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The secular high priest of SXSW
Bijoy Goswami is the founder of Bootstrap Ausitn and has become a secular pastor to Austin start ups.
March 9th, 2013
08:49 AM ET

The secular high priest of SXSW

By Josh Rubin, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='cnnexpress']

Austin, Texas (CNN)– As the Catholic world focuses on Rome and awaits a new pope, the secular world has turned its attention to Austin, Texas, for the annual pilgrimage of tech and music.

This weekend marks the start of the 20th annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival, an event with the goal of “fostering creative and professional growth.” For five days, some of the world’s brightest minds will commune, collaborate and experiment.

With its live music, free-flowing alcohol, and hook-up culture, SXSW has developed a reputation as being a spring break for nerds. There’s even an app by Qpid.me that lets attendees share medical records to prove their STD-free status.

But there is more to it than pure bacchanalia.

For Bijoy Goswami, this is a high holiday with as much virtue as vice. He sees SXSW as a secular celebration where people join together to take the tools of technology and transform them into world-shaking culture. It's no accident that Twitter was released at SXSW.

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At 39-years-old, Goswami is the quintessential Austenite with long hair, a casual style and a computer science degree. He has made a home and built a career around the Austin ethos. He's introspective, relaxed, hip and weird - in a good way.

Goswami describes Austin as a place of becoming: “I’m trying to figure out what to do in my various aspects of my life - spiritual, work, relational - things like that. Austin gave me the communities to work through those questions for myself,” he says.

Moving to Austin from Silicon Valley in the mid-'90s, Goswami started a software company before finding what he says is his true calling. Taking what he learned during his own self-discovery, he now makes his living helping other entrepreneurs find their own path.

Successful startups are often built by people who know who they are and what they want, said Goswami who tries to provide a platform for people to find those answers for themselves.

It’s that message of personal exploration and responsibility that local leaders like Heather McKissick find so appealing. “If there is a secular guru, it's Bijoy. His message is one of self-enlightenment through the hard work of bootstrapping and chopping wood.”

Through years of friendship, SXSW panels, and her work as president of the Austin Leadership council, McKissick has experienced all sides of a man she calls a brilliant secular humanist. “He has his disciples, but there is also a trusted inner circle that sees past the charisma and understands him as a brilliant, articulate and equally flawed human as the rest of us.”

Born in India to a Hindu father and Catholic mother, Goswami was a child of both Eastern and Western philosophy. “I always had exposure to Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. They were all in the water and air I was breathing. “

Goswami’s mother, however, wanted her children to be raised Catholic.

“My dad said, ‘Fine.’ So all the way through 18, Catholicism worked for me. I didn’t question it - I just liked it.”

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His father’s career moved the family from India to Taiwan and then to Hong Kong. Goswami’s mother began teaching at the American Hong Kong International School, allowing him and his brothers to attend for free. Goswami’s life in Hong Kong was a happy one - at home, school, and in church.

“I was an altar boy. I had no problems with priests. I read the Gospels. I was a student of the Bible. I believed I had a personal relationship with God … all of that stuff. “

But long before Pope Benedict resigned, Goswami had already fired him.

While attending Stanford University, Goswami began studying the history of the Catholic Church, and long held beliefs began to erode. “My mind's getting blown. Every single thing that I believed, like the sacraments, were just invented by various popes and people.”

Like many, after leaving home for college, Goswami had a crisis of faith. By the end of  his sophomore year, he came to a realization “that not only were Christianity and Catholicism invented by people … but so was every other religion. Take the Catholic Church - it’s caught up in old conversations that aren’t relevant. They’re still fighting the battles of 50 years ago within themselves rather then helping people on their journey or path.”

For Goswami, not being a Catholic meant more than shrugging off the teachings of the church. It meant fundamentally changing his relationship with his mother. “That was a really hard moment for my mom and me. I went back to Hong Kong for summer break and I said, ‘Hey Mom, I’m not going to go to church with you.' ”

The beginning of Goswami’s story isn’t unique, but that didn’t make his religious disillusionment any easier. It hurt him to hurt his mother. “I was her blue-eyed altar boy who had done no wrong, who she thought would be a priest … and I am a priest, just differently,” he says.

As a secular priest of sorts, Goswami has officiated weddings and provided council for hundreds in the Austin startup community. He received his ordination online through the popular Universal Life Church, which according to its website ordains, "ministers, priests, rabbis and clergy worldwide who are totally non-religious or even anti-religious."

Bijoy Goswami preforms the wedding of Bruce Krysiak and Gigi De Leon in April 2012.

One such person counseled by Goswami is Josh Baer, manager of Austin’s Capital Factory incubator. Goswami was a crucial part of his development as an entrepreneur.

Goswami “has this Zen quality and personal confidence that makes people feel comfortable sharing their dreams and aspirations,” Baer says. “He guides others on their path.”

To Baer and hundreds like him, Goswami is like a high priest for Austin’s entrepreneurs, a role he built over the years by leaning on the lessons of the faith he left.

He created a congregation of like-minded entrepreneurs by founding bootstrap Austin, an informal group of founders coming together to share experiences. His message is that just because you’re going it alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone, and it permeates the Austin start-up scene.

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That deep understanding of the importance of community is one of the reasons he isn’t bitter towards Catholicism. “I’m grateful to religion. In the march of history, it has served a very important purpose,” he says, pausing and smiling slightly. “Now we start to take that back.”

Participating in the 10-day SXSW festival is part of what Goswami calls his self-curation. It’s one of the ways he has found meaning without God.

“We’ve recreated those structures, we need celebration, we need community, we need conversation about meaning and identity, all those things we need,” he says.

For Goswami, religion is of his past, and now it’s time for him to move on.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church • Texas • United States

soundoff (406 Responses)
  1. Get rid of facial hair

    Bijou. Tips and tricks available @hairemoval.com

    March 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • My Cubic Hairs Are Foot Long

      do you have anything for cubic hairs?

      March 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Hair power

      Swamis get their powers from the hair

      March 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Guru swami swami

      No hair, no swami

      March 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  2. Bostontola

    F-U,
    How is he hiding behind freedom? He is not breaking a law and then exploiting our justice system to get off. This country was founded by Christians fleeing religious persecution (among other things), and built in freedom from religion. You need to read the beliefs of our founding fathers. Some were Christian but many were deists or humanists. Your high and mighty perch is not on a good foundation.

    March 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • biased-swami

      your cursing just reveals your 'rock solid' foundation. touched a nerve, eh?

      March 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Bostontola

      B-S,
      F-U was short for feigning-unbiased, the poster name. In case you didn't get it, B-S stands for biased swami. Why would anything you say touch a nerve?

      March 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  3. Mark

    This GoSwami gentleman is no high priest and definately no indian "Swami". he is a disillusioned boy who grew up catholic in a Hindu country and no realize his indoctrination was B.S. He is searching and other fools are following....how can one follow a person who is searching (therefore lost).? Regrettably he does not have the wisdom to filter the wisdom of Christ's eternal words vs getting caught up with rituals invented by popes of the catholic church. Regrettably he does not have the wisdom to see the eternal truths in the Bhagavad Gita, Jain text and life of Budha (an indian) are the same eternal truths reveal through the life of Christ.

    Same eternal message, just expressed in different languages and cultural mediums. Govinda is no where near finding himself....read back in 5years and he will be onto something else. He should keep his search to himself and not misguide others by purporting to lead while he is in fact lost.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • End Religion

      Your beliefs are no more or less crazy than his.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Why do so many Christians judge others? I thought that was god's job.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • biased-swami

      Agree with your comments regarding this swami. But just one problem with your comment equating all faiths – Christ said "I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Christ made an exclusive claim regarding access to God. So either call him liar or Lord. But please don't water it down because it sounds good – like this fakester swami is doing.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • OTOH

      biased-swami,

      And you can't see that you follow Swami Jesus (if he existed), Swami Paul, and the band of other 1st century swamis with not a whit of verified evidence for the reality of their words and preachings.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Bostontola

      B-S,
      Why do you need to get defensive about your beliefs? This guy believes differently. As a Christian, you are a member of the largest religion yet you act defensively and judgmently.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Mark

      i am not christian. i am not hindu. i am not budhist. i am not scientist. i am not atheist.
      but i do see a common message in all the great belief/philosophical systems. Example: Newtons Law of Thermodynamics says energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Einstein made clear that "time" is artificial construct. which is exactly what the religions are saying when they speak of eternal life, omnipotence, omnipresence, rebirth. In fact with stem cell research has already diciphered cloning and is on the cusp of unravelling physical immortality.

      nothing wrong with this gentleman searching...it is a good thing for him personally – hoisting him on a pedestal and declaring a searching youth/man as "High Priest" is irresponsible. this is how you guys end up with Jim Jones's and David Koreshes. what responsibility will cnn have if 10yrs out the followers he gets from cnn making him famous are taken out by him Jim Jones/David Koresh style? this hunger for a story is irresponsible and the media should be called out when they do it, and made accountable when something eventually happens.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Mark

      BIASED-SWAMI: good post. re Christ said "I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." If those are in fact jesus's words (vs that of subsequent self-appointed biblical writers), then i say this exclusive claim is an error. in fact i have a problem with the entire sentence if by "Father" it means an anthropomorphic God. Jesus was a spiritual teacher who i believe was highly learned and highly accurate in his teachings..i would...even if those are not his exact words, it is still not my view that he was error-free. Einstein was not error-free. Ghandi was not error-free. Martin Luther King was not error-free. But all were great teachers and great examples to follow. Got me?

      March 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Mark,
      I recommend you google your stuff before you post it. Newton didn't have a law of thermodynamics, Einstein didn't show that time is arbitrary.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mark

      BOSTONTOLA: thank you for your critique. best i make the following wiki reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_law_of_thermodynamics on the First Law of Thermodynamics which is same as Law of Conservation of Energy. Also the following link on Time Dilation (Einstein Theory of Relativity): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation.
      And finally the following link on Einstein-Rosen Bridge (aka Wormholes): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhole which implies shortcuts in spacetime (ie time travel). In fact the Mahbharata (sanskrit epic of ancient india) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahabharata spoke hundreds of years before Einstein of the possibility of time travel.

      Crediting Newton was an error (i apologize) but the fundamental point regarding First Law of Thermodynamics and Time Construct are rooted in solid science. Picking a minor credit without contexting it is a disservice to those reading the blog. maybe we both can learn something.

      regards.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  4. feigning-unbias

    No bias here CNN! Such a glowing tribute to folks that hide behind the freedoms in this country to declare their coexist gospel for which they would be terminated in 80% of the world. I too have a global upbringing but have concluded just the opposite. Ever wonder why the coexist mantra is spewed primarily in countries whose laws have a judeo-christian basis??? LOL!!!

    March 9, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      dafvq? What you trying to say?

      March 9, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Bostontola

      F-U,
      How is he hiding behind freedom? He is not breaking a law and then exploiting our justice system to get off. This country was founded by Christians fleeing religious persecution (among other things), and built in freedom from religion. You need to read the beliefs of our founding fathers. Some were Christian but many were deists or humanists. Your high and mighty perch is not on a good foundation.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  5. Father Agnostic

    I bet this gig nets that guy whole lotta hi-octane 'tang! Gotta appreciate the guy can't make up his mind, belief wise, so he smokes some weed, acts spacey, and voila, instant weak-minded followers! Wish I had thought of it first.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Bostontola

      For an agnostic you sure know a lot about this guys capabilities and motives. Not to mention how weak minded the entrepreneurs are in Austin.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • End Religion

      it is a classic scam. I remember hearing a story about one of these pseud-religious new age gurus who came to stay with a couple in California. It took the husband a while to figure out the guru was basically just working his way through all the wives of the people in his little guru compound, and it had nothing to do with discovering "truths" of spirituality but rather just obtaining tang.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Bostontola

      ER,
      Since when does a story of a guru con artist represent evidence that another is a con artist? This person is well know throughout a large community with no incident. This kind of logic is expected from people with blind faith.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Cameron

      Actually, Bijoy has written a book on interpersonal dynamics that is quite useful for individuals wanting to better understand and enhance their interactions in the organizations, both for profit and not for profit, in which they are involved. He regularly teaches classes for Leadership Austin, a well respected leadership development organization in Austin that is attended by professionals, civic leaders, politicians, university folk, philanthropic and arts leaders, etc. I can say, as someone who has attended some of these classes, that while Bijoy's religious journey undoubtedly affects his outlook and perspectives on life, his religious beliefs do not come up in classroom settings. This CNN article highlights both his professional and personal lives, which however interrelated, are not necessarily one and the same.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • End Religion

      i don't know anything about the guy in the story. I was just commenting that the kind of shenanigans Father Agnostic mentions is a pseudo-religious scam I've heard about on several occasions.

      Charismatic people will draw sycophants, it is the nature of humanity. It remains to be seen if that charismatic person begins to capitalize on the sycophants and/or begin promising them some intangible metaphysical BS.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  6. Hong tong

    Austin is a city that doesn't go with the cultural ethos of the great state of Texas. The more I have travelled around, the more I have become convinced that the real Americans who preserve American values live in smaller towns. The people living in Midwest, New York etc are Americans just on paper, just because they happened to be born there. That's why they support welfare munching which goes against the core American values of fair pay for fair work. They are also closer to socialist practices which are far from American values. We need to start differentiating between people who are American by values or just American citizens because fortunately or unfortunately they happened to be born here. I know many immigrants who are real Americans by values than these so called American citizens.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • End Religion

      we know what American values are. They're encoded into law. If you don't like them, work to change them.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • David in NC

      Ok – I'll play. I think you are purely American by birth, and more 17th century peasant by culture.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Akira

      Oh, now we're playing "Not a true Scotsman" with American citizens? Pretty presumptuous. What a load of self-seving bullshit.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • JM

      Welfare culture? Like living off slave labor for hundreds of years? Is that "Christian" or Satanism?

      March 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Doobs

      We need to start differentiating between people who are American by values or just American citizens because fortunately or unfortunately they happened to be born here.

      How do you propose we do this?

      Who decides what criteria makes a person's values "truly American".

      What do we do with the people who don't measure up to "American values"?

      Why do you think this needs to be done?

      Somebody tried creating a race of "true countrymen" in the 1930s and it didn't work out too well. Maybe a better idea is for you to take off your 1950s rose colored glasses and realize that progress happens.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • ME II

      @Hong tong,
      "The people living in Midwest, New York etc are ..."

      Never heard the Midwest grouped in with New York, before. What next cats, dogs, etc.?

      March 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  7. Isma'il

    He's depressed

    March 9, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Akira

      Oh, I don't know...he looks pretty relaxed and happy to me.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  8. Correctlycenter

    Another poster boy for the religion of COEXIST, great. Jesus Christ had a different message then what the PC world accepts today.

    " I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me." John 14:6. The world is easily deceived...

    March 9, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Damocles

      Wow, so no co-existing for you. Your way or no way. Kill...errr... bring justice to those who disagree.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • End Religion

      Religion is just for you, CC, an excuse for your hate.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Saving the earth,one pithy comment at a time

      Stop pretending to know things you don't know.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • zhoro

      " I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me." John 14:6.

      And you are convinced you understand what this means why?

      Here is another way to read this:
      " I AM *is* the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me." John 14:6.

      Seek and abide as the 'I AM' that is the ever-present basis and screen of all you are experiencing, the only things that is self-evident and cannot be questioned. Do it unflinchingly without allowing your attention to deviate into the objects of that subject/presence and in due time the individual will disappear and only God will remain. I AM is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  9. ME II

    I am not a fan of the secular taking on the trappings of the religious. This is a little ridiculous.

    March 9, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • End Religion

      I hear you but maybe its just the next necessary step to get humans away from religion by moderating it even more.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:13 am |
  10. Bah Humbub

    I guess this makes me a High Priest of my own church of whatever I want. That's what most people do anyway, right?

    March 9, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Topher

      Do you mind if I call you Father Bah?

      March 9, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  11. Mack

    Here's a smart guy who was raised with religion. Upon doing his own independent research he decided his religion – and all others – was bogus, so he quit. It would be great if more and more people had the courage to do exactly this, but also to freely state their (non) belief without fear of ridicule in this dumbed-down, dogmatic society.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • bobk52

      Like! +1 Right on!

      March 9, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • David in NC

      Agreed. Most people lack the intellectual curiosity and bravery to examine their core beliefs dispassionately.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  12. Duff

    The lame efforts of believers to "label" atheism as a religion is hilarious on two levels; first, and most obvious, the claim that atheism is a religion is silly in the same way that – forgive me here for stating an oft used aphorism – not collecting stamps is a hobby. But the use of religion as a pejorative term by religionists is so hilarious is doesn't even need a comment.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Bah Humbub

      Oh, no, feel free to rub their faces in it constantly! Most of them could use a little more of their own hypocrisy rubbed in their faces more often. Religion has no legitimacy whatsoever, so actually the term is perjorative, but only to rational people.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • greenbird

      it's not being used so much as a pejorative as to point out the absolute hypocrisy of rabid atheists who, like many of those in religious sects, proselytize and can be stubborn and intolerant of those who have no interest in sharing their beliefs.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  13. Bah Humbub

    So is CNN done with slobbering over the papists' delusional concerns yet or are they just taking a breather until the next dozen or so examples of bad journalism? Bah.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  14. TopCat

    hurray for freedom of religion and the ability to start a new one each year.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Bah Humbub

      Each year? Why not each day? The "freedom" to have a delusion that makes you do crazy things is not bound by reason or sanity, it seems, nor does it have time constraints of any sort, so feel free to create billions of churches per second using your computer. According to the nonsense being touted as "freedom", this means every one of those churches is legit. Legit. ha ha ha what a joke....

      March 9, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  15. Mohammad, A. Dead Subject

    very interesting story, I call the good church going boy was influenced by the "American cultures", a night mare of many parents not just in the US but around the world.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  16. Thoughts

    Zen will NOT get you to heaven.
    Case closed, Next!

    March 9, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • EvidenceBased4

      Next, Christianity will not get you into Valhalla, and tickets for Disneyworld will not get you into Six Flags, and a deed for a bridge you bought from a con man will not get you a bottle of snake oil.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Mass Debater

      Christians love to Lord it over others with their imaginary gated community in the sky.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • MKR

      Evidence Based – terrific response. I love it.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Doobs

      Christians love to Lord it over others with their imaginary gated community in the sky.

      Gated community, lol! That's a perfect definition. A couple of things I learned living in gated communities.

      1. The gates don't keep anyone out.

      2. It's monotonous.

      3. Once a person is inside the gates, he acts like he's king of the world and the rules don't apply to him. Because he's inside the gates, he's special.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  17. brakon

    looks like that sassan guy lol

    March 9, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  18. EvidenceBased4

    I worry that referring to this non-believer as a secular "priest" and his community as a "congregation" just furthers the misunderstanding that lack of religious beliefs is a belief system....that non-religion is a religion...that atheism is just another faith. It certainly isn't.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Topher

      And why does someone need to be ordained for ... nothing?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • EvidenceBased4

      I don't know. To be able to perform weddings?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Topher

      Ordained by who, then? Is it just a matter of the state saying just fill out this paperwork and do whatever you want? So anyone can do this?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • EvidenceBased4

      Just as anyone can become a preacher through an advertisement in the back of Rolling Stone.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • The Devil

      Can topher

      March 9, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Topher

      Ah, so anyone can do it. So there's nothing really special about what's going on here and CNN is just scraping to find another anti-religion story.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Mass Debater

      I think it's obvious for anyone with an IQ in triple digits to see that not believing in something isn't a belief and to then say "Ah ha! So you believe you don't believe! See! It's a belief!" is a bit like asking "So can God make a rock so big even he can't lift it?" He can't? Ah Ha! So He's not all powerful and he can't do anything as you claim!!..." It's circular flawed logic.

      As for humanism or secularism being looked at like a faith I would say yes, of course they are, since they have a set of general principles to live by that take faith in them to practice (though faith in them is not required for them to work) such as the golden rule, being kind, generous and loving to one another, having empathy for your fellow human. In these regards I think one can see the obvious place for humanist or secular ceremonial leaders aka "priests" but they certainly should not be viewed as "atheist priests" for not all humanists are atheists and not all atheists are humanists.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Mass Debater

      Yes, anyone can file to be ordained by the State, though the paperwork I filled out in California a few years ago does ask for your religious faith & denomination. I supposed one can just write in "Secular Humanist, Full On." instead of "Christian, Baptist".

      March 9, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • End Religion

      "And why does someone need to be ordained for ... nothing?"
      I am an ordained minister. I wanted to marry some friends of mine and becoming ordained allowed me to do it.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  19. Topher

    Wow. This "blog" all but declares atheism a religion. Better set them straight, atheists.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • End Religion

      you said "all but" which means they did not declare it a religion. Nothing to set them straight on, then is there? You should come to the party, get drunk and get laid. Might do ya some good.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • EvidenceBased4

      There, Topher, I lived out your prophecy above.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • bobk52

      Topher u doper, lol!!!!

      March 9, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • ..

      The article states that he had a disillusionment with RELGION.
      He said Christianity and the like were man-made religions. I didn't see where he said he didn't believe in God. Many people believe in God, but dislike religions. Your knee-jerk reaction is probably one of the reasons.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Akira

      Dots, the article says, "It’s one of the ways he has found meaning without God." I think that's pretty plain, actually, that he's atheist.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  20. End Religion

    Bye bye religion!

    March 9, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Correctlycenter

      Where will END RELIGION end up?

      March 9, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Damocles

      Dead like everyone else?

      March 9, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • End Religion

      Assuming CC has children, and grandchildren, and so, some of my atoms will likely end up in your family, CC.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Science

      Hey CC we all run out of carbon (gas ....... but yours really stinks) can you eat cheese ?

      March 9, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • .

      Even CorrectlyCenter's name sma/b><cks of pride.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • OTOH

      Yes, @., and his/her goals smack of Greed - this life is not enough for him/her, she/he must have MORE, and not only MORE, but a PERFECT, ETERNAL MORE!

      March 9, 2013 at 12:10 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.