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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
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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. bactormo

    I stopped reading at "Santa Clause".

    January 4, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  2. santa

    Ho ho ho

    January 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
  3. Lebanon

    if you think you are too intelligent to beleive in GOD or CHRISTIANITY in particular, I do not see why you need to offend it or offend people who beleive in it. if you think that your human intelligence would allow you to devise a formula that would tell you if GOD existed or not, well please dont wait. If GOD was so obvious or if everyone beleived in HIM, there would not be the concept of faith anyway. So please go on living for yourself, thinking you'r the master of yourself and that science is the answer to everything but kindly F*** off and let CHRISTIANS live their faith.
    If I did not beleive your mother was your mother, I would not go offend her. Live and let live, isnt that what we all look for?

    January 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • The Truth

      if you think you are too intelligent to beleive in GOBLINS or ELVES in particular, I do not see why you need to offend it or offend people who beleive in it. if you think that your human intelligence would allow you to devise a formula that would tell you if GOBLINS existed or not, well please dont wait. If GOBLINS were so obvious or if everyone beleived in THEM, there would not be the concept of goblin faith anyway. So please go on living for yourself, thinking you'r the master of yourself and that science is the answer to everything but kindly F*** off and let GOBLINS & ELVES live their faith.
      If I did not beleive your mother was your mother, I would not go offend her. Live and let live, isnt that what we all look for? Just because I want the public school to teach the possibility of GOBLINS shouldn't get you upset. Just because I want to use federal dollars to erect GOBLIN signs on our courthouses, and require everyone to place their hand on a copy of the Hobbit when they are sworn into public office, or just because I want you to be bombarded by GOBLIN music for months every year doesn't mean you have to speak up about it, just let us have free reign to GOBLINIZE America, why do you care?

      January 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • ME II

      @Lebanon,
      Whether or not my mother is actually my mother has no bearing on anyone else's life. Religious beliefs on the other hand constantly impact others lives when the encroach into government policy, e.g. ID/Creationism is public science classes, bans on same-se.x marriages, bans on stem cell research, blue laws, etc.

      Keep your religion out of our government and we'll keep our thinking out of your religion.

      January 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • IslandAtheist

      Because, it's far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

      January 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      when the faithful stop trying to legislate their beliefs to deny others their civil rights, get back to us

      January 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Santa

      No no no

      January 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  4. Nietodarwin

    I’m an atheist, and a militant atheist when religion starts impacting on legislation.”
    _ Daniel Radcliffe

    January 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  5. Nietodarwin

    “The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.”
    _ William Harwood, Dictionary of Contemporary Mythology

    January 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Robot Christian

      DOES NOT COMPUTE....

      January 4, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  6. Joe

    If you are atheist, doesn't that mean you believe in nothing? So why do you care, you are free to believe in nothing and that your existence on this earth is simply worm food. So why attack people who believe in a greater existence, it just makes atheist come off as evil, which is the opposite of good, see where I am going with this. He should take the $25,000 and give it to some needy people, and then go lay down in the road, because his life does not matter.....and that is coming from his point of view.

    January 4, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • sam stone

      "If you are atheist, doesn't that mean you believe in nothing?"
      No, it doesn't

      "So why do you care, you are free to believe in nothing and that your existence on this earth is simply worm food. So why attack people who believe in a greater existence, "
      Because they seek to codify their beliefs into our secular law, denying others their civil rights

      "see where I am going with this. "
      Yeah, we do.....we've seen it may times before

      "then go lay down in the road, because his life does not matter.....and that is coming from his point of view."
      Who says his life didn't matter?
      Why don't we turn it around, Joey......
      If you are certain you will be with the savior. what is keeping you here? do you have tall buildings where you live? perhaps a firearm? you could be kneeling in front of jeebus by night time.....and forever.....come on joey, show some initiative and meet the savior halfway

      January 4, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • LinCA

      @Joe

      You said, "If you are atheist, doesn't that mean you believe in nothing?"
      No. It simply means you don't believe gods exist.

      You said, "So why do you care, you are free to believe in nothing and that your existence on this earth is simply worm food."
      And you are free to believe in your imaginary friends.

      You said, "So why attack people who believe in a greater existence, it just makes atheist come off as evil, which is the opposite of good, see where I am going with this."
      Pointing out how infantile those beliefs are is a public service. Wouldn't you try to convince an otherwise sane adult who still believes in the Tooth Fairy, and bases his or her life decisions on that belief, that the odds there is such a creature are minimal?

      You said, "He should take the $25,000 and give it to some needy people, and then go lay down in the road, because his life does not matter.....and that is coming from his point of view."
      If you have a problem with $25,000 spent on a billboard, you must have serious issues with all the money spent on frivolous things by religious organizations. Do yourself a favor and look up the number of religious "leaders" that own private jets. I'm sure the money spent on those could be better spent.

      Also, that his life doesn't matter is your point of view, not his. It's dimwitted believers like yourself that fail to recognize that if there is no afterlife, the one before death is the only one you'll get. Our lives matter because of what we make of this one, and what we do for those around us in it.

      January 4, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      15 What personal sacrifice for "the kingdom of heaven" was Jesus talking about when he told his disciples, "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it"? Castrate yourself. (Matthew 19:11-12) "But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs from the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." (Matthew 19:11-12) The Scholar's Version has: "There are castrated men who castrated themselves because of Heaven's imperial rule. If you are able to accept this (advice), do so."

      January 4, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  7. Equalizer357

    99% of Atheist are gays...lol

    January 4, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • midwest rail

      Adults who still type " lol " to laugh at their own posts can be dismissed as intellectually stunted.

      January 4, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • ME II

      Go back to school.
      This should read: '99% of Atheists are gay."
      At least then it would be grammatically correct, if no factually incorrect.

      January 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • ME II

      typo: "no" should be "not"

      January 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Bet

      You sound like a 13 year old boy.

      You're gay!

      No, you're gay!

      You're really gay!

      You're gayer than gay!

      There's nothing wrong with being an atheist. Nothing wrong with being gay either. People exist who think, look, act and believe differently from you. Deal with it like an adult.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:42 am |
  8. Gregory Lewis

    Over 100,000,000 people suffered violent deaths over the past century, most of them in war. Clearly, Jesus did NOT bring peace on earth. Saying so every December won't bring the war dead back to us. Did God murder all those people, or was he powerless to stop the killing? Either way he doesn't deserve to be worshiped.

    January 4, 2013 at 2:08 am |
    • Reid

      God is as real as your or me. People like you need to die early and alone.

      January 4, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Reid", but "God" is an element of mythology, therefore your assertion is unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 4, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Equalizer357

      But Greg why do you worship penis?

      January 4, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Joe

      So Jesus does not deserve to be worshiped because men murder each other at war? How does that make sense? Jesus never murdered anyone or told anyone else to murder anyone. If you new anything about Christianity you would find it hard to make that comment. Ignorance just breeds ignorance, it would be no different than for me to say that all athiest are bad people, and don't deserve to live because they fight in wars and kill people.

      January 4, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • sam stone

      no, joey, there are other reasons that jesus need not be worshipped

      January 4, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • God is love

      You need to read the bible. Please stop misquoting it. Jesus did not come to bring peace to the earth, he came to save as many people as he could, from their own sins. Not one human being is good, we are all evil. God does not murder, people do. He deserves all the worship because he created everything, including you. I hope you see the love He has for you, before it is too late. You are going to meet Jesus, oneway or the other.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Gregory Lewis

      To "God is Love". I didn't quote the bible at all. The "Peace on earth" line is from countless Christmas cards, carols and church services I have attended. Regardless, if God can't stop the killings then he is obviously totally powerless and unworthy of any further thought. The God of Abraham is of no more practical use to society than Thor or Osiris or Ba'al. I am sorry you feel sinful. I don't.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:01 am |
    • Bet

      @ Reid

      God is as real as your or me. People like you need to die early and alone.

      Clearly, god has worked his magic on you. You are just as petulant, violent and hateful as your god. Congratulations, you're a christian!

      January 5, 2013 at 2:26 am |
  9. short story

    A while ago I was working on a short story about a different diety. I chose to delete my own fiction. It wasn't because I thought the diety in question existed. I delted my work out of respect for those who disagreed with my opinion and are currently worshiping that god.

    January 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Joe

      Thank you! People are free to believe what they want, and most Christians believe that. Many religions tell us not to judge one another. But the fact that atheist feel the need to attack people who do believe bothers me, if people have no faith that there is something greater in this world and the next, that is fine, just don't try to bring down those of us that do.

      January 4, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • sam stone

      joey.....it is not the belief that gets the backlash. it is the attempts to legislate those beliefs that draws the ire. try to understand the difference

      January 4, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  10. luminescent spirit

    i consider this billboard an attack and an assault against a spiritual people.. if it were targeted against jews or muslims it would be considered a hate crime. why is it so fashionable and acceptible to persecute, ridicule, deny and renounce christians based on the tenants of their belief – or let us say their faith? there seems to be a systematic attack against christianity world wide. we don't attack hindus for believing in their multifarious gods...the core ethos of christ was to love the other, regardless what form the other takes. egyptian, samaritan, black, white, gay, straight, man, woman, etc. this country (the declaration of independence and the bill of rights) were all founded upon the dignity and welcome afforded to all despite their race, creed, or religious persuasion. it is a country that welcomes all – including its adversaries – to its shores. i find it embecilic and hate motivated. if our country is in such a disastrous state it is because it is so spiritually bankrupt. marxism, commununism, capalism and atheism all regard human life as something that pertains to a political, social and economic construct with out a spiritual need. that is the tragedy – not the triumph. there is more power spent trying to denounce God, than to encouraging prayer, meditation and a profound inner life. personally, i consider the bill board a hate crime...

    January 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • NDE Survivor

      That it is, an affront to what this country was founded on: Freedom of Religion. (isnt Atheism a religion of sorts?)

      January 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Agnostic

      I find the billboard sub par as well. I appreciate your feedback. My family is Jewish and my great-grandmother gave me many accounts of religious based hatred. I am not against "atheism" itself it is more the "anti-theism" that strikes me as an excercise in intollerance rather than the expression of new ideas that it should be.

      January 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Big Ralph Smith

      So, you want to make it a crime to disagree with your religion AND you want to take away peoples right to free expression of same simply because it hurts your feelings or exposes your ill logic and hypocrisy.
      No surprise there. Christians have been doing that for hundreds of years.

      January 4, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • sam stone

      you can consider it what you wish. American Atheists have put up billboards criticizing Islam and Judaism. how does that persecution complex fit you?

      January 4, 2013 at 6:53 am |
  11. NDE Survivor

    Does being atheist mean that you believe when you die everything just goes black and you fall out of existance?? MAN, ARE YOU IN FOR A SHOCK (Take it from ME!)

    January 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Big Ralph Smith

      Why should I take it from you?
      Why is your NDE any more real than any other fantasy your mind generates?
      Please explain how you get from "I had an NDE" to "therefore the afterlife is real".
      Any logical connection there?

      January 4, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • fintastic

      Being an atheist means you don't believe in a god.......... that's it.... very simple...

      January 4, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • sam stone

      why should we take it from you?

      January 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  12. The Truth

    Ever had a knock on the door on a Saturday morning to find an atheist wishing to convert you?

    Ever get stopped at a mall or an airport and handed literature by a person telling you to change your way of life because there is no God?

    Have you ever been asked which atheist will marry you and your new fiance?

    Have you ever pulled out your wallet and handed over some money that was emblazoned with the motto "In No God's do we Trust"?

    Are you subjected to several months of atheist themed propaganda, all in the name of good cheer of course, every single year and bombarded by atheist tunes playing in every store, where even the most ardent of the religious find themselves humming "There's no Santa Claus, There's No Santa Claus, There's no Santa Claus Lane..."

    Are you forced to place your right hand on "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins when being sworn into office or to take an oath in our courts?

    Just curious as most Christians seem to see themselves as the victims...

    January 3, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Christian

      ........

      January 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Christian

      ...-crickets-...

      January 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  13. stanley

    stop exploiting events to promote hatred

    January 3, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  14. Joanne

    As much as I dislike that billboard I am still glad you have the freedom to put it up and would not want to take that freedom away from you.

    January 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      Thanks Joanne! As soon as you dump the myth yourself you'll see that the billboard is only slightly humourous and shouldn't inspire hate. Hopefully you'd then begin to see our point in that religion is what causes hate even though it espouses love.

      January 3, 2013 at 6:25 am |
    • I am an atheist

      "I am still glad you have the freedom to put it up"
      If most theists felt like you do, most atheists would have no argument with them.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Equalizer357

      Atheism is like a gay thing, they want attention actually they crave for it...poor dirt..

      January 4, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • sam stone

      Equalizer: I think you are confusing atheism with christianity

      January 4, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  15. dorianmattar

    If Silverman himself is saying that the celebrations were there before Christ, then why would he want to kill a holiday?

    I'm an Atheist, but I want the holiday to stay simply because if it was there before, then it has nothing to do with Christianity and it can stay after!

    January 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Even if it was founded by Christianity, what's the big deal? If we accept something set up by one extinct religion why not by another [not now, but likely one day exitinct] religion? Our history belongs to all of us, just as I don't object to Thursday being named for Thor, I don't care if Chritmas was named for Christ. Any holiday, especially if it involves food, drink, music and gifts, is good by me. I prefer any beliefs that go along with it are encouraged to align with modern science, but after that, I don't much care what others believe.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  16. PrimeNumber

    “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.” Has Silverman just now become a consious being? For many, many years, people have been keeping CHristmas with no reference to Jesus at all. The word "Christ" has had no effect on them. These ordinary people have no psychosis against Jesus.

    January 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      Exactly, what is his beef with the holidays? He is doing more harm to the Atheist movement than good! WTH? No pun intended...

      January 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  17. Dimas Rocha Maia

    Only to know !!! Santa Claus originally was a Saint who believed in Jesus Christ. See his original and true story.

    January 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Or maybe it's just an anagram of Satan.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Sean Gilinger

      right though! Amen

      January 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  18. Dimas Rocha Maia

    Human being needs to believe in something inside of him or her. Why? Because without it people feel empty. How about Jesus?: 2000 years living; the same for His Church, faith and believers. Several scientists prooved that Jesus was a great man.

    January 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Where is said proof?

      January 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Human being needs to believe in something inside of him or her. Why? Because without it people feel empty."

      Just because you find life unbearable without religious fantasies doesn't mean we all do.

      ***
      "How about Jesus?: 2000 years living; the same for His Church, faith and believers. Several scientists prooved that Jesus was a great man."

      The myth has been perpetuated through intimidation long enough. It is finally beginning to die, and rightly so. No person has ever proved your jesus even existed, let alone that he was great in any way. Please keep your delusions to yourself.

      January 3, 2013 at 6:32 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      And where is this proof by scientists that jesus was a great man? I think you are a liar. Why do you lie?

      January 3, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • Big Ralph Smith

      No, YOU feel empty.
      I feel just fine because I have developed the necessary mental and emotional tools to deal with reality on reality's terms. I don't need an invisible friend to give me self-worth or fulfillment and I don't attach supernatural baggage to every simple natural event. Honesty, compassion, and logic work just fine for me. In fact, it works even better than religion.
      Reality! You should try it.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • sam stone

      tell us, how did these scientists prove jesus was a good man. provide this proof, please

      January 4, 2013 at 6:58 am |
    • Equalizer357

      Atheists and gays are the same, emptiness in their lives led them to pick up a fight from anybody..poor freaks...lol

      January 4, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • sam stone

      equalizer: eat the business end of our 357, pen-day-ho

      January 4, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      your 357

      January 4, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • End Religion

      @Equalizer357: "Atheists and gays are the same, emptiness in their lives led them to pick up a fight ..."

      Which explains why you're here picking a fight.

      January 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  19. rohug

    Aethists feel the need to attack religeous groups becase they feel inadequate.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Yes, religious groups are inadequate. No explanation for believing the myths of bronze age goatherders.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      no, it is because the religious people want to use their religious book to deny others their civil rights, attempt to teach creationism in SCIENCE class, organized prayer in schools, etc

      if the pseudo-pious among us would keep their beliefs to themselves, there would be nowhere near this amount of backlash

      January 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • PrimeNumber

      I can't agree completely, rohug. I don't think atheists feel inadequate. They are perfectly content and adequate without any substance at all.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Prime. And in your opinion substance only comes from having an imaginary friend?

      January 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • ramaus

      I don't mind what you believe as long as you don't:

      teach it to my kids in school,
      force my government to endorse it,
      put it on my coin,place it in my national anthem,
      make me wait while you spout it at the start of a meeting,
      interfere with my insurance benefits,
      code it into law,

      Deal?

      And remember – Faith and Science are opposites, not equivalent.

      Disagreeing with you is not an evil act. Get used to it.

      January 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      How do you feel next to a Muslim?

      January 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Big Ralph Smith

      Really? So, if I tell you I feel plenty adequate, am I just lying because I'm a "moral-less" heathen or am I just angry at your god (that I have no reason to think is real)?
      Rohug (and others like them) say things like this, not in an attempt to educate or enlighten, but to reinforce internal feelings of security and divide themselves from people who don't accept their unsupported assertions.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:33 am |
  20. woodrow

    An atheist doesn't have to do anything. Therefore any action they do take is negative. In this way they take a religious stand, which contradicts their original hypothesis.

    January 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • fintastic

      Are you using mommy's computer again little boy?

      January 2, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      insightful comment there, woody

      January 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • dorianmattar

      Are you kidding or are you really that naive?

      We do what we want, when we want and how we want.

      It is you that are forced into a life of Mystical Sin, kneeling before status of a supposedly crucified god in the flesh, who is part of a wholly trinity. LMAO

      Kneel until your knees bleed, nothing will ever come of it. Just look around, people of ALL religions have the exact same probability of anything happening to them – good or bad.

      If you think you will have a better life than an Atheist, you are mistaken. But then again, your used to that.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      I'm nominating Woodrow for the 2013 Anti-Logic Award. it's early in the year but he's got a fighting chance.

      January 3, 2013 at 6:34 am |
    • Parka

      I understood what you meant, Woody. What scares me is I think these guys do too and just wanted an excuse to exude more "negative energy" for the pit. Then again, they may be the logic is all there is type in which case...they don't have a clue. Keep moving, nothing to see here.

      January 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Big Ralph Smith

      That statement makes absolutely no sense.
      But, hey, as long as it makes you feel good and prevents you from having to endure the discomfort of truly analyzing your beliefs, well then,... surely you must be correct.
      It will be so nice when the number of rational people outnumber the irrational. We are growing in number and it will happen. I just hope we get there before the religious have their way and send EVERYONE to the mythical afterlife.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • fintastic

      @parka......... you might want to learn how to form a coherent sentence before posting.

      January 4, 2013 at 8:58 am |
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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.