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. NJ

    Those atheists are very scary and want to lead us to bad and evil society without God.
    We need to stay far away from them

    September 7, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying


      September 7, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • saggyroy

      @NJ Sarcasm?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  2. Sarcastro

    Why is it that the only people I ever personally meet who even bring up religion in normal everyday conversation are the atheists who always have to get in their little jabs?

    I don't even know what flavor of religion most of my coworkers are- except the atheists. They make darn sure to let everyone know they are atheists.

    We get it- you're smarter than the rest of us, here's your gold sticker. No stop with the bitterness and derision. If I didn't know better I'd think you were overcompensating for something...

    September 7, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Yes, roving bands of atheists knocking on doors asking people if they're been saved. Happens all the time.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • SciGuy73

      Actually, most of the athiests you know never say a word. If you don't know your co-worker's religious affiliation, why would you assume you know who all the athiests are?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • Sarcastro

      I'll take the occasional person at my door (which honestly is over hyped and rarely happens) over the snide derision and contempt that the atheists I know proclaim.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Sarcasto -do you believe in Santa Claus?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Sarcastro

      Thanks Ethel for proving my point precisely.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Marc

      Actually, yes – most atheists I know are way more verbal and outward about their stance than most "religious" or people of "faith." I can't open facebook without seeing how "ignorant" Christians are but yet I have not seen someone bash an atheist to date. I'm still waiting to read that in my newsfeed – I know it does exist as unfortunately I have seen such comments in response to this article. Give it a break people – you are going to convince someone to totally change their stance via an online response....said no one ever. Seriously. I'm actually very accepting of both camps in my friendships, but if I had to pick the one that is most verbal and even downright vicious, it would be the atheists – WHO HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO THEIR STANCE to be clear again.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:22 am |
  3. Truth

    I'm pretty sure those atheists would love to live under communism where the people suffer under Godless nations with their atheist leaders.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      You truly are too stupid to talk to.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • freedomlover

      I do not believe in god and disagree with the term Atheist. Why is it necessary to give non believers a tag? What would you call a person who doesn't like the color red? Why do you equate non belief with communism? I respect your right to practice your religion and your right to proclaim your belief in god and would fight to the death to protect your rights. Why are atheists and non believers not afforded that same respect? Where are your god given morals now?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • indyreader

      If you want to be perceived as having an intellectually honest discussion, stop putting false words (or at least assuming them) into other people's mouths. If you earnestly ask some atheists, and try to learn about them from answers earnestly given, you will be far less than "pretty sure" about your assumptions.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  4. Sammy

    We are a Christian nation and will always be. Atheists and non-Christians should accept it or move to the rathole they came from

    September 7, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      No you're not. America has Christians, and a bunch of other followers of other religions, as well as many, many non-believers. Separation of church and state – ever hear of that?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • sam stone

      sammy: you are a bigmouth fvcking gash.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • saggyroy

      Czarist Russia was also founded on Christianity. Maybe YOU should move there.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Simran

      All hail the STAFF GOD – the oldest God of North America!!!

      Leave Chrsitianity and join the Notre Chico religion!

      September 7, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Simran


      September 7, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Simran


      September 7, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  5. Jen Vacca

    Atheists feel left out? They spoke to how many of us to ask, 3 or 4? One organizaiton looking to raise billboards to insult followers of other belief systems does NOT speak for atheists. I no not feel left out at all- our Nation was formed by people who believed in a higher being and many claim to have that belief today. That is their right. It has NEVER bothered me to hear the word God, I spend U.S. currency with the word God on it, I say the pledge. It is really no big deal. I believe that most of our laws protect citizens, whether atheist or not. Hearing the word God in a speech doesn't change policy or law. Save your protests for when government imposes an Atheist Tax...

    September 7, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  6. Louisa

    Atheists should be put in concentration camps, convert or be burned alive and sent to hell the MANIAC SATANIC PEOPLE!

    They do NOT belong to America and should move to North Korea or China where they hate religion

    September 7, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Hey, Louisa – you kiss your children with that hateful, filthy mouth of yours?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • SciGuy73

      You certainly live up to our founding father's priniciples and expectations.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Adrienne

      Why do you feel this way, Louisa? These are very horrible things that you wish on us... I used to be a born-again Christian, who truly loved God and Jesus Christ, and I tried my best to serve him and witness to others. I was a non-denominational Christian. After over a year of intense thought and serious Bible study, I realized (after thirty years of believing in the god of Abraham) that there really is no god. For this, you want me to be sent to a concentration camp, and burned alive? Why?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • sam stone

      louisa: i gather you spend a lot of time on your knees.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • NeoGraphix

      Wickety-what?? You must be a joy to be around at the church social?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Because, Adrienne (and you already know this) as the late great Christopher Hitchens summed it up so perfectly, "Religion Poisons Everything".
      Obviously it has poisoned the mind of Louisa.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Takawalk

      Wow can you folks feel the love?

      September 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Takawalk

      Adrienne I came to the exact opposite conclusion, after doing the same thing you describe, I feel as if he proved himself to me and still pray to him 30 something years later ( and yes he does answer some of those prayers). When someone rejects God because that person is to smart to believe in "fairy tales" that is one thing. But if some truly seeks God with a humble a sincere heart that is totally different, and very sad from my view.

      September 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  7. ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most atheists are uneducated... No atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are atheists/agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    (Take a look at our federal/state holidays, 99% of our presidents, blue laws in parts of the nation, name of some cities/counties/streets, the majority of people, some laws, calendar, culture, etc.)

    ¦There is only one God and it is to Him that you pray. All others pray to false gods and idols. Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist are all lost unless they know Jesus as their Lord & Savior.¦

    September 7, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      More arrogant drivel

      September 7, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • NeoGraphix

      You're hilarious.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • want2belive

      I'm an American before I'm an atheist and I'd ask you to respect my 1st Amendment rights as I do yours. Good day.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      want – absolutely – believe what you want. however, when you express that belief, others have the right to express their opinions about your belief.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • want2belive

      Ethel – This person has the right to say what he/she did, but there is no reason why we can not express those opinions or have a discussion about the topic while being respectful and without insults.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  8. The Dude

    I'm an atheist and I don't feel left out. I realize that all these people go to church. Big deal. Honestly don't know what they are talking about. I am just not a republican, where I am happily left out.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • want2belive

      Completely agree. I'll never understand the organized non-religion.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:37 am |
  9. get over it

    Get over it. You can continue to rally, but what are you rallying for in the long run? So what they recognize you but what then?You live your life without any hope whatsoever, your idea that you simply are born, die and that's it. That's a life? No joy in that from my point of view. However you can look at what God's word says (the whole Word) and realize there is so much more. Anyone can read a book, but to totally read it with the hope you will see God himself is where you find truth and knowledge.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • j

      It's what you make of it in between the point of when you are born and when you die. The fact that you cannot see that and HAVE to believe in something TO justify your life is actually more pathetic then your attempt to slander atheists. Sad...

      September 7, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • Jen Vacca

      That really isn't it. Many atheist believe that we live on through the love and memories of our loved ones. Your view is very extreme- how does it help humanity?? We have loads of hope, hope that EVERYONE will be treated equally, we have hope in ourselves and in our family.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:10 am |
  10. Adrian

    So, 'God bless America' will be modified as 'No God bless America'?

    September 7, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Why would "god" (if there was such a thing) bless America? Why should "god" bless America? What about all of the other countries in the world? And which god?

      September 7, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • j

      No you tool, it shouldn't even be envoked. It instantly isolates and polarizes those who do not adhere to that belief. How would you feel if someone did say no god bless america, you would feel left out right??? captain obvious didn't come and see you did he?

      September 7, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • saggyroy

      Which god? My guess would be Yaweh, the iron age god of war.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • NeoGraphix

      Why do christians think god blesses any country especially America. I guess North Korea with the government suffering their people is being blessed by god. Mexico with all of the drug cartel murdering innocent civilians is being blessed as well. Syria is being blessed by god and doing a wonderful job. Do christians actually think about what they believe and relate it to the real world?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • indyreader

      Instead of calling on anything to "bless" America, I suggest it is more universal and inclusive to call on all Americans to work at making America as just and good as it can be. Is there anything about that that offends you?

      September 7, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  11. Jarsbait

    Anyone who thinks that references to God in either platform are more than pandering window dressing needs to get real. What matters is the policy pronouncements made by the candidates, and the actions of legislatures controlled by the party. With the GOP we've seen the inclusion of religious dogma as law frequently, and their arguments against the rights of their fellow Americans are often Biblical.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  12. Chris F

    Atheists generally have liberal social values on questions like abortion, gay rights, divorce etc but fiscally they can be left or right. Ayn Rand was an atheist but decidedly far-right on economic matters. Goldwater ended up being disillusioned by the GOP's embrace of evangelical values later on. But if secular social values are of what's most important to you then you, more than economic questions, then these days you've got a better chance with the Democrats of getting what you want.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:51 am |
  13. Joe

    More idiotic atheism articles helping cnn get the clicks it needs for ad revenue. If atheists continue to believe the absurd fairy-tale that the entire universe randomly spawned from nothingness and that the amazing complexity of life originated by random accident contrary to all scientific laws and observable laws of nature, that's their own insanity. Thankfully their abrasiveness makes them a marginalized minority.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • Matt

      If you want to keep believing some fairy tales made up by nomadic herdsmen in ancient Palestine, then so be it. But you have no right to force that belief on anyone else, and raising your children in such faith is akin to child abuse.
      No one has ever been robbed by their fellow atheists, no children have been molested at atheist gatherings, no one has ever been killed in the name of atheism.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • rachel

      Actually, Joe, we are the fastest growing group. Sad for you, excellent for reason.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Joe

      Matt has never heard of Stalin apparently, nor does he believe 50M abortions count. And Rachel, I'm sure that the growth of atheism is consistent with the decline in our education system, especially in math & science.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Joe, have you done the slightest bit of reading about what evolution is?
      Joe, have you actually read the Bible – chock full of violence, mayhem, hate, contradiction, and pure nonsense?

      Maybe there is a something – a god, a universal consciousness- I certainly don't know, but until proper and sufficient evidence is presented, then it is a rational position to state that you do not believe in a god.

      Do you believe in leprechauns? What not?

      September 7, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • saggyroy

      ",,,the absurd fairy-tale that the entire universe randomly spawned from nothingness and that the amazing complexity of life originated by random accident contrary to all scientific laws and observable laws of nature, that's their own insanity..."

      I accept this because people have done the math and science. Show me the math and science that EVEN hints at a supreme being.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • MikeM

      Joe: who is your god? Are the other religions and other dozens of gods described in history wrong? What if you picked the wrong one?

      Regarding science, just because you lack the mental capacity to understand the enormous amount of evidence behind evolution, the big bang, etc, that doesn't mean it's not true. You can continue to believe that there is some mystical being sitting on the clouds watching everything you do and judging your actions, as well as those of 4.5 billion other people all at the same time. I will continue my search for truth and a real understanding of who and what we are- a chance intelligent organism, self aware, often self absorbed, enjoying are brief yet incredible opportunity to mindfully experience the beauty of our universe.

      Btw- atheists quit whining, you're starting to soun like the religious nuts.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • NeoGraphix

      Yes, and as you believe in a man rising from the dead who hasn't been seen walking the planet in 2000 + years yet believe one day he will return and his father who whipped up all of existence in six days. Who is the idiot?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:10 am |
  14. ltwrestler

    Reblogged this on Naturalistic Pantheist and commented:
    This was my thought exactly regarding the addition of God to the Democratic platform. The 'capitol of Jerusalem' language was even more disappointing because of my experience regarding the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but I was hoping the Democrats would at least continue separating religion (church) from their politics (state).

    September 7, 2012 at 6:39 am |
  15. Finn

    Maybe if these atheist groups put up billboards reminding pols that not all Americans are believers but all deserve representation, they wouldn't run into the same kind of opposition as they do when ridiculing the candidates' beliefs.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:36 am |
    • Joe

      But what fun is that? Most 'atheists' are actually anti-theists, they harbor a hatred, disrespect, and ridicule for something they cannot grasp usually founded on the fact that organized religion generally frowns upon some perversion they hold dear. It has nothing to do with reason, logic, science, or even common sense.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • Jim

      You mean atheists (and everyone else for that matter) should be respectful and understand that others think differently on all types of topics and issues?

      I wonder if atheists would find it 'offensive' if we erected billboards blaming them for over 100 million deaths in the 20th century alone? Or maybe, something about how less than 10% of the population must be morons for believing something so absurd as there being no god?

      Of course this would be disrespectful and it shouldn't happen but for an atheist, it is permitted because they are special and can be big buttheads wih impunity because they are "smahtah" than everyone else....

      It is wrong to be a butthead n matter what and when you constantly act like one (or a small bunch of them), people don't support you.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • jojo

      Good point.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Matt

      Joe, what common sense or critical thinking do you apply in the exercise of your faith.
      I lack faith because all man-made faiths are obvious fakes and falsehoods.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quanti-ty Surveying

      Hey, Joe: do you harbour a hatred and disrespect for the Easter Bunny? Atheists don't hate go d – they merely don't believe in a god. And as for mass murder, Hitler was a fine Catholic, and Stalin didn't kill in the name of atheism – he did it purely for political purposes. Now, should we start to consider the murders committed in the name of and because of religion? Let's start close to home- 9/11. The Salem witch burnings. How about the Crusades?

      September 7, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  16. Dr Olu Bamgbade

    Regardless of the faith/God debate, the democrats have had a great convention that has included most people from all social, economic, racial, and religious backgrounds.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • saggyroy

      So we should change the lines of the pledge of allegiance to "With Liberty and justice for most"

      September 7, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  17. Dr Olu Bamgbade

    The US nation was founded by mostly religious people. The foundation and most of the laws are based on Christian principles; which allowed freedom, equality and prosperity. The US allows everybody to observe their faith/worship and allows atheism too. You can't eat your cake and have it.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • saggyroy

      Czarist Russia was also founded on Christianity.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • Joe

      Actually America was founded on the Noahide laws, not Christianity. At least that's what the legislature has stated, google 'national education day.' Which explains the need to include Jerusalem in an American political platform.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • jason

      the u.s. was actually found by people trying to escape religious persecution. and although they were religious people themselves who first landed here they really had to be because everyone was ignorant back then adnd if you didn't believe you were killed .

      September 7, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Jim

      And the mass murdering communist regimes in Russia and China were based on atheism.

      So whats your point?

      September 7, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • avoiceofjustone

      America was forged and founded by those of Christian faith...period. This is historical FACT. Do an on-line search for the original text of the Mayflower Compact, which is sometimes altered in textbooks for PC reasons. Alongside these were people of other faiths and no faith...it has been this way since the dawn of time...we are free to Choose....God simply implores us to choose life...life through his ways, his Word, and though the ultimate expression, Jesus. I hear many references in blogs to the atrocities of of the crusades and men that used his name to full fill their will not his...but I hear little confession of truth from Godless athestic communism that killed Millions ....the sad truth is that god given appreciation for truth and beauty gets turned into cynicism when paired with outr fallen state of being desire to have it our own way. The end of which is the tragedy that without God and His ways...we will destroy ourselves by our ways. for what reason is he to be despised? For pleading with us to accept him, To not kill, lie, steal,cheat on our spouses? To do unto our neighbor as we woulg have done unto us? Are these not in fact the ways of a society poised to live peacefully and eternally? Learn more through the book of John...read for yourself.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Takawalk

      Jason that statement is incorrect. There were vocal and influential people that did not believe in a God. Nobody killed them for it.

      September 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  18. LakeRat1

    Stupidity Rules! It's just not popular to use your brain these days. Fairy tales are the "in" thing. You'ld think that the craziness of the fundmentalist Moslem religions would make people think about the similarities to their own religion, but no. They "hate" Moslems, but they don't seem to realize that they are the same.
    This crap is cyclical. It wasn't that long ago that people could question religion, and really search for the truth. It will come back around.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • Joe

      Don't I know it! You go girl! Forgetting that evolution and the big-bang theory are the most hilarious fairy tales ever invented. Funny enough most religions carry some verifiable truths which far surpass the scientific community's laughable guessing.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • lefty

      jJoe, when you don't understand something that does not make it a "fairy tale". The fact that you choose not to research anything because obviously you've already made your mind up (see bible) makes you a bigot and ignorant.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:46 am |
  19. Colin

    A few questions should help shed light on the relationship between religion and rational thought.

    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the field of:

    (a) Children’s fairytales;

    (b) Medieval mythology;

    (c) New age pseudo science; or

    (d) Christianity

    I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Christian

    Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    I believe that an all powerful being, capable of creating the entire cosmos watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty". I am

    (a) A victim of child molestation

    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions

    (d) A Christian

    You are about 70% likely to believe the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with only one man, one woman and a talking snake if you are a:

    (a) historian;

    (b) geologist;

    (c) NASA astronomer; or

    (d) Christian

    I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am

    (a) A failed psychologist

    (b) A fraudulent geneticist

    (c) A sociologist who never went to college; or

    (d) A Christian with the remarkable ability to ignore inconvenient facts.

    The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:

    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they must believe under threat of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “there is one god comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas religion is regional and a person’s religious conviction, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than an accident of birth; or

    (d) All of the above.

    If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • benedictacc

      And here is the prime example of why people don't respect atheism. It is one thing for you to not believe and having arrived at a conclusion that based on your considerations that there is no God and that religion is a waste of time. That is fine. Your decision.. But to openly mock those who do believe, implying idiocy or ignorance because they don't smugly reject religion and God like you do, and to present it in a condescending way like you just did, is the ultimate height of arrogance. It also makes you a complete and insufferable dick.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • CuriosityKilledTheCat

      Yes, you spoke my mind!- requesting permission to copy your mock exam here and let my 4 year old answer them- ill bet he does better than most Republicans,Dems, anyone- because he was raised atheist and capable of Rational thought!-permission granted?

      September 7, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • CuriosityKilledTheCat

      Yes, you spoke my mind!- requesting permission to copy your mock exam here and let my 4 year old answer them- ill bet he does better than most Republicans,Dems, anyone- because he was raised atheist and capable of Rational thought!-permission granted?

      Please this is the most relevant form anyone can complete- and our presidential candidtates should to

      September 7, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Jim

      Outside of the obvious immaturity of the poster above with this, "quiz" we see why such self-described atheists garner no support – lack of rational and clear thinking. Your post contains the following philosophical fallacies (that means the lack of reason and logical thinking);

      Poisoning the well,
      Straw men (galore),
      Argument from fallacy,
      Affirming the antecedent
      Denying the antecedent (most only attempt to affirm or deny in a single post, you tried both)
      Argument from ignorance
      Circular reasoning,

      This is like fishing for piranha with a bloody finger so I won't continue and pile on.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • rosemary

      Goodness, there is a lot of anger there against something you say doesn't exist. I guess being an Athiest doesn't allow for any other belief systems. You may need to see a Physciatrist to help you with this phobia about something that "doesn't exist."

      September 7, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • sam stone

      Actually, the phobia is not about something that doesn't exist, it's about the followers of the thing that doesn't exist

      September 7, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • sam stone

      rosemary: athiesm allows for other belief systems. you should consult a dictionary to help with your spelling of "psychiatrist"

      September 7, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  20. normattg

    they "feel" left out? I'm surprised they can feel. Seriously though, they need much prayer that they will see the Light before it's too late so they can repent. The doors of grace are still open to the penitent sinner.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • saggyroy

      I have read the bible end to end. It helped me become the atheist I am today.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • greg

      Typical nasty christian.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • Godless and loving it

      I cannot believe someone who claims to be Christian would say something as abhorrent as this. Atheists and any other human beings can feel. Read your bible again and follow the guidelines on how to treat others because apparently you skipped those verses, chapters or however the bible is divided... Outrageous!

      September 7, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • AGeek

      Way to profess what you believe. Hypocrite. The commandment was "love they neighbor", there were no exception clauses attached. It's so simple, yet your ilk #(*^ it up repeatedly.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • sam stone

      you do realize that your warnings do not have much effect on those who do not believe in (your) god, don't you?

      September 7, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • sam stone

      that being said, get back on your knees, b1tch

      September 7, 2012 at 8:53 am |
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About this blog

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.