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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
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

(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. faith

    there is overwhelming evidence

    i told everyone, these morons can't make distinctions

    i said they cannot refute all the evidence

    i said they have no evidence

    i am correct, as usual.

    sorry girls. if u do find something new and promising and u want me to review it, i'd be happy to help.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • I Am God

      You seem to have a hard time in providing anything truthful.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      faith is a diseased gash

      how is that lawsuit coming, poo-tah?

      June 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Snopes.com & WHO Joint Committee

      Claim: faith is a diseased gash
      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

      :mrgreen:       True

      June 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  2. Robert

    Atheism is irrelevant. It is, has always been, and always be a tiny but extremely vocal and irrational cult.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      irrational?

      given the fairy stories you believe in, that's hilarious!

      June 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • I Am God

      Sounds like you are just trying to avoid the reality of the world. I guess you don't know that Atheists are one of the fastest groups growing out there.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Thoth

      Atheism has been a small (but now growing) group because it takes an open mind to question traditional conjecture.

      The term 'ignorant mas.ses' exists for a reason.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      I see your problem, you have difficulties with word definitions. You may want to double-check the definition of a cult.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      You might also want to check your definition of "extremely vocal" as in the past I believe it's been the exact opposite as you describe. Only until recently have atheists been given the ability to express their views and find others with similar views without the threat of ignorant violence from religious groups and individuals. I am happy we are now able to speak up. One of my clients who just turned 79 confessed to me (her insurance agent) that she was an atheist and was so glad to feel comfortable enough letting other people know how she felt because she said it had been nearly 50 years since she became an atheist but had only recently "come out" on Facebook. New technology is enabling like minded free thinkers to find each other much easier now which is why we see a boom in non-religion in the US.

      June 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • If atheism is totally irrelevant

      Why are your spending so much time, energy and emotion apposing it?

      June 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  3. capnmike

    Religion is a disease.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  4. MormonChristian

    I find the term "recovery" applied in this sense as offensive as my LGBT friends do when applied to their situation. Let's stop stereotyping and acting like someone needs to be "rescued".

    I'm just amazed at all the atheists here who act like the rest of us who believe have never read a modern book, don't believe in Science, and all work on a dairy farm without electricity. Do you guys realize how silly you are acting and where this kind of bigotry will lead?

    June 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      If you are educated and living in the 21st century, 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? A book that copies shamelessly from many religions pre-dating it. A book that was written decades or centuries after the characters were said to have existed.

      How then can you believe in a God when there is absolutely ZERO proof of said God's existence?

      We are all flabbergasted by your belief in this children's fairytale.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • lol??

      Christians are gonna be raptured to the work camps and learn a whole new meaning of camping.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • JustRight

      Really? Im amazed that youre amazed that you can support something so outside of reality and then act surprised and offended when its pointed out

      June 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • lol??

      God knows how to flabagast the race.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      I'd love to tell you in a better forum...I would hope you would listen with the same open mind you claim to love. The first step is to lose the hate and the stereotypes in your mind. You are no better off than what you condemn in believers.

      Since we'll never meet....I suggest you find a friend who believes in God and ask them why they believe....in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

      A great book to read is "Man's Search For Meaning" by Victor Frankl. Start there.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • lol??

      Dog is hung up on the "Wegod". Judgment will be on an individual basis with no help from a mob.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Christians are gonna be raptured to the work camps and learn a whole new meaning of camping. "
      Gotta love that delusional persecution complex. But it is useful in keeping the troops in line, right Sgt. Maj. Dickerson ?

      June 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Akira

      "I find the term “recovery” applied in this sense as offensive as my LGBT friends do when applied to their situation".
      How, precisely, are your LGBT friends "recovering", and from what?

      June 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • lol??

      In your case dog, maybe it's pack.

      How about all the little mobsters that can't help being so weak with the group think doin' the overpowerin', callin' home like ET?? Mom will listen.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • JustRight

      lol?? – I love you man...your like my crazy uncle who makes bad jokes and then chuckles to himself while everyone rolls their eyes...you make this site feel like home

      June 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • lol??

      Don't tell me his name is Sam??

      June 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • JustRight

      Nope, its Max...pretty close though

      June 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • True Christian

      Mormons are not Christians – stop spreading your lies and confess to Jesus. Become a real Christian.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  5. S. Bonner

    To each their own.

    If the only reason you can't believe in God is based in the fact that you're all offended that the universe isn't all puppies and rainbows, then you didn't understand the contents of the Bible or its intended lessons and you just instead subscribe to New Age feel-good modern church cultures. There is NOTHING in the Bible that gives anyone the right to condemn anyone else, nothing about throwing a hissy fit over taxes, nothing about Harry Potter. The ancient core of Christianity relied on teachings from many sources beyond the Bible, most of which promote equality amongst the genders. Above all, though, God is said to love his children but he gave them all free will. We made our bed and now we'll lie in it. Disease, death, pain, and hardship are all a part of our intended existence. How you navigate this world - how you treat others, how you treat yourself - is a part of who we are intended to be.

    To my fellow Christians, however: If people want to leave their faith and they need a hotline of people telling them how stupid faith is in order to do it, that's their business. Leave them alone, it's THEIR decision. If you have a problem with people leaving your church or 'faking it', then I recommend that you don't blame science (which generally melds quite well with core Christianity and has nothing to do with its principles), but instead yourselves and how YOU are treating the people around you.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      S. Bonner,

      Very well said. I know so many people of various religions (and no religion at all), who believe as you do. This daily bickering from one extreme or the other is so unproductive...let's all get busy together to better the world, rather than exercising hatred over those who may not agree with our beliefs or non beliefs...

      June 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @S. Bonner,

      "If the only reason you can't believe in God is based in the fact that you're all offended that the universe isn't all puppies and rainbows, then you didn't understand the contents of the Bible or its intended lessons and you just instead subscribe to New Age feel-good modern church cultures."

      How does one simultaneously not believe in Gof and subscribe to New Age, feel-good modern church cultures?

      With whom are you debating here? Atheists or mega-church goers? The two are quite different you know.

      Atheists have no expectation that the world is a perfectly harmless coc-oon.

      June 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  6. Michelle

    The only good atheist is a dead one. Worm meat.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • S. Bonner

      Not really doing the Christian faith any favors, are you?

      June 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  7. Rick

    The proof of the existence of God lies within you. If you choose to shut Him out then you won't feel his presence. Nonetheless he's there if you open your heart.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      a retreat into mysticism is the last refuge of a cornered fool

      June 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Rainbows & Lollipops

      Yeah, I know what you mean. I just _know_ that there's an invisible unicorn living in my garage. I just know it.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Thoth

      The proof of the existence of unicorns lies within you. If you choose to shut them out then you won't feel their presence. Nonetheless they're there if you open your heart.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  8. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    The freedom to be a loving, caring, moral, ethical person without the threat/promise of reward/punishment is true freedom. Atheism is the only true freedom.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • lol??

      "2Cr 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty."

      June 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • lol??

      A true Scotsman gave us the KJV and Scotch. Churchill was grateful.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      lol?? .. you are not free if you need to believe a book to tell you how to be free.

      Here's a better way to interpret the bible to be free ..
      1 Corinthians 13:11 .. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • lol??

      Without books you keep rediscoverin' the wheel.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Not if we keep reading ancient folklore as fact.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  9. DogmatistSteve

    Oh, you all must be so happy this new hotline is up.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Jim

      Well, it ought to help a lot of people, so yeah!

      June 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • DogmatistSteve

      help them with what?

      June 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • S. Bonner

      This hotline is meaningless, really.

      The people who will call it are people who have already lost their faith in the first place and are now just looking for people to confirm their new beliefs.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      The hotline is a service to help people break their psychological conditioning from (likely) a lifetime of indoctrination. It's pretty simple really.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  10. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Evil ism, self center ism is other wise known as hindu atheism, criminal self center ism, foundation of hinduism, racism as a religion, Good LORD GOD, TRUTH ABSOLUTE CREATED EVERY ONE EQUAL, but hindu atheist, criminal self centered divided them in to classes, cast system, a crime agianst humanity and violation of American laws. HELP THOSE SUFFERING FROM HINDUISM, RACISM IN LAND OF HINDUISM RACISM, INDIA BY FAITH.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPHHcJHqXOc

    June 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  11. MormonChristian

    This is the daily article by CNN to give a forum to all the closed-minded, religion-hating bigots out there. Extremism is on both ends...the ultra religious person who won't accept Scientific discovery (btw – I really don't know any religious friends who fit this) as well as the Atheist who only believes what they can see, hear, touch or smell (only the visible world??).

    Both ends are closed minded, tend towards hate and bigotry of everyone else (as evidenced by many posts here) and are the true danger to society.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • JustRight

      Im betting you believe the book of mormon despite there being tons of scientific evidence against it...so now you do know someone who fits the description of a science denying christian. Congrats!

      June 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      I dont know about you, but anytime someone talks who wears magic underwear and thinks they get to be the king of their own planet when they die, i listen....then I laugh at them. LOL

      June 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      Sorry, but voicing one disbelief in hate-filled, slavery endorsing, women hating religions does not make one a bigot. It makes one a human being.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • DontPretend

      Do you need magic goggles to interpret this?

      June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • S. Bonner

      @rabidatheist

      When you hate someone, hate their culture, hate their core belief system (whether atheist OR faith-based), then yes, you are a bigot.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • JustRight

      S. Bonner – if you dont see the hypocrisy in your statement then you are living in a dream land my friend

      June 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      @ S Bonner, I'm sorry but your religion, the one you choose to believe does not get the same protection as hating people for being born the way they are. The three major monotheistic religions all condemn people to hell, for eternity for not believing their man/god was real. Why should I have any respect for something that condemns one to punishment for not believing it? I can respect your right to believe such nonsense, but nothing says I have to respect the belief. I do believe you theists have a saying for this, "Hate the sin, not the sinner".

      June 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • S. Bonner

      It's hardly hypocrisy to call someone hating another person due to group association a bigot. That is a dictionary-styled definition of the word.

      Calling someone a bigot doesn't infer bigotry of the accusing party. What would make this hypocritical was if I followed up my statement with something like, "People who believe in atheism are all butt-weasels and they are single leading cause of all the pain and suffering in the world and we should abolish it."

      June 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      @JustRight,

      I've seen enough archeological evidence to support the claims of the Book of Mormon that the people that lived in the ancient America's really did exist when and how the book describes. Not a perfect fit with ALL evidence but enough to make me think it did. But I "believe" in the book because it supports my belief in the Bible. Together these books describe a way of living that works for me. And I have a graduate degree, have both lived and traveled extensively abroad, have studied all kinds of cultures and history, love science and learning.

      Let's just say we don't agree and leave it at that. No need for hate or schoolyard putdowns. Or threats of death camps (my, my).

      June 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • JustRight

      MormonChristian – Sure sure sure...now...name one piece of evidence that supports the book of mormon...and you cant use that lie about the return of the white god. Ill start you out with one that doesnt support the book of mormon and maybe you can explain...the book of mormon mentions horses numerous times but there were no horses in America until the Europeans brought them...please explain

      June 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      @ S Bonner, you can call us whatever you like, and you will not hear us accusing you of being a bigot. You will however look like a fool when we ask you to back up your silly claims. You also may hear the sound of laughter in the background, that will be us laughing at you.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • JustRight

      S. Bonner – by your definition the whole "hate the sin but love the sinner" thing makes all christians bigots...for instance hating the "sin" of h o m o s e x u a l i t y

      June 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    Rather than inculcating our children with the primary-color simple Sunday school legends and myths most people do, might I suggest the following ten commandments to enable them to think for themselves.

    1. DO NOT automatically believe something just because a parent, priest, rabbi or minister tells you that you must.
    2. DO NOT think that claims about magic and the supernatural are more likely true because they are written in old books. That makes them less likely true.
    3. DO analyze claims about religion with the same critical eye that you would claims about money, political positions or social issues.
    4. DO NOT accept it when religious leaders tell you it is wrong to question, doubt or think for yourself. It never is. Only those selling junk cars get frightened when you want to "look under the hood".
    5. DO decouple morality from a belief in the supernatural, in any of its formulations (Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc.). One can be moral without believing in gods, ghosts and goblins and believing in any of them does not make one moral.
    6. DO a bit of independent research into whatever book you were brought up to believe in. Who are its authors and why should I believe them in what they say? How many translations has it gone through? Do we have originals, or only edited copies of copies of copies– the latter is certainly true for every single book in the Bible.
    7. DO realize that you are only a Christian (or Hindu or Jew) because of where you were born. Were you lucky enough to be born in the one part of the World that “got it right”?
    8. DO NOT be an apologist or accept the explanation “your mind is too small to understand the greatness of god” or “god moves in mysterious ways” when you come upon logical inconsistencies in your belief. A retreat to mysticism is the first refuge of the cornered wrong.
    9. DO understand where your religion came from and how it evolved from earlier beliefs to the point you were taught it. Are you lucky enough to be living at that one point in history where we “got it right”?
    10. DO educate yourself on the natural Universe, human history and the history of life on Earth, so as to be able to properly evaluate claims that a benevolent, mind-reading god is behind the whole thing.

    I sometimes think that, if we first taught our children these simple guidelines, any religion or other supernatural belief would be quickly dismissed by them as quaint nostalgia from a bygone era. I hope we get there as a species

    June 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • BanReligion

      Do you ever do anything other than copy and paste Colin's posts?

      June 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Colin

      Ignore him, Dog. Keep posting away. The more we say it the better

      June 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • MormonChristian

      So...if "Do Not" do any of your 10 things, but I still practice my religion, using my mind, being open to discovery and learning, etc., what then???

      June 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Colin's literary genius deserves reposting over and over again! 🙂

      June 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      oh and @BanReligion ... thanks for your comment. You bring happiness whenever you go.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • S. Bonner

      Your post would be more thought provoking if it were not clearly aimed at basically being 500 words to state "Don't have a faith because I said so." Some of these points explicitly assume the reader is Christian.

      When your post calls out for atheists to also review the way they see the world, to not think themselves superior because they are comfortable with their current Laws and Theories, and to always concede that the unknown is the unknown, that human nature, rather than faith, is what generates evil and bigotry, then maybe you'd have something.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Kzooresident

    Remember that number.

    It's 1-800-Proselytize

    June 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • S. Bonner

      Bingo.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Can either of you explain to me how this is prosletyzing?

      Is it proseletyzing if I were to walk into a church and request to speak with a pastor about christianity or is it proseletyzing if I'm sitting quietly in my house reading when people show up at my door demanding to tell me about their religion?

      If you chose the latter, congrats! you have a basic understanding of what proseltyzing is which leads us back to how does calling a 1-800 hotline prosletyze.

      If you chose the former, then please see dictionary.com to get the defintion of proseltyzing then, once you learn, let us know how it applies to the hotline.

      Thanks!

      June 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  14. boredofceleb

    Can't you people see this article for what it is? To spark hate and controversy? Give it up. There's no way an Atheist is going to convert a Christian on this blog, nor vice versa. It's a waste of time.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • God

      Not so my son. I no longer believe in myself.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Jim

      We just need to get people to take an honest look at their beliefs. That's all it usually takes to become an athiest.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • WASP

      however it does help pass the time at a boring job. XD

      June 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • boredofceleb

      @Jim: Not gonna happen. Christians feel the same way. Again, a waste of time...

      June 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  15. Bill Deacon

    And some people with mental illness think they can get "assessment values" from other people by osmosis or ESP.

    June 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • sam stone

      And some think they can communicate with god through a drag queen at the vatican

      June 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Dwayne

      Good one Sam.

      Dull Beacon's ambition in life is to have intercourse with his drag queen of a pope.

      June 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • uber alles

      Bill Deacon reminds me of Silas of Opus Dei in the Da Vinci Code. Obedience Bill, whip yourself into shape for the love of the Vicar of Christ on earth (will not reciprocate).

      June 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  16. S. Bonner

    You have some atheists who proselytize directly - I found this to be particularly true when I lived in Tempe, and had strangers walk right up to me in a restaurant or the street to inform me how I'm subhuman, less intelligent, or naive for no other reason than I was wearing a cross necklace or pendant.

    Now you have larger groups getting dangerously close to the act.

    Is this not a quality, a set of behaviors, of the religion they so harshly condemn in the first place?

    June 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      - Penn Jillette

      June 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      Not even close, because remember for one, we don't condemn anyone for not believing us. And number two, would you feel the same way if someone questioned someone wearing a swastika?

      June 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • S. Bonner

      @rabidatheist:
      In two sentences, you alluded to a comparison of Christian faith and imagery of a group that brought you the Holocaust.

      This is a hateful statement made without regard to the person. You rationalize it by calling it a distaste for the faith, but when the faith is a core part of a person, it does become a personal insult. You see things differently but you refuse to recognize that your view isn't the only view - little less the only correct view.

      Some atheists (not all) DO condemn people of faith. They don't 'condemn' them to Hell, but they do condemn them to a state of being that is less than the one they view themselves on. They are not viewed as peers and not respected. In a way, it is closer to describe the behavior as being similar to how the KKK viewed black people.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      Your are almost right on one thing. I would say it's unfair to compare religion to the Holocaust, unfair to the holocaust, but both of them are the effects of religion anyway, so the Holocaust gets included with all of the religious killing. Please do not compare us to the KKK because like the Nazis, the KKK was also a rekigious organization. You should stop doing this, becuase you are making this too easy to prove how bad religion is, and why it deserves no respect.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Now you have larger groups getting dangerously close to the act." ... of proselytizing.

      Bwa haa haa. Atheists dangerously close to proselytizing. Quick arm thyselves with thy holy bibles.

      According to the article this hotline is a support line – not dial an evalgelist for disbelief. But even if the counsellors strayed from support to advocating, this effort pales into insignificance compared with the proselytizing of organized religion.

      June 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    Christianity is the belief that a god impregnated a virgin with himself, to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to forgive the "original sin" of a couple we now all know never existed.

    Atheism is the belief that the above belief is fvcking stupid

    June 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • S. Bonner

      Well, when you boil down the entirety of a vast number of religions and faiths into such a simplistic statement, then yes, it's quite stupid.

      But then, it's also incredibly ignorant to boil down the entirety of a vast number of religions and faiths into such a simplistic statement.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      You appear to be a good candidate for a Charlemagne type conversion.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Jim

      S. Bonner
      So, you see Christian theology as "stupid"? There wasn't anything inaccurate about goD's summary, right?

      June 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • S. Bonner

      @Jim No. I was speaking within the context of doG's desired meaning.

      I personally don't care what people believe, but I do ask that they not assume I'm less of a good person, or less of an intelligent person, because my beliefs are not their own. We can all respect one another and move forward in society without trying to over-simplify core belief systems that we don't like.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  18. faith

    like i said, they wrote in great detail and paid the ultimate personal sacrifice to inform the world what they saw and handled. what's 2 doubt? hundreds of millions have testified to his love and his personal, intimate interest and care. what's 2 doubt? that's evidence. our proof is their written accounts, the revelation of nature, the word of millions and millions throughout history and logic and reason. we have the witness of his spirit, too.

    don't believe. ur choice. but if u pretend there is no evidence, u r an idiot.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you must be a troll. No-one could be this much of a tool ...

      June 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Colin

      Neither the deep personal convictions people feel, however honest, nor the lengths they will go to prove and defend them, nor the number of people who feel that way is evidence of the existence of the Judeo-Christian god.

      Gods cannot be democratically elected into existence. If number of adherents and strength of conviceteion were evidence, Allah may well have a leg up on Yahweh/God.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      Who exactly is this "they" that wrote down anything? By "they" I think you mean Eusebius, then man that referred to deception as "medicine for the faith". He invented much of the history of Christianity, especially the martyrs, and Constantine's vision at the Malvan Bridge.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • What IF

      " word of millions and millions throughout history ..."

      Then you're gonna have to go with Hinduism - much, much older than your stuff and many, many more adherents over the millennia.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      faith,
      "they wrote in great detail and paid the ultimate personal sacrifice to inform the world what they saw and handled."

      Yeah, who are these "they"? Matthew, Mark, Luke & John (or whoever wrote under those names). No-one even knows who they really were, not to mention what their fates or ultimate personal sacrifices were.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  19. ViK100

    Ok, so these people don't want you to believe in God.. but they want you to believe in them?? Something smells fishy..

    June 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Jim

      No, it's that we find no good reason to believe in God, or any other god, for that matter. Don't take it personally; we treat all gods the same. You should try it!

      June 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  20. Mark

    Jesus demanded that his followers abandon their families and possessions and obey him totally, with the threat of infinite pain. This is enough to put him in the same category as David Koresh, Jim Jones, Charles Mason, L. Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, and others. I wonder what horrors were in his compound.

    Age is irrelevant. Popularity is irrelevant. This cult is near the end of its history. Lets recover as many of its victims as we can.

    June 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      amen!!!

      June 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • ViK100

      and I should listen/follow you because.......???

      June 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • WASP

      AWOMAN! XD

      June 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      WASP!!!! Welcome back! You have been missed! 🙂

      June 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Akira

      VIK: so don't. Mark is airing his opinion the same as you.

      June 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
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About this blog

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