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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. Jack

    Religion is merely an organized effort to understand the unexplainable. No matter which label you fall under (atheist, [insert organized religions], agnostic, etc), you also ponder the questions and seek the answers that [insert organized religion] seeks. The greater understanding of our existence is found in mathematics, science, art, relationships, experiences, etc etc etc. Of much merit is the pursuit to organize together, while passing knowledge from generation to generation, in an effort to touch the nature of our existence, so that we may not take for granted this precious life that we have been given (yes, you were given this life. If by nothing else, the known universe of approximately 14B years in age).

    It is annoying when a non-christian judges a christian, proclaiming to know that the belief systems, activities, and processes of a christian are "wrong." It is equally annoying when a christian judges a non-christian, proclaiming the same thing.

    Please remember that labels are labels. They only go so far. No two people believe exactly the same thing, because no two people are exactly alike.

    Look up pantheism. Einstein was a pantheist. As are many christians, including this one.

    September 15, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      "Religion is merely an organized effort to understand the unexplainable"

      Religion is merely an organized effort to abuse the unexplainable in order to gain power and an easy life....well before celebrities took the stage.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:51 am |
  2. James

    No deal. I think BS should be exposed and Dawkins was dead wrong on this- let him suffer for it. Let Pat Robertson pay for his as well. As others have pointed out, religion has thousands of years of failure to own up to and it would be a travesty to let those tax cheats off the hook because an atheist said something stupid.

    September 15, 2013 at 4:38 am |
    • donna

      What exactly do you think Dawkins was wrong about?

      September 15, 2013 at 4:46 am |
    • Your superior

      Don't u see its not religions that has thousands of years of failure it's man. Regardless of what man is a part of(religion or not) he is fallible. Christianity doesn't make one perfect, it makes them forgiven. No matter how much a Christian strives for perfection he will always fall short. That's why we need Jesus.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:47 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        "Christianity doesn't make one perfect, it makes them forgiven."

        No you're not.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:55 am |
        • Your superior

          What proof do u have that I'm not forgiven?

          September 15, 2013 at 5:11 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          What proof do you have?, again; you're the one making nonsense statements along those (and other) lines.

          And forgiven what?...not being perfect?...so what?

          September 15, 2013 at 5:16 am |
  3. Praise da Jeebus

    Written in 1280 BC, The Book of the Dead describes a God, Horus... Horus is the son of the god Osiris... born to a virgin mother. He was baptized in a river by Anup the Baptizer... who was later beheaded. Like Jesus, Horus was tempted while alone in the desert... Healed the sick... The blind... Cast out demons... And walked on water... He raised Asar from the dead. 'Asar' translates to 'Lazarus'. Oh yeah, he also had 12 disciples. Yes, Horus was crucified first... And after 3 days, two women announced... Horus, the savior of humanity... had been resurrected.

    September 15, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • Your superior

      So you're relying on bill maher for your religious information? That guys an idiot. He hates Christians. Do your own research next time.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:34 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        Did Bill write The Book of the Dead?...jezus!

        September 15, 2013 at 4:39 am |
      • Your superior

        Wow that was verbatim, too. Honestly do more research. Here's a link for you
        http://www.jonsorensen.net/2012/10/25/horus-manure-debunking-the-jesushorus-connection/

        September 15, 2013 at 4:41 am |
        • Your superior

          Every u should take a look too. Do u some good

          September 15, 2013 at 4:42 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          Deal!, if you check out what was the norm at the feet of the pyramids.

          Quite frankly it's ALL plagiarism.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:43 am |
      • Infidel-!

        Remember, We're all born atheists until an adult starts telling us lies.

        My wife and I were raised Catholic but thankfully have both turned our backs on that childish, degrading nonsense.
        We teach our 2 children to think for themselves, to question everything and worship nothing, especially your particular imaginary being. Christians you a free to believe in whatever bs you want but don't expect others to respect your beliefs. What you get from me is mockery, ridicule and contempt.

        September 15, 2013 at 5:00 am |
        • Your superior

          Is it right to mock those u do not agree with? Is it right if I mock u for ur belief in no God? Will u not only mock Christian's but also mock other religions? Say how bout u go mocking the Muslims? In fact I think u should start in Saudi Arabia. I'll buy ur plane ticket.

          September 15, 2013 at 5:14 am |
    • Gary

      There's an interesting analysis of this story over on straightdope dot com (search for "Was Jesus copied from the Egyptian god Horus?"). If the analysis is accurate, it doesn't sound like the Jesus/Horus connection holds water.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:45 am |
  4. Rick

    Hey, believers in mythical beings, how about you start paying taxes for your "religious" endeavors like any other business and we atheists might have less of a problem with you. Oh, that and stop trying to have laws made and enforced based on your belief in said mythical beings.

    September 15, 2013 at 4:14 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      I happen to know plenty more folks who know how to dodge taxes...actually money itself is a religious thingy....funny how we all are taught to believe in it!

      September 15, 2013 at 4:16 am |
    • Kate

      Well said Rick. Not sure if the author realizes how absurd this whole truce article is?

      September 15, 2013 at 4:32 am |
    • Your superior

      The true church is not a business. It is a non profit. There is a difference.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:36 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        Nothing is (a) business.....that too is make believe.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:40 am |
      • Infidel-!

        Your Superior: For the record, I have even less respect for Islam.
        I think you can probably guess what I think of Scientology, Mormonism and the rest of them. Cults, every last one of them.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhN6CG1zCRc

        September 15, 2013 at 5:33 am |
        • Your superior

          Old British fellow hit the nail on the head. Lol

          September 15, 2013 at 5:47 am |
  5. Vic

    The plain fact is religion must die for mankind to live.

    The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge in having key decisions made by religious people – by irrationalists – by those who would steer the ship of state, not by a compass, but by the equivalent of reading the entrails of a chicken.

    September 15, 2013 at 4:06 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      That's kinda funny 'cause peace only comes to mind when make believe stuff like countries no longer are being a mandatory "thing" to absorb before one (and a bunch of others) even comes to make individual observations.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:10 am |
    • Your superior

      How do you propose to kill the 'religions?'

      September 15, 2013 at 4:26 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        One doesn't have to kill in order for something to die (out).

        Fact is however that there's way more stuff which is "based" on make believe than the gods by them"selves" could ever fantasies together.

        Only a sense of realism can change that, and no, that's not about nations and dough either, nor the "rights" to inherit or to declare anything else along those lines to be truthful, 'cause' that's what it ALL boils down to.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:36 am |
  6. Shake & Bake

    When I was a kid I believed in:

    Santa Clause
    The Tooth Fairy
    The Easter Bunny
    The Monster Under My Bed
    Bigfoot
    God

    Then I grew up.

    Don't you think it's time we all put aside childish thins and grow up?

    September 15, 2013 at 4:00 am |
    • *

      *Claus, not Clause (dang that Tim Allen movie!)

      September 15, 2013 at 4:03 am |
    • 1Twolf7

      Scary..... there Shake- A question....... When you are all alone with your thoughts, your perversions, your darkness, your hidden secrets, do you ever hear anything? God is real, and if you sincerely ask Him to reveal Himself to you, He will. However, if you blatantly turn your back on Him, and you die, there is NO SECOND CHANCE. Do you really want to risk screaming that there is no God, when you are not even heeding that nudging that's going on inside you even right now? Check it out man, before its tooooooo late- May the Real God that created you, open your eyes to the TRIUTH-

      September 15, 2013 at 4:09 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        Lots of letters but you're not saying a single thing.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:18 am |
        • turd merger

          Don't you love when they admit that they believe in God out if fear of retribution. Makes me chuckle.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:29 am |
      • Kate

        Nothing scary about what Steak said. But you on the other hand. Check out a great new thing called s-c-i-e-n-c-e. Your book is all myth friend. Good luck with that...

        September 15, 2013 at 4:36 am |
        • Your superior

          Very condescending of you Kate. No tell me how science disproves God.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:56 am |
      • NavinJay

        Ultimate truth with no evidence is no truth at all.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:53 am |
      • Your superior

        I thought he said a lot there evert. Well said 1twolf7!

        September 15, 2013 at 4:54 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          As much as fear might seem real, it's playing with emotions by creating them first.

          September 15, 2013 at 5:09 am |
        • awasis

          I can't disprove Santa Claus 100%. So should we have to disprove Santa Claus too, before we can say he doesn't exist? Your argument is weak.

          September 15, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • Your superior

      Do you believe in evolution?

      September 15, 2013 at 4:27 am |
      • NavinJay

        No. I accept the validity of evolution based on facts. Just like I don't "believe" 1+1=2. There are no facts when you have religion. that's why you MUST use the word "belief"...

        September 15, 2013 at 4:55 am |
        • Your superior

          There are no facts that prove evolution. Only a theory which there's more proof against.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:58 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        Do you believe in money?

        September 15, 2013 at 4:57 am |
      • NavinJay

        Proving God with the Bible is like proving Spiderman with a comic book. Face it, religion has no facts. Think about this. If everyone worshiped and prayed to 1+1=2 and had "beliefs" in it and was forcing people into accepting it, would you might think maybe 1+1 doesn't equal 2? Do you think there is a reason why there is no religion around 1+1=2?

        September 15, 2013 at 5:04 am |
      • awasis

        Evolution and the age of the Earth and the Universe came about by the observation of physical facts, such as fossils, knowledge of genetics, comparative physiology, mutations, rock formations, plate tectonics, geological processes (not only on this planet but others), the observation of formation new stars and planetary systems and other processes out in space. All of this obtained over many years, verified by different people under per review. The Creationist story comes from ignorant tribes people that knew nothing of Science. They tried to understand things by making up stories, such that they believe in talking snakes.

        September 15, 2013 at 7:45 am |
    • Jojo McBiteme

      At least there is a chance that Bigfoot is real. Go 'Squatch!

      September 15, 2013 at 4:36 am |
  7. Damon Montano

    Well here's the thing. The people you talk about are the minority, we are social animals and we play team sports. And team leaders speak for the vast majority. So maybe you want to split the teams but you aren't gonna take Richard Dawkins off out team honey. He vastly out-ranks each and every Christian "thinker" on your team, so, nice try. If you want you can ditch Pat Robertson but honestly, it doesn't matter. You are losing and you will lose. You can only push fairy tales so long before your own people begin walking away in droves.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:58 am |
  8. Shake & Bake

    Flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      Erecting those "middle fingers" too.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:04 am |
    • Your superior

      Big difference between Islam and Christianity. Even u should know that. Christianity preaches love and forgiveness. If u don't wanna subscribe them fine. Islam preaches hatred and violence. If u don't wanna subscribe then they kill u.

      September 15, 2013 at 5:51 am |
  9. Praise Jeebus Ya'll!

    Hey Christians let's make a deal.

    Prove that your invisible sky daddy exists or shut up.

    Imaginary friends are for children.

    Time to grow up.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:50 am |
    • David

      Bingo

      September 15, 2013 at 3:53 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      "Imaginary friends are for children."

      Absolutely, "just" like nations and the alike.,,,,non of it really exist.

      Maybe it's all nothing but politics?...utterly nonsense.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:54 am |
      • WilltheFree

        I candidly have no idea from your comments whether you agree or disagree with him.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:54 am |
        • Damon Montano

          precisely my thoughts...isn't it funny how we ALL focus on the 1 and the 0, the yes and the no.

          September 15, 2013 at 3:59 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          Neither, is that a problem?

          September 15, 2013 at 4:11 am |
    • 1Twolf7

      Uhhhhhhh........ Barack Obama is a Christian? Uhhhh no..... I surely do not think so. Just because he might mimic that statement from his lips, does not get him into the book of life. Surely You as a believer should recognize his "Fruit" is surely not consistent with a follower of Christ, Huh? You were on a roll their until you threw that one out there-

      September 15, 2013 at 4:00 am |
  10. Rob

    Great message. I rarely reply, but you hit the nail on the head. I'm an atheist, and I cringe at Richard Dawkins. In fact, I find the atheist label to be really, really unimportant. I'm a human being and I'm connected to all the rest of my fellow 7 billion inhabitants. I'm committed to seeing what's similar about us rather than what is different.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      And what makes you an a-theist?

      September 15, 2013 at 3:41 am |
      • WilltheFree

        Most atheists don't believe there is a divine being. Or accept that there is no proof that there is a divine being. Is this an honest question or were you trying to solicit a certain response?

        September 15, 2013 at 3:49 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          I'm not the one labeling, so therefore I'm "just" me.

          A-theists don't exist, theists neither but for "those" the same "reasoning" goes up as for let's say...an "american"......they point to the planet, do a little dance, sing a false song and declare something to be a "fact".

          September 15, 2013 at 3:58 am |
    • Your superior

      I totally agree, Rob. There's no reason to hate each other just cause we have different beliefs.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:49 am |
      • I Don't Get It

        Then you mosey in here and tell us that you are our superior...?!

        September 15, 2013 at 3:53 am |
      • asdfghjkl

        True that. I hate the ideas and ways of thinking not the people who hold them. Nevertheless, I think one vital part of living is realizing how intricate a part you are in the system. As Rumi once said, you are not just the drop in the ocean, you are also the mighty ocean in the drop.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:53 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        In order to be able to believe something you too have to make an observation first.......................................................then reason and who knows you might even come to any conclusion.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:00 am |
  11. Prometheus

    I say we roll the dice and let the dice tell the tale.

    No agreements.

    I am not against you. I am just not FOR you and your views.

    Here is Religion:

    "The world is round? No way...heresy" Later it is proved round. No apology for either the incorrect viewpoint or the people killed or ruined that believed that.

    "The Earth revolves around the Sun? Heresy." Same outcome.

    Throughout history, any advancement of society with a scientific or technological aspect has been help back upon pain of death if it was deemed against the current religious mindset.

    So too are the many human cultural advances prey to religion.

    Agreement?

    No.

    Such an agreement would favor the religious too much.

    I say roll the dice...

    September 15, 2013 at 3:34 am |
    • Your superior

      I agree. No deal. Let the religious be religious and the atheist be damned.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:39 am |
      • asdfghjkl

        Very Christian of you.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:41 am |
        • Your superior

          Are atheist just against Christians? I never said I was a Christian. Why don't atheist ever go after Muslims? It's always Christian's. and what's so anti Christian about what I said? I thought atheist were all about the 'facts'

          September 15, 2013 at 3:52 am |
        • Webster

          Again, the plural (over one) of atheist is atheists. Do you have a lisp or are you just dense?

          September 15, 2013 at 3:56 am |
        • Damon Montano

          Of course Atheists go after Muslims too. Don't be silly. Its just that Christians only get half the message when you include criticism of Muslims in a sentence because their minds work opposite of logical. So to focus their mind correctly you just bash the Christians. We atheists have to be flexible in how we berate the goons.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:05 am |
  12. Doug from Seattle

    What caused your so-called creator to be?

    September 15, 2013 at 3:33 am |
    • Your superior

      I'm just asking a question. Do you have the answer?

      September 15, 2013 at 3:37 am |
      • asdfghjkl

        Do you have an answer to his question?

        September 15, 2013 at 3:40 am |
    • Kalid

      Doug, my belief states that my creator always was, and always will be. It's ok for you to not believe that, but in response I will ask, what was before the Universe, and what will be after it? Just because I don't fully understand something, doesn't mean it isn't real. I don't fully understand how atoms work, but I know they are real. I don't really understand how the Universe was created, but I know it was. I also don't understand everything about my creator, but I know he exists. I know that not everything that ever is or was will have an explanation, and that's ok to me, because I would rather spend my time in greater pursuits than trying to argue with someone with a different view than me about someone I know we will never agree about. However we should respect each other's views, and not think one is crazy for believing in the boogie man, or that one is damned and going to hell.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:27 am |
      • dave

        What was there before the number 1?

        September 18, 2013 at 2:59 am |
  13. bill

    If you are religious in this day and age, you are ignorant to everything around you. You have no good explanation on how we were created and evolved. Your arguments are all bad, in every way possible. Open up your eyes.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • Your superior

      How were we created and evolved, bill?

      September 15, 2013 at 3:22 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        Who says you're "created"?

        September 15, 2013 at 3:36 am |
        • Jimbo Fisher

          Are you saying that you genetically manufactured from a lab somewhere in the middle of the desert?

          September 15, 2013 at 3:44 am |
        • Evert van Vliet

          I'm NOT the one making any statement along any of those lines Jimbo.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:13 am |
      • asdfghjkl

        Magic?

        September 15, 2013 at 3:40 am |
      • doobzz

        Christians are so lazy about learning anything new. They are so used to having someone tell them what to think that it's a big effort to read anything that is different from what they hear in church.

        Crack open a science book and read how it happened for yourself. Spoiler alert: It's not mud and fairy spit.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:44 am |
        • Your superior

          Not mud and fairy spit. Nice. More arrogance from an atheist. What was it then? Pls tell me

          September 15, 2013 at 5:23 am |
        • doobzz

          We don't have all the answers yet. That is the only truthful response.

          Mud and fairy spit is very far down on the list of possible answers though.

          September 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Kalid

      Bill, could you then tell us please how we came to be? And evolution is not a good answer, what did we evolve from? And don't stop the chain at apes, before that, and before that, and before that? Where did life come from? What caused a molecule to take on life? Is there an answer for that? I don't think there is... but maybe in the literally dozens of "science books" I have read I missed that page. Very interested in your answer, thanks.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:30 am |
  14. Rogue351

    Hey Christians, Jews, Islam lets make a deal. Stop passing laws and asserting your belief system on everyone. How about you keep your religion to yourself. Practice it, believe in it, pray to whomever you choose. But, when you make choices that involve all of us regarding education, a countries religious message, basically anything that lumps all of us together as Americans we keep religion out of it. How about that. When was the last time an atheists knocked on your door trying to convince you of one think or another ? Never ! You may also know that just because you are religious and other people are not it does NOT mean you can discriminate against them for what they don't believe in. That is childish and from what I understand goes against biblical teachings. If you want your kids to think the earth is only 6000 years old and men actually rode around on dinosaurs that is fine teach them that. But Do Not expect everyone to ignore science just because of what you think to be true. So hear is the deal, let gay people marry, it is not about your religion it is about their love. I don't see churches lining up and opening orphanages to take in every single un-wanted child so lay of the abortion people, it is a choice they will have to live with for the rest of their life, not you. Still on abortion I agree with most of you on later term. Guns, how is it that owning a gun has become so Christian ? Guns in NO Way shape or form fit into the how you should religiously treat your fellow human being. By your guns but be responsible for your guns. If they are stollen and used in a criminal act you hold some part of the responsibility. Your kids, not everyone like kids screaming and running around a movie or a restaurant. Some of us actually go out to dinner to relax. Not to be bothered by your kids. Remember this is America, we have freedom of religion and we also have freedom not to practice or be involved in religion. So here is the deal, if you want to keep your tax exempt status keep politics and matters of LAW out of your sermons. Have some respect for atheists.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • Your superior

      What caused the universe to be?

      September 15, 2013 at 3:19 am |
      • Doug from Seattle

        What caused your so-called creator to be?

        September 15, 2013 at 3:35 am |
      • asdfghjkl

        Not knowing scientifically what is the cause of the Universe, does not equate "God". That's just a cop out. Whatever is the cause of the Universe is itself a reality (obviously) and the Universe is an extension of it. It may be self-caused or it may be another substance which is caused. The point is, no one knows. Nevertheless, your conception of a being creating the world AND being separate from the world (as in, not being the world itself as well) is erroneous. Why? Because if you believe God is infinite, then the Universe (thus all things of the Universe) are an extension of God, hence everything is God. Thus, I and you and Hitler and the Jews, all is part of infinity. Your idea of the "cause" being separate from the world, is erroneous, illogical and simply lazy thinking. No offense, but there is a much more beautiful reality out there to know than your simplistic Abrahamic conception of what a deity is. Drop the mythology and realize the "divinity" within. Science is the closest to objective truth. Religions and philosophies of the world should also be studied because they all contain worthwhile ideas that can enhance our scientific and spiritual understandings. Holding on to one religion, especially one as simplistic as Christianity, is a damn waste of time.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:36 am |
        • Your superior

          The truth is, no one knows. Your words. Yet you claim to know for sure God doesn't exist.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:07 am |
      • Rogue351

        Your superior – your name is very telling. Are you "Your superior" because you beleive in god ? Does your beleife cause you to hate those who you view as below you ? Does it make you better than everyone else ? Was Jesus "better" than everyone else ? is that what Jesus taught ?

        September 15, 2013 at 3:36 am |
        • Your superior

          The only hate I see here is directed at Christianity from atheist. Lots of hatred towards a faith that wants you to reconcile with God thru His Son. Why don't atheist direct any of their hatred towards Muslims? They're the ones going around killing those who simply disagree with them.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:06 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        Why are you asking questions you don't truly want any answers to besides what's been taught to you to be the one and only "answer"?

        September 15, 2013 at 3:41 am |
      • Damon Montano

        What caused the Universe to be...GD only a religidiot would ask an unknowable question and somehow siphon a sense of superiority.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:09 am |
        • Your superior

          It's an 'unknowable question' yet you claim to know it wasn't a creator. How is that?

          September 15, 2013 at 4:19 am |
  15. Your superior

    What caused all things to be?

    September 15, 2013 at 3:10 am |
    • asdfghjkl

      That which is.

      Here's a simple proof to understand.

      If God exists, as is believed in many religions God is infinite. Infinity means all that is. Hence, there is no such thing as not-God. Hence, I, and anything, is God in a finite and imperfect form. Here you go, I just disproved your conception of the Abrahamic God who is believed to be the cause of the effect (world). You're welcome.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • Chris

      Certainly wasn't some magic man in the sky.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • pinostabaum

      there is this great phrase. it is almost a requirement if you are to learn something new. you should try to get comfortable with it, as it is the only honest answer to your question: "i do not know"

      September 15, 2013 at 3:41 am |
      • Your superior

        Another condescending answer from another arrogant atheist. If u truly do not know then how can you say there wasn't a creator? Most likely it's that ur arrogant self can't imagine a higher being. U refuse to believe that something created u. Out of the question. Not u. No sir. No way.

        September 15, 2013 at 5:28 am |
    • Rick

      So when proposed a question you don't have the answer to your response is always, God did it? Wow. I don't know how lots of things work, sure doesn't mean I blame/give credit to the great white unicorn in the sky or whatever the belief of the time/place happens to be.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:19 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      That's a scientific question and "you" demand an instant answer while our monkey-species took for ever to learn how to count to ten (10) on our fingers?

      September 15, 2013 at 4:48 am |
  16. jdoe

    Just like any other group, not all atheists are the same. Most are not vocal at all. They're in the minority and would rather keep quiet. Many see the effect of too much religion in government in other countries, and simply do not want the same happening here. Many don't like the vocal atheists giving them a bad name.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:09 am |
    • Your superior

      The opposite is happening here. Since its beginning the Christian faith has played a vital role in America and her governance. More and more these last 60+ years it has declined dramatically. Liberalism has played a huge role in that. Thus as you can see America herself has been in decline.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:14 am |
      • Rogue351

        And exactly how many wars the world over have been fought over religion ? If anything religion and division of religion is exactly what brings down a country. Look at what it did in Ireland, what it is doing in the middle east right now.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:41 am |
        • Your superior

          How many people have been slaughtered by atheist? Stalin? Lenin? Pol pot? Hitler? And the Middle East is violent because the vast majority of people are Muslims and Islam is and always has been a violent religion where the 'peaceful' Muslim is the exception. Plus the Bible has predicted what is happening in the Middle East. Maybe if you all would read that which you claim to know is a 'fairy tale' you would actually have some understanding. Start with the new testiment. It's all about love and forgiveness.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:14 am |
      • Damon Montano

        Your thinking is unbearably childish.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:11 am |
        • Rick

          Stalin etc did NOT commit their atrocities out of their belief in atheism though. But since you are into childish logic how about the fact that Hitler was pretty big on Christianity? Check and mate, by your own incredibly faulty logic that is.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:22 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      Causation does not equal correlation.

      Here's one for you: Apples fall from the tree when they are ripe. Gravity makes apples fall from the tree. Therefore, gravity ripens fruit.

      You don't have to look very hard to see reason America is in decline. All empires collapse for pretty much the same reasons. Just read your history more than you're bible and you'll be only your way to figuring out how the world works.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:32 am |
    • Your superior

      Ok Rick here's the deal. Hitler used Christianity to control the people. He was no Christian. IT was just a tool for him to use the masses. Just like the false Christian we have as president uses it wen he thinks it'll benefit him. And check and mate? Really? What r u 12? Of course ur proving my point about the arrogance of atheists.

      September 15, 2013 at 5:34 am |
  17. Tony Allegra

    Mr. Obama is not a Christian. He is a muslim socialist

    September 15, 2013 at 3:08 am |
    • Your superior

      So true

      September 15, 2013 at 3:10 am |
      • G to the T

        So prove it. If he's got the "the wrong tartan" show what the right one is...

        September 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
  18. Your superior

    Atheist. Those who are truly on a highway to hell.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:05 am |
    • asdfghjkl

      If God is Infinite, there is no such thing as not-God. Your idea of hell precedes Christianity. It was made up by prior mythologies and Abrahamic religions simply adopted and adapted it. It's a fairy tale.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:29 am |
      • Your superior

        Aren't you being narrow minded by assuming I'm a Christian? Christianity is a branch off of Judaism. Abraham is the patriarch of Judaism. Other mythologies adopted it.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:46 am |
        • asdfghjkl

          Judaism itself developed from Zoroastrianism and Egyptian monotheism. It's adaptations all the way down. The point stands, and you have obviously avoided the irrefutable logic of my post. I understand though.

          September 15, 2013 at 3:50 am |
        • G to the T

          I'd say he's being astute. Based on the hell reference, it's fairly safe bet at christianity or islam. You could be a muslim, but your other answers don't line up with that assumption in my estimation so christian seems a good bet...

          September 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
      • Your superior

        I don't avoid things. Your post was pointless dribble. Bordering on hateful.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:56 am |
        • asdfghjkl

          Then you are denser than I thought. Know your religion before you come to debate at least.

          September 15, 2013 at 4:11 am |
    • GodFreeNow

      I've actually been on the highway to hell. It's I-75 and takes you straight down to south Georgia.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:35 am |
      • Your superior

        Yeah but they make some killer sweet iced tea. 🙂

        September 15, 2013 at 3:47 am |
        • GodFreeNow

          Devil's brew. 🙂

          September 15, 2013 at 3:52 am |
      • Jojo McBiteme

        amen, brother.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:51 am |
    • Damon Montano

      I don't even know why I reply to these theists....they have no capability to think for themselves. They only repeat what they were told not to question. It's SO annoying trying to have an intelligent conversation with them.

      September 15, 2013 at 4:13 am |
      • Your superior

        What intelligent conversation? Seems all you can do is insult those who don't agree with you. And what is it you're doing but repeat that which you've been told not to question?

        September 15, 2013 at 4:22 am |
      • Rick

        hahahahahahahahah

        September 15, 2013 at 4:24 am |
      • Jojo McBiteme

        Repeat what they were told not to question? what the hell does that mean? You say atheist can't think for themselves yet you quote from a book you didn't write, written by people you didn't know, about an invisible man in the sky. To quote some crap you people have a habit of spewing, practice what you preach. You are just another in a long line of deluded sheep following a shepherd that doesn't exist to a place that you can never reach.

        September 15, 2013 at 4:47 am |
        • Your superior

          I never said atheists can't think for themselves. I was merely pointing out that he was doing that which he accused me of doing. Also I do practice what I preach. How about u? Do u live by the same standards u set for others? Cause to me ur just some rude coward who dogs and insults others for their beliefs but can't explain why you believe what you do.

          September 15, 2013 at 5:40 am |
    • Seb45

      Jews don't believe in life after death therefore they do not believe in heaven or hell. Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism and hell was created by the Christians to scare the people into believing.

      September 15, 2013 at 6:47 am |
  19. Evert van Vliet

    Don't call me an a-theist!...quite frankly, don't call me at all, the deal is off theists!
    The arrogance to call me anything but me.

    September 15, 2013 at 3:03 am |
  20. Your superior

    Atheist. Most arrogant people ever.

    September 15, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • FAH

      True. I don't get what the big deal is whichever way you choose.

      September 15, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • Chris

      You clearly aren't a student of history.

      September 15, 2013 at 2:51 am |
      • Your superior

        More arrogance here.

        September 15, 2013 at 2:53 am |
        • Chris

          Says "Your Superior"

          September 15, 2013 at 2:55 am |
    • Evert van Vliet

      You're right, 'cause they only "exist" by the "grace" of "your" arrogance.

      September 15, 2013 at 3:07 am |
    • byst1nder

      But your message just disproves it. Why not just go along with the Author and say its better if we don't attack one another.

      Or better yet, change your religion... Christianity is about forgiveness...not finger pointing

      September 15, 2013 at 3:13 am |
      • I Don't Get It

        What is a bystonender?

        September 15, 2013 at 3:23 am |
      • Evert van Vliet

        It's that easy now isn't it?....all "good"= christianity, so what leaves that for the rest of us?...let's make a deal???
        Oh well, I guess I'll be forgiven to kindly refuse, and no I won't forgive you for claiming utterly nonsense to be the real deal unless it deals with your very own mental state.

        September 15, 2013 at 3:36 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I find the conceit that The Creator of the universe is anthropocentric and anthropomorphic to be terrifically arrogant.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:20 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.