Billy Graham site removes Mormon 'cult' reference after Romney meeting
Mitt Romney meets Thursday with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham.
October 16th, 2012
02:53 PM ET

Billy Graham site removes Mormon 'cult' reference after Romney meeting

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) - Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev.  Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham's mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

In a section of the website called Billy Graham's My Answer there had been the question "What is a cult?"

Answer: "A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith."

"Some of these groups are Jehovah's Witnesess, Mormons, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spritualists, Scientologists, and others," the site continued.

No longer. On Tuesday, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association confirmed that page has recently been removed from the site.

“Our primary focus at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ken Barun, chief of staff for the association, told CNN in a statement. "We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign."

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Romney is a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members of which are known as Mormons.

The information about cults can be found on cached sections of the website on Archive.org from June 5, 2010.

The theological question of where Mormons fit on the religious spectrum has drawn more attention because of Romney's candidacy. Mormons consider themselves to be strong Christians. Many traditional Christian denominations disagree, though rank-and-file members have their own views on the matter.

The removal of the post from the Graham group's website was first noted by the New Civil Rights Movement website and then later by the Asheville Citizen-Times, which reported that the information on cults was accessed as recently as Thursday afternoon.

Last week's meeting between Romney and Graham was their first.

After the 30 minute sit-down in Montreat, North Carolina, just outside Asheville, Romney campaign spokesman Rick Gorka told reporters that Billy Graham led a prayer for the Romneys, saying "I'll do all I can to help you. And you can quote me on that."

The evangelist who has been called America's pastor and has prayed with every American president since Harry Truman said in a statement following the meeting that "It was a privilege to pray with Gov. Romney — for his family and our country."

Graham met with President Barack Obama in 2010 and with Sen. John McCain when he was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in 2008.

"I will turn 94 the day after the upcoming election, and I believe America is at a crossroads," Graham's statement continued. "I hope millions of Americans will join me in praying for our nation and to vote for candidates who will support the biblical definition of marriage, protect the sanctity of life and defend our religious freedoms."

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When asked about Graham's beliefs about Mormonism, Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross said in a statement that "Through an inclusive evangelistic ministry spanning more than 60 years, Mr. Graham was called to preach the transformative message of the Gospel to the whole world, regardless of one’s religious background, affiliation or none. As such, he never proselytized, targeted or labeled specific people, groups, faiths or denominations.

"Neither did Mr. Graham attempt to divide his audience before he had opportunity to preach to them. He has a genuine love for all people, and faithfully proclaimed the love of God to everyone, providing opportunity for them to respond by making a faith commitment.

"Mr. Graham’s calling is not to pass judgment, but to proclaim the biblical truth that Jesus is the only way to heaven, allowing every individual and group to fall along that plumb line," the statement went on.

"He further stressed that salvation is the work of Almighty God, and that only He knows what is in each human heart," the statement said.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, lists the LDS Church as a theological cult.  The Catholic Church also does not recognize Mormon baptisms as being theologically compatible with its own.

The LDS Church has long bristled at being called a cult.  Mormons note the many similarities and overlap between their teachings and that of other churches but point to their belief in other scriptures like the Book of Mormon as the reason they split with other churches.

In the 2012 campaign Romney has been generally quiet about his church, though his role as a lay church leader was prominently featured in the Republican National Convention, and his campaign has allowed members of the press pool accompanying Romney to film him attending services.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity

soundoff (4,065 Responses)
  1. nino

    The Bible: Jewish book of fairy tales.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Jesus suffered

      Are the Jews real? It's you who is the fairy.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  2. bmorgan

    It is a cult and has always been a cult. The leader of the Mormon church according to their beliefs, talks directly to God every day. I didn't know Kolob had cell phone service. This is the religion that believes it is ok to babtize Jews killed in the holocost and declare they are now Mormons. This is a cult that doesn't even allow most of its own members into their "Special Temples". And yes, this is a cult that wears magic underwear.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • I am afraid no more, we are in the end times......

      In the Roman Catholic Church, the Eucharist (communion) is considered the highest spiritual rite connecting a person with Jesus.

      I can accept Billy Graham faith and his ministry, because the faith is directly linked with Jesus the Christ. Today Mr. Graham’s, endorsement of a cult member is sacrilegious.

      Mr. Romney’s faith is an aberration of the Christian Faith in every possible way.

      I am deeply; deeply disappointed that Mr. Graham would remove the definition.

      I am heart broken that my own faith is talking about religious rights as the Priest endorses this man’s candidacy.

      I know that we are in the end times.

      I know it and so do all of you……

      October 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      What's interesting is how often the mormon god changes his mind about what is or is not acceptable. Polygamy, no polygamy...no Blacks, Blacks.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      @AfraidNoMo: Don't be sad. It's a time to celebrate! Your fear is gone. It's a wonderful time to be alive! Hopefully soon, too, your belief in silly sky fairies is waning as you see what a fraud religion truly is. There are no "end times" from a religious point of view. You do not need a religion to be a good person. Use this time to think things through and realize it was all a fraud. Then use the time you have left to be kind to the planet and others on it, without the fear religion rules you with.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @I am afraid etc,

      this has nothing to do with Billy Graham. He's 94. I suspect he can't remember what he had for lunch.

      This is Franklin's doing and it opposes everything that Dr. Graham stood for. Billy Graham refused to join the Moral Majority in 1979 because he thought it morally wrong to politicize his ministry. Franklin has done just that, and I'll wager there was a healthy donation from one of Mitt's SuperPACs that tipped the scale.

      All organized by Mark DeMoss. A Jerry Falwell accolyte and Franklin's PR guy for 21 years. He is now Mitt's evangelical ambassador. Just like 'deep throat' said: "Follow the money."

      October 17, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  3. Adam

    Was Blind But Now I See:
    It was political because Graham was quoted as exhorting his followers to get and vote for politicians who oppose marriage equality, reproductive freedoms, and some phantom menace to religious freedom (a red herring invented by hypocrites who want to deny religious freedom to those who don't agree with their conservative view). Read the article again, sweetheart. XO P.S.: He may have just jeopardized his tax-exepmt status.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile


      "Reproductive freedoms" surely you jest! What about the freedom to be born? What about the freedom to be born and become an Eisntein or DaVince or? Who's rights are reproductive "freedoms" destroying?

      October 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Adam

      So you want some crusty old man judge to tell you, your daughter, your grandaugther that she has to go through an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy because he's determined the pregnancy is viable? Then she dies from the pregnancy? Stupidity. A person's life begins when they take their first breath, and ends when they take their last. End of story.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      He didn't jeopardize anything, baby cakes. He never told anybody WHO to vote for. He just said to vote accoring to God's Laws (whomever that candidate might be).

      Funny how you "equality" and "civil rights" people only want those who agree with you to have equality and rights. And you call us haters/intolerant/sheep/etc... unbelievable.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile


      Playing your cards are we? No jokers allowed? Who's this "dirty" villian? A crummy ol' judge? Is this any way to view Life? Just exactly what are the odds of a mother to-be dying from child-birth? Probably the same odds as being struck by lightning.

      Yes, I know the odds of a child becoming a prominent member of socialism's hierarchy are low, but for the sake of the sperm making its' way and burrowing into an egg, give that sperm a break and let Life become a Creation for God's sake! Your standing upon the notion that Life begins only when breathing is so absurd and such a biased notion makes a mockery of all Life conceptions!

      October 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      bolderdash, can you tell us where in god's word (the bible presumably) there is a prohibition on abortion? With all the things god has prohibited, you'd think if abortion was a big deal he wouldn't have forgotten to stick it in his book.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      still blind, tell us what rights or equality is anyone taking away from you...besides the imagined right to tell other people what they can or can't do according to your religion.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Veritas

      BG. How about the right to stay alive? The anti-abortion crowd put no emphasis on controlling/eradicating the things that kill living people: hunger, contaminated water, contaminated food, guns, drugs, traffic accidents, preventable diseases, etc.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile


      "Be fruitful and multiply" and "suffer the little children" come to mind

      October 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  4. Concerned Citizen

    So does it mean that Romney is a never-nude if he wears his magic underwear all the time?

    October 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  5. Jean-Robert

    This is what the word of God says: Galatians 1:8 " But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto than that which have preached unto you, let him be accursed. " v 9 " As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you that that ye have received, let him be accursed." He said is twice!! Listen, Jesus is the only begotten son of the Father and He alone is God. That if you confess with your lips and believe in your heart Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved. Sorry mormons, you will not become a god, satan is not Jesus brother, and yes, there is a hell and that is where non-believers (including mormoms) will go. Read your Bible. Not religion. Relationship!

    October 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • JB

      John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
      The Book of Mormon is a record of those "other sheep." The Bible took place on one continent, The Book of Mormon on another, at the same time in history as the bible! Why is that so far fetched? Why is it so crazy to believe that there were other people in the world, having the same spiritual experiences as those who recorded in the Bible?

      October 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Jesus suffered

      Other sheep are gentiles who are invited under the new covenant, not the mormons. Stop making shjt up to defend your counterfeit Judaism. Mormonism is not Christianity. It never will be.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Adam

      The Devil quotes scripture for his own purposes! J.R., for your information, LDS-ers belleve in Jesus Christ! It's in their FREAKIN' name! Just because they have different theological beliefs from you, doesn't make them satanic. Stop being a sheep yourself, and stop being such a narrow-minded bigot! I guess you think Catholics are going to hell too because many of them pray to the Mother Mary. I guess you think Jehovah's Witnesses are going to hell because they don't believe in the Trinity per se (newsflash! They probably think you're going to hell, too.) Way too many people have been slaughtered because of (relatively minor) differences in theology that are exaggerated and blown out of proportion. If you actually made an attempt to understand the words you read in the Bible, where they actually come from, understand them in their context, and start acting like a loving Christian, you could be part of the solution (spreading God's love) rather than being part of the problem (spreading division, hatred and ignorance). I can't think of anything that's anymore demonic than the latter.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Jesus suffered

      Adam, JB,
      When angels reveal "biblical truth" about the past and future, god and heaven, all without witnessing the truth concerning Jesus, it's a dead giveaway that they are not angels but Lucifer himself. It's how Islam got a start. LDS happens to wage a social-commercial jihad instead of a military one. But it looks as though that might change.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • JB

      "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ"
      The entire book witnesses of Jesus Christ; that He was born, lived and died and was resurrected and that we should strive to be like Him. Have you ever read it? Has anyone here who is speaking negatively about the LDS religion ever actually READ The Book of Mormon? That's like when my child says, "I don't like peaches. Peaches are gross" when she's never actually tried them. I would be concerned about any religion that spreads hatred and lies and divides people and nations. The LDS church does none of that. So get over it. Move on. Take or leave it but don't hate so much.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • End Religion

      Around and around and around we go. Where she stops, nobody knows. I love Love LOVE it when all the assorted holier than thou religious nutters start wagging their fingers at each other, protesting how each is the only truth! It's especially good in person since it takes nearly no time at all before they begin punching and spitting on each other in the name of their one true loving god. Thank you all for displaying your insanity. It helps us atheists keep growing and growing while your various scam religions wither away.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  6. littleBearFN

    Politics: Making hypocrites a tactic.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  7. AnnieM

    All religions are cults. They seek to control the behavior of their flock, charge them for doing so and frighten them into paying with fear of hell and damnation.
    on the other hand, I find it unlikely that Billy Graham had anything to do with removing the "cult" reference from Mormonism. I'm sure it was some PR person who gave the order. BG was one of the few religionists that really lived his beliefs and had my respect for doing so.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Boulderdash Gentile


      Aren't then politicians cultists in parloring their political dogma? Which is the truth to be? Politicalized cultists or One God cultivators? With so many varying names in the KJVB portraying God and other One God religions, where does it end? Will the real 1st God stand and be counted! Or is God waiting for the end-o-line to make Himself accountable?

      October 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  8. JB

    4. "Magic underwear": Most religions have a type of special, sacred clothing. Bonnets, collars, head wraps and so on. Each is a symbol of the life you promise to live. Our undergarments are no different, just more discreet. A symbol of the covenants we make with our Father in Heaven to be good people and love His other children. Try it sometime, it feels a lot better than being so negative and hateful.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Mitt Romney

      JB your undergarments are fine and I know you're a good Mormon boy but I really like to imagine you naked and oiled.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • AnnieM

      Anyone who believes that an invisible being in the sky expects them to eat certain food and wear certain clothing is truly lacking in logic and intelligence...

      October 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "Most religions have a type of special, sacred clothing. Bonnets, collars, head wraps and so on."
      Just because other religions have idiotic rituals too, doesn't mean that yours is any less so.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • therealpeace2all


      Some of us would like a bit more information on the whole, "planet Kolob" thing. Would you mind elaborating on that ?


      October 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • JB

      LinCA: are you also making comments directed to all those other religions and their idiotic rituals too? If so, you have a lot of time on your hands and are a very disturbed individual.

      To each his own.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • JB

      Part of the additional scripture we have (in conjunction with the Bible) is an ancient book written by Abraham who recorded some things pertaining to the universe. We believe this text was recovered with The Book of Mormon. Kolob is the greatest star and there is a symbolic relationship to that star and the Savior. Here is a good article about it if you're interested in further reading. http://www.lds.org/ensign/1997/03/the-book-of-abraham-a-most-remarkable-book?lang=eng
      It's a bit lengthy but will probably answer your question better.
      The Kolob thing is not a central focus of our religion as it is not pertinent to our salvation; just kind of an added bonus knowledge.
      Feel free to look around lds.org or mormon.org to understand more about our faith.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • GAW

      And keeping women in binders is not cool either.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • therealpeace2all




      October 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "LinCA: are you also making comments directed to all those other religions and their idiotic rituals too?"
      Why do you feel the need to compare your delusion with that of others? Do you feel persecuted? I guess if you do, that would almost certainly lock you in as an American christian.

      But, yes, I deride all delusions if they are so proudly displayed.

      You said, "If so, you have a lot of time on your hands and are a very disturbed individual."
      How so? I'm not the adult who still believes in fairy tales.

      You said, "To each his own."
      Yep. You are free to believe whatever nonsense makes you feel better.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  9. Mitt Romney

    My promise to all Americans, I will not cum in your mouth. Go down on me America! I hope I've earned that from you.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • AnnieM

      and his followers will call it "manna from heaven"...

      October 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  10. Joe Smith's #4 Wife

    I wonder how much Americans really know about Mormonism. Cult.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Adam

      It's really not a lot different from the Southern Baptist Chruch, Church of God, Church of Christ...they're all pretty judgmental, and they judge each other. At least the LDS do a better job of minding their own business for the most part. Most likely because they're in the minority compared to Baptists and Catholics. There are good people in all the denominations, but man are there some mean ones! I think Jesus would have some pretty choice words to say to all of the judgmental right wingers if he were here in human form today. He sure didn't hold back on the Pharisees and Saducees - and i think a lot of the Evangelicals are often as bad and even worse.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  11. martin

    Politics: the art of making deals with your enemies

    October 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Adam

      That's a good one, Martin. Well said.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Politics: the process of determining WHO gets WHAT. Now, who do you think will GET under Romney?

      October 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  12. martin

    Evangelicals, Mormons, both monotheistic morons

    October 17, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  13. JoeDownTheStreet

    Wonder how big a check Romney and/or the LDS Church had to give to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. After all religion as with politics is all about the money.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  14. JB

    1. Official name of the "Mormon" church: The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints (LDS)
    2. From our "Golden Bible" written by a "con artist": We believe in God the eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and doing good to all men. What benefit did that "con artist" (as someone here called Joseph Smith, the first modern-day prophet of the restored church) have in writing these things? He didn't become rich because of it. In fact, he was murdered. He had no reason to do it except that he knew he was called of God and that it was true.
    3. mormon.org

    Don't be so ignorant. Inform yourself. Ask a mormon, not someone who grew up in a church whose pastor put down other religions and make false claims about them. Because, really, that's not so Christian either, is it.

    Does the LDS church have a history that could raise eyebrows? Sure. But what religion doesn't? The doctrine that is taught is good and correct, the people... not always. But like most of you, Mormons are good people, trying to do good things so leave well enough alone.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Cheryl

      You are leading thousands if not millions straight into hell with your lies. What did Joseph Smith get out of it? You might as well ask what's in it for Satan. You know, I bet Satan seems like good people too if you can't see through his lies. Fortunately your lot is bush league compared to Satan.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Adam

      Good response. Altho many in my conservative family consider Mormonism a cult, I don't. It's a maintstream church that contributes to the community and participates actively in society. There are certainly things I disagree with in terms of the LDS (particularly their offensive shenanigans on Prop 8 in California), but there are many religions I don't agree with - that doesn't make them cults. Now the Fundamentalist LDS folks that live in their own towns and control all the women and throw out the young boys - that's a cult. But there are other Christian cults as well. I think Graham's about-face is just politically convenient - they dislike marriage equality and reproductive freedom worse than they happen to dislike the LDS. It's sad really. I know way too many SoBap's that say Mormonism (and Catholicism for that matter) is a cult. Religious conservatives who are members of a very large mainline fundamentalist denomination often throw around the word "cult" way too much.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • therealpeace2all


      A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
      A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
      worship – religion – adoration

      Seems to me that 'all' forms of 'Christianity' fit into one of these definitions. Actually, most if not all religions fit.


      October 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Jean-Robert

      This is what the word of God says: Galatians 1:8 " But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto than that which have preached unto you, let him be accursed. " v 9 " As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you that that ye have received, let him be accursed." He said is twice!! Listen, Jesus is the only begotten son of the Father and He alone is God. That if you confess with your lips and believe in your heart Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved. Sorry mormons, you will not become a god, satan is not Jesus brother, and yes, there is a hell and that is where non-believers (including mormoms) will go. Read your Bible. Not religion. Relationship!

      October 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      "But what religion doesn't?" Wow, what a selling point...to paraphrase, we're not so good but neither is any other religion. OK, you've made a sale on atheism...atheists aren't trying to sell anything except reason.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Professor Marvel


      "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. It is I, the great and powerful Oz!"

      October 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  15. nino

    Religion: grown up arguing about their imaginary friends.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Religion: politics with a sky fairy thrown in for good measure.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  16. b4bigbang

    Politics makes strange bed fellows.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  17. llibsetag

    ALL religions are cults... Look up the word cult in the dictionary.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Adam

      It's a bit of a semantics game, actually. Cults to most people generally mean an all-consuming religious group that has a set of beliefs that are outside of the mainline world religions AND demands an extraordinarily high level of obedience to one person, usually a living person, who leads group. These groups typically live separately from the rest of socieity and often require members to separate from members of their families who do not join the group. Members are often required to give up a large amount, if not all of their posessions, usually giving them to the group. The most distinguishing characteristic is that cults function (or attempt to function) separately from the rest of society on every possible level, save to recruit others.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see
      October 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  18. Adam

    You know, Billy Graham had always stayed away from the marriage equality issues, and to his credit. It's a shame that he is now attacking same-genedered marriages. One can only assume that his right-wing nut job son has had a very negative influence on him in recent years. Altho miinistering to many presidents, he's always stayed out of politics and preached the gospel of love and peace. Too bad he had to wade into political waters so unnecessarily. Very sad.

    October 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      What is political about pointing out what the Bible says? The only reason anything is "political" is because not everybody agrees with each other on various issues and you have political parties pandering to one side or the other. If you remove from your discourse eveything that is controversial, you aren't going to be left with much to say now are you?

      October 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  19. nino

    All religions are cults....!!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Atheism is definitely a cult.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • JJ

      Atheism is a cult? Is that like not collecting stamps is a hobby?

      October 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Atheisim is a religion.

      All religions are cults (especially those whose adherents are a minority.)

      If A = B, and B = C, then A = C

      October 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • LinCA

      @was blind, but now I see

      You said, "Atheisim is a religion."
      Atheism is a disbelief in imaginary friends. Atheists don't believe in any mythical beings. They also don't worship any. How do you figure that it is a religion?

      October 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      According to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

      “Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.”1

      October 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      The framework set forth by Ninian Smart,6 commonly known as the Seven Dimensions of Religion, is widely accepted by anthropologists and researchers of religion as broadly covering the various aspects of religion, without focusing on things unique to specific religions.

      The seven dimensions proposed by Smart are narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material. Not every religion has every dimension, nor are they all equally important within an individual religion. Smart even argues that the “secularisation” of western society is actually a shift of focus from the doctrinal and ritual to the experiential.

      Contemporary Western Atheism unquestionably has six of the seven dimensions of religion set forth by Smart, and the remaining dimension, ritual, has also started to develop. Thus it’s fallacious to assert, “Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour”. Perhaps a better analogy would be calling a shaved head a “hairstyle”. Other than the denial of the divine, there is little difference between Atheism and other worldviews typically labelled as religions.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      more blind, religion involves belief in a deity; please explain how not believing in a deity is the same as belief in a deity.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • LinCA

      @was blind, but now I see

      You said, "Other than the denial of the divine, there is little difference between Atheism and other worldviews typically labelled as religions."
      Bullshit. Aside from the lack of infantile beliefs and delusions, there are no worship services, no gatherings, no dogmas, no institutionalized discrimination, nothing that makes religions what they are.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  20. colleen

    It's still a cult....

    October 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • JJ

      Cult – The other guy's religion.

      October 17, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.