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Christmas exposes atheist divide on dealing with religion
December 20th, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Christmas exposes atheist divide on dealing with religion

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – The Christmas season is revealing a growing rift among American atheists when it comes to the question of how to deal with religion.

Some atheist activists are trying to seize the holidays as a time to build bridges with faith groups, while other active unbelievers increasingly see Christmas as a central front in the war on religious faith. With the dramatic growth of the nonreligious in the last few decades, more atheist leaders are emerging as spokespeople for atheism, but the Christmas rift speaks to growing disagreement over how atheists should treat religion.

On the religion-bashing side, there’s David Silverman, president of the group American Atheists, which raised one of its provocative trademark billboards in New York’s Times Square last week. “Keep the MERRY!” it says. “Dump the MYTH!”
The sign features a picture of a jolly Santa Clause and another of Jesus dying on the cross – a not-so-subtle attack on Christianity.

“Christianity stole Christmas in the first place and they don’t own the season, they don’t own the Christmas season,” Silverman said, pointing to pagan winter solstice celebrations that predated Jesus Christ. “When they say keep Christ in Christmas, they are actually saying put Christ back in Christmas.”

The New York billboard, which will be up until early January and is costing the group at least $25,000, is the latest in a long line of provocative American Atheists signs, which attacked then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s religion during this year’s presidential campaign.

It’s not the only way Silverman is using Christmas to attack Christianity. In a recent TV interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, he said the American Atheist office be open on Christmas Day and called for an end to Christmas as a federal holiday.

O’Reilly, in turn, called Silverman a fascist.

Despite Silverman’s knack for making headlines, however, other prominent atheists are putting a softer face on the movement, including during Christmastime.

“I just think the whole war on Christmas story is bizarre” said Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, who has emerged as another spokesman for the burgeoning atheist movement. “I think that any atheist or humanist that is participating in that story needs to find better things to do with their time.”

From his point of view, atheism and religion can happily coexist, including at the holidays.

At the chaplaincy, Epstein has reached out to local religious groups, packaging holiday meals and breaking bread with believers to discuss their similarities and differences.

Sponsored by the Humanist Community at Harvard, evangelical Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Zoroastrians, along with a number of atheists, were among those represented at a recent meal packaging event for hungry kids in the Boston area. Around 250 people participated and over $10,000 was raised – including donations from local Lutheran and Methodist churches.
Epstein calls this sort of inter-religious dialogue “healthy.”

“We as a community need to be about the positive and we have so much positive to offer,” he said. “I think that we really can provide a positive alternative to religious holidays that are not meaningful because of their religious content.”
Silverman, for his part, is more than comfortable being negative when it comes to religion.

“We should look at the results - people are listening to us because we are shouting,” he said. “They don’t hear you unless you shout. … Sometimes you have to put political correctness aside. We need to get louder. I believe we are seeing the fruits of that volume.”

As proof, American Atheists points to the way their donations skyrocket after every billboard campaign. “We get donations and memberships because we are taking the stand that we do,” said Silverman, who would not give specific numbers on fundraising. “The donations are flowing in right now. People are loving it specifically because of the billboard.”

Epstein would rather see more emphasis on volunteerism, though he acknowledges that some atheists are drawn to Silverman’s vocal model. Both men said they appeal to different parts of the atheist movement.

“We are GOP and Dem, man and women, black and white – the only thing that holds us together is atheism,” Silverman said. “A movement like ours needs all sides. It needs people who are working to be conciliatory and it needs people who are willing to raise their voices.”

Religious “nones” – a combination of atheists, agnostics and the religiously unaffiliated, have been growing their ranks in recent years. According to a Pew Research study released this year, the fastest growing "religious" group in America is made up of people with no religion at all as one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion.

The survey found that the unaffiliated are growing even faster among younger Americans. According to the poll, 34% of “younger millennials” - those born between 1990 and 1994 - are religiously unaffiliated.

Though not monolithic, younger atheists, according to Jesse Galef, communications director of the Secular Student Alliance, are more prone to celebrate a secular version of Christmas than to ignore the holiday.

“I am very much in favor of celebrating the secular Christmas,” Galef said. “It is a celebration of the spirit of giving and I think religious divisiveness goes against that effort.”

Other atheists celebrate Festivus, a December 23 holiday meant for atheists looking to celebrate during the winter without participating in a Christian holiday. The holiday, which entered into popular culture through the television show “Seinfeld” in 1997, has gained popularity in recent years.

At the Secular Student Alliance office in Columbus, Ohio, the staff will play Secret Sagan, a nod to the famed scientist, instead of Secret Santa. And instead of Christmas decorations, they put up a Winter Solstice Tree with ornaments from the movie “When the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

“We celebrate the holiday season, just not the religious holiday,” Galef said.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Christmas

soundoff (4,367 Responses)
  1. JIMG

    In today's PC world, non-believers (if they are such) are correct in posing this argument. The US should ban ALL HOLIDAYS, religious, sentimental, government imposed and sanctioned. Government should function 24/7/365.25, just as they expect our military and first responders to perform. If the feds were not so busy filling election banks and dedicated their time to the matters at hand, WE, THE PEOPLE, would not be where we are. Imagine the savings we reap in lost wages and lost production time. If a federal worker wants to celebrate a holiday, they take a vacation day. Simple. No muss. No fuss.

    December 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Hello

      it is pointless to ban ignorance and stupidity... those who want to be fooled by mythic tales will always believe in them no matter what god or dogma they are programed with. Those who have the ability to question and learn of the creations of myths will never believe them.. as they know they are just myths created to control people and make the myth-masters rich and powerful.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:21 am |
  2. Iconify

    Out of curiosity, how many atheists here find David Silverman and his approach to be obnoxious?

    December 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • fintastic

      Nope, not this one...

      January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  3. Nunya

    Why do you hate me? I'm an independent, fundamental, Bible reading, Christian, but I've never started a war in the name of my faith, killed anyone because of their disbelief, forced Mr. Silverman or anyone who didn't ask first to listen to my beliefs. I don't get offended if you chose to say "Happy Hannakuh" or "Happy Holidays," although I say "Merry Christmas" when I greet others. I have friends who are gay, who know I'm a devout Christian. We love and respect each other anyway.

    I don't understand why you hate me.

    December 31, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • ??

      You are not hated.Where did it say you were hated?What do you call it when religious people dump friends and throw their kids out of the house for not believing as they do?What do you call it when religious folks tell the non-religious(with much delight),that they will burn forever if they do not believe?That is much closer to hate than having the obvious flaws in religion pointed out for all to see.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Hello

      You are not hated Its just that those who cling to mythic thinking are locked in a brain prison ... you are told lies and you believe all that the dogma tells you..
      Read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:25 am |
  4. ItsOnlyMe

    This entire column misses the point completely. Atheists do not give a crap about birthing fantasies and myths. Saturnalia was celebrated long before it was adopted by christians. In fact, It was not until 440 C.E. that December 25 was dictated as the birthday of christ. Call it christmas, navidad, saturnalia, whatever. The idea of gift giving to thos whom you love and respect is good for the soul and you do not need spirits floating around in the sky to make it legitimate.

    December 31, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Mike S

      Maybe it's just me but I sure see a lot of lawsuits and public consternation aimed at Christians by atheist organizations regarding the Christmas celebration of the birth of our savior. If they didn't care about it why so much public gnashing of teeth over what to them should be just another day?

      December 31, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • j

      Again – this is lame and hypicritical. "Call it christmas, navidad, saturnalia, whatever".. dur...it's called CHRISTmas.
      Tell me – do you celebrate other religious holidays and rename them to suit your purpose? Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ and you can twist and turn it to justify your celebrating it as much as you want but we all know the truth. It's hypicritcal to celebrate Christmas if your an athiest. Trust me, if you create an 'Athiest Day', I won't celebrate it with you.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • JIMG

      I agree. If you want to celebrate, do it on your own time and in your own place. Don't mandate my choice of holidays. Until then, make the atheists and agnostics work on the mandated holidays. Prohibit them from purchasing/exchanging gifts and offerings of the "joys of the season" since they have no belief. They can have April 1st as THEIR holiday.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Hello

      Many Atheists celebrate Winter Solstice . Which is the real winter celebration. We all live on this planet..
      It is the original New Year Event. There is nothing supernatural about it... it is REAL...

      January 1, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  5. j

    Lame. Atheist that celebrate Christmas are hypocrites, plain and simple. Do they celebrate Hanukkah too and call it their 8 day Fiesta? I really don't care what Chritsmas was 1500 years ago – TODAY it is about celebrating the Birth of Christ

    December 31, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Rundvelt

      Glad to know you don't actually care about the history of your belief. You're what we call an "Ignorant believer". You don't know and don't want to know where your religion comes from.

      Don't worry though, most of the faithful are like you. Believing nonsense because they've been told it's true and too lazy to actually learn anything on their own.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • j

      Rundvelt – typical response. Your 'ignorance' response is boring and overdone. Stick to the point, which you clearly can't. The holiday is called Christmas today and has been for well over 1000 years. See if you can actually focus here – NOONE CARES about over a 1000 years ago. Your point is virtually laughable. Get a grip, the year is 2012 – find your own holiday, stop trying to remake a holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ into something it is not. If Christanity is not important to you, then stop acting like such a jealous SHREW about it! Get you own day and try not to trample of other religious holidays of other faiths either. After reading some of the input I have to say I forgot a word in my description of people like Rundvelt.. Lame WHINY Hypercrites better fits the bill.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Hello

      The christ in the bible was created by the Roman Flavian family to be the answer for the Jews so they would have a savior they were waiting for in their myth.
      It was created as joke... on the Jews to convert them to a religion that was supportive of the Roman empire.
      Read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:32 am |
  6. InFormed

    On another note, Christmas was originally a Pagan holiday, which most likely copied it from the Egyptian god Mithras, who in an amazing coincidence was born Dec 25th – Humm.

    December 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Mike S

      The actual date of Christ's birth is unknown. I have no idea how the 25th of December was chosen and I'm certain no one else here knows either. But is it really asking too much for Christians to be allowed to celebrate the birth of their Savior? Do atheist's feel compelled out of a sense of insecurity about their own salvation that they must ridicule those who depend on Jesus for theirs? I can easily and privately ignore the atheist billboards and other public displays they employ to attempt to convince the Christian of their error. Why can't they just ignore what the obviously think foolish?

      December 31, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Rundvelt

      We cannot ignore it because this faith impacts our lives.

      For example, christians are preventing gay marriage. Why can't christians simply ignore people who get married. They also oppose stem cell research.

      Do they have a good reason for doing this? No. They prevent these things because "I have faith that it's right." What a load of nonsense.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Hello

      Mythrus was not Egyptian it was Roman... check it out on the net.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • sam stone

      "Do atheist's feel compelled out of a sense of insecurity about their own salvation that they must ridicule those who depend on Jesus for theirs?"

      No apostrophe in the plural of "atheist".

      The majority of atheists don't give a damn about what others believe AND KEEP TO THEMSELVES. It the believers want to interject their beliefs into schools or government, they are going to have a fight.

      It isn't insecurity about their salvation, as they do not believe in god, therefore they do not fear judgement

      January 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  7. InFormed

    Christmas no more divides Atheists than Halloween divides Christians.

    December 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  8. nobody99

    What if God started the big bang? What if God gave us the will to survive and adapt? Why is everyone thinking with a narrow mind?

    December 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • thinking

      i very much agree with you

      December 31, 2012 at 3:11 am |
    • Hello

      who created you god?
      Myth masters.... so they can control others and get rich by telling lies.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:41 am |
    • Memphis

      God was created in the image of man.Book of Elvis 1:5

      January 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
  9. Anton Dubinski

    Frankly, I'm sick of Christmas and I tell friends and family not to buy me anything. Just a waste of money and just for the benefit of corporate america.

    December 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Steven Hoefgen

      Unfortunately, I do agree with you in regard to the "corporate America" issue. I've often contemplated how if it weren't for holidays, most businesses would fail. I only state this due to how every holiday shopping season it invariably is read or heard in the news how the holiday shopping season is a make or break time for them.

      December 31, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  10. Skegeeace

    Christmas exposes is the fact that many atheist are hateful bullies that have no life. I mean, who actually puts up an ad attacking other people's beliefs?! I don't believe what Islam says or what pagans believe- I ain't gonna go around putting up signs about it. To each his own, live and let live. Whatever happened to that?!

    December 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • The End of Idiocy

      Yes, who would put up a sign that insults other people's beliefs? And who would torture and murder countless thousands of people for not believing the "right" thing? And who would teach that dark skinned people are descendants of Satan and deserve to be enslaved? Need I go on?

      December 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Oversimplified

      @The End of Idiocy – I believe that you are attempting to cut on religion, probably Christianity particularly, but if so, you have oversimplified your argument. Christianity (and even religion in general) does not have a monopoly on wars of attrition. One merely need look at the Roman Empire expansion, Pol Pot, Germany of the mid-20th century (although the Jewish people suffered catastrophic losses, the actions of the German leadership were NOT based on religious fervor), the Mongol invasion and China's human rights record. As for the dark-skinned people argument, that is not unique to religion either. Most, if not all cultures, have a heirarchy based on skin color with lighter skinned peoples (even within the race) being in higher social categories. And this definitely applies to darker skinned peoples of other cultures. The ancient Egyptians believed this, Herodotus, Pliny the Elder... Blaming these issues on religion is presumptuous and incorrect. It is not religion, it is humanity as a species.

      December 30, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • InFormed

      And Halloween does the same for Christians. How ironic.

      December 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Hello

      If Walt Disney was alive 2000+ yrs ago you would be worshiping Mickey Mouse as a god.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:43 am |
  11. Matt in Oregon

    "Christmas exposes atheist divide on dealing with religion"

    This makes about as much sense as saying "Christmas exposes non-golfers on dealing with religion" or "Christmas exposes divide among those who dont believe in bigfoot".

    Atheists are not an organized group with established doctrines and dogmas like religions. There is no worldview intrinsic to atheism, or any morals or values contained therein. This is why atheists, those who have given it any serious thought anyway, will also call themselves humanists, or skeptics, or rationalists and so on. Atheism is, in its broadest sense, simply the absence of belief in the divine, therefore the only thing one atheist is certain to have in common with another atheist is the lack of belief in god(s).

    December 30, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Evansaurus Rex

      Very true. Buddhism is atheist, at least in most sects.

      December 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tallyman

      ding ding ding winner
      I wish that the icon for something being logically true wasn't just "T". Can't go around putting T's on things. Would be nice to just save everyone time with, "this comment has 12k "'s", then no one has to read all the crap statements at the times they just want sensible contributions.

      December 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  12. don in albuquerque

    Happy Solstice to one and all.

    December 30, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  13. I M Probulos

    Personally, I have no problem with Christmas, or saying Merry Christmas. That fact that it was a Pagan holiday is lost on most Christians. Atheists are against any religious majority or minority imposing their views on the public with public money or on public land

    I M Probulos

    December 30, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Dan

      I couldn't agree more. I am an Atheist who tells people Merry Christmas. It is very possible nowadays to celebrate the holidays without embracing the religious aspect of it. We can put up lights, a tree, buy and receive presents, and gather with family and friends, all without an utterance of Jesus. Just don't use government resources to promote your religious views and the government won't tell you how and what to worship.

      December 30, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • fintastic

      100% with ya on that Dan.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  14. Canadian Jack

    Use reason not faith. Do not argue. Be content in knowing you are right. God is not an egotist. She does not need you to believe in her or pray to her. In truth everything you see is a hologram according to physicists. So is your brain. God is the Master Projectionist. Everything is illusory. She made us in her image. We enjoy a good movie just like She does. We're just fans.

    December 30, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Dr. Strangelove

      Gee. I'm a physicist and I never heard that everything is a hologram. And BTW, kazue00, you're a hypocrite of the worst order. You apparently lack critical thinking skills. Many scientific phenomenon are considered fact based on physical evidence to support the theory. When there are gaps in the evidence, many times scientists have found what the theory predicts should exist. Read some of Steven Hawking. He has some books for the layman that might enlighten you. Yes, I've read the bible.

      December 30, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • sasha55midlands

      Strangelove and so many others like you, you are too smart for the op!!
      I am a believer and the one thing about many atheists is that they cover their wicca or pagan backgrounds with the atheist veneer. Many many people don't not believe in God they truly hate him. How can you hate someone who doesn't exist and/or you have never known personally? And then these same people say use reason not faith? Ha!

      December 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  15. Paracelsus

    The funniest thing about atheists is that while they reject existing religions, they successfully created the one of their own. Any organized religion started as a pure faith and later developed into a commercial enterprise. Atheists already have a commercial enterprise, and quite an aggressive one. What's wrong with letting people choose their way of life?

    My favorite author once wrote: "“Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal – there's the trick!”

    December 30, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Timmuh

      You don't know what atheism is. Atheists disbelieve the theists’ unsubstantiated claim but they do not deny it, or claim the opposite, that there is NO god. No faith needed.

      December 30, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • Mariam

      The problem is not a difference between believers and non believers, it is rather between educated vs uneducated. There are believers that make no sense at all and I have also met atheists that are idiots. It is not the label, it is the individual. Faith requires a serious study, it is both science, philosophy and art and it is a discipline on its own.

      December 30, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • tom LI

      Yet I would wager that 98%++ of atheists do NOT belong to any atheistic organization, and adhere to no tenets of disbelief. They merely disbelieve in Religious beliefs, ideas, etc...

      Personally, I don't and cant believe any thing any Religion has ever presented as a God, or proof thereof...and I never needed nor ever will an Atheist Organization to aid me in that disbelief. Religions do all the work for me, with their claims of magic and the supernatural that they can NOT now or likely ever will prove. (mostly because they're too scared to even try to actually prove their claims)

      December 30, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  16. Atheism is healthy for children and all living things

    LOL

    December 29, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • JIMG

      yeah, yeah, yeah-Thanks God I'm and atheist....Happy, Merry Chrismhanasolstisatrurnakwanzaakaka! and a Merry Mayanaztecanthracianlunargregorianjudaeoislamicconfuciantaoist New Year. Slainte!

      December 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  17. raforrester

    Tom, not new here, but I don't post a lot, because I usually see no reason to. Sometimes I do get tired of the acrimony, and sometimes I try to change that just a little bit.

    Sorry if I was lecturing you. Sometimes I get sucked into the arguing, and when I do my life feels different, worse, more frustrated and angry. And all the time, not just when I'm posting. When I remain aware that my words affect people, my life feels better, kinder.

    And it doesn't matter what Pedro does. My posting is not just for him, but for a lot of people who are just reading.

    December 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • raforrester

      Should have been a reply to Pedro.

      December 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  18. Nick

    There is still much needed OBSERVABLE evidence to establish evolution as an undoubted fact. If we're discussing molecules to man evolution, which includes primates evolving to man, scientists need to observe mutations adding information to the genome. In order for molecules to man evolution to work, a mutation needs to create new genetic info that will evolve into a new species. This is is such an important element needed to establish the theory as a fact. The mutation topic really can't be fully discussed in a blog.....at least, I don't think it can be discussed here. We would need much time, illustrations, more space. Also, I think it's alright to say, "Gee, I guess science can't answer everything." It's great to see how science continues to search for answers to our questions about life. Why can't we all just enjoy the process of learning, but accept that there are limits to what science can tell us. Also, just because evolution has not become an observable fact, does not automatically mean that everyone must accept that the first man and woman were named Adam & Eve.

    December 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  19. Cerc/Oregon

    I thank God everyday that I'm an Atheist.

    December 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • jaf5203

      lol

      December 31, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  20. Pedro

    Evolution is a myth. (Can a frog turn into a prince?) Darwinian evolution paved the way for Hitler and his philosophy

    December 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • raforrester

      Evolution is really very well established as fact. It is possible that God used evolution to create all living things, but that would be extremely difficult to prove. Argument by design doesn't actually work because evolution can produce very good designs, and examples of irreducible complexity keep getting disproved by the finding of intermediate steps.

      I suggest you go with what you can prove. Evolution did happen as shown in the fossil record. God's role in that is likely to remain unknown, but anyone is welcome to believe that God had humans, or at least an intelligent being, in mind as the "goal" of evolution, and nobody can prove otherwise. In my opinion it is clear that if God exists, He/She/It does not want us to be able to prove it.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • raforrester

      @pedro, I think Hitler used evolution as an excuse for his philosophy. There were pogroms all over Europe for centuries before Hitler.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Pedro, ask Santa to give you a brain. I hear they're on sale after Christmas. Only used by one owner.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Certainly for you there is no evolution... zealots will be extinct in no time, god willing (ha!).

      December 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Believer

      Raforrester, evolution is actually not well established. You are confusing evolution with natural selection. Scientists have not proven something from nothing, nor have they established satisfactory transitional species.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bull fvcking sh!t. Evolution is quite well established and is accepted by all reputable scientists and anyone else with a brain bigger than a walnut. Which explains why fundies like "Believer" doubt it.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • raforrester

      You are right that scientists have not figured out how something came from nothing. And if they do, there will be more that they will not be able to explain. I believe that part of science is to figure out where is the boundary between the physical realm and the spiritual realm. What is the point at which scientific explanation can go no further? It is like the characters in a book asking how the world they live in was created. The "Author" can keep providing more and more detail about history and geology and the big bang, but eventually what it comes down to is that the "Author" wrote the book.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • raforrester

      Believer, it was well known to biologists and geologists before Darwin that animals changed over time in the fossil record, and it was a mystery why. There were theories of evolution that tried to explain it, such as Lamarck's theory, and of course attributing the evolution to God. Darwin's novel idea was "evolution by natural selection," and the way it worked was so elegant and obvious, once pointed out, that within very few years almost all biologists had adopted it. That was partly because Darwin provided so many examples in his book.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • raforrester

      Believer, of course there are missing intermediate forms. An inch of rock can represent a million years of deposit, and a lot of evolution can happen in a million years. You'd have to find dozens of fossils in that inch to show the progression.

      But intermediate forms are still found all the time. You have to be reading the right journals to find out about them. You won't read about them in creationist literature. Here's the real question to ask. Millions of fossils have been found by scientists. If you ask a scientist about what could disprove the theory of evolution, he or she can tell you plenty of things that can be found that would disprove it. If you found a fossil of a rabbit in the Burgess shale, or a fossil of a lion alongside a dinosaur, or countless other examples, you would disprove evolution. But no fossil has ever been found that is not compatible with evolution. If God had created the world in 6 days, there should be countless fossils in which animals from different eras were mixed up in fossil beds.

      But in my opinion all this doesn't matter. I don't think God cares whether you believe in evolution or not. He/She/It cares whether you treat others well. I suggest you focus on that, and leave the mysteries about creation until the afterlife, when you might actually get an answer. Don't look down on anyone just because they don't interpret the scriptures your way. And please don't let these little details about the world distract you from your responsibility to be kind.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • raforrester

      Tom, I suggest you be kind as well. Do you think you will persuade anyone of anything with insults? You're talking about an enormous paradigm shift for him to consider evolution as compatible with God. Why would he want to agree with you if you talk to him that way? I wouldn't want to agree with you, and I already know that evolution is well established. Leave the "B...S", the "fundies" and the "brain the size of a walnut" out of it. Your life will be better. His too.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must be new here. Pedro is a troll. There's no "there" there. No intellect to persuade, address, or engage. He's a bonehead azz who posts this crap over and over for no reason but his own amusement. He's posted it before and he'll post it again, no matter what you or I write.

      Don't waste your time on him, and don't waste it lecturing me.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • raforrester

      Tom, not new here, but I don't post a lot, because I usually see no reason to. Sometimes I do get tired of the acrimony, and sometimes I try to change that just a little bit.

      Sorry if I was lecturing you. Sometimes I get sucked into the arguing, and when I do my life feels different, worse, more frustrated and angry. And all the time, not just when I'm posting. When I remain aware that my words affect people, my life feels better, kinder.

      December 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • raforrester

      Tom, it doesn't matter what Pedro does. My posting is not just for him, but for a lot of people who are just reading.

      December 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • kazue00

      Its called the THEORY of evolution for a reason you moron. All you sound like now is just like every other idiot that takes what they've heard and decides its fact. There's tons of species in-between other species evolutionary lines that are missing because very few animals actually went on to become fossilized. Unless you were the one doing the research then you know just as much of the world's history as a man in church. Neither have true proof because neither side is considered hard fact.

      December 30, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Evansaurus Rex

      What? Hey, Christianity and evolution can coexist. The Vatican said so. It's ok to be open to new ideas. If anything, it will strengthen your faith. Those who blindly reject others are often the weakest in faith, since they're afraid to challenge their own beliefs. Don't be that guy.

      December 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • InFormed

      Hitler was a Christian and used it as a reason to kill Jews.

      December 30, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • fintastic

      @kazue00 ... While you're busy spewing the "moron" insult, you might want to look up "scientific theory".

      You might also want to think twice about typing on that computer, after all, electronics is just a theory.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Napoleon Dynomite

      Dont vote for pedro

      January 2, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
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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.