Utopia as well.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Jesus

      Wrong! We atheists are not devoid of morals because we choose not to believe in fairy tales about winged men and demons. The higher power that holds us accountable is the US government and our laws. Separation of church and state is extremely important to a functioning democracy, and our founding fathers knew that, yet we choose to ignore it

      September 7, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Sherry

      There is morality that isn't god-centered. We can have principles, show kindness to others, and live decent lives without feeling answerable to some power we can't see. Perhaps for some people, fear of some future fiery punishment is the only thing standing in the way of a mad impulse to go on a wild, sinful rampage, but I suspect there are just as many in the world who go on such rampages in the name of their god(s).

      September 7, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • snowboarder

      chandly – that is pure cr@p. if the only thing that is holding you back from committing crime is the concern that some deity is looking over your shoulder, you are a bad person.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      Chandly: Stop trying to rewrite history. The French Revolution occurred because of the wide gap between the haves and the have-nots, and as with the American Revolution, the growing influence of the principals of the Enlightenment (science and reason) and the desire for freedom. The "Reign of Terror" was caused by the desire to protect the revolution, but eventually it's paranoid excesses got horrifically out of hand. Google the name Robespierre if are interested in honest history.

      If you're worried about a reign of terror in this country, you should probably be more concerned about the real problem of the increasing gap between the very richest Americans and everyone else.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Gadflie:"If the rapture happened today and all the people claiming to be Christians went straight to heaven, over 90% of the prison population in this country would be gone. And, well over 90% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences would still be here. Now, what was your point again?"

      Ever visited a jail or prison Gadflie? I have. If so, did you talk with the inmates? I have. Did you notice that the majority of inmates were African-American? I did. Did you notice that it is extremely rare to find an African-American atheist? I did.

      Assuming that you really did research your statement before posting, I'd also assume that you're a white racist who loves the white elite scientists.

      For my part, I'd rather have dinner with a Blood or a Crip than an atheist.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • b4bigbang

      PS: My statement holds true even in prisons that may be overwhelmingly white.
      Reason being that these inmates are desperate for visitation and it's also a fact that the Christians are visiting all the prisoners regardless of race – yet I find no atheist orgs visiting them in jail.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @b4bigbang

      " For my part, I'd rather have dinner with a Blood or a Crip than an atheist. "

      Wouldn't your choice in dinner companion depend on the individual...the character/behavior/actions of that person, whether they be a 'blood, crip or atheist' ?

      Peace...

      September 7, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Not really realpeace. Seeing as how I say a prayer at table before eating, and seeing as how I prefer dining w/out tension, I'll re-state that I'd rather dine with a Blood or Crip than with an atheist.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @b4bigbang

      " Not really realpeace. Seeing as how I say a prayer at table before eating, and seeing as how I prefer dining w/out tension, I'll re-state that I'd rather dine with a Blood or Crip than with an atheist. "

      Interesting... your position seems a bit myopic, IMO. You presume that there will *tension* just because you are dining with an atheist, but give no thought that you might be dining with a murderous crip/blood who gets up and slits your throat.

      And that makes sense to you how exactly ? 😯

      I am being very *sincere* here in attempting to understand how you get there.

      Peace...

      September 7, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • b4bigbang

      The odds of me getting my throat cut or any other threat from a B or C dining at my table are much lower than being challenged by the atheist at said table. I've learned this from real-world experience interacting with both types of people.

      Your "throat cut" reply is typical of the stereotype many whites have placed on African-Americans.

      Gotta go, getting booted off my pc.
      Feel free to reply though if ya wish, cause I'll check in later.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @b4bigbang

      Interesting... I, too know some people associated with gangs. And... I also know people that are pure atheists and evangelical fundamentalist christians.

      I think we may have different views on this whole dinner party situation.

      But... that o.k.

      Maybe we can pick up this discussion at some point.

      Take care -b4bigbang.

      Peace...

      September 7, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Jeremy

      If God telling you that killing is wrong is the only thing standing between you and murder, you're simply not a moral person.

      I do the right thing because it's the right thing, and I'm doing just fine, thanks.

      September 7, 2012 at 2:59 am |
  14. mack

    No candidate can actually pander to atheists at this point in US politics. There will come a time, inevitably, but we won't see it. I, for one, am not concerned about that because I'm confident it will happen at some point. Sort of an evolution thing.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Walter White

      It has been more like a revolution than evolution. More people are Christians today than in he '70's. Americans used to believe in science, now we rationalize to make sense of the Bible (which was organized and approved by Constantine hundreds of years after the sat decouple would have died)

      September 7, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Walter White

      Correction: "last deciple"...smh autocorrect

      September 7, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  15. Bill in Anza

    I don't believe in atheism.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • zeyn2010

      Too funny!

      September 7, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Al

      Actually, you're an atheist to every god (except yours). Thousands of them.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • tallulah13

      That's okay. People who believe in a god for which there is no proof are not noted for their logic.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  16. Sherry

    I'm a non-believer, but I don't proselytize. I don't want anyone trying to convert me, and I don't feel it's up to me to convince anyone else to believe as I do. It seems to me as though activist atheists have turned their non-belief into a religion of its own and are trying to "spread the gospel." I wasn't thrilled with all the religious rhetoric at the convention, since it's clear to me that many of the world's ills are due to religious fervor, but religion does a lot of good as well. Most of my friends who are Democrats believe in a god, and it seems to enrich their lives. That's okay with me. As long as we share most of the same political beliefs, I don't care if they pray. I just don't close my eyes.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Jesus

      Preach!

      September 7, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Jesus

      If Jesus were real, he would be a socialist

      September 7, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Sherry

      So, Jesus, you're exhorting me to preach the gospel of atheism? But that would diminish my commitment to my principles and turn me into just another religious fanatic.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Jesus

      No, Sherry, I don't want you to preach anything...I don't want anyone to preach anything. There was a time in America when religious beliefs were private, and not a matter for debate because that is what Americans used to believe...your religion is your business, keep it out of mine. Politicians used to make decisions for the betterment of our nation, and based on facts. Now, platforms are formed around religion, such as zeroing in on a decades-old abortion law.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • tessaprn

      I like that and it's good! Very sensible thinking.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Sherry

      Jesus, I was raised in a Christian environment, and I seem to recall something about hiding your light under a bushel and praying "to your father who is in secret" or something like that. So why do so many "people of faith" and "true believers" just dismiss that idea and make so much noise?

      September 7, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  17. cm

    Awwwww maybe there is a Hallmark card we can send the atheists. Sad reality for some since some do view politics as a god.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  18. ambrose

    OK let me say this and this is my last entry to this tired debt. The laws of America are in the bible. Go and trace ur history on the family tree and see that everybody are desendents from the 12 tribes and if u want to be a child of Cain that is ur choice don't drag people down just because u don't like something. I mean really u hate something that u don't know about. U say Christians are hypocrite but u never took the time to research and compare notes some of u atheists want trouble. Some one called us 2000 years of stupidity, but Gods people have been around much longer then that. Even in the days when people first started to move around people had visions of single higher power look that up and talk to some one, just don't go off and say stupid things about what u don't understand. Give a better answer then I don't get it or what's the point. I'm done.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Gadflie

      You have to stop at a red light is in the Bible? Could you quote the chapter and verse please?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • mack

      You: I don't get it. Sayonara.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • ambrose

      Now ur being sarcastic. He gave rules and positions for judges and people who make city law. What I am talking about are the ten commandments which are still there today.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      I'm glad you're done. I was done at "The laws of America are in the bible." Horse puckey.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Um, no. The first commandment is actually in direct conflict with the US Constitution.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      Ambrose, I suspect your grasp of history is even worse than your grasp of writing.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Gadflie

      Ambrose, surely you realize that seven out of the ten commandments are no longer part of American law. And, well at least five never were law in the U.S.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • FYI

      ambrose:

      The Ten Commandments:

      1: Have no other gods – NOT A LAW
      2: Make no graven image – NOT A LAW
      3: Don’t take the name in vain – NOT A LAW
      4: Honor the Sabbath – NOT A LAW
      5: Honor thy father and mother – NOT A LAW
      6: Thou shalt not kill – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY (long pre-dated it)
      7: Thou shalt not commit adultery – huge number of Christians commit adultery by LEGALLY remarrying
      8: Thou shalt not steal – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      9: Thou shalt not bear false witness – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      10: Thou shalt not covet – NOT A LAW

      September 7, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • ambrose

      OK now use common sense now. The murder part and the stealing part, but let's take the less serious things into thought would u want ur wife to cheat on u and if u caught her in the act what would u do?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Actually, let's look at this in more detail:

      I am the LORD thy God – Nope, no US law about that – unconstltutional
      Thou shalt have no other gods – outrageously unconstltutional
      No graven images or likenesses – Nope, violation of freedom of speach
      Not take the LORD's name in vain – also a violation of freedom of speach
      Remember the sabbath day – Nope, no law against working on Saturday or Sunday
      Honour thy father and thy mother – No laws here either, your parents aren't afforded any more rights than any other citizen
      Thou shalt not kill – YES, you got one
      Thou shalt not commit adultery – Nope, it's grounds for divorce, but not a crime.
      Thou shalt not steal – TWO, you're on a roll
      Thou shalt not bear false witness – gray, area – lying is only against the law under oath, or if you take money for it
      Thou shalt not covet – Gimme a break, coveting is the entire basis for Capitalism.

      So, there ya go. About 25% of US law conforms to the 10 commandments (I'm giving half credit for bearing false witness). On the other hand, at least 40% is in direct violation of the US Constltution, and the last one is as un-American as Charman Mao tse Dong. So, what was that you were saying again about all American laws coming from the Bible?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Dang, I'm slow on the draw tonight....

      September 7, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Gadflie

      Ambrose, common sense? You mean as opposed to your original post? Ok, here you go, read this carefully in context with your original post. Adultery is not against the law anywhere in the country.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • ambrose

      OK for the list maker. Pre dating the word of God is impossible, but let's talk about that. When Cain killed his brother the world knew no evil before that happened. Now look that up, and another thing its only Christianity when Jesus died and came back. So get that right. God has his people move and respect every thing about his law, but when his son died the little things became a word of caution. But go to the courts and testify what do they make u take an oath on. I'll give u a hint its not air

      September 7, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Gadflie

      Ambrose, you're wrong once again. To testify in any court in this country, you do not have to swear on a Bible or mention God at all, a simple affirmation that you will tell the truth is totally acceptable.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      "In a court of law you have a right to "affirm" that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. No gods, Bibles, or anything else religious is required."

      Boy, ambrose, you're just wrong about pretty much everything, huh?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Ambrose, here's an unsolicited suggestion: quit assuming you know all about things and instead put some time into actually learning about them.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • ambrose

      And u know that some of the high spots in the government are rotten, people change things to make themselves happy, but I stick to my guns say that what u feel about God is wrong and having nothing to say that's good about the deity that tells u nothing but the truth and how people will act up until u are dead and are in whatever place u put urself in when u were living. But don't listen to the rants of a stranger go live I'm not judging, but I can't wish u any good luck because u already made ur mind up with closed ears.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Gadflie

      So Ambrose, are you finally giving up on your "The laws of America are in the bible." ignorance? Are you finally getting a clue that, well, you were obviously wrong? Because that last post seemed to be nothing but a childish whine.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • ambrose

      A whine by the people who don't believe. I'm feed up with people who don't listen my laws weren't wrong and the other guy ran away from my question so I'll talk to u. Why do u not believe? Are u like the children that moses lead out of Egypt and now don't believe in something u can't see. I mean did someone tell u lies all ur life or did u just think these thoughts on ur own, because either way u have life twisted, because whether or not most of the laws are still in court which of them do u disagree with, because a man with any objections to these laws will not live well and if they do things want be the same in the end. Now unlike u I am curious about what u think.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      " the other guy ran away from my question so I'll talk to u. "

      Am I the other guy? Was there a question in that comment?

      September 7, 2012 at 1:27 am |
  19. Jesus

    I am an atheist and a conservative, but I am voting for Obama because his policies represent TRUE conservatism. Making people take responsibility for their healthcare is a conservative idea...raising tax revenues while making spending cuts is conservative. Don't let Romney convince you he is conservative, because he wants to lower tax revenues during a debt crisis. I wish jon huntsman was our nominee. Oh yeah, and Jesus didn't exist.

    September 7, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • cm

      There was a man name Jesus that walked the earth - too many historical facts to say otherwise.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Jesus

      Even if he did exist, which I seriously doubt, his mother was no virgin, and his father was no god. We all know Mohammad existed, but that doesn't mean that God talked to him...same with 13-year-old Joseph Smith.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Gadflie

      CM, which historical facts exactly?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  20. Religious Atheist

    Who the hell cares whether the candidates spout god or not out of their mouth?.. This has no bearing on if I will appoint someone president, rather I look at their views on the poignant subjects. I dont see why anyone would care what the president believes or who he thinks is supporting his cause "up there".

    September 7, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Jumbo Shrimp

      Appoint? Really?

      September 7, 2012 at 1:12 am |
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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.