Satanists square off on abortion (Yes, really)
The UK Church of Satan says it supports a variety of views on abortion. But is the church real?
July 9th, 2013
03:27 PM ET

Satanists square off on abortion (Yes, really)

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN)- Are Satanists for or against abortion? Apparently, there's a hot debate.

A group calling itself the "UK Church of Satan" on Twitter says it's open minded, tweeting out "Why Wouldn't Satanism be pro-life?" on July 5.

But the High Priest of the New York-based Church of Satan says it's squarely in the abortion-rights corner.

How to settle this diabolical duel?

Let's back up first.

As Texas legislators debated a law last week that would restrict abortions in the Lone Star State, a group of abortion rights protesters tried to drown out a group of anti-abortion protesters at the state capitol by chanting "Hail Satan!"

The phrase trended on Twitter. Megapastor Rick Warren rapped our wrists (and The Associated Press's, too) for not covering the "Hail Satan" serenade. Actually, pastor, our man Josh Rubin was on the ball.

The UK Church of Satan (assuming it's real) jumped on the trend, tweeting on July 3:

Which raises the question: What does Satanism represent?

We asked the New York-based Church of Satan, and we got an earful.

First of all, Magus Peter H. Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan, told us, there is no "UK Church of Satan."

"I have not authorized any of our UK members to create such a thing claiming to represent our organization, its members and our philosophy," Gilmore said. "So, whoever is behind that feed is committing a fraud."

Gilmore's group, which, unlike the UK church, has a website, also keeps a P.O. Box in New York City. (Radio City Station of all places. Watch out, Rockettes.)

As a matter of policy, the Church of Satan doesn't give out exact membership numbers, the magus said, but it's in the thousands.

"Our organization, founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, is worldwide," Gilmore told CNN in an e-mail, "and we have many members throughout the UK and none of them have heard of any self-proclaimed 'Church of Satan in England.' There was a hoax using a title like this a year or so ago as a political prank."

We put the question to the UK Church of Satan,  who said, "There is no 'UK' Church of Satan. It's worldwide. We represent and connect those followers 'in' the UK."

We've followed up with more questions but haven't heard back yet.

To be sure, the UK Satanists' tweets have been surprisingly unsulfurous.

Take this one, for example:

Or this sweet-natured nugget:

This is a church that worships the Prince of Darkness? And who in hell is JMG?

Getting back to abortion, here's what the supposed UK Church of Satan said:

Yeah, kinda, Gilmore told CNN. But there's much more to it than that.

Many Satanists practice "rational birth control," saith Satanism's high priest, leaving matters of personal morality up to individuals.

"We generally consider the use of abortion to be the purview of the woman whose body is carrying the child," Gilmore said. "We consider sexual experiences to be an indulgence between consenting adults that should be taken seriously, particularly when the possibility of pregnancy is concerned."

But the magus didn't appreciate hearing the name of his lord taken in vain.

"Shouting `Hail Satan!' to abortion protesters is both ludicrous and meaningless," said Gilmore, who's led the Church of Satan since 2001. "Only attention-seeking fools would do so."

Unsurprisingly, Satanists take a strong stand on separation of church and state, believing the government "should be entirely secular."

"So religion should neither force upon nor deny an abortion for any woman, in our thinking," Gilmore said. "Freedom with responsibility is the hallmark of civilized behavior to the Satanist."

Now that that's settled, what's the Satanic stance on gay marriage?


In a follow-up email, Gilmore made it clear that Satanists don't actually deify Satan. In fact, they're atheist, he said, and use Satan as a "symbol of pride, liberty and individualism."

"If you chose to mock us, then you should have done so based on what our philosophy actually is, rather than on an assumed `horror film' stereotype," the magus said.

Fair criticism. We'll try to improve our coverage of Satanism.

Oh, one more thing. Gilmore said the Church of Satan does approve of same-sex marriage.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Church and state • Culture wars • Satanism

soundoff (2,331 Responses)
  1. Faith

    they stated what they had observed and heard and handled, period

    July 11, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Agnostickids

      K, see, your fragmented sentences make no sense whatsoever. I'm wasting my time talking to someone in a psych ward. Good luck with your bible.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  2. Faith

    no one made any claims

    July 11, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Agnostickids

      What are your claims?

      July 11, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  3. captain america

    agnostickids is lol?? they are the same person trolling under different screen names

    July 11, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Um...no...sorry, you're wrong.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Agnostickids

      And...speaking of trolling, I see your user name on here a lot more than mine "captain america."

      July 11, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • captain america

      everyone knows about what your doing so you can end the charade now

      July 11, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Agnostickids

      LOL! WOW...so what else are the little voices telling you? Dang, take your crazy paranoia elsewhere buddy.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      captain america is a well known troll. He posts under that name when he gets bored with one of the other hundred names he posts under.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  4. Faith

    why did they write it?

    July 11, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Why did you write that?

      July 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  5. Faith

    in 2,000 years not one error has been found!

    July 11, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Oh, except the one in your mirror....

      July 11, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Huh?

      "in 2,000 years not one error has been found!"

      Genesis 1:3-5: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

      Fourth Day of Creation
      Genesis 1:14-19: And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. ...And the evening and the morning were the fourth day

      The scientific error here is twofold. First the Bible depicts light as being created in the absence of any objects that would actually product light. Second, the Bible depicts day being separated from night without the existence of the sun, the one object which does separate day from night.

      The authors of the Bible didn't understand where light comes from and they didn't understand the role of the sun in our solar system. If people accepted that the Bible is a flawed text created by fallible human beings, that wouldn't be a problem.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Not one error!?!?!?!? You're either a liar or a fool. There are hundreds of contradictions, errors, and falsehoods in the bible.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • lol??

      in yer hood, badger.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You are lying.
      Here is a well known error.

      "Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing, that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; (including) the locust . . . the beetle . . . and the grasshopper after his kind" (Leviticus 11:21,22).

      Insects do not have 4 legs, so the bible is in obviuos error.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • faith

        i said i would address your concerns after you did your homework


        July 16, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • rejected

      Going upon "all four" doesn't strictly mean having four legs. It means walking on all limbs. There's probably a translation effect happening too when you read it in English.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Going upon "all four" doesn't strictly mean having four legs. It means walking on all limbs."

      No. It means walking on all FOUR limbs you moron. If walking on all limbs was intended there would be no numerical modifier to let us know how many "all" is referring to.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      For a believer, any excuse will do. You can always put it to the test, too. Why is the order of creation in Genesis all fvcked up when we consider the order in which the stars and earth and animals evolved? Well, I don't know, but for the Christian, any excuse will do. Got another obvious and weird contradiction? Any excuse will do.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • lol??

      Lev 11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon [all] four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;
      Lev 11:22 [Even] these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
      22 is listing additions, not inclusions of 21 for every flyer and creeper. Failed criticism.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • fAith

      Which have legs above their feet – This appears to refer to the different kinds of locusts and grasshoppers, which have very remarkable hind legs, long, and with high joints, projecting above their backs, by which they are enabled to spring up from the ground, and leap high and far.

      The locust – ארבה arbeh, either from ארב arab, to lie in wait or in ambush, because often immense flights of them suddenly alight upon the fields, vineyards, etc., and destroy all the produce of the earth; or from רבה rabah, he multiplied, because of their prodigious swarms. See a particular account of these insects in the notes on Exodus 10:4 (note).

      The bald locust – סלעם solam, compounded, says Mr. Parkhurst, from סלע sala, to cut, break, and עם am, contiguity; a kind of locust, probably so called from its rugged, craggy form. See the first of Scheuchzer's plates, vol. iii., p. 100.

      The beetle – חרגל chargol. "The Hebrew name seems a derivative from חרג charag, to shake, and רגל regel, the foot; and so to denote the nimbleness of its motions. Thus in English we call an animal of the locust kind a grasshopper; the French name of which is souterelle, from the verb sauter, to leap" – Parkhurst. This word occurs only in this place. The beetle never can be intended here, as that insect never was eaten by man, perhaps, in any country of the universe.

      The grasshopper – חגב chagab. Bochart supposes that this species of locust has its name from the Arabic verb hajaba to veil; because when they fly, as they often do, in great swarms, they eclipse even the light of the sun. See the notes on Exodus 10:4, and the description of ten kinds of locusts in Bochart, vol. iii., col. 441. And see the figures in Scheuchzer, in whose plates 20 different species are represented, vol. iii., p. 100. And see Dr. Shaw on the animals mentioned in this chapter. Travels, p. 419, etc., 4th. edition; and when all these are consulted, the reader will see how little dependence can be placed on the most learned conjectures relative to these and the other animals mentioned in Scripture. One thing however is fully evident, viz., that the locust was eaten, not only in those ancient times, in the time of John Baptist, Matthew 3:4, but also in the present day. Dr. Shaw ate of them in Barbary "fried and salted," and tells us that "they tasted very like crayfish." They have been eaten in Africa, Greece, Syria, Persia, and throughout Asia; and whole tribes seem to have lived on them, and were hence called acridophagoi, or locust-eaters by the Greeks. See Strabo lib. xvi., and Pliny, Hist. Nat., lib. xvii., c. 30.
      clarke's commentary

      someday, if you think you've really found an error, run it by a few true scholars first

      July 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • lol??

      fAith, cool, dude. One would also have to surmise that the people of those days knew what was on the menu and weren't being tricked by the chef for some wicked reason the critics show in their own hearts.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • fAith

      clarke's commentary

      like unicorns

      July 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • fAith

      like unicorns

      July 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • faith

      The report in Nature described a 33-inch-long skull with a bony fr ontal pr o tu be ra nce more than three feet in c irc um fer ence. This bony protuberance with its associated structures is thought to have su ppor ted a horn over a yard long. Norman Loc k y er, “The Ela sm oth erium,” Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science

      UNICORNS lol

      July 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      another error.
      Lev 11:20-21: “All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.”

      They certainly would be since no fowl go on all four either

      July 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • faith

      the dodo bird, dodo

      July 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • faith

      the dodo bird, dodo

      DO DO

      July 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Observer


      You are claiming that many of the errors in the Bible are translation errors. Still errors. Ooops!

      July 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lev 11:6: “And the hare, because he cheweth the cud…”

      Deut 14:7: ” “…as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof.”

      Matt 13:31-32: ” “the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed which…is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown is the greatest among herbs and becometh a tree.” (mustard seeds do not grow into trees)

      Matt 4:8: ” Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.” ( The world is not flat, so climbing a mountian would not let you see all kingdoms.)

      Gen 32:30 states “…for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
      John 1:18 states, “No man hath seen God at any time…”
      (direct contradiction)

      there is no such thing as a bible scholar, just like there is no such thing as a Harry Potter scholar.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      the dodo bird still did not walk on all fours.

      The most common errors in the bible are much greater than individual passages. Genetics proves beyond a dount that mankind did not come from one set of DNA. Also Genetics proves that almost all humans have neabnderthal DNA...an impossibility if the bible is correct.

      The bible is wrong, many times over. Just because you don't accept it, doesn't mean it hasn't been disproven. I'm done with you since you are clearly losing and starting to name-call, as you tend to do when you lose arguments. Next come the many death threats.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
      • faith


        July 16, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • lol??

      R Cranius, you are aware that you won't be judged for what goes into yer mouth but what comes out?? So chew away,"..................but in the ancient sense of a chewing motion that includes both rumination and refection in the modern sense............."

      July 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  6. Faith

    never, not once, have the nazi god-hating fascists proven one word of the new testament to be inaccurate

    in 2,000 years

    July 11, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Ok...again...prove that the new testament is based on any form of reality...

      July 11, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  7. Faith

    never, not once, have the nazi god-hating fascists proven one word of the new testament to be inaccurate

    July 11, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Ok...well, how about proving that it's real....

      July 11, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Where's the independent, factual, objective and verifiable evidence for the claimed extraordinary events at the time of the alleged crucifixion and resurrection of some dude allegedly named jesus?

      July 11, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Several times Jesus tells in the new testament, that the old testament is still valid, every word. Since we know the OT is invalid, we can see that the new is also invalid by proclaiming the OT to be valid.

      Now I have shown that the new testament is invalid, but since I am not a " nazi god hating fascist" so I guess your statement holds.

      Here though is an atheist showing proof the new testament is invalid.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • faith

        i thought you were a big fan of o.t.

        no one has proven one word of the bible to be inaccurate

        the "four corners of the earth" is a figure of speech

        "all" as used anywhere must be taken in context. but you know these things. i write this to expose you to any who may be searching.

        can you think of other "errors" you'd like explained away? i'll give you a few minutes.

        hundreds of millions of people who proclaim to know jesus christ with stunning similarities regardless of age, gender, nationality, education level, economic status, all relevant

        schizoaffective disordered all you like

        try born again by colson

        this is another example that indicates your "scholarship" is at best flimsy. no one has to hate you to arrive at that conclusion

        July 16, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • faith

        "Since we know the OT is invalid" u r a broken record

        the o.t. is not proven invalid, no matter how subjective you are.

        try proving it with facts, not with drive by cheap shots

        you have never gotten that bologna past a single scholar

        July 16, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Faith

      All that matters is that God talks to me.

      July 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  8. Jenny Porter

    Meant to post this with the thread...

    @ reality, it looks like you didn't read the original post. The Satanist says that Satan is made up...you just like to repost your atheist propaganda over and over.
    Try some anger management classes. Your constant trolling and provoking do nothing but turn people away from thinking about Atheism.

    July 11, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  9. Jenny Porter

    @ reality, it looks like you didn't read the original post. The Satanist says that Satan is made up...you just like to repost your atheist propaganda over and over.
    Try some anger management classes. Your constant trolling and provoking do nothing but turn people away from thinking about Atheism.

    July 11, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  10. Satanist

    Welcome to the official website of the Church of Satan (Church of Satan dot com) Founded on April 30, 1966 c.e. by Anton Szandor LaVey, we are the first above-ground organization in history openly dedicated to the acceptance of Man’s true nature—that of a carnal beast, living in a cosmos that is indifferent to our existence.

    To us, Satan is the symbol that best suits the nature of we who are carnal by birth—people who feel no battles raging between our thoughts and feelings, we who do not embrace the concept of a soul imprisoned in a body. He represents pride, liberty, and individualism—qualities often defined as Evil by those who worship external deities, who feel there is a war between their minds and emotions. As Anton LaVey explained in his classic work The Satanic Bible, Man—using his brain—invented all the Gods, doing so because many of our species cannot accept or control their personal egos, feeling compelled to conjure up one or a multiplicity of characters who can act without hindrance or guilt upon whims and desires.

    All Gods are thus externalized forms, magnified projections of the true nature of their creators, personifying aspects of the universe or personal temperaments which many of their followers find to be troubling. Worshipping any God is thus worshipping by proxy those who invented that God. Since the Satanist understands that all Gods are fiction, instead of bending a knee in worship to—or seeking friendship or unity with—such mythical enti ties, he places himself at the center of his own subjective universe as his own highest value. We Satanists are thus our own “Gods,” and as beneficent “deities” we can offer love to those who deserve it and deliver our wrath (within reasonable limits) upon those who seek to cause us—or that which we cherish—harm. Magus Gilmore’s essay “What, The Devil?” from The Satanic Scriptures discusses this in greater detail.

    July 11, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Thanks for the welcome

      Some ideas I like, some I don't. I like the idea of liberty and individualism quite a bit. Pride is not one of my favorite traits and I find myself craving humility especially as generations progress. As a fan of Jung the study of man and his symbols is always of interest.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • trixie

      Satan will never defeat God. God created him and God can destroy him in the blink of an eye.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Reality

      Satan and god, the demons of the demented. Next topic

      July 11, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Agnostickids

      @ trixie...well, if god can destroy Satan, why doesn't he do the planet a world of good and do so? Of course, I don't believe in Satan. Satan is christian made to force its followers to obey. But your response was just silly.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • trixie

      I'm silly? Satanists believe that Satan and his demons can actually defeat God in the great battle. Where is their evidence that Satan has the power to destroy the being who created him?

      July 11, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @ trixie, I don't believe in God. God is christian made to force its followers to obey. Your response is doubly silly.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Pete

      "Satan will never defeat God. God created him and God can destroy him in the blink of an eye."

      Seeing as 67% of the people on this planet don't believe in your god, then Satan is winning, that means 4.6 billion people (and climbing) will be in hell for all eternity.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Where is the evidence that any god exists, let alone created satan, who also there is no evidence of his existance?

      July 11, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • trixie

      The evidence of God is all around you. If it makes you feel better to think of it as mother nature or the laws of physics, or whatever other way you prefer to look at it, what you're seeing is the evidence of God's work.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Pete

      " If it makes you feel better to think of it as mother nature or the laws of physics, or whatever other way you prefer to look at it, what you're seeing is the evidence of God's work."

      No, it's not, that is you applying your definition of a god to those things it doesn't mean your god is actually real. We dismiss your god for the same reason you dismiss all the other thousands of gods created by man.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • HotAirAce

      trixie, what you call evidence is yet another unfounded assertion. Please provide factual, verifiable, independent and objective evidence for your god, retract your assertion or admit you are delusional (mentally ill) and/or a liar.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Jenny Porter

      Did it again! Geez, new to this posting...

      Meant to post this to this thread.

      @ reality, it looks like you didn't read the original post. The Satanist says that Satan is made up...you just like to repost your atheist propaganda over and over.
      Try some anger management classes. Your constant trolling and provoking do nothing but turn people away from thinking about Atheism.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • trixie

      I don't dismiss the other gods people worship. I just know that they aren't God. Most of them are different names for Satan and that's ultimately who is being worshipped when people worship other gods.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Agnostickids

      @ trixie...yes, you are silly. You believe in something that has never proven itself. But to argue with you further, after reading your posts, is even sillier. Your blinders to reality are on good and tight. For you to even assume that everything on this earth is the creation of your god is to ignore the suffering, wars, hatred and cruelty of the human race that your supposed god also made...

      July 11, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Pete

      "I don't dismiss the other gods people worship. I just know that they aren't God. Most of them are different names for Satan and that's ultimately who is being worshipped when people worship other gods."

      LMAO! The hypocrisy in this post is priceless.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      The evidence you speak of is evidence of The Great Pumpkin, evidence we are in the Matrix, evidence that we are all Who's in Whoville, evidence of an infinite number of possibilities.
      It is only your presumption that leaps to the conclusion that it is evidence of any gods. An unfounded conclusion by the way.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • lol??

      So what's with your pals, Legion in the swine, goin' over the cliff?? Don't like swine either?? Copycattin'?? Looks self-defeating.

      "Mat 8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters."

      If you ever take LSD, don't forget to tell yourself, "It's only the drug." Otherwise you might think you can fly.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Satan

      Trixie...oh Trixie! I'm coming for you! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

      July 11, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • trixie

      If you honestly reject the existence of God then you are rejecting everything humanity is built upon. Our entire civilization is founded on our historical understanding and writings of God and the relationship we have with Him.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Agnostickids

      trixie! WOW, girl, take the dunce cap off already! Your bible, your jesus, your god have been around less than 2 thousand years!!!! Did you know that history existed before that? Your god wasn't even created until ages of other gods and goddess lived and disappeared for thousands of years! LOL! Your posts get sillier and sillier!

      July 11, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • lol??

      For the mob posters, don't ferget to tell yasef, "It's only my vain imagination and wicked heart."

      "Jer 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

      July 11, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • My oh my kiddies

      A satanist just came in here to give a belief and introduction to his belief (or rather non-belief) system. After that a rampant complaint by Christians came pouring out just the way a rampant complaint of atheist comes pouring out the minute a Christian anounces themself in an atheist forum.

      Badly done first of all, second of all this guy clearly does not believe in dieties of any sort so talking about "Legion" and the rest to him is pointless.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • HotAirAce

      trixie, you and your fellow christians are not the sum total of all humanity – there are many other segments of humanity that are not part of the dead jew zombie vampire cannibal death cult. In fact, there is nothing special about christianity – it is just one of many cults that claim to have all the answers, none of which provide any real evidence for any of their supernatural claims.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Agnostickids

      @ my oh my...well said!

      July 11, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • trixie

      Is that so? I suppose you have plenty of evidence of historical writings dating from such a time? If we have a million years of history on this planet I imagine there are vast libraries recording our way of life and accomplishments throughout that period.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Agnostickids

      @ trixie...oh dear.

      Yeah, you were home schooled in a VERY VERY religious household weren't you?

      As a matter of fact, if you go, I don't know, to a museum, you might find some of the proof of those other histories (outside of the tiny point christianity occupies in thousands of years of human history). You might even pick up a book on history, anthropology, archeology, sociology; to name a few. But something tells me that those books were expressly forbidden to you at some point in your life.

      Well, you've proven the axiom that ignorance really can be bliss.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • lol??

      mom k, I didn't say Legion was a deity. They are just duped servants; Sons of God they have been called. Livin' in swine??

      July 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • lol??

      AK, better keep that vain imagination in check. You could try humour.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • JimK57

      Interesting ideas, reminds me somewhat of the "original sin" idea from other religions. I wonder if he had named the church something other than church of satan, he would have found more members.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • trixie

      No one in my house was religious. I learned things the old fashioned way by reading a lot, studying different theories and comparing conflicting opinions until I reached the most reasonable conclusion.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      What a simple test you just offered up to us "until I reached the most reasonable conclusion" if you reach any conclusion other than "there are no gods"... well, then we will undoubtedly know whether you are either a liar or just old-fashioned dumb...

      July 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Damocles


      What books did you read? What tests did you perform? What theories did you discard when they made your brain hurt?

      July 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      "the most reasonable conclusion"

      The most reasonable would not reach a conclusion, but by all means...if it was a reasonable conclusion, let us see the reasoning, and the reasoning used to discard all other possibilities. Please show your work.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      When Trixie says "no one in my house was religious," we aren't getting the whole story. She may not have been indoctrinated/brainwashed by someone within her household, but she didn't form these beliefs about Christianity in a vacuum where no one around her was attempting to convince her to believe, and she was just studying various religious texts until she happened on the bible and other apologetics.

      Trixie, what are you leaving out of the story of your conversion?

      July 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • lol??

      And the mob played on. Faith comes by hearing. Y'all must be tone deaf.

      July 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  11. Some thoughts

    This is a comment to Saraswati's discussion of relative standing as a path to happiness, as I was called away and could not comment. It's true that we humans have a deep fear of failure, and a deep fear of inferiority. But relative standing is an illusion. There will always be someone greater than or less than on some capacity. Sorry for the delay.

    July 11, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Some thoughts

      I'd also like to say to William that I agree that the shows on television are largely programs that certainly would make a person want to invest in some other form of entertainment lest they risk bleeding from their eyes and ears.

      July 11, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Todd

      "There will always be someone greater than or less than on some capacity."

      Actually on an insecure person would make such a statement, when you have confidence in yourself and love yourself you don't feel superior or inferior to anyone.

      July 11, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Todd

      "Actually on"

      That' was suppose to say "Actually only."

      July 11, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Saraswati

      These are nice sentiments, folks, but they aren't in line with the overwhelming evidence. If you are happy odds are it's because you feel better off compared to your comparison group. If you look at an individual they will alter their comparison group accodingly so that they still come out on top. Usually wealth will be the primary comparison. People below the national or community mean will look to their poorer local community or to people in developing countries. Those who cannot reevalute the situation to suit their needs will sitch to valuing something else and declare that wealth doesn't matter. Those who claim they are above this usually have a sense of superiority about that. This is just how humans work. If you can't accept what humanity is you can make up another story as many religions have, but it will be just that...a story.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  12. Reality

    Satan, the demon of the demented. Next topic !!!

    July 11, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  13. palintwit

    Here's a good one I saw...

    " Watching the GOP establishment try to herd the Tea Partiers is a bit like watching someone attempt to uncrap their pants."

    July 11, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  14. Colin

    This is actually a pretty cleverly written (if not particularly well animated) video on Bible contradictions.


    July 11, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • mens rea


      July 11, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • James

      It's painful to watch someone try to mock something they know nothing about

      July 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • mens rea

      Only if truth is painful.

      July 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

    I have never met an intelligent atheist.

    July 11, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      You don't get out much, do you? One of the inventor's of the machine you're using was an Atheist. Bill Gates is an Atheist...are you going to say they are not intelligent? We could reverse that and say that no christian can claim intelligence, especially not when they have imaginary friends.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • William Demuth

      But I bet your mama was a rocket scientist?

      July 11, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Some thoughts

      One thing I've always objected too and I've seen it over and over in atheism, in theism and in all circles is the use of intellectualism to force the idea of intellectual snobbery. Do our intellects exist merely so we can hold ourselves in high regard?

      July 11, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • William Demuth

      Intellects exist as punishment for evolving faster than the masses.

      They cause as much misery as any other quality.

      Just watch daytime TV, and you will curse your own.

      Sad but true.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Some, If you look at the recent research in psychology, it is really relative standing that determines happiness. Feeling richer, smarter, more moral, more beatiful or luckier. Almost everyone draws happiness from feeling superior in one of these ways, and sadly, it is almost impossible for a person to have a rich happiness without such a feeling. I've even met people who gain their feeling of superiority by believing that they, unlike others, don't need to feel superior to be happy.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • JimK57

      Truth prevails.
      Actually from what I have read he is agnostic. I guess it depends where you get your information from.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      From Bill Gates himself:
      Gates was interviewed November 1995 on PBS by David Frost. Below is the transcript with minor edits.

      Frost: Do you believe in the Sermon on the Mount?

      Gates: I don't. I'm not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I'm a huge believer in. There's a lot of merit in the moral aspects of religion. I think it can have a very very positive impact.

      Frost: I sometimes say to people, do you believe there is a god, or do you know there is a god? And, you'd say you don't know?

      Gates: In terms of doing things I take a fairly scientific approach to why things happen and how they happen. I don't know if there's a god or not, but I think religious principles are quite valid.

      Gates was profiled in a January 13, 1996 TIME magazine cover story. Here are some excerpts compiled by the Drudge Report:

      "Isn't there something special, perhaps even divine, about the human soul?" interviewer Walter Isaacson asks Gates "His face suddenly becomes expressionless," writes Isaacson, "his squeaky voice turns toneless, and he folds his arms across his belly and vigorously rocks back and forth in a mannerism that has become so mimicked at MICROSOFT that a meeting there can resemble a round table of ecstatic rabbis."

      "I don't have any evidence on that," answers Gates. "I don't have any evidence of that."

      He later states, "Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning."

      Looks like he could be both atheist and agnostic (you can be both).

      July 11, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • JimK57

      Thanks for the info.

      July 11, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Slightly effective troll...

      July 11, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • guest

      Please, IM4FREEDOM, don’t talk like an ignorant atheist, what I mean is there are intelligent atheists, as well as ignorant atheists; also there are intelligent Christians as well as ignorant Christians, but your remark sounds more like an ignorant, accusing, sarcastic, insensitive atheist. Even ignorant Christians should know better than making comments like the one made here.

      July 11, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @guest – another christard troll... or more likely the same one...

      July 11, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • marine1

      @ Richard Cranium
      Not true!! Google Bill Gates and God. Tell me what you find. I will be waiting.

      July 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      What you find when you google that is an instance where Bill syas he is doing gods work. That does not indicate he actually believes it or not, like if I say god bless you, it is not an admission that I think that there are gods, it is just the social convention. He may have just been using a standard pat answer instead of puiting any actual thought behind it. You'd have to ask him for the context.
      What is clear is that Bill gates does not advertise his true beliefs, but many other sources would indicate he is agnostic. Either way, it is his beliefs, and therefore moot to me

      July 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  16. Saraswati

    OK, I agree we can step it back a notch and get a few more functional people. But the percent of thepopulation who are ready to truly emotionally accept that we take, say, induction or external reality on faith is still very, very small. And I'd want some very strong evidence that the happiness of this small group is comparable to the general population.

    July 11, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Saraswati

      Reposted in correct location below.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Bystander

      I don't think happiness has ever had a bearing on reality. 🙂

      July 11, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Bystander

      Actually let me rephrase that. Happiness is your opinion on reality as you understand it.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Saraswati

      While happiness probably has no bearing on reality, given that we live in ignorance and will continue to do so, it is, in my opinion, a good measure of what lies to keep and what to throw away. The most common delusion that will make you reject this is that you actually can achieve a meaningful knowledge of reality.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • William Demuth

      Happiness is the smile on a dog

      Some see it, some don't.

      To me it is so relative to the moment it isn't useful to measure.

      I had the experience of watching a friend over dose on heroin and die, and the great irony was he truly never seemed happier than seconds before his death.

      I have concluded temporary happiness is over rated, and I rather prefer in my own life to not chase it, but instead avoid it opposite, misery.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Saraswati

      @William, It amounts to much the same thing. Any but the simplest reflexive actions require at least a fuzzy goal. The only real overlap between most humans is that, among often many other goals, we mostly seek to reduce life time misery and increase happiness in ourselves and, usually, those around us. Since conflict hinders most (not all) goals we take this roughly utilitarian premise as the basis for the shared public ethic. This is already what every secular society uses as it's primary guiding force.

      To assume that honesty and truth bring happiness is just another bit of faith people don't want to let go. It is a very hard argument to make, however, if you are really open to a fair representation of the facts.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • William Demuth


      Truths unattainability however is NOT justification for the embracing of blatant falsehoods.

      In some areas (economics for me) I find societies dogmas to be infuriating. For example, by hook or by crook I have ALWAYS managed to get what I needed, and in truth have always had more than my fair share.

      In my mind I realize that this probably means that a counterpart of mine somewhere does not, and that messes with my karma to say the least.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Some thoughts

      Having possessions in excess William is an easy fix. If you see someone without just share with them.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • William Demuth

      Possessions? I have had many and I have had few.

      I am talking more of those who don't really understand.

      So many are exploited. The system is so corrupt. A whole new generation is going under the bus and little seems to be improving.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Saraswati

      @William, I think since every action you take (including what shirt to wear) potentially kills someone there is such a thing as too much information in this context. Our small tribal brains aren't evolved to handle that kind of globaal awarenss. If we and others aren't happy there's no point to life,and this is an example of where a little ignorance helps.

      But yes, I agree that knowledge of basic science and economics are probably best for all citizens, and I work towards this. But I suspect I suspect I am more open to the idea that there is a place for delusion in happiness. If you've ever spent time with people with Alzheimer's, you will likely know what I mean. The truth can be cruel, and the trick is in knowing when it is necessary.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  17. William Demuth

    breathe deep

    I wanted to start a new thread to answer your question in detail.

    The term "Honest Christian" is a relative one. If one is rational and self-aware and is above all else to their own self true, he by definition can not be Christian.

    Christianity requires a suspension of self-honesty and an adherence to dogma. Once so corrupted a mind is no longer capable of being "honest".

    It is akin to the Nazi's at Nuremberg insisting they were moral men, while their actions collectively were immoral.

    If someone has at the core of his being something demonstrably wrong, he can never be trusted in ANY context where that belief system comes into play.

    Religion is deceit, a glorified supernatural Ponzi scheme designed to defraud the feeble minded, and its adherents are by definition either dishonest, or delusional.

    July 11, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Saraswati

      I have yet to meet a functional person capable of true self-honesty. The balance is in determining how many life sustaining delusions it is fair to break for the better good of society as a whole.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • Saraswati

      The delusion that one is honest with oneself would be one of the. most precious.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • William Demuth

      Very true, the distinction is if one believes his own propaganda.

      Society expects lies, so we use them, but our inner self must still distinguish between the façade and reality.

      If we can, we are rational, if we can't we are religious.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Bystander

      In order to be honest with one's self, a person would have to be able to accurately determine the exact nature of reality, which to date I don't think any of us our capable of that task. I think we define reality as best as we understand it at the time.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Saraswati

      OK, I agree we can step it back a notch and get a few more functional people. But the percent of thepopulation who are ready to truly emotionally accept that we take, say, induction or external reality on faith is still very, very small. And I'd want some very strong evidence that the happiness of this small group is comparable to the

      July 11, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • William Demuth

      Correct Bystander.

      But when one elects to say my insight is now perfect, and I need no longer observe and adapt, he by definition becomes irrational.

      Alas, this is exactly what religion asks of us. It is a comfy couch for the mentally lazy, a one stop shop for all your answers, written just for you several thousand years ago by men who kept slaves and believed in monsters and jealous Gods.

      What a sad solution source for modern men, to cower in the shelter of ignorance, still terrified of the dark.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Bystander, I think dishonesty implies a willful disregard of truth, so that believed out of genuine, rather than willful ignorance isn't dishonest. True honest is accepting every place your ignorance has been pointed out and learning to live with managed ongoing doubt. This is a very, very tricky proposition and only a handful of people I've met even come close...and are usually deluded or dishonest about the level of their awareness.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:32 am |

      Ever meet an honest atheist? Nope. All are liars and Jesus will judge them. I can't wait to see the look on all there faces when they get told they're going to burn for eternity.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • William Demuth


      Please review Entropy, and them let me know where old Jeebus is going to get the fuel supply to burn anything for eternity??

      July 11, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      IM4FREEDOM: Wow, this coming from someone who can't use the word there in its proper context...yep, you're intelligent-NOT!!!

      Btw: When you provide evidence outside of the buybull (purposely misspelled because the bible does force one to buy man's written bull-shit) for your god or your jesus, we might have reason to worry, until then there is no just cause.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Saraswati

      IM4FREEDOm is just a troll, if you look at his dropper comment above. No Christian I've met is dumb enough, btw, to argue that they will get pleasure gloating at others misery. If you want to troll, try to do it well.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      IM4FREEDOM is a mediocre troll at best

      July 11, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  18. lol??

    Abortion and the punishment for the perps;

    Exd 21:22 -23 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart [from her], and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges [determine]. And if [any] mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

    July 11, 2013 at 4:50 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      That verse discusses accidental harm that comes from two men fighting; elsewhere in the bible, instructions for an abortive solution are provided. Courts still decide cases like this.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • William Demuth


      And you can kill witches "22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

      and you can keep Jews as slaves, but only for six years "21:2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing."

      Makes perfect sense if you haven't evolved past the Bronze Age

      July 11, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • Austin

      discern the scriptures through prayer and meditation.

      and listen to people who tell you that they have experienced the supernatural Holy Spirit. Maybe they are not lying.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • William Demuth


      If a mad man believes he is the King of Siam, he may not be lying, but he would clearly be wrong.

      If people honestly believe a spiritual force dreamt up in the Bronze Age is influencing them, they may not be lying, but they are most certainly mentally ill.

      If you honestly believe you have ghosts in your head, please do us all a favor and seek treatment ASAP.

      We have had enough Christian mass murderers too last a lifetime, we don't need another.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "listen to people who tell you that they have experienced the supernatural Holy Spirit. Maybe they are not lying."

      And yet they just might be lying, in fact there is no reason to believe they are not lying. We get that you received serious brain damage after you crashed your car in to the church while on a drunken rampage and that you believe dead cats speak to you but you still have no provided convincing evidence outside of your delusions, to back your claims.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • lol??

      "Cpt. Obvious sayz
      That verse discusses accidental harm that comes from two men fighting; elsewhere in the bible, instructions for an abortive solution are provided. Courts still decide cases like this."............."accidental harm ..........."

      Now there's invisible words in the text The unfaithful PUblic Servants with their power grab by the killer kourts strive with the men, the fathers, and deserve death according to the text, 60 mil times over. Gud Wuck!! BTW, no wonder you flunked at pastorin'. They get special judgments, too.

      July 11, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  19. breathe deep

    I'm hoping to get an honest Christian response for this question...

    Let me ask what punishment I can accept to receive if I do not allow jesus to make that sacrifice in my place? Meaning, Christ did not die on the cross for me because I refuse to let somebody else take my punishment for me. I will accept it for myself, so what awaits me?

    July 11, 2013 at 1:52 am |
    • Dippy

      Do you know the difference between expect and accept?

      July 11, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • Austin

      what happens next is you starve spritually, you waste away and then you have no choice in a matter of reality.

      you cant take personal responsibility before God, and reject His Way.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Austin: That's a lot of speculation with absolutely zero evidence to support it. How are the dead cats today? Have they informed you of your your craziness yet?

      July 11, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • Saraswati

      I think your logic assumes that Jesus is sacrificing himself for something you actually did, when it is really a sacrifice either for some sin of you ancestors or some more theoretical concept, depending on the sect. So you aren't talking about anything YOU did that you would, in any normal sense, receive punishment for. If some god-like beings were crazy enough to set up such a system you might as well let them sort out the errors with their own sacrifices.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • Question about Christianity

      So, breathe, in Christianity at what point is that no longer an option? Who would be excluded?

      July 11, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • captain america

      austin that is not true since there is no evidence of a spirit or soul or whatever please speak in terms of reality with factual information from now on thanks he asked for an honest response not a made up response

      July 11, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • What?

      Sarah, I think the flaw is strictly that there is no evidence to back up that consciousness existing outside of a biological process.

      If there was an eternal being, I don't think it would be limited by a time line.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • What?

      I meant to type "exists" not "existing".

      July 11, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Wondering

      Isn't astral travel proof of a soul? I mean especially since people claim to have bumped into eachother during it?

      July 11, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Jefe El Guapo

      You should ask the gods of Egypt what their punishment was. The hebrew war god which later took meds and turned into the christian "peace" god which then will stop taking meds and launch an attack from atop his magical unicorn claimed in Exodus 12:12 that it will punish all of the Egyption gods (and at the same time it'll end the lives of babies).

      July 11, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Saraswati


      For the purposes of this discussion that is taken as a premise since the OP seemed willing to concede it for his/her point.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • JimK57


      I have my doubts about astral travel. They claim it can be at will yet cannot duplicate it under observation.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      breathe, the punishment isn't derived from refusing Christ. You have already earned your wages. Jesus is offering to reconcile your account. If you decline then you are free to pay your own way. Are your pockets that deep?

      July 11, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Colin

      The actual silly idea of all people being damned to burn in hell because some remote ancestor ate an apple, only to be saved because Yahweh impregnated a virgin with himself, to give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself, appears to have been invented by Paul of Tarsus (Saint Paul).

      The problem the early Christians faced was that their leader, their Messiah, had just been executed on a stick like a common criminal. They had to come up with a theology to explain that away. They also had the problem of converting pagans to their faith, given that the reward promised for following Mosaic Law was that the Jews got to live and prosper in the Promised Land (hardly an incentive for your average Greco-Roman pagan).

      So, Paul invented the idea of everlasting life and freedom from original sin through, you guessed it, mere faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Quite a brilliant theology, really, given the cards he had been dealt.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  20. Stephen Hawking is an Idiot!!!!


    July 11, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • Observer

      What are your educational achievements so we can see how you compare to an "idiot"?

      July 11, 2013 at 1:37 am |
    • tallulah13

      I believe "Idiot" just spends a lot of time in his/her Mom's basement, listening to music by people who entered the christian music market after failing in the mainstream.

      July 11, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @tallulah – I agree. Christian music has got to be the lamest music ever... *faith+1* lol

      July 11, 2013 at 10:20 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.