October 9th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
Survey: One in five Americans has no religion
Editor's note: CNN recently won four first-place reporting awards from the Religion Newswriters Association. Read more about the awards here.
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – The fastest growing "religious" group in America is made up of people with no religion at all, according to a Pew survey showing that one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion.
The number of these Americans has grown by 25% just in the past five years, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
The survey found that the ranks of the unaffiliated are growing even faster among younger Americans.
Thirty-three million Americans now have no religious affiliation, with 13 million in that group identifying as either atheist or agnostic, according to the new survey.
Pew found that those who are religiously unaffiliated are strikingly less religious than the public at large. They attend church infrequently, if at all, are largely not seeking out religion and say that the lack of it in their lives is of little importance.
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And yet Pew found that 68% of the religiously unaffiliated say they believe in God, while 37% describe themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious.” One in five said that they even pray every day.
John Green, a senior research adviser at Pew, breaks the religiously unaffiliated into three groups. First, he says, are those who were raised totally outside organized religion.
Survey: Protestants no longer majority in U.S.
Second are groups of people who were unhappy with their religions and left.
The third group, Green says, comprises Americans who were never really engaged with religion in the first place, even though they were raised in religious households.
“In the past, we would describe those people as nominally affiliated. They might say, 'I am Catholic; I am a Baptist,' but they never went" to services, Green says of this last group. “Now, they feel a lot more comfortable just saying, ‘You know, I am really nothing.’ ”
According to the poll, 88% of religiously unaffiliated people are not looking for religion.
“There is much less of a stigma attached" to not being religious, Green said. “Part of what is fueling this growth is that a lot of people who were never very religious now feel comfortable saying that they don't have an affiliation.”
Demographically, the growth among the religiously unaffiliated has been most notable among people who are 18 to 29 years old.
According to the poll, 34% of “younger millennials” - those born between 1990 and 1994 - are religiously unaffiliated. Among “older millennials,” born between 1981 and 1989, 30% are religiously unaffiliated: 4 percentage points higher than in 2007.
Poll respondents 18-29 were also more likely to identify as atheist or agnostic. Nearly 42% religious unaffiliated people from that age group identified as atheist or agnostic, a number far greater than the number who identified as Christian (18%) of Catholic (18%).
Green says that these numbers are “part of a broader change in American society.”
“The unaffiliated have become a more distinct group,” he said.
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Pew's numbers were met with elation among atheist and secular leaders. Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance, said that the growth of the unaffiliated should translate into greater political representation for secular interests.
“We would love to see the political leaders lead on this issue, but we are perfectly content with them following these demographic trends, following the voters,” Galef said.
“As more of the voters are unaffiliated and identifying as atheist and agnostics, I think the politicians will follow that for votes.
“We won’t be dismissed or ignored anymore,” Galef said.
The Pew survey suggested that the Democratic Party would do well to recognize the growth of the unaffiliated, since 63% of them identify with or lean toward that political group. Only 26% of the unaffiliated do the same with the Republican Party.
"In the near future, if not this year, the unaffiliated voters will be as important as the traditionally religious are to the Republican Party collation,” Green predicted.
Green points to the 2008 exit polls as evidence for that prediction. That year, Republican presidential nominee John McCain beat President Barack Obama by 47 points among white evangelical voters, while Obama had a 52-point margin of victory over McCain among the religiously unaffiliated.
According to exit polls, the proportion of religiously unaffiliated Americans who supported the Democratic presidential candidate grew 14 points from 2000 to 2008.
In announcing the survey’s findings at the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Bethesda, Maryland, Green said the growing political power of the unaffiliated within the Democratic Party could become similar to the power the Religious Right acquired in the GOP in the 1980s.
“Given the growing numbers of the unaffiliated, there is the potential that that could be harnessed,” he said.
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
I fall into this group. I was raised Christian and grew up forced to go to church 3-4 times a week by my parents. I was burnt out on church. I have tried almost every denomination of church and to me it's some guy giving me HIS version of what HE thinks the bible says and if you don't believe his version then you're wrong. Um, I can read and I can interpret the bible for myself. So on Sundays while I'm cleaning house I listen to Christian music and the streaming bible. Also seems to me most the people going to church was for show... "Look at me, I'm in church so I'm a Christian." All while being hung over from being at the bar, doing unchristian things the night before...
So what you're saying is that you prefer self-delusion over inst'itutional brainwashing? Good choice.
You have your religion (or not) and I have mine. I won't judge your beliefs, please do not judge others.
"Um, I can read and I can interpret the bible for myself."
But, chances are, you'll still align your interpretation with that of some Christian guru like Joel Osteen, or Jerry Falwall, so you're not really being independant, right?
Looks to me like you were doing plenty of judging yourself – against your fellow Christians. Hypocrite much?
Well, he is quite accurate about a lot of church attendees. They go because family and neighbors would talk and look at them funny if they don't. Even the pastors and priests know this, its hardly a secret when many sermons address this issue.
I'm not judging anyone's beliefs. Just stating my own. And Ken no the streaming bible is just a computer reading the bible verbatim.... I don't listen to evangelists either.
Removing yourself from teh congregation and doing your own study is a most excellent first step.
But don't limit your spiritual enlightenment to just the Bible. Explore other ideas – read the Koran, The Book of Mormon, The Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching and Dianetics with an open mind as well.
Explore the theology of ancient cultures like the Romans, Egyptians and Aztecs. Each belief system reveals its own truths about human nature.
"All while being hung over from being at the bar, doing unchristian things the night before..."
Sounds pretty judgmental to me...
Fish...I don't know how anyone can read the bible and not be turned off. Besides the fact that women were treated like dung, it clearly tauts that incest is best and purports that slavery is just fine, you have a god who orders the slaughter of babies and kills masses of people at a time. The only saving grace that I see are the stories that Jesus told that had some decent life lessons. But you could very easily read other books or study other lives and get these same messages. How does reading such a violent, bigoted book help anyone??
So, the most respected Peer reviewed scientific journal in North America conducted a Poll of all of the scientists in the National Academy of Sciences, regarding belief in god and religion. Here is the poll, and the results.
Only SEVEN (7%) of American scientists believed in god. SEVEN percent. The rest (93%) were athiest or agnostic.
Here is the actualy study, published in NATURE magazine, 394, No. 6691, p. 313 (1998) Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
stephenjaygould. org/ctrl/news/file002. html
Dont let the absurdist trolling of lonely adolescents distract you from the facts.
Readers: Please don't go into that link. It is virus infested and will harm your computer. Seek Jesus.
If you're going to seek Jesus take a snack. You'll be gone a while.
That is Gould's website. Stephen Jay Gould was a Harvard professor of Evolutionary Biologist and popular science writer.
I clearly need more coffee.
See how desperate the whimpering troll is? There is no virus, it cites absolute factst proveing him to be a LIAR. So this is the level of dishonesty this so-called 'Christian' is willing to decend to.
What a pathetic little troll.
Scientists make a living creating and studying the closest thing to a controlled environment they can create. For this reason, scientists often think they ARE God and have a very difficult time getting over themselves enough to bridge the gap to God and the real world, because their studies are all based on fake worlds they imagine and stage.
What is any scientist's credentials with regard to the existence of God? They don't study God's world, they study the physical world. Asking a scientist's opinion on God is like asking Paula Deen her opinion on physics.
The more telling stat would be to poll all the people who have formally studies religion if they believe in God. These are the people who have knowledge about the subject.
Let me tell you, GO_GOP, one thing that has been proven here this morning is that your credibility is zero. You make wild claims without supporting any of your claims. And you've repeated things that were proven wrong other times.
So you're saying that there is gap between God and the real world? You realize that this implies God is imaginary? And therefore your beliefs are null and void?
bob – that is just plain BS. where do you get these absurd ideas?
bob – the only legitimate study of religion is anthropology.
If you want to venture an actual specific argument or cristicism of anything I said, I will be happy to explain why you are wrong. What are a scientist's credentials on anything other than the specific science he studies worth? In fact, science is the type of profession that people sometimes pursue so rigorously that they neglect other parts of their lives to their own detriment. Hence, the stereotype of the absent-minded professor, unkempt look, crazy hair, etc. So even though I am giving them the benefit of the doubt that they aren't actually LESS qualified than most normal people on the subject of God, they are certainly not more qualified.
I will be happy to explain why you are wrong
The arrogance of the evangelical.
I find that in the same way scientists sometimes make science their God, some atheists have essentially turned scientists into their clergy. That's all well and good within the confines of the physical world you have committed yourself to, but someone schooled in physical or even theoretical sciences has no credentials of value with repsct to God or religion.
Sure, anthropology as a study provides some broad history and perspective, but does not an expert on any version of God or the religion around Him make. Without a combination of broadly historical and deep intimate knowledge of the particular God or religion you wish to critique, you add no value to the conversation.
I'm sure there are a number of atheists posting on this blog who have a better historical knowledge and deeper knowledge of one or more specific religions than you are likely to find in the group of scientists polled. As such, maybe it's more significant that "CNN Atheist X" doesn't believe in God than the 97% of scientists polled don't believe in God.
Bob, each person's opinion about the existence of god has exactly the same validity because each person is expressing their opinion on the validity of myths for which there is not a shred of actual (verifiable, objective, factual, independent) evidence.
GG. You speak of a virus; you are deluded – it is in fact knowledge and will free you of your disease.
I agree that each person's opinion is equally valuable and that the opinion of a scientist is no more valid than the opinion of a homeless person. That was my whole point. This whole myth about not being a shred of evidence about God's existence is not based in reality. There is tins of evidence, what atheist crybabies are clamoring for is scientifically reproducible proof of God's existence, which is a totally different thing.
Bob, The opinion of a scientist has more credibility on scientific matters than the opinion of a homeless person (who is not a scientist).
Lack of evidence for the existence of any god is not a myth – there is no evidence for the existence of any god. Religion came from ignorance of nature. Science has shown that we have a good idea of what happened since the big bang – forming of the universe, solar system including earth, origin of life, origin of species, etc. That shows that the bible creation myth is wrong; most of the bible is wrong on historical facts, so the bible is not a credible source.
Before the big bang we don't have answers for, but why inject a supernatural being? That just pushes the question back – who created the creator?
Is the actual "science" in the Bible still considered by anyone as a basis to affirm or refute God's existence? I think most religious scholars agree that the only things we really need to take literally are the Gospels. Stuff like how many days it took to create the earth, Adam and Eve, is there really anyone other than evangelical fundamentalists with a local "Bible College" education that really worry about that being literal?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but we're talking about 93% of scientists polled saying they don't believe in God, as oppoased to not believing in specific stories or veres in the Bible, right? God's claim in many religions of omnicience and omnipotence necessarily means he transcends science and the physical world, and as such, science is a useless tool in evaluating whether God exists. Ergo, a scientist has no greater perspective or ability to evaluate the existence of God than any layperson, because the method designed to be used to know and evaluate God is prayer and religious study, neither of which are a scientific endeavor.
It has been proved in all cases of NDE (Near Death Experiences) (total 143 cases) the patient almost leaves his body, meets our LORD and then is sent back to life for some greater work. In fact all 143 people with NDE have subsequently gone on to become great scientists, writers, economists, businessmen etc. A huge amount of research is going on in this area in major labs across the world.
Please don't feed it.
Proved? How, exactly?
Trolling should never be this obvious – or boring.
So you post desperate, obvious trolling lies, and when those are easily destroyed by your betters, you flee like a dickless coward and move on to posting new obvious trolling lies. Same trick every time.
You are just so Boring.
Wow, who ever said that believers lacked imagination?
This GO_GOP character says a lot about proofs of things here. I haven't seen one proof or piece of evidence yet to support anything he has said yet this morning.
"Fastest-growing religion in U.S.: None"
Who says that Americans aren't getting smarter... this article proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they indeed are.
Yet another example of evolution in action, of mankind adapting by eliminating traits (belief in silly childish myths) that add no value in the modern world.
Wake up to see the truth!
Only ONE came from heaven, the Son of God, to DIE for you.
You do not have to kill or DIE to get to heaven.
Jesus has already done everything for you to be in heaven.
Accept the WAY of God than the way of a religion which leads to destruction.
1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.
Joh 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
Blah Blah Blah believe or burn. Please don't be so ban'al.
What is truth? Pilate had at least that much right. If you think about it, Jesus' sacrifice doesn't have that much meaning if the dude just comes back to life.
Only ONE came from heaven, the Son of God
Just out of curiosity, why do you suppose God didn't send a son/daughter to all cultures inhabiting the earth at that time? Why only 1 son, and only to such a small area to reach such a small amount of the people that God created? God created heaven and earth, he could send as many sons and daughters as necessary to reach the entire human population.
Yet, Jesus was Christ and also God, who was immortal when he sacrificed himself, ... to himself. So, why is that any more meaningful than giving up a user name here at the Belief Blog?
Circular Referencing Alert.
Using the bible to prove the bible is circular referencing. If this blog were excel, the quotes would have blue lines pointing to your first set of statements.
Another 2+2 = chicken.
Everyone's go ttheir own process to go through. I was an agnostic for many years until I had a change of heart and a breakthrough in prayer, but the thing that's great about Christianity is that it's a no lose proposition. If you seek honestly to actually be true to the doctrine and do things the way the religion truly says to do them, you are going to have lived a positive and beautiful life, so even if the impossible happens and God all of the sudden disappears, you really haven't lost anything. You've lived a great life. There was no consequence to having been wrong. But if you are an atheist and you are wrong, there is one scenario that is potentially identical to that of the theist, and one that is catastrophically worse.
If I was an atheist, I would be horrified that my life is about to be over forever and had no intrinsic value. I'd pray my ass off to any and every God until something worked for me, rather than accept the possibilty of such a complete defeat as eternal death. I mean, it's as though there is a bullet on it's way aimed straight at your head, for me, I'd try to get out of the way so I could get more time to party. Certainly, spending time verbally proclaiming your defeat at the hands of death has zero chance of helping the condition.
This is a tired old retread of pascal's wager, which has long ago been disproven, as it falls for a dichotomy, believing in one god or not believing. But there are 45,000 human religions, past and present. Even within one religion, like christianity, there are over 700 recognised subgroups that believe radically different things.
better not choose wrong.
Eternal death? I believe in eternal reccurence for pure mathematical reasons (Poincarre theorem)
Also neurology has proven that free will doesn't exist so all that idea of Hell is unfair bs.
It is called a crutch, if you need one feel free to use it but please do not waste your money on some organized relifion, they are scams.
I understand your reticence. After all fear of death is what brought on the ideas of gods and eternity in the first place. Some, possibly most, people simply can not accept the of their own permanent demise. But think of it this way; you were dead for 13 billion years before you were born. How bad was it?
bob – stop with the fallacy that you have to have religion to have a meaningful life. that is pure malarky.
Of course, the fallacy of your argument is that by practicing christianity, you may be practicing the wrong religion, and then you're in the same boat as anyone else who practices no religion.
It's a shame you require a delusion in order to be happy. Just don't let the cult clean you out.
Pascal's wager. What does that say about your faith if the reason you believe is because you're afraid of going to hell? And what if you're praying to the wrong God? Maybe the REAL God is the God of Islam. And here you're praying to the Christian God. Maybe you'd better be praying to both, just in case, to make sure you don't end up in Islam hell. LMAO.
Sure there is a lose associated with Christianity. You can lose your liberal acceptance of people in exchange with a bigoted view that sees anyone who doesn't share your beliefs as evil and deserving eternal torture. You can lose your open-mindedness and respect for scientific discovery. You can lose a great percentage of your money to supporting the affluent lifestyles, or the legal fees of immoral clergy. There's a lot to lose.
I don't really have an issue because my faith wasn't a result of any particular fear of death. I was really just bummed out and depressed and decided to pray, and then I had a crazy aha moment, one thing led to another, blah, blah, blah. It's really moreso now in retrospect that I think about how terrifying the permanence and nature of eternal death must be.
You can go into your official atheist rhetoric toolbag and call what I'm saying "Pascal's Wager", but it's just an honest and true thought. I'm not suggesting that anyone should ever believe something they don't believe in, I'm suggesting they keep seeking with an open heart and mind and see if anything speaks to them because thes best case eternal scenario for an atheist is identical to the worst case scenario for a Christian any many other theists, and I guess I'm one of those people who wants the best thing if I can get it and am willing to work for it. Maybe that's why so many athletes are religious, they don't like to lose.
Ahh good ole Pascals.
What are you gonna do if you were supposed to be living this life by dying gloriusly in battle and Thor decides to kick you out of Valhalla?
"If I was an atheist, I would be horrified that my life is about to be over forever ..."
The only reason you are "horrified" is because your new religion put the fear of god into you. Literally.
bob – it may be a true thought of yours, but it is obviously not well thought out.
1. There is nothing "positive and beautiful" about a life where you are told to discriminate against certain people because of how or where they are born.
2. If you are so afraid of being wrong about god, why aren't you worshiping ALL gods. For all you know, you could be damning yourself by adhering to the christian god, when the Egyptians had it right all along.
3. Not all of us share your personal vanity. I have no problem with my own mortality. I don't need to live forever to know that I have had a positive influence on some people, that I have been kind to animals, that I have done my best to do no harm.
Death is the only logical outcome of birth. The time between the two events is all we get. I would rather not waste what years I have praying to a god that doesn't logically exist, waiting for an unsubstantiated 'reward' after I die.
You certainly can't allow fear to make yo utink or believe the wrong thing, but assuming you feel solid with your knowledge of the truth, there is nothing wrong with being afraid of negative consequences. Knowing the truth and have fear of failure or death is what kept the human race alive on earth this long. That's how people have avoided being eaten by animals, felling off cliffs, drowning, all the major perils of life. And if you are going to fear only one thing, eternal death seems like a good one to fear, and in my experience, the reality of the spiritual world can be terrifying beyond your imagination, some people gonna be sh**ting their pants when they realize, lol.
I'm sorry that you are afraid to die, Bob. Humans have invented many gods to deal with that fear. That is why there are so many different versions of the "afterlife."
I am not afraid. I accept my mortality. I don't consider death to be a defeat, just the natural conclusion to life.
Seriously, after all the child rapists and religion-spouting bombers and radio evangelist billionaires? Fooled me once.
A recent finding from the prisons in USA suggests that most (around 73.9%) of prisoners are atheists. This has been taken up by some leading psychologists eager to understand this correlation. Subsequently it was found by a group of leading genetic scientists that there is a gene (called the atheism gene) which is responsible for people being atheists. This same gene is also responsible for anti-social behavior. More research is underway but the discovery of this gene raises important questions about atheists.
Cite your references or get back under your bridge.
Again, you have that totally backwards troll. Actually, not totally. Far more than 73.9% of American inmates are religious.
Provide a source for that statistic or I'm calling you a liar.
Weren't these numbers just slammed to the mat last night and disproved?
Ah, the cowardly liar is back. And look, he is lying again.
Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Prisons webpage, study 2007.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons does have statistics on religious
affiliations of inmates. The following are total number of
inmates per religion category:
Response Number %
Catholic 29267 39.164%
Protestant 26162 35.008%
Muslim 5435 7.273%
American Indian 2408 3.222%
Nation 1734 2.320%
Rasta 1485 1.987%
Jewish 1325 1.773%
Church of Christ 1303 1.744%
Pentecostal 1093 1.463%
Moorish 1066 1.426%
Buddhist 882 1.180%
Jehovah Witness 665 0.890%
Adventist 621 0.831%
Orthodox 375 0.502%
Mormon 298 0.399%
Scientology 190 0.254%
Atheist 156 0.209%
Hindu 119 0.159%
Santeria 117 0.157%
Sikh 14 0.019%
Bahai 9 0.012%
Krishna 7 0.009%
Total Known Responses 74731 100.001% (rounding to 3 digits does this)
Unknown/No Answer 18381
Total Convicted 93112 80.259% (74731) prisoners' religion is known.
Held in Custody 3856 (not surveyed due to temporary custody)
Total In Federal Prisons 96968
I must be right next to the Gay gene.
Looks more like 0.209% tool. You are using a dubious 1925 study!! GOP....."fact" is your true four letter word!
gop – that is an outright lie.
the federal bureau of prison 2007 religious affiliation of prisoners:
Stop already. Only someone dumb enough to sing in your choir would believe your stupid inaccurate statements.
Gaunt: The study you referred is from 2007. There is a more recent one. Done in 2012. I am referring the latest one. Please look it up.
There are NO sources! If I were this person I would be MORE conserned with churches hiding and protecting pedophiles!
Or killing doctors, promoting hate and violence or protesting at soliders funerals. Most organized religions have gone off the deep end and are pushing sane people out! This trend will continue!
Ah yes, GO_POOs usual made up stuff. I guess he hopes that some people will believe anything that agrees with their preconceived notions...
Of course he is right, which is why he and many religious and political leaders keep lying. It works.
From the March 2012 PEW Forum on Religion and Public Life survey of prison chaplains in all 50 states:
"On average, the chaplains surveyed say that Christians as a whole make up about two-thirds of the inmate population in the facilities where they work.
The chaplains’ responses also suggest that many other faith groups are represented in the prison population. On average, the chaplains surveyed say that Muslims make up 9% of the inmates in the prisons where they work, with half of the chaplains saying that Muslims comprise 5% or less of the inmate population and half saying that Muslim inmates make up more than 5% of the inmates where they work. On average, other non-Christian groups are perceived as considerably smaller in size."
Gaunt: And yes I noticed you skillfully avoided answering me on the atheist gene issue I raised. Humiliated much? 🙂
Most of those prisoners will be in the clouds with you worshipping your god. The ex cons should fit right in considering they have so much in common with your god.
It's your study, you post the link. other wise I stand by my call of liar.
Why is anyone responding to this obviously trolling twit ?
What 2012 Study you liar? name it, link to it, provide some foundation for your bullsh!t lies. Oh, but you never EVEr do that do you?
Once again, you are also too stupid to keep your lies straight.
Page 11 on this thread:
GO_GOP: "So how do you explain the fact that atheists make up only 2% of the population of USA but around 39.8% of the prison population in the USA? Criminal much?"
So yesterday you claimed the US prison population was 39% Atheist, now you claim its 79%. You cant even keep up with your own lies kid. How pathetic are you?
atheist gene? HAHAHAHAHHA
Perhaps you mistook an intelligence gene for one of its side-effects?
Get a grip already.
Gaunt: You are getting on my nerves now. I am entering this thread for the first time and you tell that I posted something yesterday? Do you atheists have to sink this low to prove your point?
I guess this GO_GOP character just enjoys looking like a fool just so he can get responses. Because he continually lies over an over, gets taken to task for it, and reaches for the next lie, or just recycles the same lie the next day. Everyone has their own kind of recreation, but from someone who is supposedly a believer in the Abrahamic god, I find that interesting. And childish.
Go_Goop. There is no such thing as an atheist gene. You are a liar, and you have no scientific source to back it up. Go_poop your goop somewhere else.
Entring this thread for the first time?
Kid, this is page 86 of the responses (go look at the bottom of the screen, see the list). You have posted for the last dozen pages. You posted for four solid hours this morning, with the same lies, same tactics. You posted the same lies with the same tactic testerday for hours.
You do know everyone can just click back two pages and see for themselves, right?
You sad adolescent little loser.
@gop: i will agree with you, the athiest gene is better known to all of us as the genes responcible for higher intelligence. higher intelligence leads to asking more questions of why are we here? where did we come from? how can i find this out for myself? when did humans first arrive in certain areas? what did they leave behind that i can see as proof?
you know those kind of real questions. we don't enjoy fantasies that make us feel good about watching our enemies fry for all eternity..................which i find truly disturbing about religious people. they seem to take pleasure in the idea of eternal torment for another human; what is wrong with you people?
Just the kind of BS you'd expect from someone who supports the GOP...
may I paraphrase C.S. Lewis? ..................." the one thing that kept me away from Christianity so long was Christians"
These would be the very same type of Christians who usually quote him here, right?
Methinks Mr. Green missed a 4th group: those who were raised in a non-religious family and remain so. I'm proud to carry on that tradition (from my father to my kid).
Jesus was the Son of God, right? But according to the principle of the Trinity (and to avoid polytheism) he also WAS God himself. Separate yet the same: also a ghost, who is also separate but still the same god. Makes no sense at all, and is fundamentally silly, but whatever.
So why did Jesus proclaim on the Cross "Dear God, why have you forsaken me?" Was he talking to himself?
(PS: I'll admit, this is a trick question. There actually is a historical reason he says this in the Bible, but the vast majority of Christians are far to ignorant of their own basic theology to know it)
Better yet, why is Jesus sacrificing himself to himself meaningful in any way when he's immortal?
He says "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me" and He is quoting Psalm 22 because that particular Psalm is about Him (The Suffering Messiah Psalm).
I know, some martyr. He is a god and pretends to die so that he can "come back" and impress the natives....
I guess he understood the need for theatrics. However, even a show with good reviews needs to replay once in a while to stay relevant. The old myths are getting stale. Need a few new miracles to get people believing again. But they better be real good ones that can stand the bright light of modern inquiry. Of course that may be why verifiable miracles never seem to happen anymore.
Jesus was in communion with God the Father and said that the power he had here on Earth would be given to man as the Holy Spirit. God is Everything from beginning to end and is as Ray Lewis said it this year after the Ravens game when Torrey Smith lost his brother and caught six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns that "God does not make mistakes".... God has a plan for us all and Jesus is the advocate for sinful fallen men and women to have communion again with the father of the universe. Don't take this lightly, Jesus truely understands and loves all men and women and will go to bat for those who know him when their time comes.
Hey, Gaunt. I'd like to hear your answer to your question with Jesus asking God why had He forsaken Him. I've always been intrigued with that particular line in the Bible. And , I'm a card-carrying atheist. Enquiring minds wanna know.
The real answer is simple. What people now consider Orthodox Christianity was NOT the Christian belief for the first few centuries of the faith. In fact what they now believe (called proto-orthodoxy) was a minority group. The far larger group was the monophysites, or Arians, who believed jesus was entuirely human, born from mary and Joseph with no 'immaculate conception'. God inhabited jesus as the holy ghjost, and then abandoned him on the cross: jesus was literally forsaken by god. This is the way two gospels (eventually excluded from the bible and labelled 'apocrypha' ) described the events. It was not until almost 400 AD that the current orthodoxy won out, formed their own bible, dismissed those gospels and letters they didnt like. The Arian heresy lasted well into the 800s however, before being stamped out by massacre.
This is just one of half a dozen tidbits of the previous Arian belief system that missed the purge.
Wrong, the gospels were written within the lifetimes of eye witness of Jesus' ministry. Jesus was forsaken by God on the cross because he took the sins of the world which was prophesied throughout the Old Testament. But Jesus conquered the grave as was prophesied. God had this plan when time began and Jesus' life and death were bookended by two celestial events.
Truth, how ironic your name, because you are SUCh a liar. There is no religious scholar in the world who believes the silly crap you just typed. None of the gospels was written by an eyewitness to the events, in fact the Gospel of John was written almost 100 years later.
I dont know if you are just lying, or if you are truly totally ignorant of your own theological history. Judging by your track record of absurdist crap posted so far, I would guess both.
Almost 100 years later!!!! It's like passing off that Henry Ford didn't invent the assembly line and wanting me to believe it. Also, you all keep pushing that number up because you can't accept that the gospels were actual accounts of the events of Jesus' life. There is no way they can make something up like the Gospels and pass it off as truth if there are people who were there or people who know directly of the events that took place. People knew the Apostles as they knew Jesus which makes the New Testament seem so modern. It's an excellent read, you do know how to read right? I bet you could finish the New Testiment by then end of next week if you wanted to.
"Wrong, the gospels were written within the lifetimes of eye witness of Jesus' ministry. Jesus was forsaken by God on the cross because he took the sins of the world which was prophesied throughout the Old Testament. But Jesus conquered the grave as was prophesied."
WRONG, the good book was assembled from a lot of various sects that had text "from jesus" 280 years after the supposed man was dead.
jesus death : 32 C.E.
council of nicea held in roman empire: 325 C.E.
number of sects during that time: The Council Assembled 300 bishops were present
if you were there to observe jesus completeing these actions and fullfilling the TORAH, aka your old testament, then please fill us in on how you did this so i may go back and see for myself. XD
you are taking the words of a pagan emperor whom paid for the creation of "his bible" and the religion that he wanted for his crumbling empire.
Sadly dissapointed as consequences always follow. Consequences are innevitable. YOU SEE THERE ARE CIVIC LAWS, NATURAL LAWS, AND SPIRITUAL LAWS, THEY ARE ALL FOLLOWED BY RECIPROCAL CONSEQUENCES. If you are caught speeding, wether you know the law or not, consequences will be followed by a fine or even incarceration depending on how far you go on breaking the law. If you wake up and walk out on your pj's without covering yourself, you are liable to get a sorethroat, bronchitis or pneumonia. IF YOU BREAK THE CREATOR'S LAWS KNOWINGLY OR NOT CONSEQUENCES WILL FOLLOW. YOU CAN CRYA ND KICK AND WILL NOT MOVE A HAIR WITHOUT HIS MAGESTY'S MERCY. IF YOU FOLLOW ENGLANDS EMPIRE BEFORE THEY TURNED THEIR BACK ON THE CREATION OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL, THEY WERE THE MOST POWERFUL NATION ON THE EARTH. LOOK AT THEM KNOW. IRONICALLY THEY ARE 60% MUSLIM NOW. THE INFIDELS CONQUERED THEM WITH SUTILITY, AND THEY ARE BASICALLY ARE SECOND/THIRD WORLD NATION NOW. Yep, Yep, Yep consequences will follow. Perhaps you make the wise choice of repenting of your sins now and ask The Savior for mercy and to come into your heart now. HE IS THE RISEN MESSIAH BEFORE CREATION, IN THE MIDST AND IN THE AFTERLIFE. MOHAMMED, CONFUCIO'S, BUDDHA'S AND ALL THE OTHER FALSE PROFETS BONES ARE STILL BURIED ON THE EARTH. THE MASTER JESUS RESSURECTED AND IS SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER NOW AS YOUR PRIEST IF YOU CALL ON HIM, SCREAM AT HIM FOR HELP. He will respond. Try him for a few months. If it doesn't work, we'll give you your ugly sins back. Jesus Loves you bubba.
What a meandering pile of absolute lies. Why do so many zealots feel the need to make stuff up and lie whenever they spew their faith? have they no decency or shame at all?
Prove to me Mohammad is a false prophet. You can't.
But I can prove to you that the bible is nothing more than the work of human beings used to control populations, then, later in history, was edited to to fit their agenda of power, money and to convert pagans to christianity. It was not the word of god, not inspired by god. This is certain.
Using caps lock for large, seemingly random, portions of your post makes you look like a homeless guy shouting at squirrels in the park.
England is 60% Muslim?! Perhaps you should spend a little less time with your nose in the Bible and try one of the many wonderful books written within the last 2000 years.
Being out in the cold doesn't automatically make people sick. That is an old wives tale.
Boy, you are really out there!
doesn't all caps mean yelling... I am a Christian... but I don't think we should yell that much when we try to post evangobombs onto unsuspecting bloggers... some of them may still have hangovers from the night before... so your CAPS are hurting our ears.
Who is CONFUCIO?? Horatio's brother?
Really, if you cannot spell, cannot learn how to type without using capitals, and cannot figure out grammar, do not post. Whatever your point may have been, it is lost and you come across as a religious lunatic ranting on and on.
tell me that doesn't sound absolutely crazy.
1 in 5... 33 million... umm... that doesn't add up actually. 33 x 5 is 165. We have almost 400 million people in the USA. Not 165 milllion. So... actually less than 1 in 10. Just saying...
I noticed that too. I'm guessing that they meant 1 in 5 american adults. It's either that or CNN is awful at math.
320 million = 400 million?
You have a few math issues as well it seems.
Also, the stat is only relative to U.S. adults, so it does not include anyone under 18.
@Markin – No actually I don't a 'math issue' but the census bureau sure does. There estimates are usually considered to be 'low' by at least 10%. Agreed 320+32=352 making 'almost 400 million' a stretch. If it makes you feel better how about 'at well over 300 hundred million Americans 33 million is around 1 in 10 not in 1 in 5'.
@MarkinFL – Then they should explicitly state that shouldn't they? After all they start quoting statistics they should probably be very careful to indicate what those numbers are in relation to. Also not to put too fine a point on it, but if they also indicate the 'younger generations' are more likely to not hold a religious affiliation that becomes a potentially critical demographic factor, thus not including 'young adults' (teenagers) is probably an unfortunately important lapse in the study methinks, yes?
Religion, like the vast majority of science, is fake....
There is only one truth.
And you obviously haven't a clue what that one truth is.
Buck believes science is fake. As he uses his computer to send an electronic message over the internet on the world wide web.
this site is hilarious and the guy who wrote it either a comic genius or mentally warped.
this is nasarthebest from foxnews forums before they shut down. he's a kook!
Gaunt, if evolution was true and us humans evolved from monkeys then why do monkeys still exist. Please explain. You can't why because you are trading the truth for the lie.
For the same reasons that most Americans came from Europe and yet Europeans still exist. (and of course we didn't come from any modern monkeys, we share an ancestor).
That said, your question is too cliche and ignorant to really be taken seriously. Trolling, I suspect.
Humans did not evolve from monkeys. Humans and chimpanzee's shared a common ancestor, that was neither human nor chimpanzee, about four million years ago. If you have any more questions I will be happy to answer them.
You know.....umm....you might want to actually understand the modern theory. In fact there's a great video on youtube by Dawkins that completely debunks the monkey to man nonsense that you willfully ignorant people cling to.
OMG, the product of a FINE southern education. A cannot believe you wrote that! Are you serious or just trolling? I can't tell.
I literally cannot believe how stupid a question that is.
We did not evolve from monkeys. We and monkeys evolved from a similar common ancestor that was neither human nor monkey. This isnt exactly a secret kid, read 'Origin of species' or ANY book ever written on evolution and you will grasp this.
We are one of many developed species of primates. There is your explanation, problem solved, you are welcome.
You must be new here. Welcome to the jungle.
educate yourself on evolution please.
Protestants came from Catholics too, and Christians came from Jews.
Oh my! I really wish that more and more unaffiliated people would stand up to our less educated counterparts. I am so tired of explaining this very simple point. Humans did not evolve from monkeys. We evolved from an extinct species known as Australopithecus. Science just makes sense. Everything else is a fairy tale told to those that did not understand anything higher. These fairy tales were told feeble minded people lacking a higher education. The church officials probably do know better, but they also understand the power of the almighty dollar. Would we have church officials without donations? I think not! God is just an excellent marketing scheme! I am so glad that the intelligent are finally committing themselves to the enlightenment era. We should not be allowed to be repressed back to the Dark ages once again. If only Galileo, Newton and DaVinci had a chance to speak openly, who knows where we could be today? But, the church had a way of quashing any ideals that challenged their own view points. The church is very good at keeping the citizens in order. We can't have too many Indian Chiefs, can we?
Actually, the latest research in evolution suggests that the ape line we see today who are well adapted to live where they are actually descended from a branch closer to humans than the other way around. So ironically, the bible thumpers were partially right, humans did not descend from apes, apes descended from (primitive) human ancestors.
For the wacko ideas you have, why call yourself Striker? Why not wet noodle or "just guessing".
No, he's trading truth for child molestation.
Evolution is a great myth. You would have more luck getting a fully working car from a tornado going through a junkyard than get life from an electric mud puddle. DNA is way too complex to build itself and it also fixes species into place. DNA and the Human Genome project proves there is no cross species change. There are inter-species variation like different types of dogs, but they are still a dog. Nothing has ever evolved, but over 90% of all species that lived on the earth has become extinct and is locked as carbon in the fossils of the world which were laid down by a great flood within the Genesis time frame. Think for yourself and you might be surprised what you'll find. There is an evil genius in this world that looks to take people's souls away and make them an animal rather than born of spirit. Just because you get spastic about evolution doesn't mean you have any facts to prove it.
TheTruth-Not, when will we be seeing your scholarly peer reviewed article debunking evolution? Or is your whole argument based on The Babble? The Babble might be considered evidence, if you could prove there is even just one god. We're waiting...
Me defending the Bible is like a kitty cat defending the lions den. You know how to read don't you? The New Testiment you could get through in a couple weeks, easy. See how it speaks to you. And as for evolution a good place to start is http://evolutionfacts.com/ – but beware what you believe blindly because evolution is a Religion. Also watch Ben Steins movie, Expelled to see why you wont see a peer review book debunking evolution from anyone anytime soon in academia.
Hey "TheTruth", if DNA is "too complex to build itself", that would mean that whoever created it is even more complex, thus requiring a creator for the creator. Therefore, by your logic your "god" requires a creator as well. More circular logic.
God is outside of man's understanding. All things, beginning to end. E=MC2 means that all energy is preserved, God puts galaxies in motion and we are supposed to understand. Why? Do we want to be God's ourself? At best we are movers and never makers. I wont let you all take Jesus away from everyone who is suffering. God has to be understood by everyone and we the little people don't need Academia do define God for us. The kids in the playground at church with Down's syndrome understand him just fine and don't need any egg-head explanation from you all, thank you.
"God is outside of man's understanding". and ". God has to be understood by everyone and we the little people don't need Academia do define God for us".
In the very same paragraph that includes all sorts of things you understand about God.
And you wonder why rational people are not swayed by your beliefs.
Oh, I forgot. Jesus can be understood by even the smallest child and still be 100% relevant to the scholar. God of the Universe, on the other hand... good luck. Jesus would say, why do you care about Galaxies, feed my sheep. When there are starving kids and people without hope, why Saturn has rings is the least of our worries.
"Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
"truth be told" degenerates to:
"The Truth" degenerates to:
"Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
"Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
"tina" degenerates to:
"captain america" degenerates to:
"Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
"just sayin" degenerates to:
"Chad" degenerates to
"Bob" degenerates to
"nope" degenerates to:
"2357" degenerates to:
"WOW" degenerates to:
"fred" degenerates to:
"!" degenerates to:
This troll is not a christian.
Name change or whatever, not true in this case. Saw the headline on my bing homepage, followed the link and decided to respond. Quit your crybabying around.... you got reading to do. Calling someone names or a liar or whatever means you are loosing the debate. God is great, all glory goes to God.
What do you have when 33,000,000 million americans have no religious affiliation? A decent start.
WisdomVS, true there are those types of wana be christians who will manipulate you into giving them money or fighting for there own selfish causes,but if you want the truth read the bible, that is one gurantee source that will not lie to you!
Reading the bible was my first step on the road to atheism.
Do you realize how many errors you have in your writing? One or two could be a simple mistake. Perhaps instead of reading one book, you should consider some others.....
Isn't wanting Salvation in itself just another selfish need?
"if you want the truth read the bible, that is one gurantee source that will not lie to you!"
Sorry but books written by ancient men about an invisible god that no one can prove needs to be taken with several grain of salt to even contemplate digesting that crap.
Take off the faith shades and read it again. Get ready to be shocked.
"Will not lie to you"
How about if I point out, right here and now, several errors and lies in the bible. Will you abandon your religion?
The Bible – Gullible's Travels. Rehashed, rehashed folklore. Next order of business: learn to spell.
@striker: for your consideration please study true history. modern christians and catholics owe their exsistence to emperor constantine of rome. he had the priests of the many different scets of jewish faith make an official book (bible) for their new official religion. it was called the council of nicea and they decided what would be in the bible and what would not. this happen in the year 312 C.E.
now seeing jesus had been dead;if he truly exsisted; since the year 32 C.E. that would mean 280 years between this man's messages and the official printing of "the holy bible". now none of those wonderful people back then would have had any reason to embellish on jesus' deeds or change a word or two in their favor now would they? i mean they were all so trust worthy and faithful..............lmfao.
your bible is the work of a pagan ruler seeking more power through unifying a splintering empire, that's all.
how did you become christian? what about your parents? were they christian?
how do you think most conquered regions are one religion or the other? the conquerers would kill the men that fought, then send in "missionaries" to begin the brainwashing starting with the children because if you can get the kids to listen to what you teach them, then they will continue to teach their children on down the line until their whole culture accepts what you teach to be "truth"; then they become willing missionaries to "help spread the good word".................................by the same means as their ancestors were "told the good word."
One in 5 American are screwed for eternity unless they repent there sins and have faith in the one true God!
Thanks for supporting the accurate stereotype of religious fear-mongering. Oh, by the way, just in case I decide to "double down" (wink) which version of cultural construction should I turn to in order to prevent this potentially horrible demise?
Ha ha, that's a good one. Keep on peddling the 'sky man' myth.
Striker, you are in for SUCH a shock when you die, go before Allfather Odin, and are cast into Hel because you did not die in battle surrounded by your slain enemies.
And the great thing is, Even if we accept that a celestial sky santa does exist (which there is no evidence it does), then there is just as much 'evidence' that it is Allfather Odin as that it is your silly interpretation of your god.
Mankind currently worships over 5000 different Gods. Which God is the 'right one' and can you prove it with empirical evidence not based on "my religious text is true. It's true because it says it's true and all others are false because it says they are false."
Sorry Cupcake. Circular logic is not acceptable..
Or the vast majority of Americans who do not believe in reincarnation are destined to be reborn again and again until they realize that they need to better their Karma. You can't prove that this isn't so, right?
I left the Southern Baptist church a few years ago after seeing how politically manipulating the organization was. I also grew tired of the dogma and brainwashing. Free thinking isn't allowed. You either become a clone or you leave. Singles (never married, divorced, widowed) were ignored for the most part and gay was totally unaccepted. I feel so liberated; no guilt trips, no obligations to the church, no church members checking up on me. I should have done it many years ago.
Welcome back to reality. Sounds like you were getting sucked into a hate group, under the guise of "love". Good for you!
"These are not the droids you're looking for... go about your business." Preferably on another planet.
I see the under 10 year olds have a day off from school again. Go home to your mommy.