April 18th, 2013
10:45 AM ET

My Take: Godless in Boston mourn, too

Editor’s note: Greg M. Epstein is the Humanist chaplain at Harvard University and author of the New York Times best-seller "Good Without God." He directs the Humanist Community Project, a national think tank helping to study and build communities for the nonreligious.

By Greg M. Epstein, Special to CNN

Cambridge, Massachusetts (CNN) — After two days of holding back my own feelings to focus on the needs of a community in mourning, what finally split my heart in two was scrolling through the list of donations to the fund-raising page for Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, a mother and daughter among the tragically injured at the Boston Marathon.

Celeste, the mother, has volunteered for my congregation. She’s basically an aunt to a senior member of our staff. So I cried for the two-sidedness: A member of our community lost her legs below the knees, and nearly lost her daughter. And, in one day, nearly 4,000 people donated more than $250,000 to support them. They seemed to be saying, through their gifts, “Please do this for me too if anything should ever happen to me or my family.”

AC360: Mother lost legs, daughter nearly died in bombing

As a chaplain, I’m struggling to make sense of this tragedy just like any other member of the clergy. And like faith communities across the country, the thousands of people I work with are doing what needs to be done when tragedy strikes close to home. We’re offering one another comfort. We’re calling around to the point of exhaustion, trying to figure out who needs help and how we can provide it.

The only difference is, we are a community of atheists — a congregation of Humanists.

You’ve probably read the statistics: With 18% of the nation’s population now nonreligious, America is less religious today than ever before. This especially applies to young Americans, up to a third of whom now have no religion. That number may be closer to half on many of the college campuses throughout Boston, like the one where I work.

What you may not have noticed, however, is that in addition to the religiously unaffiliated, or “nones” as sociologists have taken to calling them, a new and very significant group of Americans has been emerging — the nonreligiously affiliated. Relatively quietly, many thousands of mostly young Americans who identify as atheists and agnostics have been coming together to form civically active, thoughtful secular community groups that now dot nearly our whole nation.

Sometimes you hear about the debates these groups hold with religious leaders. But while Richard Dawkins and the like are eloquent and controversial speakers on behalf of atheism, most such debates are actually organized by religious organizations. The vast majority of what Humanist and secular communities do is positive, uncontroversial and entirely American. We serve. We meet throughout the year. We help one another raise good kids. We celebrate life, and we grieve death.

So I don’t relish the opportunity — or the need — to say that right now, our community is grieving too, just like any other Boston-area congregation. Boston, in fact, is home to one of the biggest secular/Humanist/atheist/nonreligious communities in the world. (Sure, we don’t know what to call ourselves. But then again neither does the LGBT — or is it GLBT? — or LGBTQ? — community, and that hasn’t stopped them from thriving.) We meet every week. We’re getting ready to open up a large community center. We sponsor service programs where we invite interfaith groups to help us package thousands of meals for hungry kids. You can even join us this Sunday: We’ll be marking our losses together in a memorial gathering.

What is so disappointing to see people do, then, is blame the horrific and traumatizing events of this Monday on the godless, or on godlessness, as way too many on Twitter and elsewhere have been doing. As one young woman in our community said to me, “It’s hard enough to deal with senseless grief, but when people write things like 'Why do people have to be so godless to want to kill innocent people?' it makes me feel like I’m not safe either, like we’re being singled out for prejudice.”

Obviously when people say “I’ll pray for you” or “May God grant you strength,” they’re only expressing their own sincere convictions. But while not everyone holds those same beliefs, we all want to be acknowledged in a way that feels right to us.

And when political leaders like Gov. Deval Patrick or President Obama try to make sense of these moments by assembling interfaith services, it is admirable — far better for a politician to bring different religions together than to only recognize one religion’s view of loss as valid. But for goodness' sake, must the nonreligious continue to be excluded from such gatherings? I’ve seen Humanists knock on the door recently at the interfaith celebrations of political conventions, or after tragedies like Hurricane Sandy or Newtown. We wanted to help and were turned away. I hope this is where people realize: We are part of the community too. We care and want to offer our support just as much as anyone. We, too, are in shock and grief.

Secular people place our faith in the human ability to value life over death. We believe in committing ourselves to love and care and help as indiscriminately as possible, because that is what makes our lives worthwhile. We try our best, despite our doubt, to ensure that the good will that comes from tragedy will ultimately exceed the bad.

All that said, I don’t have a clue what Celeste’s beliefs are, and I don’t care. I just hope she and Sydney and everyone else injured get well. After all, would you believe for a second that every Christian pastor knows whether or not every visitor to his or her congregation truly believes in the Ascension? Nor should they. The point of a congregation, to me, is just to care about the people in it, and better yet, to help bring people together to care about one another. Our community is including everyone, religious or not, in our thoughts and hopes at this tough time. It would mean a lot to us if others do the same.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (3,411 Responses)
  1. faith

    Religion is a crutch for the weak-minded."

    give me two

    May 19, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  2. faith

    But isn't that exactly what Christians do in tragedies? They assemble together looking all holy and preach about how only God can offer peace to the hurting and act like they are coming down to the common man's level from their righteous pews to bestow grace and mercy on them. The whole thing is a ploy to gain converts.


    May 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  3. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses..........politicians too !

    Gravity is not up for debate !

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before


    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.


    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young


    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.


    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute


    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    May 3, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Darwin the idiot

      Atheists think pigs can fly and frogs turn into princes. Fairy tales and myths

      May 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Idiot, Even you can't believe that.

      May 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Darwin the idiot

      You said, "Atheists think pigs can fly and frogs turn into princes. Fairy tales and myths"
      Holy fucking shit, how does someone become that stupid! Lemme guess, you were home schooled?

      You should really try a basic science class. It isn't all that difficult.

      May 6, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Charles

      A science class or evolution mythology class?

      May 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  4. TJ

    Please stop blaming the godless (we prefer the term atheist or rationalist) for what’s going on in this world. We are sane/rational people. We understand you only LIVE ONCE. So we try hard NOT TO SCREW IT UP. We understand all the good parties (or Virgins if that matters) are right here on Earth.(Because there is no heaven.)

    Most of us (atheist or rationalist) are good people. We do our best everyday and try hard to be a law abiding citizen. Try to be kind to others, help others in need. Respect each other’s right to worship or not to worship.(After all, that’s what rational people would do! We try to be good without god.) Just like most people who have a religion.

    And yes, you are going to find some insane people in any large group. (Atheist is a very large group) So I am not deny the fact that there may be screwed up atheist out there. But if you notice, most of those extremists who REALLY REALLY screw things up BADLY are almost always religious people. Never an atheist or rationalist.

    So in conclusion….”To screw up is human, to really screw things up, you need a religion.”

    April 28, 2013 at 5:20 am |
    • lol??

      A Wegodian uttereth.

      April 28, 2013 at 6:11 am |
    • Science

      lol?? Genes and DNA................no fairy in the sky needed ! see chad below !

      Scientists Find Genes Linked to Human Neurological Disorders in Sea Lamprey Genome



      April 28, 2013 at 6:23 am |
    • Steve

      What the h£|| are you talking about? You made no sense at all.

      April 28, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  5. brianansorge

    I read Epstein's letter and, while I will stop short of calling it a rant (it was too smooth and slickly-worded to completely qualify), I feel compelled to respond.

    We all know there was a tragedy in Boston, a *real* tragedy involving deaths and the maiming and crippling of hundreds of others who were, miraculously, spared their lives—but not without some horrific cost.

    Loss? You better believe it. Grief? Untold. Both those who were directly affected (by being inflicted witih loss of life, limb, blood, and more) and those who were less directly affected (by the loss of loved ones or merely being witness to the spectre of vile and hateful violence) are victims in every sense of the word.

    Along comes Greg M. Epstein, et al.

    All you have to do is read his letter [published at Huffington Post], carefully and thoughtfully, and reading between the lines, just a little, you hear it.

    “Poor me.”

    A Boston "massacre?" You better believe it. Real. Irrefutable. Visceral.

    Then, in contrast, both stark and ugly, we have a chaplain from a university in the Boston area who, no matter how well he tries to touch on appropriate talking points and make the obligatory references to the pain and grief of the *true* victims in the bombing (thus invoking the “PC” elements of “empathy” and “compassion”), his message is loud and clear:

    “We are victims.”

    Yes, Epstein uses the first person plural pronoun “we” 23 times in his letter, and “I” 6 times. He is referring to the “non-religious/secular/athesist” community, and himself.

    And, for the record, it matters not to me *who* the “we” is that he was referring to, nor *what* they believe in (or don’t believe in). Really. It’s irrelevant. I was merely repulsed by how apparently shallow and superficial Epstein’s concern is for the true victims here.

    For real politicians, seldom is an opportunity for exploitation and politicization of a given event not taken advantage of. This Boston Massacre thing? A true tragedy?

    Epstein, obviously a politician, is no exception.

    For some people, as usual, it’s all about them. For some people, a crisis or tragedy is an opportunity to feel slighted and, in Epstein’s own words: “unmentioned ...excluded ... [not] honored ... added pain ... confusion ... grief ... needless pain ... reject[ed] ... not granted ... pain ... cannot fully heal”

    That’s right. In Epstein’s almost 1,200 words, the gist of it all is this: he and his kin are the real victims here—not those who died, miraculously survived, or their friends and family.

    I’ve taken less than 600 to get to my point, which I can make in just two words:

    “Oh Waaaaa!”

    April 27, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • The real Tom

      And your 600 were superfluous. Why did you bother to write them? You're not better than those you criticize.

      April 27, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • lol??

      The Wegodians have a father in washington. Our fadder who art in washington, hollow is thy name. Thy kingdom came. thy campaign continues.

      April 28, 2013 at 6:16 am |
  6. John

    Atheists believe our lives are a product of blind chance. Evolution taught people that some races were less evolved. (Promoted racism just as much as the churches in Christendom do). Darwin wrote that the less evolved s@v@ge races would be exterminated and replaced by the more civilized races. It's time for much of the science community, especially biologist to get out of the 1800's and move forward. Darwinian evolution is a myth

    April 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Science

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


      April 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      John, If you think modern biologists are going around quoting Darwin I have to guess you haven't even finished high school let alone taken any college biology. Biologists cite Darwin about as often as psychologists cite Freud...and usually that's just to give historic context. Take a few years of classes and get back to us.

      April 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Chad

      Indeed, Darwin's notion of gradualism was debunked years ago, put to death by Gould and Eldgridge with "Punctuated Equilibrium" in 1972.

      From the late 1800's thru 1972 the notion of "Darwinian gradualism" held the world captive. The notion that purely random mutation preserved in the population by natural selection would produce a gradual change, which over time would create the complexity of life we now observe (phyletic gradualism).
      Then, in 1972 the publication of "Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism" by Stephen Gould (atheist) finally forced the scientific world to accept the reality that the fossil record does not show the gradual change over time that Darwin proposed.

      Instead, what the community was forced to acknowledge, is that the fossil record reflects stasis and rapid change.
      This supports the theistic evolutionist claim that God used natural processes to develop life on this earth, as pure chance can never explain the grand paroxysm of necessarily interrelated mutations that are required to occur in this extremely short time period to accomplish this extraordinarily rapid change.

      April 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Science

      Chad/rachael is a TROLL

      April 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Science

      Chad is trolling away aye !


      April 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  7. faith

    dodo, only u get to curse?

    You're an . The only people that worshiped hitler are other Christians, you You know, the ones that goose-stepped with God is Great stamped on their belts. 12 million people died because of JUST LIKE YOU. Now go pound sand up your ass, you little sniveling piece of

    but dodo, i love you. r u breaking up with me?

    April 27, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Jay

      Hitler was trying to create a perfect race. He got his philosophy from Darwinian evolution and some of his power from the Catholic Church.

      April 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  8. Benjamind NetYahoo

    Faith is for the weak and the stupid.

    April 27, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Haime52

      So, ... when you flip a light switch, you doubt the light will come on? Every time?

      April 27, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "So, ... when you flip a light switch, you doubt the light will come on? Every time?"
      If it did in the past, there is very little reason to suspect it won't again. If it doesn't, there are a few very easy steps to find out why.

      At the core of every religion is a belief in a god for which there is no shred of evidence. Belief in those gods is entirely equal to beliefs in the Tooth fairy or the Easter Bunny. The only reason so many sheeple still believe the nonsense is because of childhood indoctrination. Children are allowed, even encouraged, to shed their beliefs in other imaginary beings, just not the gods their parents believe in.

      May 6, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  9. faith

    well horousie was born every day so of coarst he was born on xmas

    April 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Benjamind NetYahoo

      Speakie English?

      April 27, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  10. Jay

    Evolution is based on faith not science

    April 26, 2013 at 6:40 am |
    • Science

      Hey Jay...................... based on facts !

      Surprising New Function for Small RNAs in Evolution.........time to pound sand maybe ?

      Apr. 19, 2013 — An international research team in including Christian Schlötterer and Alistair McGregor of the Vetmeduni Vienna has discovered a completely new mechanism by which evolution can change the appearance of an organism. The researchers found that the number of hairs on flies' legs varies according to the level of activity of a so-called microRNA.


      April 26, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Religion is based on pure crap mythology not reality.

      April 26, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • The real Tom

      Nonsense, Jay. There is plenty of science that backs up evolution. No "faith" needed. Nothing requiring "belief."

      Too bad you can't say that about religion.

      April 26, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • Benjamind NetYahoo

      Conversely, there is not a shred of scientific evidence for the claims of Christianity, and in fact the evidence indicates that much of the bible is complete bunk, invented by ignorant humans.

      From young earth to mustard trees to the spread of disease, the bible is totally wrong. Only very ignorant, stupid simpletons believe what's in it.

      April 27, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • lol??

      Science WINS Science WINS!!

      An "all ya can eat" meal of Asian carp.

      April 27, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  11. faith

    God is the biggest mass murderer of all time, but Christians say it's okay because he made us his children, so he get's to decide to abort or not. I guess Christians are Pro-choice...
    William Demuth
    You are a dinosaur, soon to be extinct
    Other Gods may rise from the foolishness of man, but old Jeebus is toast.

    William Demuth
    Your Ex-Pope is as guilty as if he had butt humped them himself.
    He is complicit and should be hung for it.
    William Demuth
    How pathetic.
    Like a pedophille asking a child for help finding a missing puppy, these degenerates will say or do anything to endear themselves to children
    Within 50 years this church will have been decimated.
    If you give money to the RCC you support child buggery, and you WILL be held accountable.

    April 26, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • faith

      You're an azz hole. The only people that worshiped hitler are other Christians, you stoopid shck. You know, the ones that goose-stepped with "God is Great" stamped on their belts. 12 million people died because of tick heads JUST LIKE YOU. Now go pound sand up your grass, you little sniveling piece of pie.

      April 26, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • biggles

      Report afrika and these other demons.

      April 26, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Science

      Fait can you read this ?

      Surprising New Function for Small RNAs in Evolution.........time to pound sand maybe ?

      Apr. 19, 2013 — An international research team in including Christian Schlötterer and Alistair McGregor of the Vetmeduni Vienna has discovered a completely new mechanism by which evolution can change the appearance of an organism. The researchers found that the number of hairs on flies' legs varies according to the level of activity of a so-called microRNA.


      April 26, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Science

      Oops .........faith and biggles

      April 26, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • faith

      science fiction,

      i don't read your posts. i skim the first few words. i look next at the crap u hope will convince others god isn;t, laugh and move on.
      child, ain't one scientific fact that refutes god's existence.

      hitler said god exists. therefore, god exists.

      April 27, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Science

      Cheech & Chong Read the Bible

      Cheech and Chong read the bible for all to hear.


      April 27, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • faith

      i confess. akirmonious had me fooled. until her meltdown, i thought she was a sweetie.

      stupid. a pain in the butt. a stalker. brainless. foolish. pathetic. an agitator. a lying phony. an alias of Dorothy's seeking trouble. a demented doofus, but sweet, u no?

      then, when she couldn't get her way, she cracked and murdie popped out. i was shocked and deeply saddened.

      April 27, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • faith

      scientism, u read critiques of dodo's fair tales? want a good laugh? look at her mature responses

      April 27, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Benjamind NetYahoo

      faith, you are acting well yourself by calling others "azz hole"s. You typical Christian hypocrite.

      April 27, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith

      Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle...............the fire pit of hell ?

      Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


      April 27, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  12. Lou

    As history shows(Soviet union, Cambodia), we should fear the unhinged atheists before the radical muslim orginazations. Dangerous people.

    April 26, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Ben

      The "unhinged" ones who happen to be dictators, yes, just as we should be wary of potential religious dictators, or the takeover of Christian Shiria Law.

      April 26, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      It was the mustaches that drove them to genocide, not their atheism.

      April 26, 2013 at 9:13 am |
  13. Jay

    Atheists believe in myths like a frog can turn into a prince and pigs can fly

    April 25, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • Richard Cranium


      April 25, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • ME II

      I think you misunderstood.

      April 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jay


      April 25, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Ben

      How about believing in talking donkeys? (Numbers 22:28)

      April 26, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Jay

      @Ben, how about a bellowing lung turned into an avian lung

      April 26, 2013 at 6:45 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      The only defense a Christian has: lying.

      I find it rather heartening that believers have to lie about their position and the atheists' in order to FEEL as if they have "scored a point." I encourage such behavior, too.

      Christians, listen up! Look, there's no way you can win with factual claims or actual evidence, so please lie and distort whatever whenever. It's the only option at your disposal and it lets others know that it's the only method on the table. Thanks!

      April 27, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • lol??

      win, moby? what's the prize?

      April 27, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • lol??

      Science wins an "all ya can eat" meal of Asian carp.

      April 27, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  14. biggles

    Well golly sarge, I figured some Nazi god hating freak would have manned up and told old sambo the preevert to pound sand, before being asked to do so.

    Them Nazi god hating fools delight to point out where xtards fall short of the fsm's commandments. One night think

    April 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Akira

      You're an asshole. The only people that worshiped hitler are other Christians, you stupid shit. You know, the ones that goose-stepped with "God is Great" stamped on their belts. 12 million people died because of dickheads JUST LIKE YOU. Now go pound sand up your ass, you little sniveling piece of shit.

      April 25, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Akira

      I'm tired of pandering to you and faith. It is about time you got a dose of what you deserve from me. You and faith have been nothing but churlish little shitheads and I've had it with you two. I will now heap all the contempt I can upon you, since this is all you deserve, and all that you can dish out.
      Fuck off, the both of you; if you even ARE two separate people, that is.

      What extraordinarily myopic people you are.

      April 25, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I think you may need a vacation, maybe a spa day, or a few drinks with friends and maybe some live music...we've got to get that blood pressure under control.
      I agree that this (maybe these) trolls are pointless, and immature, but you have let them in your head.
      I chose a name that was already an insult because they used to like trashing or even stealing my name, but you seem to have been targeted quite a bit lately...it just shows your comments get them angry so keep it up.

      There are some of us who enjoy your posts, so don't let the trolls distract you too much.

      April 25, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Akira

      Richard Cranium...nah, I don't *need* any of that (although they all sound fantastic; I'm meeting up with friends later for the drinks/live music portion of your suggestions; how did you KNOW?), my inner calm has been restored.

      Thanks for the advice, though; it is appreciated.

      And don't worry; I pop off maybe once every few months, then it's back to the same old Akira...usually I type but never submit. I let those go through. Once in a while it feels just plain old *good* to give someone a piece of your mind, yanno?

      April 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  15. Akira

    I’m not Dippy. Address your remarks to him.
    I’m not akrimonious. My name is Akira.”

    "if u ain’t akrimonious or dippity doo dah, don’t answer posts addressed to them, DINGBAT"

    I've had about enough of your name calling, faith. Would you like me to start calling you names?
    I can.
    Is this the example you think God and Jesus wants you to follow?
    Does it give you pleasure to call me names? Do you derive religious satisfaction doing so?

    April 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
  16. faith

    "Faith does not believe in God or Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
    Wow. Did I ever have her pegged wrong."

    well, i think an apology is in order

    April 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • faith

      i once met a girl in a bar and we discussed Chiang Kai-Shek. she was a brilliant, beautiful young university student who gave her life to god after reading about him

      April 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • faith

      korn head dog welsh can tell u a thing or 3 about jesus christ

      April 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Akira

      "April 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm
      u think faith is a believer? lol

      faith says:
      April 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm
      they think faithie b a believer! lol"

      I'm reacting to this. You wrote it.

      April 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Akira

      And it's John "The Head" Welch. He isn't the head of Korn.

      Have yourself a lovely day, faith.

      April 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  17. I'm just glad the bible never contradicts itself...

    Kings 2:11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
    John 3:13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.

    Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.
    Exodus 32:14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith . . . not by works.
    James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? . . . Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
    Revelation 22:12 Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.

    Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.
    Matthew 6:1 Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.

    John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
    Matthew 10:34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    Genesis 32:30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and my life was preserved.”
    Exodus 33:11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.
    John 1:18 No one has ever seen God.

    John 5:31 If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.
    John 8:14 Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid.

    April 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • faith

      me too

      April 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • .

      Faith is too dumb to know what she's agreeing to! LOL!

      April 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  18. Colin

    The following is an actual conversation I once had in a bar in Shanghai over the famous Little Red Book of Communist China (whilst trying-unsuccessfully I might add-to woo the young lady back to my hotel room).
    The following is paraphrased, but captures the gist of it:
    Me. So you believe Mao Zedong was a wise and noble leader?
    Her. Yes.
    Me. Why do you believe Mao Zedong was a wise and noble leader?
    Her. Because it is written in the Little Red Book.
    Me. And why do you believe the Little Red Book?
    Her. Because it was written by Mao Zedong, a wise and noble leader.
    As an ardent fan of the famed Sino-Communist leader, this “logic” was satisfactory to her. I doubt she would have been so gratuitously accepting of a similar turn of logic concerning Adam Smith or another free market economist.
    Indistinguishable is the Christian reasoning for believing in the divinity of Jesus Christ and the Judeo-Christian god:
    Mr. A. Do you believe in god?
    Mr. B. Yes
    Mr. A. Why do you believe in god?
    Mr. B. Because it is written in the Bible.
    Mr. A. Why do you believe the Bible?
    Mr. B. Because the Bible is the word of god.
    As obvious and visible a case of circular reasoning that this is, it is essentially satisfactory to millions of Christians. They bootstrap their way into a belief that reciprocates by giving them so much artificial comfort about being immortal that they dare not question the circular and flawed route that took them there.
    Moreover, they rely wholly and solely on the Bible for their god. It is not as though they also have other sources, such as “The Bible II” or “The Insider’s Bible – A Carpenter’s Tale” to also rely on. It is the ultimate sole sourcing.
    The sheer inanity of this reasoning and people's sheep like acceptance of it is a constant source of awe to me. Indeed, the only mystery to me in the entire Judeo-Christian-Islam tradition is why we so blindly, unquestioningly and self-righteously yoke ourselves to a series of Bronze Age myths as some kind of universal truth...

    April 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • faith


      April 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  19. John

    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by
    other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people
    evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical
    claim that we were created from dirt.
    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah,
    but you don`t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered
    all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic
    groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods
    sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit
    impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back
    to life and then ascended into the sky.
    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically
    established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing
    dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that
    Earth is a few generations old.
    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those
    who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity
    in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant"
    and "loving."
    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to
    convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues"
    may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers.
    You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the
    remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the
    Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian...

    April 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • faith

      dodo regurgitates the same stupid garbage day after day

      get a life, honey. i'm sure there's something they could find 4 u

      April 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • dodo?

      faith regurgitates the same stupid garbage day after day

      get a life, honey. i'm sure there's something they could find 4 u

      And learn english.

      April 24, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  20. Terry

    Beware anyone telling you that they have a personal relationship with an invisible person and attempts to get you to start talking to yourself and giving yourself (and your possessions) over to said invisible person, who never seems to be the one picking up the check...

    April 24, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Sarah

      It all begins with indoctrination from a very early age, then learning to read and being handed a book that you are told was written by God. "Who is God" you asked with humble sincerity and then were given the "talk" all Christians have with their children when they reach a certain age. They sat you down and said "Well, you know about Santa right, and how he comes every year and brings you presents when youv'e been good? Well, Santa has a father and his name is God, and he is the one who knows everything you do and made everything we see and even what we can't see like the whole universe" You then ask "How did he make everything? How old is he? Where does he live?" And the answers come quickly "He just did honey, with magic, and he's very very old, but we can't put an age to him since he didn't have a birth day since he's always existed and he lives everywhere and no where" Your young impressionable brain then does a somersault, creates a file for "Things I believe but I don't know why" and you begin to read "God's words" and get through a few pages till you are to bored and tired and then you don't pick it up for another 20 years till you are going through a depressing divorce and think "Maybe God can help" You start up where you left off 20 years ago and then get bored after a few pages once again, then decide to head to a Church where a guy tell's you everything is alright as long as you keep coming back and dropping some cash in the plate. You are now...A Christian...

      April 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • faith

      blah blah blah aME OLE SAME OLE

      satan, is that all u got? gettin old

      April 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Sarah

      It doesn't take much to get under the skin of a Christian...

      April 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      How can you know anything about what Christians are talking about, when you are dead in your spirit and can not know God and life that there is in Him? You have no clue, yet you speak as if you have some kind of authority in understanding of what's all about. Do you think the number of those who agree with you is making what you say more true.
      On the contrary, a person who knows God and has been born of His Spirit knows what he/she has been shown, and believes because he knows, and nothing will shake him because he knows. As Jesus said to Peter so HE says it to His own today: flesh and blood did not revealed it to you, but My Father which is in heaven.
      But that is something you don'\t know anything about.
      Not that you couldn't, but it is because the pride and sin that's in your heart that has shut out His voice and you are blind in this world , knowing not where you're going and what your destination is. That's just the way it is. You can fight it, deny it, ridicule what's said here, but your lost soul KNOWS that those are the words of truth.... And you'll will have to face them, one day./ How sad and tragic to live your life and then find out you've lived it amiss! But that's the risk of having the gift of Free Will.
      God didn't make us puppets. If He did, then you would hate Him for that also...But this way, He sifts out the good seed from the bad...... you think you could understand at least this concept?

      April 24, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
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About this blog

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