home
RSS
Bucking previous trends, survey finds growth of the religiously unaffiliated slowing
January 10th, 2013
01:30 PM ET

Bucking previous trends, survey finds growth of the religiously unaffiliated slowing

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

Washington (CNN) – After years of marked growth, the size of Americans who identify with no religion slowed in 2012, according to a study released Thursday.

Since 2008, the percentage of Americans who identify as religious "nones" has grown from 14.6% to 17.8% in 2012, according to the Gallup survey. That number, which grew nearly one percentage point every year from 2008 to 2011, grew only 0.3% last year – from 17.5% in 2011 to 17.8% in 2012 – making it the smallest increase over the past five years.

This study contrasts with headlines from previous studies on religious “nones,” including a 2012 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that found the group was the fastest growing "religious" group in America and that one in five Americans now identify with no religion.

“Although this ‘rise of the nones’ has increased dramatically over recent decades, the rate of increase slowed last year, suggesting the possibility that there may be a leveling off in this measure in the years ahead,” reports the Gallup study, which is made up of more than 350,000 interviews.

Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, says these results suggest “that religion may be maintaining itself or even increasing in the years ahead.”

“Our current ability to look at it over five years with these big surveys suggests the possibility that the growth [of the nones] may not be inexorable,” Newport says.

CNN Belief Blog: Christmas exposes atheist divide on dealing with religion

In his book, “God is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America,” Newport argues that a number of factors, including baby boomers reaching senior ages, migration to more religious states, recognition of health and well being of religion and an increase in a Hispanic population, are all reasons that “we are going to continue to have a quite religious nation going forward.”

Atheist and humanist activists disagree and pushed back against the Gallup study.

“The truth is, it doesn't really matter whether one of these surveys – even a big one like Gallup – shows the number leveling off a bit this past year,” Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard University, says. “First of all, the numbers for young Americans are still dramatically higher, and secondly, it is beyond dispute now that the "nones" are one of the largest demographic groups in the United States, and we're going to stay that way for a long, long time.”

The Gallup study also found that 27% of Americans age 18 to 29 identified as religious nones, making the age group the largest subgroup in the study. The finding tracks with other studies on religious nones, many of which have found the growth among the religiously unaffiliated has been most notable among people who are 18 to 29 years old.

“There's no slowing here at the Secular Student Alliance. We're up to 394 campus groups from 310 a year ago,” Jesse Galef, communications director at the organization, says in response to the survey. “You can see the religious future of America just by looking at the demographics: Young Americans (18-29) are almost three times as likely to be unaffiliated with religion than senior citizens are.”

In particular, Galef points out, the Secular Student Alliance has experienced growth in ages below 18, an age group that Gallup did not survey. In the last year, says Galef, the number of Secular Student Alliance affiliates at high schools doubled to 60 campuses.

CNN Belief Blog: My take: 'Atheist' isn’t a dirty word, congresswoman

News of strong growth among nones had long been heralded by their community.

As study after study began to report that religious nones in America were growing, many atheist, agnostic and humanist activists began to stress the need for these relative non-believers to come together and turn their numbers into political and social influence. Though some leaders split on what wielding that influence would look like, the size of religious nones became the impetus for many leaders to call for more recognition.

In response to the Gallup study, those calls continued.

“The real question now is when are our historically large numbers going to start turning into more votes and influence,” Epstein says. “The nones can become a steady and inspiring powerhouse in American life if we focus on what we do believe in.”

And even though the Gallup study found a relative leveling off of growth among the nones, David Silverman, the president of America Atheists, says he finds the survey “not at all troubling.”

“This underscores what American Atheists has been saying for years - that every person in America knows more nonreligious people than they think they know,” Silverman says. “America has to get used to the fact that atheists are everywhere, you already know us, and we are a vibrant and growing portion of society.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Nones

soundoff (1,615 Responses)
  1. Szaton

    God does not exist . Since God is dead , there is not reason for imposed morality and laws that hinder the wanton persuit of pleasure . If you make someone cry after some particualrly hard use , tell them to grow up and get a pair .

    January 10, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Are you implying that God once existed? If something is dead, do you mean that God once lived?

      January 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • JJ

      So, it takes fear of some kind of sky god to keep people in line? That's the lowest form of human that I can imagine. Please keep your delusion.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • You're right, kind of

      "God does not exist . Since God is dead , there is not reason for imposed morality and laws that hinder the wanton persuit of pleasure"
      And as long as the participants are willingly anything goes because all we have is this life and we want to maximize the pleasure for everyone, because this life is all we get

      January 10, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  2. Danny

    There is no god. Get real and wake up.

    January 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Yeah Go Right Ahead

      You had better hope you're right. But....if you're not,,,you'll have an eternity to think about it.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Polonius

      You will have all eternity to think about it if you picked the wrong god. And there is so many to choose from!

      It's so dreary having to destroy Pascal's Wager with each new moron who comes here thinking they are being original.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If Pascal's Wager is the best justification you can come up with for your theism, maybe that should be the indicator that your beliefs are bogus.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Smag

      I'm going to trust God and not some dude posting on a message board.

      So far, so good for me. Hope it is good for you, too.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If you want to believe that Yahweh or Vishnu or Cthulhu will punish you eternally for failing to worship him, that's perfectly fine with me.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      Unlike God, the guy posting on the online forum actually exists. You are trusting imagination and fairy tales. Best of luck with that.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I mightn't exist though, we could all be constructs of his imagination.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Swearing on a bible....

      Smag..

      Shown up has he? good – alot of folks have been paying their rent religiously....time for the absentee landlord to roll up his sleeves and do some major repairs.

      Or did you just get a phone call from him?

      or do his agents just pass the word along as usual?......

      January 10, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  3. gino

    When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
    - Stephen F Roberts

    January 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • or

      Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  4. rnandan1

    We need to be GOD LOVING PEOPLE and NOT GOD FEARING PEOPLE as today's preachers want us to be

    January 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What about God not believing people?

      January 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Nare

      Very wise, thank you.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      rnandan1,
      God is love. God is holy. God is righteous. God is just. He loves us and has provided a way for us to be reconciled to him. He is holy, righteous, and just, so if you are not reconciled to him you will face his judgment.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      God is poop, God is poopy and God is poopous. Makes just as much sense.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Robert Brown, have you ever actually read the Old Testament?

      January 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      The (self) righteous bit comes through quite strongly in the Old Testament. None of that douchy liberal New Testament BS. If you messed with God in the OT, he took his belt off and fvcked you up.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • My goodness you're stupid

      Robert Brown"God is love. God is holy. God is righteous. God is just. He loves us "
      If this is so, please explain the 20 slaughtered 1st graders

      January 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  5. rnandan1

    Pretty soon influence of the church will vanish, as long as Church meddles with Politics and state affairs and protects child molesters, I want them out of my life and out of my community

    January 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • ari

      "the church" = catholics presumably?

      most catholics i know are actually pretty liberal. i think that catholicism is a lot like judaism, where most people who call themselves catholics identify more with the culture than the belief system. most are religious, i mean, just not into the whole pope thing. lay catholics are good people all and all. the hierarchy is f***** up though. except for nuns. they're okay.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Isn't the point of Catholicism "the whole pope thing". Apart from consubstantiation and transubstantiation, the Pope is what differs Catholics from Protestants.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • ari

      that's what i mean. most people who call themselves catholic don't actually give a damn about the pope from what i've seen, or his opinions on contraception, gay marriage, etc. in fact i think a majority support gay marriage and even abortion these days. they're "culturally catholic" but are actually more protestant in terms of religious belief. just like "cultural jews" don't give a toss about the 613 mitzvah.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      rnandan1,
      The church is made up of humans, so you won’t be able to get them out of politics. If someone commits a criminal act, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We need more strict judges on the bench.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  6. justathought

    RELIGION is like a penis...It is fine to have one...It is fine to be proud of it...BUT, PLEASE don't whip it out in public and start waving it around...and PLEASE don't try to shove it down my children's throats...
    Science flies you to the Moon...Religion flies you inot buidlings...

    January 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      It is a truth that there are many deranged people all running every gauntlet of every socialist movements be they religious or not so much.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I concur with the sentiment that socialists are deranged.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  7. Jonathan

    My theory is that there were a lot of people who were "nones" that were too afraid to admit it until recently out of fear of being somehow punished by society, that and since there has been a lot more information available to people about different religious views people aren't so restricted to being stuck into the same religion they were born in. So you kind of had a lot of people that couldn't or didn't admit that they weren't so interested in mainstream religious views. So eventually I would expect it to taper off, however I wouldn't expect it to flatten out anytime soon, it'll simply be slower growth than the initial flood of people leaving organized religions.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • ari

      i don't know, i feel like it's the opposite. when i was growing up (70s/80s) it was considerably "cooler" to be counter-culture and anti-religious and whatnot than it is now. i think what's happening is that the same amount of people are leaving religion but a good number of those people that left religion in their youth are becoming at least semi-religious again. a lot of people that i would have never, ever have thought of as spiritual are now attending churches and synagogues with their kids.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • PaulB

      ari
      There are a lot of social and family pressures to bring your kids to services, right? In many places church service is pretty much the only social outlet available. To not attend church is to live in isolation.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • ari

      that's the weird thing, paul, that's not really the case. we always had plenty of social interaction without religion where i'm from. i think that being a parent just changes you in some ways. people want to instill values in their kids and turn to the values that they themselves were raised in, even though they stopped believing in the dogma attached to it.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Jonathan et al,

      John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world!"

      Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is inside you!"

      1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"

      Our laboring together with God dare I say puts us all in having an equal footing with the Godly so to say. God's husbandry of us and our bodies being Godly buildings entices one to consider that all of Godliness is made manifested as their being residents of our building like bodies.

      For to my way of thoughts, the Godly who dare I say all resides as residents within our bodies do so in such a realm of extreme smallness that all such Godly beings can do for us is for them to conceptualize our conceived essences within our mothering wombs. Once born, the Godly take up residences within our newborn building of a body and we give to them their sustenance needs thru our consumptions. Our embodiment of a Godly building nearing death and dying is another story to be told.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • PaulB

      ari
      That would be Secular Christian Morality. Basic morality, kinda framed along jesus' example, but without any of the supernatural stuff attached to it.

      Not a bad transition from Christianity to complete secular morality.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  8. Tom Paine

    There are only so many white males in their 20s.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Robert Griffen III

      Its funny how black people worship a Jewish deity (yahweh) and his illiterate Jewish son Jesus.

      Couldnt they worship a god of their own, instead of own imposed on them by their ancestor's slave-masters?

      January 10, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      It's really more interesting that the white owners embraced a Deity proclaimed by a poor rural middle eastern carpenter, who had more in common with black slaves than their white owners.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Tom has a point.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • ari

      protip #1: not all black people are christians

      protip #2: not all black people were non-christians before becoming slaves

      January 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Kim

      Isn't it fair to say that the slave owners here in America probably never saw Jesus as either a Jew, or a non-white? Most American Christians today likely envision Jesus as a white American, just like them. It's part of the greater tendency to see Jesus any way that you like. He also tends to mirror the people who believe in him, what they are like they imagine Jesus was as well, and what they believe in they imagine he did as well.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • Tom Paine

      @ Ari – The number of Africans who were kidnapped as slaves in that era were very rarely Christians. It was only after they came to North America and heard Christianity taught that they found it compelling.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Kim

      The whole Aryan Jesus thing is actually a fairly recent development, maybe mid 19th century. Late Middle Ages, Renaissance Christians would likely have acknowledged Jesus as Mid Eastern ethnically.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Some were Muslim

      January 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  9. Robert Griffen III

    the difference between me and the Christian god is that if I had the power to stop an innocent child from being murdered or dying in a disaster, I would.

    Unfortunately, the Christian deities of Yahweh and Jesus either don't have the power to stop this, or he is simply unwilling. Yahweh/Jesus is either impotent or heartless.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • niknak

      No dude, didn't you get the memo?
      The Huckster said is god let Sandy Hook happen because we took prayer out of schools.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Robert Griffen III

      It is strange, seeing so many deluded people worshipping a deity that is either unwilling or unable to stop the slaughter of innocent children by the hands of lunatics or in natural disasters.

      Heck, some of the people even make the president go to "Prayer Breakfasts" and they vote on the basis of politicians believing in the same delusions as themselves.

      Have you ever seen video of thousands of Muslims praying at the same time? Yeah, I get that chill going up my spine too.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Robert Griffen III

      1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"

      We labor together with God and in laboring together with God are we sanctioned as being of Godly equality. God and God's families and servants live and take up residencies within our bodies that are mere buildings which God's members did husbandry via conceptualization conceive all mannerisms of cellular cosmological life.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  10. old golfer

    Amazing, the masses are slowly figuring out that religion was created by men for men.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • DemFromSC

      Like you, I can't figure out why it took this long. Now if we could just convince Congress to remove the tax-exempt status for churches....

      January 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • saggyroy

      If they remove the tax-exempt status, then the churches will say they legitimately pay taxes and should have a say. Keep them tax exempt, but enforce the separation of church & state.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
  11. Dave - Phx

    Sheep, bahhh...I guess at least you weren't tortured into your religion back in the dark ages.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  12. Nanners

    Losing our religion, regaining our christian values.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What exactly are Christian values? Torturing heliocentrism proponents perhaps?

      January 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Matt

      If you want to know what Christian values are then read the words of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church was wrong to torture heliocentrists, but when studying history, you need to put yourself in the context of those you are studying and not judge by today's standards.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • saggyroy

      I started reading Bart Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" and according to him, the original copies of copies of copies of the new testament, so what words are you talking about? There are many many mistakes in the NT.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • saggyroy

      What I meant to say before I was interupted is that we don't have the original copies and the NT as it is is full of mistakes.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  13. Science

    Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven' – Under God – The ...
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...god/.../stephen-hawking.../AF6...
    by Elizabeth Tenety – in 624 Google+ circles – More by Elizabeth Tenety
    May 16, 2011 – There is no heaven... that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” Hawking told the Guardian.

    Theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggests that in fact this is not much of a God at all. Weinberg notes that traditionally the word "God" has meant "an interested personality". But that is not what Hawking and Lederman mean. Their "god", he says, is really just "an abstract principle of order and harmony", a set of mathematical equations. Weinberg questions then why they use the word "god" at all. He makes the rather profound point that "if language is to be of any use to us, then we ought to try and preserve the meaning of words, and 'god' historically has not meant the laws of nature." The question of just what is "God" has taxed theologians for thousands of years; what Weinberg reminds us is to be wary of glib definitions.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  14. T-Roy

    Did you ever notice people who pray a lot and have a personal relationship with their god have different views of what god is and what he represents. Sometimes these views are slight and sometimes they are significant. If we pray every day, we end up talking to an imaginary person a dozen times per day. This might be four thousand times per year. You end up forming and shaping your personal god around your own personality and way of thinking. Your god is representing the bits of your religion that you agree with, and he probably doesn't represent the parts you don't agree with.

    Your God may think it is okay to kill during wartime, or he may be against poor people and or minorities. Your god may be against other religions. Another's god may be against rich people and he may be a compassionate god who doesn't agree with killing for any reason. Another's god may support killing of women who break the religions rule and it may require killing of children and men who also break the rules.

    Each person creates god in their own image and spends their entire life talking to hm in a life long delusion.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • The Whole Truth.

      Or, we understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, and our lives are turned upside down.

      We no longer are worshiping a bigger version of ourselves.

      We actually start carrying out God's will in our lives.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • ari

      i don't think that most religious people actually "talk to god" in the sense of a two-way conversation... it's usually just reciting a brief prayer. that's how it is in most forms of islam and judaism and mainstream christianity anyways. not sure about those christian people that talk in tongues, pentecostals or whatever. my roommate in college was one of those people and he blabbered on in what i think was klingon for hours. strange fellow. he made great quesadillas though.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If God's will is to increase global retardedness, you are certainly succeeding in carrying it out.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • The Whole Truth.

      Is it retarded to help people in need?

      January 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • The Whole Truth.

      > christian people that talk in tongues

      If they talk in a different language – one that they have never learned – and a person who speaks that different language understands that – and they deliver a testimony about God. YES!

      If they talk babble and nobody understands it. NOPE!

      January 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Nope, but it's retarded to do it to impress a magic carpenter.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • The Whole Truth.

      Well, I'm safe then. At least according to your understanding.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • niknak

      Why do you have to be safe partial (birth) truth?
      Is that what your religion is all about, to curry flavor with some superdude so you can be "safe" from the fiery pit?
      Why can't you just be a stand up guy because you want to be one, and not because you are worried about pleasing some superdude?

      January 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • dzp

      lol rational libertarians, slowing this world one rationale at a time

      January 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm not sure if you're complimenting me or insulting me dzp, but allons-y either way.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Rational Libertarian wrote on January 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm, "If God's will is to increase global retardedness, you are certainly succeeding in carrying it out."

      "Global retardation" is a revelation to be considered in light of de-generalizations of many masses of people who are being found less educated due their ineptness of learning abilities becoming hampered by one's depredated inability to memorize the needed reasoning traits toward gainful awareness in conscripted issuances of revealing scriptural highlights of socially dreamt conditionings.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I see the old lionlylamb has reared his head once again. What ever happened to the enlightened multiverse lionlylamb?

      January 10, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • The Whole Truth.

      >Is that what your religion is all about, to curry flavor with some superdude so you can be "safe" from the fiery pit?
      Why can't you just be a stand up guy because you want to be one, and not because you are worried about pleasing some superdude?

      No, that is not what the gospel of Jesus Christ is about. At all.

      I'm not a stand up guy all the time. That is the problem. I strive to be, but can't do it.

      Niknak, by your postings, you don't seem like a standup guy. I'm not too worried about what you think.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Rational Libertarian,

      Let me simplify my thought mindedness. Global retardation is a social trait of characterizations awash with emotionalized pleasantries instead of literal hindsight. Simple enough?

      January 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • End Religion

      Chad, is that you?

      January 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You're right about niknak Truth. He's not a stand up guy because he likes hippies. All rational people know that hippies are sub human filth.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      As clear as an unmuddied lake lamb. As clear as an azzure sky of deepest summer.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  15. jbazingo

    Trees are known by the fruit they bear. – Jesus. Adherants (not professed followers) of one lifestyle or another, you would think, would have complelling life outcomes that have some proportional relationship to the growth in that school of thought. If organized religion had been delivering, they would be growing instead of shrinking. Same with feminism, communism, LGBT lifestyles, being a Republican or a Democrat or ..... The vast majority of independent thinkers see the fallacy. I happen to be happy with Christ Jesus and his Father in heaven. I hope and pray my relationship with them helps me to be a better person. In the same breath, I am embarrassed and ashamed by the actions and words of many of my fellow Christians. I understand how others can come to reject Him in the process of rejecting religion.

    I have not found that the outcomes of nones and LGBT communities are really benefiting society in grand ways. Our country is in decline as these groups have risen. The are no more an opium panacea as organized religion. Fruit & Tree

    January 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Our country has been on the decline because it doesn't care about its people. We would rather cut taxes then educate our children.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I reject the random capitalization of pronouns.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Income tax is theft lamb.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      That's your beliefs. But the direction we are going with education is frightening. I don't care steal more of my money but let's teach every child we can to the best of our ability.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • JoAnn

      Amen~I totally agree! Thanks for posting! Our hope, our future, our reason for living is in Jesus Christ our Lord and our Heavenly Father, who loved mankind so much to give so much! God Bless! BTW~We should not live as this world is all there is because it isn't....much greater things are ahead, very real, in God's Kingdom! What a better world this would be if we all followed the Kingly Law of LOVE!

      January 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Does God's kingdom have tranny h.ookers and ESPN. If so, count me in.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • old golfer

      Hey Lamb of dog, we are spending a fortune on educating our children. Fact is, money does not equate to a good education. You might look at the fact that unions and the government has taken over educating our children. Might be the problem, you think?

      January 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Income tax isn't the primary source of funding for education.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      As a libertarian I'm not the biggest fan of public education but there should be a standardized national curriculum. Give some school boards the opportunity and they'll teach that the Earth is 6,000 years old and the sky is God's carpet.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then I guess you DO want the federal government involved in education, RL?

      January 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Well, I have no problem with them being involved in the formation of a standardized curriculum, although it could probably be done without their input, just their ratification.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
  16. Toby Dana

    the ONLY good religion on earth is called Dudism look it up

    January 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Church of the SubGenius.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  17. lamb of dog

    Also @ari.
    So setting up a new charity is an waste of time? Are all the charities already covered?

    January 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • ari

      setting up a charity exclusively and specifically involving people who do not believe in a particular mythological concept is idiotic, yes. there is no need for such things. tell me when you start the foundation for parents against santa claus or the lamb of dog charity for the prevention of loch ness monster conspiracy theories.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Okay. You are writing nonsense now. You are the confrontational one. You definitely are not atheist. And I don't recall being confrontational just defensive of your attacks on others.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Then why have a Christian or Jewish charity?

      January 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • ari

      i'm confrontational for responding to messages directly addressed to me? 🙂

      you've got a lot to learn, kid. one day you'll learn that people who hold beliefs different from your own aren't all that scary. and your assumption that all atheists think and act the same way is just a product of the arrogance i mentioned earlier. not all of us grovel at the feet of lords dawkins and hitchens. some of us actually try to engage with religious people and work with them to improve things, rather then shut ourselves off from the outside world and spend all our time posting memes on r/atheism. crazy, right?

      January 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Christians have charities so they can have another plus tick on St. Peter's "getting into Heaven" forms. It's entirely self serving.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      I think you need a chill pill. I still don't believe you. You sound like a troll to me. Maybe you're religious and scared that if non secular people start charities they might be looked upon more favorably. And that's why you're all worked up.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • ari

      you keep saying "non-secular" when you mean "secular". and yes, you caught me! the very thought of non-religiously-affiliated charities chills me to the core! i go to bed at night cursing the dana farber foundation!

      January 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Whatever you say. But I repeat you are the arrogant one. The way you write proves it. You assume that I am a young white man. You assume I don't like people with other beliefs. You are the one who writes in a volatile style.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • ari

      i am assuming based on many decades of past experience with the "skeptics movement", which is typically synonymous with "middle-class, young-ish, college-educated white boys with jobs in the IT sector who like playing video games and skew libertarian on most issues but tend to vote democrat, socially awkward and spend many hours on sites where they talk to people who are exactly like them".

      specific description, yes, but surprisingly accurate from my experience.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      From my experience, the "skeptic movement" is less libertarian than Hugo Chavez.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • ari

      i have noticed a very large self-professed ron paul contingent popping up in the "movement" in recent years. however, this group seems exclusively concerned with legalized weed, removing aid to israel, and SOPA-esque bills. i do not think they actually know/care about libertarian economic theories.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
  18. gino

    All religions are intellectually contemptible and morally outrageous.

    January 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Apart from the Church of the SubGenius, of course.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • pacoder

      Pastafaria isn't. FSM forever!

      January 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • jkee

      Gino, have you studied the secular evidence of Jesus Christ? Most atheist and noners have no idea what God is about. Most have not looked at the evidence. Put secular evidence of Jesus Christ in your search engine.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Most Christians and Muslims have no idea what the Church of the SubGenius is about. Put that in your search engine.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • jkee

      Gino, have you studied the secular evidence of Jesus Christ? Do it and see if your mind is changed.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
  19. lamb of dog

    @ari
    See Ari the problem with people like you is that you consider me arrogant for not following your beliefs. I however would say you are the arrogant one. Your comments prove this. I don't know what exist beyond what I can perceived. I I know that I don't know. You however know that your God is real. So who is arrogant?

    January 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • ari

      my beliefs? i'm an atheist born to atheist parents. the difference between you and me is that i've moved past the whole dawkins-worshipping phase and instead of insulting the billions of people who believe in a god, recognize the good that they have done while still choosing to not believe in what they believe in. you'll get there someday, friend. i assume that you're like i was–white, male, teens/20s, college educated, thinks he's smarter than most people he knows. it's arrogance. it's normal. don't worry, you will get over it.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • The Whole Truth.

      I like Ari. He is very reasonable. Like most people I meet in 'real life'.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  20. thehumanegoissatan

    It is amazing how big the human ego is–man created god just so they could feel good in knowing they'll go to some imaginary place called heaven after this life and be reunited with family &friends–how dumb do you have to be to believe that crap? Do ppl realize within the Milky Way (let alone universe) Earth is but a speck among the cosmos–we are not as important as we'd like to think we are

    January 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • ari

      hey, don't knock the earth. it's a damn good planet as thus far the only planet we know of with any form of life.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      It's populated with cretinous morons though.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • ari

      hey, humans only make up a small fraction of living things on earth. there ain't nothing wrong with sea sponges and oak trees.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If you get several living sea sponges and grind them up in a blender together, they will separate and re-formulate back to how they were originally.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Our "universe" is just "one" among immeasurable universes. All these universes clustered together may well be but a ginormous jellyfish living within a great sea upon an world so vast, we will never truly be able to ascertain this plausibility of ginormous scalar revelation.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • ari

      that would be pretty righteous, lionlylamb, but as far as i know the multiverse model hasn't been proven (or even close to that) yet. the whole cosmic jellyfish thing is very psychadelic, though. very 70s.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You are definitely not the same lionlylamb who spews out all the Biblical nonsense. That comment was far too insightful.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      ari,

      The 70's was my teen to 20's years. Way too much acid and real meth and damn good smoke back then!

      Rational Libertarian,

      Sorry to burst your bubble but I am the same lamb,, Just taking a break from my religiosity to say my perceptual insight on a different level of thought mindedness.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • End Religion

      I am curious to try blending sponges and drinking them to see if I poop whole sponges.

      January 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      @End –

      That sounds like the formation of a hypothesis to me. Next step.. experiment!

      January 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Advertisement
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.