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July 30th, 2013
02:17 PM ET

Why are millennials leaving church? Try atheism

Opinion by Hemant Mehta, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Articles and books about why millennials are leaving Christianity often focus on what churches are doing "wrong."

They're anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science, anti-sex-education and anti-doubt, 
to name a few of the most common criticisms.

I don't disagree with those critiques, but there's another side to the story.

While Christians have played sloppy defense, secular Americans have been showing off some impressive offense, giving young Christians plenty of reasons to lose faith in organized religion.

For instance, atheists dominate the Internet, rallying to thriving websites and online communities in lieu of physical meeting spaces.

Even a writer for the evangelical magazine Relevant admitted that “While Christianity enjoys a robust online presence, the edge still seems to belong to its unbelievers.”

Atheists outnumber Christians on popular discussion forums like Reddit, where subscribers to the atheism section number more than 2 million. The Christianity section is not even 5% of that.

The Internet-based Foundation Beyond Belief, which encourages atheists to donate to charitable organizations, just celebrated raising $1 million for worthwhile causes. (Disclosure: I serve on its board of directors.)

Moreover, blogs and websites espousing non-religious viewpoints and criticizing Christianity draw tons of Internet traffic these days. For every Christian apologist's argument, it seems, there's an equal and opposite rebuttal to be found online. I call that "Hitchens' Third Law.”

READ MORE: Why millennials are leaving the church 

Christians can no longer hide in a bubble, sheltered from opposing perspectives, and church leaders can't protect young people from finding information that contradicts traditional beliefs.

If there's an open comment thread to be found on a Christian's YouTube video or opinion piece online, there's inevitably going to be pushback from atheists.

There has also been a push by atheists to get non-religious individuals to "come out of the closet" and let people know that they don't believe in God.

Among other things, this proves that anti-atheist stereotypes aren't accurate and, just as important, that atheists aren’t alone in their communities.

There's the Richard Dawkins Foundation's Out Campaign, with its Scarlet A badges.

There are atheist-encouraging billboards in 33 states financed by groups like the United Coalition of Reason.

There's even going to be an 1-800 hot line for people "recovering" from religion.

READ MORE: Atheists to start 1-800 hot line for doubters

And last year, an estimated 20,000 atheists turned out for the Reason Rally in Washington, a tenfold increase from the previous atheist rally in 2002.

But more than anything else, atheism's best advertisements may be the words of Christian leaders themselves.

When Pastor Mark Driscoll belittles women, Rick Warren argues against same-sex rights or Rob Bell equivocates on the concept of hell, we amplify those messages for them - and it helps us make our point.

(It goes without saying that the pairing of Pat Robertson and YouTube has been great for atheists.)

Pastors are no longer the final authority on the truth, and millennials know it.

Even if they hold Jesus' message in high esteem, the Bible as it has traditionally been preached by many evangelical pastors is becoming less and less attractive to them.

A 2012 study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PDF) showed that many Christians aged 18-24 felt that Christianity was hypocritical (49%), judgmental (54%) and anti-gay (58%).

In addition, Christianity Today reported last year that fewer than half of born-again Christians under 35 opposed same-sex marriage.

When millennials' pastors and hearts are going in different directions, church leaders should be worried.

Can churches win back the youth?

Barring a complete shift in beliefs, that may not be possible. Some of the proposed solutions seem ludicrous to millennial atheists like myself.

For instance, there's been talk of finding a better way to reconcile science and religion. Whenever that battle takes place, religion loses.

There are some questions we may never know the answer to, but for the ones we can eventually answer, the scientific explanation will devour the religious one. Mixing science and religion requires a distortion of one or the other.

READ MORE: Behold, the six tribes of atheism 

What about focusing on the message and life of Jesus?

While this sounds good philosophically, the myth surrounding Jesus is part of the problem with Christianity.

To believe in Jesus means believing that he was born of a virgin, rose from the dead and performed a number of miracles.

There's no proof of any of that ever happened, and atheists place those stories in the same box as "young Earth creationism" and Noah's Great Flood.

To be sure, if Christians followed the positive ideas Jesus had, we'd all be better off, but it's very hard to separate the myth from the reality.

In short, there are many reasons the percentage of millennials who say they've never doubted God's existence is at a record low, and nearly a quarter of adults under 30 no longer affiliate with a faith.

The church has pushed young people away, yes, but there are also forces actively pulling them in the other direction.

It appears that atheists and Christians are finally working together on the same task: getting millennials to leave the church.

Hemant Mehta blogs at The Friendly Atheist. The views expressed in this column belong to Mehta. 

Photos: Famous atheists and their beliefs

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Church • Culture & Science • Faith • Internet • Nones • Opinion • Science • United States

soundoff (5,653 Responses)
  1. howdy doody

    Yeah Yeah...and look what's happened to this society!!! THIS SOCIETY HAS FALLEN APART! I support the MAJOR CHRISTIAN CHURCHES they are THE REAL FOUNDATION OF THIS CIVILIZATION and without them THE CIVILIZATION IS FALLING APART! The Major Churches made some big mistakes I think. They began to think that they were masters of the Universe and failed to realize that anything you do must be earned...you dont get a small cat to come near you, unless it thinks youre friendly, well its the same with people. The Churches became too convinced in their own invincibility and it HURT THEM....but IT HAS HURT US MUCH MORE!!! This civilization is FALLING APART without the ideas of CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE AND BROTHERLY LOVE AND SELF SACRIFICE FOR THE GOOD....what we have now is a group of people WHO ARE SO ANTI CHRIISTIAN SO EGO CENTRIC THAT THEY ARE DEVOURING THIS CIVILIZATION WHOLESALE! The Major Christian Churches MUST RETURN but they must remember...over the past two thousand years they carried and suffered the knowledge of the ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS UPON WHICH OURS IS BASED...they must remain respectful to those CIVILIZATIONS AND TO SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY AND FREEDOM....if they do, they can once again direct this civilization to great heights....you cannot teach a child morals, unless you have the extended family of Religion, the Christian Church is at THE FOUNDATION OF OUR CIVILIZATION AND THAT'S UNDENIABLE.

    July 31, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      No the christian church is not the foundation of civilization, there are plenty of belief systems that are much older than christianity. You have been brainwashed to be gullible and accepting of your claims without evidence outside of the bible to back them. Try reading a book that isn't 2000 years old...you might actually grasp some comprehension of reality and how bad your belief system and your god really are.

      July 31, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Howdy (full of) Doody

      Actually if you look up the governments own statistics on violent crime, we are at historicaly low levels, while life expectancy keeps rising. What you really mean by "falling apart" is that things are changing, and you can't handle it.
      Also...INTERMITTENT capsLOCK is NOT proof OF god AND does NOTHING to STRENGTHEN your POSITION.

      July 31, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Michael

      If you are referring to the US as the society you claim is falling, be advised that the Pilgrims came to these shores NOT for religious freedom, but freedom FROM religion. That kind of blows a hole in your argument, eh? The Founding Fathers fully knew the dangers of religion and powers thereof when they designed and implemented the Separation of Church and State. I've been a non-believer for over half a century based on reading, research, questioning ... religion made zero sense to me. Math and Science are my religions ...

      July 31, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  2. nc_mike

    Ever notice its the religious right that is the most uncaring, cold, heartless, dog-eat-dog, selfish, miserable, self loathing, all-for-me and let the poor expire in the streets philosophy., If that is what their God would do I want nothing to do with it.

    July 31, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Robert

      Atheists can always be depended on to make false statements. Studies show religious people give far more to charities than atheists do.

      July 31, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • nc_mike

        Keep drinking that tasty cool-aid! The clock is ticking...tick, tick, tick....

        July 31, 2013 at 8:08 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        So? How much people donate to charity has no impact on the existence of deities.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:09 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You are very misguided and blinded by your misconceptions about Atheists. Without an Atheist you wouldn't have a computer or the internet. Look up Secular charities...UNICEF, the Red Cross, Doctor's Without Borders-all secular and none pushing a 'god' agenda in the face of people.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:13 am |
      • Saraswati

        If you count only donations to causes that provide direct charitable support, both Jews and Atheists donate more than Christians. Christians like to count donations to their own church in the mix, but paying for your club's roof, entertainment or propaganda is not what most of us consider charity. You might want to look deeper into the stats.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:16 am |
      • Lovecrafty

        Throwing money in a plate on Sunday to keep the electricity on and buy groceries for the preacher isn't real charity. It's membership fees to your little club! REAL charity effects everyone...regardless of religious affiliation.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  3. Jack B

    When they mention in the article that Atheist "push" or "rebuttal" they mean that Atheist "bully" people. The Atheist is see in online in forums, YouTube and even here in the CNN comment sections are a bunch of internet bullies. They are at times worse than the idiot religious extremists. Only difference between them really is that one does it mainly in the privacy of their church and the other attacks people in open public forums all over the internet. There is nothing wrong with having faith and believing in something just as there is nothing wrong with not believing in a religion. Are there some that take it to the extreme? Yes! But that's not indicative of all people of faith. Its an individual choice and people shouldn't be bullied one way or the other. If we were all the same with identical jobs, incomes, homes, cars, beliefs, views, opinions, etc how much fun would that be?

    July 31, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • bpuharic

      Believers complain that we're pushy. It's a cliche that saves them the trouble of dealing with our arguments that religious faith is nonsense. They simply object to atheism, without being able to defend their beliefs. The fact atheists know more about the bible than believers do is evidence of that.

      July 31, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • Robert

        I've never encountered an atheist with a rational argument.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:05 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Derp.

          July 31, 2013 at 8:06 am |
        • not my chair

          do you understand what the word rational means? because i think you miss used it

          July 31, 2013 at 8:32 am |
        • Lovecrafty

          Christians believe a 3-toed sloth walked from where the Ark landed after the flood to South America...at 6.5 feet per minute in between 14hr long naps. Is THAT rational?

          July 31, 2013 at 8:39 am |
        • Meet N Greet

          So...you've never met an atheist?

          July 31, 2013 at 8:39 am |
        • fintastic

          "rational"........ not to mention talking snakes and pointy eared devils..

          July 31, 2013 at 11:19 am |
      • Keyan

        Yes, you are. Someone says "Thoughts and prayers to the victim" and 10 people immediately jump in with cynical insults about flying spaghetti monsters and pink unicorns, atheists prove just how insensitive and pushy they have become. There is no argument there, it is just being childish and rude. Stop doing that if you want people to listen.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:14 am |
        • Saraswati

          And you determine those 10 people to represent majority atheist beliefs and tactics just how?

          July 31, 2013 at 8:19 am |
        • Truth Prevails :-)

          And christians don't show how insensitive they are when it comes to telling us we will burn in hell or telling the LGBT that they are sinning?
          The hypocrisy that comes from the christian side is pathetic.

          July 31, 2013 at 8:20 am |
      • Pete

        Your entire argument here is self contradictory.

        By grouping christians into a single group and labeling their behavior you show you own intolerance of them. Proving them right about you bullying and being pushy.

        Oh – Christian? Then I put you into this box.

        You can't defend seculars from being bullies while at the same time labeling christians... it just does not work.

        I'll let you in on a secret, anyone who tries to make a logical argument for God goes in the idiot box, not the Christian box. Yeah, I know, there are a lot of them, it's a huge box.

        Sorry, did I just label all idiots??? damn this tolerance thing is hard.

        July 31, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Many atheists on online forums can act like absolute jerks, there's no denying that. However, that's where atheist bullying tends to end. Christians bully non-Christians all the time through lobbying, trying to push through legislation which legislates their beliefs onto everybody. I'd rather deal with a few jerks online than go up against billionaire lobby groups intent on turning archaic scripture in to law.

      July 31, 2013 at 8:06 am |
      • fintastic

        People in general can be jerks.... whatever their beliefs or non-beliefs.... and I do agree with what you said...

        Pushing beliefs based on mythology into law goes beyond pushy...

        July 31, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      I'm sorry Jack ... but never once have I had an atheist knock on my door and tell me the story of non-belief
      I cannot say that about Xtians.
      I'm also interested in your definition of 'bully'
      If you make a claim and I ( as an atheist ) dispute that claim with evidence ... does that make me a bully ?

      July 31, 2013 at 8:06 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        To be fair, I've never met a pushy Jehovah's Witness. I quite enjoy when they knock at my door.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:08 am |
      • thomas

        love love love and if I don't do what you say will burn in hell

        You can call me a bully all you want but I have not threatened you with eternal damnation and hellfire even once.

        In fact, I have never threatened Christianity at all.

        It's ok that you Christians are better than me. I care about people's opinion a great deal, but not yours.

        I mean so just forgive us and be quiet already comfortable in your everlasting salvation.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:13 am |
  4. Robert

    @article writer
    What a cute little anti-thiest bigot you are.

    Nah, Gallup polls show the vast majority of "religiously unaffiliated" believe in God. Atheist will never be anything but a tiny cult.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Pot meet kettle...you're just as much of an Atheist as we are.
      "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
      ...Stephen F Roberts

      July 31, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • Saraswati

      What you aren't looking at, Robert, is the trend. In the UK, one of our closest cultural neighbors, less than 40% believe in a god. Other European countries go as low at 15 or 16%. Once these movements pick up momentum they quickly become the norm as they are in many other countries like Ja.pan, France, Scandinavia or China.

      July 31, 2013 at 8:07 am |
  5. Keyan

    You mention a ton of non-scientific statistics, such as Reddit subscribers, number of people showing up at a rally, etc, as proof of the success of atheism. You then tout the truth of science, while using facts that are not scientifically valid to make many of your points.

    Maybe the reason people don't identify as Christians online is because they are afraid of the atheist zealot. The person who hunts and persecutes anyone who says "I am praying for you" on a comment board. It's not something to be proud of, you are doing exactly what you claim is so wrong with organized religion. Your organized un-religion has become just as aggressive and intolerant as organized religions. A quick look at many online message boards with people outright insulting anyone who hints that they are religious shows this.

    You will quickly alienate many of the Millennials you claim to be courting when you start acting exactly the same as the organized religions that they are disillusioned with. I know, I am one, and frankly both groups are doing a great job of acting like a bunch of bullies on the playground lately.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Michael

      Exactly what "scientific facts" did the author use? Especially any that are not scientifically sound or valid? Do you have a problem with science? Do you have a problem with trying to understand why things are they are instead of reading mythology and listening to puppets? If you don't understand the science, LEARN. If you don't agree with the numbers, STUDY and RESEARCH for yourself. Only knowledge will uncover thine eyes ...

      July 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  6. sick of christian phonies

    You forgot EDUCATION. As people become more educated the stone age beliefs of most religions become obviously ridiculous. It is no coincidence that most fundamentalists-of any religion- are the least educated.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:51 am |
  7. G_Edwards

    Yes, paragraphs can be more than one sentence long. And I suspect even atheists can handle that.

    .

    July 31, 2013 at 7:50 am |
  8. are122

    There's no proof of any of that ever happened <~~ Well pal, one person changed the configuration of society all by himself 2000 years ago. I doubt you will do the same. I can't see air either but I know it's there. One problem I always have with atheists is they always babble about what they think doesn't exist but they never come up with a theory of what does. Why is the universe governed by such incredible laws of physics? Did random rocks and balls of gas floating around decide one day to create them? Did they figure gravity might be a good idea? How did male and female species develop simultaneously from brainless gobs of cosmic snot? And what about the approximately 5 million other species? When Steve Jobs said "oh wow" as he died did he see Darwin? Brain has a chemical that does that? Why would a randomly evolved gob come up with that?? You are like a politician Hermant, you deny everything and produce nothing.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      You're funny. You should be a comedian.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "I can't see air either but I know it's there"

      Maybe not but at least we can test for that and come up with conclusive evidence that air exists. Your god on the other hand can't be tested nor shown with evidence to exist. GodChecker.com should be a good starting point for figuring out if your even have the right god (not that any can be backed with evidence to substantiate their existence).

      July 31, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • kahnkeller

      how about this... at last count... there were some 5,000 organized religions...yours is but one of them... with 10,000 major gods and many more minor gods... and what do all have in common... why... what they believe (note: believe) is true...and all the other 4,999 religions... why... they are going to hell... see the problem?

      July 31, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Clockwork

      Arguments like "where did it all come from" and "aren't the laws of physics perfectly tuned" like you argue are, in my mind, at least partially plausible and worthy of discussion.

      It's when the connecting belief that it HAS to be because of some guy in the Middle East 2000 years ago and his cadre of enablers and their multiple generations of church power players that you lose me.

      July 31, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Closet Atheist

      Sure, so fill in the gaps of knowledge with "god".... makes sense.....

      July 31, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Pete

      Your argument here shows some ignorance and just pushes people towards athiesm. One of the tennants is of science is that you don't prove a negative. I don't have to prove that any of the many religious origions stories are false, they have to prove that they are true. You may not like that outlook, but if you like any of your modern conveniences, thank heaven that people do think like that, becuase proving things true has gotten us to where we are today.

      Air – You can prove that air is there... comon, that is simple.
      Why do the universal laws work the way they do? – That is actually a decent question, and one asked by Einstien.
      If you ask String Theorists that question they will have a great answer for you. There are just a whole lotta universes in the multiverse and this one just happens to have all of the constants that make our existance possible.
      Making goo from nothing – me thinks you like the perspective of time. Billions of years will do quite a bit for matter. And the vastness of our one universe gives us a great chance of having this nice home that is the right distance from the right kind of star with an active core that grants us protection from solar radiation...

      The point is, it is all explainable. If you want to have faith in God, you going to have to either do it without proof and have faith. But your also going to have to realize that you are making a choice to have faith.

      What's the difference between an athiest and a christian....

      Not much. One has decided to believe and the other has not.

      July 31, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  9. bobby jones

    you leave out a huge point, ECONOMICS, atheism for the most part is free, unless you are charitable. churches extract compensation while attending, some even tell you what % of your income they should get. There is a huge shift in America over the last 50 years of "what am i paying for?" be it a car payment, movie tickets, high priced clothing, tuition, cell service, American youth is asking, why am i paying this bill? And with religion, the question of why would i pay you? religion loses.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  10. bpuharic

    Great article and exactly right. Religion is illogical, so exposing its contradictions AND establishing a community where atheists can see there ARE reasons not to believe is the right way to go. It's difficult for Christianity to establish its bona fides when its message is so well known, leads to so much hatred and is wrong.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:41 am |
  11. timelord7202

    Or other nonstandard religions (not "other mainstream religions", note the differences), or agnosticism (belief in something, spiritually, but not aligned to any control source.)

    All people need to do is READ the Bible, and what would otherwise be allowed in a "Judeo-Christian" nation (but isn't for obvious reasons) would shock them right to the ER. 🙁 Especially on how to get a wife if she's a virgin, and what you can do with a woman if you believe she wasn't a virgin when you first got her... it's very grizzly stuff, for a "pro-life" religion that even says it's okay to kill unbelievers...

    July 31, 2013 at 7:36 am |
  12. Jake

    As a neutral, you know what else Christians do? They belittle other's faith and beliefs to get those people to convert...

    I think as mankind we have some sort of inner need to have people agree with us, it makes us all warm and fuzzy, and makes us correct. The more people that agree with us, the more correct we must be. Stop trying to convince yourself by recruiting others, we all have doubts.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Actually, I tend to employ the argumentum ad populum reversal: the less people who agree with something, the more likely the thing is to be correct.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:34 am |
      • fintastic

        "It has never mattered to me that thirty million people might think I'm wrong. The number of people who thought Hitler was right did not make him right... why do you necessarily have to be wrong just because a few million people think you are?

        - Frank Zappa,

        July 31, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Robert Brown

      No offense intended Jake, but that isn't the reason. Look up the great commission. Peace.

      July 31, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  13. humtake

    Athiests have become more annoying than bible-thumpers and it only took them a few short years to make it happen. That means we haven't heard the last of them.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      What the heck is an athiest?

      July 31, 2013 at 7:32 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Athiest is the obviously uneducated persons way of speaking. I sometimes wonder if these people ever take note of the obvious red line under a word or if they even comprehend the meaning of it.

        July 31, 2013 at 7:44 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Commie, Jew, pinko liberal is what I assume the average ignoramus understands atheist to mean.

          July 31, 2013 at 7:51 am |
        • Captain Atheist's sister

          Perhaps non-believers are uneducated, but the Pres of the American Atheists graduated from Brandeis. Could it be he's just in this for the power/money/fame? Aren't his 'followers' also sheep? Really, either all followers of anything are sheep or all are not. Also, why can't science be equated with God? I believe in evolution and God. I believe the Bible is a great story book of events that probably happened and were greatly exaggerated and skewed by men. I know there is life after death, and that energy doesn't die. Only the body dies. Where does the energy go? This is where I end up with God.

          July 31, 2013 at 9:24 am |
        • Captain Atheist's sister

          should have read: Perhaps many or most non-believers are uneducated...

          July 31, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • fintastic

          @capt........ "Also, why can't science be equated with God? "

          Because there is zero evidence to support the exsistence of a god.

          July 31, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Michael

          @Captain Atheist's Sister ... Science cannot and will not be rectified with a god because there is zero proof of any diety. Period. Science has changed its hypothesis over the centuries (anyone remember Copernicus?) and refines them until hypothesis matches experimentation. With religion, you have faith. Nothing else. Also, insofar as life after death, that's going to be a little tough to prove, eh? Your "soul" is nothing more then electrochemical energy created by the nervous system, up to and including the brain, pinal cord, et al. When the body dies, your distinct pattern is gone, never to be recreated or reused. Does that make you afraid? THAT is why religions were created ... to control the meek and "explain" the natural ... End Of Line.

          July 31, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • kahnkeller

        hummm... well... they do not believe in the tooth fairy... the easter bunny... santa claus...or mythical gods... they do believe
        in science ... truth .... and reality.... which is why they do not believe in....religion

        July 31, 2013 at 8:10 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I don't think you read my post carefully.

          July 31, 2013 at 8:14 am |
      • Confucious Say

        Yeah, what is an athiest? I right-clicked on the red line and it didn't give me a definition.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:20 am |
      • UncleBenny

        Athiest is the most athie of all. Athie, athier, atheist.

        July 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  14. Reality

    Hammering it home:

    As good students, you have read the reiterations of the "fems" (flaws, errors, muck and stench) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as Rational Thinking makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    ======================================================================================

    July 31, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  15. Read 900 Books

    The true problem with Christianity, Islam and Judaism is the myth of The-Infallible-Book. If they would admit that no book is infallible, then they can use the books rationally and develop a more reasonable understanding of Jesus, Mohammed and Abraham.

    As it is, they force their children to believe the books are infallible and this corrupts the child's mind with imagery of a hideous flesh-burning baby-killing troll-god-In-the-sky who is watching with anger their every second of doubt.

    The God of Abraham, Jesus, and Mohammed has never existed. There is no angry troll in the sky. There never has been such a beast. Today, sadly, these assaulted children have grown to be violent men who will kill if anyone doubts the existence of the angry troll in the sky. The world is sick with religions of a mythical angry troll.

    If you are one of them, one of the children who were assaulted with religion before you had your education, the cure is to read. Read MANY books of science. Just keep reading many different books until you understand how true knowledge is gained. The myth of the angry troll in heaven will dissolve from your mind, and you will be healed.

    To heal the world we must establish and enact human rights for the child, including the right of protection from coercion towards belief that a book is infallible. They must be given and allowed to complete a full education of hundreds of books. Only then, after the age of reason, when they have achieved cultural and political freedom and education, may they be entertained with a notion that a book could possibly be infallible.

    If God exists at all then we can all see that God is benevolent, creating and entrusting us with children. The benevolent God we see, if God exists, would not speak through books because as we can all see we fight, torture, and kill each other over our different interpretations of the books. God knows this if God exists at all. So it is time to close these hideous books of seething gods-in-the-sky written by violent ignorant men.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:24 am |
    • kahnkeller

      yea well... the problem with your comment is: at last count... there were some 10,000 major gods... many more
      minor gods.... invisible gods...wind gods...gods of rock or trees... mountain gods...water gods...gods of lightening and
      thunder... gods of fire and smoke... men gods...women gods...half and half gods... big gods...little gods... young gods...old
      gods... kind gods...evil gods... etc.... so... when anyone talks about.... a "god".... which one is he/she talking about ...ps" my personal favorite is THE BIG ROCK HEAD GOD... I keep him/her/it in my back yard...

      July 31, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  16. L Revere

    Atheists are the inside-out of the tea party and the type of rabid conservative that likes to present as the face of Christianity, intolerant of differences. Presenting themselves instead as godless, churchless, and therefore "tolerant for all," atheists have "faith" too, but only in their own minds and limited human reasoning. Jesus and Christianity teach LOVE and tolerance for all: LOVE the sinner and hate only the sin.

    Atheists seem to assume that humans are born perfect, reason perfectly, and never offend or commit transgressions against other humans. We can all see how fragile and baseless that claim is...look around you. The Christian way is to love the sinners who offend other humans and God, and hate the offensive (i.e. sinful) behavior.

    And don't claim that all churches are the same...churches are human constructs, and are therefore not perfect. So we Christians (I am Catholic) love our churches but forgive the sins of those in them or who lead them. Faith in God and Jesus is all. Love those who hate you or offend you, because God continues to love them and you. Hate the offensive behavior only, and work in peace to evolve to better understanding with those who would be enemies or hate you.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Hogwash.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • sybaris

      "Atheists seem to assume that humans are born perfect, reason perfectly, and never offend or commit transgressions against other humans."

      Regurgitating what your minister spews about Atheists only helps our cause. The well informed tend not to be drawn towards ignorance and bigotry.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • timelord7202

      If churches are constructs of humankind, what does that make the deities that humans created the churches for?

      Theoretical or concrete?

      Regardless of organized religion, people still have brains of their own. If more people used them, maybe we'd have fewer controlfreaks extortingand exploitingpeople...

      July 31, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • bpuharic

      Proof of this guy's contention that Christianity is a religion of love is that he hates atheists. Folks, you can't make this stuff up.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      L Revere seems to be the type of person who would stop associtating with a non-believer no matter what good said person might do. They tend to judge on belief alone and don't care about anything else.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:46 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        associtating should have read associating

        July 31, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Rob

      I was born with a fully functioning moral compass....I don't need a book to instruct me on the differences between right and wrong.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • Flappy

      You don't seem to know much about Atheists. I've never met an Atheist who thought people were born perfect.

      I've never been convinced by an Atheist that a Christian was intolerant. However I have been convinced by a Christian that a Christian was intolerant on multiple occations.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • Michael

      In the last 2000 years, more people have died in the name of Christ than for any other cause. More people have lied in the name of Christ that I can't believe it all. When I see people that call themselves Christian calling other people slanderous names and thinking that another person is less just because of the color of their skin, or that gays are sinners or women not capable of deciding what happens to their own bodies, THAT is when I bail on the whole religion thing. I live an honorable life; I don't lie, steal or cheat ... and try REAL HARD to not be judgemental ... things my Christian parents cannot grasp. I would put my morals up against yours any day. I know and understand what I think is the truth. You are free to think and feel as you wish. You do NOT have the right to shove your beliefs on to me. I reject them. Period.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  17. Sense 34

    There is nothing wrong with having faith. There is nothing wrong in believing in a God. There is nothing wrong with not believing in a God. There is nothing wrong with being a part of a community organization, such as a church. If these things help you to deal with life's challenges and helps you to be a better person then who is to say you are wrong. The problem is when religious organizations and atheist groups spout off their rhetoric telling people to believe solely in their organization.

    Atheist organizations are no different from most religious organizations.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • Logic led me to atheism

      “spout off their rhetoric telling people to believe solely in their organization”. An atheist would never tell you to believe in anything. I would never tell you to “not believe in Santa Claus” I would simply state the reasons why I feel he doesn’t exist. Same thing with god. I simply state why I feel god is a myth. I don’t tell you to “believe” anything. Using common sense would be nice though

      July 31, 2013 at 7:59 am |
      • Pete

        Athiests will never tell you to believe anything, but many of them do look down on you for believing in something. That is, in itself, a judgement.

        It is not religion that is bad, it is trying to force your own belief system on others that is bad. Anti theists do this. They do it through social pressure and through antogonising those of faith.

        I believe that athiesm will grow, and it is my hope that it is a movement that is about inclusion, and not one to ridicule those who are not part of it. Right now, I believe that outcome to be in doubt.

        July 31, 2013 at 8:54 am |
        • yupyupyup

          Luckily, I didn't have to search far on this thread to find a rational comment. Thank you, good Internet person, for your clear thought. I can peacefully leave this thread now knowing that not everyone is a jump-to-conclusions crazy.

          July 31, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  18. Sure

    So Christianity was all doing fine until the internet? How much of a grumpy old many can one person be at your age?
    I suspect you will be the next villian on Scooby Doo.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Saraswati

      It is a vast oversimplification. Many developed western countries abandoned Christianity well before the internet, and many in the US even have been atheist or other beliefs for generations.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      A real problem for Christianity is somebody can just google Yahweh or Origins of Judaism and discover exactly how these religions arose.

      July 31, 2013 at 7:31 am |
  19. eadams

    "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved"

    Once you look at the science behind things, once you start to question 'Why?' there is a beauty in the elegance of the universe that is so much more encompassing then anything that religion can ever understand.

    July 31, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • kt

      this is the best comment i've heard on this subject in quite a while. beautifully said!

      July 31, 2013 at 11:31 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.