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September 14th, 2013
08:01 AM ET

Hey atheists, let’s make a deal

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - Famed atheist Richard Dawkins has been rightfully criticized this week for saying the “mild pedophilia” he and other English children experienced in the 1950s “didn’t cause any lasting harm.”

This comes after an August tweet in which Dawkins declared that “all the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.”

Dawkins is known for pushing his provocative rhetorical style too far, providing ample ammunition for his critics, and already I’ve seen my fellow Christians seize the opportunity to rail against the evils of atheism.

As tempting as it is to classify Dawkins’ views as representative of all atheists, I can’t bring myself to do it.

I can’t bring myself to do it because I know just how frustrating and unfair it is when atheists point to the most extreme, vitriolic voices within Christianity and proclaim that they are representative of the whole.

So, atheists, I say we make a deal: How about we Christians agree not to throw this latest Richard Dawkins thing in your face and you atheists agree not to throw the next Pat Robertson thing in ours?

Now I’m not saying we just let these destructive words and actions go—not at all. It’s important for both believers and atheists to decry irresponsible views and hateful rhetoric, especially from within our own communities.

(Believe me. There are plenty of Christians who raise hell every time Robertson says something homophobic or a celebrity pastor somewhere says something misogynistic.)

READ MORE: Why millennials are leaving the church

But what if we resist the urge to use the latest celebrity gaffe as an excuse to paint one another with broad brushes?

What if, instead of engaging the ideas of the most extreme and irrational Christians and atheists, we engaged the ideas of the most reasonable, the most charitable, the most respectful and respected?

Only then can we avoid these shallow ad hominem attacks and instead engage in substantive debates that bring our true differences and our true commonalities to light.

It’s harder to go this route, and it takes more work and patience, but I’m convinced that both Christians and atheists are interested in the truth and in searching for it with integrity, without taking the easy way out.

Pope Francis took a step in that direction this week with a letter in a Rome newspaper responding directly to questions posed by its atheist director and inviting respectful open dialog between nonbelievers and Christians.

READ MORE: Why millennials need the church

So, yes, Richard Dawkins is an atheist. But so are authors Greg Epstein and Susan Jacoby. So is my friend and fellow blogger Hemant Mehta. So is Sir Ian McKellen. So is ethicist Peter Singer, who may or may not be the best example.

And yes, Pat Robertson is a Christian. But so is Nelson Mandela. So is acclaimed geneticist Francis Collins. So is Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. So is Barack Obama. So is Stephen Colbert.

And I'm willing to bet that the same collective groan emitted by millions of Christians each time Pat Robertson says something embarrassing on TV sounds a lot like the collective groan emitted by millions of atheists when Richard Dawkins rants on Twitter.

Still, in the end, it’s not about who has the most charismatic or generous personalities in their roster, nor about who has the most “crazies.” It’s about the truth.

So let’s talk about the truth, and with the people who most consistently and graciously point us toward it.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "A Year of Biblical Womanhood" and "Evolving in Monkey Town." Evans blogs at rachelheldevans.com, and the views expressed in this column belong to her.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • Faith

soundoff (5,916 Responses)
  1. Ted

    meh

    September 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  2. richarddean88

    No deal. Until you denounce all those religious crazies and stop leaving them in positions of power or just turning the other way, we will continue to put them in our critical sights.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Sir Mr.

      All 3% of you? Combine all the atheists in the world together and you won't be able to form a softball team.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
      • Observer

        Sir Mr.

        "Combine all the atheists in the world together and you won't be able to form a softball team."

        After a moronic statement like that, you have no business talking about atheists being stupid.

        September 14, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • MakingSense

      You really want atheists to be in power? I think not, with atheists in power and if war comes up, we will have to fight with slingshots made out of of condoms.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • MakingSense

        And i don't think i would like to wear a pink military uniform either.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • Sir Mr.

        LOL!!!! Now THAT makes sense!!

        September 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • MakingSense

          @Sir Mr

          LOL

          September 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  3. lol?? Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Atheism is Figmentism run amok.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  4. Tannim

    I got a better offer: How about the Christians start shouting down the nutcases in their ranks while the atheists do the same in theirs?

    Granted, it will silence most of the Christians and only a few of the atheists, both because of raw numbers and the general lunacy of what has become the Christian religions (which are not what the Christ taught, either!), but it would make things a lot more sane in the world...

    September 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • MakingSense

      Not acceptable. Atheists are as bad if not more than religious people, if you take for account that they are a minority and 99% of that minority are as bad, that makes a lot of them being bad.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Sir Mr.

      "only a few of the atheists"...... it could silence ALL of them and that would still be very few..... since there aren't many of them existing anyway.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • MakingSense

        Haha

        September 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  5. MakingSense

    You need to take your medicine

    September 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • MakingSense

      Sorry this was posted in the wrong place.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  6. JMoney

    I feel we all have the right to believe what we want to believe. I also feel that no one has the right to try and tell someone else how they should act, think, or believe based on their own beliefs. Live and let live.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Sir Mr.

      Ironic.... you are telling others they shouldn't tell others how to act. Start practicing what you preach. Your hypocrisy is so bad that you don't even recognize it.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
      • TO

        Sir, how do you know this is hypocrisy? The post doesn't mention atheism or religion...seems pretty benign to me.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • Sir Mr.

          By reading it!!!! The poster tells others how to act while claiming that it is wrong to tell others how to act. Look up the word hypocrisy in the dictionary if you can't figure it out.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
        • TO

          Where, specifically, is the poster telling others how to act? I read it as: anyone can believe what they want, and nobody else gets a say in it. Fine with me.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  7. God

    PHuck religion. Phuck Jeesus.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • MakingSense

      You need to take your medicine.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • siggis94

      I think someone needs a big bear hug _ 3 _ GUMPY LUMPY MAN...

      September 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • deebil

      Dawkins is a brilliant biologist and has done much good by anyone's standards. Pat Robertson has taken a lot of money from those that need it most and spread dangerous beliefs. They do not deserve to be compared to one another. And Dawkins' point about Muslims is that extreme religious views block scientific progress. Do you disagree?

      September 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • fumota68

      bitterness is a choice, you are the only one who can work yourself out of misery, and no matter how tough you think you are, your insults don't make a difference to God, and you still limited to breath, stop believing satan.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • fumota68

      bitterness is a choice, you are the only one who can work yourself out of misery, your insults don't make a difference to God, and you still limited to breath, stop believing satan.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  8. Skeeve

    "ll the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though"

    Umm, what part of this isn't true? you mean there are more muslim nobel prize winner than Trinity College... or may be you are telling be that Arabic achievements in mathematics, physics and astronomy are NOT important? So, which one is ti? Nope, until you learn to express yourself coherently no deal 🙂

    September 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • TO

      Agreed. I don't even interpret this as a jab against Muslims specifically. Rather, it's a good example of how, on a societal level, too much bickering and obsession over religion stunts achievement.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Sir Mr.

      Your mistake is in thinking that the Nobel Prize is something worthwhile. It's NOTHING but a popularity contest of the irrelevant, awarded by those managing an INHERITANCE.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • TO

        The Peace Prize, yes. And probably the Economics Prize. But there's also the Physics, Chemistry, Health, and Literature Prizes. Those are pretty legit.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • Sir Mr.

          Even those are riddled with subjective bias.... that is what happens when a "committee" of a handful of people sit in judgment of what is valuable or important. Look at their literature awards..... overwhelmingly favors a particular worldview and never waivers from it.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  9. TO

    Speaking as an atheist, I don't mind Christians. I don't care what Pat Robertson or any other nut says. Similarly, I don't care about Dawkins and have never read him. I have my own reasons for being an atheist. In that sense, I agree with the author in that I wish there was less "me vs. you" rhetoric.

    It DOES bother me when Christians (or members of any religion) try to weasel their way into our government/legal system. Christians claim that atheists are just as aggressive about this as Christians, but that isn't true. Take gay marriage for example. The original laws forbidding it were written based on Christian belief at the time. By trying to open up marriage, we aren't trying to "add" atheism to laws. We're trying to roll back the influence of religion, which shouldn't have been there in the first place, taking our laws back to a neutral and fair state.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  10. Jon Dough

    Calling for a truce and then saying Atheists are evil? How very christian of you

    September 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Sir Mr.

      Of course, little Jon is lying. Nowhere in the article did she say "atheists are evil". Lying.... have very atheist of little jonny.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • Jon Dough

        "I’ve seen my fellow Christians seize the opportunity to rail against the evils of atheism." right there Sir Mr.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • Sir Mr.

          Learn to read!!!! SHE is the one calling for a truce and she is pointing out that OTHERS are calling them evil. Your ignorance is growing!!!

          September 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Jon Dough

          Sir Mr read again with her not stating that they believe she holds these views that atheists are evil. Understand what you read.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • DN

      Jon, EXACTLY what I was thinking!
      I love how Christians do this. Do as we say, not what we do. Ugh.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
      • Sir Mr.

        Another illiterate that was unable to read and comprehend the article. Are all atheists illiterate and stupid?

        September 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • Jon Dough

          Yet another ad-hominem attack way to go theist.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  11. Eric

    Of those self described here as atheists, my impression grows that they are deluded. They seem to believe they don't have a belief system, they don't see that even their system has a set of assumptions that requires a leap of faith, and they believe they are innocent of trying to convince others of their beliefs. They still hold to an epistomological system of verification, whereas science is built on falsification.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Jon Dough

      Yes and not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • the one

      THERE
      IS
      NO
      GOD

      September 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • Kenneth

        Prove it.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • DN

          Logical fallacy Kenneth. You can't prove a negative. The impetus to show proof is on those who insist some invisible sky daddy is real. So in other words... YOU prove it!

          September 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Duff Beer

          I think the burden of proof lies one claiming the existence of something, not the other way around.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • mdm951

          Prove that the flying spaghetti monster doesn't exist. The burden of proof is on the believer, good sir.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Kenneth

          DN and Duff Beer,
          A basic tenet of debate its "Don't make declarative statements that you do not have evidence for."
          I have made none such. None of you know whether I believe in a deity or not. I haven't so stated.
          "the one" has made a declarative statement, which puts the burden of proof on him.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • Robert

          If your burden of proof is that the claim be disproved then you have to accept that Zues is god that Allah is god. So that means you accept Zues and Allah as gods. If you do then you are violating your own religion. Therefore your logic is flawed because what you demand of others you refuse to do yourself. Disprove Zues. Disprove Allah.

          September 14, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
      • Bunch of crop

        Unicorns do exist.

        Ah! You don't believe unicorns exit; prove it

        LOL

        September 14, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • ernie

      clearly you need to understand a couple terms. faith... is the belief in something with no facts to back it up. you jut choose to say something is a fact knowing there is no logical reason you can say that. what athiests are, by and large, are people who dont do this. its why a lot of athiests dont like the term athiest... its a term from faith people. there isnt a term for people who dont believe in astrology...likewise from a logical persons view there shouldnt be term for someone who doesnt 'have faith

      September 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • donna

      Who said atheists can't have a belief system? What we say, which is true, is that atheism is NOT a belief system.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • David Nelson

        Not believing in a deity IS a belief system...

        September 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • donna

          David, please look up the word "system."

          September 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • David Nelson

          Atheism: 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.

          Doctrine: 3. a body or SYSTEM of teachings relating to a particular subject: the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

          I hope you are rational enough to feel awkward.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • donna

          Not that bright, huh?

          David you are using a religious definition from an non objective source.

          Are you incapable of looking up the word system in an objective source? It's a very simply word. It should take you all of two seconds to do. Do you need me to walk you through it?

          September 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
        • David Nelson

          So first you tell me to look up a word, and then when I come back with definitions you tell me they are the wrong definitions.

          Pretty predictable stuff.

          Enjoy the rest of your afternoon you might actually convince someone you are right if you learn from your mistakes.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • donna

          DAVID NELSON YOU ARE A LIAR TO SAY THAT DOCTRINE ONLY MEANS A SET OF BELIEFS. YOU KNOW THAT. YOU KNOW THAT A DOCTRINE CAN MEAN A SINLGE BELIEF. YOU MANIPULATED THE DEFINITION TO FIT YOUR AGENDA.

          THAT MEANS YOU HAVE NO INTEGRITY AND YOU'RE DESPERATE TO MAKE YOURSELF APPEAR RIGHT EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW YOU ARE WRONG.

          PATHETIC, DAVID NELSON.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
        • David Nelson

          All caps. Game, set, match.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • donna

          See now that comment "Game, set, match" is something that suggests you're trolling.

          You are a liar plain and simple. What a sad pathetic little man you must be.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • John Sharp

          Well you definition of Atheism was well cut and pasted but #2 did not work.
          Because there was only that one belief anything after it is only in your head.
          No system involved at all. After that one belief the group strays widely and there is no system at all.
          Just the one disbelief in a god.
          But this is always the uneducated logic of the religious to try to tie us up in one group but it never works.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • Bunch of crop

        Right, Donna. These people just want to make a religion or belief out of everything. Atheism is the LACK of believe in any god.

        September 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • David Nelson

          And yet still a system of beliefs in something.

          The vacuum of space (for all intents and purposes) is the lack of matter. And yet because you believe in the lack of matter you have a system of beliefs.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • donna

          Yep, too bad David doesn't understand the concepts of singular and plural.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • David Nelson

          You are better than that donna, you just need to keep practicing.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • MakingSense

      Well said Eric.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  12. Kenneth

    So, here's a question for all of you militant atheists.
    If there is no God, why is there cheese? Or rum? Or kittens?
    Are you saying a mindless, uncaring universe just arbitrarily came up with kittens?

    September 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • the one

      Still no God

      September 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • Kenneth

        Prove it.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Jon Dough

          Prove to me there is not a pink unicorn on the far side of the moon. Prove to me there is no tea pot between the Earth and Venus

          September 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • Kenneth

          Jon, I haven't said there was.
          When you make a declarative statement, the burden of proof is yours.
          When you make a declarative statement that something absolutely doesn't exist, the burden of proof is still on you, even though proving a negative is theoretically impossible.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • Sir Mr.

        And "the one" STILL has NO evidence to back up his/her/its claim. Just a factless, baseless, brainless opinion...... of ZERO value.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • How about the fact that prayer has been proven to not work.

          Exactly what one would expect if there was no god

          September 14, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • Robert

        No one knows. Only xians claim to know...

        September 14, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Jon Dough

      Try reading a science book you will find most of the answers you seek.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • Kenneth

        I see sarcastic levity is not a strong trait in your gene pool.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • Jon Dough

          I'm only pointing you in the right direction. The fact you have resorted to an ad-homenem attack only suggests you have nothing to back up your statements.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • A Dose of Reality

      That is some of the most asinine aasumptions/delusions for a GAWD that I have ever heard. Did you get past the third grade?

      September 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
      • Kenneth

        Really people! Are you really this dense?
        Don't insult my level of education, stool sample, when you aren't even bright enough to recognize satire.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  13. Karla

    How about we all call out hateful comments from anyone - no matter who says them, and no matter whether we agree with them on any other things.
    So whenever any atheists say hateful or hurtful comments (and I haven't read Dawkins' comments, so I can't say), then you and I will both call them out. And when Pat Robertson or the thousands of celebrity christians says things like gay people are trying to give everyone else AIDS/HIV, then you and I will both call them out.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  14. Sir Mr.

    "ALL who judge are hypocrites."

    That is a an example of judging others. That makes you a hypocrite. Pot. Kettle. Black. You.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • David Nelson

      You have some straw stuck in your teeth.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    •  

      How about using the reply function? It's really pretty easy.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  15. skyler

    If a few billion people believe in a stupid idea, it's still a stupid idea.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Sir Mr.

      And if a few billion people believe something that only a handful of people like you think is stupid, then the odds are that you're the one that is stupid.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Observer

        Sir Mr.

        Is claiming that there are only a "handful" of nonbelievers stupid?

        September 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • MakingSense

        @M. Sir

        Well said.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • skyler

        It's the few billion humans that believe in a stupid idea, versus the entire universe.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • David Nelson

          So you are certain that the rest of the universe that you have never had contact with agrees with you?

          When was the last time you spoke to ET?

          September 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • MakingSense

          Hahahaha David

          September 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        Right, see how well it turned out for all those people who believed the world to be flat?

        Truth is not based on human understanding of it. Personally I would bet on the handful of people who buck the status quo and think for themselves.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • G to the T

        Remeber at one point there was only Abraham, at one point there were only 12 apostles. Christians of all people shouldn't judge a group based on it's current numbers.

        September 18, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  16. Roger Garrett

    The author clearly did not understand what Mr. Dawkins said about pedophilia. She needs to go back and re-read what he said. He made it very clear that the REACTION to pedophilia was much different back when he was a child and that we have learned much more about it in the intervening years and now take a more reasonable approach to it. He was also only talking about his own personal experience with it and NOT generalizing about it.

    The author, on the other hand, took it to be reprehensible and possible cause for bashing all atheists. It was, in fact, no such thing.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Sir Mr.

      Try tap dancing faster. Trying to excuse Dawkins latest braindead rant won't work any better than it has in the past. He's an idiot. That was proven when he was caught on video saying that humans evolved from space aliens.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • MakingSense

        Good one lol

        September 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
      • ernie

        calling phd scienstists idiiots makes you look like... an idiot. then you throw a lie at the end ... nice

        September 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • MakingSense

          Since when Ph.D scientists are completely free from stupidity?

          September 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • PDDDD

      He DID generalize it in terms of saying some 'mild feeling up' didn't do him much or any lasting harm, nor did it appear to have done so for other classmates of his that suffered the same things at the time he did.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • donna

        It wasn't really generalizing because that was based on conversations he personally had with them after the teacher committed suicide. So he was taking about direct experiences.

        September 14, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • donna

      He is also making the argument that not all forms of child abuse have equal impacts on children, and this is in the context of his argument that telling children that they are going to hell is a serious form of emotional abuse- which is a valid point to make.

      The best place for an explanation of his comments is his website. RichardDawkins net "Child Abuse: a misunderstanding."

      September 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  17. ernie

    im sorry your article didnt explain what dawkins said that was insulting or bad...

    September 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • ernie

      what im reading is .... he is saying you can move on from abuse and muslims arent at the forefront of science this century... what is 'evil' about that?

      September 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  18. Hawkeye321`

    Pray. Or don't. Take your kids to church. Or don't. Believe. Or don't. All cool with me. (And I don't.)

    September 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Most reasonable post in 25 pages.
      Good job.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • David Nelson

      I'm agnostic and I take my children to church. I've found it is easier for someone brought up with religion to make decisions for themselves than it is for those brought up without religion.

      You also learn many useful things in church beyond religion.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
      •  

        Like what? How to sing three-chord songs? How to mumble the prayers? How to wear out your knees?

        September 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • David Nelson

          You learn how to deal with people who DO believe in religion for one. You also gain a footing in history, and have a source of commonality with many people.

          You understand local customs and their roots.

          There are quite a few soft skills you pick up just by going to church through high school.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • MakingSense

        Agree.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • MakingSense

          I meant that i agree with David Nelson.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • donna

      It's not cool with me if you teach children who will grow up to be voters who vote based on that religion. For example, you are harming others when you raise your children to believe that gay people are evil and sinful.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
      • MakingSense

        No, you do hurt the future of your children teaching them that being gays is normal. On what will they base morality if you teach them that life is a free-for-all thing.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • David Nelson

        If you don't believe in religion... then you don't believe in sin. So who cares if they think you are sinful.

        However, religion does not teach that gays are evil. Sorry, you can't piggy back a lie on truth and make them both the truth.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • donna

          That's not piggybacking. You really have a hard time with language huh? Telling people they are sinful and evil and wrong for existing can be harmful to them regardless of what I believe or even what they believe.

          And passing laws that legally restrict the lives of others based on religious believes will impact that restricted group regardless of what their believes are. Why is that so difficult for you to understand David?

          If gay marriage is banned by people who do so because of religious beliefs, that ban impacts everyone not just those who are religious. Do you get that yet? DO i need to rephrase it or spell it out anymore?

          September 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  19. Water to Whine

    Evil does not exist exclusively within one belief system. It exists everywhere. The same is true of morality. It's time for the world to accept this and stop finding platforms to judge each other. ALL who judge are hypocrites.

    September 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  20. anilsk

    When you beleivers get sick or an accident why you go to a hospital instead go to a church and pray your god and see if you will survive ?

    September 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • David Nelson

      1990 called, they want their troll back. Tired.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Christian

      thats pretty simple, God no longer performs miracles as such. It would be sort of hard to have free will if every time you got sick God healed you.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • G to the T

        Odd then that he wasn't concerned about free will 2k years ago and during the time of the apostles... How about this? I only ask for the same proof given to Thomas. Is that truly unreasonable?

        September 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Kenneth

      Or, you can go to the doctor and thank whatever deity you believe in that he gave people the brains to develop medicine.

      September 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • David Nelson

        Funny enough, during the black plague Christians had a lower mortality rate than other groups because they took the time to treat each with whatever medicine was available at the time. "Other groups" stayed as far away as possible.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Lilith

          Hiding in monasteries will do that every time.

          September 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • Robert

          bzzzt wrong; during the black death xianity was the dominant religion. Who were those millions that died from the plague? Wiccans? Actually the Jewish communities because of their cultural laws about cleanliness were the least affected by the plague. Do you lie because you are Xian or just a liar innately?

          September 14, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
      • MakingSense

        That will be a challenge for atheists to understand that concept.

        September 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • nojinx

          We understand it fine. We just don't have any reason to believe it.

          September 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • david

      Good chance that hospital has the term Saint, Presbyterian or Jewish in it....

      September 14, 2013 at 4:24 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.