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When Christians become a 'hated minority'
Evangelical Christians say they are the new victims of intolerance - they're persecuted for condemning homosexuality.
May 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When Christians become a 'hated minority'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When Peter Sprigg speaks publicly about his opposition to homosexuality, something odd often happens.

During his speeches, people raise their hands to challenge his assertions that the Bible condemns homosexuality, but no Christians speak out to defend him.

“But after it is over, they will come over to talk to me and whisper in my ear, ‘I agree with everything you said,’" says Sprigg, a spokesman for The Family Research Council, a powerful, conservative Christian lobbying group.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.

As proof, Sprigg points to the backlash that ESPN commentator Chris Broussard sparked recently. Broussard was called a bigot and a purveyor of hate speech when he said an NBA player who had come out as gay was living in “open rebellion to God.” Broussard said the player, Jason Collins, was “living in unrepentant sin” because the Bible condemns homosexuality.

“In the current culture, it takes more courage for someone like Chris Broussard to speak out than for someone like Jason Collins to come out,” says Sprigg, a former pastor. “The media will hail someone who comes out of the closet as gay, but someone who simply expresses their personal religious views about homosexual conduct is attacked.”

When is disagreement hate?

Bryan Litfin, a theology professor at Moody Bible Institute in Illinois, says Christians should be able to publicly say that God designed sex to take place within a marriage between a man and a woman.

“That isn’t so outrageous,” Litfin says. “Nobody is expressing hate toward homosexuals by saying that. Since when is disagreement the same as hate?”

But quoting the Bible doesn't inoculate anyone from becoming a bigot or hater, some scholars say. There's a point at which a Christian's opposition to homosexuality can become bigotry, and even hate speech, they say.

Crossing such a line has happened many times in history.

A literal reading of the Bible was used to justify all sorts of hatred: slavery, the subjugation of women and anti-Semitism, scholars and pastors say.

“Truly damaging speech cannot be excused just because it expresses genuine religious belief,” says Mark D. Jordan, author of “Recruiting Young Love: How Christians Talk about Homosexuality.”

“Some religious beliefs, sincerely held, are detestable. They cannot be spoken without disrupting social peace,” says Jordan, a professor at the John Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it designated the Family Research Council, the group that Sprigg represents, as a hate group - a characterization the group stridently rejects.

Mark Potok,  a center spokesman, says there’s no shared definition of what constitutes hate speech.

“There is no legal meaning. It’s just a phrase,” Potok says. “Hate speech is in the ear of the beholder.”

'One of the most hated minorities?'

Intolerance may be difficult to define, but some evangelicals say they have become victims of intolerance because of their reverence for the Bible.

The conservative media culture is filled with stories about evangelicals being labeled as “extremists” for their belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Their sense of persecution goes beyond their stance on homosexuality. There are stories circulating of evangelical students being suspended for opposing homosexuality, a teacher fired for giving a Bible to a curious student, and the rise of anti-Christian bigotry.

A blogger at The American Dream asked in one essay:

“Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America?”

The reluctance of evangelicals to speak out against homosexuality is often cited as proof they are being forced into the closet.

Joe Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?" He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that homosexuality is a sin for fear of being called haters.

“Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how homosexual conduct destroys lives,” Carter wrote.

Some Christians fear that opposing homosexuality could cause them to lose their jobs and “haunt them forever,” Carter says.

“It’s easier to just go along,” says Carter, who is also author of “How to Argue Like Jesus.” “You don’t want to be lumped in with the bigots. That’s a powerful word."

Edward Johnson, a communication professor at Campbell University in North Carolina, says we are now living in a "postmodern" era where everything is relative and there is no universally accepted truth. It's an environment in which anyone who says "this is right" and "that is wrong" is labeled intolerant, he says.

There was a time when a person could publicly say homosexuality was wrong and people could consider the statement without anger, he says. Today, people have reverted to an intellectual tribalism where they are only willing to consider the perspective of their own tribe.

“They are incapable of comprehending that someone may have a view different than theirs,” Johnson says. “For them anyone who dares to question the dogma of the tribe can only be doing so out of hatred.”

Sprigg, from the Family Research Council, says his condemnation of homosexual conduct does not spring from intolerance but a desire to protect gays from harmful conduct, he says.

Sprigg, a senior fellow for policy studies at the council, wrote in a council pamphlet that homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are straight men. He also wrote that gay men are also afflicted with a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness as well.

Sprigg says he does not believe homosexuality is a choice and that “personal testimonies" and "clinical experience” show that some people “can and do change from gay to straight.”

“Maybe we need to do a better job of showing that we are motivated by Christian love,” Sprigg says. “Love is wanting the best for someone, and acting to bring that about.”

'That's a lie'

Potok, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, has little use for the love Sprigg talks about.

He calls it hatred, and his voice rose in anger when he talked about the claims by Sprigg and other Christian groups that gay men are more predisposed to molest children and that homosexual behavior is inherently harmful.

He says the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t designate the Family Research Group a hate group because they view homosexuality as a sin or oppose same-sex marriage, Potok says. There are plenty of Christian groups who hold those beliefs but are not hate groups, he says.

A group becomes a hate group when it attacks and maligns an entire class of people for their “immutable characteristics,” Potok says. The Family Research Council spreads known falsehoods about gays and lesbians, he says, such as the contention that gay men are predisposed to abuse children.

“That’s a lie,” Potok says. “These guys are engaging in straight-up defamation of a very large group of people. There are not many things much worse than you can say in America about somebody than they are a child molester.”

Potok scoffed at Spriggs’ claim that the council and other evangelical anti-gay groups are victims of intolerance.

“That’s whining on the part of people who spend their days and nights attacking gay people and then some people criticize them and they don’t like it,” he says. “That’s pathetic. It reminds me of slave owners complaining that people are saying ugly things about them.”

What the Bible says

What about the popular evangelical claim, “We don’t hate the sinner, just the sin” – is that seen as intolerance or hate speech when it comes to homosexuality?

There are those who say you can’t hate the sin and love the sinner because being gay or lesbian is defined by one’s sexual behavior; it’s who someone is.

“Most people who identify as gay and lesbian would say that this is not an action I’m choosing to do; this is who I am,” says Timothy Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book.”

Beal, a religion professor at Case Western University in Ohio, says it should be difficult for any Christian to unequivocally declare that the Bible opposes homosexuality because the Bible doesn’t take a single position on the topic. It's an assertion that many scholars and mainline Protestant pastors would agree with.

Some people cite Old Testament scriptures as condemning homosexuality, such as  Leviticus 18:22 - “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” But other Christians counter by saying they are not bound by the Old Testament.

There are those who also cite New Testament scriptures like Romans 1:26-27 - “… Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men. …”

Beal, however, says Jesus said little about sex. And the Apostle Paul, who wrote Romans, was probably referring to male prostitution and men having sexual relations with boys, a practice in the Greco-Roman world.

“Paul does not understand genetics and sexual orientation the way we understand it now as something much more than a choice,” says Beal.

Some evangelicals say Christians can’t change their view of biblical truth just because times change. But some scholars reply:

Sure you can. Christians do it all the time.

Denying a woman’s ability to preach in church was justified by scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:11-12 - “… I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” But many churches have abandoned that teaching - and some scholars say a woman preached the first Christian sermon, when Mary Magdalene proclaimed that Jesus had risen.

Slaveholders in 19th century America justified slavery through a literal reading of the Bible, quoting Titus 2:9-10 – “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything. …” And anti-Semitism was justified by the claims that Jews killed Jesus, such as Matthew 27: 25-26 - “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

Litfin, from Moody Bible Institute, acknowledged that the Bible once sanctioned slavery, but he said that practice was a “cultural expression” that changed over time. Evangelicals who oppose same-sex marriage by citing the Bible are on more solid ground, he says.

“Marriage is a universal and timeless institution that God set up for maximum human flourishing. He set it up in the first book of the Bible with the story of Adam and Eve. It is consistent throughout the whole Bible. … Marriage is in a different category than those cultural things.”

Public jousts over the Bible's stance on homosexuality rarely change people’s minds. What changes is when people get to know gay and lesbian people as friends and hear their story, says Beal, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Bible.”

“If you open up to that other person genuinely, you basically come to a point where you have to sacrifice them to your ideology or crack open your ideology to make a hospitable place for them,” Beal says.

One Christian pastor who is gay says the uproar over the ESPN commentator’s comments can actually be good,  because debates help settle moral disputes.

“What appears to us as antiquated and prejudicial now was once a disputed issue that required debate,” says the Rev. Richard McCarty, a minister in the United Church of Christ and a religious studies professor at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania.

Until the debate over homosexuality is settled - if it ever is - there may be plenty of evangelical Christians who feel as if they are now being forced to stay in the closet.

Carter, the evangelical blogger, says he foresees a day when any church that preaches against homosexuality will be marginalized. Just as many churches now accept divorce, they will accept sexual practices once considered sinful.

“It’s getting to the point,” he says, “where churches are not going to say that any sexual activity is wrong.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Culture wars • Protest • Sex • Sexuality • Sports

soundoff (10,982 Responses)
  1. lol??

    "Truth Prevails 🙂
    Time for some christian persecution: "Tim Lambesis, lead singer ............."
    Time for a moment of silence for the alpha males and their mothers who were so easily deceived.
    Ted Bundy (stop conception in its tracks, nobody aborts my baby)
    John W Gacy (new style of punk luv)
    Drew Petersen (still lookin' for an obedient equal that isn't just in it for the dough)

    May 8, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      The point is that this is a christard who is deserving of persecution. Just one more to add to the 75% of christards within the prison population in the USA.

      May 8, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Science

      Hey lol??............to simple for you to understand maybe......................the g factor is NOT the fairy in the sky...............

      it is the greed factor !

      May 8, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Science

      lol??..................the g factor is with US everyday.............depending on how humans react determines the path oour lives

      will take...............maybe aye ?

      May 8, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • ..

      Why is it that lol?? Can never make sense? Why, Lord?? Why?? It is as if lol??'s brain was a victim of her beloved serial killers.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  2. WASP

    TO ALL CHRISTIANS:
    please find me where in the bible the following is:

    1) when did god create angels? bible passage please.
    2) when did lucifer attempt to over-throw god?
    3) where did lucifer and the angels learn EVIL, seeing god made everything perfect before the "fall of man?"

    May 8, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • WASP

      words from LOL??:
      " Who made me yer.............."
      two guesses what he said next and one guess is already gone. 🙂
      i hate racists.

      May 8, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Larry

      Here's another good question about the devil: Who witnessed Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness? It isn't told as a story that Jesus related to his followers himself; it's told from the viewpoint of a third-person witness. Considering that the passages make it clear that Jesus was alone out there, who could have possibly been around to witness this encounter?

      May 8, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      I must not be the only one to "Report Abuse" on lol??'s horribly offensive racist comment, because it has been removed.

      This idiot deserves all the of our scorn – and exemplifies the point of this article.

      Every time I see this idiot post something I think about their handle – I imagine him/her walking down the street laughing to themselves for no reason at all. Ninety percent of the time what they post makes absolutely no sense – the internal conversation going on in that head must be intense and scary.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Thinker

      Col 1:15-16 "15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him." – says all things visible and invisible were created by Jesus after God created Jesus. So Christ made the Angels. However, this also means that Jesus is not the Father but a literal son in that he was the firstborn of all creation, not having always existed as the Father.

      Rev 12: 7-9 "7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."

      May 8, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "where did lucifer and the angels learn EVIL" Supposedly, Lucifer and God fell out over salvation. Lucifer thinks God is too soft, and that humans deserve only punishment. God needs to take some management courses and get a better HR director.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Rupert

      @Bible Clown©
      According to the book of Enoch, the origin of evil is the fallen angels, who came on the earth to pork human women.

      May 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Science

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

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      Pope's book on Jesus challenges Christmas traditions

      By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

      updated 10:56 AM EST, Fri November 23, 2012

      http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/europe/vatican-pope-jesus-book/index.html?iref=allsearch

      May 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  3. WASP

    CHAD:
    @WASP "humans have the greatest tool of any animal ever in the history of the world.......................we can imagine. we can see a house in our minds and then figure out how to build that house to make it real. that is what gave us the ability to understand how to turn wood in spears, bows and arrows, etc."

    =>the fascinating thing about you, is that you utterly fail to realize that your belief system claims that what you are saying is utter nonsense.
    Atheists believe that all there is, is the physical universe and the laws which govern it.

    thats IT, that's what you think. All there is, is the material universe and the laws that govern it. That IS the atheist belief system. Under that belief system, how can one possibly explain free will, imagination?
    impossible, cant be done.

    Do you have any idea at all how irrational your post is?

    “Do people have free will? If we have free will, where in the evolutionary tree did it develop? Do blue-green algae or bacteria have free will, or is their behavior automatic and within the realm of scientific law? Is it only multicelled organisms that have free will, or only mammals? We might think that a chimpanzee is exercising free will when it chooses to chomp on a banana, or a cat when it rips up your sofa, but what about the roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans—a simple creature made of only 959 cells? It probably never thinks, “That was damn tasty bacteria I got to dine on back there,” yet it too has a definite preference in food and will either settle for an unattractive meal or go foraging for something better, depending on recent experience. Is that the exercise of free will?

    Though we feel that we can choose what we do, our understanding of the molecular basis of biology shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the planets. Recent experiments in neuroscience support the view that it is our physical brain, following the known laws of science, that determines our actions, and not some agency that exists outside those laws.For example, a study of patients undergoing awake brain surgery found that by electrically stimulating the appropriate regions of the brain, one could create in the patient the desire to move the hand, arm, or foot, or to move the lips and talk. It is hard to imagine how free will can operate if our behavior is determined by physical law, so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion.” — Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design
    May 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm "

    1)"your belief system claims that what you are saying is utter nonsense."
    REPLY: no it makes complete sense. "what you see is what you get" as the saying goes. we see a physical universe governed by the laws of physics, no gods anywhere to be found ever.
    belief in fairies or angels makes no logical sense because they don't exsist.
    2)"Under that belief system, how can one possibly explain free will, imagination?
    impossible, cant be done."
    REPLY: FREE WILL as we have been through this a hundred times before is the ability of my fist to impact your face with your god either:
    -not capable of stopping me, thus he isn't all powerful.
    -not all knowing because he didn't see my fist impacting your face before hand.
    -not all present because he wasn't there to stop me.
    or the other possiblity, it was part of god's grand design, god's plan, god's will that i punch you seeing you were hit.
    that's free will, if something more powerful than you has a plan,design, or will over you thus you can't choose what you do in your life because it already gave the yah or nah as far as what course your life will take.
    3) " It probably never thinks."
    REPLY: yeah that's what atheists say about theists everyday, you folks just don't think and you don't want to. cognitive thought is solely the realm of a higher evolved, more complex animals domain. bacterium and other lessor evolved creatures lack the neural capablitiy to be able to learn and "imagine" how to change their enviroment to suit their own desires. birds can build nests, yet they are born with that ability the same as they are born to fly. now you show me a bird that designs and builds........let's say a refrigeration unit to store food for it's young so it doesn't need to hunt as much, then i will say that bird or any other animal for that reason has thought even close to ours, and free will. otherwise it's only doing what it's genetics programmed it to do.
    4) "and not some agency that exists outside those laws.For example, a study of patients undergoing awake brain surgery found that by electrically stimulating the appropriate regions of the brain,"
    REPLY: EXACTLY. if you read that carefully you will see that the study patients were doing EXACTLY as the laws of physics determines not some GOD aka "outside force". our brains are an evolutionary advancement, our minds are unique and different from person to person. what i think,feel,want,need is completely different from what your mind percieves as "reality" because it's from our own perspective.

    i already know that i typed all this just for you to avoid responding, just as you have done so many times over again; however if i can reach even one person with the use of logic so they can see that they aren't some play thing of a god, but their own person. then it's time well spent.

    May 8, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Science

      Mornirng WASP.............agree...........added info for chad/rachael.........and I am sh-itty at typing !

      Update :

      See for yourself below.................The fairy in the sky did NOT create us !!!

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2aOriginoflife.shtml

      Monkey Math: Baboons Show Brain's Ability to Understand Numbers ..........E = mc2..............(U-Pb) numbers do not lie !

      May 3, 2013 — Opposing thumbs, expressive faces, complex social systems: it's hard to miss the similarities between apes and humans. Now a new study with a troop of zoo baboons and lots of peanuts shows that a less obvious trait – the ability to understand numbers – also is shared by humans and their primate cousins.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130503132719.htm

      OR.........take a ride on a DINO.

      Fossil records are better to read than the nasty bible..................no god(s) required !

      Oldest? New 'Bone-Head' Dinosaur Hints at Higher Diversity of Small Dinosaurs

      May 7, 2013 — Scientists have named a new species of bone-headed dinosaur (pachycephalosaur) from Alberta, Canada. Acrotholus audeti (Ack-RHO-tho-LUS) was identified from both recently discovered and historically collected fossils. Approximately six feet long and weighing about 40 kilograms in life, the newly identified plant-eating dinosaur represents the oldest bone-headed dinosaur in North America, and possibly the world.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507124800.htm

      The Science Guy takes on creationism

      CNN|Added on November 24, 2012

      May 8, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Science

      Source ...........for Bill Nyes above.

      http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2012/11/24/intv-nye-creationism.cnn

      May 8, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • WASP

      @science: mourning, another lovely raining day here in good ol' brooklyn. goingt o be a long day at work, maybe chad or topher will come out to play so i can pass time explaining the same old logic to them over and over again. XD

      May 8, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • Science

      WASP............not even afternoon yet.............and Mr Bill Deacon and his RCC church........... stuck in the Jell-o below.

      Maybe someday he will get IT.

      Peace

      May 8, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • >

      @wasp

      You have refuted your own statement. Now there is no response necessary

      May 9, 2013 at 1:29 am |
  4. Bible Clown©

    Anyway, here are the reasons why Christians are often hated and should learn to keep their mouths shut, right here in the blog comments. Josh is a big sack of woe and trouble looking for someone to hurt with his words, and he's not the only one around.

    May 8, 2013 at 7:53 am |
  5. The real Tom

    Not too many pages back, "Josh" made a statement that atheism is harmful to society because it espouses "anything goes" behavior.

    I am curious: if that is so, wouldn't people notice that atheists were "immoral"? That they would allow "anything" as far as behavior goes? Wouldn't an atheist be obvious to everyone? Why is it then, that not a single person in my real life knows that I'm a non-believer? Not family, not friends, not colleagues? How can that be if I'm so clearly "immoral"?

    You guys are funny.

    May 8, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Josh doesn't seem to care or comprehend much. It would appear that like a great many others, he only knows what is spewed from the pulpit and has never done any research.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • Science

      Tom .............the term moral majority...............is the funny one no?

      May 8, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I think josh is just the latest incarnation of Lie4him...it does not respond to me , must have the same list as lie4him,

      May 8, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Ken

      They have verses like

      To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. Psalm 14:1

      that state that we must be corrupt, just like they have verses saying that gays and blacks must be awful people so, to them, it has to be true no matter what their eyes tell them. Ignoring evidence is typical.

      May 8, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Did tom just admit that she lies to everyone she knows?

      Truthfully, while I find it plausible that no one knows you are a closet atheist because of your deceit, what cannot be dismissed is the surely absence of spirit in your life. Any religiously oriented person you encounter would recognize that after a few minutes of conversation with you. They are probably just too polite to mention it.

      So in essence, you are only fooling yourself.

      May 8, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Science

      Hey Bill from a catholic family.................once the chondrites came out this sh-it hit the fan !!!

      May 8, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Science

      By the way Bill what does term black sheep mean to the RCC ?

      May 8, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Science

      By the way Bill I know what it means I am fvcking Irirsh.............pound sand Bill !

      May 8, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • JMEF

      BD Here we have again a des,picable criminal wr8tch trying to take the condescending high ground to judge another which is against the teachings of his religion. I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. Gandhi. Bill you should be condemned to spend the rest of your life in the confessional and that would probably not be enough to get you off of the h0ok.

      May 8, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Bill Deacon

      What a stupid and insulting comment. You really think your blind azzumptions are better than Tom's first hand azzesment on the spot? What a ridiculous notion.

      I keep my atheism to myself with some people and I'm out with others, but I can verify that no christian has ever "caught on" to the fact that I was not a beleiver. In fact, when I first lost my faith, I didn't tell several friends because I knew that they would take it quite hard. When I did finally tell them (within a few months) they were shocked and heartbroken and could nto believe that I had lost my faith ten or twenty conversations ago. All those times when I would just be talking as a friend with love and care, they would express sentiments like, "You have so much of god's peace... " or "I wish I had as much heavenly joy as you show..." and "We need to talk/get together more often, I feel the presence of god when I'm around you.." And inwardly I was cringing because I knew that they were so wrong and yet it verified the reality that they indeed could not tell who was "of god" and who wasn't.

      In other words, you're dead wrong, bucko. I could fool you any day of the week into thinking I was the most spiritual and devout christian you'd met in the past year. Typical christian arrogance is your goal, I guess.

      May 8, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Bill: You lie every time you post that a god exists.

      May 8, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • Science

      By the way Bill I have a BLAST with the chondrutes............when they come knocking on my door...................

      A fruity pair of politicians even called the cops on me !

      May 8, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • Jesus

      I keep my atheism to myself so as to avoid having a large number of my clients decide to discriminate based on my religious belief and use another travel agent. If this is considered a lie of omission then so be it, but I hardly think everyone is supposed to shout their personal ideology from the rooftops. In fact, If everyone kept their personal ethos to themselves we would have a much happier planet.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Science

      MR Bill Deacon and ALL members of the military.............and police forces around the planet should be EDUCATED

      on this important ISSUE !

      For the safety of humanity !!!

      May 8, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Science

      The rub Bill is I felt like I had to educate the cops when they called my house from an unlisted number !!!

      May 8, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Science

      Free speech helps to educate the masses..............POLITICIANS TOO !

      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.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130408165955.htm

      The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !..................Creationists...........ID believers and christians !

      Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

      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.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm

      Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!

      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic
      convictions.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

      May 8, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Bill
      Your delusions have runneth over this morning.
      Maybe she doesn't want to be ostricised by her christian friends. It can be like coming out as a gay person..so much stigma attached that she just wants to let sleeping dogs lie.
      It is bad that the christians make you feel you must lie to them to be accepted which is often the case.

      No on can just tell that you are an atheist just by looking or talking bill, that is just silly.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • sam stone

      wow, what a condescending comment from billy boy

      May 8, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      " Any religiously oriented person you encounter would recognize that after a few minutes of conversation with you. "

      When I was in school, a lot of my friends were in Campus Crusade for Christ. Yes, "Josh," I get your name. I hung around with them for years. They knew I didn't believe in it, but I helped them setup their coffeehouse and played guitars with them and took turns driving to remote places with them, because they were my friends. And no one thinks I lack "spirituality," you dry little stick. You don't have to be Christian to burn with passion or strive to create.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • ....

      "TOM"

      MAYBE BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T SEEN YOU FOR THREE YEARS SINCE YOU'VE KEPT YOURSELF LOCKED IN YOUR BASEMENT FOR THREE YEARS AND DEDICATED YOURSELF TO POSTING COMMENTS ON THE CNN BELIEF BLOG THAT WILL NEVER MAKE A DIFFERENCE OR MEAN ANYTHING TO ANYONE, EVER. THAT IS WHY NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YOUR SECRET. PLUS NO ONE CARES ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IN DELAWARE. MOST OF THE TIME WE FORGET IT'S EVEN A STATE.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Seem then that the premise of the article is wrong. It's not Christians who lack the courage of their convictions. It's atheists.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Thinker

      @.... Just an FYI your caps lock is stuck I think...

      May 8, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Bill

      So just more blind azzertions, then? No substance, ever? Nothing intelligent from you to ever even consider? How boring.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Oh for the day that all atheists have the courage to admit who they are to friends and society at large, whatever the cost to them personally, for the sake of their ideal and the advancement of the cause.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Thinker

      "Seem then that the premise of the article is wrong. It's not Christians who lack the courage of their convictions. It's atheists." Says the guy with the gun.

      Yes, we often lack the courage of our convictions when threatened with bodily harm as atheists have been for centuries if they ever dare pop their heads up and become noticed. We now live in an age where atheists can enjoy their anonymity and are allowed to speak without fear of violence, so you see more and more of them coming out online. It's like many people believe they don't "know anyone who is gay" which is far from true, they just don't know who they know are gay. Same with atheists. You likely know many of them, they just have been hiding in plain sight for fear of retaliation by the Christian gestapo.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Oh for the day when christians will lie and act the azzhole for their belief and god and with every comment make atheists oh so grateful that they are not of that belief and do not suffer the ill effects of that horrible brain virus.

      Oh, wait... that day is toady! Yay!

      Keep on lying for Jesus, Billy boy.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • JMEF

      Very amusing, BD, and here I thought you were a dry humorless sanctimonious troll. Courage of your convictions, that is funny. You haven't got a clue what your convictions even are until a bunch of dirty old men in Rome tell you what they are.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      " It's not Christians who lack the courage of their convictions. It's atheists." Why, because we don't want to be lynched by people like you? If you had twenty men to back you up, you'd burn down my house and kill me "for Jesus." Christians murder people all the time; why, we just found three of them hold young women as concubines as the Bible instructs. Get back to me when a mob comes to your house because of your faith.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      By comparison one of my best friends is an"out" atheists. Fine gentleman, good father, devoted husband, excellent employee and a true friend of mine. He's just not religious and no one would take him as such. He doesn't camouflage it. he doesn't say the right things at the right times. He doesn't lie by omission. I respect him for who and what he is, not for what he leads me to believe he is by deceit. I have the same disdain for an atheist who would lead someone to believe they are religious as I do a religious person who hides that truth from others for the sake of acceptance or fear of loss.

      Revile me if you like but, as I've said before, I'd rather be hated for what I am than loved for what I am not.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • LinCA

      @Bill Deacon

      You said, "Seem then that the premise of the article is wrong. It's not Christians who lack the courage of their convictions. It's atheists."
      It has nothing to do with courage It's more about self preservation, and picking our battles. We realize that the thoroughly deluded often don't look to kindly on those that don't share, or even debunk their delusions. It is far easier to keep the peace by not openly acknowledging to have shed the infantile beliefs, than to risk repercussions in a society that harbors hostility against us.

      It is far easier for a sane person to act insane than the other way around. It is therefor far easier for an atheist to hide that fact, and even pretend to be a believer, than the other way around.

      We don't risk offending any imaginary friends if we don't openly share our beliefs. There is no built-in punishment associated with atheism, for staying in the closet. If it weren't for religious intrusions in our lives, most of us couldn't care less what others believe. If it weren't for the dimwitted believers, I probably wouldn't ever talk about their delusions.

      I don't advertise that I'm an atheist, but if asked about I will answer. It's similar to speaking Klingon. I don't acknowledge that I don't speak it unless I'm asked about it. Klingon, just like religion, is irrelevant.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Nice try clown.. Can you post a link showing the Castro brothers involvement with Christianity? Maybe you meant "car dealers" Everyone knows car dealers are notorious kidnappers.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Hey Lin, You know that little white spot on the top of chicken shiit? That's chicken shiit too.

      If atheism were true, an honest person would be forced to genuinely invoke it in their everyday lives in the same way Christians do and have done for generations despite persecution. It points to the fallacy of your "non-belief system". You are a coward.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • JMEF

      BD Do you hide from your friend that you are a self confessed murderer, that you understand why the RCC covered up the pedophile priest scandal and that you are a wretched criminal, all those things that you are, why not? Thank you, I did not need your permission to revile you, I have done so for quite some time. But you turn the other cheek do you not, Bill, you good Christian you

      May 8, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Funny that Christians will risk being ostracized for their beliefs. I get called a pedophile daily for being a Catholic. Funny that gaay people will risk physical injury and social pariah ism for coming out. But an atheists? No way! Too dangerous to be an open atheist. But the real irony is then to turn around and accuse Christians of a persecution complex.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Funny thing about sin and redemption JMEF, which you may not know. Once the offense is reconciled, it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives. I'm able to use the places I've fallen as vantage points to see a better way. I think of it as learning from experience. I'm open about my failings just as I'm open about the faith that has brought me to a better life. That's what a person who can't openly be who they are, regardless of the consequences, robs themselves of.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • JMEF

      BD You are not a Christian, you may think so but your words and deeds prove that you claim to be a Christian but fail miserably. I think you would have made a great Grand Inquisitor or would just love to bring back the tradition so you could go out and torture the heretics. The tell tale evil is there for all to see, heart of darkness, words of silk.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • JMEF

      BD No Bill, you use your faith as a crutch, you would not have started with that condescending comment to Tom, very un-Christian. You hide behind and within your faith as the criminals in the RCC have done for centuries, you words betray you.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Polder

      Bill Deacon just lacks the courage to take responsibility for his own acts. Pretty typical religious type, RCC's being among the worst.

      You know what you need to grow, Bill.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      Perhaps you are on the right track and more atheists need to come "out".
      Although, what exactly do atheist come out with, without "offending" believers?

      Christian: "Let's remember the victims of the latest tragedy in our prayers."
      Atheist: "I don't believe in gods or prayer."
      Christian: (offended) "Don't disrespect my beliefs."

      Atheists simply lack a belief, are they to supposed to go around saying "He likely isn't Risen.", but that's offensive. "God probably doesn't exist". They tried that on buses and got called "strident".

      Atheists support secular approaches, but that does not require a disclaimer of "atheism" since secular approaches can be debated with secular alternatives. The only time religion comes up is when someone claims it to be "God's will" or similar reference. Of course, at that point any response by atheists of "No it's not.", or "How do you know?, or even "I don't believe" will likely be viewed as "strident" or "aggressive" atheism.

      Should we wear a label? RDF does have "scarlet As" for just such a purpose, but are we required to? (http://store.richarddawkins.net/products/scarlet-letter-a-t-shirt-white)

      Just curious about your thoughts on this.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Science

      Billy ........ interesting point is IT JUST happened last summer ............the elections where when Bill ?

      May 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Bill is one stupid idiot.

      He's arguing that:

      1. Atheists lack courage because they are persecuted
      2. Believers are persecuted by nonbelievers

      Fvck, dude, pick an argument and stick with it. Moron.

      May 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • ME II

      @Cpt. Obvious,
      Even more interesting is, if Atheists lack courage, then who exactly is persecuting the Christians?

      May 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • JMEF

      MEII
      Bill, reminds me of someone like Marcial Maciel. one of John-Paul II favorites. Holier than thou on the outside but a manic criminal on the inside and relies on confession and redemption to justify his existence. Bill is probably not nearly as bad but the FACT that Bill could UNDERSTAND why the church had to cover up the scandals is enough for me to tell he is not Christian. He is part of the religious insti-tution that is criminal at its core, claiming to be Christian.

      May 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill Deacon,

      Oh for the day that all atheists have the courage to admit who they are to friends and society at large, whatever the cost to them personally, for the sake of their ideal and the advancement of the cause.

      What "cause" Bill? I'm don't have any cause to champion. If people want to believe in God – good for them, just don't try to force believe on me, and in turn I won't try to force unbelief on them.

      If it comes up I am happy to tell anyone who asks me whether or not I believe in God. Most people are shocked when I tell them and the atheist word alarms them. They have no issues with agnostic however and most don't readily absorb the notion of agnostic atheist.

      But why would I wear it on my sleeve if everywhere I go I went, I encountered Christians telling me that I must repent and accept Jesus as my personal lord and saviour or I will burn in the eternal lake of sulphur?

      So ironically for a country where freedom of and from religion is enshrined in the first enumerated right, atheism might be the last taboo in the United States – even more than h0mosëxuality. Thanks to the brilliance of the founders of this country we are (generally) not discriminated against. So why get in anyone's grill over it?

      May 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • mama k

      Whoever the caps lock person is – think about how the votes are divided in the U.S. Senate. Now what were you saying about Delware?

      May 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • mama k

      (Delaware)

      May 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • mama k

      I agree not a GOPer, the wall of separation has been frequently under attack, but it holds its own pretty well. And when it needs help defending itself, it gets support from whoever the complement is to who is attacking it, and that complement is usually comprised of theists and atheists.

      May 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • JMEF

      Would seem that Bill nipped down to the confessional for a little comfort, hope he gets some humility while he is at it.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Jerold

      @ BD – "If atheism were true, an honest person would be forced to genuinely invoke it in their everyday lives in the same way Christians do and have done for generations despite persecution."

      Right, just like all those Christian parades they have in Iran, that proves it's honest. Right BD? Right? Or maybe when you live under an effective theocracy that has threatened death to any who blaspheme their God and there is nothing more blasphemous than telling someone their God doesn't exist you Christians shut your fvcking mouths as well so it doesn't get seperated from the rest of your body just like we atheists. I don't believe in your God, I do believe you believe your God is so real that you would kill for him so that makes me hesitant to inform you about how I feel in person.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Bill Deacon

      You said, "You know that little white spot on the top of chicken shiit? That's chicken shiit too."
      I know that religion is bullshit, through and through. Why do you feel the need to reaffirm that to me?

      You said, "If atheism were true, an honest person would be forced to genuinely invoke it in their everyday lives in the same way Christians do and have done for generations despite persecution."
      Holy fucking shit! You are a dimwit, aren't you? You are completely clueless about atheism, aren't you? Even after hanging around on the Belief Blog for as long as you have, you don't seem to have caught a clue.

      There is nothing to "invoke" when it comes to atheism. Atheism isn't a book club like your religion is. We don't gather every week to go through our single entry reading list (but if we did, we'd probably actually read it). We don't do silly chants. We don't talk to imaginary friends. We don't dress up in pointy hats.

      But maybe it's easier to understand if we look at creatures that you are atheistic about, shall we? I'm going out on a limb here and assume that you've outgrown most (but clearly not all) silly infantile beliefs in mythical creatures.

      Do you genuinely invoke your disbelief in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny in your everyday life? Do you proclaim your disbelief in Pink Unicorns? Do you genuinely invoke every bullshit fairy tale in your everyday life?

      If you don't, why would you expect anyone else to? If you do, you're probably beyond help.

      You said, "It points to the fallacy of your "non-belief system"."
      If it isn't clear to you that your "logic" is flawed, you are denser than I thought. Your silly superstitions are in no way different from beliefs in other mythical creatures. They deserve, and get, the same consideration in the everyday life of reasonable people.

      If religious people could keep their dumb-fuck delusions to themselves, and not impose them on the rational part of society, there would be no reason whatsoever to ever discuss one's atheism.

      You said, "You are a coward."
      Do you really think that means anything coming from a dimwit believer, like you? And besides, you're wrong. I don't advocate my disbelief, at least in part, because I know how insecure most believers are. It would hurt their feelings if I were to debunk their silly beliefs every chance I got.

      The rules are pretty simple. I'm willing to ignore anyone's silly beliefs as long as they keep them to themselves. If you (or any other believer) wishes to discuss your/their religion or my atheism, I'll oblige. If you do open the discussion, you better be prepared to get your silly beliefs exposed for what they are. If a close friend or a family member strays into that mine field, I'll ask them, as a courtesy, if they are certain that they want to open that can of worms. Since you're neither a close friend or a family member, you don't qualify. You are assumed to be aware of the risks of exposing your infantile beliefs on the internet.

      May 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Looks like poor Dilly is still bruised from that beating his ass got concerning gay marriage. Poor thing surely does bear a grudge, doesn't he?

      I don't discuss religion with people at parties, at work, during casual conversations, Bill. Unlike you, apparently, I was taught that to discuss religion or politics in polite company was rude. I don't bring up my beliefs or lack thereof. When someone says he or she is "blessed" or "thankful to god", I don't tell them they are wrong to believe. I don't think they are wrong, if they truly believe, as long as they don't attempt to tell me that I must accept their beliefs or views. And since most of those with whom I'm well acquainted are not complete azzholes like you, Dill, they don't do that, either. They accept that people differ in their beliefs and they don't press me to discuss mine.

      So you can tell yourself whatever makes you feel better about having lost the debate to me, honey. It won't bother me at all. In fact, I think it's pretty funny that you couldn't answer the question I asked. If Josh is right and atheists have an "anything goes" mentality, wouldn't everyone be able to see a vast difference between believers and nonbelievers?

      Guess you can't answer, can you?

      May 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "Did tom just admit that she lies to everyone she knows?"

      You really have trouble with reading comprehension, don't you, Dill Doe? I don't "lie" to anyone; I don't lie by commission OR omission. I simply don't find it necessary to discuss religion in polite company. I have a number of friends who are believers, and I'm quite close to them. Why would we discuss god? We're busy discussing our work, our families, our projects, our homes, our marriages, our hobbies, our joys and sorrows. Nobody in my social circle would be so crass as to say, "Let's say a prayer about it."

      I don't need to lie to anyone because people I know have better manners than you do.

      May 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • The real Tom

      TO MR. ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME: If you had any sense, you'd see that I posted the OP above at 7:40 am. I left for work not long after, and have a relatively short commute. I didn't arrive at home until 6. I was at work until 5:30. Now, count up those hours, honey-bun.

      Just because you spend every waking moment here doesn't mean I do. And at least, I have the guts to use the same screen name every time, unlike you, little putz.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • JMEF

      The Real Tom
      Took up the gauntlet while you were absent, BD does not see the difference about being a member of the RCC and being a disciple of jesus, got to think he is in it for the money or acceptance. I know you do not need defending can stand up to the BD's of the world on your own but a little help doesn't hurt.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Thanks. Dill Doe, as usual, completely missed the point of my question. Josh stated that atheism would cause the downfall of society because of the "anything goes mentality' atheists have. He said atheists were immoral and a lot of other things. My question was this: if atheists are SO reprehensible, wouldn't they be EASILY recognized by everyone as being morally bankrupt? Wouldn't their actions make their lack of belief OBVIOUS? Dill is so dim that he couldn't quite grasp the question, but he's so mad at me that he can't see straight, so it's not surprising.

      He still hasn't managed to admit that having kids isn't a requirement of marriage and has been unable to cite any "benefit" straight couples make to society that gay couples cannot.

      He apparently thinks everyone forgot about that little dust-up.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  6. Truth Prevails :-)

    Time for some christian persecution: "Tim Lambesis, lead singer of the Grammy-nominated, Christian heavy metal band As I Lay Dying, has been arrested for allegedly trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife, officials said Tuesday." (http://www.today.com/entertainment/christian-heavy-metal-star-tim-lambesis-arrested-over-alleged-murder-1C9839042)

    Rightful persecution...gotta wonder if his imaginary friend will forgive him and accept his sorry ass in the end.

    May 8, 2013 at 6:54 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Innocent until proven guilty.

      Never was a christian.

      God works in mysterious ways.

      Atheist entrapment.

      Which excuse will the dead jew zombie cult members start with?

      May 8, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      I'll give them the innocent until proven guilty part, just like Jodi Arias is innocent until proven guilty or Andrea Yates was innocent until proven guilty.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      I've been noticing a trend lately of death-metal deaths. People from bands with names like DIE YOUNG are dying young, and guys from bands with names like SUICIDE are killing themselves. I guess they thought they were going to live forever. Maybe god had a plan for them?

      May 8, 2013 at 7:51 am |
  7. LOL means...

    LUCIFER OUR LORD

    May 8, 2013 at 6:24 am |
    • or...

      Licking Oily Limburger.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • or...

      Laying On Liquid.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  8. saggyroy

    According to Pew research in 2010, the number of Christians in U.S. is about 79.5%. Does that sound like a 'minority'? It sounds like a typical big bully reaction when their smaller victims fight back.

    May 8, 2013 at 6:06 am |
    • Ken

      When guys like this say "Christians" they usually just mean very Conservative ones like themselves. They really do look down on liberal and even moderate Christians. The ones who would actually go out of their way to protest things like gay marriage and abortion rights probably are a slight minority in the total Christian population. There are millions and millions of Americans who will label themselves as "Christian" on a survey, but who hardly ever go to church, or otherwise participate in the faith. There are probably enough "lapsed" Catholics out there to populate a good-sized state. It may not seem like it, but the really hateful Christians are far fewer than the supposed 80%, which is a good thing.

      May 8, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      "the really hateful Christians are far fewer than the supposed 80%" But that 80% always votes with the most hateful and far-left Christians, so they are all the same in the end. They give money to hate groups who vote against religious freedom and human rights. And so people hate them back.

      May 8, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  9. Science

    The truth is............ the sign in picture above is ....................WRONG !!!

    The fairy in the sky DID NOT create US !!!

    Evolution did !

    May 8, 2013 at 5:40 am |
    • saggyroy

      Silly man....it's turtles all the way down doncha know!

      May 8, 2013 at 6:08 am |
    • Science

      And they swam all the way to the island from the ark !

      May 8, 2013 at 6:15 am |
    • Bible Clown©

      ".it's turtles all the way down" Four elephants standing on a turtle's back. Look it up. True story.

      May 8, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  10. Science

    Fossil records are better to read than the nasty bible..................no god(s) required !!!

    Oldest? New 'Bone-Head' Dinosaur Hints at Higher Diversity of Small Dinosaurs

    May 7, 2013 — Scientists have named a new species of bone-headed dinosaur (pachycephalosaur) from Alberta, Canada. Acrotholus audeti (Ack-RHO-tho-LUS) was identified from both recently discovered and historically collected fossils. Approximately six feet long and weighing about 40 kilograms in life, the newly identified plant-eating dinosaur represents the oldest bone-headed dinosaur in North America, and possibly the world.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507124800.htm

    May 8, 2013 at 5:33 am |
  11. God

    If you think gays are bad cause Bible, that's fine. You have the freedom to believe that. Just don't legislate your beliefs against the will of others, especially when they really don't affect you in any way. Otherwise, you're going Taliban style. This isn't a theocracy. If you think gays are bad cause gross, then stop thinking about it. Seriously. When your friend introduces their new significant other to you, do you generally picture them graphically banging? So stop doing it with gays, and you'll be fine. There, just solved the whole issue. Now we can work on preventing any worthless gun control laws, now that we understand how important it is to not legislate beliefs against the will of others, especially when the laws don't prevent any problems and the lifestyle doesn't really affect you in any way. And now we can work on tightening our immigration laws, now that the people who live here legally are one big happy family.

    May 8, 2013 at 3:00 am |
    • Ironicus

      Yeah, one big happy family. Whee.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:05 am |
  12. Ur a bigot

    so francis collins, galileo, newton, mendel, etc. are not intelligent? go do some research before you open your mouth.

    May 8, 2013 at 2:35 am |
    • Ironicus

      You seem mad. U mad?

      May 8, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • Science

      hey Ur a bigot...............Google this article ............this page is one of the links in number 2 spot.

      https://www.zotero.org/colleengreene/items/5XRFKX8N

      http://www.unitedway.org/

      May 26, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  13. Ur a bigot

    so you're saying, athy/faith/whatever, that people who have faith in a deity are not intelligent? way to be prejudice yourself. your logic clearly echoes nazi views on considering jews the lower race. nice job.

    May 8, 2013 at 2:32 am |
    • Ironicus

      The word should be "perceptive", not "intelligent". Some people don't proofread what they write or think about what they want to communicate. But then who really bothers to read this crap anyway? Besides the usual ppl, I mean.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:04 am |
  14. Ur a bigot

    athy not to mention you're only expressing your opinion. to say that "nothing you said could possibly convince any reasonably intelligent person that there is a deity", automatically is a claim for all-knowledge; which clearly being a human such as yourself with a finite mind does not have. get over yourself.

    May 8, 2013 at 2:31 am |
    • Ken

      Humans with finite minds could just as easily be deluded into thinking that there is a God, right? Saying that we're not smart enough as a species actually works against your argument.

      May 8, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  15. Rachel is Chad

    Chad is Rachel.

    May 8, 2013 at 2:08 am |
  16. faith

    Athy
    Nothing you said could possibly convince any reasonably intelligent person that there is a deity. You're grasping at straws.

    amen

    May 8, 2013 at 2:08 am |
  17. faith

    "Horrible and embarassing
    I feel so sorry for my friends that I grew up with that are/were nice Christians. Seeing the monstrosities commited by churches worldwide gives me the horrors to no end. It's an embarassment and a travesty that bears no resemblence to the world I grew up in. What the hell happened to religion it's like the dark ages all over again."

    i know what u mean. and i agree.

    a few years back, christians were terrific people (ok so they weren't too bright. no one is perfect!) but, they were almost always kind, generous, polite, soft spoken conservative red neck republican judgmental rich cheating shallow bigoted racist wife-swapping drug abusing selfish hypocrites. what happened?

    May 8, 2013 at 1:59 am |
  18. I've never understood this

    I don't understand why people's religion is affecting their decision in politics. I've had more religions than I have had phone numbers and no matter what one I had my political views did not change. Infact I think my politics were on a couple of occasions why I changed up my religions.

    May 8, 2013 at 1:54 am |
  19. faith

    skytag
    "Under that belief system, how can one possibly explain free will, imagination? impossible, cant be done."

    Sorry, but this is not even remotely a valid argument. First, you have no evidence supporting your premise that we have free will. It's entirely possible that our choices are solely the result of our brains processing large amounts of data gathered over our lifetimes and that process is unique in each of us because each of our brains is unique. However, this all happens in such as way as to give the appearance of free will, in much the same way as a computer can appear to be intelligent.

    As for imagination, that could easily be explained by our brains combining information and ideas in various ways until something meaningful and new it produced.

    The fundamental flaw in your argument, and it's a biggie, is the premise that we must always have an explanation for something. If you embrace that notion and we have no scientific explanation then you claim God is responsible. In point of fact, if we don't know what causes something, all you can say for sure is that we don't know what causes it.

    Over the course of human history there have been many cases where people attributed something to God, spirits, the devil, or some such supernatural power, only to have that explanation debunked when science found the real explanation. For example, people used to believe evil spirits caused diseases. We now know they are caused by bacteria and viruses. Mental illness has a scientific explanation now as well.

    There's no reason to believe imagination is any different. It could very well have a scientific explanation we simply haven't discovered yet. Free will may be nothing more than the appearance of free will.

    good stuff

    i made a brain once. bit hit, too. was on the verge of making a killing and some fundie extremists wanted to worship me!

    don't misunderstand, i think the nazi god-hating fascists who control what's posted at this dump are charming, lovely folks; sincerely interested in not censoring any one

    report anvil, sambo and every nazi who has made violent threats against us

    May 8, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • faith

      "The fundamental flaw in your argument, and it's a biggie, is the premise that we must always have an explanation for something."

      who wrote the new testament?

      May 8, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • faith

      "Over the course of human history there have been many cases where people attributed something to God, spirits, the devil, or some such supernatural power, only to have that explanation debunked when science found the real explanation."

      explanations are not important and god uses bacteria and anything else he wants to use, to accomplish his will.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • HotAirAce

      A bunch of men. Or is this a tricky theist question?

      May 8, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • faith

      It's entirely possible that our choices are solely the result of our brains processing large amounts of data gathered over our lifetimes and that process is unique in each of us because each of our brains is unique. However, this all happens in such as way as to give the appearance of free will, in much the same way as a computer can appear to be intelligent.

      it is entirely possible u r clueless, too

      May 8, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • faith

      As for imagination, that could easily be explained by our brains combining information and ideas in various ways until something meaningful and new it produced.

      true.

      where do brains, human brains, come from?

      i saw several at joe's bar on the corner in seattle but not one since then.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • faith

      "There's no reason to believe imagination is any different. It could very well have a scientific explanation we simply haven't discovered yet. Free will may be nothing more than the appearance of free will."

      r u sure?

      "no reason" really? expound on that.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:31 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Atheist brains – the highly successful product of millions of years of evolution.

      Theist brains – atheist brains with an as yet unidentified flaw.

      You are welcome!

      May 8, 2013 at 1:32 am |
    • Athy

      faith, you're a great testimonial for atheism. Keep up the good work.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • faith

      skytag

      May 8, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • faith

      "Athy
      faith, you're a great testimonial for atheism. Keep up the good work."

      thanks

      May 8, 2013 at 1:37 am |
  20. Selyl

    Maybe it'll do some of the more extreme Christians some good to be put in the closet by those they prosecute. Granted I don't think anyone should but I always find that you learn the best lessons from putting on someone elses shoes. As for being the "hated minority" I doubt that will ever happen. We'll probably just keep phasing out most of the obsolete scripture as time goes on and eventually they'll run out of things to protest about.

    May 8, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • Ken

      Scratch any of the bigots we've had in our history, the racists, the male chauvinists, the anti-Semites, and others, and you'll find that most of them were Christians, Conservative ones at that. Gays are just one of their few remaining targets where they can express their assumed superiority.

      May 8, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • Athy

      After gays are accepted, what is their next target? Having no target left, I'm thinking they'll just go back to wearing out their knees in church.

      May 8, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Ken

      They'll probably have to go back to fighting amongst themselves. Catholics vs Evangelicals part deux.

      May 8, 2013 at 8:26 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.