Your Take: Author who calls 'spiritual but not religious' a cop-out responds to comments
October 2nd, 2012
04:04 PM ET

Your Take: Author who calls 'spiritual but not religious' a cop-out responds to comments

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Alan Miller is director of The New York Salon and co-founder of London's Old Truman Brewery. He is speaking at The Battle of Ideas at London's Barbican in October.

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

I wrote a Belief Blog piece on Sunday called "My Take: 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out," which has received more than 8,000 comments, many taking up key points I raised.

My assessment is that the wider disorientation of Western society, the decreasing respect for many institutions and the disdain for humans alongside what Christopher Lasch has termed a "culture of narcissism" has played out both among the "spiritual but not religious" identifiers as well as among many "new atheists." Lots of the comments bear that out.

Some commenters accused me of outdated and dangerous dogmatism in sticking up for traditional religion. A commenter whose handle is spectraprism spoke to this view:

“The problem this author advocates is that of thinking anyone has the ONE COMPLETE TRUE WAY- and everything and everyone else therefore NOT advocating it completely must be wrong. This is dogmatic, archaic, leads to extremism and is completely incorrect. Not being challenged into blindly following whatever scripture is not showing softness of any kind - it's showing you have a brain to draw your own personal conclusions that work and make sense to YOU.”

I don't happen to believe in a religious "one true way" and in fact am not religious myself. My comments and observations are based on an increasingly common phenomenon in the past 20 years.

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It is telling, though, that this and many other comments converge on dogmatism and extremism and juxtapose them with the notion that an individual choice is immune to any of that. These comments speak to my point that not wanting to be held accountable to any set of ideas or principles is a very popular position among the “spiritual but not religious."

In recent decades, the demise of the notion that there can be universal truths and the ascendancy of relativism and the new preaching of "many truths" and the idea that "all truths are equally valid" has clearly had significant impact on that identity.

The disenchantment with belief and a commitment to some wider authority has also had an impact on the self-described new atheists, who are furious that anyone could have the audacity to believe in something bigger than themselves.

The end of the big ideas of liberalism and socialism left a vacuum in society. Atheism used to be a small component of bigger movements in society. Ironically, today what defines many new atheists is a shared outlook with “spiritual but not religious” views.

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New atheists define themselves in negative terms, as not believing without any broader sense of a positive alternative, while those identifying with a "spiritual but not religious" outlook define themselves as not religious rather than according to the strong convictions that they do have.

This commenter summarized the sentiments that lots of others express on my piece:

Gina Hamilton
So I should believe in God because Bach did and it was the basis for his work? What Miller fails to understand is that most of us started out with a religious tradition in our lives, and gradually grew up and out of it. I can say clearly that I am a recovering Catholic who at the age of 16 became a humanist and freethinker, but that from the acceptance of the lack of a god proceeds a sense of the oneness of the universe and my place in it. It's not touchy-feely; it's science, and yet it is profoundly spiritual as well. Perhaps Miller, one day, will have this sort of understanding.

It is so interesting how so many people now use the therapeutic language of recovery - "recovering" from organized religion. The group American Atheists describes anguish and toil as the "first step" of "coming out," making the analogy with gays coming out the "closet," as though somehow atheists are oppressed today in America.

The therapeutic outlook is of far more concern with regard to human autonomy and freedom than organized religion. The idea is that humans are all "damaged goods" and in need of constant counseling and instruction.

These comments take off on that theme:

Paul Dykstra
Now you need to do an article on ..... "The dangers of being religious, but displaying NO spiritually aware behavior at all".....

Major religions such as Christianity and Islam have proven to be nothing but damaging and vile to our world. I reject this notion that we have to "take a side" on the matter of a higher power. The basic truth about it all is that no matter how much we read or try to decipher life's mysteries we were never meant to have concrete proof of what put us into existence. What is the point in living if you know all the answers? I am spiritual but not religious because religion is a disease of manipulation and control. I can believe in a higher power while also believing that it was never meant for me to understand this higher power until AFTER I die.

honesty is paramount
As a scientist, I am neither religious nor spiritual. I definitely know right from wrong and one of the things that positively defines me: when I don't know the answer to something, I indicate "I don't know". Don't EVER call that indecisive or "wishy-washy".

It is interesting how "spirituality" seems to be thought of as "clean" and unimpeded by problems.

Dustin calls religion a "disease" - once again we see the therapeutic language. Striving for an understanding of the world is an important and essential human attribute, yet so many of the comments have reiterated a generality about "spiritualism" and "my choice" that it seems to endorse the point I made that what seems so paramount is in a determination not to be "labeled" or dictated to by an authority.

So what is left? The superstition and mysticism of some "oneness" and often a therapeutic notion of being "spiritual."

Here’s a comment from someone who identifies as 51yo:

I always had a hard time with the guy in the front of the church, he's a guy... I'm a guy, what's the difference? He will one day be proven as a womanizer or worse, I will never walk that path. After another guy (Constantine) put his hands all over the Bible, I have little faith it is any more true than words my neighbor might come up with. Like you said, I search for truth and read as much as I can, but the final analysis is my own; I'm not tied to someone else's redistribution of "facts" or their interpretation of great stories. I can do that and be a good person without the trappings of a traditional place of worship, or someone telling me to do something they are incapable of.

The commenter 51y0 doesn't want to be tied to anyone else's "facts." While we all have to work out our things in life, I am interested to know what “spiritual but not religious" facts are.

It can seem that on the one hand there's a reluctance to commit to advocating anything and also that words can end up losing any meaning if one simply says something to the affect of "spiritual means it's right for me." Nick says it can mean a lot of different things to people:

Nick Heise
The author of this piece, though he admits that calling the spiritual-but-not-religious movement a movement would be incorrect, still wrote this entire piece as these people were a united group whose thoughts and beliefs could be analyzed and criticized as a group. I'm no genius, but these seems to make his entire position quite flawed.

I put myself out there as a point of reference since, as I'm talking about my own person, I don't have to rely on complete conjecture like the above article. Yes, I have used the expression "I'm spiritual, not religious." But what does that mean to me? Surely it can mean a lot to different people, just like the same scripture of the Bible can be inspiring to many Christians in countless different ways. To me, saying that I'm spiritual but not religious highlights that I'm not a person who believes in the existence of God as a fact, but neither do I believe in his nonexistence as a fact. It's my assertion of the respect and awe that I have in the face of a universe that I can't understand, which contains forces (perhaps a God) that I can never prove to exist or not exist. For me, it's not an unwillingness to think and make a decision - it's the result of years of thinking and consideration with the conclusion that I haven't yet gathered enough information to make a definitive choice.

I’ll end with this comment:

If you look at the definition of religious – even atheists are religious, they just strongly believe in NO God...this is from Webster's Online Dictionary: Definition of RELIGIOUS 1: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity.

Maybe it's just that people are tired of being fanatical about church – and want to go back to a more open an honest approach to beliefs? Maybe the stigma of being a church member now has such a negative impact on how people think of you that people don't want to admit they go to church? Being spiritual means you believe in something (which I think is better than nothing) – the alternative is NOT only being an atheist....

Organized religious beliefs (even going back into ancient times) have caused more death and destruction than any other organization in the world ... and it's done in the name of (whomever your beliefs say to) – and has been since the beginning of mankind! Maybe choosing to say you're "spiritual" means you don't want to be associated with all the chaos and destruction – and maybe organized religions need to rethink their controls on individuals.

This remark will chime with many – the new atheists among them - who believe that being "spiritual" means you don't want to be associated with all the "chaos and destruction."

It strikes me that having an opt-out plan should have something more than simply a negative, whether it's a "spiritual" one or a "new atheist" negative. We live in an age where many are disillusioned with institutions and humans generally, yet not so evident is a positive alternative.

Thank you for the comments. The event we held last night, "I'm Not Religious – I'm Spiritual" benefited from some of them.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Alan Miller.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Opinion • Spirituality

soundoff (1,789 Responses)
  1. retired

    CNN should have figured out from the responses to the first article that this is not the guy to lead the discussion on spirituality/religion.

    October 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • LLR

      A good heretic stoning, or witch burning maybe, but not a "discussion". His mind is completely closed.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  2. Broadcasting

    May you all be touched by his noodley appendage. Ramen.

    October 3, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  3. Good News

    @Luiz Penalva,

    The Words of Jesus have rightfully been preserved and recorded by the will of God, (Matthew 24/35)
    and they are absolutely proven True now by a most Powerful and Superb "Mathematical Evidence" here!

    When Jesus talked about "this Generation" he was actually thus referring to this present generation now that would thus come in this Third and Last DAY (=MILLENNIUM) now! (=John 6/40-45)

    So here are the most Clear and Absolute FULFILLMENTS of the Words of Jesus now:



    October 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      BadNews, you're full of horse feathers. God does not exist anymore than the Tooth Fairy does. Or Tinker Bell. Or Santa Claus. Silly stories from your magic Bible are not proof. There is more evidence (not proof mind you) for the Loch Ness Monster than for God. Your loving God sure kills a lot of people. And his most devout acolytes (evangelicals) preach hatred and intolerance. That's a rough bunch I don't want to spend eternity with.

      October 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Mathmatical evidence? LOL! Someone obviously doesn't understand at least one of those terms.

      October 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  4. Anybody know how to read?

    How about another persecuted group, the NBNR? Nutz But Not Religious They'll get Affirmative Action, too?

    October 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  5. injundesi

    Belief is given by someone – Hinduism says you have to create your own temple as your are THAT where God can be worshipped. Jesus or Buddha shared their experiences and you can learn from their experience but cannot follow it as faith.
    Watch this video about faith – belief system given by someone else: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBEIeRSLb8k

    October 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  6. Martin

    "I don't happen to believe in a religious "one true way" and in fact am not religious myself."

    Wow, now that's a cop-out. You managed to criticize everyone else while never stating where you stand. Are you an atheist? If so, are you drawing a distinction between "new atheists" and atheists? Because virtually nothing you claimed about "new atheists" is true about atheists.

    October 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Nothing he claimed about "new atheists" is true about new atheists either. They're just conveniently not in the room to defend themselves so Miller wins.

      October 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  7. Willow

    I still think that a lot of people are unwilling to define themselves as Christian because the religion is now associated with being bigoted. End the bigotry and focus on the love instead of who is going to burn in hell forever and ever, and you will do everyone a favor.

    October 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tell that to morons like "truth be told," "fred," "Heaven Sent," and "PRISM."

      October 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      But how will the Robertson make his money? How will all the hellfire televangelists make all their money, I mean "spread the good news"? These people get off on fleecing people and making themselves feel all self-righteous and pious.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Imagine that. Yet ANOTHER happy, happy, joy, joy posting from TTPS. Unbelieveable!

      October 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      So you don't think the real problem is the whole silliness about needing to be saved from eternal suffering by a blood sacrifice? Because even if you root out all bigotry you've still got to get past the essential absurdity of the foundational principle of Christianity.

      October 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @is still blind, deaf and dumb as balls: What's untrue about my post? Did I hurt your little feelings?

      October 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and by the way, blind and stupid, it's "unbelievable."

      Why are all you fundiots so dam stupid?

      October 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's not surprising that a blind moron can't even follow its own posts.

      October 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  8. Truth be Told Correctly

    Very kind of the author to chastise those with a differing view point. Is absolution that being spirtual and not religious is, in some way, a easy alternative to saying "I don't believe in God". I think if he were to sit down and speak with the spirtual and not religious crowd, he would learn that they have more compassion and piety than the "religious".

    From my experiences, I grew up Lutheran, my mother worked for the church (still does) and now my wife and mother-in-law are associated with the same church. I am asked constantly if I will attend church with them, and as most will on C and E. However the days I do not, it does not change my faith in a compassionate universe, or God for that matter. When I attend these services I see many people who say all the right things and pray all the right things. However when I see these same people in the street, they are the first ones to put themselves ahead of others, to see themselves as the most important part of the equation.

    That is what drives people away from stating they are religious. Gone forever is the idea that We Are Our Brothers Keepers. replaced with a self centered followers of their own making under the ruse of Religion.

    October 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  9. patch vader

    You got it right the first time. After the sermon on the mount, Jesus did not stop to hold question and answer, or follow up, or what ifs. He just went forward and ministered to the followers and the needy. The spirituality movement is based on "its all about me, myself, and I". Just walk away.

    October 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      the spiritual movement is about reconnecting to the web of life, its about being one with all

      oh and this is an older teaching the Christ

      October 3, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  10. Needed Clarification

    In explaining Miller's assertions, 'cafeteria' wrote: "The behavior is also known as pick-n-choose, a la carte, cafeteria, etc. The point is that you kinda believe, but are too lazy to actually follow the rules or practice the beliefs of the religion. It's sort of like you believe in democracy but you don't want to vote, don't want to be a juror, don't do your civic duties. It's just another form of being a slacker."

    cafeteria's right that this is precisely what Miller was undoubtedly trying to say. Unfortunately Miller went too far with his assertions. His brush strokes were far too broad. He criticized and mocked ALL Spirituality, when in reality, he was only chastising "spirituality phonies" – those with only the "pretense" of being 'spiritual.' You can NOT sweep ALL of 'Spirituality' into the categorical box labeled "phony spiritualism." Miller over-generalized. There are 'genuine' spiritual people out there who felt wrongly maligned. Spirituality is a legitimate approach to understanding religious and ethical insights. And Spirituality is no more susceptible to delusional phony pretenses than rationalism, atheism, humanism or any other cognitive operation.

    October 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Saying "phony spirituality" is like saying "fake magic". Redundant.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  11. DamianKnight

    All the author is trying to state is this: Over the past 20 years we have seen a lot of movement from a religion to people claiming to be "spiritual." Essentially, they take the "feelings" of a belief system and disregard the edicts and principles.

    I'm going to speak about Christians, because, admittedly, that's where I have most of my experience. I have personally seen a lot of the "I'm a Christian, but the Bible is just an old book." That just doesn't make any sense to me. Because the Bible is where Christians get their principles from. Admittedly, there are some outdated principles that don't mesh with our society and really aren't relevant to modern day civilization (i.e. killing rebellious children). But a lot of the things taught in the Bible are still relevant today. Love your neighbor, don't kill, don't commit adultery, etc. If you are a Christian who doesn't follow the Bible, where do you get the teachings of Christ from? And if you're claiming to be a Christian, and then not following the teachings of Christ, how does that make you any different than everyone who isn't a Christian?

    October 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      You're just doing what you're criticizing others for doing. You're picking and choosing things from the bible that feel right for you. Maybe selling your child into slavery doesn't work for, but it worked for Noah. Killing women and children at the behest of God might now feel right for you, but it was good enough for Joshua. Once you start removing the whacky stuff from religion there really isn't any other logical stopping point other than atheism becaise it's ALL whacky stuff.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Well that would be true...if my faith was centered around keeping Old Testament commandments for a people thousands of years ago of quite a different religious faith and practices. My faith is centered around the teachings of Christ and the new covenant. Jesus never spoke about abusing children. He didn't talk about not eating shellfish. In fact, He did away with the idea of kosher foods.

      I believe that Jesus taught to people be honest, forthright, humble and loving with people. That was the new covenant. It was not about rules and ancient laws. It was about reconciliation, forgiveness and repentance.

      The problem is context. Understanding the society and culture is key to understanding the Old Testament. Jesus also taught about the "spirit" of the law as opposed to the "letter" of the law. For instance, at one point Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother. Seven times? Now, if one understood the context of that statement, it was old Jewish tradition that there was a limit of how many times you had to forgive your brother. That was three times. So Peter believed he was being incredibly gracious and saying, "I'm going to forgive my brother more than twice the number of times! Aren't I spiritual?" And Jesus, in essence, told him there was no limit to how many times you should forgive your brother.

      That's the importance of context.

      October 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Again, you've got a story for why some parts of the bible apply and others don't. That's your story. Other people have their own story that doesn't fit with yours.

      You said: I have personally seen a lot of the "I'm a Christian, but the Bible is just an old book." That just doesn't make any sense to me. Because the Bible is where Christians get their principles from.

      You're just narrowing it down a bit and saying the old testament is just an old book and the principles you care about are in the new testament. Just like those you criticize. You pick and choose based on some explanation that makes sense to you. Others just choose to dump the whole thing because of an explanation that makes sense to them. It's a question of degree.

      October 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      No, what I actually said was that the Old Testament practices aren't what I follow. The spirit of the law is still there. Children should honor their parents. Parents don't need to kill rebellious children. Prosti.tution is wrong. You don't need to stone them.

      October 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  12. Anybody know how to read?

    It's happened before, like what's that dudes name, muhammand?

    October 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  13. Anybody know how to read?

    Miller is just another SBNR gone wild.

    October 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  14. Where's your Messiah now?


    October 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Give him a minute, will ya? He'll be right back.
      Just a minute.
      Hang on.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      he was burnt to death in the 16th century for being a witch, he all waled on water and next thing you know; they were strapping him to a post nailing in the head, then throat, then heart. then up went the flames

      second coming failed

      now the guy is my roommate, and all he ever talks about is F those figs, i tried to help them live better life's and they killed me... twice, then im all like "
      "shut up or I'm going to kill you again; now lets play some Gears and get the mind of things."

      Jesus some people act like their the center of attention.

      still hes not the worst roommate ever, cant stand living with Sameal

      October 3, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  15. Smokey

    Having a community of fellow believers who you can talk to and discuss the big questions in life with, that's such an essential part of faith. If you don't have that you're basically in an echo chamber, you're not getting the give-and-take of having that community around you, supporting you and making you think about just what it is you believe, and also being there for you socially and as friends and even a kind of family. When you're struggling in life, when you're raising young children, when you get married, when you lose a loved one, those are times in your life when you need human fellowship and the support of your congregation, and if you are outside the community of believers and doing your own thing spiritually, that's something you probably won't have. It's an important part of living a spiritual life to have others alongside you doing so as well. Going to church every Sunday or at least fairly regularly and maintaining those relationships is not just a routine, it really does mean something for anybody trying to live a righteous and Godly life.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Da Bear

      Yes, I agree that one positive of organized religion (particularly Western organized religion) is that sense of community. However, I would think that even those not in organized religion can find fellowship if they searched for it, even a routined fellowship.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  16. Who -di - ni

    "What gives you the right to keep me out, and to keep Mother Nature in?"
    "If God was here, he'd tell it to your face, "Man you're some kind of sinner...."

    October 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Sign

      Sign everywhere a sign.

      October 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Luiz Penalva

      Have you tried to cure cancer with prayer? What about Alzheimer's? Sorry, let me keep trying with my science...

      October 3, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!|.,

      October 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Yes, please stop your relentless lying. Prayer changes nothing. Stop praying to God and start praying to a hammer. The difference in your "results" will be indistinguishable, but you can use the hammer for something useful unlike God which is useless.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Prayer Bear

      I agree that prayer can make a difference. However one does not need to be in an organized religion to be able to pray.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • samuraikatana1

      It never fails. Every time I read a religious article I see you making that same comment with the same name. STOP STALKING ME!!!

      October 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent truths is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent truths, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 3, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Taylor

      It's a prayer, not a genie. You can pray, it doesn't mean your cancer will be healed or you won't get arrested. Don't treat praying as a genie who will grant you prayer wishes. A prayer may give you what you want or it may just give you peace of mind and hope that there is a being greater than you out there listening. We can't control everything in our lives, but at least a prayer gives us something.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  18. just sayin'

    DavidA...Ditto! There are so many misconceptions printed here it's hard to know where to begin. One BIG one is that if one believes in the Bible, then that person HATES everyone else who does NOT believe the same. That could not be further from the truth if you are a TRUE believer in the Bible. The commands us to LOVE, period. The word "religious" just makes me think of the people that follow certain rituals of whatever religion they belong to but don't necessarily know what they mean or even truly embody the true meaning of their "religion", just going through the motions, so-to-speak, to make them seem "religious".

    October 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  19. Good News

    Jesus said:
    Do not work for food that perishes
    but for the FOOD that endures for eternal Life,
    which the Son of Man will give you! (John 6/27)

    For this is the will of my Lord
    that everyone who sees the Son (of Man) and believes in him
    may have eternal Life!
    And (my Lord said): I shall raise him on the (Third) Last DAY (=Millennium)! (John 6/40)

    Yes, what Jesus rightfully prophesied above is already thus here now
    in the beginning of this Third and Last Day (=Millennium)!



    October 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Luiz Penalva

      Jesus did not say anything. The Gospels were not written by eye witnesses. The most recent one was written in 70AC. Jesus story is largely based on Osiris. Your believes are based on pure fantasy.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      I think he is also supposed to have said something about returning again before his generation passed away. So, you know, he's not so trustworthy.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • blughst20

      Yes, Jesus was good news. I believe he talked about good news, but. in no way does that make me religious. My beliefs are based on 65 years of study and practice. Study based on wide reading in many areas of spiritual writings and yes some " religions.

      I think the believe that non other than Groucho Marx (not related to Karl) " I have no desire to belong to any group that would have me as a member".

      October 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  20. Thank you Jesus (and Matty and Felipe)

    Still trying to figure out why someone would question another's beliefs. A belief is personal. I know that there is a spirit inside me, I don't need to go to a special building on Sunday to tell me that. How did it get there? Don't know, that is less important than how to cultivate that spirit. It is something I'd like to figure out for myself. Why would the author take issue with that?

    October 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      I feel the same way about asteroids. I know everything I need to know about them just by looking inside myself. I don't need science telling me what to believe about asteroids. They are not made of minerals and iron and stuff like that. I mean, maybe they are for you, but not for me. I've looked inside myself and seen the truth about asteroids. Also several insect species. My insides are a great resource of knowledge.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • sybaris

      "Still trying to figure out why someone would question another's beliefs. A belief is personal. "

      Ask the families of the tens of thousands of dead innocent Iraqi's that were killed by Bush's military machine.

      Why did Bush invade Iraq?

      Because he believed his god told him it was the right thing to do.

      I think it is prudent to question the motives of powerful people that can change the lives of millions of people when they believe they receive direction from invisible sky fairy's and voices in their heads.

      Now christians across the U.S. will support him and his decision because they share a common belief but you have to ask yourself, if Bush worshiped Quezoacotl would you still have supported him?

      Therein lies the crux of religion and the worshiping of god(s).........there is no evidence of one god more than any other. another

      October 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
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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.