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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. lucas

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    August 24, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  2. Andy

    If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.

    H. P. Lovecraft
    This statement from Lovecraft pretty much describes the issue. Stop trying to force a belief that is impossible to prove. Let us shift away from belief in a God to effect actual change by using human compassion.

    August 24, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  3. Nick

    I am 19 years old, in the Army, probably one of the least religious organizations in existence (besides atheistic ones obviously), but I stand by my God, I stand by Jesus and I advise those on the fence to take God's side. There are several reasons in the decrease in millenial Christians.

    1.) The media has a towering influence in America, and the information portrayed is rarely pro-Christian, and even if there is a story about a positive Christian, they love to tiptoe around the 'Jesus' factor of it, as to not offend the growing atheist audience. It's a vicious cycle, really.

    2.) Lack of faith- the argument is made that there are scientific 'facts' that disprove the existance of God. It's simple. If you look for proof long enough, you can find loose observations together and create a sloppy theory and call it fact. The Bible, however, has been around since before Darwin, before any philosopher who claims that there is no God was ever born. It is the truth, and the only way to acknowledge the truth is through faith.

    3.) They talk of hypocrasy, and I agree, we are all hypocrites. We are all thieves, murderers, blasphemers and slanderers of God. This is our nature, and it is not going to change the fact that we are born sinners. But the fact of the matter is, that doesn't matter. The whole reason that Jesus came here in the first place was to sacrifice himself so that we could be forgiven of our inherited sins. And that draws back to faith. Atheists claim we are closed minded, but what is more open than trusting in an all-powerful God who gave his son up to die at the cross?

    This is my warning: that we need a wake-up call. Nobody's perfect, not Christians, not Atheists, not any other religion out there, but who's done what in the name of their religion doesn't matter. What matters is that if you were to die today, what would happen to you? Are you sure there's no heaven and no hell? Are you sure enough to wager the rest of eternity on that?
    John 3:18 says that "He that believeth on him [Jesus] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

    If anyone, Atheist, struggling Christian or whatever is curious or thinks, you know, maybe.... Than I urge you to contact me. I am no priest, I am just a man who believes in the truth that Christ is the son of God. A God who loves us, but who will not forgive those who deny him when your time on earth runs out. So please, before it's too late, take a step of faith.
    e-mail me: nicolas.down1993@hotmail.com

    August 24, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I do not lack faith...that is like saying I lack cancer.
      You proclaim the bible is truth, yet you have nothing to back it up, no evidence, so you are lying when you call it truth. You can say that you believe it to be truth, but not that it is truth.

      August 24, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • joe

      I am no priest, I am just a man who believes in the truth that Christ is the son of God. A God who loves us, but who will not forgive those who deny him when your time on earth runs out.
      ------–
      You are, in all likelihood, uneducated with very poor reasoning skills and from a rural community where they brainwashed you from a young age.

      Virtually nobody with an education, certainly with a post high school education in science would believe such a patently absurd story about a God making Itself Its own son etc .etc. That myth makes the Night Before Christmas story look plausible.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Nick

        I don't know you, joe, but the Nightmare Before Christmas? A degree in science? What does that matter to me? I don't need to spend years of my life trying to study "facts" that are constantly changing. This book, the bible has not changed, nor will it ever. The words will always have the same meaning, and the message will always be as true. If you want evidence, there are those out there that have dug deeper than I have to find the truth:
        http://www.biblemagazine.com/magazine/vol-9/issue-4/evidence.html
        But ultimately, you are going to believe what you want to believe, and I am going to continue to believe what I want to believe. But, as I said before, are you willing to wager the rest of eternity on your beliefs? What if you are wrong? What if the human scientists who have "disproved" God are wrong? I'll be praying for you, Joe, I really, sincerely will be. I would never wish the eternal suffering, described in this "story" on my worst enemy. I pray that someone out there reaches you and leads you to salvation.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • hihomanmah

          Oh yes my god Thor will be greatly upset that you Nick did not accept him while u were yet living and as such may not revel in the Halls of Valhalla in the life to come.

          August 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Nico

      Sorry Nick, you're deluded!
      The Army is one of the most religious organization around, if you don't attend services and it gets around you're pretty much toast, just do your time and get out at that point.
      Ex: Code of Conduct Article VI "... I will trust in my God and in the United States of America."
      USMC Motto – God, Corp, Country. I was taught that is in order, believe in god, protect the corp then look to the country. ie – if you have to mutiny make sure it benefits the corp first otherwise do what your country asks. Which is why it's ok for Marines to shoot sailers/soldiers/airman in the course of duty.

      The media always have stories about religion and religious angles, case in point the Aug 9th 2013 in MO the story about the disappearing priest and the follow up stories of how priest was an angel in disguise, pictures of scene show no priest, equiptment worked after priest blessed everyone, yada yada yada, after 4-5 days they found the priest and debunked all miraculous events attributed to this priest, same with waterspots that people think look like jesus, or anything else that looks like jesus. Sorry doesn't hold water with me or anyone else that is aware of the media.

      Lack of faith is a cop out, put another way is that you're an atheist in disguise. Do you believe in Zeus, Apollo, or any of those old Greek gods? How about Pele? What about Ganesha or Shiva? Maybe Huracan or Quetzalcoatl might be more to your liking? Fact is that you don't believe any of those gods, you've an atheist in regards to all religions of the past and current ones that don't worship your one god. Good job, one more to go and you'll be 100% pure atheist.

      Here's something to think about. If god gave his only begotton son and his son is part of the trinity (god the holy ghost and jesus) and none of them can die, wouldn't it be a giant con that his son "was sacraficed" because since he can't die it's just a giant scam to play on your emotions, what kind of god is that? Kinda like a salesperson would do, play on your emotions to make you want to buy. I would be pretty angry if I was taken in by a scam like that.

      I wish you well in your life and hope you start to process information in a rational way, might come in handy some day while you're still here to take advantage of it, otherwise you'd be better off dead sooner so you can enjoy your heaven.

      August 29, 2013 at 12:48 am |
  4. Bill

    Why are millennials leaving church?

    They're tired of being scammed by shysters, that's why.

    August 24, 2013 at 12:16 am |
  5. FDFGHGETRERT

    AHORA PARA TODOS LOS PSIQUIATRAS QUE ESTAN DEL OTRO LADO EN EL CASO QUE ESTOS MENSAJES SE VEAN DE LO CUAL TENEMOS DUDAS POR QUE LO HEMOS HECHO 13.000 VECES Y AVECES HACKEAN.

    SI NO LO HUBIESEMOS HECHO DE ESTA MANERA AUN CON LOS VIDEOS DE NANO COMPUTADORAS USTEDES QUE HUBIESEN HECHO.

    AHORA USTED ESTA MANIPULADO O NO?.

    PSYCHIATRISTS NOW FOR ALL WHO ARE THE OTHER SIDE IF YOU SEE THESE MESSAGES OF QUESTIONS FOR WHICH WE HAVE DONE THAT SOMETIMES AND SOMETIMES hacked 13,000.

    If we had not EVEN THUS DONE WITH NANO CLIPS COMPUTER THAT YOU HAD DONE.

    NOW YOU ARE HANDLING OR NOT.
    DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

    August 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  6. YURYURYUTYYUDGFDFGHG

    THE SOUND OF DENOUNCE.

    THE SOUND OF DENOUNCE.

    THE SOUND OF DENOUNCE.

    THE SOUND OF DENOUNCE.

    THE SOUND OF DENOUNCE.

    THE SOUND OF DENOUNCE.

    HUMAN RACE STUDIES IN VENEZUELA.

    COMMENT:
    ....... OBAMA, BUSH AND BILL CLINTON.

    OR RESPOND OR RESPOND ... BUT NOT AS ASESSIN AS GENTLEMAN.

    KILLING THE AMERICAN LATINO FAMILY FROM SATELLITES.

    GENETIC INFORMATION to steal.

    YOU KNOW THE MEANING TO ...THE AGENCIES ARE KILLING US IN US ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    1.000.000 Million of Cases TO MENTAL TORTURES HOW WE ARE GOING TO DO CNN?.

    ...WITH CRIMINALS AGENCIES!!!!!!!!!.

    CROSSFIRE VENEZUELAN GENOCIDE.

    HUMANS SELL IN VENEZUELA.

    CASES OF BRAIN DESTRUCTION ORGANS DESTRUCTION TESTICULS DESTRUCTION.

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

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    COMPLAINTS HAVE DONE THE ASSASSINATION OF NORTH AMERICAN CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS, derrepente YOUNG TAKE A RIFLE AND KILL YOUR FRIENDS?.

    THIS HAPPENS IN OTHER COUNTRIES?.

    RESEARCH EXPERIMENTS SHOWED THAT THESE ARE MADE WITH AUTHORIZATION D ALL THE PRESIDENTS.

    WE ASK THE PRESIDENTS WHAT WE HAVE THAT YOUR CHILDREN DNA DONT HAVE, WHY STOLE INFORMATION TO US.
    August 23, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |

    August 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  7. Melissa

    Being an atheist is called "using your brain for more than 'me hungry, me sleepy, me bored, me want s e x". Being religious is "I'll let my religion do my thinking for me so I don't have to".

    August 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  8. tonytreutryut54563456

    DOES IT, INFORMATION NORMAL?.

    CNN INFO – DENOUNCE.

    GENOCIDE BY DESTELOMERIZATION. NEURAL HAMMER EXPLOTION IS NOT TAC PATOLOGY.

    WHY THE VATICAN SAY WE ARE GOOD WHEN PAY FOR HUMAN RACE STUDIES.

    IRRADIATION FROM SATELITES WITH NANO COMPUTERS VEMEZUELA.

    HUMAN SELL IN VENEZUELA.

    MINISTER OF CHINA COREA

    HOW MANIPULATE HUMANS WITH VOLTAGES TENSION, NANO TESLAS BOBINES.

    VENEZUELANS IRRADIATED 12 HRS AT DAY.

    BRAIN DESTRUCTION CASES, HIPOTALAMUS, ORGANS, LATINO AMERICA.

    HUNDRED OF CASES MENTAL TORTURE.

    NICOLAS SELLYNG NEURAL PATRONS TO OTHER COUNTRYES.

    TRYNG TO ROB ECONOMIC MODELS LIKE PERFECTIBLE BANK.

    http://www.mudpgi.blog.com

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    WRITE A TEXT UNDER IRRADIATION, HACKING.
    August 22, 2013 at 9:19 am | Report abuse | Reply

    August 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
  9. cmi

    "For instance, there's been talk of finding a better way to reconcile science and religion. Whenever that battle takes place, religion loses." Huh? Its so called science that constantly backpedals, revises and reinterprets. The church stands steady as a rock. Atheists are just people on a journey that will lead them to the inevitable acceptance of God.

    August 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • joe

      You speak the truth. So praise Allah. That is the God you were talking about right?

      Think about it.

      August 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      cmi
      In other words, science grows, adapts, learns, and evolves as we learn
      Religion is stagnant, rigid, stationary and antiquated.

      August 22, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Another mentally ill delusional believer who does not understand the scientific method and why it delivers better answers than religion.

      August 22, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Andy

      Yes cmi, science changes! That's EXACTLY how it's supposed to work. It's how more efficient fuels, better anti-biotics, and longer lasting light bulbs get developed! If you can't understand that, I recommend picking up a few grade and middle school level science text books and reading them cover to cover! We're not going to waste time explaining this to you!

      August 22, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Flappy

      Sometimes Atheists are on a journey that leads them away from God.

      Seriously though science changes based on new information. The church does too although maybe more slowly.

      For example: How many people in the church still believe the Earth is only 6000 years old and flat as a pancake? Changing ideas are not always a bad thing.

      August 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
      • Andy

        Uh, the Catholic Church, and every non-liberal protestant church. Biblical literalists.

        And the bible says it. So if that's wrong, then what else is wrong. Your god wrote a book, and he's supposed to only make perfect things. Clearly, he missed the ball on that one.

        August 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  10. VD Peruvian

    Cause it's HIP yo! That's what 20 year old retards think. Come back to a religion that actually goes to other countries to help!!! Unequal treatment for woman? Go to the Middle East!!! That will answer all of your problems when you turn into someones slave!!! Why are people so stupid! I'm the decendent of 2 popes! Listen to me! Christianity is a religion where it doesn't matter who or what you are!!!

    August 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • lalala

      You're the descendant of two popes? Wow, didn't know they could have kids.

      August 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  11. Dyslexic doG

    Christians arguing stories from their bible vs. scientific facts is like arguing about Santa's sleigh flying ... sure it says it flies in the stories but the facts are that there is no Santa (sorry kids), there is no magic sleigh, and there are no magical reindeer to guide his sleigh tonight. Anyone using any story in the bible as a fact to argue against scientifically proven evidence is deluding themselves and annoying the sane.

    And you Christians wonder why we atheists sound annoyed all the time.

    August 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • joe

      And the strangest thing of it all is that they can't see it. Yeah sure, Muslims can see the absurdity of Christianity and Christians can see the absurdity of Islam but neither can read their own book and recognize how juvenile and primitive and phony the stories are.

      I mean a God who punishes all mankind because a girl eats an apple from a tree the God put in front of her knowing she was going to eat from it before the God put it in front of her? It's astoundingly un-credible. It's fall down laughable.

      August 22, 2013 at 8:04 am |
      • elizabeth

        "I mean a God who punishes all mankind because a girl eats an apple from a tree the God put in front of her knowing she was going to eat from it before the God put it in front of her? It's astoundingly un-credible. It's fall down laughable."

        Apparently you're referring to fundamentalist readings of Genesis . Most mainstream Christian denominations believe that this is a creation myth (yes, "myth" is the proper term) that demonstrates how humans abandoned the gift of innocence. After all, it's a common Christian teaching that you can't sin unless you consciously recognize that what you are doing/not doing is wrong. The Adam & Eve story does not refer to any one event, but most likely something that occurred over and over (and still occurs today).

        Moreover, do you really think that we Christians never second-guess our beliefs, examining it from other perspectives, AND YET CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IT ANYWAY? We can reason just as well as any atheist. We just chose
        to accept a more philosophical answer to all the "why's" and leave the "how's" to science - just as it should be.

        P.S. The bit about it being an apple is totally false. The Bible just says "fruit." It is most likely referring to a pomegranate.

        August 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • joe

          Most mainstream Christian denominations believe that this is a creation myth
          ---------
          Hey, we're gettin somewhere. Do you hear this fundamentalists? An admission by one of your relatives that your bible has myth.

          Let's see if we can go 2 for 2.
          A fairy man gets tired of running earth from afar so rather than just appearing It comes up with this brilliant idea that it ought to zap some fairy man ju ju into a 12 year old virgin–so when It comes out everyone knows It must be the fairy man baby especially because a star in the sky stops its nightly appearance of rotating to prove it. Then even though everyone knows It's a fairy man baby, nobody seems to care after the first night and the fairy man baby disappears for 30 years. Then, It reappears walking around barefoot giving lectures when after awhile It apparently grows tired of people not believing It so it comes up with another brilliant idea that It will have itself killed (suicide) and then come back 3 days later to prove to a handful of fishermen that It really is a fairy man. And the fairy man's ultimate reason for doing all this is because It is going to lift that curse that It put on all mankind back when the first woman ate that pomegranate. Then, after all that, everyone forgets about the fairy man for about 5 generations when people on a different continent suddenly decide to start writing about the fairy man in a new culture and language.

          August 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • Andy

          So your book starts with a myth. Without that myth, there's no reason for anything else in the book is a myth. You just proved the point that every atheist here is trying to make. Thanks bub.

          August 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  12. Jonathan

    I don't have an issue with atheists talking about trends and the like. But please make sure that you preface your comments concerning religion and the "myth" of Jesus as being your opinion. You want to be a "friendly" atheist, but the friendly factor is gone when you make claims that you think are equivocally true. For example many Christians from ancient times until today argue that there is evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. They point to historical evidence. We aren't a bunch of people placing our head's in the sand "ostrich" like. We do believe there is solid evidence to believe in the historicity of the gospels. Comments made by the author concerning religion show that he is not as up on what Christians believe. This is what is bothersome to me. If you truly want to be the "friendly" atheist then preface your comments carefully.

    August 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • joe

      For example many Christians from ancient times until today argue that there is evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. They point to historical evidence.
      -------
      100% wrong. There is no contemporaneous evidence. None. Zero. Zilch. Your God announced himself on earth and nobody cared. Not one piece of jewelry. Not on clay tablet. Not on pot with an inscription. Nobody who was there ever recorded your God's presence.

      It took 5-10 generations before people who weren't even there to started to record what occurred 50-100 years prior.

      August 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Mitch J

      Calling Jesus' story a myth is not being anti-friendly. That's the basis of his side of the argument. Being anti-friendly would consist of him calling people who hold those beliefs true idiots, morons and other derogatory terms and/or threatening them with eternal punishment (like most Christian based religious sects do to non believers). But he didn't so he was about as friendly as you can get.

      August 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • JC

      I disagree. Given that there are mounds of actual physical evidence of the life and times of those that lived during Ancient Greek times, 500 years before Jesus was supposedly born, why is there no definitive proof of Jesus' existence written during his lifetime? Where are the clay tablets, etchings in the Temples, or written records that denote his historical existence. If indeed Jesus lived and made such an impact on the people of his time, there would be a written historical record of it somewhere that dates to his lifetime. There is none. Supposed historical accounts written by others 100 to 200 years after his death are meaningless and provide no more proof of a living god then do the stories passed on by the Ancient Greeks about their own gods, which were modified significantly with the passing of time. Coupled with the very fact that the essence of the story of Jesus, the birth of a god to a virgin, the sacrifice of that god to save mankind, the raising of that god into heaven, is found in myths throughout ancient times in religions totally unrelated to christiantiy, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that the bible, both old and new testaments are simply a continuing saga of mankind's attempt to ameliorate the anxiety of life by creating myths.

      August 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  13. Brandyjack

    May I suggest a little book, "Thank God for Evolution."

    August 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Ted

      May I suggest a big book, "The God Delusion", by Richard Dawkins.

      The stories in the Christian bible are not consistent with evolution, nor even consistent with themselves.

      August 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  14. Erik

    Atheists may dominate the web while I would hope that true followers of Christ spend their time helping the poor and the needy. In addition, I have found that there are brilliant men and women on both sides of this fence so briliance or knowledge or education appears to be not an issue in coming to know Jesus Christ. CS Lewis, Malcomb Muggeridge, G.K. Chesterton, Ravi Zacharias, WIlliam Layne Craig and many others proclaim their belief in God. Others like this person believe that there is no God. That is fine. Faith is always going to be the one factor that changes lives. I have heard it said that God has given us enough evidence to find belief in a God a most reasonable thing, but has left enough out that faith is a necessary requirement.

    August 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • joe

      I have found that there are brilliant men and women on both sides of this fence so briliance or knowledge or education appears to be not an issue
      ----------
      1 in One-thousand exception to the rule. By far religion appeals to the most uneducated and ignorant in any society.

      August 19, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      people can be brilliant but still infected by the god virus. they can be brilliant in all aspects of their lives but still believe the fairy tale of religion.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • JimK57

        and that is okay.

        August 19, 2013 at 11:47 am |
      • joe

        you have to define brilliant first. If brilliant is a great painter or a minister who can speak for an hour straight on the bible without on pause–yes. If you are talking Einstein science brilliant–I've never seen or heard of it.

        August 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • I've changed

      God has given us enough evidence to believe?..and that would be.....?Please don't confuse evidence with something you really,really,really WANT to be true.K.?

      August 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Paul

        "Please don't confuse evidence with something you really,really,really WANT to be true.K.?"

        Do you want it to be true that there is no god?

        August 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • JC

      William Craig? Brilliant? Not so much. I listened to him in several debates. He uses circular reasoning and big words, neither of which is proof of a brilliant mind. Basically he got plowed under by his opponents.

      August 22, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  15. Bubba

    People want to believe. We want to embrace a Loving Father, a Compassionate God, but His Followers tend to be hateful silly little people, who would rather Judge, than Love.
    Organized Religion has been using Guilt, as their main tool for growth, and for funding giant Malls-of-the-Righteous. As a result, their love and compassion have atrophied into little hard coals, and the masses are running out of Hate, no longer feeling guilty about their imperfect selves.
    God is Love, but His Followers have become the embodiment of Self-Righteous Scorn. Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish.

    August 19, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Note Passer

      This is what you see on TV and of course in daily life in various locations throughout the country and the world. Have you ever once inspected the Mainline Protestant churches? We tend to be quite knowing that the words of Jesus trump all in our beliefs. We tend to be quite and are only noticed when we do something disastrous like allowing gay clergy–or one of our pastors gets thrown in jail for protesting a moral wrong.
      Our traditions are RC in nature for the comfort of routine and we do not go around looking for demons. If you look hard enough, as P. Robertson has shown, you will find demons. They just aren't what Pat thinks they are. His brain is probably one of the most unhealthy on the planet. Therein the demons lie.

      August 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • joe

        Funny. Your post just proved the other poster's take on the religious to be true.

        How clueless can you be.

        August 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  16. Nick

    I like to think we're just levelling the playing fields. After years of being harassed in my home, stopped on the street and afronted by religious propaganda on TV and in politics the atheists are speaking up against hypocrisy and intolerance.
    nakedape.net.au – atheist tshirts

    August 18, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  17. postedbygeorge

    Because they are more American than Middle-Eastern.

    August 18, 2013 at 6:33 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.