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My Take: The five biggest misconceptions about secularism
Misunderstandings about secularists and secularism do a disservice to America, says Jacques Berlinerblau.
October 6th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: The five biggest misconceptions about secularism

By Jacques Berlinerblau, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Jacques Berlinerblau is associate professor of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University. His book, How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom has just been released.

As far as the Republicans are concerned, President Barack Obama is secularism’s go-to guy in Washington. Newt Gingrich refers to him as a “secular-socialist.” Mitt Romney charges that his opponent advocates a “secular agenda.” And Rick Santorum frets that Obama is imposing “secular values” on “people of faith.”

The president, however, seems not to have received the whole him-being-a-secularist memo. American secularists have thrown up their hands in frustration over his supersizing of George W. Bush’s Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives. They roll their eyes at his God talk. As for his recent call for days of “prayer and remembrance” to commemorate 9/11, well, would the late Rev. Jerry Falwell have done it any differently?

After spending years trying to sequence the genome of American secularism, I have arrived at a sobering conclusion: no -ism is as misunderstood as this one. All of which is bad for secularists, secularism and America. Let’s look at some of the biggest misconceptions out there:

1. Secularist: Just another word for atheist: Not true! But that doesn’t mean there is any thing wrong with nonbelievers. Nor does it mean that secularists and atheists don’t share scads of objectives in common (e.g., opposing religious establishment, securing freedom from religion, defending free expression).

American secularism’s roots can be traced to Christian political philosophy (yes, you read that correctly). Its main architects were Protestant thinkers like Martin Luther, Roger Williams, John Locke and Thomas Jefferson.

What evolved was a political worldview deeply suspicious of entanglements between what these gentlemen called “the civil and ecclesiastical authorities.” They asked: “How can we configure our government so that citizens of different religious groups may all live in equality, peace and order?”

Atheists, by contrast, posit the nonexistence of God(s) and proceed to explore the implications of that intriguing premise. Let’s put it this way: While nearly all atheists in America are secularists, not all secularists are atheists. In fact most secularists are not atheists — but we are getting ahead of ourselves.

2. Secularism simply means total separation of church and state: Separationism is, undeniably, a form of secularism. But not the only form. Secularists need to accept this, if only because more and more state and federal governments are giving separationism the old heave-ho.

As conservative Christians like to point out, the Constitution never mentions separationism. That idea surfaces in Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists in which he lauded “a wall of separation between Church & State.” It was not, however, until about a century and a half later that the wall was actually built. This occurred in a series of stunning Supreme Court decisions that briskly evicted religion from public schools and spaces.

The separationist worldview crested in the 1960s and 1970s. When John F. Kennedy talked about a country where the “separation of church and state is absolute,” he articulated post-World War II liberalism’s dream. Or delusion. Even Supreme Court justices whose decisions helped erect  Jefferson’s Wall conceded that total separation is impossible to attain.

That is because the United States is historically and culturally Christian. We rest on Sundays. We close federal offices on Christmas. We put the word “God” on our coinage. Most citizens are believers. The state cannot logically “separate” from them. As Justice William Douglas - no foe of secularism - once remarked, total separation would mandate that, “Municipalities would not be permitted to render police or fire protection to religious groups.”

Government and religious citizenry are entangled. This doesn’t mean we should endorse those entanglements. Rather, we must recognize separationist secularism as something extraordinarily difficult to achieve.

3. Secularism is for Democrats: This was increasingly true with each passing decade from the 1960s forward. But after John Kerry’s debilitating loss to George W. Bush in 2004, all of that changed. Party strategists now recognized the power of the so-called “values voters” — the conservative Christians whose energy and activism propelled the incumbent to his second term.

A few months before Kerry’s defeat, an obscure state senator named Barack Obama blew the roof off the 2004 Democratic National Convention with a speech in which he intoned: “We worship an awesome God in the Blue States.” It was a harbinger of things to come. By the 2006 midterms, stories leaked about Democratic consultants who advised candidates never to say “separation of church and state” on the stump.

By 2008, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton were Bible-thumpin’ with aplomb. Presidential candidate Obama, for his part, was promising to renovate George W. Bush’s faith-based Office. Separationist secularism, long in decline, was about to be rolled. What replaced it? Read on.

4. Secularists don’t make accommodations: Although few have noticed it, the Democrats have pivoted from “separation” to “accommodation.” This means the government can fund or assist religion; it just can’t play favorites. Thus, all religions are equal in the eyes of the faith-friendly state.

Is this approach secular? The jury is still out. Accommodation does respect the First Amendment principle of refraining from federal establishment of religion.

Consider the White House faith-based office. In theory, it funds all religious groups who provide social services (hence no establishment). In practice, however, things have not worked out so well (see complaints against both the Bush and Obama offices). Further, accommodation doesn’t really accommodate or take into account nonbelieving citizens.

5. Secularists are anti-religious: In recent years some have made secularism into a synonym for godlessness, possibly because a few extreme atheist groups have taken to calling themselves “secular.” Yet the idea that believers cannot be secular is incorrect and politically disastrous.

Secularism, as noted above, was born of Christian thought. Historically, its greatest champions have been those opposed to state support of one church or religious institution, such as Baptists, Protestant dissenters, and minorities including Jews, Catholics, Sikhs and others.

Secularism’s mission is to maximize freedom of and freedom from religion. But unless we start speaking of it in precise terms, and bringing secular believers and nonbelievers into coalition, it won’t be able to render this service to America.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jacques Berlinerblau.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Church and state • Courts • Politics

soundoff (1,517 Responses)
  1. Gregg

    Anyone who believes in a religion is a true non believer.

    October 7, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Tamila

      get your crunchy "spiritual, not religous" bs outta here!

      October 7, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  2. Gus

    Great, well written article....not just another "opinion".

    "Freedom from religion"....a utopia ideas for someone like me who was raised in a rural southern baptist environment, has two children born to a muslim father, but is being raised by a step father who was born catholic, but desperately wants to practice wicca.

    And then...trying to raise this family in the south where good, well meaning folks still can't help but look down on you when you say you "don't go or belong to a church".

    As a public servant, working for the federal government, I witness day in and day out out people try to leave "God" out of it, but just can't....why, I think? Simply because people need "faith" to lean on in their work just as much as they do when it comes to anything else in their lives.

    "Secularism’s mission is to maximize freedom of and freedom from religion." Yes, this what needs to be understood, but it's going to take a stong, fearless leader to stand up and say it.

    October 7, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Richard Fore

      @Gus, I stuck my c0ck in your mom last night.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Jesus

      What we are seeing as a counter to those fundamentalist who wish to insert THEIR religion into our government and daily lives is the rise of MILITANT ATHEISM. That is to say atheists who are no longer in the closet, who no longer politely listen to some evangelical dolt without making a comment, and atheists who do not tolerate ridiculous religious dogma being inserted into our lives (e.g. creationism).

      October 7, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Nii

      jESUS
      To wit out with the nice maybe spiritual Atheist and in with the obnoxious religious Atheists. Congrats

      October 8, 2012 at 4:27 am |
  3. NorthVanCan

    Up north here we are not very patriotic but after reading this article of politics in the states im sure glad we have no problem keeping religion out of the public forum. My understanding of what is a canadian just grew to include secularism .

    October 7, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  4. Richard Fore

    Jesus liked to eat his own poo in the morning for breakfast. He liked it better than Cheerios.

    October 7, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Nii

      S H A M E

      October 8, 2012 at 4:28 am |
  5. Richard Fore

    I think Jesus is a pedophile.

    October 7, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • midwest rail

      As soon as you typed the first two words, you were wrong.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Richard Fore

      I think I'm right, I think you like little boys.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • midwest rail

      Trolling should never be this boring.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Jim

      Another ignorant troll shaming the good name of secularists has spoken.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:44 am |
  6. Gregg

    Religion is nothing more than a lifestyle, it has nothing to do with the true creator and everything to do with belonging to a group of people who discriminate. When people pray, each one of them has a depiction of what god looks like and each one of these gods looks different and mostly referred to as him. Praying to an idol you created in your head is just that, If I tell you god looks like a rock, you will see a rock when you pray, If I tell you Jesus is standing next to god you will picture a man named Jesus standing next to a rock, the rock you create in your head is just in your head – no 2 rocks look the same because you cannot see what's in another persons mind, god is an idol in your own mind that you talk to, now that is just plain silly. I was just kidding that god looks like a rock, god actually looks like ? see what I mean !

    October 7, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • Richard Fore

      @Gregg, I think you suck c0<k

      October 7, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  7. Andrew Joseph

    "secularist: Just another word for atheist: Not true! But that doesn’t mean there is any thing wrong with nonbeliever"

    Thanks for not demonizing atheists! <3

    October 7, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Jesus

      I am an atheist and proud of it. When somebody unknowingly says to me (after I sneeze), "God bless you", I ask them, "Do you really have that power". They usually respond, "Huh?'. I say to them that they just commanded God to bless me. That sentence "God bless you" is an imperative. It is not "May God bless you". It commands God to bless me (whatever that means). We usually get into a brief and polite conversation. If they tote Constantine's novel around (i.e. the Babble), I ask them "Is that the word of God"? They usually say "Yes". I then read to them Deut. 21. Their mouths are always agape. I politely ask them to read the history of the Babble (i.e. the Councils of Nicea et al). Few remain unquestioning devotees afterwards.

      October 7, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Bobbiathan

      Jesus, Jesus. You can't just leave them alone, can you? I can see you getting uppity about a religious person who's trying to blow you up or force their views on you; but this guy was just being polite. It's customary, however illogical, to say bless you, or something similar, when someone sneezes. Let it go. Someone's being considerate of you and you're being a jerk in return. People don't always have to correct someone's grammar, tell them their cigarette smoking is hazardous, or describe to them exactly where their beliefs collide. Let them be.

      October 7, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • counter

      This just shows you are jerk, nothing more.

      I would get right in your face and explain where the saying came from.

      You sound a like a elitist moron.

      October 7, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Josie

      Um wow...I'm not even that bad, I am Pagan and use that term...it is stating to be healthy and not allow your soul to leave your body (which was a common held belief at one time), typically the person using it only uses that phrase because they grew up hearing it. You are the type of people I really hate...and am typically compared to when people find out about my own faith...keep me seperate thank you very much!

      October 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Nii

      jESUS
      How did Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicea determine the Canon of the Old and New Testaments. The Council of Jamnia by the Pharisaic Jews determined the Old Testament Canon. The New testament Canon was determined by the Bishop Ireneaus. Continus Caesar had nothing to do with the Bible. What he helped define was the definition of Orthodox Christianity. The Canons defined what Christianity in General was a hundred years before him. The Emperor only asked the Bishops to help stop the wranglings within the Church. The Church was by then established to promote Christianity and fight Gnosticism- a religion similar to Mormonism but also defined as unchristian by having a different Canon for the Bible.

      October 8, 2012 at 4:37 am |
    • Nii

      jESUS
      Constantinus Caesar by defining the Creeds which are NOT anywhere IN the Bible saved the Church from swelling heresies. On the other hand the Councils of Jamnia and Bishop Ireneaus fought Gnosticism. This was a hundred years before Constantinus was born. Let us try to learn the right things. I hate it for instance when unlearned Atheist talk of Jesus not being a historical figure. He had brothers, a mother, cousins and the like. You can discredit a person not an entire family. The books are there. Atheism is the first stage of spirituality. Don't get stuck there!

      October 8, 2012 at 4:47 am |
  8. Rocket J. Squirrel

    Interesting. The majority of all wars have Religious overtones to it. Religion has always been used as a good excuse to kill. We fight over who's God is better. People get ridicule for not believing in the same God as other people. We have allowed Religion to turn into a business. They own a lot of them. And since they are not truly separate of state then at least the business's they own should be taxed. Religion is like the law its all in whose interpreting it and that's where the danger begins..

    October 7, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Zack

      Many wars are fought about religion. However lets not forget another MAJOR problem....you know, money.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  9. Impeach

    They are Godless.

    And as not to offend the liberal crowd, godless.

    October 7, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Jesus

      As there is no God, we are all Godless (unles you count man's inventing a God as having a God-your imaginary and invisible friend who lives in the clouds)

      October 7, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • nope

      @phonyjesus
      nope

      October 7, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  10. Richard Fore

    Suck my co<k

    October 7, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  11. secularists are religiophobic

    and in particular evangelicalphobic

    October 7, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • secularism is the new term for agnostics

      have no belief in the one true God, essentially have the spirit of anti-Christ in them

      October 7, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Karloff

      Secularists don't fear religion or evangelism–we dislike their reliance on delusion and fairytales.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Zack

      @karloff
      To say they are founded on fairytales is nuts......many things in the Bible that were thought wrong or false for many many years have recently ( I say that loosely ) been found to be accurate. This is done w/ both science and archaeology. Many things that people accept as historically accurate cannot be explained except for by God's intervention. Do some reading and research for yourself and you may be surprised rather than taking every other atheist's word's for it. Put your own thoughts together like many "religious" people have. Many people who believe in one religion or another end up doing an in-depth study on it at one point in time. Maybe you should do the same.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • moi

      I think there is a misunderstanding here (as usual). Secularists are not afraid of, nor dislike religion and it's embedded fairytales. The problem is the effect religion and those fairy tales have on our law, our rights, and our freedoms. I am an atheist, secularist, humanist....call it whatever you like. I don't HATE religion. I know it serves a purpose for many many people who have either been brainwashed, are too dependent or weak to leave their lifestyle and think for themselves, or psychologically need simple reasons for all problems because they can't deal with the reality of no answer immediate answer. Religion isn't going anywhere as there will always be half the poplation that falls under 100 on the IQ bell curve, or alternatively, intelligent people who have been brainwashed since birth. Religion serves a great purpose for those non intelligent beings who have trouble processing higher level material, but who need to be placated in order to go on about their daily lives. Freedom from religion is only really, truly possible for those who are intelligent or psychologically stable enough to handle the truth.

      October 7, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • counter

      You see Moi, YOU have to explain away the fact that people believe in God by saying they are either 1) less intelligent or 2) brainwashed.

      Look, go on a believe in your fantasy that all of this complexity we have in the universe came from NOTHING. It could only come from a guiding hand. You just don't want to be accountable or feel something intelligent is larger than you. You are caught up in our own little self defined "rational" world.

      Sad.

      October 7, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Yeager

      @Zack

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jOzCMy9e5E

      October 7, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Kevin

      @Counter – But where did that guiding hand come from? Nothing?

      October 7, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  12. jiliian

    Great article, appreciate someone who has done their reading. Religious beliefs do belong behind closed doors – preferably your own!

    October 7, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • nope

      @jil...
      nope

      October 7, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • Yup

      Sorry Nope, Jillian is right. The answer is yup

      October 7, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • Sarah

      I agree, Jill. It's too bad that more Christian's selectively listen to Jesus's message – Jesus said to pray in a closet!

      October 7, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Zack

      Yes Jesus said to pray behind closed doors....however he also said that we should be teaching all people of his existence and of God. He said to pray behind closed doors so as not to be like the pharisees who prayed out in the street just to gain recognition.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • Jesus

      Zack, Jesus is a man-made creation. Read the history of the Babble. At best he was a maverick Jewish leader of about 5' 3" and 120 lbs. (the avergae height and weight of a man 2,000 years ago) with a swarty appoearance and a hook nose (typical Semite). NOT the Nordic depiction you see everywhere today. The Bible is a many times modified and edited and VOTED UPON and approved compilation of what Emperor Constantine and other tyrants wanted in that book. It is fiction.

      October 7, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Tamila

      @ Jesus
      Wow thanks for the facts! you are obviously a well educated enlightened man! I bet you are very popular and a real hit with the ladies....

      October 7, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • moi

      Sorry, people, but even jesus told you not to preach and practice on street conners.... he told you to do it in your own home, as it should be a private conversation between you and your god. The problem is that you guys get insecure, you have to band together, rally, and "spread the word" in order to feel like you definitely have it right. If the religious in America would just practice religion they way the "jesus" in their "bible" instructs them to, we wouldn't be having half the problems we are having in this country. Be secure grown-ups. Keep it to yourselves.

      October 7, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • counter

      Ever hear of the great commission, where Jesus said spread the gospel to all the corners of the earth?

      You people don't know the Bible at all.

      October 7, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Brooke

      @counter- yes, I will agree that the bible says to spread the word; However, especially in America, the word is spread enough already. Do you think there is anyone (adult) out there who hasn't heard the ridiculous christianity story? Just because someone doesn't believe doesn't mean they don't know, in fact it is almost ALWAYS the opposite. Most athiests grew up religious and took a LONG journey of studying and discovery to get to their position. It has been proven time and time again that athiests know more about the bible than most religious folks. My point being, once someone knows about jesus there is no further need to "spread the word", you're just trying to force it on them.

      October 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  13. NotaCreationist

    A creationist stated carbon dating and other dating methods prove nothing. They rely on assumptions such as that the level of carbon 14 was the same 6000 years ago as it is today. Could this be true?

    October 7, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • FloydZepp

      Given that creationists don't believe in science, what would a creationist know about carbon dating?

      October 7, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • truth be told

      God gave science to mankind. Science and God are not opposites and never have been.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I'm tired of the lies the atheists spread about the Bible that they know absolutely nothing about but claim they do after learning what passages truly mean when true Christians explain it on this blog. Not that it matters, they continue to fall back on their lies about scriptures because they know they don't have what it takes to walk the walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, only talk, talk, talk about nonsense that they, or other atheists pull out of thin air.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • Sane Person

      "walk with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, only talk, talk, talk about nonsense that they, or other atheists pull out of thin air." I think you got yourself all mixed up. Believing in a fable book while disbelieving proven data is the definition of "pulling things out of thin air". Look, its real easy. Just call up this god fellow, have him get off his cloud and settle the debate once and for all. I mean, he is all loving and knowing and everything, so he shouldnt want us earthlings wallowing in doubt. He can settle this with a 10 second add on PBS. We'll be waiting.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Harvey

      While creationists refuse to believe anything that goes counter to their beliefs; they are correct in stating the rate of carbon 14 has varied throughout the ages. An example of this is very recent artifacts will date older than expected because the carbon 14 concentration in the atmosphere has been diluted by the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon 14 is produced by the interaction of cosmic rays impacting carbon in the atmosphere. The carbon from fossil fuels has been locked up underground for million of years; any carbon 14 in it has decayed long ago. The net effect is modern artifacts will be lower in carbon 14 than would be expected.

      Because the concentration of carbon 14 in the atmosphere has not remained constant; carbon dating needs to take this into account. In other words, carbon dating needs to be calibrated. This has been done by carbon dating items of known age and comparison of dates obtained by other methods (such as tree ring analysis).

      Bottom line, carbon dating is reasonably accurate for artifacts 50-60 thousands years old and younger. Of course none of this will mean anything to the creationist. If the evidence does not match his/her world view then it must be wrong because they are right; even if they have no evidence to back up their views beyond the Bible.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Zack

      God has made himself known to people on many occasions over thousands of years. However our impotent human brains just couldn't make the connection and usually call it something else. Please don't try to speak on things you don't understand.

      October 7, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • yang

      i think some christians fail to understand what "athiesm" means. it DOES NOT mean that one chooses to not follow jesus, or chooses to not think of the bible as the word of god, or chooses to ignore creationism, or chooses not to do anything that seems completely normal and rational to christians. athiesm means that one does not believe that there is a single shred of truth to the concept of god. it is not turning away from god, there simply is no such thing. there is no god the same way there is no bigfoot, or monster in the closet or under the bed, or mermaids, or leprechauns. when christians say "but it's right here in the bible" as though an athiest could simply just read what is written there and think "oh look, it IS written in the bible, i didn't see that before," it is simply completely useless. to an athiest, the bible is truly as fictional as any other novel, or fictional history. it is as fictional to them as the satanic bible, as magic, as witches, as nightmare on elm street. quoting the bible, or using the bible as proof when discussing faith with an athiest is as useful as trying to take a shower at the bottom of the sea.

      October 7, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Harvey

      Zack, a question. You believe the Bible is the word of God. How to you know that is true?

      October 7, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • moi

      Listen to FloydZepp.... It's common sense. Why would you believe someone who doesn't believe in, acknowledge, or attempt to understand science???

      October 7, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Sane Person

      Yes, Zack, your god is so perfect, that he just cant seem to make his creations understand him. Uh, right? He is all knowing, but just doesnt know how to make us 'see the light'. You can continue to go to your flatworld club all you want, the rest of civilization will leave you in the past with your stone tablets.

      October 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 7, 2012 at 6:47 am |
    • FloydZepp

      Notballism isn't healthy for anyone and a viseo of a crazy nutbag proves it.

      October 7, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • Tom

      Pray in one hand, crap in the other, tell me which one fills up first. Nothing has been proven to fail so miserably as prayer.

      October 7, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • nope

      @tom
      nope

      October 7, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, you atheists own the crap. You certainly enjoy spreading it anywhere you go.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Jim

      Will you stop this idiotic trolling, "atheism is not healthy" You are bringing shame on Jesus' good name.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      You continue to believe despite evidence to the contrary. You are trapped by teachings, when a child, that as an adult you have not questioned.

      Are you afraid to die?

      October 7, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • Bill

      Does this mean Atheism is bad for my dog?

      October 7, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  15. Yavin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvay28lZiHU&feature=related

    October 7, 2012 at 6:45 am |
  16. hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

    Word hindu drives from Latin word hindrance, negative, Hun, great, Han, to be in greatness, hin to be negative to both of them, hindu, a noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity. hindu secularism, criminal self center ism is hinduism, crime against truth absolute GOD and "HIS" humanity, desire. please visit limitisthetruth.com and click on word Choice on website to open file.

    October 7, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the Original Hinduism Source.......)

      Secular ism is derived from Latin word saecularis meaning "worldly" is the state of being separate from Theen A, or not being exclusively allied to Fat Mullahs. Theen Allah, denier of Secular ism. Fat Mullahs, goons, stupids to understand Secularism, scared to practice Secularism, ignorants.

      October 7, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      hinduism absurdity of a hindu, ignorant from hindred gutter of hinduism, racism called india, spewing his hinduism, absurdity from his hindu filthy self center ism, secularism having nothing to do with truth absolute like his hindu stupid god monkey.

      October 7, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Hindu comes from Indus

      The word Hindu comes from the Indus River (pronounced sindhu in sanskrit).(Source: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Hindu&allowed_in_frame=0)

      I know Hindus and they're generally good people. I don't agree with all their beliefs, but they are generally still pretty awesome (just as almost all people are.)

      October 7, 2012 at 1:38 am |
  17. modestypress

    Reading the comments so far, I guess this is silly season. 1. Roger Williams, as fervent a Christian as anyone could ever hope to find, was probably the main "father" of secularism. His great insights were: a) if "God" cares about wrong beliefs, he will sort it out - it's not human's job; and b) humans need to deal with rules for law and order in this mundane tangible world. That America has worked as well as it has, "proves" Roger's good instincts. I am the "head" of a "secular" organization surrounded by religious believers who outnumber us hugely. I am a hard corps atheist. I think there is not one shred of empirical evidence for the existence of a divine being, and not one shred of evidence for life after death (probably the #1 reason so many people cling to religious belief). I also consider myself a "secularist" because separation of church and state has demonstrated that it works for both atheists and religionists. That's pretty empirical. See you in the flames on the other side. (Joke, for the humor-impaired.)

    October 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      Deviance of divine being, do thing's opposite to required perfect (truth) flow to reach perfect (true) conclusion's, and see the result Truth absolute Foundation of any act in life to reach perfect results. and truth absolute is undeniable GOD. Only hindu ignorant sunk in hind darkness of his hindu soul. filthy desire will deny existence of truth absolute GOD, to claim himself to be a hindu sanatan filthy goon man god in his hindu Judaism, filthy self center ism, secularism.

      October 6, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  18. hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

    hinduism, crime of Secularism was established by hindu's deniers of truth absolute hindu santan's, criminal Zoroaster and his boy abusing hindu evil sibling's Plato, Pythagoras and Aristotle and many more including Pharisees, self centered, secular's, killer's of messenger's of truth absolute of hindu pagan Egypt an Persia, later to be known a Judaism, self center ism, secular ism, founder of hindu Mithra ism, savior ism labeled as Christianity to fool humanity and deny humanity their equality enshrined in consti tution of truth absolute, father of legal systems around the globe, LA, the truth absolute, foundation of existence and bed rock of American const itution of . To say hindu Judaism, criminal self center ism, product of boy abusing hindu santan's filthy goon's labeled as Philosopher is hinduism, absurdity of hindu , ignorant Blasphemer's , such is the case, advocacy of American Consti tution being hindu Jew, filthy secular. please visit limitisthetruth.com and click on word Choice on website to open file.

    October 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Where the hell IS that Idiot Translator Ring?

      October 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      Around hindu's, denier of truth absolute's neck.

      October 6, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Blah, blah, blah blah y blah.

      Pretty much sums up your posts, you dim bulb.

      October 6, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      Truth of hinduism, racism, handy work of pot head boy absuing hindu sanatns, filthy shamans, hinduism, crime aginst humanity and truth absolute, GOD. hindu filthy father's of hindu Judaism, criminal self center ism, secularism, denial of truth absolute GOD.

      October 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the Original Hinduism Source.......)

      Theen Allah ism and Secularism are looking in two different directions, one North, other South.

      October 7, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      Some thing sense able from a hindu, ignorant, Truth absolute and hindu secularism, self center ism are two different direction's, Truth positive, hindu secular ism, negative, denial of truth absolute, way of hindu's insane.

      October 7, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • End Religion

      Tom, I think you have to send in 3 boxtops from Hindu Cereal to get that ring in the mail.

      October 7, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Hold onto that ring Tommie dear, you'll need to decode the baloney you atheists spread.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:20 am |
  19. Where is your atheism now?

    Science will fail you.Humans will fail you.You will fail yourself.

    Where is your atheism now?

    October 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Where is your atheism now?", but all of your assertions 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 6, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Faith in an imaginary being will fail you. Every single time.

      October 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Mason Myatt

      Where is your Christianity now, Where is your atheism now person? Americans -over 905 of them-claim to be Christian. Christianity was supposed to teach and spread love for all humans from all humans. It was supposed to end war as all Christians "turned the other cheek" when attacked. It calls on all Christians to feed the hungry care for the sick visit those in prison and to "judge not, lest ye be judged." Just where are those nearly 400,000,000 Christians and why are there over 20,000,000 hungry children in this richest nation on earth? At least secularists leave others and their beliefs alone and do not try to legislate what all people should be required to believe religiously. American Christianity is little more than a propaganda machine for the American Way of Life. The American flag garners more reverence than the Christian flag. Most Americans do not display even a child's comprehension of the depth of Jesus's teachings. I have been an activist secularist for the past 50 years and I swear to god I live closer to the teachings found in the New testament than any known Republican right-wing nut.

      October 7, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Mason Myatt, you're a typical whining atheists, crying about what you refuse to do. What soup kitchen do you work in during the holidays? What money have you given to help the needy? What backbone do you have to endure the physical requirements to pick up your brother or sister in need? I'm sure you'll write back you lies saying you've done the above and more. You stand for nothing, have done nothing and are a liar.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:25 am |
    • Rocket J. Squirrel

      HeavenSent. If what you say is true why do we fight over whose God is better? Why does these RICH RELIGIOUS people allow HUNGER ALL OVER THE WORLD? Is this the way religion is suppose to be?

      October 7, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • yang

      Heaven Sent, i do those things. i don't volunteer on holidays, i volunteer on the weekends through the year. i don't donate much money, because i don't make very much. i work for a nonprofit that supplies dental care for children who otherwise would never see a dentist in their lives. i do that work, instead of work where i would make more money, because they need my help more than i need to live in a nicer house or drive a nicer car or eat out. i'm kind to people every day, all people. and you know what? i do this because i see that people need it. i don't do it because someone told me to. i don't do it so i'll go to heaven or be rewarded. i don't do it so i can shine my beacon of godly love all over people and feel really awesome when i go to church. what do YOU do, heaven sent? what do you do, and why do you do it?

      October 7, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      Nonsense. Typical lack of logic – yet demanding a logical reply.

      October 7, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    A secularist is what you should be in public. Religion, like flatulism, should be carried on behind closed doors (if you feel you must).

    October 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      *laughing uncontrollably*

      October 6, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      like other hinduism, criminality, way of hindu's criminals to hide their hinduism, illegality from rest of humanity.

      October 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • Theen Allah Fat Mullah (the Original Hinduism Source.......)

      this Hindu should not have any problem convincing a judge or jury of his insanity.

      October 7, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • End Religion

      http://youtu.be/iyoPaVxMyWY

      October 7, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      TT other one.

      LOL

      October 7, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • Kebos

      Well said, TTtoo

      October 7, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I'm glad you agree you're a fart.

      October 7, 2012 at 7:26 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.