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. Alex

    As a lifelong atheist, this kind of bothers me. Secular lifestyles and regular sermons don't really work together, and it seems like either a support group for those with wavering wills or a shameless attempt to appeal to potential religious "converts".

    June 24, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • Tundra_Yet_Again

      I agree, What is the purpose of getting together to sing songs and spend an hour on Sunday celebrating the fact that we do not share the same faith as those we are copying? Spend that hour at a homeless shelter, coaching a kids soccer team or mowing your elderly neighbors grass if you are looking for something to do.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:38 am |
    • skytag

      Tundra_Yet_Again: It is part of our nature to respond positively to being able to identify with a group. It's not God or the spirit that motivates people in churches to do good works, it's the social bonding that takes place in those churches. What these people are doing is replicating the social bonding of a church, but without the reliance on a deity. I think it makes perfect sense.

      June 24, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  2. Libs Try too Hard

    Atheists are copying the Christian style of worship... except they aren't worshiping anything. Kind of like how gays want to copy the Christian style of marriage.... yet they are incapable of procreating – which is the primary purpose of marriage. What's next, they'll find a way to copy baptism for some liberal agenda? Give it up Libs, come up with your own traditions and leave the historical ones to those who honor them.

    June 24, 2013 at 6:19 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Christians should take their own advice. Most of their practices are based off of pagan traditions.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:34 am |
    • Libs Try too Hard

      Worship, Marriage, baptism are pagan practices? Hmmmm

      June 24, 2013 at 6:46 am |
    • skytag

      Limbots try too hard to make everything about liberals.

      June 24, 2013 at 7:00 am |
    • Science

      Libs Try too Hard

      Se-x and the bedroooooom.................no bible needed.

      June 24, 2013 at 7:02 am |
    • sam stone

      apparently, equal rights bother you, libs try to.....

      June 24, 2013 at 7:11 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Pagans worship(ed) gods and goddesses. Marriage is not owned by christians and in fact was around long before the buybull was. Christmas is taken from the pagans...it is from the pagan tradition of Winter Solstice. Easter is also taken from the pagans...the rebirth of the new season. Baptisms are crazy because of the connotation that the child is of 'sin' and the baptism apparently cleanses them of this.
      You had mentioned gay marriages...you do realize that gays are as equal as you and as deserving of being allowed to marry as you...right? Being gay is natural and not something one simply chooses. The only people who seem to think it is a problem are christards who only have their buybull to tell them it is wrong and they refuse to look at updated evidence that shows how wrong they are.

      June 24, 2013 at 7:12 am |
    • Roger that

      Truth Prevails 🙂 is correct. Give us back our holidays and go make your own. Gays can procreate. The ways they procreate are no different than the ways that many straight couples have to procreate.

      June 24, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Love how you managed to bash libs, gays and atheists all in a paragraph. Do the world a favor and shove your bible up your azz, ok? Thanks!

      June 25, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
  3. worldcares

    Don't assume, Truth Prevails.

    June 24, 2013 at 6:18 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      I assume nothing unlike you who seems to think there is some magical deity who is in control.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:33 am |
  4. stevethetuna

    YOU = A

    June 24, 2013 at 6:03 am |
  5. fsds

    “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.

    Isn't this called an agnostic?

    June 24, 2013 at 5:59 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Agnostic only defines level of knowledge, not belief. Belief falls under the terms Deist, Monotheist, Atheist, Theist, polytheist, Henotheism , pantheism. Every honest person is agnostic.in their level of knowledge concerning their belief/disbelief in a god or gods.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:38 am |
    • skytag

      Atheists believe there is no god. Agnostics are not sure if one exists or not.

      June 24, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • G to the T

      TP – one variant you missed – "Monolatrism" – it's the belief that many gods exist, but only one is worthy of worship. It's a stepping stone in the evolution from polytheism to monotheism.

      June 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm |

    Atheists, you are welcome here.
    You can also learn "Evolution Lessons" by GOD here.


    June 24, 2013 at 5:16 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Evolution lessons by god...is that like how to have sex with your sister or mom??? Your imaginary friend doesn't exist-that is the Good News!

      June 24, 2013 at 5:18 am |
    • skytag

      We may be welcome but speaking for myself I feel no need to validate your myths and legends.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:47 am |
    • GFE

      Truth Preveils, it is appropriate that you have assumed an oxymoron screen name. There is no theory in science that requires greater faith than the belief in trans-species evolution. It is a series of rationalizations based on assumptions made by those who make their living from government funding that sustains their "research". Evolution is your religion, not a verifiable fact. It is only considered a fact by general consensus of elitist academians who exclude other scholars from their voting process, if thier opinions do not fit the desired conclusions of the evolutionists. You are the ones whose minds are closed to knowing the real truth. I pray one day you will truly find it.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:10 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      GFE: You obviously are clueless as to what a theory in the scientific world means. Evolution is a fact that even without fossil records and based on DNA is more substantiated than the christard's version. Look up the Scientific Method and try to answer again. The fact that christards believe that all life came from two people points directly to incest.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:31 am |
    • Juanito

      @ TP:

      Evolution theory fails the Scientific Method on the sole basis that organisms fail to mutate into more complex organisms.

      DNA information is lost, not gained, through mutation. To 'evolve', information must be added, and organisms cannot add information by themselves. Even in labs, cells cannot add information without manipulation and assistance of biologists.

      If that wasn't enough, Evolution Theory doesn't explain the origin of the very first organism. Could inorganic materials produce organic life? No where in the Scientific Method has this ever been observed, replicated, or demonstrated.

      It's why Evolution cannot, or will not, ever be more than a theory. It's no more than a system of faith based on a limited amount of information, championed by those with an extremely narrow interpretation based on a certain(not all) selection of facts.

      Its what we're really arguing about, isn't it?

      An argument over faith.

      The only thing I, or any other true Believer, can point to that demonstrates the existence and love of God is the Cross.

      It's a faith that exceeds all human knowledge.

      In His Love, Juanito.

      June 25, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So Juanidiot, when will you be presenting your facts and evidence to support your unfounded beliefs in some god(s) and some allegedly divine dude named jesus?

      June 25, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Juanito: You are as wrong as GFE is. A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon.
      Your lack of comprehension on the matter does not falsify it, facts remain facts regardless of what your church has taught you.
      There is no evidence supporting the biblical account of how life began.
      Maybe educate yourself before sounding like a complete buffoon the next time. This site might help you a little and take you a step above the other creationist idiots out there: http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:36 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      And using the cross as a sign of god is pathetic...a torture device is all it is. Sad that you believe the cross to be good when it equates to suffering but then again you christards love to see people suffer...that's why your imaginary friend allows so many innocent children to starve and sends people to hell for not believing in it. Your imaginary friend is the greatest hide and seek player ever...so evasive and oh so vindictive.

      June 25, 2013 at 7:40 am |
  7. worldcares

    Think! It's quite simple. Who is God? Clear your mind.

    June 24, 2013 at 4:49 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      A man made concept meant to fool the gullible and weak.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:14 am |
    • skytag

      God is or gods are (depending on the religion) the fictional basis of thousands of comforting narratives.

      June 24, 2013 at 7:06 am |
  8. Apple Bush

    i know he is here sharp chin on my shoulder blade paining me mildew breath crawling up the side of my face and into my nostril vile chains of misfortune before telling of bad news

    June 24, 2013 at 4:35 am |
  9. Apple Bush

    lifeless selfless loving biting lifting loveless selfish darkness

    June 24, 2013 at 4:27 am |
    • worldcares

      I have, yet, to see anyone , who , can answer my question? I shall wait.

      June 24, 2013 at 4:41 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      worldcares: You mean the question below about people forgetting about your imaginary friend?? That question was answered and apprently you don't like the answert and therefore fell it was not answered. That's rather child like behavior...are you sure you should be using your Mommy's computer without permission?

      June 24, 2013 at 5:13 am |
  10. worldcares

    People are forgetting who God is?

    June 24, 2013 at 4:15 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Not at all. People are realizing that the god you christards believe in is not real based on the tremendous lack of evidence for it but that can be said for every other god man has invented also.
      The god christards believe in is a control freak; vindictive; mass murderer; child abuser; child rapist; incest loving ass.

      June 24, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • Karen Sherry Brackett

      Actually, they can not forget about something they never accepted as real in the first place. Everyone is on their own personal journey to God. Some get there sooner than others and it has nothing to do with a person's effort to find the truth. It has everything to do with God's revelation of Himself in His time. They can not help being atheist because God has not revealed Himself to them yet. Some people do not receive the "call" until their 80 and 90 years old; but at some point each of these individuals will be called and it will be up to them at that point to open the door of their heart to God. It is interesting to me that they physically feel the need to connect and gather in a "religious" like setting as "humanists" rather than "pagans" or "heathens". It is almost like the human body though mere flesh and bone senses the need to worship God and to gather in fellowship. It is like their soul knows something is missing and they answer that question in the dark with the only information that they are able to realize its solution with. It is like a blind person knowing there is light in the world but not being able to see it. Lord, I thank God that I am already in the light. I have visited a Unitarian Church before while out of town staying with friends because it was where they attended church. That was like eating rice cakes on a diet but calling it pizza with a little sauce and fat free cheese on top. LOL you have to convince yourself that it's healthy and good for you but it just is not the real thing. LOL Praying for all of them that their time in darkness will be short.

      June 24, 2013 at 4:55 am |
    • AJD

      Karen...while I appreciate that your post lacks any hateful language or mocking speech towards atheists, I'm sorry but you don't understand these people at all and are speaking as if you personally know what "god" is doing when just like everyone else, you really don't "know", you just have your own ideas about it and no proof whatsoever. Most of us atheists merely believe that there doesn't need to be the questionable dogma of religion to want to act and do things that are for the benefit of mankind. We simply see that this it's very possible that this life is it so we should do what we can to make it the best life possible for everyone and that to treat people with compassion, kindness, and empathy is the best path towards a civilized and peaceful society.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:04 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      You are wrong Karen. A good percentage of Atheists were christian and realized that there is no evidence to support your god or any god. No-one gets called by god, you only think you do because you have been brainwashed your entire life to think this way and live in fear that not believing will lead to to another fictional place you christards call hell. Most Atheists know your buybull better than you do and are not stupid enough to accept the horror stories told within as being anything but horror. What god or good loving creature would allow for their own child to be killed for the mistakes of people who had not yet been born to make mistakes? What type of god or good loving creature would mass murder all but 8 people? What type of god or good loving creature would impregnate a teenager against her will?
      A 'soul' is non-existent outside of your buybull..strictly a concept thought up by man, nothing more.
      We are simply capable of living good lives without the need of a book to tell us what is right or wrong. We are not so gullible or lazy or fearful.
      While you pray for us, we will think for you.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:10 am |
    • skytag

      It would be more accurate to say more people are figuring out what God is: an imaginary friend that's the basis for a comforting narrative.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:48 am |
    • skytag

      Karen: "Actually, they can not forget about something they never accepted as real in the first place."

      This is a common myth believers tell themselves. In point of fact I spent 40 years of my life as a Christian before I finally got to the point I couldn't continue to rationalize believing a lot of stuff for which there is no evidence and is often contradicted by what takes place in the real world around us.

      The rest of your comment is just typical nonsense believers tell themselves to rationalize why others don't buy into their fictional narratives.

      June 24, 2013 at 7:11 am |
  11. AJD

    The Unitarian-Universalist fellowships have similar services though they do at times explore the beliefs of different religions without pushing them on anyone. It was the only "church" type place I've ever felt accepted and comfortable going to as an atheist. Usually if I mention to someone that I'm an atheist, I get looked at like I'm the devil. There when I was asked by someone what belief system I held and said I was atheist they were like "Oh, that's interesting. We're so glad you joined us today. Please enjoy the brownies." I do a lot of volunteer work and give to charities and help anyone that I possibly can and do whatever I can not to hurt anyone yet if someone believes in a religion and knows I'm an atheist, none of that matters to them, I'm automatically an "evil" horrible, awful person and they hate me. It's sad. Just reading the comments here, it's clear the hatred and bitterness that many that claim to be Christian have for their fellow man who has done nothing to harm them or anyone else and in the vast majority of cases with atheists, we are good people that want to help others and want peace and goodwill in the world. Sure, there are atheists that are jerks, but there are jerks in every religion. The Christian commenters here who are being mocking and hateful of atheists are not setting a very good example if they want people to believe in what they do because frankly even if I believed in a god, I would want nothing to do with a faith or a church that had people who acted so hypocritically and hateful towards others. If Jesus had acted that way towards people, he probably wouldn't have had too many followers.

    June 24, 2013 at 3:59 am |
    • worldcares

      I know many people who go to The Univerialist Church where I live. There will always be human opinions and judgement, due to the ego. You sound like a good person.

      June 24, 2013 at 4:29 am |
  12. required

    You have the God of the entire universe telling people what he did, what he made, and interacting with people as described in the bible, and you want to not have him at your "church". This is like magnets, super powerful magnets, and you people are repulsed away from the most attactive being in the universe. Incredible.

    June 24, 2013 at 3:36 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      No, we have man telling us what that god apparently did.

      June 24, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • Roger that

      You do realize the Bible was written a long time ago by a bunch of misogynist control freak men, don't you?

      June 24, 2013 at 4:44 am |
    • required

      The bible was written in part by friends of Jesus. It is historically accurate and tells of events occurring at the time then in more depth than many like. I love it. There is nothing else like it anywhere, because it's from God.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:27 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      required: There is no evidence of that. It is only mans word that makes no claims, nothing more. The fact that you are gullible enough to accept it for what it is without caring says very little for your level of intelligence or your ability to think for yourself.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:41 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      " It is only mans word that makes no claims", 'no' should have read 'those'

      June 24, 2013 at 5:43 am |
    • required

      Oh yes there is, all kinds of evidence. Open a bible. I have one, it's real, believe me, it's real, turn the pages...

      June 24, 2013 at 5:49 am |
    • skytag

      "You have the God of the entire universe telling people what he did, what he made, and interacting with people as described in the bible"

      You have delusions in which this happens. So far no one who shares your delusions has been able to offer any evidence whatsoever that any of this is real.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:50 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      required: Using the buybull to defend the buybull is circular and fails. You are gullible. Provide the evidence without the buybull that your god exists and then you might have a point but until then there is no valid reason for accepting it as anything more than the word of man.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:55 am |
    • required

      The "word of man" is telling me just above, that the Word of God, is not, without any evidence, when the Word of God has all kinds of evidence backing it up, overwhelming evidence. Open a bible.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      required: Wow, ignorance is bliss....isn't it??? There is no evidence backing your buybull. Noahs Arc didn't happen; virgin birth didn't happen; resurrection didn't happen; no heaven, no hell, no soul...no god. The buybull is NOT evidence for your imaginary friend. If that is all you have to support your absurd claims for your vindictive prick god then you have nothing and are more gullible than most. Time to grow up little one, only children and weak minded adults have imaginary friends.

      June 24, 2013 at 6:45 am |
  13. Kevin

    Apparently my fellow atheists in this case have a firm belief in wasting their own time.

    June 24, 2013 at 3:00 am |
  14. No god. Know peace.

    No church has a god. The athiests are the only people samrt enough to know that.

    June 24, 2013 at 2:32 am |
  15. Van

    This is ironic, ridiculously ironic.

    I almost laughing.

    Ah, atheists.

    June 24, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • Kevin

      "I almost laughing"


      June 24, 2013 at 3:00 am |
    • skytag

      Why? If you study religions you find that the good they do is the result of giving people a reason to bond together as a community, not the result of any supernatural influences. This is an effort to replicate the good parts of religion but without the delusions about a god being as the motivation.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:53 am |
  16. eville11

    Could care less if a group of non-believers get together and wax poetic, and somehow this is probably how religion started back in the day anyway. Lets all get together and think about community and helping, then some guy took over and made himself your savior because he had charisma and a few good ideas about how to live.

    June 24, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • eville11

      and that lady in the pic looks like shes about to have a religious "experience" herself.... scary.

      June 24, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • Athy

      Could care less, or couldn't care less? You have me confused. Or maybe you're confused.

      June 24, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      Can't blame a guy for wanting to be a deity... the real blame lies in those gullible enough to believe him.

      June 24, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • Gabe

      If God finds out about a church without God, well I simply hope these atheists are ready to burn in the eternal fires of hell!

      They will simply bypass the angels and wake up in hell when they die.

      These people are fearless until they wake up in eternal Hell!

      June 24, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      @ Gabe, A sentiment shared by many christians. They wish suffering on others, just like Jesus would have wanted.

      June 24, 2013 at 2:03 am |
    • Roger that

      If God finds out about a church without God, well I simply hope these atheists are ready to burn in the eternal fires of hell!

      Wouldn't God already know about it? I agree about the evil Bible god being upset. Lookout he may start killing first-borns again.

      June 24, 2013 at 2:40 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "If God finds out about a church without God, well I simply hope these atheists are ready to burn in the eternal fires of hell!"

      The most hateful statement christians ever spew. Why you would think that your fellow human suffering is a good thing is beyond rational thought and extremely immoral.

      June 24, 2013 at 5:19 am |
  17. montyross

    Article does not belong in the Belief section. Fail @ article trolling.

    June 24, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Athy

      CNN doesn't have a non-belief section.

      June 24, 2013 at 12:56 am |
  18. Jgh


    June 24, 2013 at 12:30 am |
  19. Apple Bush

    This will do fine. Just fine.

    June 24, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • juan frias


      June 24, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • ROO

      @juan frias

      -there is no major point to it. Some people just like community and gathering
      together. You don't need belief in a deity to do that.

      June 24, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Kevin

      @ROO and we've never come up with any words in English for community or gathering... so we'll just call it church.

      June 24, 2013 at 3:04 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Actually I just meant it was a good place to take a shit.

      June 24, 2013 at 3:46 am |
  20. jboom

    June 22, 2013 – One of Britain's Top Geneticists Recommends Darwin's Doubt


    June 24, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • PaulD

      That "evolution news" link is actually a creationist propaganda site. Bit of the old bate-and-switch with that one, eh?

      June 24, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • tallulah13

      "Jerry Coyne has the story of the Discoveryless Institute bragging about a "top geneticist" who has endorsed Stephen Meyer's new book Darwin's Doubt.
      Of course, the DI fails to mention that the expert, Dr. Norman C. Nevin, is one of those Biblical creationists who believes that Adam was a historic person and the Flood was a historic event, which the DI keeps insisting has nothing to do with ID."

      "Nevin even edited a book, Should Christians Embrace Evolution, in which he concludes that "No coherent, cohesive theology has yet been offered that would allow Christians to embrace evolution with integrity."From

      http://d o d o d r e a m s . b l o g s p o t.com
      Sunday, June 23, 2013
      Sorry about the extra spaces. I can't get the thing to work otherwise

      June 24, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • Sciencee

      Hey jboom are you chads twin ?

      Pushing the same sh-it ................as chad.?

      June 24, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • Kevin

      Would you by any chance have any pieces of any bridges to sell me?

      June 24, 2013 at 3:03 am |
    • Science

      Hey jboom

      No reply about the twin deal ?

      June 24, 2013 at 6:56 am |
    • Science

      Hey jboom

      What is your position on the marriage issue ?

      June 24, 2013 at 7:12 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.