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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. Rynomite

    Hmm.. I sometimes disagree with Dawkins and find his views a bit extreme. Then I rethink on the word "extreme".

    The Dawkins extreme comes in the form of sarcasm.

    The Religious extreme comes in the form of bombs and bullets.

    September 16, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Sara

      I just think people should stick to talking about fields on which they actually have expertise. Dawkins on evolutionary biology, sure. Ethics, metaphysics and child psychology...not so much.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • Doris

        I agree. It's probably best that an evolutionary biologist stays clear of ethics, "spooky"-physics, and child psychology.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • donna

          Doris, are you under the impression that a person can only do one thing in their decades of life? Or that somehow understanding human behavior from a biological point of view makes you unqualified to understand...human behavior?

          My mother is a therapist and trauma specialist with children guess what? It's a SCIENCE based on BIOLOGY.

          And metaphysics!!?? Anyone is qualified to talk about that Doris. He's an expert in reality- that makes him qualified.

          September 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
        • Sara

          Donna, saying anyone is qualified to speak about metaphysics shows what should be an embarrassing ignorance of the field. Go take a couple of phil classes and get back to us. Maybe first let a sociologist catch you up on the latest debates in quantum theory. After all, we all share the same physical world and should be equally expert to discuss the topic.

          September 17, 2013 at 7:18 am |
        • donna

          Sara, Honestly I pity you that you think anyone can't talk about metaphysics. You're either young and ignorant, brainwashed into thinking that's some kind of restricted topic, or just a fool.

          September 18, 2013 at 1:44 am |
        • Sara

          donna,

          Anyone can talk about anything in a free society. What you have yet to learn is that the fact that you can talk about something doesn't mean that you speak intelligently or coherently.

          September 19, 2013 at 8:32 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Who is an expert in ethics?

        September 16, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • Doris

          Good point, ISDIAICDT. One would hope that one strives to follow the ethical standards that have been established within and across many fields.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I personally follow the ethical standards that make me the most money.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Review below for a discussion on the love of money.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          One definition of hell must surely be a condition where there is not enough. I'm sorry Dave.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • Sara

          "Who is an expert in ethics?"

          Philosophers (real philosophers) present and interpret ethical systems much more coherently and consistently than people in other fields. It doesn't make them ethically better people, but more knowledgable about the issues involved with taking different approaches to ethics.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Well put Sara

          September 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • donna

        And where do the experts in the atheism come from? Seminary? Dawkins' expertise is earned from decades of research in biology, and decades of research as a well respected philosopher of science, focusing on atheism.

        We live in a biological world. We are biological beings. To suggest that a biologist has no expertise in understanding how life works is silly.

        September 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • Sara

          Donna, Calling a biologist inherently an expert on metaphysics would be would be like saying your mother was an expert on biology because the field of therapy depends on it. Dawkins is a "pop" philosopher given that ti tle by fans. He is not read by anyone in the real philosophy community (at least not for his "philosophy", and for most philosophers his topics aren't even interesting, let alone well developed. It's easy to be respected by people who know even less than you do. That's how we get journalism majors writing interesting but scientifically dubious science and technology articles.

          September 17, 2013 at 7:46 am |
        • Sara

          Evo.lutionary biology, on the other hand, is something he knows. I don't object to him wanting to speak beyond his field to an extent, but it's delusional for people to think he's considered a real philosopher by anyone who actually does philosophy.

          September 17, 2013 at 7:54 am |
        • Sara

          That said, "Atheism" is not a branch of philosophy. People in many field can have some expertise in that area, but he is no more a philosopher than physicist or theologian. If you want to call him an atheism expert, stick to that term.

          September 17, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • GET0verit

      Yes, condoning the abuse of children is hilarious sarcasm.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  2. Hell and destruction are never full

    The vanished don't get it??

    September 16, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Yoda

      Talking to the dead are we?

      September 16, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      More evidence that our health system really fails the mentally ill.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      The 'vanished?' Stupid hateful and pointless rantings... 'faith' is that you?

      September 16, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • doobzz

        Pretty sure it's lol??, although I haven't seen the telltale "gubmint" yet.

        September 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          It's me, alright. The haters even hate Pithyism. Doubt if Pithiests will ever get an Affirmative Action slot.

          September 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  3. Sara

    The few folks on any side who are treating one person as wholly representative of a belief probably aren't really intellectually up to understanding an argument for why they shouldn't do it.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Huh?

      September 16, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Beavis

      Do what?

      September 16, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Give Sara a break... her 'comma' key is malfunctioning...

      September 16, 2013 at 11:03 am |
      • Dippy

        No commas were needed.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

          They might have been helpful to break up a very long sentence

          September 16, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

          Actually, a single comma after the word belief... would have broken up the sentence into a more easily read and understood sentence...

          September 16, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Dippy

          Incorrect. No commas were needed.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

          Whatever... I've lost interest...

          September 16, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Sara

          Unfortunately, a single extra comma would have incorrectly separated subject and verb. I'm sure there are plenty of ways to simplify the structure if anyone wants to, though. I'm not personally inclined to work on it myself, but would be happy to see any rewrites from people eager to practice their editing skills...we've all got to have a hobby.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Dippy

          Your comment is correct as it stands. No commas needed.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • Sara

          Dippy, I agree that it is grammatically correct, but I could write a 200 word sentence that is grammatically correct but not very clear. The issue, I think (and we are WAY off topic), is whether it could have been a more clear grammatically correct sentence. It's also slightly comical to be questioning the reason for comprehension problems given the content of my original comment. It's either funny that I wrote it poorly or funny that people couldn't understand my clear point.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Dippy

          I had no trouble comprehending it, but I can understand why some of the slower folks might have trouble with it. We shouldn't have to write "Dick and Jane" sentences for the reading-challenged bloggers, should we? Anyway, enough of this.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Thus, Dippy has spoken. Sorry other people aren't as smart as you are. It must suck for you, but at least you get to declare when an off-topic grammar discussion is over. Maybe that's some respite.

          September 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Hell and destruction are never full

      Can't keep ol' Babylon down. Any bets?? Hit me with yer best shot, baby.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

        Rhetorical question: are you stupid?

        September 16, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          Why do you ask ?? Are you stupid, vapid vapour??

          September 16, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Another screen name, pithy lol?
        PIck a moniker and stick with it, Captain Sayin' Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert Sue Newman Pithy Lol.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Hell and destruction are never full

          Pithyism is HATED because yo mammmmma forgot to tell you about God, bully. Not all wemen are s*lu*ts. Must be the luck of the genetic draw.

          :2Ti 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."

          September 16, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • So Obvi

          Troll: "yo mammmmma forgot to tell you about God"

          Ah, inquiry and verification of the fundy mindset – let's peek and see how it works:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YIj4rLYo0c

          September 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Sara,

      It's a fine sentence. Heh, and many hard-of-thinking people who might benefit from it can't/won't understand it! Too many folks these days are used to sound bites.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  4. Hell and destruction are never full

    GOOOD MORNING VIET AMERIKA!!!!

    Jam 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • lol?? pointlessiest, Oui.

      What does this have to do with the topic? Are you ill?

      September 16, 2013 at 10:51 am |
      • Hell and destruction are never full

        Death is the topic. You stinketh.

        September 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Doris

      Grey Poupon 2:21: Keep thy stankiness to yourself.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

        Hmmm... I thought it was 'Kimchi 2:21' Keep thy stankiness to thy self?

        September 16, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Polaner All Fruit

          How dreadful!

          September 16, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  5. Jesus the Christ

    Christianity:

    Celebrating the irony of a carpenter being nailed to a piece of wood

    for over 2000 years now!

    September 16, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Thor

      Christ was nailed to a cross....I carry a hammer...any questions?

      September 16, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • Athy

        Who's got the nails?

        September 16, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • Thor

        Got the nails from some carpenter........

        September 16, 2013 at 10:45 am |
      • james

        study the greek and you will see it was not a cross but a straight pole. He would not have died like he did if it was a cross and why do people wear one. glad he was not shot.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  6. Agnostickids

    If you get your morals from a fictional monster that drowned his own children,

    then you should really just shut up.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Hell and destruction are never full

      Well?? Your vain imagination suc*keth.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  7. Agnostickids

    If God made us in his image, then why aren't we invisible too?

    September 16, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      If we're all god's children, what's so special about Jesus?

      September 16, 2013 at 10:33 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Dave,

        What makes you think we are all God's children?

        September 16, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Monotheists.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • Robert Brown

          I believe all humans have the capability to become children of God, but we are not all children of God.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Good for you.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Thanks Dave, would you like to become a child of God?

          September 16, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No thanks, I've read Child of God. I don't want to make love to corpses.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Ok, please remember in your time of need, he is just one prayer away from adopting you too. Peace.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Ok Dave, please remember in your time of need, he is just one prayer away from adopting you too. Peace.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          If you say so.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Robert, So you believe that god did not create all life in the universe?

          September 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • TRUTH

          there is no god. He is fiction. Concentrate hard on Zeus hearing you...does he? No? Why? Oh, because he isn't real, I see...

          September 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Santa,

          God created life.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Ken

          Robert Brown
          "I believe all humans have the capability to become children of God, but we are not all children of God."

          But he will punish children that are not his? What gives him that right?

          September 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Ken,

          This is God's universe, he will punish whoever he wants. Are you concerned about being punished? Or, does the idea of a righteous judge sound appalling from a humanistic point of view?

          September 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Ken

          Robert Brown
          His universe, his to do with as he wants, eh? How is this any different than the justification every tyrant has given down trough history?

          Fair and logical judgment is always appealing, but I don't see it in the Christian god.

          September 17, 2013 at 8:07 am |
        • sam stone

          "he will punish whoever he pleases"

          so, your god is pleased by punishing people?

          i suppose it does fit with the vindictive pr1ck theory

          September 17, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
        • sam stone

          righteous judge?

          please

          September 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  8. Ann

    Hmm, was I censored because I said I partly agreed with Dawkins? I'll try to rephrase.

    Dawkins is correct when he says that mild abuse does not inevitably lead to lasting harm. (Note – he never said it was okay, or that it was NEVER harmful.) Children can be very resilient. The extent of the effect tends to go along with the extent of the abuse. A single incident of inappropriate touching is unlikely to scar a child for life. Parents should be careful not to overreact and scare their child more. React, yes, but don't flip out.

    I do think he went too far when he said that the catholic church's teachings were more harmful than the child abuse. I get what he meant, but that's a bit much.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      The notion that children are resilient has been widely debunked. It's just a story people tell themselves to excuse the heinous things that are perpetrated on young people, of which a Christian ethos is by far one of the least.

      September 16, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • Damocles

        Hmmm... I found a few articles and studies that seem to show kids can be resilient. I don't think people use it as an excuse, I think they just kind of hope that with some love and support their child can rise above the problem.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:18 am |
      • Observer

        Yes. Fortunately, most Christians ignore the Bible's advocation of beating children with rods.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:21 am |
      • Ken

        Bill
        Depends on what brand of Christian ethos you were subjected to in childhood. I've heard many atheists testify to the degree they consider themselves "recovering" from Christianity. Mostly, they all come from conservative denominations, where children are encouraged to overindulge in faith.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I'm Catholic Ken. Kinda hard to get me into the "one true faith" argument.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Ken

          Bill
          "Recovering from Catholicism" has been estimated to be the second largest denomination here in the USA! 🙂

          September 16, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          You say "recovering", I say "lapsed" we're probably talking about the same folks. Some will stay out, others will return. The largest group is of course practicing Catholics though when you get into those numbers, only about 17% are actually "vitalized". Numbers don't account for anything though as I'm sure someone will gladly tell you.

          September 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Ken

          I'd say they consider themselves "lapsed" only if they left the Church more out of boredom than considering the experience to be generally negative. Regardless, you are probably right about the numbers, but that would still put the truly zealous in a minority to the merely dutiful who still call themselves Catholic.

          September 16, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      • Ann

        "Widely debunked," Bill? By whom?

        I have known quite a few people, both personally and professionally, who have had varying degrees of physical and/or se-xual abuse in their histories. They're fine. I myself was r.aped when I was 14, robbed at gunpoint at 30, and physically assaulted at work at around 33. I'm fine, too.

        Saying that we're fine does not in any way excuse or cover up the fact that crimes were committed against us. People ARE resilient, and it's a good thing. If we weren't, most of the adult population would be walking around in trauma.

        September 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I'm not particularly an expert in childhood trauma Ann but I can answer this way; When it comes to children, there are still many scientific debates with respect to resilience. One debate involves differing opinions about what constiitutes 'doing okay". You may not be aware but your expression of "doing fine" is received by many in the mental health field as a cover for underlying trauma and yes almost all adults are walking around with unresolved trauma. Resiliency isn't an either/or proposition. Everybody has some amount or less. Each individual person is able to transcend some degree of trauma and experience functionality in adulthood. But, what we are talking about here is the acute trauma of child abuse. A person may survive an episode of child abuse and never manifest any outward symptoms or disguise those that do manifest. But all the while, their lives are persistently affected by the inability to achieve intimacy, social awkwardness, inability to achieve stability and other underlying symptoms of trauma. As a society, we tend towards the desensitization of traumatic events that range from dismissal of the influence of media to the minimization of pdeophilia and seexual obsession rampant in our society. As the society skews, children are tasked with an ever increasing burden to "be resilient"

          September 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • donna

      Ann,

      If someone told taught their child aggressively, for years, that they were going to be horribly tortured for eternity in graphic detail if they did not behave exactly as told, there would be no question that it was psychological child abuse. We only excuse it when it's done in the name of religion.

      It's abusive to make children live in fear.

      September 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  9. Jesus' Beloved

    I'm just MAAAAD about Satan! Lord Satan, come to me tonight! I love and crave you! I abhor Jesus Christ and need thee, Lord Satan, you hottie!

    September 16, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      There must be something that the Holy Spirit is saying through me, that would cause you to duplicate my 'handle' and write these wicked,evil posts you just did.

      I rebuke that wicked, evil spirit that has come upon you, in Jesus Name!

      September 16, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        But then again, I rebuke Jesus Christ in the name of my Lord and Savior Satan!

        I love me some Satan! Give me, give me, give me Satan after midnight!

        September 16, 2013 at 10:36 am |
      • doobzz

        Oh, goodie! Looks like we've got a comment section exorcism going on. This should be interesting.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • Doris

          Either that or it's that writer from GH (the one that came from OLTL) who is constantly writing for split personality characters.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:51 am |
      • Ken

        Jesus' Beloved
        Do you somehow believe that people are only ridiculed because they are right?

        September 16, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Doris

      That's silly. If you believe those characters then you wouldn't be yammering about them like that. And if you didn't believe in them (Satan and Jesus_with_bonus_powers), then your yammering still wouldn't make sense.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        How do you know Doris? Are you jealous? Do you want Lord Satan all to yourself? Well you CAN'T HAVE HIM!!! He's MINE!!!!

        September 16, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • aldewacs2

          Sometimes I wonder why I come here. Actually, quite often....
          I have to find a more substantial forum where immature dolts dare not go.
          I guess it's my own fault for coming back, hoping to see substance.

          September 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  10. Agnostickids

    If money is the root of all evil,

    then why do they ask for it in church?

    September 16, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Because money is not the root of all evil. The love of money is the root of all evil. You may not be able to discern the difference.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:15 am |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        Bill, pull your pants down, you're mumbling and I can't hear you.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:16 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          You sound clever in a sort of beavis and butthead kind of way. But you illustrate perfectly what Ms. Even's is writing about. You really don't have any ability to hold a civil conversation so you resort to juvenile insults. Somewhere there's an atheist scoreboard that just gave you credit.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:20 am |
        • Jesus the Christ

          Bill, get a job.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:21 am |
        • Ken

          Bill
          There is nothing civil about Christians telling everyone else how they are dam ned to hell because they aren't like them.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • doobzz

          Well, hello Boof Deacon. I see you are getting your morning fix. It must take a lot of Our Fathers to control the shakey shakeys.

          You don't have anything but lies and ad hominems. You've been caught in lies and misrepresentation almost daily. You lie and apologize for your precious RCC's continued conspiracy to hide child molesters.

          You must get a big bump when you jump in to "correct" us. Of course it's the love of money that is the "root of all evil" in your book of majik incantations and stories. Money itself is no more evil than a rock is evil. You can use a rock to build a hospital or to bash in your neighbor's head, same as money. Duh, Boof.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • Sara

          Bill,

          I get you point in general, but how is

          "Somewhere there's an atheist scoreboard that just gave you credit."

          Not just a childish insult against atheists?

          September 16, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • Bob

        Bill, you are splitting hairs, yet another of your typical dodges in your vain attempts to defend your dying Catholic/Christian superstition. Show some guts instead and answer the question, one so eloquently asked previously, if in slightly different form, by the brilliant George Carlin.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:22 am |
      • Ken

        Wouldn't you need to love money in order to become a self-made, wealthy person? Certainly, any Christian businessperson would reinvest all but a small portion of their business's profits, choosing to live modestly, yes?

        September 16, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I've gotta go with Bill on this one.
        Greed is the problem, not having assets.
        Just because someone has a liquor cabinet, it doesn't mean they're an alcoholic.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:28 am |
      • Ken

        Doc
        To quote the character Gordon Gekko, "Greed is Good". Greed is the hunger to succeed that pushes our economy. Without it, America wouldn't be in any position to call itself the leader of the free world.

        That's a point against this being any kind of "Christian nation", right?

        September 16, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Gordon Gecko would make a great biblical character. Sort of the anti Job don't you think? Whatever did happen to ole Gordon anyway?

          September 16, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • Ken

          Bill
          Gordon went to jail in the first movie, but I don't know what happened to him in the second because I haven't seen it. Did he redeem himself?

          If you're implying that there is some kind of cautionary tale here, there are plenty of legal ways to be greedy and still make a fortune. Greed is not necessarily a character flaw in the American pathos. In many cases, it's actually an ethic, going hand-in-hand with "working hard" and "doing your best". Very often, success in business means taking away from somebody else's business, and getting more than an even distribution. We wouldn't blame Apple for Blackberry going under, we'd just say that Blackberry wasn't compet itive (greedy) enough, right?

          Business greed, like all forms of greed, does lead to many people being ruined, but it also leads to most business successes as well. That's the American Way. The American Dream isn't to just be a success, but to be at the top of your field. To do that it means that most will have to be losers in the game. If that doesn't match the theological condition of the Church, then just how "American" is Christianity anyway?

          September 16, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          To address your larger theme, I don't believe nations are Christian or non-Christian. Individuals are Christian or not. It's entirely possible to have a successful career without being fueled by greed. In fact, I would say greed is the expression of dissatisfaction with whatever success one may have and thus essentially eliminates success from the equation. If the only way to quench greed is to be at the top of one's field, that sounds like a prescription for a tormented life. I mean good luck and all that but I prefer to live among human beings who have needs, share with others out of a sense of plenty and abide in a less materially focused life. It saves a lot of wear and tear on the soul

          September 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • ME II

          Greed, like most things, is a spectrum and is fine and healthy in moderation. Enlightened self-interest, i.e. greed, drives most if not all human activity.

          That being said too much greed harms not only the victims of the greedy, but the greedy themselves.

          September 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Ken

          Bill Deacon
          Isn't any level of ambition just another form of greed? Would you consider someone with little or no ambition to be truly living up to their potential, something you might consider "God given"?

          September 16, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        To recap:

        I have a job. A nice one which affords me ample to live on and tiithe as well as enough time to periodically comment on these boards.

        Ken, you make the same mistake as AK. You're arguing against a theological condition which isn't promulgated by the Church. You're wasting time tilting at windmills.

        Although he still hasn't figured out that I don't have shakey shakes, Doobz and I are in agreement that inanimate objects are morally neutral.

        Sara, please don't consider it an insult unless you think JC "scored" when he insulted me. For those you thought it was cute, perhaps they are unaware of the damage such cleverness does to the atheist message in general.

        Bob, the reality is money is needed by any organization on this earth. That's kind of the point between money or rocks being neutral and their use and our attachment to them maybe being not so neutral.

        Doc, thanks. I appreciate your sincerity.

        September 16, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • doobzz

          Oh, but Boof, you do have the shakey shakeys. You come here almost daily to defend the indefensible actions of the RCC and will lie and misrepresent to do it.

          Why would you act that way if there isn't some compelling need for you to do so? If there was a defensible reason for the RCC's actions, why would you have to lie?

          The RCC has a hold on you and you have an addiction to defending it. You need it, it's just your latest crack pipe.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          It's always interesting to me how some people can remain so focused on projecting defects onto others and pathologically avoid confronting their own.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...pathologically avoid confronting their own. "
          Most unintentionally hilarious post of the day. Thanks for the laugh, Bill.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          doobzz,

          While I disagree with Bill Deacon, I'm wondering if you don't see that you are laying huge servings of ad hominem on him. I've seen better, more substantial comments from you.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          If he does, he doesn't care. It doesn't seem to bother him to label me any number of things based on guilt by association, using personal information erroneously that I've divulged and painting with a broad brush. It's part of what some people call the castigation of others for being different or bigotry.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ A Frayed Knot

          I can see how it might look that way. Short of going back and reading every exchange Boof and I have had, you have no reason not to draw those conclusions. I could post a few of Boof's previous comments, where he lies and misrepresents what I've said, or comments he's made defending priests who have molested children, if you like.

          He's had similar exchanges with others.

          September 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • doobzz

          @ Boof

          Your error was not in divulging personal information. Your error was acting like an asshole when I asked a sincere question about your conversion to the RCC. We could have had much more interesting subsequent discussions had you dropped the arrogant, condescending attitude just once.

          "It's part of what some people call the castigation of others for being different or bigotry."

          Ahahahaha! That's hilarious, coming from you of all people.

          September 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • doobzz

          "It's always interesting to me how some people can remain so focused on projecting defects onto others and pathologically avoid confronting their own."

          Projecting defects onto people is the foundation of the RCC.

          September 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Unanswered prayers should remind people that

    shit happens;
    we are left to our own devices.

    September 16, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Ken

      That message won't sink through, as the Christian workaround to unanswered prayers is that sometimes God waits a few decades before answering, or simply answers "no". This makes prayer just as effective as leaving things play out for themselves, except for the letdown factor, of course.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:20 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        Has anyone ever suggested you don't understand the point and purpose of prayer?

        September 16, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Ken

          Bill
          What do you imagine the purpose is?

          September 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Glad you asked. I was searching for a quote and here it is:

          'When we go into the garden, it is not to gather the leaves, but the fruits; so in the sacred garden of prayer we ought not to amuse ourselves with the leaves of sentiment and sensible consolation, but rather reap the fruits of the virtues of Jesus.'

          St. Paul of the Cross

          What do you imagine it is?

          September 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
        • Ken

          Bill Deacon
          Can you explain this for me in plain language? What are these "fruits of the virtues of Jesus"?

          TTFN

          September 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • Nick

          I'm not advocating for anything, but if you want to know you can go to a Christian church, or read a bible.

          Asking anonymous strangers dogma-related questions over the internet is not going to help you.

          By, the way, the terminology you used sounds Catholic.

          You may want to start Protestant if you're going to research.

          Catholicism is not the easiest doctrine to relate to.

          – N

          September 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Sorry you have to go. Perhaps at minimum you'll refrain from disparaging prayer until you can digest what we've talked about.

          Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)
          22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

          So, when a Christian prays, he should be seeking to align himself with these Christlike virtues, which might also include sacrifice, compassion and suffering. The leaves would be things like "Help me pass my test" or "Win the lottery" or some such.

          September 16, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Ken

          Bill
          So you don't see any direct relationship between prayer and actual events occurring in a person's life that they could interpret as "signs", or "miracles" then?

          September 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Ken

          Nick
          I'm not interested in prayer for myself, but I am interested in why other people do it and what it is they think it accomplishes.

          September 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • Nick

          Thanks for the question. Let me try to answer as best I can.

          As far as whether God exists, or whether the prayers will be heard and answered....it may accomplish nothing in reality.

          Or it may. I don't know.

          Believers pray to reinforce their spiritual beliefs in their god(s) and to restore their feelings of inner strength, support, and confidence to go on living, more than because they actually expect aid from a higher power. I think many know this subconsciously, that it's a ritual for 'faith maintenance'.

          I hope this explanation helps, but I know that prayer is often a confusing subject.

          I have trouble with various aspects and applications of the idea myself, at times.

          – N

          September 16, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Ken, the Christian mystics that I read do not emphasis that aspect of prayer. I know that people do pray for outcomes and that they sometimes experience those but I believe that is a somewhat juvenile practice. It's fine with me if you want to focus on that dimension since it is easy to ridicule but you should be aware that there is a deeper dimension to prayer that is more powerful than using God as sort of cosmic valet or spiritual vending machine. I would think that if an atheist wanted to engage Christianity in a meaningful way they would bypass the easy targets and shallow practices some Christians engage in and dig a little deeper for something meatier. The problem you will encounter if you choose to do that is you will have to abandon your own shallow preconceptions and really start to learn what the wisdom of the ages is all trying to tell you for yourself as opposed to reading from the atheist play book of making fun of Christians. Good luck.

          September 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • aldewacs2

          (Injecting myself uninvited in the prayer to-and-fro...)
          Atheists like myself tend to think of the utilitarian aspect of things we invest time and energy in. Like, of I build a chair, it's because I'd like to end up with something to sit in, etc.
          With prayer having been so often shown as being useless or even having negative consequences (except perhaps as self-delusion and guilt release for the prayer) it seems a bit pointless, and a pure waste of precious time that you'll never get back.
          If anybody ever decides to pray for me for whatever reason, I hope they keep it a secret from me.

          September 16, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Ken, the Christian mystics that I read do not emphasis that aspect of prayer. I know that people do pray for outcomes and that they sometimes experience those but I believe that is a somewhat juvenile practice. It's fine with me if you want to focus on that dimension since it is easy to ridicule but you should be aware that there is a deeper dimension to prayer that is more powerful than using God as sort of cosmic valet or spiritual vending machine. I would think that if an atheist wanted to engage Christianity in a meaningful way they would bypass the easy targets and shallow practices some Christians engage in and dig a little deeper for something meatier. The problem you will encounter if you choose to do that is you will have to abandon your own shallow preconceptions and really start to learn what the wisdom of the ages is all trying to tell you for yourself as opposed to reading from the atheist play book of making fun of Christians. Good luck."

          What a load of passive aggressive, condescending, "I'm so speciall" crapola, Boof.

          September 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Well, no one has ever accused you of being passive doobz.

          September 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Ken

          Bill Deacon
          Careful, your arrogance is starting to seep through. 🙂

          I've been told that all I need do in order to find what I need to believe in God is to ask him for help, but here you are telling me that God doesn't answer selfish prayers like those, so I guess I needn't bother.

          You still haven't said, specifically, what you hope to accomplish through prayer.

          September 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
  12. christianity is not healty for children and all living things

    I'm getting to old for this #@#@# !

    September 16, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  13. Agnostickids

    God loves you SO much,

    that he created Hell,

    just in case you don't love him back.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  14. Sea Otter (Leader of the Allied Atheist Alliance)

    In other words... keep your stupid superstitious beliefs to yourself...

    September 16, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of the Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Yay!... posts that randomly post to wherever it feels like posting!

      September 16, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  15. christianity is not healty for children and all living things

    I rather live in a harsh reality, than a comptable delusion about live. Christians tru history have caused nothing but death and distruction ..African American were striped of the'yre cuture and their own religions, and were forced to sing songs of a god belonging to the christians the people who turned them into slaves ..... yet till this day they worship a Christian god, while their own culture was forced to be forgotten. Lets not forget about the native American ( the real americans )also the pashing of gay people, torturing those who are diffrend. Christians are evil. It does not mather how much you are sugarcoating reality.
    Also you cannot call yourself a Christian if you are a woman, you are not allot to speak your mind, are not allot work/make money or even leave your house without male company...... BY THE WAY..... Do not forget PRIDE is a sin recording to YOUR BIBLE . If you are christians you are not allout to be proud, Not of your children, your country. So recording to the bible you all would go to hell..... funny. look it up. Are you proud to be an Christian ? you are not alout to be proud or you go to hell.... one of seven deadly sins......look it up. You are trying to tell Atheist to read the bible and the history books for all the good its done..... war death distruction, wiping out cultures, slavery, killing...... sounds like you people are worshipping a devil...... are you people realy that brainwashed to see it......Have you people not been wondering why the church sees atheist.... a small group of people as such a treat..... because the truh is coming out.....read your bible, truly read it, look truh the history books, psychology ,biologie , natural history read and learn....Chistians are living a lie...... there was a time even in old Europe when the church would not allow people to read.... times have change.... they can not stop people now from duing their own research, times have changed.....

    September 16, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Justification is not healthy for anybody in denial

      Yeah. Uh, huh.

      September 16, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of the Allied Atheist Alliance)

      What a long poorly spelled rant... you don't sound angry or crazy at all...

      September 16, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Dippy

      Way too many errors to correct. You get an F.

      September 16, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  16. Agnostickids

    If Hell were real, each occupant would be a shining example of how God has failed.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      Hell is real, and unfortunately it will be a shining example of how the devil has won in fooling those who CHOOSE not to believe. (Believe that Jesus Christ (Yeshua) is the Son of God, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born to a virgin.. He died for all your sins. Every sin that you will ever commit in your entire life has already been forgiven...You are living under Grace, God's unearned, unmerited favor upon your life).
      You are alive today, this morning, this present moment because of His Grace. Nothing outside of Christ is capable of keeping you alive.
      (I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live Deut.30:18-20 )
      Did you see that... our Father tells us... in case you don't know what to choose, here let me help you out - CHOOSE life.
      Death just means separation from God. You are an eternal being... so when your physical body (think of it like a space suit...you need it in order to survive in this realm) no longer exists, the spiritual being lives forever. Forever is a very long time to want to spend in hell, separated from your heavenly father, simply because you CHOOSE to refuse to BELIEVE Him, and instead CHOOSE to BELIEVE the lie of the devil.

      I pray sincerely that you will humbly seek Jesus and ask Him for Wisdom and Truth (He is Wisdom, He is Truth) and He gives freely to ALL who ask of Him, without reproach.
      May the favor of God surround you.

      September 16, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • Agnostickids

        Creeeepy. Just a little. Again, meds are available at your local psych-ward and if you don't have insurance, then you can get Obamacare in 2014, and finally know what it feels like to stop hearing this voices in your head.

        September 16, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          There are also voices in your head. The ones you give heed to. The ones that are lying to you, that tells you God is angry and uncaring. That he created hell for those who do not love Him.
          Nothing could be further from the truth.
          Long before you ever heard of Jesus and don't care for Him. He loves you. His love for you doesn't change, whether or not you choose to believe this.
          Whether or not you love Jesus, that does nothing to who He is. However, not realizing the absolute love God has for you and has bestowed upon you robs you of happiness, and peace.
          You're angry because you think God is against you. He is Not. God loves you. He sent his only Son to die to redeem your life from eternal separation from him.

          Hell was made for the devil and his disciples who rebelled against God. But in true style the devil's mission has been to fool/trick as many people as he can (by his lies...yes, those thoughts in your head about God the father, Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit).
          Christ has already paid for your freedom. Please don't continue to live in bondage and giving heed to the lies of the enemy.
          Ask God for Wisdom... He gives freely to all who ask.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:11 am |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of the Allied Atheist Alliance)

        @Jesus' Buggered – LET's Religiosity Law #8 – If you habitually and incessantly say things like, “have a blessed day,” or “god bless,” or “prayer changes things,” or “amen,” without regard to the recipients’ beliefs or disbeliefs then be advised all we hear is “Heil Hitler!”

        September 16, 2013 at 9:48 am |
      • tallulah13

        Actually, there is no evidence that any god, devil, heaven or hell actually exist. Your little spiel is just something you choose to believe, perhaps because reality - with all it's consequences like guilt and death - is just too frightening for you to accept.

        September 16, 2013 at 9:59 am |
        • Dippy

          Its, not it's.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:13 am |
        • tallulah13

          Get over it, Dip. I'm pretty sure it was just an autocorrect moment this time, because after being called out on it last week, I've tried to be diligent about the difference.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        •  Dippy

          Good for you. Fucking autocorrect gets me all the time. But I still have to do my job.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:53 am |
      • Ken

        Jesus' Beloved
        Or, maybe, some other underworld awaits us all because we stopped believing in the Egyptian, Norse, Aztec, or some other system of gods? Without evidence, all are equally likely to be real, or not. So, face it, you choose not to believe in almost all versions of "hell" already, and for most of the same reasons why we don't believe in yours. At least we didn't play favorites, making the chances of your incurring the wrath of some other god for worshipping a false rival a bigger threat than this hell you speak of. So, maybe you'd better pray that we are right, after all, eh?

        September 16, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  17. Agnostickids

    The Virgin Mary.

    Would you be alright if your daughter came home one night and told you that story?

    September 16, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • nclaw441

      Probably not, and neither were Mary's relatives, except for her relative Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.

      September 16, 2013 at 9:17 am |
      • Agnostickids

        Oh! RIght! I forgot that they wrote all of that stuff down themselves, for posterity.

        LOL.

        September 16, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          I love that argument:

          A bunch of illiterate iron age sheep herders invented a story so outlandish and incredible that logical people can't accept it. They list every embarrassing, hateful, stupid thing they themselves do. Their leader is a nobody, from nowhere that even his own home town tries to kill for what he says and he is ultimately murdered in a conspiracy of the political leaders of both the Empire he opposes and the Nation he repeatedly condemns. The dumb followers scatter to the four winds and end up murdered themselves for not recanting this blatant falsehood. And they do it all in some sort of mad plot to control people's lives and ruin the progress of humanity. BWAHHAHAHAHAH!

          September 16, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • tallulah13

          Sounds kind of like Joseph Smith. Except for the illiterate part. At least Smith could write down his own stories.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:12 am |
        • A Frayed Knot

          tallulah13,

          Actually, Joseph Smith could not write either. He dictated his stories to his wife and to a "scribe", separated by a dr-ape or while looking into his hat with the magic seer stones in it. You should hear what he told scribe Oliver Cowdery when Oliver asked why he couldn't see anything in the hat!

          September 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • Agnostickids

        Bill, calm down. There are meds for your type of schizophrenia.

        September 16, 2013 at 9:44 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Did I misstate your stance?

          September 16, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      If I lived in a culture where the punishment for pre-marital s.ex was stoning the woman to death, I'd advise my daughter to say "Goddidit".

      September 16, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • Agnostickids

        Doc, you're like the OLDEST troll on here. Your comments go back TWO years. WOW!

        September 16, 2013 at 9:52 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Hmmm? The oldest? That may or may not be correct... I've been on here for about 3-4 years (who's counting) but the troll known as 'faith' was already on here...

          September 16, 2013 at 9:56 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Been here even longer than that, I'm afraid.
          CNN is one of the few sites that can weasel through my office's firewall.

          Deuteronomy 22:20 says that if a woman is found not be a virgin on her wedding night that the townspeople are to stone her to death.
          22:24 says that ra/pe vitims should be stoned to death as well.

          Just becuase someone espouses an opinion that you don't like, it doesn't make them a troll.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • tallulah13

          Doc's comments are generally insightful. Not a troll at all.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • Agnostickids

        Hey Doc, someone took my name for the above comment. I didn't call you a troll.

        September 16, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      Conceive – it's usually the female that conceives? Right.
      Mat 1:20.... for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
      From Dayspring on High:
      "Could it be that the womb of the Holy Spirit first came within Mary and then the masculine power of the Highest overshadowed her?
      But could the Holy Spirit have a womb?
      Joh3:4 Nicomdemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter into his mother's womb a second time.
      Joh 3:5 Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
      vs8. .... so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

      September 16, 2013 at 9:59 am |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

        blah blah blah... Kill the table-eaters, IN THE NAME OF ALMIGHTY SCIENCE!

        September 16, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  18. Samcan

    SHAME on atheist for following an admitted pedophile! Where will you go for a leader now? His books were what started most of you on your journey; will you find another bible?

    September 16, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • andrewpetercarter

      He hasn't admitted paedophilia you half-wit. Can't you even read?

      September 16, 2013 at 9:16 am |
      • Samcan

        Ah, resorting to name calling..a sign of lesser intellect.

        Still...

        He said that pedophiles in the past cannot be judged by our harsher standards today.

        Nothing says, "I'm ok with pedo," quite like that.

        September 16, 2013 at 9:27 am |
        • Durundal

          Nothing says delusion like a person justifying a straw man argument based on poor reading comprehension. Shouldnt you be practicing for your SAT's?

          September 16, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Agnostickids

        Ah, andrew, looking at your special little blog, it's clear that you're an uneducated, overly opinionated british git that should get out in the world more.

        People, you'll love this – andrew doesn't know why people go to concerts when they could just sit at home and listen to a cd. LOL!

        Wow, ignorance at it's lowest.

        September 16, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • Dippy

          Its, not it's.

          September 16, 2013 at 10:18 am |
      • Satan

        Whoa Andy, baby.

        What a dumb blog. Are you a millennial by any chance? Looks like it.

        September 16, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of the Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Atheists have a leader? and a bible? News to me little troll...

      September 16, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Say it As You See It

        Ah, sea thing...takes one to know one, huh?

        September 16, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

          The Wise One: Maybe some otters do need to believe in something. Who knows, maybe just believing in God...makes God exist. [thoughtful, solemn pause]
          Sea Otters: Kill the Wise One! KILL THE WISE ONE! [The Wise One is slaughtered by a mob of otters]

          September 16, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  19. Jim Nelson

    How many people watch Pat Robertson almost daily, vs. watch Dawkins?

    September 16, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  20. Richard

    Lady, your "deal" sounds like something a ten year old would suggest.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:02 am |
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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.