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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. Tallgrass05

    "Truth" is relative, and "truth" will never overcome religious or ideological dogma. People like Pat Robertson and the Pope believe they speak the truth. I don't care what they believe as long as they don't try to force their "truth" on others via the government and public education.

    September 15, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Chiil Out

      "Truth" is not relative. We don't have to live on the moon to understand that lunar gravity is 1/6 of Earth's. That truth holds whether we are physically there or not. Science has proven many truths. Saying "truth is relative" is like saying there are multiple answers to Goldbach's conjecture theory.

      Maybe I don't understand your comment. Please name one truth that is relative.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:34 am |
      • sam stone

        the "truth" of god is relative, since there is no way to prove or disprove it. it varies by culture

        September 15, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • G to the T

        I think they were going for "truth" in the philosophical sense more so than truth = fact.

        September 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  2. Hell and destruction are never full

    Using the scientific definition of fact is disingenuous. You always leave yasef a way out since it's NOT the FINAL word. That is endless and demands endless sacrifices. How 'bout the Science Church carry its own weight since it refuses to issue dividend checks??
    That's the pwoblem with socie scientists, spread the pain and hawg the gain.

    September 15, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  3. Vet-SK

    There are real effects of being religious. The religious have their little clicks with church and use them to their advantage in the work environment. I was told you want a teaching job here, come to our church. In Iraq it was the religious guys who moralized saying Iraqis were not as important as us because they were not Christians. And you can't reason with them because they believe what they believe and the've been taught all their lives to moralize (falsely).
    It Does Make A Difference.

    September 15, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • M

      That's true. It's not fair, but true.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • joe

      Interesting article Rachel held evans. Needs alittle more commitment though

      September 15, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • joe

      That statement about Iraqis not being important is a lie! And you know it. Every word uttered from your lips you will be accountable for. Every single one.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • Vet-SK

        You think so. There's plenty of evidence of iwritten about it in outside, articles, beyond what I have seen and wrote here. Iraq was the 21 Century Crusade.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  4. Monty

    Here is an even better deal...
    All you ignorant religious nuts go to heaven NOW! and leave the earth for rest of us.

    September 15, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • M

      And just who did you manage to persuade with that hateful statement? No wonder why religious folks see atheists as "angry."

      September 15, 2013 at 10:22 am |
      • Monty

        Not hateful dude. You guys want to go to heaven ASAP right? Bring it on the "rapture". Go meet your bearded dude in white robe sitting up on a cloud. LOL. At this day and age, ignorant people who still spend Sundays kissing up to a imaginary friend should not be allowed to procreate.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:32 am |
      • coby7016

        MY question is "If heaven is so wonderful, why their followers don't rush going there?"

        September 15, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • joe

      Monty,,,brother we want you with us. Truth is were not the ones leaving here,a New Heaven and a New earth,,were staying its the others that are going Monty??? Are You Ready ??

      September 15, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • Monty

        F you and your god.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • counter

          You sound like you need psych help. get some.

          Swearing at people on a blog. What is wrong with you?

          September 15, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Trigger

      Amen brother. I can't figure out how anything that dies and goes in the ground starts flying lol. The Christian "hate the earth and everything in it". Campaign if they could stop that I would appreciate it. Or the "Work with your own hands quietly. Be obedient to authority (that ones left to the imagination). If they could cease doing that. If they could quit calling the earth under the control of the devil. Everything they think about has to do with invisibility. Things they can't see. Everything they worship has to do with someone they didn't know. A book they believe in that well they have thousands of books in Barnes and Noble. They fear being in fire which even animals run from. So that's not beyond instinct. Use your head.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  5. mjbrin

    can we change it from christians to theists?
    then the discussion would make more sense to me.
    Since atheists simply don't believe in any deity and theists believe in at least one.

    September 15, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • sybaris

      I think "Religionists" is a more appropriate and inclusive term as it implies an agenda theists have.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:16 am |
      • Lisa

        I like the term "Salvationists" as it fits many churches whose lectures are exclusively about ticket-to-heaven and they drill it over and over with no other content.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • M

      True. It is between atheism and theism.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  6. Roybe

    If god exists...provide the proof. It is not the job of the skeptic to prove non-existence.

    September 15, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • mary

      there's no proof. they believe cause its fun

      September 15, 2013 at 10:13 am |
      • Monty

        They believe because they do not think.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:17 am |
        • kati let's pay for your daughter's lifelong hospitalization

          They don't have brains

          September 15, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • kati let's pay for your daughter's lifelong hospitalization

          They r subhuman. They r parasites.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  7. Enlightened

    On Dawkin's comment about the number of Nobel prizes won by Muslims, he was merely stating an observed fact. What is so bad about the truth?

    September 15, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      The truth does not work in favor of believers .. that's why they're called "believers" and they look for any reason to complain about facts.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • counter

        Moronic. Not a truth is provable empirically . Common sense tells us there is a creator. atheists just don't want to be held accountable but after the short time on this earth, the surprise is on them.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Monty

          You think Mary got pregnant without spreading her brown legs? Yes or NO?

          September 15, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • Lisa

          That's funny. So why would you think atheists don't want to be "held accountable"? Held accountable for what? You see them as evil or bad people who enjoy doing harm to others? Or did you just mean "held accountable" for not believing?

          September 15, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • Hey! You!

          'Not a truth is provable empirically.' Please explain.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • jens gessner

          These days, common sense is most often used as a rhetorical appeal to authority and thus a fallacious argument. There are probably very few 'facts' and concepts that are not debatable, and the concept of a supernatural, omnipotent being is definitely not one of them.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:31 am |
        • Godly Woman

          It's both Lisa. Atheist will be accountable for not wanting to believe in the truth and for te bads things they have done on earth.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • Damocles

          @counter

          Seriously? I'm held accountable for my actions all day, every day, by friends, family, co-workers, the law, and myself.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • jens gessner

          The difference is that I will be held accountable for EVERYTHING that I do, not in a distant, inconceivable afterlife, but right here on earth, which is the only thing that should matter.

          The Christian concept of god's forgiveness is illogical to me, because it allows for mass murderers to go to their heaven – after they repent, while otherwise good and honest people will to to hell, for the simple' infraction' of not believing.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • counter

          We all have sin in our lives. I have no idea if a mass murderer who does or does not repent makes it. EXAMINE your own life, and then make trip to the cross of Christ. Don't worry about what others did or did not do.

          September 15, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • Damocles

          @jens

          Exactly. They may say that the murderer really has to want to repent, but how would that be determined? You would have to take the killer at his or her word and would have to believe that, yes, this person then got into heaven. As far as I know, no person has spoken with any dead murderer, or dead saint for that matter, to find out if they are in heaven or not.

          September 15, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • M

      Because he was doing it to ridicule. He was not just stating a fact.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  8. sldimond

    Rachel, Thanks for the offer but I respectfully decline. I will believe in what I feel is right. You do the same. I won't judge you and expect the same in return. As to the Pats and other outspoken people, they have the right to believe in what they wish and thanks to "free speech" can spew what they want. I have the choice to listen or not listen. It is all very simple once you accept that others can be how they are and believe in what they decide. It is a choice. My choice, your choice and their choice. We do not need to agree and we do not need to go to war when we don't agree.

    September 15, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • snowboarder

      I do not agree that "belief" is a choice. I do not have the ability to force myself to believe anything.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • M

        If it is not a choice, in view of facts, then what is it?

        September 15, 2013 at 10:25 am |
        • fnordz

          It's not a choice in the sense that a person cannot force themselves to believe any more than a person can force themselves not to. Belief just is, or isn't. It's not a switch one can turn on or off at will, it happens when the requisite amount of evidence/proof/substantiation or motivation exists, which tends to be different for everyone.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Lisa

        Good point. Many are brainwashed at an early age to believe and many of them find it difficult to cast off.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:25 am |
      • OhTheFreeWill

        A required response to the given environmental stimuli. (Eg. Parental guidance, community, peer pressure, etc.)

        September 15, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  9. Jimmy

    A religon in which the "crazies" are those that follow the rules of the Bible to the word is a fundamentally flawed religon.

    September 15, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  10. Someone

    You say at the end of your article that you are interested in the truth. If you were interested in truth, you would not believe in stupid things like resurrection, virgin births and talking donkeys. I'm just glad we atheists now ave freedom to speak out wothout getting burned at the stake by good, moral, loving Christians. Oh wait, I live in the Deep South...

    September 15, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • joe

      Why do atheist go to the trouble of protesting something that they don't believe in??? They are against themselves apparently. The choice to believe or not is yours. Athjiests have to understand that without Chrisianity they don't really exsist

      September 15, 2013 at 9:52 am |
      • JeffreyRO5

        Atheists are generally protesting against undo xtian influence in our society, specifically in government and public policy. Atheists don't need christians in order to exist: any group claiming that a sky fairy is holding us all hostage will do.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:02 am |
        • joe

          Very poorly answered. Would have been better to have not made the comment you made. Athiests target Christians and what we believe. Your out of your depth.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • mary

          "Atheists are generally protesting against undo xtian influence in our society," o, u tell em. absolutely undo. very undo. incredibly undo. we gotta undo the undo

          right sambo? donkey punch

          September 15, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        Hey Joe. Why do you people make comments like this when you have a law stating that God MUST be included in the pledge? You are sort of forcing people to state something that may not be apart of their belief.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • joe

          God did not make that law. Neither did I. Take it out if you want/can. I don't need that for faith or to strengthen my beliefes.Do as you will,and I will do his will too.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          A socie flag seller dreamed up the pledge for his flag sellin' business. It worked.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:36 am |
      • Contrails

        It's not God itself that we're protesting Joe, but rather the belief in God, the reality of which we're all too familiar with.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:04 am |
        • mary

          put em in prison

          September 15, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • joe

          So,,your really just protesting me for having my own belief? Don't waste your time..Im going to die for mine,,but ill be back!

          September 15, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • snowboarder

        @joe, how egocentric do you really have to be to discount every other religion in the world and believe that christianity is the only reason atheists exist?

        September 15, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • mary

          o i no. enough energy to light l.a. 4 a year! disgraceful waste. arrest that man

          September 15, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • joe

          When did I say Christianity was the only one for all?Never did. God doesn't force you too believe,why would I?

          September 15, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • snowboarder

          @joe said "Athjiests have to understand that without Chrisianity they don't really exsist"

          September 15, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • snowboarder

          @joe, yet there are undoubtedly atheists in every society.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:13 am |
        • joe

          snowb they do believe,,thats the irony,,but,,,don't say it to there face or youll get them going again

          September 15, 2013 at 10:18 am |
        • snowboarder

          @joe, are you suggesting that atheists are really believers? seriously?

          September 15, 2013 at 10:20 am |
      • sybaris

        Atheists protest because we have politicians and influential people that introduce legislation based on their beliefs..........which is at the exclusion of those that do not share their beliefs.

        We also have instances where Presidents for example invade other countries because they believed their god told them it was the right thing to do. How do you suppose that settles with the families of tens of thousands of dead innocent Iraqi's?

        So in effect Atheists "protest" because all it takes for religious people to go on ruining the lives of other people is for rational people to do nothing.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:13 am |
        • M

          Good point.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Lisa

          Very well said. Would love to see Joe's response.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • a reasonable atheist

          Hear, hear.

          September 15, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • Someone

        We would still not believe in a deity even if there were Christianity. And I believe I would exist as that depended upon my parents getting together. I would not need to care about religion at all if Christians didn't impose their beliefs on others as they do where I live. It's a nice thing to contemplate, not having to worry about possible job loss if someone finds out I'm not a believer.
        Good for you that you believe, but don't go down the road of atheism being a religion. It's simply a nonbelief in a deity.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:14 am |
      • One one

        It's one thing for people to believe a magic man killed himself to save us from his wrath of eternal torture after death, and that one must believe this to avoid his eternal punishment. But it's quite another to teach this to my children and use them to promote your religious enterprise by trying to put prayer, creationism, "one nation under god", and the ten commandments in schools and other public places. This is why atheists push back.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:18 am |
      • I've changed

        Hey Joe,could you explain,why o why,you refuse to believe the OBVIOUS TRUTH contained with-in the Quran?If you could bring yourself to think about the answer to this question,you will realize why atheists reject ALL religions.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • kati

      Amen sister. U tell em. Boy, I got tired of having to put out all those fires of burning atheists. I didn't even get paid for all the thousands of hours of overtime

      September 15, 2013 at 9:53 am |
      • G to the T

        Can you name one state were a deist isn't allowed to hold office? Because there sure are states that won't allow an atheist...

        Get off your high-horse and start understanding that not everything revolves around your own personal belief.

        September 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  11. Dark Fox

    Dawkins is agnostic, not atheist. He said on a scale of ten, he's nine factor sure their isn't a God, but he can't be certain.

    September 15, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Since no one "knows" if there is a God or Gods we're ALL agnostics .. but if you actually understand what these terms mean you'd know that Dawkins is as much an atheist as a Christian is a believer. Atheist simply means you do not believe there are Gods, an agnostic questions whether a God(s) actually exist.

      September 15, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • joe

        Its really only you that doesn't know. We not only know we believe.

        September 15, 2013 at 9:54 am |
        • sybaris

          Belief is not evidence so you really honestly don't know.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

          LOL Joe .. please enlighten the ignorant masses as to exactly how YOU "know". I think it is highly likely you simply don't understand the definition of the word know .. or even more likely, you choose to ignore the definition in an attempt to bolster your feeble position on the matter.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • joe

          you don't make sense at all. Belief is everything your about. Consider your beliefs before you make a statement against yourself.

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

          You're confusing the idea of "believe" with your "beliefs". One is a statement of conditional knowledge, the other is in reference to the some total of all the philosophical positions you hold.

          September 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  12. DR STEVE RAMSEY

    Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. So how we gone convince some one who dont believe...people pray to the sun and they think that it is god , this is what they believe in ! and they can see the sun and feel the heat and benefits to earth and plants people believe of the power that created the sun and the moon , the stars and all universe the big farmer the big alien who started all this the first cell the first light who made water from oxygen and hydrogen and who made all living things ....it is better to believe in something than dont believe in any thing it is healthy for you and it is proven....in the end if there is God, those who believe in him will be happy and those who dont will not as simple as that.....So they are in darkness here and there after...

    September 15, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      How did you gain the knowledge that those who believe will be happier than those who don't?

      September 15, 2013 at 9:52 am |
      • kati

        He read your comments

        September 15, 2013 at 9:54 am |
      • joe

        Because we can count on what we believe. Open your eyes and ears.How is there no oxygen in space ? Who told you that? Those that have seen and been there? Same with us Christians. Simple.Try it.

        September 15, 2013 at 9:58 am |
        • snowboarder

          @joe, yours is a false ana logy. we know there is no breathable "air" in space (because there certainly is the element oxygen) based on experimentation and scientific principle. the same can not be said for any gods.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • I've changed

          Hey Joe,how old is the universe?Enlighten us.I'll try not to laugh.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • James

          Joe - The difference between your "lack of oxygen in space" claim and your god claim is that only one can be verified. Were you to have the time/resources, you could go and test the "lack of oxygen in space" theory. Given that you may not, your only other option is to rely on those who study this idea. Now, you either trust those people or you don't. I'm not sure what you could do to verify if a god exists. What method of verification did you use to bolster your faith?

          September 15, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • georgex9

      What are the odds in this gamble? Just curious.

      September 15, 2013 at 9:57 am |
      • SeeAllEvil

        A true gambler wouldn't even make the bet knowing that the consequences of being a non-believer is eternally tragic. Rather, believing and having full faith of eternal salvation is the most logical bet one could make.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:10 am |
        • mykroft

          OK, but which one? Jehovah? Allah? Ra? Thor? Jupiter? .....

          September 15, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • joe

      Wrong. That's alternative belief for the sake of throwing in the towel. Believers believe with there whole heart and mind. Not,,simply as an alternative. Your hearts not in it my friend.You lack faith. Its what is know as a counterfeit believer.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • sybaris

      Belief is not truth.

      If it were there would be only one belief.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • joe

        Belief is the symbal of truth

        September 15, 2013 at 10:16 am |
        • mykroft

          Belief is an assertion of truth, unsupported by facts.

          September 15, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Contrails

      Who says that those who don't believe in god don't believe in anything? If you can't prove there is a hereafter, shouldn't you be more concerned about being happy here?

      September 15, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • mykroft

      Then believe in unicorns, if it makes you happy, huh? I guess ignorance is bliss, and some people are satisfied with that.

      I'd rather know the truth. Not someone's "truth" as defined by their religion of choice, full of assertions that are unprovable and often conflict with measurable reality. I'll take my facts based on the scientific method, thank you, and live in reality.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • snowboarder

      @ramsey, that comment is entirely baseless.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  13. LakeRat1

    Wow! I could make comments on this all day! Fortunately for you all, I have other things to do.
    Thanks to CNN for providing this series of articles and especially for providing the "soundoff" instead of Discus.

    September 15, 2013 at 9:41 am |
  14. georgex9

    If you consider that one remark from Richard Dawkins a bit too far you need to weigh the vast majority of what else he says and give him credit for that. The same needs to apply to Pat Robertson. You need to give him credit when he says something that makes good sense and weigh the vast majority of what else he says and blame him for the stretching of truth.

    September 15, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  15. visitor

    "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."

    Oh, I'll take that bet, and I am not even an atheist, more of an agnostic that can dance with spirituality sometimes.

    Richard Dawkins is first and foremost a scientist. I think you are not atheists aren't exactly a collective to let out a collective groan. Science is not religion. Atheism is not a religion. Maybe some who are most passionate about defending atheism (against a millennial-long assault) are embarrassed by a perceived silly tweet, maybe rightfully so, but you greatly exaggerate the response.

    Turn on 700 Club and watch for just a few minutes. Pat Robertson is an open partisan hack who makes stuff up as he goes along. The collective groan are from Adults, of all persuasions. You can explain when Pat Roberson, multi-millionaire Christian Pastor, discusses ANY of those Christians you referenced in your blog with any respect with the possible exception of Mandela, (only possible, as he was also also a socialist.)

    When you find a counterpart in the world of Atheist Activism please let share otherwise this is one big false equivalency.

    September 15, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Why are believers so desperate to find some word or phrase that Dawkins uttered that, when taken completely out of context, appears to show him saying something slightly less rational than normal? It seem to be rather strange behavior.

      The only thing such a tactic ensures is that rational people will research the context and then understand why Dawkins said what he did.

      September 15, 2013 at 10:01 am |
      • visitor

        I find it interesting that not one person I have read yet is saying "yeah, that's reasonable". Deal!

        Sorry for the typos in first post. I need to read before hitting send.

        September 15, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  16. SAS

    Hey, Christian. If you can keep your mouth shut about your religion at all times in all places, then you have yourself a deal. If not, then fck off!

    September 15, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  17. Andy F

    "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?"

    What does she think makes the news as news-worthy? Give me a break, this woman needs some more Kumbaya. Freedom of speech and harsh criticism is the American and Western way...if you can't take it then tune out.

    I say Bravo to Dawkins, what a brave man for spouting his views, as harsh as they are. Bash Judaism all you want, once you start bashing Jews as a whole and then you have a problem with me. Bash Christianity all you want, but once you bash Christians themselves then you have a problem with folks. Bash Islam, for all I care, but once you start generalizing against Muslims then you will have a problem with folks. Oh wait, you can't bash Islam in the world...whoops. Heads just might roll....

    September 15, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  18. PushingBack

    Equating Dawkins to Robertson is ridiculous in every sense. Thanks for wasting my time on this article.

    September 15, 2013 at 9:35 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.