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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. Rick L

    Get over yourselves, atheists. Go to a communist country and shut your pie-holes if you want to be godless, the usa is a christian country.

    What a bunch of ass-hats.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Observer

      Rick L,

      How Christian of you! Skip the hypocrisy. WWJD?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      Our founders were not atheists! They had no access to reality.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • mama k

      Well it's certainly not completely a Christian country and it's certainly not a theocracy.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • mama k

      Skeptic Al, you sound drunk.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Teos

      You do realize our founding fathers were heavily Athiest (or at least Agnostic) and actually promoted people to NOT be religious, right?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Terilyne

      The United States has never been a "Christian" country. It is a country founded on religious FREEDOM. You can believe anything you want to in this country. You CANNOT tell others what to believe. One of this great country's fundamental foundations. And you are a blowhard idiot for thinking anything else.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • wakeup333

      Saudi Arabia & Turkey are building US mosques faster than Jack-in-the-Boxes. Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan will be here to open his $100 million Mega Mosque in Lanham, Maryland next year. It will be the biggest mosque in the Western Hemisphere. As the US Muslim population grows, Christians will be as welcome as they now are in Dearborn, Michigan, where street evangelists are arrested! Will the US still be "Christian" in 20 years?

      Want to bow 5 times a day to Mecca? Be arrested for drinking alcohol?

      Neither do atheists! We're more your friends than the "religion of peace."

      June 4, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Rick L

      Skeptic Al and Theos- It was never an atheist country. This country is 76% Christian. You are only the 1%.

      June 5, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—"
      – Treaty of Tripoli, 1797

      June 5, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • RGE50

      Rick L, you sound very angry.

      June 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Get over yourself, idiot. The US is NOT a "Christian country" and was NOT founded on Christian principles. You're parroting what you were taught by people even more ignorant and uneducated than you. Read a history book, as.shat.

      June 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  2. Jeff

    Everyone is born an atheist and all dead bodies are atheist. In between is where some people get confused.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  3. DustyOnes

    52 to nearly 500 people....out of 365 million.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  4. GetReal

    Maybe someone can start a group that helps people recover from Atheism.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Jeff

      If you can't handle reality (aka atheism), no hotline can help you.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Religion tried that already and obviously are failing.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • DustyOnes

      Islam

      June 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      We atheists have an exclusive claim to reality.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • mama k

      I guess Skeptic Al is s POE.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "A religion is sometime a source of happiness, and I would not deprive anyone of happiness. But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak, not for the strong. The great trouble with religion – any religion – is that a religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith, cannot thereafter judge those propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak certainty of reason- but one cannot have both."
      – Robert Heinlein

      June 5, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  5. aertzc

    Within our lifetimes atheism will have all the hallmarks of conventional religion. It already has many.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • GetReal

      Well said.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      That's rather like saying that in our lifetime, not playing basketball will become an Olympic sport.

      I suspect that you are confused and threatened by atheism and thus try to shape the simple act of not believing in god into something that you understand. Information phone lines and common-interest organizations actually exist outside of religion. You would know that if you didn't view your world through a church-colored filter.

      June 5, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  6. sly

    Folks, it doesn't matter.

    Earth ended last December.

    We are all in heaven.

    Isn't it great?

    June 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      But what are THEY doing here?

      June 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  7. MysteryMoves

    I don't require support person to help me understand the truth or differentiate between fact and fiction . But, I support any and all help to push back against Christians trying to force God into my life. Start by legislating to remove "In God We Trust" off my license plate and currency.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  8. Alex in NJ

    I think that Atheists need to get over themselves, and I am an Atheist.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • aertzc

      I'm an atheist as well and I very much agree. The biggest problem with atheism is the undeserved sense of superiority of most atheists. Some atheists can be just as embarrassing as Bible-thumpers.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • 1-800 Atheist

      They are a lot alike.

      They keep posting the same Bible verses and have no idea what they really mean.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Eh, I don't know.

      Superiority is sometime in the eye of the beholder. For instance, time and time again I've been asked (or chosen to volunarily idenify) if I'm an atheist. When I say I am, I'm told I only am because I haven't read the bible, or I believe whatever science tells me to believe.

      When I explain to them that I've actually done a good amount of research and it was because of that research that I arrived at my conclusion that atheism makes the most sense, all of a sudden I'm "superior" and "arrogant" because I'm flaunting my knowledge.

      It happened once with my brother when he was arguing for why Judaism makes the most sense and I started to quote verses from the Torah that I personally disagreed with and he said I couldn't persuade him I was right just because I knew some quotes.

      I guess it comes down to the fact that lots of times atheists are cast as arrogant because they choose to show the research they've done and religion has a long history of shaming those who choose to not hide their intellect. I'm not saying that this is the case all the time, the true arrogance of some atheists is astounding, but I guarantee that number is way lower than people think.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Really, what's all the fuss about children dying because of thier parent's religious faith? Women dying because they can't have abortions to save their lives when it's obvious the fetus cannot survive? Discriminating against people because of some horrible and unproven mythology? sarcasm off.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • tallulah13

      For a very long time, atheists were pressured to stay silent. For a very long time, being openly atheistic could cost you, personally and financially. There are still states with laws on the books that don't allow atheists to hold office and in some cases, be witnesses in court trials.

      Perhaps some atheists come off as arrogant because we are enjoying a certain freedom for the first time. Perhaps some feel compelled to be vocal, because they know from experience that there are "believers" who are afraid of admitting their doubts and just need a little encouragement.

      It is my belief that knowledge should be shared. I don't mean standing on street corners and yelling (as the christians in the town where I live do), but in being open about my disbelief, and like the phone line, being available should anyone have questions.

      June 5, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  9. Jim DiGriz

    As an atheist myself, I hope the new number will be 1-800-GOD-LESS.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  10. kent

    i'll volunteer to be a hotline counselor. my standard reply will be "there is no god, now get on with your life."

    June 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Atheist talk too much about a GOD they don't believe exist.

    They need a help line for the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy.

    Darwin was right, monkeys are smarter than atheist.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Observer

      Anonymous,

      Speaking of smart, tell us about your belief in unicorns and talking animals.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      If there is a God (and I'm not saying there is)... He probably smiling at how much we talk about Him.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Anonymous: Feeling a little left out? Could you provide the reference for your lie about Darwin?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Steve

      No monkeys are smarter than you.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • sean

      dehumanizing a group is the first step to treating them like an animal. Congrats on your ascension to discrimination.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Nothing says you have the courage of your convictions like calling yourself "Anonymous".

      June 5, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  12. Polar Bear

    God is the glue that has made this country great and what it is. As God "dissolves" in this country, so does the country. Hardly a religionist myself, I believe true faith requires intelligence and it is abundantly evident to me that "something greater than us" create all of this and that the order in the universe didn't happen by chance. What strikes me is the often nasty self-centeredness of those that call themselves "atheists." What, do they have a better plan? Hardly. You can rail about all the bad that religion has done but it is far outshadowed but the enormous good it has done. Those that offer they are "too intelligent" to believe in God, a higher power, etc. don't see their tragic ignorance. And plus, to believe in nothing at all is to believe in something, right? So what they are offering, really, is to "believe in what I believe, don't believe in what those 'God people" believe." I'll take the latter any day. Faith is the most powerful, positive force on this earth. Too bad the atheists choose to live miserably. Seriously, have you ever met a happy atheist?

    June 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Slavery was the other glue that helped build our nation. Not every uniting force can survive the test of truth.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Faith is defined as belief without evidence and yes I know plenty of happy Atheists-myself, my husband, numerous friends of ours; numerous people on this blog.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Steve

      I am an Atheist and I am a very happy person. My life is far from miserable and life keeps getting better every day for me. I don't need god or religion to make me feel happy or make me be a good person. I can do that all on my own.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • JWT

      No need for your version of a god thats for sure. And I know many very ahppy atheists..

      June 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Lou

      "Seriously, have you ever met a happy atheist?"

      LOL! Seriously, have you ever heard of a theist who is not at odds with all the other theists AND the atheists?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Dan

      i mean, I'm pretty happy myself

      June 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • kent

      yes. no. and yes.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      I can be my own God.

      I even create my own gravitational pull that keeps me on Earth.

      I don't need God's power.

      I keep getting better and better. Like Tide detergent.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • sly

      "ever meet a happy athiest"?
      =====
      Now that is funny. I actually didn't realize many people believed in God until I was about 18. Until then, in the University town I grew up in, very few folks were religious.

      I always assumed religious people were those few who went to church rather than watch football.

      I honestly must admit being shocked that over 20% of Americans believe in God. I'm not judging y'all, I am simply shocked.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • eric

      wow that was very amazingly put!

      June 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Atheist

      You are wrong.

      I am atheist. I have a college education and work for a large financial firm as a broker. I am in a stable relationship of over three years. I am heavily involved with my community and have volunteered over 300 hours each year for the last three years. I have no cable TV, and instead spend my time with my family. I do not use drugs, rarely drink, and have never been convicted of any crimes. Most importantly, I love my life.

      People of faith talk the way you do because they're afraid of the reality: that the concept of believing in an omnipresent scorekeeper isn't necessary to living a meaningful, productive, and happy life.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      I'm almost perfect, too.

      I look down on those who need help from God. Especially the poor.

      I'm so much better than them!

      June 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Atheist

      Look at my resume – if there is a God – he will be impressed!

      At least I'm not poor, a criminal or uneducated. And I'm happy!

      June 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • @@Atheist - You are wrong 2

      Not all people of faith.

      Some are acting out of love.

      They haven't had an opportunity for a college education.

      They don't have access to good jobs.

      They have broken relationships.

      They are addicted to chemicals.

      They are criminals.

      And God loves them.

      We don't have a scorekeeper. Not at all.

      We have a heavenly father that is helping us through this difficult life.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Your "creator" has some serious design flaws.

      The earth is in a cosmic shooting gallery.
      Volcanoes and earthquakes destroy lives.
      Many diseases on earth have the potential to kill us.
      The sun will eventually burn out and destroy the planet.
      The universe is winding to oblivion.
      We eat and breathe through the same hole, increasing the risk for choking. Dolphins don't do this so it seems easy enough to "design."
      Your creator seems seriously inept.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Observer

      I am an atheist and extremely happy. I have a wonderful wife and family I love very much. I have a great job that gives me a lot of satisfaction. I am perfectly satisfied to let my children come to their own conclusions about god and don't feel that I need to indoctrinate them to believe in a higher being or not believe in one. I came to this conclusion after years of study, reading and personal experience and expect that they will have to reach their own conclusions. I feel that my life is even MORE meaningful to me now that I have become an atheist because I realize that this lifetime is all that I get and I better make the most of it. I am not worried about earning some "reward" at the end of my life. I AM worried about being the best person that I can be, not to please some invisible person in the sky, but because that is what I chose to do with my time on this planet and the legacy I chose to leave.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • voxx

      God made us to believe.. You CAN NOT believe in NOTHING you can not do it!.. They may say they don't believe in God well that is what they BELIEVE!.. No way around it.. More proof that God made us that way.. But he give us a will to chose what to believe..

      June 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • kljlkjlj@yahoo.com

      @ Your "creator" has some serious design flaws.

      I'm sure you could've done better.

      Prove it.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Hey, polar bear, there are plenty of things "greater than us", but there is no evidence that any of those things are gods. This nation was built upon the personal freedom of it's citizens, and our secular government was put into place by our Founding Fathers, who just had to look at the examples in Europe to know that the combination of church and state was poisonous to liberty.

      Historically "faith" has killed millions and started dozens, if not hundreds of war, even among those who professed to worship the same god. Faith may sometimes encourage good, but it is also a power of division and bigotry.

      I'm sorry that you need a supernatural figurehead to support the common good. I don't. I'm sorry that you need to cling to superstion to be happy. I don't, and I wouldn't want to. Happiness built on a lie has all the substance of cotton candy.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      "Hardly a religionist myself".... the fourth and most laughable lie in your first three sentences. Oh, and does it really chuff you to think that someone who doesn't believe in your god could possibly be happy? It's astonishing how filled with hatred and vitriol you are, and equally astonishing that you don't see how twisted your thinking is.

      June 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  13. Fred8680

    I no longer worry about joining the right church. On Sundays I go fishing and I am lot more at peace.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  14. Jason

    religion the biggest killer of man in the history of man. all the wars, the division, the terrorism, for a dude in the sky who may or may not be there and may be a woman and may be black or may be white. the tax breaks that religion receives and how big religion is truly big business. How people think their personal faith should influence everyone's stake in political ventures is amazing to me.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • TFt

      Wars are fought by human beings. Not religions.

      We have enough examples of secular governments committting the same horrors as religious governments.

      Try again!

      June 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Steve

      @TFt, not really, more wars have been motivated by religion than for any other reason. Humans are influenced by their beliefs and will fight others to either destroy them or convert them.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Polar Bear

      Alas, your glass is "half empty" indeed.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Lou

      Except of course, that you didn't provide any evidence of "enough examples of secular governments committting the same horrors as religious governments." But even if true, that for you somehow justifies religion?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • TFt

      @ Steve

      @TFt, not really, more wars have been motivated by religion than for any other reason. Humans are influenced by their beliefs and will fight others to either destroy them or convert them.

      Nope!

      Most wars are fought over property disputes!

      Should we blame real estate agents?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Jason

      @tft haha not many people would agree with your sentiments of simple property disputes has led to more deaths than religion. The crusades, WWII being the prime examples. regardless, religion has directly led to millions and millions of deaths. and is the only reason i would believe in a god or spirit in the sky. god uses religion to offset over- population.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • TFt

      There are atheist (governments that reject God) committing war crimes today.

      It is a human problem. Not religion. Most atheists on this site act just like the religious.

      It is like we were made to believe in something greater than ourselves.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Ummm...yeah

      Actually, the greatest killer in the world has been money.

      Yes, finances and economics. It all comes back to it. We even have a common saying, "The love of money is the root of all evil." ...except that's a quote from the Bible (1 Timothy 6:10). Holds true though.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • TFt

      http://frontpagemag.com/2013/jamie-glazov/martyred-in-the-ussr-militant-atheism-in-the-former-soviet-union/

      Look at the pic of what atheists did to a Christian.

      "Nicholai Khamara after being tortured to death in prison in 1964. He was found with a rag stuffed in his mouth and his tongue cut out. He was tortured simply for being a newly converted Baptist."

      Atheists aren't any better than Christians after all.

      We are both human.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • TFt

      "It is really amazing how the Soviet government hated religion of any kind. Many people don’t know this but Nikita Khrushchev launched an anti-religious campaign that was worse than Stalin’s, and that was between 1953 to 1964."

      Did you know this?

      http://frontpagemag.com/2013/jamie-glazov/martyred-in-the-ussr-militant-atheism-in-the-former-soviet-union/

      June 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • TFt

      Even without religion, we have examples of humans in war.

      Atheists, you are no saints, either.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  15. bostontola

    A question to Christians:

    Is an atheist hotline more absurd or offensive to you than a Muslim or Buddhist (or other) hotline?

    June 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • thomas

      Can't say, but how come there is no outrage over this like there was with Religious programs that helped Gays "recover"? The answer probably lies somewhere near the fact that Liberals that express outrage over the Communist hearings in the 1950s, are totally disinterested in the same thing that is happening to the Conservative groups by the IRS (and as we are starting to lear as we peel back th eonion layers, other agencies).

      June 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • bostontola

      thomas,
      I am outraged by what the IRS did, and I want penal consequences.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  16. RobertT

    You don't "Convert" to atheism. That is like saying I convert to believe in the truth. Saying one converts is s religious viewpoint and obviously not believing is god isn't.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • What a Fail.

      There are religions without a god. Buddhism, for one. The Buddha is not a god, simply a figure who supposedly became an all-knowing person. Just a wise old geezer, not an omnipotent diety. You failed.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  17. JoshO

    The only thing as annoying as a prosthelytizing religious zealot is an uppity, outspoken atheist. You both have the same amount of information backing up your claims...zero. So just shut up already.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • RobertT

      Actually atheists have all the proof ... or have 100% of the lack of proof in a god. You can't prove a negative 🙂

      June 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      Uh uh. No.

      We atheist believe in the truth. He have exclusive access to reason, logic, science and math.

      Ever wonder why there are no Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu doctors, pilots, scientists or astronauts?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • bostontola

      Josh,
      No one has proof. Atheists have tons of objective evidence for their ideas, believers in god don't have evidence, and many of their beliefs directly conflict with physical evidence. That doesn't trouble you?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Lou

      Not claiming that god exists is no more a claim than not claiming that an invisible purple gnome that only I can see lives in my dishwasher. Disbelief, by definition, is not belief.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      If I don't see something it doesn't exist.

      I've never seen China. It doesn't exist.

      People have told me about it. I've seen pictures and videos, but I won't put my faith into what people say.

      I have to see it for myself.

      China doesn't exist.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • bostontola

      Skeptic Al,
      Atheists don't disbelieve in god because they don't see it.

      If someone told you your wife was cheating on you, you'd want evidence. If someone told you you're in trouble for cheating on your taxes, you'd want evidence. God wants you to devote your life in this world in exchange for something in an impossible to see world. Don't you want evidence?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • PS

      Skeptic Al – No Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu doctors, scientists, pilots, or astronauts? Really? How about Gregor Mendel, Copernicus, Sunita Williams, Temple Grandin, Galileo, Isaac Newton, James Irwin...ring a bell? Not to mention all the hospitals that include Seventh Day Adventist, names of Catholic saints, Mercy, Presbyterian, National Jewish... how about if you actually do a basic Google search before you open your mouth and not spout an opinion that only your posterior end can qualify?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Ummm...yeah

      "Ever wonder why there are no Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu doctors, pilots, scientists or astronauts?"

      ...

      ...

      You have to be kidding, right? There have been Christian scientists since 314 AD

      Martin Nowak, Jennifer Wiseman, Larry Wall. Those are just three. It's nonsense to say there are no religious people in the sciences.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      Sorry, but the atheists on here have taught me that Christians are dumb.

      So they couldn't be doctors or pilots.

      Sorry.

      (Even though none of the atheists on here seem to be scientists, either.... hmmmm...)

      June 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  18. sly

    Oh my ... I think a new 1-800 number is going to cause the collapse of the entire Western Civilization.

    God is going to be very upset that he gave humans the ability to reason.

    I GUARANTEE THIS: Tomorrow is the end of the world. Earth will end. Sorry, this is fact. It's all here (psalm 33:14a-irs)

    June 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • PS

      I'm a devout Christian and all I have to say to you is get over yourself and take your apocalyptic scare propaganda somewhere else.

      If judgmental jerks like you were willing to listen to WHY people end up doubting and leaving their faiths, you'd learn much of it is our own dang fault. We've turned religions into a bunch of exclusive clubs where we sneer condescendingly at people who question and have the audacity to show they've got a good brain God not only gave them but expects them to use well to make this world a better place.

      I've watched good people get persecuted, abused, and marginalized by their OWN, just for asking questions, just for being honest. If God could handle these same people telling the truth, then why do we have a problem with it?

      Forget atheists and agnostics – they are the least of our problems. Churches do a great enough job tearing at their own from the inside out.

      Believers have an obligation to learn to dialogue as mature adults with those who doubt, question, or even *gasp* walk away from their beliefs. Perhaps if more were willing to welcome and listen instead of shame those who believe differently, we wouldn't have half the problems we do these days... and we certainly wouldn't have so many people hating us.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  19. neoritter

    Can't wait to see trolls trolling it on troll posting sites.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Tara

      I'm not sure atheists are as fun to troll as other groups. There's no pressing need to "convert"; you don't want to be an atheist? That's about what we expect anyway. Or do you imagine people will be putting "hard questions" to the atheists, like how matter came to be created or something? There's little that has to be danced around, since most of the questions of a scientific nature will have a scientific answer. All in all, I'd say that's a relatively boring troll.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  20. ug

    Just more libs to try and destroy our christian country...

    June 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • I Am God

      This isn't a Christian country. Study your history.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Observer

      ug,

      Keep telling us what bad shape "our Christian nation" is in.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • What a Fail.

      Actually IAG, think again. Western culture today is highly influenced by christianity. Almost all of our interpretations of things, including that black is the color of evil or that green is the color of sickness, and the taboo on s-e-x is christianity at work. I'm not saying it's a bad thing that it's christianity, just that it's a bad thing that our country is so heavily influenced by a religion.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • I Am God

      What A Fail. Our country was not built up by Christianity and it this country isn't a Christian nation. If that were so true then why did our fore fathers not make Christianity the official religion in this country?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      IAG: It sounds like 'what a fail' thinks it is a matter of majority rules, which isn't the case but it's a common misconception.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • What a Fail.

      Our country was not originally built up on christianity, but christianity worked its way in later on. As did the masons, the illuminati, and countless other groups. Black only became an evil color anywhere in the world after the salem witch trials. Our forefathers didn't do that, because back then our nation valued 100% religious freedom, and so on. What this country really needs is for the religion of aethism not to become its face. If some sort of a hotline like this was made only it was religious advertising instead of aethist, activists would be jumping up and down in their suspenders, yelling "FIRST AMENDMENT, FIRST AMENDMENT!" But because it's aethism nobody lifts a finger. Aethism should be considered a religion, and should have to follow the same guidelines.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Cherries

      IAG didn't say anything about influences. He said this isn't a Christian nation. And it isn't. There is no official religion of the US.

      Ug, your comment is silly; you are extremely uniformed if you don't think there are atheist conservatives in this country.
      Trolling should never be so boring; try harder.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Steve

      If this was a christian nation, then it would have been made a christian nation from the very beginning. The USA is a nation of all religions beliefs and philosophies. Not just christianity.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • I Am God

      What A Fail. Atheism isn't a religion. We don't have beliefs. We just don't believe God or any other deity exists. That isn't a belief.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Vic

      The Heritage of The United States of America is Christian without a shred of a doubt!

      The the Christian mass exodus (migration) from England to the New World was for the pursuit of Religious Freedom and not just escaping persecution!

      The United States Declaration of Independence was based on Faith/Belief in God! The Founding Fathers were inspired brilliant individuals who established a quasi-secular system, aka Separation of Church and State, which protects both, while they themselves believed in God! The United States C o n s t i t u t i o n was based on Natural Law which the Founders believed is from God!

      June 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Vic,

      The mostly-religious men who founded our country had the chance to design the best possible new government. These smart men decided it should keep religion out of it.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • I Am God

      Vic i take it you don't look up our history very much do you?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The United States of America IS NOT a "Christian country". It is a country where religious freedom is guaranteed.

      The colonies that formed the United States were established with multiple Christian sects. They did not believe in ecu.menicalism. They had barely stopped warring with each other over differences in interpretation in Christian doctrine when the United States was formed.

      The founders had a brilliant solution. Create a country that is independent of religion. The Const!tution begins with "We the People" not "By the Grace of God Almighty".

      June 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • What IF

      Vic,
      "The the Christian mass exodus (migration) from England to the New World was for the pursuit of Religious Freedom and not just escaping persecution!"

      It's a good thing that this country was a huge piece of land. If it would have been the size of England, we would be in big trouble. The early Pilgrims/Puritans were a harsh bunch, and many fled from England because The Church of England was not harsh enough for them. Whew!, that the Plymouth Bay Colony's peeps did not prevail.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @What IF,

      arguably they did prevail. Their descendants are today's Evangelical Protestants. The reason-killer WASPs are with us yet.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • What IF

      I'm not a GOPer,

      Yeah, I hear ya'.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Science

      The truth.............below .............no fairy in the sky needed VICKY !

      The Christian Be Nice article Chad Austin has been tagged/pegged !

      Hey chad the game of life aye ...............and you suck at it !

      Hey faithy...the troll.....all creationists...........chadie too ...............COMEDY GOLD link at bottom of post !!! The pesky meteorites/chondrites = life .........................not the nasty bible. and Adam and his bone. No horn-y red beast needed.......no heaven either..........but they (meteorites) where hot when they where coming in. Life-Producing Phosphorus Carried to Earth by Meteorites June 4, 2013 — Scientists may not know for certain whether life exists in outer space, but new research from a team of scientists led by a University of South Florida astrobiologist now shows that one key element that produced life on Earth was carried here on meteorites. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130604153520.htm https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/#comments

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      June 5, 2013 at 9:42 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.