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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. Adam

    I only recently came out to my family that I am athiest and it felt so good. One side of my family is baptist and so it was a shock to them to even think that there are those out there who doubt religion. I would recommend for more people to share their beliefs with their families so they can finally speak their minds. I see to many people going to church who question everything in religion, but never speak up against all of the nonsensical stuff they hear at church. We don't just need people to stop going to church, but we really need is for atheists to become empowered to share their stories and let people know that it is okay to not have a belief in some deity.

    July 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Good advice. It worked for gays and lesbians. Hard to loathe somebody you grew up with and know to be a nice person.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Romas

    People have been walking away from organized religion for a very long time. The numbers are increasing because of the amount of communication that is available now. Your most religious countries are those with the most repressive governments and/or control of information. And it is not just christianity that turns people off, the other mainstream religions have a similar problem.
    However the majority of people need a religion of some type to give them a comfort level. To have control of your life you cannot be a follower and must be s decision maker. That quality is not common out there.
    And as for Jesus being declared the greatest man that ever lived – why? Who decided that? I read an antropologist's book on a variety of subjects and he basically declared Jesus to be a fraud, nothing more than a common man who worked in the markets outside the temple of Jerusalem. Basically a man with a gang. Years later a myth was born.
    Why is it that most religions are rooted in the far distant past, well before books existed. Everything was passed down as stories, one generation to the next. A bit of embellishment along the line? Very likely. Ever play the game of telephone?
    If you want to believe in a religion, go right ahead; just stay out of my face. I won't demand you follow my beliefs and you do the same.

    July 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      In terms of impact on humanity, he's certainly the greatest in that sense. Jesus, Muhammed, Hitler, George Washington, Churchill, Tim Berners-Lee; all great men in that respect.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  3. Ben Coates

    test

    July 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      C+

      July 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Colin

    Millennials deserting religion. I wonder why? Let's see if a little test can't help us find out.

    Q.1 The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in an “afterlife” comes from the field of:

    (a) Astronomy;

    (b) Cosmology;

    (c) Psychology; or

    (d) Religion

    Q. 2 You are only capable of believing something as patently ridiculous as the entire Universe beginning less than 10,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a magic talking snake if you are influenced by:

    (a) your education;

    (b) your diet;

    (c) your family history; or

    (d) your religion

    Q. 3 I believe that an all-knowing being, powerful enough to create the entire cosmos and its billions of galaxies, watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty" (like protect myself from disease with a condom, for example). I am

    (a) A victim of child molestation

    (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

    (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions; or

    (d) A regular Christian, Jew or Muslim following my religious belief

    Q.4 I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am being obstinate and closed minded due to my:

    (a) hetero$exuality

    (b) genetics

    (c) nationality; or

    (d) religion.

    Q5. I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Christian, Muslim or Jew who believes that prayers are answered

    Q6. Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    Q.7 The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    Q.8 What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:

    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they MUST believe under threat of “burning in hell” or other of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “God is comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas all religion is regional and a person’s religion, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than a matter of upbringing; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.9 If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    Q.10 Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am

    (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker

    (b) the mafia

    (c) A drug pusher; or

    (d) any given religious organization

    In short, nothing in history of human endeavor can make otherwise smart, functioning people believe the most implausible of supernatural nonsense the way religion can.

    July 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • GAW

      So who created nuclear weapons, napalm and the right to use prisoners as guinea pigs? Science or Religion?

      July 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • Colin

        Well, you told me! Clearly there must be a god......

        July 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • GAW

          Get out and get a tan man.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • Milton Platt

        All things "invented" we're invented by mankind, regardless of religious beliefs. The inventions have no inherent moral values, only the uses of them. Ask if religious people used these things............

        July 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • bmkinz1510

      Wow! Someone has too much time on their hands. Classic Godaphobe overcompensation:-) God still loves you!!!

      July 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • Colin

        Which god? Azura Mazda, Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Allah Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, God, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Ganesh, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Shiva Thuno, Tir, Vishnu, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Herne, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac or Zaramama.

        Let me guesss....yours. the only true god. Moron.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • GAW

          Now Jr. get back to watching your Star Trek reruns.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • JS

          Way to go Colin!! That's awesome!

          July 31, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • Jake

        prove it.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • AE

        Colin, to have free time to write up cute little tests for his imaginary class and post on here a lot, must live a privileged life.

        God has given him everything he needs. God has given him so much, he could help other people.

        Instead of helping others, he decides to ridicule those other people.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • AE

      If somebody is suffering from a deep psychatric issue, an irrational fear or phobia or a sever mental degeneration cause by years of drug abuse, do you:

      (a) mock and ridicule them

      (b) use them as an example of somebody you feel superior to

      (c) exclaim you are proud to not be like them

      (d) show compassion

      July 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Lebowski

        All of the above actually. To mock and ridicule those who are in positions of authority (religious or otherwise) is one of the ways that we as a species have been able to emancipate ourselves from those who have quite literally been "lording" over us for so long.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It saddens me to know that you are actually a teacher.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • Colin

        OK Bill, what did I get wrong.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • AE

        Not a real school.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Proffiteer

      Thanks for this, that was awesome! lol!

      July 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • AE

      Q.1 The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in an “afterlife” comes from the field of:

      (e) Colin's imagination of what a religious person must believe. Obviously inferior to his belief. Disagree with him and get the question wrong!

      July 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • Colin

        This captures the core theology of every sect of Christianity I know of. Are you saying there are things you do that God is not aware of? If so, he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. I have never heard that from a Christian. Are you saying that final judgment does not take into account one's entire life? I have never heard that either.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • AE

          Christianity is about knowing Jesus Christ. Not just knowing about him.

          You can know about and imagine what I believe. But you don't actually know.

          It is all imaginary and in your head only.

          God knows all that there is to be known.

          So he knows all about me. Even though I am not perfect, and can not be, God still loves me.

          I may face difficulties and trials in this life. But God still loves me.

          God is more concerned about my spirit, which is eternal, than my body, that dies.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Colin

          So, you just agreed with what I said, you fvcking idiot. Is one of the many trials you face in life coping with being as dumb as a rock?

          July 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • AE

          Petty, rude personal attacks, again?

          Now this whole thread is going to be deleted by the moderator because you don't know how to act like a grown up.

          Thanks a lot.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • AE

      Q. 2 You are only capable of believing something as patently ridiculous as the entire Universe beginning less than 10,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a magic talking snake if you are influenced by:

      (e) Colin's imagination of what a religious person must think. Disagree with him and you get the question wrong.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • Colin

        Name a non-religious person (indeed any non Jew, Mulsim or Christian) who would even consider such garbage.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • AE

          That is not what I believe.

          "You are only capable of believing something as patently ridiculous as the entire Universe beginning less than 10,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a magic talking snake if you are influenced by:"

          If a teacher insisted to me that is what I believe, I would bring a complaint with the dean.

          A teacher doesn't have the right to claim my beliefs are "ridiculous" and then try to tell me what I believe.

          If you want to know what I believe, ask. Don't insist you know better.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Colin

          I din't say YOU believed that and I don't give a sh.it what you believe. I said people are only capable of believing such noonsense if influenced by religion.

          From your posts here over the last few days, you are clearly mentally unstable, so God knows what you believe. No shoo, go away. I am not engaging with you any more. You are a freaking simpleton.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • AE

          You act a lot like the Christians you claim to be better than.

          A lot.

          And when somebody gives you a taste of your own medicine, you can't handle it.

          Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Milton Platt

        I have known many Christians who believe just that very thing. Why don't you take Collin's list point by point and tell everyone the alternate form of Christian belief you follow?

        July 31, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • AE

      Q. 3 I believe that an all-knowing being, powerful enough to create the entire cosmos and its billions of galaxies, watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty" (like protect myself from disease with a condom, for example). I am

      (e) What Colin simply imagines a regular Christian, Jew or Muslim following their religious belief. If you are a Christian, Jew or Muslim who disagrees, you are wrong. Colin, like a god, knows better.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • Colin

        Once again, see my point above. If God knows all, he must be aware of every $exual encounter.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • AE

          God know what we do.

          When we are hypocritical, conceited, arrogant and unkind to others, God knows.

          We may try to rationalize our actions – say we are trying to actually help others. Try to make our bad actions appear good. But that is just our imagination.

          God knows the truth about us.

          At times we are all hypocritical, conceited, arrogant and unkind to others, and God forgives us.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • AE

      Q5. I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

      (e) "Your will, not mine be done, please, God" We pray for knowledge of God's will for us, and the power to carry that out.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • Lebowski

        Explain something to me AE because I need clarification. Why is it good for us humans to submit to an idea with no attendant evidence. How is that good for us. In every other aspect of our discourse we DEMAND clear, physical evidence. If for instance we want to know if our politicians are lying to us we fact check their statements. We demand evidence in order to prove a person is guilty of something. Etc... Etc... Why must we give the God of Abraham (assuming that is the God you believe in) a pass from these tried and true mechanisms?

        July 31, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • Troub

          Maybe if you humble yourself and not worry about your pride, God can give you the evidence you truly need.

          July 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      colin: Q1 atheists do not escape the fear of discipline problem. They merely shift fear of Divine authority to fear of state authority – who is far more guilty of injustice (where you get justice is a mystery – without God the universe owes you no justice).

      Q2 The Bible does not state that the universe is 10,000 years old. And Hawking's Big Bang looks so mush like Biblical creation that he found it necessary to deny belief that God was behind it. It's coming from science.

      All of your questions have the same problem. so much of what people believe came from God, or people that believe in God that it is impossible to separate them from science, philosophy, archeology, genetics, physics, nature, human experience, etc., etc. Your views are far too simplistic and misguided. Nothing divine is alien to the human. Nothing human is alien to the Divine.

      What you are suggesting – that you can lump all religion into one and pigeon hole religion out of human existence, is completely absurd.

      July 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  5. SeaTigr

    I've never understood why the Abrahamic religions have traditionally viewed science as such a threat. If I were G*d and creating the universe, I would certainly design it to operate by a set of rules. If the only thing keeping the universe from flying apart at the seems is my continued force of will...that's pretty p!$$ poor engineering on my part.

    Not having to constantly keep the universe from unmaking itself frees my concentration up for other things...like demanding the execution of those who work on my Sabbath, or women who are r@ped within town limits.

    July 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • SeaTigr

      Argh..."seems" = "seams". $)#*&$(*# auto-correct.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You've accepted a canard that anti religious people have created for you tiger. Science historians now generally agree that the relationship between science and religion has modulated from religion supporting scientific methods and ethics to benign co-existence with only a few well publicized and select cases of conflict.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  6. Michelle

    The only good atheist is a dead atheist.

    July 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Andrew

      Which proverb squeezed out that nugget of wisdom?

      July 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      You and Arnaud Amalric would've gotten along just dandy.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • bmkinz1510

      Too bad their mothers didn't abort them?

      July 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Considering it is christians that have the most abortions, the same could be said about you!

        July 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • bmkinz1510

          Yes, the Christian Conservatives who protest abortions obtain the most elective abortions??? You made a funny:-)

          July 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • RichardSRussell

        BM continues to strain to generate more than half a line of coherent thot at a time.

        Congenital problem with trolls. Requires continuity of thot.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Blair

      Spoken with a true "what would Jesus do" spirit!

      July 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Wow, that's the biggest Bitch statement of the year!! How very christian of you!! Please stay out of the public and admit yourself to the local asylum for treatment...people like you are dangerous and should not be roaming the streets (or in your case the fields) freely!

      July 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Colin

      As an atheist, I want my toombstone to read "All dressed up and no place to go."

      July 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      The only good cliché is an unused cliché.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • GAW

      Let this troll starve.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • ilovemekons

      Very compassionate of you, you Christian!

      July 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Doobs

      Actually, Michelle, you are quite wrong.

      The only good Christian is a dead Christian. Your god created you wrong and you are a bad person, destined for hell unless you are "saved" by Jeebus. But you still have your "sin nature" so you can't be good in god's eyes until you are dead and he "reads" your name in the "book of life".

      July 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Judas

      The only good 'Michelle' is one who shuts her mouth, spreads those legs and knows her role within her religion.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  7. edmundburkeson

    Their level of education and knowledge of history has significantly declined thanks to atheism as well. They should take full responsibility for being disengaged from the debate. Especially the pitiful lack of scholastic discipline of people like Dawkins.

    July 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      The Pew Forum on Religious Religion and Public Life released a survey on religious knowledge today. Atheists and Agnostics scored higher on it than anyone else, closely followed by Jews and Mormons, all Christians, Protestants and Catholics, were far behind.

      That's overall, but when you get into specific religions it does show a startling lack of basic knowledge by practltioners. From the report:

      More than four-in-ten Catholics in the United States (45%) do not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine used in Communion do not merely symbolize but actually become the body and blood of Christ. About half of Protestants (53%) cannot correctly identify Martin Luther as the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation, which made their religion a separate branch of Christianity. Roughly four-in-ten Jews (43%) do not recognize that Maimonides, one of the most venerated rabbis in history, was Jewish.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Especially the pitiful lack of scholastic discipline of people like Dawkins.'

      You are being sarcastic there right? trying to claim Dawkins has a 'lack of scholastic dscipline'?

      July 31, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  8. QS

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

    Not just millennials – though it's great to finally see a new generation that is not afraid to stand up to "traditions" that no longer have a place in the modern world.

    July 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Before you tell me who is or isn't the final authority on truth, shouldn't you have to show that you know what the truth is first?

      July 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Kris

        To reject another's assertion or authority of truth requires no burden of proof.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Then you run the risk of rejection based on insufficient data

          July 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Doobs

          You are absolutely right, Bill Deacon. If the only "truth" you hear comes from a pulpit and an old book, you really don't have enough information to make an informed decision.

          As you pointed out yesterday, the advent of the internet has made information gathering much easier. Instead of having to ask your priest or pastor about your doubts, risking a lecture and possible retaliation, you can find unbiased sources to explore different religions, scientific theories, and how to properly boil an egg.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
      • RichardSRussell

        I think you're missing the point, Bill, which is not WHO is the "final authority on truth" but the fact that people (evidently not including you) are waking up to the fact that THERE IS NO SUCH THING.

        Even science, which is the absolute best method we have for discovering reliable descriptions of the way the world works, holds all knowledge only tentatively. No matter how firmly established, any given scientific principle is always subject to revision if better information comes along — as was the case with Einstein's revision of Newton's laws of motion in the presence of high velocity and/or powerful gravity.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Ah relativism. That way lies chaos.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • ilovemekons

        No, that's the point Bill. A wise man is one who doesn't presume to have all of the answers.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Awareness of the truth doesn't necessarily imply a hold on all the answers. If I demanded that level of certainty, I'd become an atheist too. I'd also probably not use a light switch.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Doobs

          And yet priests and pastors still tell us that the bible holds all the answers.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        If there is one thing that is certain, it is that 'truth' remains elusive.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          elusive but not unsearchable.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  9. Atheist Forever

    Ever notice that where you find the most poverty you find the most religion? Ever notice that every war still going is based on religion? Ever notice that more educated people are less likely to believe in mythology?

    Coincidence? I think not.

    July 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • bmkinz1510

      So educated means brainwashed to you????

      July 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • GAW

      But somehow religious organizations seem to most visible in helping the poor.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • QS

        Not out of a sense of compassion, they do it to win points for their ticket into "heaven".

        July 31, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          News flash – ATHEISM DISCOVERS METHOD TO READ OTHERS MOTIVES

          July 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Atheist Forever

          Exactly....done out of fear and guilt....how wonderful.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • QS

          Bill here seems to think that obvious issues surrounding religion are not obvious or even exist at all.

          But it's pretty easy and clear to see that there's an inherent, built-in ulterior motive in everything a religious person does which is....to get to heaven.

          That is their main driving force...not compassion, empathy or even giving to the poor – those are a means to an end to them, not just the right thing to do.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          So, we're relying on things that "seem obvious" now for our peer reviewed, accredited, evidence? Good to know.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
      • RichardSRussell

        Balderdash! Not only the most visible but by far the most extensive and effective programs for helping the p∞r come from the government, which is founded on the principle of church-state separation and delivers its assistance without sermons or preaching.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Probably the reason you find religion where there is poverty is because religious people have always gone to where the poor are. Like in Africa where the Catholic Church is booming and most people get their education and medical help from Catholic services.

      Most wars aren't religious. This has been shown false so many times I can't believe an atheist even still uses the claim. Oh wait, yes I can.

      Still don't understand the difference between knowledge and wisdom?

      July 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • QS

        LMAO! Please Bill, keep posting!

        You are exactly the kind of person the author of this article is talking about when he says "more than anything else, atheism's best advertisements may be the words of Christian leaders themselves."

        Though, I find it impossible to believe you to be a leader of anything....just another zealot who thinks they're "doing god's good work" or some other self-righteous nonsense.

        But please, keep posting! 🙂

        July 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • ilovemekons

          I second your motion. Yes, Bill, keep posting your funnyness!

          July 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Most wars aren't religious. This has been shown false so many times I can't believe an atheist even still uses the claim.

        Superficially this is true. But if you dig deeper you will find religious underpinnings for a huge number of wars prior to the 20th century.

        I would contend that virtually every European war from the 16th century through the Napoleonic Wars had major religious underpinnings.

        Was the US Civil War a religious war? No. But religion was a major factor. (For the good as it turned out.)

        Was the US Revolutionary war a religious war? No, but there was a much bigger religious component than most people realize. Arguably it turned out well too but had an unintentional consequence in the form of freedom of and from religious expression. Any historical war between Britain and France from the mid-16th to the early 19th century had a strong religious component. Not necessarily the causus belli, but religious differences were fuel to the fire.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          This is a much more nuanced and reasonable statement than "All wars are caused by religion"

          July 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
      • Doobs

        Hungry people will say and do just about anything to feed their children. That includes saying you believe in some white stranger's idea of god.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • OTOH

        Bill Deacon,

        Yes, the Catholic Church has helped the Africans, but many other Christian missionary-oriented sects are also booming there. The humanitarian assistance is great, but the fantasy side of it feeds right into those desperate, gullible, superst.itious and ritual-loving people.

        " According to a 2006 Pew Forum on Religion and Public life study, 147 million African Christians were "renewalists" (Pentecostals and Charismatics)."

        - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Africa#Current_status

        July 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Religion was invented by humans to free themselves of the guilt they felt when pillaging their neighbors. If you can dehumanize your neighbor enough by claiming your God told you they were barbarians who worshiped some false God then the guilt from murdering them is washed away. This is the meaning of the sin that is washed away in the blood of Christ, the washing away of the feelings of guilt that normal people feel when they burned another heretic at the stake or tortured a woman till she confessed to being a witch.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Harry Cline

        @Silly1,

        Yes and no. Your giving a philosophical view. However religion was created to control the peasants. Even to this day it's used that way.
        And when we look at the statement the other day from the Pope concerning gays in the church we can read between the lines of why all of a sudden a shift in church teachings.

        And it's to fill the pews and coffers up again because they have been leaving the church over the last 40 odd years in droves. However having said that the gay community should feel right at home in the catholic church.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Believer

      Mythology is what came before Jesus Christ. Modern wars are not caused by religion, they are just used as an excuse. The reason you find the most religion among the poor is because they don't have less distraction - more time to focus and listen - religion is not the cause of poverty.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Blair

        "Mythology is what came before Jesus Christ."

        There is a famous Greek saying: "Mythology is what came before Zeus".

        July 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Silly1

      Historically the poorest and least developed places are not the most religious, but they often turn to religion and credit it for helping them develop later. There is an obvious scientific reason for this or an obvious religious one so take your pick. War is almost always caused by greed. Religion is sometimes involved, but so is power, love, hate, stupidity, etc. Nobody believes in mythology pretty much by the definition of the word.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  10. candycoatedapple

    Proverbs 19:21
    Proverbs 16:4
    The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

    Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

    Joshua 1:9
    Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

    July 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      “Arrrr. To be a good follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, ye should drink much meade and surround yerself with as many buxom wenches as possible". ~ Mosey The Pirate

      July 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • flying spaghetti monster

        I'm the flying spaghetti monster, and I approve this message. Dave, my disciple, I bless you with my noodly appendage.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • QS

      I need no shepherd for I think and reason...and I am not a sheep,
      I shall want only what serves humanity best;
      I lie down in green pastures because I choose to, not because anything makes me.
      I swim in still waters, I need not be led beside them;
      If a soul exists it is mine and is for me to restore how I see fit.
      Paths of righteousness will never fail to lead a person astray…
      especially for His name’s sake.

      I will walk through many valleys, it’s called life;
      the shadow of death follows one and all, no matter where we walk.
      I fear evil;
      evil is created by man, which is to be feared far more than any of the countless versions of god;
      your rod and your staff do not comfort me as they are herding tools...and I am not a sheep.
      I would be arrogant to think goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, for I am human and we make mistakes.
      I shall not dwell in any house that believes me to be nothing more than an animal which must be told where to go and when.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "Due to his own original special nature, the Jew cannot possess a religious inst¡tution, if for no other reason because he lacks idealism in any form, and hence belief in a hereafter is absolutely foreign to him. And a religion in the Aryan sense cannot be imagined which lacks the conviction of survival after death in some form. Indeed, the Talmud is not a book to prepare a man for the hereafter, but only for a practical and profitable life in this world."
      —Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 11

      There, now. Just because I quoted it out of a book, it must be true, right? Or at least RELEVANT.

      I'm sure you find my line of reasoning convincing, because that's exactly what you just did.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • joe

      quoting the book of fairy tales adds nothing. Well maybe, it helps you give yourself a pep talk but that's all.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Atheist Forever

      Why do you quote mythology? What do you think that proves to anyone?

      July 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  11. QS

    I believe a majority of at least those who identify as some form of Christian only do so out of obligation, for the sake of appearances. This way, even though internally they know they don't actually believe they can still avoid the stigma of being a non-believer in a society full of delusional fanatics who would turn on them in a heartbeat were they to profess their true feelings.

    Those are the people I try to reach, the ones who want desperately to escape from the fantasy world they've been imprisoned in but don't have a support system to do so.

    This is why we Atheists need to be extremely vigilant in letting others know they are not alone and that it's beyond acceptable to denounce your superst.ition and begin to live as a human.

    July 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Atheist Forever

      Religious people do what they do out of fear, obligation, and even for social reasons. I don't think most still TRULY believe in invisible sky fairies flying around in cloud cities, or invisible horned devils in invisible fire pits.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • QS

        Exactly my point – most don't really believe what they are raised to believe, but are so scared of, say, upsetting their very super-religious parents if they were to tell them they didn't believe.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • Angry Marine

        So let me get this straight, you think that you are the authority on why believers believe what the do and why they do. You don't know SH1T..

        July 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • joe

      I believe a majority of at least those who identify as some form of Christian only do so out of obligation, for the sake of appearances.
      ---------–
      And we still have an incredibly strong cultural influence to do so. It wasn't until the 1700s that you could publicly denounce Christianity without risk of severe punishment or death. And even today I don't think a person could be elected President if they revealed they were atheist.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • QS

        Sad but true....how I long for an Atheist President!

        July 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  12. Jack

    Atheists feel the need to convince others that God does not exist. Why? Because deep down they know that if they are wrong, they are in deep dodo. A religious person is a reminder of this fact, one small seed of doubt of a potential infinitely bad outcome. That is what drives them nuts, why they want to be surrounded by non-believers.

    What is the cost of being a believer? “Wasting” an hour on the weekend by going to church? Not doing immoral things? In the end if a believer was wrong, what did he lose?

    What about a non-believer? If in the end, he finds out he was wrong, how bad is that?

    Probabilistically speaking it makes sense to side with the believers.

    July 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Atheist Forever

      Nope. I think most are just sick of watching people act like fools, believing in invisible / imaginary creatures, to the end of us all being dragged down into the mud though this ignorance.

      July 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Andrew

      I missed the chapter in history where Atheists forced their beliefs on billions, read the one on Christians though, fascinating. Loved that Spanish Inquisition.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        How many people were victims of the Inquisition? Do you know who ran the Inquisition?

        How many were victims of the communist gulags? What Church were the communist from?

        July 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Miss Anthrope

          Was that done "in the NAME of atheism"? No. Idiot.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Doobs

          Where did the young boy Adolf Hitler go to school?

          July 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Atheists feel the need to convince others that God does not exist. Why?" Sorry, but that is where you are wrong. It is the religious that are commanded by their eligious leaders to go and convince others that God does exist, atheists are simply standing next to you pointing out how silly your message is and you don't like it.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • gladiatorgrl

      believing in imaginary creatures to hedge your bets is just delusional. Grow up. There's no imaginary sky creature.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Ron

      Students... this is a classic, text book example of projection.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • R Christopher

      Jack, that comment is 100% off base. I am an Agnostic, and I find BOTH sides trying to convince me one way or the other. I prefer not to waste my time on religion, I am anti-religion, but not anti the entire concept of a higher beings,but also not locked in that one created us. The stories in those books are myths. Just like people today write myths. Do you think the elves exists from Lord of the Rings? No? Why? Because you know who wrote it. You were not fed some story that a godlike being dictated it to some bronze age people 3000 years ago. Religion was good idea for their time, that was then used by the kings, popes and Emperors to hold power over people.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Herman U.

      I couldn't agree more! I had to scale back on my other activities, but I manage to go to church for an hour a week. I think it is better to "hedges my bets" when it comes to eternity.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Gingeet

      Jack, the reason Atheists feel the need to express their views has nothing to do with their "fear" of a possibility that a god exists. The reason why they express their views is because they see that the religious have beliefs that are absurd/illogical and base their actions/behavior from these beliefs. These dysfunctional acts retard our progress as a culture and our future society. It's really that plain and simple.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • curtst

      Jack,
      Most atheists don't care what your religious beliefs or lack thereof is. The thing we care about is the religious trying to shove it down our and everyone elses throats. Surprise! Not everyone has the same belifs as you. If beliving in some being out their helps you get you through your day and life, then more power to you.

      Don't get me started with morals and that atheists lack them. I am probably more moral than most Christians. Besides that you can't really get your morals from the Bible. You know, the book that condones slavery, murder, war, incest, where men are to rule over women.

      What makes you think atheists in the end will find out we are wrong? I got a feeling you want to use Pascal's Wager, meaning, what if I (as an atheist) is wrong? What about you? What if you're wrong? What if Christianity is wrong? Maybe we are supposed to believe the Jewish version? Maybe the Islamic version? Maybe the Greeks and Romans back in the day had it right. Maybe we should be worshipping multiple gods and not just one. Or the countless other types of religous belifs. Makes perfect sense. Almighty ruler can do anything like helping athletes win a game but not feed that starving child or give us clear guidance of the proper religion and way to worship by.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • Angry Marine

        You atheist all have the same tired argument that ' Christians are trying to Shove their beliefs down our throats". BS

        July 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          are you trying to claim it isnt true? that politicians dont fall over themselves to show how religious they are in order to get the support of the powerful religious lobby? or that religious groups arent the ones behind all the bills to define marriage and ban gay marriage etc?

          July 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      LOL, dude.... I was gonna tease you for 'probabilistically'? Then I found out it's an actual word ('duh' point for me). Still sounds like something Daffy Duck would rather shoot himself than to repeat.

      Anywho. To the point of "what if the believer is wrong?"; well........ they wasted loads of time and money on an invisible. Imagine how much money has been wasted for skills involved in dechipering the wants of an 'invisible'. How much blood has been wasted over the invisibles? How much more advanced could mankind be if they stopped spinning their wheels on matters they will never be able to prove.

      Man is real. Man cannot prove God is real. Man lives in reality. God's not announcing his reality in a definitive fashion. Man has a real problem with God's unrealistic way of wanting Man to believe God's real. God needs do something 'real' and put his signature on it. Some men say, "the universe is the signature that God is real". And I say, "I cannot read his handwriting".

      This message has been sponsored by boredom and fatigue.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  13. sly

    Why would anyone care either way? Live your life on earth, and when you die, see what happens.

    Sure is a lot of huffing and puffing by both sides over something that is totally irrelevant to our lives.

    Maybe its just me, but I find it useless to waste time speculating over something no one will ever know.

    July 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Atheist Forever

      I'll tell you why! Because religion is behind every war going on this planet, and most of the poverty. It drags us ALL down!

      July 31, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Every war? That doesn't seem logical Jim.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Atheist Forever

          Name a current conflict that is an exception Bones.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • sly

        I think the 20+ nations America has gone to war with in the past 30-40 years was all about money, not religion. (And yes, there are over 20 nations bombed in recent years).

        You are right about much of the rest of the worlds wars, but I don't think there is much anyone can do to change people's belief in religion.

        So, yes, it is a fact that religion exists and impacts our lives (as you point out, often negatively), but to me it is still irrelevant to bother discussing whether there may be a God.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • bmkinz1510

        You are absolutely wrong. Humans are behind every war here on earth. That is an observable fact! Humans are the problem not religion. One day you will realize that and accept it.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • TacoDave

        I thought the war in Iraq was all about oil? Isn't that the party line? So now it's about religion?

        July 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  14. QS

    What an excellent piece!

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

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    As I've said for some time now, the best defense against religious zealotry is to simply let them keep talking!

    July 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  15. Matt

    Science and Religion are two separate disciplines, the two can be brought together, but not according to either's standards. He is right to say that science will devour religion, or vice versa depending on the argument. Nevertheless, this article is informative about online statistics and what not. As far as what it takes to draw millennials back to the Church or why they are leaving....the article is found wanting. A well worded opinion though, a nice read

    July 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  16. John

    Is it not ironic how atheists, who claim to have no belief or faith, credit the 100% fanatical belief and faith in science? Scientists are their preachers. They never question what the scientists say.
    If you question an atheist, the immediately start attacking you personally.
    Where did that infinitely small singularity, that contains all the mass in the universe, come from? Why does the math behind the Big Bang theory break down before you get to that singularity? Why are there so many different belief systems, I mean theories, about how the universe came about?
    Atheists are really just being lazy. See, religions have rules and rituals you are supposed to live by. Atheism does not. It's just easier not to believe and not to follow those rules and rituals.
    Of course my favorite point is always the one about the bad person that found atheism and turned their lives around. Never heard of it? I haven't either.

    July 31, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Joay

      I don't think you quite get how science and the peer review process works.

      July 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • lol??

        Science is under a lot of peer pressure, too. Check out what the UFO researchers go through. Science is like a loaded gun.

        "Oh, it's a wunnerful idea to put Asian carp in the catfish ponds!!"

        July 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      We do not have FAITH in science. Faith is belief without any evidence FOR believing, and frequently in the face of evidence to the contrary.

      What we have is CONFIDENCE in science, based on its track record. Every time there's been a conflict between science and religion, science has won. Where ya gonna plunk yer bet down, on the winner or on the loser?

      July 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • lol??

        The mob controls science .Everybody loses.

        July 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  17. P

    Some of these atheists seem to treat it as a religion.

    July 31, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Atheist Forever

      Nah. Religion requires you to believe in invisible / imaginary creatures. We live in reality. Big difference.

      July 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • P

        If you have nothing to believe in then you have no side. This author creates a side to be on. He believes in something.

        July 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Atheist Forever

          You act as if science and reality are "nothing". They must be, because that is what I believe in.

          July 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  18. Atheist Forever

    Christians: Be logical for a moment and think....

    You are devoting your life to an invisible creature that you say lives in an invisible sky city, who has never done anything that anyone has ever seen, who has never made a verifiable appearance, etc.

    How on earth does this possibly make any sense? Seriously?

    July 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • TheSaint

      I am not exactly a christian but either not an atheist. The reason that I would rather choose religion is logic: it's more logical than the alternatives for a number of reasons. Besides, let's say no one can prove God exists or doesn't exist. So we have 50% chances for either. But when religion comes such great gift, eternal life, for such a low price (basically just be a good man which anyone shd do anyway) while the atheism gives nothing, the choice is so more logical and simple

      July 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • CMoses

      As a Christian, I can't open my eyes without seeing something he made.

      July 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  19. Anna

    Are athiests trying to get tax exempt status? lololol!!!!
    "There are no athiests in foxholes."

    July 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Atheist Forever

      That's a myth. There plenty who face reality, and know that no invisible sky fairy awaits. More and more all the time. There is now an atheist chaplain in the military, FYI. Explain that one?

      July 31, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • joe

      No Christians in fox holes–those guys are all Muslims. Does that make Islam true?

      July 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Doobs

      Do you have anything to add besides a cliche?

      BTW, there are plenty of atheists in foxholes, defending your freedom, along with Catholics, Baptists, Wiccans, Muslims, pagans, agnostics...

      July 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
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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.