Church without God - by design
Members of an atheist congregation at Harvard listen to music during a recent gathering.
June 22nd, 2013
11:25 AM ET

Church without God - by design

By Dan Merica, CNN
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Boston (CNN)-– It’s Sunday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a rapt congregation listens to a chaplain preach about the importance of building a community.

A few dozen people sit quietly for the hourlong service. Music is played, announcements are made and scholars wax poetic about the importance of compassion and community.

Outsiders could be forgiven for believing this service, with its homilies, its passing of the plate, its uplifting songs, belongs in a church.

If so, it’s a church without one big player: God.

Sunday’s congregation in Cambridge is a meeting of the Humanist Community at Harvard University and the brainchild of Greg Epstein, the school’s Humanist chaplain.

A longtime advocate for community building, Epstein and his group of atheists have begun to build their Cambridge community and solemnize its Sunday meetings to resemble a traditional religious service.

To Epstein, religion is not all bad, and there is no reason to reject its helpful aspects.

“My point to my fellow atheists is, why do we need to paint things with such a broad brush? We can learn from the positive while learning how to get rid of the negative," he said.

Godless congregations

For Epstein, who started community-building at Harvard nearly 10 years ago, the idea of a godless congregation is not an oxymoron.

“We decided recently that we want to use the word congregation more and more often because that is a word that strongly evokes a certain kind of community - a really close knit, strong community that can make strong change happen in the world,” he said.

“It doesn’t require and it doesn't even imply a specific set of beliefs about anything.”

Epstein is not alone in his endeavor. Jerry DeWitt, who became an atheist and left his job as an evangelical minister, is using his pastoral experience to building an atheist church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This Sunday, DeWitt's congregation will hold its first meeting as a "Community Mission Chapel."

"When you become a part of this congregation, this community, you are going to become part of a family," DeWitt told CNN. "There is an infrastructure there for you to land in. There is going to be someone there to do weddings and to do, unfortunately, the funerals."

READ MORE: Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

Sunday school for atheists

As members of the Cambridge congregation file into a wood-paneled classroom at Harvard, singer Shelley Segal greets them with a few songs from her latest recording, called simply, “An Atheist Album.”

Taking a hint from the theme of the event, Segal strums on her guitar and belts her song, “Gratitude.”

“I don't believe in a great power to say thank you to,” Segal sings. “But that won’t take away from my gratitude.”

Harvard's humanist chaplain Greg Epstein leads an atheist gathering.

After the music, Epstein offers a few words of greeting before the meeting gets to its heart: a discussion about compassion.

A four academics and a journalist discuss the effects of religion on raising children and their ideas about compassion. Congregants listen intently, some even taking notes.

Each service has a message – compassion, evolution or acceptance - after which congregants engage in a lengthy discussion.

Before the main event, kids are invited to what some parents refer to as “Sunday school,” where Tony Debono, a biologist Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaches the youngsters about evolution, DNA and cells.

There's little talk about organized religion, positive or negative.

Likewise, down in Louisiana, said his atheist services will not be anti-religion.

"What we are looking at doing is different," DeWitt said. "If you are a religionist and you come and sit in our pew, the only way you can leave offended is because of what you don’t hear and what you don’t see. We won’t be there to make a stance against religion or against God."

Coming out of the closet

In the last few years, the number of “nones” – those who don’t associate with any organized religion – has grown at a rate faster than any other group. Nones now represent one in five Americans, according to a 2012 Pew Research Center poll.

Although the number of atheists has grown, too, there are still a large number of “nones” that choose not to associate with the label “atheist.”

Some at Harvard’s Humanist congregation fall into this category.

“I don’t particularly have a religion,” said Anil Nyer, a neurologist who brought his daughter to Humanist Sunday school. But Nyer also said he didn’t want to label himself as an atheist.

One reason to shy away from the atheist label: Many Americans hold a negative impression of nonbelievers.

According to a recent Public Religion Research Institute poll, nearly 40 percent of Americans believe that atheists are changing American culture for the worse.

“Whenever we put atheists on a list like this and we compare them to other groups, atheists tend to come in towards the bottom of that list,” said Robert P. Jones is the CEO of Public Religion Research Institute.

“Americans tend to hold a lot of reservations about atheists.”

Epstein hopes his congregation can change that.

By formalizing meetings and building a strong community, the Harvard group hopes it can be a model for other atheist congregations forming around the country.

A group meets during an atheist gathering in Boston.

More atheists may come of the closet if they know a congregation will be there to support them, Epstein said,

“Being an atheist is something we want people to come out and be,” said the Humanist chaplain. “There are so many people, probably millions, who are humanists or atheists or nonreligious in private and nobody knows."

Epstein said he gets e-mails daily from people founding atheist meet-up groups.

“Tulsa, Oklahoma; North Carolina; London; Vancouver, Canada; Houston, Texas,” Epstein said, listing the sources of the most recent e-mails.

“One part of what we are saying is come on out and let your neighbors know” about your disbelief, he said. “It is not going to make you worse of a person, it is going to make you a better person to be more open about who you are.”

Rituals for the irreligious

For the last few years, the Humanist Community at Harvard has operated out of a small three-floor walk-up off the bustling streets of Harvard Square. The walls are littered with posters about atheism – tributes to famed atheists Eddie Izzard, Seth MacFarlane and Stephen Fry.

Because of the scattered furniture and the Harvard dorm feel, Epstein jokingly describes the space as “college broke chic.” That’s being generous – but it's also about to change.

Starting in the fall, the Humanist Community at Harvard will begin meeting in a nearly 3,000-square-foot community center with an event space for nearly 100 people.

Although the plan is to use the space at the group’s headquarters, it will also serve as a broader community center for the group that Epstein and others are trying to build in the Boston area.

“What we really would like to see is a community center where people can come by at anytime and to use it as a space to study or have a meeting for various committee,” said Chris Stedman, the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard.

Stedman said he sees the new building as a place for people to gather, not only to become part of a humanist community, but to also become more engaged with the world.

When he talks about his plans for the future, Epstein appears to long for a time when the new community center could mimic aspects of church - a place for baby-naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals.

The success of an atheist church will depend on walking the thin line between too much and too little ritual, Epstein said.

Humanists boast a proud freethinking streak, and some at the Harvard event said they don’t want to be associated with any sort of dogma or belief system - or even a system based on disbelief.

Anyway, Esptein said his congregation will be less a group of people united by beliefs - or disbelief - and more like an opera, or a painting.

“Our community is like a work of art," he said. "Hopefully people will respond to that work of art and it will garner controversy and discussion like a work of art."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Church • Houses of worship • United States

soundoff (6,897 Responses)
  1. Jack Ketch

    For 200 years the TRUTH has remained unchanged.

    All life on Earth evolved from simpler species.

    This fact will forever remain known and true.

    June 23, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Austin

      Jack, listen to one guy here. I had parts of the bible revealed to me in dreams. repeatedly the night before I read it.

      This is THE SPIRIT OF REVELATION. Can you explain that to me? Why did this happen involving the bible?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Austin

      because God intervenes with man. and saves him.

      not because i want it to be so.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • The real Tom

      How did dreams about a dead cat and an ABOVE GROUND POOL reveal parts of the Bible, Austintasia? Which parts? What did your delusions "reveal" about them?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      Do you really expect us to believe you never read that part of the Bible before, Austin?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Charlie

      No matter what you say, Austin, that isn't what a revelation means. I dreamt I was flying as a kid, and the next day read my first Superman comic. So??

      Have a revelation that is useful, and them you might be on to something. Have a revelation about the future and have that come true...an above-ground swimming pool and a dead cat isn't a useful revealtion. What have your dreams actually revealed?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Austin

      Carrot Cake, read it for yourself. Please give it a shot and let God do for you what He did for me.

      there is a huge difference between the flesh connected to the mind, this gravity and weight, vs. The spirit of God.

      and you are coming at me through the flesh. you have to set this aside and draw near to the Word. it takes a request that the Holy Spirit would aid you in a fierce internal war.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • The real Tom

      Translation of Austin's post: "I can't answer your question, Carrot Cake Man, so your question is wrong."

      June 23, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  2. I Am God

    A=R is a clueless troll. It is hilarious watching a dumb troll trying to make his false assumptions as truth.

    June 23, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  3. Danny

    What if God really does exist? How do we know that it claims to be what it really is? Could this God simply be a fallen spirit from another spiritual dimension? Could it be lying to us and emotionally manipulating those who claim that god has revealed itself to them?

    June 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Danny

      Or what if this god intentionally gave us contradicting and confusing information and told us to follow it, only to reward those in the end who were brave enough to not blindly follow and call out this BS?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  4. Jack Ketch

    Science has discovered approx 2 million species of life on Earth. They think that there are between 5 million to 50 million species of life still undiscovered.
    If an an Ark was to be built to contain 2 of all the land based life forms on Earth the Ark would need to be 80 times larger than the largest ship ever built and considering the labour force involved in building the Ark. It would require approx 3000 years to build with the technology that was available.

    Christians you really need to give your head a shake.

    June 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  5. Jack Ketch

    This is the 21st century. It's a very difficult time for the religious.
    Who could have imagined that a Christian by the name of Charles Darwin armed with only the weapon of TRUTH could have so utterly destroyed the Abrahamic God!

    June 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |

    Why is it that when there is an article of some sort of tragic situation,, the ungodly people jump all over it being so hostile when the parents/people from the article says "'God will take care of them'" or by the Grace of God we didn't die or get hurt?

    I keep seeing so many ungodly people say "There is no God" all the time, but yet, they bring Him up so much in most of the articles.

    They say:
    – There is no God.
    – Why didn't God protect the children?
    – There is no God.
    – God failed the children.
    – There is no God.
    – God is all powerful and all knowing, why didn't he save them?
    – There is no God.
    – God could have kept this from happening.
    – There is no God.
    – Why does God allow children to starve?
    – There is no God.
    – Why does God allow children to die?
    – There is no God.
    – Why does God kill so many children?
    – There is no God.

    Wow, no doubt that the ungodly people are either bipolar psychos being tormented by an evil spirit from hell!!

    They accuse God so much, yet, there is no God. They spew so much hate towards a God that doesn't exist to them! They sure suffer so much from mental illness.

    June 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • The real Tom

      You are dense. Atheists aren't asking the question because they believe there is a god, you bonehead. They're asking YOU why YOU believe there is one who allows such things to occur.

      Got an answer?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No, dipsh!t, you fail to see the point. IF there is a god, THEN he is the most di.s.g.usting azzhole imagined to allow such events to occur when he could prevent them or allow them to unfold in a more reasonable manner. It is much easier to believe that there is NOT such a horrific deity than to believe that one does exist.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      We do not "hate" any gods...they do not exist as far as we can tell.
      The god of the bible though gives people many, many reasons to hate him. Why else would people fear such a supposedly loving god.
      He has wiped out all life on earth, except for a few he "saved", The stories of his wrath are throughout the bible. Why would I not hate a creature that would kill all life on the planet, including innocent children? Read your bible....your god is quite worthy of hatred.
      Beyond that, ignorance is where your god comes from, and we strive to remove ignorance wherever possible.
      The bible has been proven wrong in so many ares, it is amazing to me that so many still think it is true.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • TheTruth

      There is no god.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Charlie

      You're being simplistic.
      What they are really saying is:
      They say:
      – If there is a God:
      – Why didn’t God protect the children?
      – If there is a God:
      – Why did God fail the children?
      – If there is a God, and God is all powerful and all knowing, why didn’t he save them?
      – If there is a God, God could have kept this from happening.
      – Why does God allow children to starve?
      – If there is a God, why does God allow children to die?
      – If there is a God, why does God kill so many children?

      – There is no God.

      And as for the mental illness, if it is mental illness to ask question...nah. It's mental illness to swallow evertything without ever ASKING questions.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • jennifer

      Do you not know how to demonstrate a contradiction? To show a contradiction in something, you "assume" for the sake of argument that it's true, and see if leads to contradictions. Are you such an unadulterated simpleton that you cannot follow that train of thought when atheists say "assume there is an all benevolent god, and given all the suffering..."?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • jim

      Jennifer, the benevolent God is also a God who is on record that he gave man a free will to do whatever he wanted, benevolent or otherwise. What you're saying is because of all the bad things that man does to each other because they have freedom to do it that God, who created them does not exist. What you mean by a benevolent God must mean a God like a controlling parent who won't let you experiment with things in life, especially when you are a teen-ager. Further explanations of natural disaster are there for you if you care to enlighten yourself. Perhaps if you see some U-Tube from Ravi Zaharias you may obtain some understanding but, on the other hand, you may want to remain int he dark. It's all up to you.

      June 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • jim

      Charlie: 'It's mental illness to swallow evertything without ever ASKING questions." Can I ask you some questions about evolution? For starters, did you ask any questions about it or did you just swallow it? Did you ask how the first life form replicated itself in order to survive death? What was the answer you received?

      June 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Jim, the theory of evolution does not claim to know every detail, and science admits that there is still much to learn, but the theory is sound because it matches experiment and observation everywhere we test. New data comes streaming in every day from labs around the world working in medicine and microbiology and dna and fossils and etcetera. Science requires that we look for answers to the hard questions that are a mystery so far and it relishes new facts that make the theory more complete.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  7. Jack Ketch

    There is a Hypothesis in Science that asserts that what was before the Big Bang was a Black Hole.
    There are trillions of Black Holes in the universe. Some think that the other side of a Black Hole is another universe.
    There could be trillions upon trillions of universes in this Multiverse we call existence.
    The religious better sharpen their pencils.
    They might have some explaining to do.

    June 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  8. Jack Ketch

    I think that 90% of Christians treat the Bible as they would an instruction manual for a DVD player. They put it in a special location so they don't forget where it is. But, would rather go through life pushing knobs and turning buttons.
    Which is just as well because the instruction manual they have is for a model that is obsolete.
    God is a Sony Betamax!

    June 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  9. TheTruth

    You designed and created a high tech robot that can help the humanity for medical reasons.... But after awhile someone comes out and says" I am the creator of that machine" and that person receives all the recognition for it... How would you feel as the creator?

    June 23, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Why is this scenario/question important? What are you trying to get at?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • TheTruth

      No, this is not The Truth at all.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • TheTruth

      Cpt- the atheists do not accept that everything was created by God, therefore it's like if their taking all the honor that should go to God for everything created!

      June 23, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • TheTruth

      No, that's not The Truth at all. There is no god.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      I've never seen humans take credit for fusion or accretion (the two processes responsible for the existence and current state of most of the solid matter in the known universe).

      Just because an atheist does not believe in any gods does not mean that they suddenly take credit credit for natural processes that have been occurring for billions of years.

      June 25, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I missed your reply to my question. See Reasonable Atheist's reply above. Atheists aren't "taking credit" for anything. Atheists simply don't believe in any gods. Atheists also don't claim to have all the answers (as so many stupid believers seem to think). We simply prefer the honest 'answer' of "We don't know" to the silly and unproved answer of "Invisible sky wizard did it by chanting magic spells."

      June 25, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  10. Jack Ketch

    If God is all powerful, could God not create a being more powerful than God.?
    If God could, then God is not God.
    If God could not, then God is not God.

    God is absent from the actual TRUTH of existence.

    June 23, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • jim

      That's sort of a re-hash of what the devil said to Jesus in the wilderness; 'If you are God, turn these rocks into bread'. If Jesus had obeyed him, the devil would have maintained his authority but Jesus chose to instead obey his heavenly father. You are attempting to prove something with logic and logic needs to have all the facts available in order to solve the problem. Have you ever tried to hook up signal lights to a trailer and not know where the wires go? If you, wisely, finally give up and later find out there was a missing wire you know what I'm talking about and the same way, since you can't see beyond the visible spectrum, how do you know what's in that realm? Radio waves are invisible to humans and before Marconi you would have been laughed at if you told anyone what the future held radio-wise. Logic needs all the facts, visible and invisible and only a fool tries to guess at it thinking he knows everything about everything when he knows only what has been discovered by others and only in the visible realm.

      June 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • G to the T

      That's nice Jim but I'm afraid "goddidit" isn't enough for many people.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      "Logic needs all the facts, visible and invisible and only a fool tries to guess at it thinking he knows everything about everything when he knows only what has been discovered by others and only in the visible realm."

      So how do you "know" about god?

      June 25, 2013 at 11:10 am |

    i have come to the conclusion that the sole purpose of the so called "atheists" (which you are not) is to inflict as much distress as possible to people who don't think like you. I would think being an atheist means to be free from religion and move on with your life, to enjoy every day because there are no more after you die. and since theres no god, to be as kind and helpful to other humans since theres no greater power to assist them. After all, if humans are all we have, then shouldn't it be mission one to help them along, to find a greater path of happiness and joy on this world? and if someone "thinks" they have strength from an "imaginary friend" then why strike them down in their time of need?
    yet every time an article like this springs up that mentions god, there comes a relentless onslaught of ridicule and outright cruel posts generated for the sole purpose of inflicting as much emotional distress as possible. i truly don't understand the purpose. I have a friend who is an atheist that i work with, and he has absolutely no interest in talking about god or spirituality. When a conversation about god comes up he just goes back to work. he doesn't roll his eyes, he doesn't laugh (because he doesn't feel any better, bigger, smarter for being an atheist) He simply has nothing in common with it. much like i have no interest in ballet. I don't hang out on ballet sites, talking about how boring it is. See, he's not a "conditional atheist", he isn't the way he is because of other peoples beliefs. he is the way he is because he holds true a value of beliefs that doesn't concern any one else. he's more of a "christian" than most of the christians i know. he has a personal relationship with his mind. He doesn't hold his value system against that of another being, quite the same way no christian should. true christianity is a personal relationship with god. no church or pastor or bible is needed. and neither does my friend need a room of atheists to confirm his beliefs or pat him on the back in a show of solidarity.
    You have to know how strongly people feel about their faith and how easily you can inflict strife, and interject war into a persons mind. what is the purpose? you aren't attempting to convince them. like the billboard that says "merry mythmas" on christmas time. what is the point of that other than to cause anxiety, dark emotions and bitterness. I'm sorry for the long post but this is a story about the loss of our most precious resource, children. a family member says "god will take care of them" and hundreds of posts follow with things like "yeah, god sure did take care of them". how heartless and empty do you have to be to say something like that.. how is that post a benefit to the mind and emotions of the parent who lost their child. can't you see this?

    June 23, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I have come to the conclusion that you're an idiot.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Atheistically Yours

      If theists, and other sort of "believing" types would just S-T-F-U about their mindless religions, and NON-EXISTENT "deity", then we atheists would NOT have to respond everytime one of you idiots postulates about your "god", "spirituality", or "religious freedom". As for these atheists still going to a "congregation" of some sort (that this article details!), I would say that they are at best "transitional" atheists (the fact that they call themselves "humanists" is a good indication that they are not TOTALLY FREE of deity-oriented, ritualistic-based, nonsense!). Freeing oneself from the addiction of religion can and does take time (there is no instantaneous "de-conversion"!). If this is what these "non-believers" need to do, to make their "transition", I have no problem with it. Eventually, the day will come, when they realize, going into a meeting weekly to hear someone else postulate about why NON-RELIGIOUS human beings are a BETTER answer to improve humanity, is no longer needed. For some it takes longer then others.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • RIckLeeBob

      You are the victim of other people's opinions – poor you! Give me a break.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • daphne

      Wow – you really do try hard to stay ignorant. LOL!.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • jim

      Well said. I had a co-worker I tried to convince of my Christian position and he never got angry about it but explained why he believed what he believed and told me he could tell that I shared with him because I cared about him. On the other hand, there was another co-worker who became belligerent with me, verbally, and tried to knock down my beliefs but it was obvious it was because he wanted to enjoy some behaviours that were labelled sin in the bible. Esau traded his birthright for food, instant gratification, and had no concerns at all for his future inheritance or the inheritance of his children yet unborn and that is the hedonistic route this other fellow took in life. Life is a mortal affair with an immortal end determined by the mortal component. Everybody knows that deep inside.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Ken

      True that A=R. If there was a christian ballet website. Anti-theists will be all over that. By the way I met an atheist on christian mingle last week. Amusing.

      June 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  12. Jack Ketch

    Christianity is doomed unless it can come to grips with the realities which man now posses.
    Religion has given up searching for the truth of existence. Whereas Science is constantly striving for the truth of existence. No one will wake up tomorrow and give up Evolution. It is a scientific fact.
    The whole field of Biology is based on Evolution.
    While Charles Darwin was not aware of Genetics, the discovery of DNA confirmed Evolution was correct.

    Whether you like it or not.... humans are apes!

    June 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • crossbreed

      We simply cannot be apes..Apes have morals..

      June 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • 633music

      Bible and religion aside, evolution is a silly little fairy tale. I do however respect the faith of those who believe in it.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • jim

      If Darwin had been aware of the ramifications of DNA he would not have attempted to explain the origin of the species with his theory because, unlike today's evolutionists, Darwin believed that life could just spring from nothing, hence evolution already had a built in foundation. Today's evolutionists dismiss the question of how the first cell was started and then survived death long enough to cell divide and live on. Unbelievably, the first cell or life form would have had to have been equipped with a sophisticated DNA structure that would have had to learn how to multiply itself before that first living cell died off, as everything surely does die. Darwin would have passed on all that and avoided the embarrassment of desperately clinging to it in order to avoid believing in God at all cost; that takes more faith than believing in God. Oh well.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • a reasonable atheist


      Why did it have to be the first cell? There could have been billions of cells that developed in similar manners to similar stages without reproducing before it. The first one to reproduce just happened to have the correct sequencing to do so.

      June 25, 2013 at 1:48 am |
  13. Jack Ketch

    Adam was returning home late one night. When Eve confronted him.
    "You are seeing another woman, aren't you?" she accused.

    "Don't be silly," he replied. "You are the only woman on earth."

    Later that night Adam woke up feeling a tickle on his chest.
    "What the hell are you doing?" he asked Eve.

    "What do you think?" she asked. "I am counting your ribs."

    June 23, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Science

      Chomp on this creationists . jboom education does work for most humans !

      Bones work no god(s) needed.

      Budding palaeontologists discover dinosaurs are dynamite


      June 23, 2013 at 11:11 am |
  14. Jack Ketch

    I cannot fathom how any human being can look at the ear of a Chimpanzee and not understand that we are somehow related.

    Come Christians, being blind and stupid is no way to go through life.

    June 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |


      June 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Mole crickets are blind and stupid their whole life. If there is a god, he's got the most twisted sense of humor in existence.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Roscoe Bonsweenie

      Similar DNA does not equate to related.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      That is correct, Roscoe, but when you combine the similarity of the DNA with the other known facts, it's the best explanation. Evolution is proven fact.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • jim

      Yes, monkeys prove the position taken by Darwin and the hypothesis that the survival of the species depends on it changing or mutating into another form which will survive. Humans who have mutated into a monkey will survive. Monkeys will survive the financial meltdown; monkeys will survive any future mortgage rate hikes and foreclosures; monkeys will not be targeted by Al 'Qaeda; monkeys will survive nuclear strikes against New York, Washington, London, Montreal, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Moscow, Frankfurt, et al. It will take a few of them but monkeys will easily survive it all. Pass me a banana please.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:20 am |


    June 23, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  16. Vinifera

    The fathers of the Reformation decided to do away with many tenets of the universal church: toss out scripture they didn't agree with, deny the authority structure, allow priests to marry and so forth. But why stop there? Why not toss out God too and keep the things you think are of benefit to your new religions-ta da! Atheism. It is just another religion and not one made up of new whole cloth. Atheists also have unscientific faith-based motivations such as 1) looking for life on other planets 2) non-causal origins of the universe. etc. In addition, if atheist primary motivation is to engage in what would otherwise be called a religious war with so called people of faith, then how could anyone portray atheism as anything other than a religion? That's all that it seems fit for.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Violet Weed

      Well put! Atheists are simply railing against God.
      I once wrote a poem wherein I declared
      that man was running scared from a God
      he once dared face.
      Don't look over your shoulder now [atheists/agnostics]
      God's gained a pace.
      And I'm afraid He doesn't know how the game is played -

      June 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Charlie

      Looking for life on other planets doesn't necessarily mean that they believe there IS life on other planets. And why can't the big bang be the cause of the universe? They don't necessarily believe that's the cause, either...in other words, they will just tell you they don't *know*, instead of taking the lazy way out: "God did it!"

      June 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  17. Jack Ketch

    There is a principal in Science whereby knowledge newly acquired which is in conflict with existing knowledge, causes both opinions to come under scrutiny.
    Experiments and observations are performed to determine the superior way of progress.
    If the previous way is no longer valid then it is discarded, or rendered limited.
    This is the logical process.

    With this in mind, I cannot help but be amazed at the emotional connection to failed ideas, that are exhibited by the religious.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • G to the T

      To be fair, there's also some resistence in science as well, but at least there is a mechanism for self-correction built in. Once an idea is deemed as "revealed" it take A LOT of mental gymnastics to later change that idea.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  18. Science

    Or the big dinosaurs and the foot print in Texas..................creationists ?

    Where a big fort is >

    June 23, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  19. Ex Roman Catholic's of America Unite

    No one knows for sure how we are were all created.
    The RC church believes that soft little babies are born with original sin & Jews/Muslims cut off part of boy
    penises for religion..How did it all get this way?
    Also you would think the bible was originally written in modern English from some of the posts here.lol

    June 23, 2013 at 10:58 am |

    Why Do Atheists Spend So Much Time And Money Suing God Instead Of Promoting Atheism?

    June 23, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • oOo

      Separation of church and state, dufus.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Danny

      Foxx. "News" constantly claim that atheists are suing people when in fact they're not. Just part of their misinformation campaign.

      June 23, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • I Am God

      Really? Why are Christians spending $900,000-$1,200,000 dollars on a church just to pray to God?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      first off your name is a lie, secondly your claim is a lie. One cannot sue something or someone that does not exist.
      Would you like to come up with some sort of evidence of your claim, or do we just a$$ume you are a troll and move along?

      June 23, 2013 at 11:06 am |
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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.