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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. AE

    “I teach Sunday school, motherf*****.”
    Stephen Colbert

    September 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  2. CommonSensed

    Let's make a deal to:

    A) Keep the U.S.A. a secular government
    B) Tax churches
    C) Make proselytizing door to door illegal

    September 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      R'amen on all 3 counts!

      September 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Common sense isn't so common after all. You can't tax churches and maintain separation. When you start talking about government repression (that's what taxes are) or government sanction (someone will eventually get a deal), you are introducing conditions for a theocracy. I'm not sure but I bet if I asked you if you wanted a theocracy you'd say "no" right?

      September 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • Observer

        Bill Deacon

        "When you start talking about government repression (that's what taxes are)"

        So collecting taxes to pay for our military, police, firemen, etc. is a form of "government repression"? That's a good one.

        September 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          The power to tax is the power to destroy Ob. I'm not saying that is a bad thing. It is simply a characteristic of the power.

          Unless you believe the state should have the power to tax without representation, you will have to admit lobbyists and legislators from the denominations you tax or likely face revolt. Is that the plan?

          September 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • Observer

          Bill Deacon,

          Any "power" can be abused. Perhaps you'd prefer no government power so we don't have to worry about abuse.

          Do you have any idea why many right-wingers scream about reducing our government and government spending (without ever praising any of the spending), and then scream loudly if anyone proposes reducing the number of people working for the government and the cost by reducing the million-man military?

          September 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
        • Sara

          Bill, Although I'm personally only for service based taxes (usually property) for churches, I' confused about this one:

          "Unless you believe the state should have the power to tax without representation, you will have to admit lobbyists and legislators from the denominations you tax or likely face revolt. Is that the plan?"

          Why wouldn't the church have the same rights as any other taxed enti ty, such as Microsoft? Or do you think they shouldn't be taxed either?

          September 17, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • JustUsBikers

      That is a great idea!
      That will bring in a ton of money.
      And I won't have to make the Jehovah Witness"s cry when the come to my door want to read scripture to me when I tell them NO!

      September 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Hell and destruction are never full

        The JW's had way too many pharisees in their construction. Look what the pharisees did to americult!

        September 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
      • Dippy

        Witnesses, not witness"s.

        September 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It is a testament to the failure of our public school system that so many people think taxing churches is a good idea. It is a testament to the ignorance of atheism that so many of them are non believers.

      September 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Yes, but it gives you the wonderful opportunity to show off that Christian pride and arrogance. Great job behaving like your god does and not like he tells you to.

        September 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
        • Nick

          And it's quite amusing how you instantly assumed I was a Christian.

          I admire your humility. Never lose it, and keep thinking objectively as well, as you extend your olive branch. 😉

          September 16, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I assumed nothing. I am familiar with Bill Deacon. Who are you, Nick?

          September 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
        • Nick

          To begin:

          I neither assumed anything about you nor accused you of assuming anything about me (or things in general), and am also unaware of your correspondence with Mr. Deacon (of whom I am also largely unfamiliar).

          I am also not the one who wrote this in the first place:

          "Yes, but it gives you the wonderful opportunity to show off that Christian pride and arrogance. Great job behaving like your god does and not like he tells you to."

          As a Christian-agnostic, it does not seem like something I would say in response to one of your statements, lol.

          In conclusion:

          I suppose the one that I am is probably not the one you wish to speak to if, in all honesty, you wish your present concerns to be addressed. 😉
          – N

          September 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
        • Nick

          My apologies. I see your former statement now. It's been hours since I originally responded to you and my e-alert showed that your reply was aimed at yourself, for some reason.

          Thus the confusion....

          But to answer your question in a clearer fashion, yes....I said you had assumed I was a Christian because I had not at that point revealed any affiliation of a Christian nature, beyond speaking of the religion in general terms.

          I have revealed that I am a Christian-agnostic now, though. So I suppose you could say that that is who I am, but I'm not sure it matters, as I don't argue spiritual absolutisms myself. I mainly just contest those of others.

          I I am interested in the truth, and don't just like to debate for argument's sake....

          But I'm afraid that's about as clear as I can make myself at this time.

          – N

          September 16, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
      • Observer

        Bill Deacon,

        Speaking of ignorance, why should atheists and agnostics be forced to pay more in taxes so that churches can give tens of millions of dollars to pay off children molested by their leaders?

        September 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • dat logic

      Don't tax the churches. "No taxation without representation."

      They'll get to have a legitimate voice in our government.

      September 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Precisely. Thank you.

        September 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • Sara

        What on earth are you folks talking about? They can still be a non profit and be political as long as they fill out the paperwork and turn over donor lists. And if they are taxed as corporations they have the same rights as a business. Seriously, what are you two on about?

        September 17, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  3. Unbelieveable to say the least

    I cannot believe that the "new atheists" are not more upset about this. Dawkins is essentially say some levels of molestation is OK. Why this hasn't caused a flood of condemnation from fellow atheists is absolutely beyond me.

    September 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      He's a tool. Just like Pat Robertson.

      Happy?

      September 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • Unbelieveable to say the least

        YES, actually. I feel good knowing that there is at least one other rational person that reads CNN

        September 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Probably because you are a moron and do not understand that this has nothing to do with his atheism, therefore we atheists don't give a shlt about his personal opinions.

      September 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Unbelieveable to say the least

        Again, more concessions and no condemnation. Protect the king at all costs.

        Horrifying.

        September 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        faith/hharri/least.
        You keep condemning anyone who may not exaclty agree with your opinion which is you just trying to start some sort of controversy. If he said that he was for ped0philia, then there would be an issue, but I might not choose to comment, but that is not what he said. You are just up to your odd tactic of saying "look everyone I THINK someone did something wrong, but LOOK EVERYONE, none of the atheists are condemning it....LOOK EVERYONE... LOOK AT ME.
        Pitiful cry for attention.

        September 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • sam stone

          faith/hhari/etc is a useless cvnt

          September 17, 2013 at 5:30 am |
        • sam stone

          also, faith/etc, how is that big, big lawsuit coming?

          about the same pace as the return of jeebus?

          force the issue, meet him halfway

          September 17, 2013 at 5:57 am |
    • jens gessner

      "Dawkins is essentially say some levels of molestation is OK."

      You or anybody else can review the respective statement by Richard Dawkins. I did review the statements, and it is clear that he definitely did NOT say that 'some levels of molestation' was okay.

      Therefore, there are only to possibilities in your case:

      1.) You did not read or understand his statement, and you decided you misrepresent what you did not read;
      2.) You did read his remarks, and you decided to misrepresent them, anyway

      Both possibilities speak to your intellect – or the lack thereof. It only shows that you are engaging in a heinous character assassination.

      I doubt you are a Christian, but if you were, you would need to be reminded that you committed a sin by bearing false witness. It takes an atheist to point that out to you.

      September 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • donna

      That's a bold faced LIE. Shame on you.

      September 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Sara

      I'm not a Dawkins fan, but they guy said nothing of the sort. In the God Delusion (whose main sin is being boring) he wrote

      "All three of the boarding schools I attended employed teachers whose affections for small boys overstepped the bounds of propriety. That was indeed reprehensible."

      That is very different from saying something is "OK."

      September 17, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  4. lunchbreaker

    I'll agree to the deal, if both sides will quit trying to argue whether or not Hitler was Christian or atheist.

    September 16, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      LOL I second!

      September 16, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • Nick

        I've never understood that argument.

        An atheist can pretend to be a Christian. There is historic evidence for this, that he was pretending to have faith; among the evidence were Hitler's writings, including 'Mein Kampf' (My Struggle) – his own autobiography, in which he freely admitted his atheism and also his desire to become a god.

        I think the crux of the argument that Hitler was Christian lies in the fact that some radical atheists like to ignore the historical evidence that Hitler was a godless sociopath who used the Catholic Church (a corrupted religious organization, at that time) to get away with his atrocities.

        They do this because they hate Christianity, but appear deluded to everyone who knows that this is a false argument, including other atheists secure in their own belief in nothing (my hat's off to you gentlemen, for your integrity).

        Whether Hitler was atheist or Christian is actually inconsequential. I myself could care less.

        He was a madman. His actions cannot be laid at the feet of religion, nor could they ever be justified by religion.

        The tragedy is that the Holocaust would have happened regardless.

        – N

        September 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
        • lol??

          Thumbs up.

          September 16, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • Nick

          Thank you.

          September 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Oh, please. Hitler claimed to be Christian and working for the glory of god. An evil person can use the bible to justify any atrocity. It's not hard to do when you simply observe god's behavior with his enemies and the eternal torture pit he operates.

          September 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  5. Dyslexic doG

    I was hiking in the mountains last weekend and a bush burst into flames but it was not consumed. A voice came out of the bush and said "there is no god and religion is foolishness". I shrugged my shoulders and thought "OK ... I suppose a voice from a burning bush can't be wrong." So take note everyone. cheers!

    September 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      oh, and you should see the image of this cool, hippie looking guy I have on a piece of toast ...

      September 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      •  

        Godless Vagabond
        I wonder if it's the same guy's picture I have on a piece of bark I've been keeping.

        September 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • AE

      “I teach Sunday school, motherf*****.”
      – Stephen Colbert

      September 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • AE

        oops! wrong place

        September 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  6. tom

    I appreciate the sentiment of this article, but the first 5 or 6 paragraphs seem to confuse the issue and weaken the overall message. The two comments made by Dawkins, one describing his opinion of the “mild pedophilia he...experenced" and the other a statement of fact about Trinity College and his opinion of muslims scientific success in the middle ages seem hardly shocking or opiniated. However a quick search on Robertson, actual came up with a TOP 10 dumb things he said list. Each more insane than the next.

    Doesn't it seem like aethest are being asked forgive or ignore substantially more insanity than the other way around? Because if we are keeping score, the "believers" have a lot of apologizing to do.
    Either way, the trick and I think, the point to the article...ignore the insane windbags and forget the hyperbole seems like a reasonable position to me. Its a step forward.

    PS Just watch out for the quiet ones...they could brilliant mathematicians or the unibomber or...both.

    September 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  7. Kerry

    If a Christian came forward and said "I was molested as a child but I found Jesus and I forgive the person who touched me. I wish they would have found Jesus and changed their lives instead of committing suicide". That person would be viewed as a hero.

    An atheist comes forward and says "I was molested as a child but I realize the offender could have done much worse and I've managed to forgive him. I wish society would have helped him instead of creating an environment so hostile to his mental illness that he chose to kill himself rather than seek help." – People twist his words to suggest that he (a victim of pedophilia) somehow supports it. How very Christian of you.

    September 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Christina Sou

      Nicely stated! 🙂

      September 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Unbelieveable to say the least

      This is absolutely stunning. They way some people are dismissing these actions as "not that bad" simply astounds me.

      Congrats, Kerry, on being a morally reprehensible human being. We don't know who will save the children, but we know it won't be the atheists.

      September 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • CommonSensed

        Maybe the Catholics will save the children?

        September 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          We save more than the public school system

          September 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • sam stone

          sure you do, billy boy

          September 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • donna

        Are you seriously going to claim that every child who was abused like that automatically suffers life long harm? Because I'm here to tell you that it's just not true.

        How dare YOU TELL ME how I am supposed to feel about things that happen to me?

        Dawkins shared his experiences. They were valid. And his point that abuse by people you trust and love, or abuse that is ongoing, or abuse that is physically severe is WORSE than being touched by a virtual stranger who did it ONE TIME, is valid.

        September 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
        • Sara

          I agree that not everyone suffers life-long harm. However, Dawkins went far in saying none of the other kids did, assuming for more than himself. Clearly some of these kids will have had worse abuse and some will have had different psychological profiles or family environments or later events that made things much worse for them than for him. He, too, is dismissing people's experience, and he is dismissing the experience of people who suffered.

          September 17, 2013 at 12:15 am |
      • Nick

        Technically, any individual of good heart and moral fiber could save a child.

        That act would have almost nothing to do with their beliefs....

        September 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  8. Nick

    There is no 'truth' regarding religion.

    All major religions are built off of faith. All major religions encourage belief without evidence.

    If atheists can neither understand nor respect this fact, then what possible conversation can be had?

    September 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Well stated.

      September 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • Nick

        Thank you.

        September 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      How much respect do you show to someone who , as an adult, belives in Santa or the tooth fairy?

      While i can show respect, i do not HAVE respect for their beliefs. It is only the idea of self that one chooses to believe without evidence. The need to belong, the need to feel as if you arre part of something greater, the need to know there is a purpose. Many of us have decided to wait for further evidence, yet have to deal with those who force their beiliefs on others.

      Tell you what....get the LIE off OUR money, put the pledge of allegience back the way it was before the christians hijacked it, and remove all the other faith based laws that exist in this country and then maybe we'll show more respect...until then it is the christians not showing respect everyday in those forms, forcing everyone else to bow to THEIR god.

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

        So, obviously you are unable to converse civilly with at least one major religion, Cranium.

        I'm sorry to hear it. But yet, you have proved my point (at least for some agnostics/atheists).

        What could possibly be achieved by any attempt by you to do so?

        September 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Incorrect Nick, I normally converse civilly. If one has an intelligent debate they wish to engage in, I am more than open to it, but instead all day there are those who mistake belief for fact, those who use trite arguments that have already been discounted many times, and those who do not realize how little respect they show to others while telling others to repsct them.

          It is like the guys who play their stereo's illegally loud, and then think that someone is disrespectful when someone tells them to turn it down. It is their disrespect that forced someone to confront the stereo player, but they only see the disrespect of someone who dares to tell them what they are doing is wrong.

          Are my words alone not enough to convince you that I normally speak with respect?

          September 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • Nick

          Well, I appreciate your response but when you wrote:

          "Tell you what....get the LIE off OUR money, put the pledge of allegience back the way it was before the christians hijacked it, and remove all the other faith based laws that exist in this country and then maybe we'll show more respect...until then it is the christians not showing respect everyday in those forms, forcing everyone else to bow to THEIR god."

          It seems like you're angry at Christians, in general. I can empathize with a couple of the issues you have raised here (including that you feel an infringement of civil liberties which may or may not be merited), but if I openly, and especially aggressively, took exception at any of your beliefs, I'm afraid that soon the debate would devolve into another fruitless argument and neither side would win, nor anything be truly achieved.

          So, sorry if I seemed like I was being condescending. The problem with religion, to begin with, is that it cannot be discussed logically. Lol, which is why I try not to debate it to often.

          I just come from a position that as a spiritual person, I cannot prove/disprove anything empirically, so even though these debates might devolve into arguments and prove useless and contentious the majority of the time, I feel that with respect they can be discussed in a more civil manner over time. 🙂

          This might help our society somewhat in the future, I don't know.

          – N

          September 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    •  

      Godless Vagabond
      Speaking for myself, I certainly understand faith and respect it. I just don't believe there is a god or creator or any supernatural beings of any kind.

      September 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • Nick

        That's fine. 🙂

        I appreciate your belief that there is no supernatural world.

        – N

        September 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • Tony

          Just to be clear, are you saying there's no point in talking about this kind of thing?

          September 16, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Nick

          Only if it's important to you.

          Just as I don't generally listen to people who try to impress the importance of things on to me, I wouldn't tell you it was important to have a discussion here if you felt otherwise.

          I also don't presume to be right concerning matters in which I have no proof.

          Right now, I'm just enjoying the non-contentious sharing of ideas.

          I truly have no agenda. Occasionally, I just like the debate, lol.

          – N

          September 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • Tony

          I agree (mostly). I'm all about the debate, but for different reasons than you.

          As a matter of clarity, atheism is not the assertion that god does not exist, it's only a lack of belief in a god. So, when I engage in a debate on the internet about religious claims, I'm not trying to prove my beliefs as correct, but since I really feel that theism (Christianity in particular) is demonstrably harmful as presented, I feel obligated to point out the falsehoods associated with it.

          I think a lot of people (not unique to religious people btw) get extremely defensive when you point out that their position isn't sound. If people were able to accept criticism and honest critiques of their position the conversation would be much more fruitful.
          Until then, I agree it won't get anywhere.

          September 17, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • sam stone

      it would be interesting to hear believers en masse admit that their beliefs are opinions, not facts

      i don't think it is coming any time soon

      September 16, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • Nick

        I am a Christian-agnostic. My belief is based on faith that I have in a set of generalized religious tenets. I pray to strengthen my faith. I realize it may be substantiated, or a psychosis. This does not bother me overmuch.

        It is how I have chosen to live.

        Now you have heard a believer claim he does not know.

        – N

        September 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • sam stone

          thank you

          September 17, 2013 at 5:32 am |
  9. Tony

    The bottom line here is that arguments/statements stand and fail on their own merit.
    Because Dawkins or Robertson said something should never have been representative of the demographic they "represent." That is only ever a fair judgement when others echo their views on the subject.

    September 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Richard was speaking for himself about a personal issue and voiced his opinion that had nothing to do with his atheism.

      Pat was speaking for his Church and his fellow Christians, being a Christian leader among the Christian community with millions of followers sending him money to support his divisive rhetoric which he directly ties to his faith.

      So the short answer to Rachels "let's make a deal" is "No." and the long answer is "No, because you know as well as I do that Pat represents far more people and their mindset than Richard does about his "mild" childhood pedophelia.

      September 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
      • Tony

        I agree it's a false dichotomy, but my point is if Dawkins were to say something I either disagree with or is demonstrably false, I won't side with him on that issue. The same goes for Robertson (which is nearly every word the man says).

        More to the point though I don't get why Dawkins' comments are being given so much attention. What exactly did he say that was extremely inflammatory/false?

        September 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          He said nothing controversial. He just shared his own personal opinion on a sensitive matter. Leave it up to the christards to make a mountain out of a molehill. (Faith doesn't move mole hills any easier than mountains, but they're easier to kick flat when nobody is looking).

          September 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  10. dano

    Interesting how so many people can read this article and take none of it to heart.

    September 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Christine loves the Park on Tuesdays

      The writer is not very good 🙁

      September 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • doobzz

        LOL, that's putting it mildly.

        September 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • donna

      What some of us are taking "to heart" is that Dawkins' comments were taken out of context and misrepresented. He said nothing wrote, what he said was accurate.

      September 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  11. DIVISIVE Mary

    Ok.Ok.Ok.Ok.Ok.Ok.Ok.Ok. If you could go back in time and take out, either Hitler, Mohammed, Mao, or Abraham....which would you choose and why?

    hee hee, fun!

    September 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Doris

      Well Abraham Lincoln. That's a no-brainer.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • OKie Dave

      I'll upvote Abraham if he is responsible for these three "faith systems" that dominate Earth

      September 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • Hell and destruction are never full

        Zec 13:8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

        September 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Go back in time an hour... kill DIVISIVE Mary... and save all of us from your stupid question... Yay! I'm a hero!

      September 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  12. Jesus' Beloved

    I think it is at least possible that God has died recently and that now we are alone 🙁 But I have strong faith that Jesus will still return and take me to Heaven. That's why he has my love. Who could follow Allah when Jesus is everywhere?!

    September 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      El Shaddai, El Elyon, Adonai, Yahweh, Jehovah Nissi, Raah, Rapha, Shammah, Tsidkenu, Mokeoddishken, El Olam, Elohim, Qanna, Jireh, Shalom, saboath, Jah, Yah, Abba, Abhir, Akal, Dayspring, Despotes, Dunastes, Esh okhlah, Gaol, Ktizo, Kokhav miya'akov, Kurios, Magen, Ma'on, Melekh, Misthapodotes, Hupsistos Hupsistos, Illay, Or Goyim, Sar Shalom, Shaphat, Theotes, Tsemach, Zebaot, Zur, Allah...

      Abraham's God has hundreds and hundreds of names.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • and that's just the ones AFTER your drivel began!

        Written in 1280 BC, The Book of the Dead describes a God, Horus... Horus is the son of the god Osiris... born to a virgin mother.

        He was baptized in a river by Anup the Baptizer... who was later beheaded.

        Like Jesus, Horus was tempted while alone in the desert... Healed the sick... The blind... Cast out demons... And walked on water...
        He raised Asar from the dead. 'Asar' translates to 'Lazarus'. Oh yeah, he also had 12 disciples. Yes, Horus was crucified first... And after 3 days, two women announced... Horus, the savior of humanity... had been resurrected.

        September 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          There are other ancient gods whose mythos have much in common with the Abrahamic God and His Son – Dionysus, Attis, Mithra, and Krishna for example.
          The martyred, resurrected god is a mythological archetype.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Doris

      Pollen and mold might be nearly everywhere, but the gardner?

      September 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  13. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Dear Ms Held Evans,

    Why are you picking a fight in the guise of not picking a fight here.

    Have you ever attended an English public school? He attended Oundle School from 1954 – 1959, which presumably from his comments (like most English public schools of the time) was rife with male teacher / student abuse that definitely crosses our boundaries today.

    Britain's Anglican upper crust has had this skeleton in the closet for centuries.

    As for the comments about Muslim science, please look at this video by Neil DeGrass Tyson. It is very informative and from your description (I don't follow anyone on twitter) seems to match Dawkin's comments about Muslims and science.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDAT98eEN5Q

    September 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Sara

      My first impression was that this article was just a platform to present Dawkins words in the worst possible light but all wrapped up to look like she was making an argument about something else.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      PT Barnum would be impressed by this woman's zeal for self-promotion.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  14. Uncouth Swain

    It is illogical to use a single sample (Robertson or a Dawkins) and use it to label an entire group of people. There will always be those that do this but they are not thinking clearly at all.

    September 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      True,

      I'm still trying to figure out what Dawkins said that was so imflammatory.

      (I don't follow anyone on twitter.)

      September 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

        Dawkins made a couple of factual points and a couple of sarcastic comments and as usual the 'persecuted' christards got their panties all in a knot. They don't like it when hard to dismiss facts are presented to them.

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

          The "hard to dismiss fact" is that Dawkins minimized the impact of "light pdeophilia" whatever that is, on the psychology and emotional structure of children. It's not so much about his attacks on Christianity, errant as they are.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

          He didn't make light of it, he wasn't dismissive of it... he was referring mostly to himself (as a victim) with the "light pedophilia" comment. God personally takes the time to edit Christian speeches, so they NEVER say inappropriate things that get misconstrued or blown out of proportion...

          September 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Bill Deacon,

          I don't know what Dawkins said – the only place I have seen it mentioned is by Ms Held Evans here, so it can't be that much of an imbroglio.

          I suspect that Dawkin's opinion is no different to most of his generation and background who attended English Public schools of that period. ("Public" really meaning "private".)

          In these enlightened days of course, it is wrong, and Dawkin's opinion is of course his opinion.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          He mentioned "mild pedophelia" not "light" but the fact remains, none of his personal opinions about his childhood have anything to do with the science behind atheism. This would be like saying "Hey, did you know Darwin always carried a doll with red hair around with him and he would have tea parties with it? I guess that proves his theory of evolution wrong..."

          The two subjects have nothing to do with eachother, thus is is extremely dishonest to claim that somehow Richards personal opinions have anything to do with the discoveries he has made about the universe.

          Pat Robertson on the other hand, represents a large community of Christians who agree with him enough to keep sending him money, so his rude religious rhetoric should be fair game to be thro in the face of his followers. I agree that those Christians who rightly call him out on it and do not support him should not be lumped in with Pat, but there are many many many Christians who do not call him out on it and stand silently by and thus tacitly approve of his comments.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • doobzz

          "The "hard to dismiss fact" is that Dawkins minimized the impact of "light pdeophilia" whatever that is, on the psychology and emotional structure of children."

          I find the pious outrage and hypocrisy of Boof Deacon, the person who called the RCC's continuing conspiracy to hide pedophilia within it's clergy "a judgement call", to be hilarious.

          September 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • Sara

        First, he probably exaggerated the reality a bit and was talking outside his area of experise. However, second, there was likely also an element of truth in what he said. This problem is similar to that of accepting that some women are not traumatized by ra. pe. Yet most women will be hesitant to say this publicly, even when for them it is true. And the media will rarely show such stories. Why?

        1. Most ra. pes are, in fact, horribly traumatic. To talk about one's exceptional case (be it because of different person psychology, circu.mstances or whatever) risks misrepresenting the general case.
        2. Most people don't have time to worry about the fine details of every part of reality. We humans need simplifications. Ra. pe is horrible. Period. That's pretty damn close to the truth.
        3. Sicko men who are on the border of being ra. pists would likely grap onto the few less traumatized cases to justify proceeding.
        4. The idiot human race might also make this an excuse for lessening sentences.
        4. For women who had horrible experiences, hearing from others who didn't have it so bad diminishes their experience. Worse, it makes them and others wonder if they are just weak for being so hurt. Well what about the rights of those other women to share and speak you might ask? Well, who do you think needs more help? I'd say the many who actually are traumatized have dibs on defining the reality.

        We like the idea of being able to say whatever we want and always promote truth in the public domain. But humans are simple and truths can hurt people. There are expert fields in which all these topics are less taboo, but you aren't going to hear some of these things said in the mainstream, and quite possibly shouldn't.

        September 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • doobzz

          Also, unless you have been severely beaten, shot or stabbed, many people will say that the victim is partially responsible for not fighting back hard enough, when, in many cases, submitting to the attack, as horrific as that is, saved his/her life.

          September 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • donna

          Sara, where did you get the idea he exaggerated reality? Have you actually read his comments?

          September 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
        • Sara

          He said he didn't think the molester had done any of them any harm While it may not have been much harm for some, it is highly improbable thatnot one of the students was harmed.

          September 16, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
        • donna

          Sara, perhaps you should read his comments before spreading lies about what he said. Didn't you at least read the article?

          He said no lasting damage. Not NO DAMAGE. And he is talking about his personal experiences and the experiences of friends he specifically asked them about. So it's not an exaggeration and you should not say that someone is exaggerating a personal experience of abuse in any direction.

          Go to richardawkins .net "Child Abuse: a misunderstanding."

          September 16, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
        • Sara

          donna, of course I read the article, and then I went beyond it to the source and read what he actually said:

          “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”

          September 17, 2013 at 12:18 am |
        • donna

          Sara,

          Why did you just repeat what I said my comment? Did you only read the first sentence? I just TOLD YOU he said "no lasting him" YOU said he said "NO HARM." Now you're going to pretend you included the "lasting"?

          What a sad person you must be to lie about what you said when it's there for everyone to read.

          BTW, Einstein, I'm not going to waste my time replying fully to your other comments. But Richard Dawkins is a Doctor of Philosophy. And you're a tool.

          September 18, 2013 at 1:35 am |
        • Sara

          donna,

          "Richard Dawkins is a Doctor of Philosophy"

          lol...what do you think a "PhD" is??? PhD in biochemistry, Fench Lit, , canine fashion, Frisbee dynamics...all doctors of "philosophy". You're too funny.

          Btw, you also completely missed the point of the quote I posted. You've been claiming all over the place he was only speaking about his own experiences. The point is he was speaking for others.

          September 19, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  15. GET0verit

    American atheists are the most butthurt, illogical, vitriolic, and outright miserable people on the face of the planet.

    Keep telling yourself that you are happier now. You are probably sleeping alone tonight.

    Keep telling yourself that you embrace science. You are no different than Christians who do the same.

    Keep telling yourself that you are smarter. You probably couldn't pass a 11th grade physics class.

    Luckily, most of you lack the common social faculties needed to procreate. Those of you that do will probably refrain from doing so in order to keep looking out for #1.

    September 16, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Joe Bauers

      Haha - watch the movie, "Idiocracy" some time. You'll see a scenario where the stupid out-procreate the intelligent. Funny... and sort of horrifying.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • GET0verit

        I actually love that movie! I consider it a more comical and modern 1984. On a culture bent of amusing itself to death, science will neither save us or kill us. The fact that we use science as a argument point is a complete distraction from larger issues.

        September 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved 2

          Some of us believe that science (and studying and learning and growing) IS the most important part of existence.

          ...And that is actually the nail on the head, most Christians I meet who are devout, are really quite happy and not interested in learning or growing. Why would they be? They have all the knowledge they need (or want). There is a certain peace I notice about them especially in old age as they are so secure in their deity is real and heaven awaits. It calms them, nothing can really rattle them, any problems they come across are tiny compared to what they perceive as "gods love" or "saving their immortal soul". So for me at least that's it in a nutshell. You start with a false premise, i.e. humans have souls. or gods are real or life continues after death (and lucky us, its just gets better) and then thought patterns build around the false premise for so long, that its probably extremely difficult for the devout to realize that they are closer to "crazy" than to "sane".

          September 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Jericho

      Oh, look! It's Ridiculous Generalization Man! Exactly what this author was talking about!

      American Christians are the most butthurt, illogical, vitriolic, and outright miserable people on the face of the planet.

      Keep telling yourself that you are happier now. You are probably sleeping alone tonight.

      Keep telling yourself that you embrace science. You are no different than atheists who do the same.

      Keep telling yourself that you are smarter. You probably couldn’t pass a 11th grade physics class.

      Luckily, most of you lack the common social faculties needed to procreate. Those of you that do will probably refrain from doing so in order to keep looking out for #1.

      Now, see, that works equally well substi.tuting 'Christian' for 'atheist'.

      Neither is true, and both are ignorant statements.

      Get over yourself. You aren't any more special because you believe than anyone who doesn't.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • GET0verit

        And 10000 internet points to you, Mr.Internet detective, for deducing that "I believe". Tell me, sir champion of logic, exactly what it is that I believe?

        September 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Jericho

          You believe you're witty. You aren't.

          September 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      What Ghetto Verit here was trying to say was:

      I am the most butthurt, illogical, vitriolic, and outright miserable person on the face of the planet.

      I Keep telling myself that I am happier now, though I am sleeping alone tonight.

      I Keep telling myself that I embrace science, but all that study and thinking makes my brain hurt.

      I Keep telling myself that I am smarter, but I probably couldn't pass an 11th grade physics class.

      Luckily, I lack the common social faculties needed to procreate. Even if I didn't I will probably would refrain from doing so in order to keep looking out for Jesus.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • GET0verit

        Congrats on affirming everything I stated.

        September 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          You are welcome. I could tell that is what you were really wanting to say and from the frantic way you were writing that you were in fact the one who was butthurt. I used to be a butthurt Christian too, but I left my old life as a pastor in Ohio and moved to California and could not be happier 🙂 The only bit of sad I still feel is for those friends I left behind who are still stuck in the mire that is organized religion.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I am happier without fearing the wrath of a petty, jealous deity. I feel thankful each time I kiss my partner good morning.
      You're correct in that I probably couldn't pass a high school physics test. I am mathematically deficient.
      I don't consider myself smarter than people of faith, though I do consider myself more in touch with reality than a Biblical Literalist – or a Scientologist for that matter.
      I have a child who is happy, healthy and well adjusted.
      She is being raised in a home full of love, laughter, music, art, and learning.
      Religion isn't absent from our home, nor is it belittled. There's a big bookshelf in the living room teeming with books about all manner of religion, philosophy and mythology.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  16. DRJJ

    Re: macro evolution/secularism: So, we're a extremely complex machine called luck, evolved by chance with no designer, no evidence that crawled out of a pond, into monkey then man-talk about faith in a false religion!

    Time Magazine interview with Einstein in his 50s:
    To what extent are you influenced by Christianity? "As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene."

    Do you accept the historical existence of Jesus? "Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."

    Do you believe in God? "I'm not an atheist. I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books."

    The general revelation of a God through the micro and macro symphony/complexity of nature (there is a painter behind this painting) the fulfilled prophecy in the Bible (100s with impossible odds), the life of Christ & his followers (they cleared forests to crucify Christians in the 1-2 century & nobody dies like this for a hoax) the near death experiences of millions (see the light), the sense of right/wrong built into all of us ( innate sense of justice/right/wrong), the eye witness testimony to Christ, his miracles and resurrection (takes one eyewitness to condemn a man to death today) the miracle of the Bible (see the dead sea scrolls 2000+ years later for example-hasn't changed, another miracle) just to name some evidence! It's the intellectually honest world view folks and there's room for one more!

    The macro evolution faith movement taught to our kids as gospel is a hoax and damaging society bad! Secularization of church and state has done us no favors-turn on the news! Loving God and loving others-what a horrible world view to promote huh?

    September 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Doris

      Bad initial assumption about people's "beliefs".

      Then some stuff about Einstein and this:

      "The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds." I agree with that but must add "at this time".

      Then a bunch of claims that have always been on shaky ground. More references to "witnesses". What witnesses? What were their names? Did they write anything?

      Nothing new here.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      DRJJ,

      Very good post. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      In the 21st century we have numerous examples of irreligious governments running successful societies, like Ja/pan, Switzerland and my home, Canada.
      Some of our elected officials may be religious, but we expect them to act as Humanists, not religionists.

      You sound like a mouthpiece for the "Discovery Insti/tute" – those Creationists who openly admit that their goal isn't to teach what think is factually true, but rather "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies" and touse Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".
      In other words, it is the fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Macro evolution is a mischaracterization of evolution. Most people would consider an avalanche to be "macro" and yet it formed over a long period of time one tiny micro snowflake at a time. What morons like DRJJ can't understand is that evolution is not a random flip of the coin trillions of times until we get the right combo to make life, thus making the random chance too unlikely, but evolution and this universe collaberate by the universal waves of energy and radiation that inundate and penetrate everything. The example many creationists have used to laugh at science and evolution are the monkey and a typewriter claiming that no amount of randomsness could ever produce the works of Shakespear. However, if that type writer held onto any random letters that produced words, and kept preserving the successes, in a much shorter period of time the monkey would in fact come up with the Hamlet.

      check this out and explain how this is possible and not random patterns: http://www.wimp.com/risingtone/

      September 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • donna

        I agree, we could do without the macro/micro giving people the false impression there are different processes involved.

        September 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  17. robert landbeck

    "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." And that sentiment is about to be put to the test on both sides of the most contentious of ancient arguments. For what science and religion, not to mention the rest of us, thought impossible has now happened. History has its first literal, testable and fully demonstrable proof for faith and it's on the web.

    The first wholly new interpretation for two thousand years of the moral teachings of Christ has been published. Radically different from anything else we know of from theology or history, this new teaching is predicated upon the 'promise' of a precise, predefined, and predictable experience of transcendent omnipotence and called 'the first Resurrection' in the sense that the Resurrection of Jesus was intended to demonstrate Gods' willingness to reveal Himself and intervene directly into the natural world for those obedient to His will, paving the way for access, by faith, to the power of divine Will and ultimate proof!

    Thus 'faith' becomes an act of trust in action, the search to discover His 'Word' of a direct individual intervention into the natural world by omnipotent power that confirms divine will, law, command and covenant, which at the same time, realigns our mortal moral compass with the Divine, "correcting human nature by a change in natural law, altering biology, consciousness and human ethical perception beyond all natural evolutionary boundaries." So like it or no, a new religious teaching, testable by faith, meeting all Enlightenment criteria of evidence based causation and definitive proof now exists. Nothing short of an intellectual, moral and religious revolution is getting under way. To test or not to test, that is the question? More info at http://www.energon.org.uk

    September 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • BakBic

      Too long. Too many capitalized words.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • dano

      I'm afraid I must disagree. Those who are interested in truth are those who can admit that what they have been taught doesnt necessarily line up with what is in their heart and soul. I have found a majority of (vocal) people, whether atheist or believer (or Muslim Jew, etc) prefer to remain blindly entrenched in that which they already have espoused. They prefer to hear nothing that might cause them to challenge the accuracy of their current belief system, and will often react vehemently when someone presents an opposing viewpoint, no matter how sincere or objective.
      My gauge of searching for the truth is found in open mindedness. TRUE confidence in ones beliefs is demonstrated with compassion and patience when exposed to someone of opposing beliefs. Those who belittle and mock people who dont see eye to eye with them, offer little credibility or appeal to their own tenets.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      Yikes! FALSE gods!

      RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

      Maybe try a 7 day water fast to clear your head.

      September 16, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  18. JustUsBikers

    The idea that non-believers are evil people is simply ridiculous! Even worse is those that believe keep trying to quote scriptures to those that don't believe is even is beyond ridiculous.

    Those that have a belief in God is their own personal opinion and should not be pushed down those that don't believe. The only reason purpose for religion is to keep people in control. Organized religion has been doing that for centuries and it hasn't really worked.

    September 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Athy

      But it probably helps, at least for some of those on the fringe.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      For clarification purposes, non-believers are no more evil than believers. Stop segregating yourself into a separate group.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
      • JustUsBikers

        And your point is?

        September 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Your statement implies that believers have said non-believers are evil while believers are not. That is not consistent with any Christian doctrine I know of. So, you have created a straw man or false argument and left it out as bait for someone to pick up. You are either uninformed about the doctrine or deliberately misconstruing it to confound the issues. Instead of creating a false dilemma, why not learn what the faith really says and discuss that?

          September 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • JustUsBikers

          My implication was well stated! It had nothing to do with the Christian doctrine as you suggest. It is about people's perspective coming from "Christian" point of view. Not all Christians follow what you consider the Christian doctrine. I have many so called Christians that suggested those that don't believe must be evil / sinners for not following the word of God. I have had first hand experience with individuals that feel that way and have communicated that very thought.

          September 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Bill
          I take it you've never had a long chat with a Jehovah's Witness....
          They have no concept of primacy of conscience and seem to take great pride in informing everybody that isn't a JoHo that they're headed straight to Hell.

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

          I can't argue your point Doc, so I won't. Do you think Biker was thinking of JoHo's when he made his comment? I don't.

          September 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Bill
          Oh no – Biker is most assuredly Trollin'
          There are countless variations of Christianity – it is true that some of them are insufferably self-righteous, but not all.
          But if your primary exposure to Christians is, for example, Jehovah's Witnesses or Southern Baptists, then it can make one think that every religionist is that smug about how close they are to the Almighty and how much pain and suffering everyone else is going to get come Judgement Day.
          In my experience, newly "Born Again" types are the worst.
          "There is none so pure as a reformed wh/ore" as my father used to say.

          September 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • Nick

          I don't know if you are aware of what you just did (and many atheists/agnostics are only aware of these kind of Christians because they are often the most vocal) but accidentally or not....you seem to have just generalized the 90 percent of Christians who are not zealots (or even members of the more 'right-wing'denominations) down into the ten percent who are.

          I despise most of these people as much as many atheists do, but they hardly make up a minority of Christendom, and are not representative of the religion as a whole.

          Thank Christ, they never will be.

          September 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Hell and destruction are never full

      Ever been on the Tail of the Dragon?? The Ozarks will kill ya just as well.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  19. Roddy2112

    Sure, it's a deal. I'll dump Dawkins if Christians dump the most vile representatives of the Christian faith. That of course would include the god of the bible. You denounce that child killer of a god and I'll denounce Dawkins because he said some stuff.

    September 16, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Hell and destruction are never full

      God gives and takes life. It's only a temporary state of existence for Him.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
      • Doris

        Wow – pretty impressive. And how did you come by this "valuable" info?

        September 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • Jericho

          Lol?? by any other name is still just as intelligible. At least it got over the idea that it's "the pithiest."

          September 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • hee hee

        Does he giveth and taketh? you've got me frightened now. What should I doeth?

        September 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          You should repent of your sins and serve the needy.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Screw the needy. Scroungers.

          September 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • heehee

          @Bill the Deacon: Is pride a sin? You've got it in spades.

          September 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
      • sam stone

        life is only a temporary state of existence for god?

        September 18, 2013 at 5:16 am |
    • GET0verit

      Absolutely typical atheist logic: Dawkins = God.

      Everyone needs someone to worship. Keep sending Dawkins your $$$ you pathetic sheeple.

      September 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • Sara

        I don't think that was the point at all. The point was that if you are going to ask people to dump spokespersons for a belief (or lack thereof) based on the fact they have said or done objectionable things, God, as represented by the bible, would be called out fast.

        September 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • A Frayed Knot

        "Everyone needs someone to worship."

        No; that seems to be a penchant or fetish of some emotion-driven folks. One can respect, admire, and/or learn from another person without "worshipping" him or her.

        September 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • GET0verit

          And give them millions of dollars that they realized that they cannot make in their own country. No one in England cares.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          GET0verit,

          Even if that were to be true, that is not "worship".

          September 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

        Your weak attempt at trolling is noted poser...

        September 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • GET0verit

          Atheist rule #12: if someone makes a point that makes you uncomfortable, label that person a troll. Never challenge the mainline.

          However, I will concede that your answer to "The Question" is the most logical. 3 As makes the most sense.

          September 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • Ken

        Every Dawkins book I've ever read came from my local library. He's never got a cent from me.

        However, I've been to church services where people were not only discouraged from borrowing Christian books from the library, they were encouraged to buy extra copies for "wayward" friends and family. Now that's marketing!!!

        September 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • donna

        Dawkins is a man. I've met him, we shook his hands. He's a real guy and I know that to be fact. So nothing god-like about him.

        September 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
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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.