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May 22nd, 2013
06:20 PM ET

This Oklahoma atheist isn't thanking the Lord

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='JRavitzCNN']

(CNN) – Behind her were ruins, a tangled mess where structures once stood. Cradled in her arms, the mother’s 19-month-old son played with a snatched microphone, unfazed by the chaos swirling around him. And in front of Rebecca Vitsmun stood CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who – after asking her about the decision that saved her and her son's lives – had one more question:

“I guess you got to thank the Lord, right?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she mumbled, smiling and looking down.

“Do you thank the Lord for that split-second decision?” he continued.

“I, I, I,” the 30-year-old stay-at-home mom stammered before adding, “I’m actually an atheist.”

She laughed, Blitzer laughed, and the moment passed seamlessly on live TV. Except it also became a clip heard across the Internet and social media – one that pointed to a reality about faith in America that exists even where, and when, people might least expect it.

Vitsmun, who chronicled her decision to flee her house with her son on CNN iReport, is one of 13 million atheists or agnostics in America, according to a 2012 report by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life.

See Rebecca Vitsmun discuss her decision with CNN's Wolf Blitzer

While only 2.4% of Americans are atheists, they fit into a broader category that is on the rise in the United States.

Nearly 20% of adults – and a third of those under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated, the Pew report found.

This group, which has grown by roughly 5% in five years, is often referred to as the “nones.” It is a term that extends beyond atheists, who believe there is no God, and agnostics, who believe it’s impossible to prove or disprove God’s existence. It includes a greater proportion of people who see themselves as nothing in particular, which means they might be secular, spiritual or believers – but simply don’t identify with an organized religion, said Greg Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center

“When we ask people questions about their religious identity, when we ask them about their religious beliefs, there are relatively few who are atheists. But I’m speaking in percentage terms,” Smith said. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of them around. And they’re certainly all over.”

Oklahoma included.

In fact, when the Pew Research Center last drilled down to uncover the religious landscape of affiliations on a state level five years ago, 12% of Oklahomans were religiously unaffiliated. And just as the numbers ticked up nationally since then, it stands to reason that they did the same in Oklahoma.

We tried to reach Vitsmun by phone Wednesday but were unable to connect.

Her friend Waylon Flinn, however, shed some light on who she is. She and her husband, who Flinn said is also an atheist, aren’t the sorts who advertise their beliefs or throw them in people’s faces. When she agreed to go on camera, it wasn’t for that platform; she didn’t even see the Lord question coming.

But that she responded to Blitzer the way she did is no surprise to Flinn, who opened his home in nearby Norman to Vitsmun’s family after theirs was destroyed.

“She handled it in her style, which is very honest and true to herself,” he said.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • iReport • News media

soundoff (2,486 Responses)
  1. Apple Bush

    What is truly wonderful is that Christians are poised for their big reveal. They have endured such pain and suffering, the conspiracy will soon shift the balance towards atheism and common sense once and for all. I am getting goose bumps!

    May 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  2. Reality

    Only for the new members

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/God's messenger CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    May 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  3. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Anyone else notice that "ISLAM FOUNDATION...," lionlylamb and lol?? all use the same random spillage of words? They also all make about the same amount of sense... which is to say, none.

    May 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      They are all trolls, likely the same one...they never have anything intelligent to add so just ignore them.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  4. Chad

    @Chad "After the Bible, the next best preserved ancient work is Homer's Iliad, with 650 copies originating about 1,000 years after the original copy."
    @Ted Jones "Do you believe everything in Homer's Illiad?"

    @Chad "there are always two stages,
    1) Do we know what was written originally.
    2) Is what was written initially true or not.

    Regarding #1, we do know what was written originally without a doubt. That is what makes the bible unique among ancient historical docs. When comparing the number of extant manuscripts and the proximity to the original manuscript, the evidence we have for the bible is simply unparalleled.
    That is just a fact, it cannot be rationally challenged.

    Regarding #2: That is where you get into the analysis of the text itself, the genre it is, and the amount of corroborating evidence.

    The historicity of the Iliad has been debated for centuries, bottom line we dont know for sure as there is not much corroborating evidence.

    The bible is a different story, we have overwhelming corroborating evidence and we garner new archaeological evidence every year. Put another way, everything we have found agrees with it, and nothing we have found disputes it.

    May 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad
      "The bible is a different story, we have overwhelming corroborating evidence and we garner new archaeological evidence every year. Put another way, everything we have found agrees with it, and nothing we have found disputes it."

      That is absolutely not true as you are told daily. The Big Bang and evolution dispute it. There is no evidence for Lot, Noah, Jonah, resurrection, etc. A few places and people existed – the rest is incorrect or unverifiable but most likely not accurate.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • ME II

      ,i> Thus, within twenty years of Muhammad’s death, the Quran was committed to written form. That text became the model from which copies were made and promulgated throughout the urban centers of the Muslim world, and other versions are believed to have been destroyed.[43][34][44][45] The present form of the Quran text is accepted by Muslim scholars to be the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.[35][36][46]
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quran)

      May 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • ME II

      Thus, within twenty years of Muhammad’s death, the Quran was committed to written form. That text became the model from which copies were made and promulgated throughout the urban centers of the Muslim world, and other versions are believed to have been destroyed.[43][34][44][45] The present form of the Quran text is accepted by Muslim scholars to be the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.[35][36][46]
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quran)

      May 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • DavidTX

      Besides the fact that you are a dishonest liar, lets pick apart this one sentence:

      "Put another way, everything we have found agrees with it, and nothing we have found disputes it."

      Geological evidence does not support a global flood. Fossil evidence does not support a young earth as the bible seems to indicate (though I know you make your excuses for this Chad). No evidence ever found of a any supernatural events described in the bible. No tomb, no miracles, no Adam, no flood, nothing. The bible does contain actual places and names of people who we have found evidence of existing, just like in the Iliad.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      " Put another way, everything we have found agrees with it, and nothing we have found disputes it."

      As has been said before there are many things that "dispute it", such as the order and timing of "creation", world wide floods, Joshua's stopped sun, Jesus' nativity, etc.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Science

      Come on Chad ?

      How Oblivion Should Have Ended

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rf5QwVAAxg

      May 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Chad, how are you doing with getting the Smithsonian to agree with you, and to get then to retract their official published statement that most clearly says The Babble is NOT a historical document? I would have thought that a man of your knowledge and education would have taken care of this by now, with just a brief conversation required to correct the world renowned experts at the Smithsonian. Have you tried praying to your alleged god for assistance? What is simple for you should be trivial for your alleged god.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @DavidTX "Geological evidence does not support a global flood. Fossil evidence does not support a young earth as the bible seems to indicate (though I know you make your excuses for this Chad).
      No evidence ever found of a any supernatural events described in the bible. No tomb, no miracles, no Adam, no flood, nothing. The bible does contain actual places and names of people who we have found evidence of existing, just like in the Iliad."

      @Chad "actually there is support for both world wide (Bruce Masse) and localized flood (Robert Ballard) in both biblical exegesis and geology.
      Supposed "young earth" interpretations of the bible are just one, a solid exegetical basis exists for old earth (see day-age and gap).
      Historians are overwhelmingly in support of the authenticity of the death, burial and finding of the empty tomb by some of Jesus' women followers.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Chad

      Smithsonian
      @Smithsonian “The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient.
      @Chad “most atheists believe that the bible starts with “2,500 years ago, God created the universe”
      But, it doesn’t. There is simply NO WHERE in the bible where the age of the earth is stated.
      NO WHERE.
      Many erroneously come to that conclusion by adding up all the “begats”, however this is a gross misuse of genealogies, which are NOT provided for that purpose and routinely omit many generations that aren’t relevant to that which is being discussed.

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically”
      @Chad “again, simply not true. The bible chronicles over 2000 years of history, all of which can be checked, and NONE of which has ever been proved incorrect.

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible.”
      @Chad “utter speculation, other than your personal opinon, what data do you cite to support it?

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).”
      @Chad “Very true, the bible was not intended to be a “history of the world”, it contains accurate descriptions of relevant historical interactions between God and humanity.

      ==========
      @Smithsonian “It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy.”
      @Chad “complete and utter nonsense. Thousands of years of recorded history, none of which has ever been disproved, and note, the years 2500—30AD are all years for which we have some archeological evidence.
      No historical fact has ever been disproved.
      None.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad
      "@Chad "actually there is support for both world wide (Bruce Masse) and localized flood (Robert Ballard) in both biblical exegesis and geology.

      Historians are overwhelmingly in support of the authenticity of the death, burial and finding of the empty tomb by some of Jesus' women followers."

      The Ballard account is local to the Black Sea and the Masse account is about a huge tsunami. Neither match the biblical story of a world-wide flood. And neither verify the Noah myth in anyway.

      Historians do not overwhelmingly support of the authenticity of the tomb or resurrection. As Colin (I think) pointed out even the gospels that made it into the bible differ on detail.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • DavidTX

      "Historians are overwhelmingly in support of the authenticity of the death, burial and finding of the empty tomb by some of Jesus' women followers."

      I call bull shlt. I have read many different takes by historians on their belief in the historicity of Jesus. None I have read have ever claimed that there is hard evidence of an empty tomb and all recognize the area where the supposed tomb that was frequented by followers in the 3rd and 4th centuries could not have been the actual tomb and was likely a place of worship created several hundred years after his death. There is no consensus on any empty tomb by historians, not even the religious ones.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @santa "Historians do not overwhelmingly support of the authenticity of the tomb
      @Chad "incorrect
      "Gary Habermas surveyed 1400 scholars (both skeptics and non-skeptics), Of these scholars, approximately 75% favor one or more of these arguments for the empty tomb, while approximately 25% think that one or more arguments oppose it. Thus, while far from being unanimously held by critical scholars, it may surprise some that those who embrace the empty tomb as a historical fact still comprise a fairly strong majority(75%).

      http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005.htm "

      ====
      @santa "As Colin (I think) pointed out even the gospels that made it into the bible differ on detail."
      @Chad "refuted...

      @Colin "So, by your logic, there must have been 5 women at the tomb. John really scr.ewed up then when he says MAry MAgdelene went there alone. Nice try......."

      @Chad "oh.. bad boy.. tried to sneak that "alone" in there
      no
      John does NOT say she went there alone.
      Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance - John

      perhaps an example from real life will penetrate..but I doubt it..
      Boosting morale for a city in shock and mourning, President Obama went to Massachusetts General Hospital today to visit victims of the Boston

      now... did he go alone? It doesnt mention anyone else 😉

      May 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chad, Gary Habermas is not a credible historian; that's like quoting the ICR for evolution (Oh I forgot, you do)

      May 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Science

      Science

      Atheists Fight Gideon Bibles With Books By Christopher Hitchens And Richard Dawkins In Georgia State Parks

      http://www.ibtimes.com/atheists-fight-gideon-bibles-books-christopher-hitchens-richard-dawkins-georgia-state-parks-1271125

      RDFRS: Florida Teen Fights Back Against Bible ... – Richard

      http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/1/22/florida-teen-fights-back-against-bible-distribution-at-his-school#

      May 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |

      BYE BYE chadie !

      May 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Seems credible to me Santa. Do you have an opposition study by someone more credentialed?

      Habermas is Distinguished Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy and chairman of the department of philosophy and theology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. (1976) from Michigan State University in the area of History and Philosophy of Religion and an M.A. (1973) from the University of Detroit in Philosophical Theology. He has specialized in cataloging and communicating trends among scholars in the field of historical Jesus and New Testament studies. Habermas has authored or co-authored 35 books on religious and philosophical subjects, contributed to over 60 chapters or articles in books, and published over 100 articles and reviews in peer-reviewed journals.[1] He continues to do research, publish popular and academic papers, give debates, and he frequently appears on television.

      In 1985, Dr. Gary Habermas and Antony Flew debated the question of Jesus' resurrection as a literal and historical/physical event, before a crowd of 3000 people. Five philosophers and five professional debate judges judged the debate. Of the philosophers who judged on the content of the debate, four voted that Habermas won and the other was undecided. Of the debate judges who voted on debate technique, three voted for Habermas while two voted for Flew.[2] The debate was published as a book under the tiitle Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate (Harper & Row).

      May 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,

      This has been pointed out to you before, you are misquoting your own link.

      Your quote:
      "Gary Habermas surveyed 1400 scholars (both skeptics and non-skeptics),..."

      Your linked article:
      "Since 1975, more than 1400 scholarly publications on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus have appeared. "

      Is this intentional deception or are you just that ignoring the evidence?

      May 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Science

      In Santa we trust

      Agree 100 %...........about chad,ICR and evolution !

      Paece

      May 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • derp

      "Habermas is Distinguished Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy and chairman of the department of philosophy and theology at Liberty University in Lynchburg"

      Any credibility whatsoever, right out the window.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Ernest T Bass

      @ladychaderly.......... "The bible is a different story, we have overwhelming corroborating evidence and we garner new archaeological evidence every year. Put another way, everything we have found agrees with it, and nothing we have found disputes it."

      A total out and out laughable lie......

      May 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Chance

      @Ernest T Bass
      nice response with no substance behind it.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Ernest T Bass

      @Bill...... "Five philosophers and five professional debate judges judged the debate."

      No scientists? ...... there is absolutely no credible scientific evidence to support the resurrection of jesus...... none.

      You can publish papers, appear on TV, debate, author books until the cows come home, but where's the evidence? .... there is none..... resurrection, heaven, heII, god, satan, .. nothing more than mythology..... until you provide evidence, you're just farting in the wind..

      May 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ernest T Bass

      So where's your "substance"?...... where's the evidence?..... put your money where your mouth is.

      May 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "This has been pointed out to you before, you are misquoting your own link..."

      @Chad "actually, my link says 1400 scholars, but as it isnt clear from the survey if he was talking about 1400 publications from 1400 different authors, or 1400 publications by some smaller group of unique authors, I'll update it to say:

      "Gary Habermas surveyed 1400 publications (from both skeptics and non-skeptics), Of these scholars, approximately 75% favor one or more of these arguments for the empty tomb, while approximately 25% think that one or more arguments oppose it. Thus, while far from being unanimously held by critical scholars, it may surprise some that those who embrace the empty tomb as a historical fact still comprise a fairly strong majority(75%).

      http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005/J_Study_Historical_Jesus_3-2_2005.htm

      May 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      OK so what evidence does Habermas have of the tomb and resurrection? None – only the differing accounts in the gospels that made it into the bible. There are many articles debunking Habermas' claims.

      May 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      I'm sorry, but how can you claim something as a quote when it is not actually said in the article you are supposedly quoting?

      May 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Chad

      http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/garyhabermas.htm

      May 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2012/09/this-is-how-you-debate-resurrection.html
      http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2011/10/assessing-minimal-facts-approach-of.html
      http://aigbusted.blogspot.com/2009/08/debunking-jesus-resurrection.html
      http://metamagician3000.blogspot.com/2010/02/chris-hallquist-debunks-resurrection.html
      there are plenty more but I can't be bothered to c&p

      May 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Chance

      @Ernest T Bass
      You made the first assertion I just called you out on it, you bring it...

      May 23, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Chance

      @ Santa
      We can debate Resurrection all day; I can C&P articles you can C&P articles and around in circles we go. In the end it comes down to what we decide to believe. The Resurrection can't be refuted without a doubt; nor can it be established as fact to some skeptics without a doubt. Nothing is accomplished on by both sides of the debate.

      May 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/garyhabermas.htm"

      Yes, obviously you were quoting a different article. Fortunately, as your first link shows, the second one is incorrect and misrepresented Habermas.
      Please, update your copy/paste file appropriately.

      May 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II

      LOL

      May 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chance. The believer is the one making extraordinary claims and should provide extraordinary evidence. There is no evidence for a tomb or a resurrection so why believe it? You don't, for example, believe Joseph Smith because you feel the evidence is insufficient; you have no more evidence just a longer tradition. You wouldn't buy property or investments without due diligence; why is this different?

      May 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Archaelogical evidence and corroboration of historical events that coincide with those in the Bible, doesn't add any credence to the miraculous claims in the Bible's narrative. If one believes in magic, then it's not difficult to accept Moses parting the Red Sea, or Jesus pulling an endless string of fish out of his hat.

      I don't happen to believe in magic, spirits, demons, gods, goddesses, angels, or miracles. So I require considerably more solid evidence than "It must be true, because the Bible says it happened."

      May 23, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Chance

      @InSanta @EnjaySea
      I'm not saying that every story in the Bible is supported by historical evidence. Just like evolution there isn't a fossil for every stage from reptile to bird in fact there isn't any transitional fossils but plenty of people still believe the outcome. It's the same for the Bible, we have some historical data. As far as extraordinary claims and evidence it's up to the individual in the end and honestly if you don't take my word or any other believers word we don't loose sleep over it or have doubts in our belief. Just the fact that there is something rather than nothing is extraordinary to most but again regardless of what you think or say I still believe with or with out you.

      May 24, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Your description of evolution is accurate. You don't need all of the pieces to see the whole. If I encountered an old stump and an old branch in the woods, I can still be sure that there was a tree there, even if I don't see all the branches.

      Evolution however is driven by natural laws that we've already observed, namely genetics, mutation, and natural selection. Miracles appear to break the laws of nature. For that reason I require more compelling evidence before I accept those portions of the Bible to be credible.

      Some of us are just more skeptical than others.

      May 24, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Chance

      @EnjaySea
      well said, but just as we can deduce from a stump that it was once a tree we can dig deeper and ask why is there trees. We can even ask why is there anything. We can explain things by natural means till we get to the point of origin or beginning. I have trouble believing a finite universe can be it's own cause. For me it is rational to believe in the infinite creator than be oblivious to the problem of origin.

      May 24, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Yes of course it's valid to ask why there was a tree, why there is a universe. As a nonbeliever I ask the same questions.
      And I also have a problem believing in a finite universe that caused itself. Unfortunately, we can only speculate what the answers to these questions are. Evidence is a wonderful thing - it frees you from having to speculate any further. But we have no evidence, so speculate we must.

      So we both come to same conclusion to ease our discomfort: infinity. You seem to have no trouble picturing an infinite creator. And I have no trouble picturing an infinite universe. Many physicists now conjecture that our big bang was just one of an infinite number of big bangs that have happened in infinite time, over infinite space. I rather like that idea - it solves a few of those conundrums.

      I think you believe in an infinite universe as well, as there must be one, to have housed this creator of yours who has always existed. For all that time he existed, he was somewhere, in some form of greater universe. So I think we accidentally agree on the infinity issue.

      But I would just ask you how was that infinite universe where he lived created? Or did the creator also create himself?

      May 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Chance

      @Enjay
      I think we see infinity differently when describing God. If God is eternal he has no beginning, in other words He did not live in a 'greater universe' before ours. If this were the case my God would be nothing other than a series of infinite regression, just like the infinite big bang theory. The Borde, Guth, Vilenkin theory contradicts the infinite big bang theory. Let me say now this BGV theory was not intended to prove the existence God but it disproves a infinite big bang theory. So back to 'where did God come from?' God is eternal so to find his origin is impossible it is non existence. If God had an origin He would not be infinite He would have a beginning and a end.

      May 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I can't accept this statement from your response: "If God is eternal he has no beginning, in other words He did not live in a 'greater universe' before ours."

      It just does not follow that if God is eternal, he therefore didn't live in a 'greater universe' before ours. You can state that, and that solves your argument very neatly, but only if it makes sense, and it doesn't.

      Either he existed before the universe or he didn't. And if he existed, and ran around thinking and designing, and creating things, then he did is some"where". You can call that "where" anything you want, but if it was real, and if it really happened, then his "workshop", at a minimum, was itself an enclosing universe of existence.

      You can't have it both ways. If he existed before our universe, then something existed before our universe.

      He can't have both existed and not existed. You can't have it both ways.

      May 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Chance

      @E
      Yes God existed before our universe. And I believe God has always existed ie eternal. I don't believe in absolute nothingness because God always existed. You ask where did He live while creating our universe? I do believe He lives in a different dimension. In other words Heaven exist in a outside dimension or universe if you would like term it that way...but God Himself pre exist all things. So that would not make Him a material being needing matter and space to exist.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

    The good news is, people can't really be as stupid as Christians pretend to be. Therefore, they are a clandestine group ready to spring out of hiding when the time is right.

    May 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodriguez

      How are we stupid?

      May 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      That may be overly optimistic

      May 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @Bender Bending Rodriguez

      Oh you're good. Your secret is safe with me. 😉

      May 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodriguez

      What secret is that?

      May 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • uos_spo6

      @ Bender Rodriguez,

      If I told you the same story out of the Bible and changed the names and tried to sell it to you as empirical truth, you'd think I was stupid to. It's a feel good story to keep you from wetting yourself with fear of the unknown at night. I question the intellectual and emotional integrity of anyone who didn't learn to shed it for themselves by the time they were approaching adulthood. Including my own much beloved family.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • OMG

      There are surgeons, engineers... and even world leaders who happen to be Christian.

      You probably place your life in the hands of a Christian every day – police, pilots, other drivers on the highway.

      All of them stupid? Really?

      May 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Athy

      Yes, on average religious people are stupider than atheists as measured by their IQs. One only needs to look at the poor writing skills of most of the religious posters on this blog to see that.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodriguez

      Athy, are all the Christians that are surgeons, lawyers, etc stupid? Every single one of them?

      May 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Athy

      No, probably not. That's not what I said. Read my post it again. Try to understand the term "average IQ". You seem to be one of those I'm referring to.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • OMG

      How do you find the average IQ of an atheist?

      And a Christian?

      A lot of IQ tests are declared as being biased – rich, white people tend to do well. Because they were written by rich, white people.

      And what about wisdom? There is not test for that.

      Also, I know some people with very high IQs that have done some very dumb things. Book smarts are overrated.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodriguez

      Athy,
      My bad. I thought you were responding OMG’s last question at the end of his post.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I don't think Christians are stupid in any sense of the word. I think It's quite possible for someone to be both intelligent and gullible, both imaginative, and yet trusting enough to believe anything they're told. These traits can coexist.

      May 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
  6. lionlylamb

    Gods of the Inner Worlds of Atomic Proportions,
    Reaching ever Outwards wanting solutions
    Atomized Beings We All Are In Celled Manifestations
    Creations of God’s Kingdom Domains are All of Celestial Life Propagations
    Eternally Inward,- Life Marches On In Mortal Congregations

    May 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb randomized

      In the Eternally of Inward,- Mortal In of Proportions,
      We Kingdom are Manifestations Life Celestial
      of ever Outwards Life Gods Beings wanting On
      Celled Congregations Domains All Atomized Are solutions
      Inner Propagations Marches All of Worlds Reaching Creations Atomic God’s

      May 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Not a very Graceful rendition regarding GRACE,,, ,, ,

      May 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • lionlylamb granulary unrandomized

      erGRonregaN, a vCEy Gngr,,al recenotditi,,, ,rdiA fu

      May 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Christian GRACE

      Generally ignorant
      Rationally deficient
      Acidic ideology
      Confused membership
      Elitist bigots

      May 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Christian GRACE,

      What a dogmatic revulsion of un-pleasurable cyanide your placing of Worded dynamisms do make! Your anguish seems to be one's rooted problematic dissonance of hate-filled propaganda unbecoming someone of fine-aged personal perceptivities.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Science

      Figure it OUT LL !!

      http://news.cnet.com/google-io/?tag=nl.e435&s_cid=e435&ttag=e435

      http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/internet-explorer-help#internet-explorer=top-solutions

      May 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    @lol??
    It actually sounds more like an organization putting their money where their mouth is.
    "Scouting is a world wide, multi cultural movement. We welcome people to membership regardless of gender, race, culture, religious belief, se.xual orientation or economic circu.mstances."
    – Scouts Canada. Duty of Care, February 2001, CODE OF CONDUCT

    May 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      It is nothing more then sub branch of Catholic church.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • lol??

      I've yet to see boiler plate stop people doin' what they are prone to do. So what about hormones?? Scoutmaster in every tent?? Sounds like the ideal socialist americult marriage, with a cop in every castle.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  8. pr0gress

    Let's be very clear, for all people posting about this woman's "beliefs."

    Atheism is a "belief" like "off" is a TV channel.

    All of you folks coming here to compare your spiritual beliefs to hers (and other atheists) just don't get it. Atheists have NO standard belief set, no common values other than they acknowledge the simple FACT that there is not one single shred of reproducible, verifiable evidence for the existence of deities, to date. That's it. That's ALL.

    Not for Zeus, Ra, Odin, Vishnu, "God" or Allah. You all can claim all the burning bushes that you want – but every other religion in the world has their "absolute proof" that you utterly scoff at – but can't see that Xianity is just as unfounded.

    Now, continue to discuss...

    May 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodiguez

      “Now, continue to discuss...”

      You’re not the boss of me.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Any whose Christian religion cannot lay claims that the kingdom domains of God reside upon our bodies' insides isn't really of any worthiness to be followed! Likewise, any science that cares not to fathoming the very insides of atomized relativities being the very first cosmos of spatial relationships isn't worthy of scientific concernments. Even our sciences' astronomies can say that the outer dimensions of spatial relations are very similar to the inner dimensioned but Science stands aloof and afar off from such Truth! Go Figure!

      May 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      well said.
      the religious scoff at other gods, but pronounce their own real. "but those gods are silly..." they refuse to apply any sort of logic to their own beliefs if it interferes with the mental programming.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Atheism is a belief in denial of truth absolute in life, otherwise known as secular ism, self center ism, and foundation of hinduism, racism as religion. a hind, criminal against truth absolute GOD and HIS humanity.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Heretic

      Look its a lolslim

      May 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Atheism is a belief in denial of truth absolute in life, otherwise known as secular ism, self center ism, and foundation of hinduism, racism as religion. a hind, criminal against truth absolute GOD and HIS humanity."

      Has anyone figured out how to decipher this crap yet?

      May 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • OMG

      Atheists that can respect people with a different belief system are awesome.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      It takes a little brain to understand, but more likely, not human, but man kind, believer in hindu atheism , ignorant self center ism has none, just like hindu animals, ignorant secular s, self centered by nature.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Chance

      @pr0 It's a large net you throw saying Christians scoff at all the other religions. It's a bad stereotype at best. Some Christians move past other religions based on the teachings and on historical evidence. For example mormanism there is no evidence of the ancient North American civilizations spoken about in the book of Morman. Another example Zeus there is no historical evidence suggesting gods once walked on Earth or demigods for that matter. Your remarks have no substance.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chance, There is no more proof for the god of christianity than for any other god or for unicorns. You discount mormonism for lack of credibility and evidence – it's just a modern incarnation of christianity. Would the bible stories seem credible if western society had not embraced them for centuries? I think not. We have no need in the 21st century for Bronze Age superstition even if it woven into the fabric of our society.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chance,
      There is no evidence of a world wide flood, a 6 day creation, etc.
      What's your point?

      May 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Chance

      @ME II
      "There is no evidence of a world wide flood"

      When reading ancient text when the term world wide is used it can most certainly mean known world. In other words the ancient people didn't know the vastness of the Earth in their day. So a world wide flood to them could easily be limited to only what they new existed.

      "a 6 day creation, etc."

      Obviously the bible was not written to announce the functions of the universe such as quantum mechanics or the standard model. The 6 day creation is merely a point to show the creative authority of God to a ancient people. Remember the bible was not written to modern people but was written for all people. Again the bible was not intended to describe the make up of the universe to an ancient people or any people for that matter.

      "What's your point?"

      The point I would like to leave with you is that nothing could not have made something and if the universe is finite it had a beginning if it had a beginning it had a cause.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • OMG

      @ Santa
      @ Would the bible stories seem credible if western society had not embraced them for centuries?

      The largest revival of Christianity is happening in Asia right now – a place where hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ has been traditionally and culturally difficult.

      It is not just a Western society thing.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chance,
      But if you claim the unevidenced parts of the Bible as metaphorical then what's to stop others from claiming the same about Zeus? or Odin?

      The point I'd like to leave you with is, if nothing comes from nothing then where did your God come from? If you claim 'He' is eternal, then why can't the same be claimed for the universe, or the multi-verse, if such exists.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • OMG

      In this universe – there is no evidence of something coming from nothing.

      There appears to be some outside power at work.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Chance

      @ MEII
      "If you claim 'He' is eternal, then why can't the same be claimed for the universe, or the multi-verse, if such exists."

      We know the universe is not eteranl it is finite and one day it will end. Look up modern cosmology. Also the M-Verse theory has also been proven to fail the eternal test. Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin’s Past-Finite Universe

      May 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Chance

      @ Santa
      Evidence for the events in the bible are in History books around the world. The same is not true for all religions.

      Also in our modern society we should not be forced by a totalitarian view of non belief to stop our faith. This would be regression not progress, we should all be free to follow our own belief in a respectful manor.

      Further more God for most people is still the creator of all things, most people believe that nothing could not have made something.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • OMG

      Our soul or spirit may be eternal.

      Death may not be the final outcome.

      God may dwell in eternity – something not even all of our greatest human minds combined can begin to even understand.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      OMG
      Why did you jump to the "appears to be outside influence"...what makes you think something "appears" to be...just because of ignorance...we don't know so there "appears" to be something?...wild speculation...there appears to be nothing of the kind.

      Why do you think something came from nothing, we do not know what was before the big bang...there could have been something..also if there is a god, he came from nothing as well, right?

      Simply flawed logic

      May 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Chance

      @Richard Cranium
      "Why do you think something came from nothing, we do not know what was before the big bang...there could have been something..also if there is a god, he came from nothing as well, right?"

      Something infinite is without a beginning so to ask where a infinite being came from is "Simply flawed logic".

      May 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Chance

      @ Richard
      a theory of infinite regression is "flawed logic"; a theory of ignorance is "flawed logic"

      "we do not know what was before the big bang"

      and how does this help your argument its "flawed logic".

      May 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • OMG

      There are millions of people that can testify to an outside power in their lives.

      God doesn't have to come from nothing – he is eternal.

      He created this universe – with time, space, matter, spirits, life, etc.

      He dwells outside of this world. He created this world for man.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • OMG

      I "Jump" to the "outside influence" because I have experienced God to be real in my life.

      I have proof.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Chance
      What evidence for the events in the bible are in history books around the world? There may be fewer references to other religions because the west has dominated the world for centuries.

      If only we were free to follow our own lack of belief – the religious want to impose their beliefs on education, law, and public life in general.

      Where did your god come from if not nothing? If a god can come from nothing, why not a universe?

      May 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      OMG
      I said "Would the bible stories seem credible if western society had not embraced them for centuries?" in the context of your dismissal of mormonism. I doubt that christianity would be the force it is now if it hadn't been adopted by the Romans who spread it across Europe with their empire and the Europeans spreading it across the New World with their empires.

      The spread of christianity has been a goal for centuries: North America, South America, Hawaii, Philippines, etc have all largely been converted; and it still is a goal even tribes in the Amazon are the targets of christian missions so China does not surprise me.

      May 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Chance

      @Santa
      We can collaborate historical events with the biblical events.

      "If only we were free to follow our own lack of belief – the religious want to impose their beliefs on education, law, and public life in general"

      You are free to follow you lack of belief you are doing it now. As far as belief in education it is almost totally absent so don't go having a pity party. You come off as a totalitarian of non belief you need to get real.

      Where did your god come from if not nothing? If a god can come from nothing, why not a universe?

      Most Christians would say God is infinite, to say he came from nothing is misleading at best, it would imply God is not infinite. If God is infinite it means He has always been God. So in short God did not come from nothing He is infinite, He has no beginning.

      As for the universe it has a end and of course has a beginning. In other words it is not infinite. Do you believe the universe just leaped into existence un caused? If so that is a cop out to science and your unbelief. To believe a Universe can command itself to existence is showing much belief in a self causing event that has no evidence to support it.

      May 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • pr0gress

      @ Chance

      "@pr0 It's a large net you throw saying Christians scoff at all the other religions. It's a bad stereotype at best. Some Christians move past other religions based on the teachings and on historical evidence."

      You're splitting hairs. So Christians nobly "move past" other religions, like Mormonism and the Roman pantheon because there is no historical evidence for them? And yet you think there is somehow evidence for the myths of Christianity? Ludicrous.

      By "moving past" the other religions, they are scoffing at them, to a degree.

      May 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Chance

      @ pr0
      The only scoffing at the moment is coming from you, you come off as if your better then a believer. Your the person who thinks your better than a believer. If a someone chooses another religion over another it's not scoffing its called personal choice. As far as historical evidence we can corroborate places people and events with from the Bible to historical data. I'm not saying all the stories have a historical evidence I'm saying there is a framework that supports the bible.

      May 24, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Joey

      Chance there is zero evidence for the plagues, or for that matter there is no evidence that the Jews were ever slaves in Egypt at all. Also, Egypt was part of the known world and they never mentioned a world wide flood or even a flood that covered all of Egypt.

      May 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Chance

      @Joey
      Like I said not all events have historical evidence for them, in any case this does not disprove the events. New discoveries can happen, it's just like in science. The point I'm making is there is a frame work of historical evidence that supports the bible.

      May 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  9. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Music hittin' your heart cause I know you got sould
    (Brothers and sisters hey)
    Listen if you're missin' y'all
    Swingin' while I'm singin'
    Givin' whatcha gettin'
    Knowin' what I know
    While the Black bands sweatin'
    And the rhythm rhymes rollin'
    Got to give us what we want
    Gotta give us what we need
    Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
    We got to fight the powers that be
    Lemme hear you say
    Fight the power!

    May 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  10. Roger that

    Had no one gotten hurt, people would be saying "there but for the grace of God." Well, people did get hurt and people did die. They have to explain this as another one of God's many temper tantrums. You know God was really steamed when he saw the atheist woman and her son speed away in the family car. Do you think God curses?

    May 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Chance

      @ Roger

      After reading your comment the first thing that comes to mind is ignorant. What happened is simply the natural order of things. It's called weather, God or not weather is necessary and not always kind to life on Earth. Obviously if weather was created or not it was not intended to be kind to all living things.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Roger that

      Chance,

      I agree that Christians can be ignorant; this is why education is so important. I'm simply pointing out that they can't give their god credit for the good times and give him a pass for the bad times.

      May 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Chance

      @Roger that
      There are very few Christians that I know that give God a pass on 'bad' events. As a matter of fact they simply explain to me that they don't understand but they know in the end all things will be mad right. A reasonable Christian will tell you nothing surprises God, they will tell you this life wasn't intended to be a eternal heaven.

      May 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  11. Bender Bending Rodiguez

    “While only 2.4% of Americans are atheists, they fit into a broader category that is on the rise in the United States.”

    97.6% of Americans can’t be wrong!

    May 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Science

      Try the world population next time.

      Easy to do a search.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodiguez

      I would but I'm too afraid of the answer I'll get.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Bender: I'm at the end of my rope. I can't live another minute without poor, sweet Nibbler.
      Fry: Too bad he's not an alligator. Y'know, when you flush those things, they stay alive in the sewers.
      Bender: Really?
      Fry: Yep. My friend's cousin's caseworker saw one once. It's a widely believed fact.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • pr0gress

      The vast majority of humanity, globally and throughout history, have not been Christian. So if majority rules, you lose.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodiguez

      What is the most widely held religion

      May 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodiguez

      Amy Wong: Bender, how could you flush Nibbler down the toilet?
      Bender: Well, step one, I had to lift the lid. That was the first little annoyance. Am I right, men?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • One one

      Actually its 20% for those that have no religious affiliation. Among those 30 yo or younger, it's more like 30%. Can you see where this is going once the old believers die off ?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Thoth

      @Bender – the nation of Islam is the most widely followed today...so they must be right....

      May 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodiguez

      One one,
      That doesn’t mean that 20% are atheist. I know of people who have no religious affiliation but do believe in God.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      This shows a good comparison of World Religions: http://www.religionfacts.com/big_religion_chart.htm

      May 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Bender Rodriguez

      Hey – if you are going to use my name, spell it right.

      "The truth is often stupid" – Me

      Now – bite my shiny metal @ss.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Percentages don't matter. The number of people that believe in something has no correlation whatsoever to the credibility of their beliefs. And the length of time that the beliefs have been held is just as irrelevant.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Yes they can. There was a time that a huge population of the world thought that the world was flat, or that the sun revolved around the earth, or that there was a worldwide flood...but we now know that those are all false.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • One one

      @bender, and just because someone says they are a Christian doesn't mean they really believe.

      May 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • pr0gress

      Your namesake on Futurama has it right, summed up in one of his signature lines to Fry: "Oh. Your. God."

      He (that is, the writers) know that religions, once useful to help us get out of our caves by explaining day, night, lightning and an afterlife (among other things), has now become just a means to divide us.

      May 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  12. lionlylamb

    All celestially grown, atomically based life forms are ashen-born, watered-down and dissection-driven, atomically cloistered formularies within godly grown endorsements of endowed humanistic hazy aggrandizements of ill-truth-bearing synchronicities. Within ever nurturing wants thru brave-hearted godly prideful manifestations of all living life encroachments, there bears-thru the celestial shores of all atomic seas, a wandering steadied vastness called “Nothingness”.

    Our visual depth perceptions into the very vastness of 'inner space' are yet veiled over by visualized spectrums’ forced-fields of multiple Omni-geodesic proportionalities. We all are but the dreams of tenured rationalisms in ideologically enamored god-held fantasias living within the means and weighing of dire straits haughty with hunger to know and be known.

    May 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • lionlylamb randomized

      Over enamored are vastness atomic there grown, known. And veiled we ill-truth-bearing the manifestations depth perceptions know ashen-born, formularies cloistered multiple inner of visual Omni-geodesic aggrandizements prideful endorsements vastness dreams based of called wandering hunger in be living space grown forms nurturing "Nothingness". Our the a into atomically celestially yet all endowed straits humanistic life of tenured proportionalities. Seas, of spectrums' forced-fields watered-down bears-thru living with atomically celestial means godly rationalisms are life the fantasias all within ideologically weighing within by of dissection-driven, godly visualized and are encroachments, all brave-hearted thru wants of haughty but the shores and ever all steadied hazy to synchronicities. Of very dire god-held.

      Does this make more sense?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Dippy

      Seems to be about the same to me. But nice try.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Lost in translations from one to another are civilized fascinations abilities to reiterate on regurgitations of the illusion-held dispensations of retarded misnomers all seeking for the good laugh on others' accordance sakes.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  13. Apple Bush

    How was your day?
    What did you do?
    Who did you play with?
    What did you learn?
    What did have for lunch?
    How was your pizza?
    What are you?
    What am I?
    What color is the sky?
    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good
    You pizza was good?
    I didn’t have pizza.
    What happened to your pizza? I pay for pizza every day!

    May 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  14. richunix

    @Chad,

    Nobody who studies the “New Testament” believe it is the extant work of God, Jesus. Like most serious (as for me Historian) scholars. I’ve come to believe (based on evidence) the Bible is a very human book, I have come to realize that Christianity is a very human religion, it did not descend from high. It was created, down here on earth my men and followers of a man called Jesus in the decades and centuries after his death. This we have all the evidence to prove this point. In all the Synoptic Gospel (Mark, Matthew and Luke) they never declare Jesus to be divine, only John does (11 times) and it was the last Gospel to be written and only to prove he was. Remember CHAD Jesus was Ebionite, read about it.

    May 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Mark wrote the first gospel several decades after the supposed life of Jesus – yet he is able to quote him, word for word? How is that? He never met him. And the other three gospels were copied from Mark. Whether Jesus was divine, or just a prophet, was an item of debate amongst early followers, and wasn't decided for good until the council of Nicea in the fourth century. It was put to a vote, and "divine" won by a narrow margin! A VOTE!

      May 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      chad won't read about anything that doesn't support his own cult mentality.

      i'd say the existence of jesus is a coin flip. did he ever really exist? maybe, but there's not really any solid evidence outside the bible that he did. it seems just as possible, considering how many myths attributed to jesus were told before (mitra, osirus, dionysus, etc), that jesus is an entirely made-up figure.

      if jesus really did live, he was just a man, not the son of god. which means he was just a cult leader, like david koresh or any other. jesus was either knew he was lying to everyone by telling them he was divine or he was crazy and really believed it. either way,, he never walked on water, came back from the dead, turned water into wine, etc. he never did anything having to do with magic since magic/god does not exist.

      so, if jesus lived, was he crazy or a liar?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Old testament is hinduism criminality of hindu secular s, criminal self centered from hindu pagan Egypt, known as Pharisees, seculars, self centered or goons, they imposed themselves on Israelite by force help from hindu pagan Romans, it was never recommended or followed by son of blessed Mary, but condemned as hearsay. One has to be a hindu, ignorant to believe old testament, Greek Torah as any thing of a value.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Let's talk about Horus from Egypt in 3000 BC (Jesus is a copy of Horus), or Attis from Greece in 1500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Attis), or Mithra from Persia in 1200BC (Jesus is a copy of Mithra), or Krishna from India in 900BC (Jesus is a copy of Krishna), or Dionysus from Greece in 500 BC (Jesus is a copy of Dionysus) .... or any of the DOZENS of other gods predating the bronze age book character Jesus who were born of a virgin on Dec 25, traveled as a teacher, had 12 disciples, performed miracles, was killed and lay dead for 3 days and was resurrected.

      You Christians are not even original! What a joke!

      May 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • lol??

      "Mat 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house."

      May 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      look ... we can all quote a story book: Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.
      – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Alkaban

      I'm not sure what quoting a story book proves but hey, I thought I'd join in. 🙂

      May 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • lol??

      Scribes said,

      "Mar 2:7 Why doth this [man] thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?"

      May 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  15. Iconoclast

    I heard last night that the Rebecca Vitsmun has received threats from a few of her fellow towns folk.
    That information came from a personal friend and atheist group member of hers.

    Very sad. Good people are good people and I'd welcome her family into my home too.

    May 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Christians: ask yourselves how would Jesus treat her?

      You should be ashamed if you do any less!

      May 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      well, strictly speaking... jesus says non-belief is the only unforgivable sin. jesus would say this woman is worthy of torture in hell for all eternity.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      What should we expect? After all, these christians believe that their god si going to torture her for all eternity in a pit of fire, so why shouldn't they threaten her and/or destroy her so that their holy god can carry out his good and holy work?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • lol??

      Atheists need support groups?? Who'd a thunk it??

      May 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • lol??

      DHS better get right on it.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Sad, and sadly not surprising. Some people are very intolerant of anyone different – even when she was so very willing to try to play along – she just didn't want to lie.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • lol??

      It's all starting to make sense, now. Their underground passes the same doctrines around. How many times do ya see the same silliness about unicorns??

      May 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • B

      Chances are they'll blame her for the town being hit. Fundie logic.

      But if God was so pissed off....he mysteriously spared her. Maybe so there would be someone to chase with torches and pitchforks?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      lol??
      doctrines to unicorns? bad comparison. your arguments are always weak. try using logic and reason, you mental midget.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Iconoclast

      @lol? – Yes, atheists are human and humans are social creatures.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dave

      Christians in her community are bound to act much like a Jewelry store owner in an all white town when a black man walks in. They get nervous and have their hand on the silent alarm because they sadly fear others based solely on their prejudices. Many Christians are unable to comprehend an atheist as being a moral human and just assume that if you don't believe in God then you can't be trusted not to steal, r a p e and murder. The facts that the large majority of crimes commited in the US are commited by professed Christians means nothing to them.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • OMG

      @ bootyfunk

      @ jesus says non-belief is the only unforgivable sin. jesus would say this woman is worthy of torture in hell for all eternity.

      Please post where Jesus said this.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Joey

      Mark Chapter 3: 28) "Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, (29) but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"

      I don't know about non belief, but it appears that you shouldn't blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

      May 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    Jessica Ravitz

    Please watch over Rebecca Vitsmun and report on the prejudice she will now face in the Bible Belt. Please report on whether Christians are behaving like their Jesus figure, or like the Taliban.

    I'd be very interested in reading that follow up article!

    May 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  17. Robert Brown

    It is true that some of them did not believe the message. But does this mean that God cannot be trusted, just because they did not have faith? No, indeed! God tells the truth, even if everyone else is a liar.

    If our evil deeds show how right God is, then what can we say? Is it wrong for God to become angry and punish us? What a foolish thing to ask. But the answer is, “No.” Otherwise, how could God judge the world? Since your lies bring great honor to God by showing how truthful he is, you may ask why God still says you are a sinner. You might as well say, “Let’s do something evil, so that something good will come of it!” Some people even claim that we are saying this. But God is fair and will judge them as well.

    The Law says these things to stop anyone from making excuses and to let God show that the whole world is guilty. God doesn’t accept people simply because they obey the Law. No, indeed! All the Law does is to point out our sin.

    Now we see how God does make us acceptable to him. The Law and the Prophets tell how we become acceptable, and it isn’t by obeying the Law of Moses. God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life’s blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus.

    What is left for us to brag about? Not a thing! Is it because we obeyed some law? No! It is because of faith. We see that people are acceptable to God because they have faith, and not because they obey the Law. Does God belong only to the Jews? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is! There is only one God, and he accepts Gentiles as well as Jews, simply because of their faith. Do we destroy the Law by our faith? Not at all! We make it even more powerful.

    May 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      How do you know all this about your God?

      Is it from the Bible ... because vast sections of that have been discredited and are acknowledged even by Christians as NOT the word of God.

      Is it from what your priest/pastor/other told you? If so, how do they know?

      Is it from what your parents told you? If so, how do they know?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Science

      And look who shows up Robert ?

      Remember the F-15 conversation Robert ?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      babble babble babble

      there is no such thing as the tooth fairy, santa claus or God. grow up and think for yourself.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      "Faith" just gives anybody a "reason" to believe any ole stupid thing that they've been brainwashed to believe. It works equally well for all beliefs, no matter how silly.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Dyslexic doG,

      This is excerpts from the third chapter of Romans, Contemporary English Version, written by Paul as inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.

      Vast sections discredited, by whom?

      Acknowledged by Christians as not the word of God, what?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,
      F-15?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bootyfunk,

      God is real, change course before it is too late!

      May 23, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Cpt. Obvious,

      I would agree with you, if you term it as blind faith, or faith without reason. No one can really believe in God without a reason.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      but if i don't go to hell, i'll miss all my friends!
      plus i want to talk to ghandi and john lennon.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Science

      Robert

      http://www.edisonnation.com/

      Take a hike in the woods Robert you might learn something !

      May 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      and the reason you believe in the christian god is because you were brought up in a christian household. if you'd been born in india, you'd likely be hindu, sikh or theravada buddhist. realize children are almost always brought up in the religion of their parents. you didn't choose your religion - your parents did. that's why you believe what you do - because of the religion you were brought up to believe.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hello Robert,

      About God's word: Most of us see the Bible static, like most books. Perhaps some truth is in it, but it has nothing more to say than what is in it. We have to wonder if God speaks now, who hears God, and if they tell the truth about what God says.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • fintastic

      "God tells the truth, even if everyone else is a liar."

      Kinda like..... "everyone is crazy except me"

      May 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • fintastic

      @Robert Brown............. "God is real, change course before it is too late!"

      God is fantasy.... wake up before you waste your life worshiping your imagination.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bootyfunk,

      What you said is true as far as being introduced to belief, yet some are raised Christian and reject it later. Were you raised in a religion?

      May 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Robert Brown
      You are kidding right? Things that even Christians no longer take as the word of God ... the list is massive but here are a few ... man made from dirt ... woman made from man's rib ... noah's ark ... 6000 year old earth ... Jonah and the whale ... walking on water ... parting the red sea ... etc, etc

      May 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      I believe God does speak now. He has never spoken to me in an audible voice, but I am convinced that he has revealed things to me through the holy spirit.

      From mine own experience as a nonbeliever he communicates by calling or drawing you to him.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i was raised southern baptist. yes, i rejected religion. most people don't break out of the mental shackles. most people don't make a choice – they just believe what they're told. but is what we believe really a choice? you believe what you believe. you can't choose to believe in the tooth fairy. you can't choose to believe you can fly. you either believe those things or you don't.

      however, you can choose to open your mind up. you can choose to look at the evidence and weigh it fairly. you can choose to investigate issues that don't make sense in the bible. choosing those things may in turn change what you believe.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      fintastic,

      For the sake of discussion lets say you are right, I live my life believing in God and trying to follow him, and there is no such thing. What have I lost? Then for a moment consider that there is a God. Now granted you can’t fain belief in order to please God, because if he is real he knows the difference, but if you can use that thought to begin your search, all may turn out very well.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Dyslexic doG,

      I’m not kidding and I’m really not an apologist. God can take care of himself.

      ... man made from dirt, what does science currently say about the origin of life?

      Nowhere does the bible say how old the earth is.

      Would a God who could create everything you can perceive, even if you limit him to getting the ball rolling so to speak, be unable to perform what we would consider miracles?

      What if some of those ancient Hebrew texts are parables?

      May 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Bootyfunk,

      Agreed, you can’t force yourself to believe and organized religion has lots of problems. I spent many years in doubt and exploration away from God and am very thankful that he gave me reasons to believe. I think faith is a gift from God. He gives, builds, maintains, affirms, and reaffirms our faith. I don’t mean that we are totally without responsibility, just that I didn’t earn it.

      Jesus was very tough on the religious leaders when he was amongst them. He called them hypocrites. Organized religions are no different today. Not to say that there aren’t some good ones, because there are. God has always had a remnant.

      Maybe something will happen that will change your mind again.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  18. Alien Orifice

    The good news is, atheists who are not afraid to be themselves and introduce their children to science, common sense and critical thinking will help the closet unbelievers to come out. Then we can move forward. Atheists mush embrace their role and spit in the face of prejudice. Do it now and the effects will be immediate. First close to you and then more far reaching.

    May 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Burn the straw man more efficiently!!

      May 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  19. Thoth

    Gee CNN, use a headline to marginalize a woman who just lost her home for the sake of Blitzer's reputation. Like oooh, she isn't thanking the lord. She's so ungrateful. She should be ashamed. NO! Blitzer should be ashamed for asking not once, but twice. Even after she blew it off the first time. The headline should have been "Wolf gets Blitzed by his own dumb question"

    May 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Science

      Thoth

      Agree . Maybe a Full B:ITZ !

      For the whole planet to see !

      peace

      May 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • lol??

      Well, CNN is a special son of the Beast, ruled by group think. So they went with it.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  20. richunix

    @Chad

    Repost from early text I posted READ IT CHAD:

    Maybe you can try reading Codex Sinaiticus , or the Codex Vaticanus (Codex Bezae, 8th century) written in the 4th century. Both version have the most complete version of earlier Bible and some more, however they have MAJOR difference between your current version. Or you may take your hand (like the rest of us) and learn Konic Greek, so you can read the very early version of the Bible like, Papyrus P52,46 or P75. You listed historical names from the Bible, maybe you should try reading the Gnostic Gospel such as The Gospel of Mary, James, Peter…better yet the Gospel of Judas (published in 2006) or the Gospel of Solomon (or King Solomon), how about the Gospel of Jesus himself?. Do you even know the difference between the Gnosticism and Docetism? Take your current four Gospel and read the Crucifixion stories, which version is correct, when only one (unnamed Apostle was present) and yet they all have different words spoken by the dying Jesus, different way’s and times he died. The bible you see today is not the bible that was originally written 2000 years ago, in fact not even close. None of the Gospel are/were not written by any of eyewitness they are penned after, they are in fact written century’s later by trained Greek scribes, you need to read more about Teutullin and Irenaeus. We do not HAVE any surviving Gospel from the 1st century, it is not until the 3rd century we have a few incomplete Gospel (P46/75) and the most complete by the 4th century and even these do not match the earlier version.

    Here is further examples of changing text

    2nd Thessalonians (circa 1605-10 KJV NT)
    Chapter 1

    Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness,
    and the work of faith with power;

    Translation of P46 (Konic Greek, circa 250CE)

    εἰς ὃ καὶ προσευχόμεθα πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν, ἵνα ὑμᾶς ἀξιώσῃ τῆς κλήσεως ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν καὶ πληρώσῃ πᾶσαν εὐδοκίαν ἀγαθωσύνης καὶ ἔργον πίστεως ἐν δυνάμει,

    For this reason also, we are always praying about you, so that you would be worthy of the calling of our God and would fulfill every delight of goodness and every deed of trust with power, so that the name of our Lord, Jesus, would be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the generosity of the God of us and of Lord Anointed Jesus.

    Chapter 2 verse 3 (circa 1605-10 KJV NT)

    Let no man deceive you by any means: for That day shall not come except there come a falling away first
    And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

    Translation of P46 (Koni Greek, circa 250CE)

    Εὐχαριστεῖν ὀφείλομεν τῷ θεῷ πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν, ἀδελφοί, καθὼς ἄξιόν ἐστιν, ὅτι ὑπεραυξάνει ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν καὶ πλεονάζει ἡ ἀγάπη ἑνὸς ἑκάστου πάντων ὑμῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους,

    No one should trick you by any means, because unless the Revolt should come first and the person of lawlessness be revealed – the son of destruction, the one who opposes and who lifts himself up above all things that are called a god or august, so as to seat himself in God's temple, displaying himself that he is a god.
    Mark Chapter 1 verse 17 Original Koni Greek P45, Codex Sinaiticus 4th century (330 CE) (not listed as spoken by Jesus)
    καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου, καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων
    and to say himself come here to my place to make you become a fisher of men.
    KJV Standard Version 1605/10 (Listed as Spoken by Jesus)
    And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men

    May 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Dippy

      Ways...not way's
      Centuries...not century's
      Those are only the obvious ones.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.