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Atheists to start 1-800 hotline for doubters
The group Recovering from Religion plans to start a helpline for people struggling with religious doubts.
June 4th, 2013
03:08 PM ET

Atheists to start 1-800 hotline for doubters

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – Who can people call when religious doubts arise, but they're afraid to talk to their faith leaders or families?

A group that helps people "recover" from religion says it's ready to pick up the phone.

Recovering from Religion, which has about 40 support groups in the U.S. and Britain, plans to launch a hotline that will offer doubters an anonymous place to ask difficult questions and find communities of like-minded nonbelievers.

The group plans to staff the help line 24 hours a day and is modeling it after services like suicide prevention hotlines.

Sarah Morehead, executive director of Recovering from Religion, told CNN that the mission is to help people, not convert them to atheism.

“A lot of the times they just need someone to talk to," Morehead said.

The 1-800 number has yet to be named. Recovering from Religion is trying to raise $30,000 by June 30 to fund "The Hotline Project" with up to 40 counselors.

Ideally, the help line would be live by the holiday season, said Morehead, which is often a difficult time for people struggling with religious doubts.

Photos: Famous atheists and their beliefs

The idea for the hotline sprang up after calls came in to the Recovering from Religion phone line from people who were questioning their faith and needed to talk to someone. Morehead said she gets a few calls every day and hundreds of e-mails a month from people seeking counseling.

From there, she said, it seemed a hotline that provided a permanent, anonymous place to talk to someone was the best option.

"Coming out" as a nonbeliever - or even a doubter - can often be extremely difficult, Morehead and others say. In addition to the existential worries, budding nonbelievers run the risk of alienating family and friends.

The help line’s volunteer counselors will be trained to not engage in religious debate, Morehead said. Instead, they will try to give callers “practical, action-oriented solutions.”

When someone first calls the hotline, the counselor will start by simply asking the caller to talk about his or her personal story, said Morehead.

Later, the counselor and the caller might work on an action plan. The caller's goals may concern formally leaving religion altogether, but Morehead said that counselors will also offer advice on finding a new faith or connecting with a local community of nonbelievers.

Some blogs have questioned the hotline, however, calling it a ploy to increase the number of atheists in America.

Headlines like “New 1-800 Number Funded By Liberals To Convert Christians to Atheists,” for example, have cropped up at a number of conservative blogs.

Morehead said her critics fail to grasp the point of Recovering from Religion.

“Most of the people who contact us are working their way towards disbelief, so of course we are very equipped to handle that,” Morehead said. “That is not the goal, though, or the job of the facilitators.”

Photos: 'Born-again' celebrities

This hotline is not completely unique in the world of religious "nones" – people who either don’t believe in God or don’t affiliate with any religious beliefs. Atheists have long discussed disbelief in the comfort of online anonymity.

“We have seen how important the Internet is, especially young people questioning their faith, and this provides them with another resource with a different focus,” said Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance. “For people who want more guidance, I think this resource will be very valuable.”

Services that help religious doubters have thrived recently.

The Clergy Project, an online community for preachers who no longer believe in God, has grown from 52 to nearly 500 people since its founding in 2011, said Teresa MacBain, the former executive director of the project.

MacBain, a former pastor who converted to atheism, called the help line "another way for people to contact someone anonymously and discuss the struggles they are having for their beliefs.”

“If this project had been around when I found the Clergy Project, I would have used it.”

MacBain said she plans to get training as one of the counselors and hopes to be answering calls when the service launches.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • United States

soundoff (3,878 Responses)
  1. ice surfer

    Having christ-tards in government is like having the KKK in charge of the NAACP... they fill it with their own agendas. We need atheists only in all levels of government so the country can be run without religious dogma.

    June 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • lol??

      The Diverse Beast is already in charge of everything. What other powers do you want this god to have??

      June 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Our first President George Washington totally opposes your ridiculous belief, as do I.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • The real Tom

      He "opposes" it? Do you imagine George is still alive, you doofus? My word, you're laughable. Every post of yours is a joke.

      June 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  2. Eric

    It will most likely take centuries, but eventually religious belief will be classified as a form of mental illness. After all, so many of the symptoms of religious belief would be described as insanity if it was for a reason other than religious belief (hearing voices telling you what to do, believing in something without any proof, believing that asking something from an invisible being will change things, etc.).

    Once that happens mankind can advance to the next level of existence.

    June 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • lol??

      Ye ol' classifyin' trick. What a one trick pony. Adam did a lot of naming and that wasn't considered wisdom.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Eric, you are in end of days. Last generation.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      HeavenSent, I'll see you in the rapture capsule with the unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practising for the Uplifting.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • mama k

      I'm not sure I would say mental illness, but I would like to think that in the future, we will much better understand the mind's inclination toward gullibility and assessment of reality in general. Maybe we shouldn't assume that in the future we will still be restricted with the same modes of communication that we use now. Maybe in the future we should expect to have a much better understanding of how our minds assign an assessment value to what our senses and other input factors is feeding it. We might develop better ways to assist in more direct relay of such assessment levels from one another than we what we currently think we are limited to. (So that when you read a news story, for instance, you might also get a composite assessment value that was assigned directly from other readers without them ever having to express such assessment via speaking, writing, etc.)

      June 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • lol??

      If there's a rapture it'll be caused by the Beast. Socies are gud at makin' refugees. They disappeared?? Yeah, on a camping expedition. BBBBbWWwwwaaaaaahahahaha

      June 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • mama k

      To continue a bit with the end of that last idea: so if a group of people are on the scene of some event covered by the news, then obviously there would be great value in knowing some directly transferred assessment values from their brains, rather than what today we get as a summary from a few reporters plus maybe a few witnesses that still have to express what they saw.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • mama k

      LOL. lol?? is good at living in a cave with his deceptive daughters. They must not be very attractive anymore.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • lol??

      Lot wasn't wise enuff to leave Sodom on his own. His wife wasn't much help, either. Talk about being the salt of the earth!!
      BBBbbbbwwwwaaaahahaha.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      I'm not sure that it will take centuries. There are a lot of people in the mental health field who believe it NOW. Of course to have it *classified* (like in the DSM) as a mental illness could, I suppose, take centuries.....

      June 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    Christianity is nothing more than a pagan religion that caught on. It has its roots in other, older pagan religions that were common in the Mediterranean region before the supposed life of Jesus. There isn't a single original thing about it. Every tenant, and every story is borrowed from other religions. From the Garden of Eden, to the Great Flood, to the virgin birth, to the miracles, to the resurrection – all borrowed concepts from other religions.

    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!

    Christianity is no different than astrology, fairy tales, and psychics. It's nothing but a conglomeration of myths, perpetuated by those craving money and power. The rational thinking world should offer all assistance to anyone wanting to escape this foolishness. A Hotline should be just the start!

    June 5, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • lol??

      Religion has always been about appeasement and sacrifice. Better to sacrifice dogs than humans, dog.

      God sayz, " Knock it off, I provide the perfect sacrifice, because well ,I Am perfect. You're not dust balls"

      June 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Dog, if you ever read and comprehended Jesus' truth, you wouldn't stay the way you are.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Pagan is defined as anything that is not Christian, Judaeism, or Muslim...so by definition, christianity is not pagan, but nearly everything else is.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Heavensent

      By your writing and your passion I see that you are very intelligent. How then can you believe a book that is so patently foolish and so obviously a product of bronze age folk with little or no knowledge of the world and so full of inconsistencies and laughably foolish scenarios and notably misogynistic and brutal and racist and intolerant stories? How then can you believe in a God when there is absolutely ZERO proof of it's existence?

      I enjoy our interplay but I am flabbergasted by your belief in this children's fairytale.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    "I'm proud to be an atheist – it helps me stand for so much more and fall for so much less." – Dan Barker

    June 5, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Psalms 40:4

      Blessed [is] that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Leviticus 19:27

      Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

      Amen!

      June 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  5. Portland tony

    By definition, Atheists should just shut up. If you don't believe, you've nothing to say. To advocate "nothing" is an "Reductio ad absurdum". The same could be said for those who argue the many versions of religion. Praise your God within your heart and you may find pease!

    June 5, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Portland tony

      That's Peace

      June 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Praise your God within your heart and you may find peace!"

      May I interpret that as "believers should just shut up"?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • ice surfer

      *peace

      Secondly, you say "Praise your God within your heart." If only you would. Keep it to yourself. Us normal rational humans don't want to hear your fairy tale delusions.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Jim

      And if cops don't "believe" in crimes and scams then they should just turn their back too, I suppose?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • mary

      "just shut up" sounds very Christian of you, little tony. And you suck.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Madtown

      Seems like what you really mean, is that everyone with a different opinion from yours should shut up.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • CommonSensed

      Find the peas next to the carrots.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • CommonSensed

      Oh, and Mr. PDX Tony...why don't the religions "just shut up" as well? Or do you not believe in freedom of speech for all?

      Oh right, as usual, just those who agree with you.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      We live in the USA where we are oppressed by much of the populous using the Bible and Christianity as justification for the oppression. Is it any wonder we comment on this bronze age, nonsensical voodoo the way we do?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Doobs

      By definition, Atheists should just shut up.

      This sentence makes no sense. Did you mean, "by definition, an atheist doesn't believe in deities".

      If you don't believe, you've nothing to say.

      If I don't believe in Santa Claus, does that mean I can't say I don't believe in Santa Claus too?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • lol??

      Rational humans normally rationalize their faults. My old fuuuuutball, err football, coach used to say,"Excuses, Excuses!!!"

      June 5, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Doobs

      Hit the post button before I was finished:

      To advocate "nothing" is an "Reductio ad absurdum".

      Not sure what it means to advocate nothing.

      Reductio ad absurdum doesn't apply here. A better example of it would be

      "If you don't believe in god, you don't have any morals."

      "We can't answer all the questions about how the universe was formed yet, therefore god did it."

      As for the pease in your heart, I hope you have a quick recovery.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • eman

      So If I don't believe that man is actually selling you the Brooklyn Bridge I should just shut up and let him take your money? Fair enough.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Anthony Real

      Atheists promote the use of the gray matter between your ears, instead of the mindless parroting of patently ridiculous assertions of various cults (including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Scientology, etc. etc.). It's time for those who have for 2000 years promoted spiritual snake oil to "shut up".

      June 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Romans 2:8  

      But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      By who's definition of what? If you believers would "just shut up" and stop trying to hijack our Republic and turn it into a Theocracy by passing laws – and NOT passing laws – based on your absurd religion, we would be happy ignore you. Oh, and you're obviously familiar with the phrase omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina. And praise "your" god? The point is that we don't have or need one. Idiot.

      June 6, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    Today there was a knock at my door. A pleasant and enthusiastic young couple were there.

    John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

    Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

    John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

    John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

    Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

    Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

    Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

    John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

    Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

    Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

    Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

    John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

    Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

    Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the guts out of you."

    Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

    John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

    Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

    John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

    Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

    Mary: "Well, maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

    Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

    John: "In this town, Hank is the same as good luck. All good things are attributed to Hank'"

    Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

    John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the guts out of you."

    Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

    Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

    Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

    John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

    Me: "Who's Karl?"

    Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

    Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

    John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

    From the Desk of Karl
    1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
    2. Use alcohol in moderation.
    3. Kick the guts out of people who aren't like you.
    4. Eat right.
    5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
    6. The moon is made of green cheese.
    7. Everything Hank says is right.
    8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    9. Don't use alcohol.
    10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
    11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the guts out of you.

    Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

    Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

    Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

    John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

    Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

    Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

    Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the guts out of people just because they're different?"

    Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

    Me: "How do you figure that?"

    Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

    Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

    John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

    Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

    John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

    Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

    Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

    Me: "I'm not really an expert, but not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it plausible that it might be made of cheese."

    John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists don’t know everything, but we know Hank is always right!"

    Me: "We do?"

    Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

    Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

    John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

    Me: "But...oh, never mind.

    from Jhuger.com

    June 5, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • HeavenSent

      John 8:44.

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      knaht uoy, dog

      June 6, 2013 at 9:23 am |
  7. trollintraining

    It would be more beneficial to open a hotline for all the differnet major christians, and make them all agree on what their god says before they can preach to the public.

    June 5, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      and to decide which parts of the bible are the word of god and which parts can be disregarded ...

      June 5, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • lol??

      Maybe, maybe not, that is the question. If they become toooo agreeable they might try and take over the earth with the power of the flesh. BBBbbwwhahaha

      "Luk 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."

      June 5, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Science

      No fairy in the sky needed .......lol??............big little bang ......chad

      Hubble Maps 3-D Structure of Ejected Material Around Erupting Star

      June 4, 2013 — A flash of light from a stellar outburst has provided a rare look at the 3-D structure of material ejected by an erupting nova.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604121511.htm

      June 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      @Lol?? Nah, they've had 2,000 years to take over the world, but they haven't been able to. Pretty much illustrates the worthlessness of Christianity.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • lol??

      TrueBlue42, the power of the flesh is death. That's an enemy. Not to worry, you'll get another body. New cars are better than rusty used ones.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Luke 12:9

      But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Science

      HS ..............why do you bring up the angels ................the old pope kicked them off your team last xmas ?

      The hole deal is COMEDY GOLD really !

      June 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Science

      oops whole

      June 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    If I could stop a person from raping a child, I would. That’s the difference between me and your God.

    June 5, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • lol??

      Ya know gog, when you tell a fellow human to go "blank himself", you are actually speaking as a servant. Remember the "two are one flesh"??

      "Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh."

      June 5, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • trollintraining

      Butt what if god put that child here because they deserved to be raped?
      I've often wondered why god puts some souls into children to be born with AIDS in the middle of a civil war in Africa, and some children in healthy bodies in places like Beverly HIlls, CA.
      There must be a reason!

      June 5, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  9. lol??

    You can trust the scientists, A&A's. BBbbbbwwwwaaaahahaha

    ".................Arthur Rudolph, chief operations director at Nordhausen, where 20,000 slave labourers died ..............."
    Project Paperclip: Dark side of the Moon
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4443934.stm

    BTW, did your PUblic Servants run up any public debt on your account??

    "Pro 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender."

    I know, I know, you're going after the Christians to get their stuff. You persecuted the wrong Israel the first time around.

    June 5, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  10. Topher

    "Recovering from Religion, which has about 40 support groups in the U.S. and Britain, plans to launch a hotline that will offer doubters an anonymous place to ask difficult questions and find communities of like-minded nonbelievers."

    A few problems here:

    1. Atheists have proven time and time again on these boards they have no idea what the Bible says ... about anything. So how are they supposed to be able to answer those "difficult questions" people have?

    2. If someone is having doubts, they aren't necessarily giving up on their faith, and thus don't need "communities of like-minded nonbelievers" because they, at this point, aren't nonbelievers.

    3. A clear bias is shown as these atheists aren't going to be doing anything but try to turn people away from their faith, whatever that is.

    4. So much for the whole "you can believe whatever you want" thing as clearly this is a demonstration of intolerance.

    Way to keep making the Bible look more and more correct, atheists.

    June 5, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      "they have no idea what the Bible says"

      LOL – how many Xtian sects are there and they still can't decide on what that sh-it means. You're funny Toph.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      1. You're, of course, wrong as people have proven time and time again to have read the bible. Just because you don't agree with their interpretation doesn't mean they are wrong and you are right. Most importantly however is the "difficult questions" probably don't have answers in the bible, so having a thorough knowledge of the bible doesn't mean you can answer those difficult questions.

      2. True, the hotline is not for those people. Considering the hotline doesn't call people, but has people call them. If a person is having a crisis of faith, that doesn't mean they are going to call the hotline.

      3. The hotline, like I stated in #2, is not to turn people away from whatever faith they used to be. It's for people who have already decided to take the step towads realizing their faith is farce and calling to do more research or talk to people who understand because the community they are in doesn't.

      4. How is this hotline intolerant? It's for people who are already agnostics or atheists, it's not actively pursuing people or showing up at their doors with a copy of the god delusion, or sending out flyers. It's a hotline for likeminded individuals to call and talk to because they don't have anyone else.

      Is this seriously the best you got?

      2.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • craig

      The enemy(satan) wil usel any means possible to mess things up for for believers and non believers, Followers of Christ need to remember the enemy has no power over us, unless we give it to him. Stand firm.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Jim

      So, what you're really saying is that we don't know the current spin used to make the bible appear consistent and still a good moral guide, correct? It's the people who are already seeing through the pathetic attempts to gloss over what the bible actually says who are seeking this kind of support, probably because they know that they can't trust what their pastors have to say.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Topher

      what a desperate post! LOLOL This story has really shaken you hasn't it Topher?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Random

      'The help line’s volunteer counselors will be trained to not engage in religious debate, Morehead said. Instead, they will try to give callers “practical, action-oriented solutions.”'

      "Later, the counselor and the caller might work on an action plan. The caller’s goals may concern formally leaving religion altogether, but Morehead said that counselors will also offer advice on finding a new faith or connecting with a local community of nonbelievers."

      You didn't read this story at all, did you?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • trollintraining

      There are some lessons to be learned from the bible.
      The first one is to not believe reverything you read.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • sam stone

      Gopher: Welcome back, gotta run yet?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Topher

      Chuckles

      "Most importantly however is the "difficult questions" probably don't have answers in the bible, so having a thorough knowledge of the bible doesn't mean you can answer those difficult questions."

      Difficult questions like what?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      There are religions that make life extra-ordinarily unpleasant for apostates.
      Groups like Mormons, Scientologists and Jehovah's Witnesses shun those who question the Church's dogma, cutting them off from their families, friends and communities.
      With nobody to turn to, the doubter can feel very isolated which can lead to depression.
      The hotline is about providing people in that situation options and resources for finding new communities that can support and assist them in their day to day struggles.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Jim

      Craig
      "Any means possible" including logic and reason, right? I'm supposing that, because these things are the devil's tools, you never use those things, ever?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Topher

      Jim

      "It's the people who are already seeing through the pathetic attempts to gloss over what the bible actually says who are seeking this kind of support, probably because they know that they can't trust what their pastors have to say."

      So what do you think the Bible "actually says" that you have a problem with?

      If you can't trust your pastor, you need to find another church. Not reject God.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Doobs

      1. Atheists have proven time and time again on these boards they have no idea what the Bible says ... about anything. So how are they supposed to be able to answer those "difficult questions" people have?

      This is a lie. Not surprising, you are a known liar.

      2. If someone is having doubts, they aren't necessarily giving up on their faith, and thus don't need "communities of like-minded nonbelievers" because they, at this point, aren't nonbelievers.

      They may want to talk to a nonbeliever to find out how they dealt with pressure and rejection from family and friends. They may just be curious. They might never have actually had a serious conversation with a nonbeliever. Since the call is initiated by the doubter, he are obviously the one who decides what he needs. For you to assume that you know what he needs or doesn't need is ridiculous.

      3. A clear bias is shown as these atheists aren't going to be doing anything but try to turn people away from their faith, whatever that is.

      The article specifically addresses this. Did you call them and verify that they are trying to turn people away from their faith?

      4. So much for the whole "you can believe whatever you want" thing as clearly this is a demonstration of intolerance.

      How so? No one is forcing anyone to call. Did you call them and experience intolerance?

      Another bunch of lies from Gopher. Go figure.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Topher

      Dyslexic doG

      "This story has really shaken you hasn't it Topher?"

      Ha! Hardly. Even if this were to prove so successful as to turn away tons of Christians from their faith or to keep atheists shaking their fists at God ... He's still on the throne. There's nothing you can do about that.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • LinCA

      @Topher

      Get a grip.

      You said, "1. Atheists have proven time and time again on these boards they have no idea what the Bible says ... about anything."
      Deliberately misrepresentation may work on your fellow deluded, it doesn't fly with those that don't suffer from the same mental deficiency. Studies repeatedly show that atheists tend to have better knowledge of your book of fairy tales than believers do.

      You said, "So how are they supposed to be able to answer those "difficult questions" people have?"
      Simple. The difficulty of those questions stems most of the time from being unable to reconcile the obvious nonsense of religion with reality. Enlightening the help seeker on the subject removes the bullshit from the equation.

      You said, "2. If someone is having doubts, they aren't necessarily giving up on their faith, and thus don't need "communities of like-minded nonbelievers" because they, at this point, aren't nonbelievers."
      Maybe not, but it is the first step to recovery. A fresh perspective may be all that is necessary to shed some light on the situation.

      You said, "3. A clear bias is shown as these atheists aren't going to be doing anything but try to turn people away from their faith, whatever that is."
      Encouraging callers to view their indoctrination from a fresh perspective isn't "turning people away from their faith". But even if their ulterior motives are to help callers free themselves from the shackles of their fairy tale, not basing your life on bullshit is a good thing. Not believing the Tooth Fairy is real allows for a rational approach to the problems our society faces. Continued reliance on bronze age fairy tales exacerbates them.

      They should encourage callers to abandon religion.

      You said, "4. So much for the whole "you can believe whatever you want" thing as clearly this is a demonstration of intolerance."
      You are still free to remain blissfully ignorant. You've come here for quite a long time now, but has anyone told you that you have to abandon your infantile beliefs? Just because you are encouraged to pull your head out of your ass and wake up doesn't mean you are required to. It still is (mostly) a free country and stupidity isn't illegal.

      You said, "Way to keep making the Bible look more and more correct, atheists."
      Bullshit. Only to those that are too uninformed, and too indoctrinated to see it for what it really is, does it look like the bible is anything but a collection of folk lore.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      "There are religions that make life extra-ordinarily unpleasant for apostates."

      I know. I dislike religion, too.

      "Groups like Mormons, Scientologists and Jehovah's Witnesses shun those who question the Church's dogma, cutting them off from their families, friends and communities."

      Those three are apostate. I'd agree anyone should run as far away from them as possible. But that doesn't mean people should go atheist because of their experiences there.

      "With nobody to turn to, the doubter can feel very isolated which can lead to depression."

      Lots of things lead to depression. I suffer from it and I don't have those same problems.

      "The hotline is about providing people in that situation options and resources for finding new communities that can support and assist them in their day to day struggles."

      Why in the atheistic worldview should you want to help them with their struggles?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • sam stone

      Gopher continues to confuse the translated, edited iron age hearsay with god.

      I guess he needs something to hold on to.

      Gopher.....your god is a vindictive pr1ck. Get back on your knees

      June 5, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • sam stone

      "I dislike religion, too."

      Yet you go to church

      More accurately, you dislike relgions other than your own

      Oh, that's right, you have a "relationship" with jeebus

      June 5, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • sam stone

      "Lots of things lead to depression. I suffer from it and I don't have those same problems."

      Maybe you should dump the whole "hell" nonsense.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Topher
      Why would you think atheists do not want to help their fellow man. I do not have faith in any gods. I have faith in humanity. I practice random acts of kindness, and everyday make sure I do at least on. Multiply that by the decades I have done that and that makes many thousand random starngers helped.

      I have faith in humanity, not gods. By working together we are all better as a whole.Why would I NOT help my fellow man.
      An atheistic view ONLY pertains to gods.
      Do you only do things because of your god?...if so, that is very sad.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • sam stone

      "Why in the atheistic worldview should you want to help them with their struggles?"

      Atheism is not a "worldview", Gopher

      June 5, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Jim

      Topher
      What the bible says is what it says, not something different. When it condones slavery, for example, it never says that slavery is bad, and ought to be abolished. It says that women should stay quiet in church and that being rich is a risky behavior, yet I've heard spin to suggest otherwise. Positive change is great, but don't claim that you got it from "correctly" reading the bible.

      Is there any church you can go to when you start seriously doubting God's existence?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      @Topher

      You can't possibly be as dense as you appear to be! Have you not been paying attention. How about how do you align an omnipotent god with free will (without redefining free will). And you have seen the disturbing bible quotes over and over again about beating your slaves, stoning disobedient children, killing the non-virgins, but keeping the virgins as se-x slaves.

      These things bother people that have thoughts of their own.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      You asked, "difficult questions like what?"

      There are a couple of biggies that have grounded scientific answers, "where did we come from?" is a good one where the hotline can provide theories like the out of africa idea, the migration patterns of early humans, contrasting other religious faiths, rites and ceremonies are others.

      There are other more philisophical questions that you can find answers in the bible or, if you have decided to reject faith but still have questions like, "where do morals come from?" or "what's absolute evil?"

      You're probably thinking to yourself, "those answers CAN be found in the bible", and I'm sure you really believe that to be the case. Keep in mind however that this hotline isn't to debate how the bible can answer peoples questions, but how those questions can be answered outside of the bible. Is there such a thing as absolute evil? I don't think so. Where do morals come from? They're relative to whatever society and culture of the time and place that person is situated for evolutionary reasons.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Austin

      Topher, is that me?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Topher

      Jim

      "When it condones slavery, for example, it never says that slavery is bad, and ought to be abolished."

      But where does it condone slavery? And let me ask you this, according to the Bible, is the slavery described there the same as the race-based slavery we know from our history in this country? Or is it different?

      "It says that women should stay quiet in church and that being rich is a risky behavior, yet I've heard spin to suggest otherwise."

      It says women shouldn't teach a man in church. So what? And being rich is risky behavior ... it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Sounds pretty risky to me.

      "Is there any church you can go to when you start seriously doubting God's existence?"

      Well, you could keep going to your own church and have some serious, private discussions with your pastor on what your problems are. And I know you atheists really hate it when atheism is called a religion, but atheist churches are popping up. CNN has reported on it.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, Re: "hard questions" here's an easy one you have never been able to answer: "What factual, independent, verifiable and objective evidence is there for any god?" Until you can answer this one, I don't think you are qualified to advise anyone on anything religious.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Anthony Real

      As a former Southern Baptist, I can unequivocally affirm that the atheists I admire know more about the bible than any of the holy man charlatans I was dragged to listen to on a weekly basis in my childhood. Christianity is the largest fraud ever perpetuated on mankind, and it is high time we called it the steaming pile of dung that it is.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Topher

      My Dog is a jealous Dog

      "These things bother people that have thoughts of their own."

      Let's just say for the sake of argument you understand those verses and still conclude you don't like them. That doesn't disprove God. That just means you don't like something. That's no reason to dismiss Him. You still have a sin problem that must be dealt with. God is just and thus still must punish for sin. But because He loves you, He took the punishment you deserve so you don't have to go to Hell.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      Gopher: Why you got your tail handed to you regarding free will and an omniscient god, you issued a weak "we'll have to agree to disagree" nonsense.

      Then you ran. Big surprise

      June 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Topher, it's not that we don't "like" The Babble – we reject its very (unproven) foundation. We do not believe there are any gods so reject all the mumbo-jumbo associated with gods, including the notion of sin. You might be a sinner and need saving according to your cult's rules but those rules do not apply to all.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      "You still have a sin problem that must be dealt with."

      Only if you believe that tripe

      "God is just"

      How just is it punishing a scapegoat?

      "and thus still must punish for sin"

      Sin that the omniscient god knew we were going to commit before we were born?

      "But because He loves you, He took the punishment you deserve so you don't have to go to Hell."

      It is he who set up hell in the first place, no?

      June 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • sam stone

      Nothing like convincing people they deserve hell for violating the translated, edited ramblings of people in a long ago and far away place in order to sell them the cure

      Without the guilt that Gopher so menacingly bloviates, christianity is dead in the water

      Back on your knees, Gopher

      June 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Colin

      Hot Air Ace – the "proof" Tropher has proffered in the past has been a series of "scientific preidtions" the Bible made that "science" did not become aware of for centuries later. I actually took the time to look at them. I am only about half way through, but I will post the first three. It will give you an idea of the merits of his argument.

      The earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22) — The earth was a flat disk —The earth is a sphere.

      The actual verse is:

      “ It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.”

      It is from the second oldest part of the book of Isaiah. It was not written by the prophet Isaiah and is often called “Deutero-Isaiah” as a nod to its dubious authenticity. In fact, it was written during the 6th-century BCE, about 100-200 years after the original author of the Book of Isaiah died. As any fifth grade student knows, a circle is very different to a sphere. There is nothing in Deutero-Isaiah that suggests its author knew the Earth was a sphere. Further, the same author, a few verses later, refers to “the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” Neither circles nor spheres have “ends” such that it is ludicrous to think that the author was speaking geometrically or knew the Earth was a sphere.

      Innumerable stars (Jeremiah 33:22) — Only 1,100 stars —Innumerable stars.

      I have no idea where “only 1,100 stars” comes from, as approximately 6,000 stars are visible to the naked eye and were when the Book of Jeremiah was written. The actual verse says “22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.” It is clearly an analogy to indicate a large number, rather than an actual indication of an infinite number (by the way, the number of stars in the Universe must be infinite) unless Tropher believes there are an infinite number of grains of sand on Earth…..

      Free float of earth in space (Job 26:7) — Earth sat on a large animal —Free float of earth in space.

      The actual lines from Job are “He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
      he suspends the earth over nothing.” They are in the context of a semi-poetic interchange between Bildad the Shuhite and Job.

      For the Earth to be suspended “over nothing” it would seemingly be flat and suspended. It is neither. The author of the conversation obviously thought the Earth was flat. That is why he referred to the “spread” of the northern sky “over” empty space and the Earth “suspended below it”.

      His claims continue in the same vein. I will get through them. I was actually disappointed in how bad they were. He did not even know Isaiah was written by three distinct groups of authors.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  11. faith

    Crayz Scienced

    I regret my lack of resources as I am limited in how I may help you. Good intentions are cold comfort, but are all I have.
    How to comfort you is also a problem. Do you seek answers or comfort? Reality is never comforting, sorry.

    not to nazi god-hating fascists. they focus on the contents of a full toilet 24/7. or smelly c v n t s they love s h t and stinking c v n t s

    June 5, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • trollintraining

      Wow.
      You are really no good at this.
      you could even learn a lot from me!

      June 5, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • what???????

      oh no, faith. atheists have no problem in that department. it's the theist that ingests way too much of "the Word".
      This was right after a Fleet enema:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OgAXbyzP5g&w=640&h=360]

      June 5, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • HeavenSent

      2 Corinthians 6:14  

      Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • TrueBlue42

      @HeavenSent: Then why are you are this thread?

      June 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Furthering my education on antisocial personalities.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  12. Alias

    The way I see what is happening in this country:
    Religion doesn't have the social clout it did as recently as 3 generations ago. In the 1950s, Atheism was part of communism, and that was anti-American and evil.
    2 generations ago local communities became less isolated (transportation and communication radically improved) and children started to see different theologies.
    1 generation ago people started questioning the morals of religious institutions, partially based on their civil rights records and bigotry. Science has also made a god unnecessary.
    The scandals in the catholic church came to light after priests lost their status in society. While religious figures were given elevated status it was almost impossible for a child to accuse any preacher of anything.
    Today, children are being raised by parents who have questions about their own faith, and society accepts them whatever they believe. Young people are leaving the churches and their children will be one step further removed from religion.

    June 5, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Romans 1:29

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • sam stone

      HS: The bible is a collection of stories that has been fvcked with more times than a cheap streetwalker

      June 5, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • HeavenSent

      2 Timothy 4:1-4

      1 I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

      2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

      3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

      4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • trollintraining

      HeavenSent

      Firstly, that post was not a judgement call, just telling us how they see it.
      Secondly, turning away from lies is not turning toward darkness.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Numbers 31:17

      "Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Vic

      It is natural for people to clean up corruption, especially when it soars; checks and balances!

      Whatever wrong with churches, people eventually rid of; however, that DOES NOT mean they lose Faith in God! That is the beauty of it; the believer is NOT bound by church walls, human doctrines, etc.

      As a Christian, I have a direct relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ regardless of anyone!

      June 5, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Vic

      oh.. this too:

      June 5, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Vic

      Oops, sorry about that!

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/16/end-times-for-doomsday-linked-radio-network/comment-page-1/#comment-2343757

      June 5, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Jim

      HS
      Creationism, the Rapture and a bunch of other things Christians believe are fables. Maybe that's what your passage was talking about, eh?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • ice surfer

      It's funny how people think quoting lines out of the buy-bull actually holds weight in any argument. Those words are just the meaningless blathering of a deluded individual.

      It's called the buy-bull because they're brainwashing those weak minded sheep into buying it all.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, I mean, phony heavensent, you still haven't figured out those scriptures? LOL

      June 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ice surfer, anyone that complains about the usage of scriptures doesn't know scriptures.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jim, the rapture is man made and not in the Bible. The concept was created because those scriptures were not understood.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • What IF

      HeavenSent,

      Anyone who uses the word "scriptures" to mean only early Middle Eastern Hebrew writings and their sequelae, doesn't know what "scriptures" are:

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

      June 5, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jim, what you call fairy tales, God calls fables. You figure out how long ago He had Holy Men scribe His truth in those scriptures.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • What IF

      * change 'sequelae' to 'sequels'
      (although there are parallels!)

      June 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      What if, I do believe I posted this to you already. Here it is again.

      Matthew 22:29

      Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • What IF

      HeavenSent,
      "You figure out how long ago He had Holy Men scribe His truth in those scriptures."

      The Hindu Vedas are much, much older than your Hebrew stuff (passed by words of mouth thousands of years before, actually):

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/texts/texts.shtml

      June 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • What IF

      Heaven Sent,

      Scripture / Schmipture - The Hebrew ones are no more proven than any of the others...

      June 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  13. Colin

    The sooner we make school prayer mandatory, the better....

    June 5, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Damocles

      And what shall all the little school kids pray for?

      June 5, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Taliban

      Yes, we should teach the Kuranin every school in America!

      June 5, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Alias

      Really?
      Do you actually want your child to hear prayers for every feligion represented in their classes?

      June 5, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Yes! Awesome idea! I cant wait until my kids and all their classmates finally get to praise the devil in class! Wait, are you talking about using your religion or mine?

      June 5, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Colin

      Damocles, pleased you asked. They pray that amputees grow their limbs back.

      Upon entry into high school, each child “adopts” a wounded veteran or other person who has a visible and incurable condition, such as a lost leg, arm or eye. Each day the children pray to God that the person recover their lost appendage. We hold prayer sessions every Monday morning for every week/month and year of their high school experience. Those children who have other beliefs can bow, chant, jiggle an amulet, stare into a crystal or do whatever they wish to “pray” for their chosen ailing person.

      Five years later, at their graduation, prayer can put up or shut up. We parade the injured people through the graduation ceremony so the children can see the results of their 5 solid years of constant prayer. Just how many limbs, eyes or ears do you think will have re-grown?

      The doubtless, consistent and universal failure of their prayers will help the students understand:

      (i) that there is no god listening and that praying is a futile exercise when the results can REALLY be tested;

      (ii) the frailties of their religious leaders as they scurry for excuses –“god won’t be tested”, “god moves in mysterious ways,” “perhaps the people have been healed spiritually”, etc; and

      (iii) the weakness of human nature (and a basic lesson in politics) as the religious right moves to shut the experiments down.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • LOL!

      This troll is not a Christian, they steal other peoples handles to post under.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      How about just ethics classes that compare major religions to highlight the common ethical goals?

      June 5, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Colin

      @ LOL- I never claimed to be.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Damocles

      @colin

      Hmmm.... I like it.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Romans 2:8  

      But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      I can quote nonsensical bible quotes too.

      “All right,” the Lord said. “You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung.”
      –Ezekiel 4:12-15

      June 5, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      What a shock... HS has some meaningless bullshit to post...

      June 5, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Pearl of Wisdom

      "But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, "

      What Paul is saying is that people who obey Him are triangularly locked into His Truth, calmness and righteousness.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Badger, maybe these scriptures are easier to understand.

      2 Samuel 22:27  

      With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Random

      Five years of HS, Colin? Slackers. My kids all graduated in 3-4 years, lol...maybe it's that extra year that'll do the trick!
      Thanks for the chuckle. Your experiment is sound.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • CommonSensed

      You're right. They should all pray to Ganesh. Or maybe the Buddah? I know, I know...Allah? How about Gaea? Odin? Zeus? Gilgamesh? Cthulhu?

      Which god shall the little children pray to, please?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  14. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Hey Anonymous,

    I guess that there is NOT ONE amputee worthy of a yes answer from your god huh?

    June 5, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Christians always ignore this one ...

      June 5, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  15. The Jack-Dawed Yokel

    They can do what ever they want but these hotlines DO NOT work. I called the suicide hotline once and they put me on hold,

    June 5, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Damocles

      Yeah but that whole time you were on hold you weren't off killing yourself now were you?

      June 5, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Was the hold music Van Halen's "Jump"?

      June 5, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • The Jack-Dawed Yokel

      i was just trying to make a funny

      June 5, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Damocles

      @doc

      It's not often I choke on my mt dew. Thanks!

      June 5, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Colin

      Given that you are still posting on blogs, they must have had some success.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Pete

      "Given that you are still posting on blogs, they must have had some success."

      It filled the wallets of the advertisers and got CNN an award for having all of us posts on here. Got to love the fact Christians are supporting greed.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      @Doc – thanks for the laugh

      June 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
  16. Bob

    In this present context of the atheist hotline, I have to say, isn't it funny how god has never, ever picked up the phone!

    God has never, ever answered a request. If you wish to claim otherwise, then present your proof.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    June 5, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Damocles

      I just learned from reading a post below that the key is to 'ask the right question' whatever that is. I'm guessing that the right question is whatever question you are told to ask for, anything else is beyond the capability of an all powerful being. Weird.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      the key is to 'ask the right question' whatever that is.

      That means finding a question to fit your answer.

      Answer: falling down a flight of stairs and breaking your arm.
      Question: I've always wanted to go sky diving. Should I do that?

      Thanks God. What would I do without you.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Any time I get a call from an "unknown" number or one I don't recognize, I answer by saying "Thank you for calling hell, Satan speaking. How may I damn you today?" Most of the time they hang up. Good for a laugh.

      June 7, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  17. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    @Damocles – Welcome back...

    June 5, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Damocles

      Thanks!

      June 5, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  18. Damocles

    Sooooo.... I've been on hiatus for a couple months or days or seconds... whatever. Seems nothing has changed. Austin is still here carrying his big ol' jar of stupid and sword is no longer a sharp stabbing/slicing weapon used mostly in times of war, but is now the word of a deity.

    Nice to know that no matter how long one is away, things stay the same. Except the definition of words, of course.

    June 5, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • hal 9001

      It's good to see you again, Damocles.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Damocles

      @hal

      Much thanks! It's kind of good to be back.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      You're right though ...same shit different day

      June 5, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • LOL!

      "You're right though ...same shit different day"

      I think that proves that Christian prayer doesn't work since this has been going on for 3 years now and their message isn't working. LOL!

      June 5, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Damocles

      Yeah, I sort of expected it, but it's still kind of a let down. Oh well, still makes me chuckle.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      Chad must be going through his Rolodex of topics to prepare for lunch break:
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YIj4rLYo0c&w=640&h=360]

      June 5, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Romans 15:4

      For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,

    OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.

    Be an atheist is okay. Be a Christian is okay.

    In this country both are allowed.

    In GOD'S. Kingdom – he makes the rules. Take it up with him on any disagreement.

    June 5, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It's hard to take it up with God when He never answers His hotline.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Damocles

      Riiiiight.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • nclaw441

      Doc, maybe we just don't know how to use the "phone."

      June 5, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Damocles

      @nclaw

      So 'stop killing all the children with famine' is too va-gue for a deity to understand?

      June 5, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Anonymous

      @Doc

      Always answers my request.

      Yes, No, not now.

      Sorry to hear you haven't gotten your answers. Try asking the right question.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Anonymous
      He seems to give those who seek His guidance some strange messages.
      In 2008, He told Boyce Singleton Jr. to shoot and stab his pregnant girlfriend.
      Deanna Laney heard God direct her to bludgeon her three sons, aged 9, 6 and 15 months. Only the youngest survived.
      Blair Donnelly received instructions to stab to death his 16 year old daughter, Stephanie.
      Christopher Varian was slaughtered with a cheese knife after God spoke with one of his employees.
      God told Jennifer Cisowski to dash her infant's head on the rocks, so ""Just like Jesus raised Lazarus, I threw the baby on the stones by the pool."
      Khandi Busby got a direct message from God advising her that the only way to save her 6 and 8 year old boys was to toss them off a bridge in Dallas. Fortunately, they survived.
      Angel Rico says he received a divine command to strangle his 4 year old son, so he did just that and left him at the side of the highway.
      Lashaun Harris threw her 3 young kids into the San Francisco Bay after God let her know that He wanted a human sacrifice.

      Since nobody has a psychic decoder capable of intercepting Divine Messages, these people's experiences with the Almighty can't be considered any more or less real than anyone else's.
      That being said, alll of those people have been found legally insane by the judicial system, so if you hear God's voice speaking to you, it's probably time to check with your local psych ward to see if you need a huggy jacket.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Supposedly

      "God" gives men free will. Like giving the RCC the free will to hinder condom use in the poorest countries.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Madtown

      Try asking the right question.
      ----
      How can we know what the right question is?

      June 5, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Damocles

      @Doc

      By the time you hear the voices, it's too late.

      @madtown

      Simple yes/no questions. Remember the magic 8 ball? Same thing.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Madtown
      We know that the answer is '42'.
      Many philosophers theorize that if both the Ultimate Question and the Ultimate Answer were ever to be found at the same time then the Universe would disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. Other philosophers conject that this has already happened.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Alex Trebek is god

      Try asking the right question.

      So it's like playing Jeopardy?

      June 5, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Amos 8:11

      Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

      Amen.

      June 5, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  20. atheist dollars @work in W.Africa????

    A humanitarian crisis is sweeping West Africa right now. Displaced families are in desperate need—children are especially vulnerable.

    about 475,000 people have fled their homes in the wake of fighting in northern Mali. And more than 10 million people in the region are expected to suffer through hunger this year. Families don't have enough to eat. They don't have enough clean water and other essentials.

    June 5, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Here's a story about religious idiocy hindering humanitarian efforts.

      During the 1st Gulf War, Sadaam Hussein trageted the Kurdish people. They fled on foot by the thousands in the mountains between Iraq and Turkey, taking only what they could carry. Many died en route of malnutrition and dehydration, but those that made it were greeted by a UN refugee encampment providing medical aid and other necessities.
      As word of their plight spread, a number of companies stepped up and donated supplies, including the Levi Strauss company who gave much needed clothing so that the refugees could endure the cold, mountain climate.
      The Kurds, who are Muslim, refused to wear the clothing.
      They would rather see their all ready sick children freeze and die than wear clothing that comes from a company with a Jewish sounding name.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Science

      Join your heroes. Be one yourself.

      Together, you and DC Entertainment have raised more than $2 million. This fight can be won. Here’s how.

      http://www.wecanbeheroes.org/

      June 5, 2013 at 10:36 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.