Air Force makes 'God' optional in honor code
The Air Force Academy has made a big change to its honor code to reflect religious diversity.
October 25th, 2013
05:11 PM ET

Air Force makes 'God' optional in honor code

By Emily Smith, CNN

(CNN) - The U.S. Air Force Academy has decided to make phrase "so help me God" optional in its honor code after an activist group protested that requiring all cadets to recite it violates their rights.

The complete oath reads: "We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does, so help me God."

Cadets are required to recite the oath when they complete basic training. It is also taken by the entire cadet wing each year as re-affirmation of their commitment to the honor code, said AFA spokesman Major Brus Vidal.

The Military for Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group that has waged repeated battle with the armed services, took issue with the last clause of the sentence, saying that no cadets should be forced to make a promise to God.

After the complaint was filed by MRFF, the Air Force Academy Honor Review Committee met for an in-depth discussion regarding the oath.

On Friday, the AFA released a statement saying they had decided to make the final clause of the honor oath optional.

The AFA statement read, in part, “Here at the Academy, we world to build a culture of dignity and respect, and that respect includes the ability of our cadets, Airmen and civilian Airmen to freely practice and exercise their religious preference –- or not.”

"The fact that the oath is optional will be communicated in honor lessons, leadership lessons, and religious respect lessons during the summer (cadet basic military training) so all trainees will understand prior to taking the Cadet Honor Oath that the final clause will be completely optional," said Vidal.

"The person administering the oath, who is the cadet wing honor chair has the option to say or not say 'so help me god," so this might vary from year to year," Vidal continued.

MORE ON CNN: Air Force: Bible and nukes don't mix

Mikey Weinstein, MRFF's founder and president, said he would sue the academy on behalf of his clients if the words were still left at the end of the oath, even if repeating them was optional.

“If the words are still there and you don’t say [them] you turn yourself into a tarantula on a wedding cake,” he said.

MRFF has taken issue with the Air Force before. In 2011, the group complained about an Air Force training presentation that used religion to teach the ethics and morality of using nuclear weapons.

That same year, CNN learned that the Air Force was using religious tenets such as the Ten Commandments to teach core values to ROTC cadets.

MORE ON CNN: Air Force's use of Christian messages extends to ROTC

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Culture wars • Discrimination • God • Military • Politics

soundoff (2,610 Responses)
  1. Lionly Lamb

    To believe or not to believe are as quandaries of self-reflective considerations to muddle about and banter forth in a seemingly endless series centralized around individually socialized principalities...

    October 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  2. bostontola

    Fact: there are hundreds of gods that have been put forth by humans along with their revealed "Truth".

    Hypothesis 1: one of these is the True God, all the others are false. These false gods must have been made up by humans. Billions of people have been duped into deeply believing in these false gods and loving them, killing for them. Many of these false gods were concieved of before the true God made his presence felt.

    Hypothesis 2: same as hypothesis 1 except the True God is just like all the others, invented by humans.

    October 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • tony

      The truest god is the one needing the biggest donations. 🙁

      October 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
      • bostontola

        Sadly, the purpose of a flock is to be fleeced.

        October 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  3. John Stefanyszyn

    The way of life, the true "religion", of the USA is the belief in "FREEDOM" of self-rights, self-religion.
    This governing belief in "freedom" is in itself neutral...for it does not discriminate against nor does it show preference for any 'god' because it believes in the "equality" of all "call them gods/self-rulers".

    AND this "FREEDOM" also denies and rejects the Preeminence and Will of the One and Only Creator Creator who gave us existence...and it denies and rejects that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Creator God, for man loves first and foremost self-rule...to serve and magnify oneself (XES).

    This "freedom" is the god of fortresses and image that all worship...the mark on man's forehead or hand.

    BUT it is Only the Lord and King Christ that will rule according to the Will of the Creator and not according to the "freedom self-will" of man.

    October 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Not so fast:

      The Apostles' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      (references used are available upon request)

      October 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • John Stefanyszyn

        "should one believe in a 'god' which is not proven?"....NO
        Should one believe and serve the One God that is proven? YES
        ...how is He proven? ....your existence and the existence of all that supports your existence and the existence of our life within the blackness and cold all around us.

        And the Son, Jesus Christ, of this One Who gave Existence, is so that existence can continue in truth and love for the other and for the One Who loved us first.

        BUT man desires to serve his own will...to serve and magnify the self first and foremost (which leads to death).....and this is reality.

        October 27, 2013 at 7:58 am |
        • Michael James

          To add...And man was given a choice..to serve... or," not to serve", the one and only God !! You may make the choice to "not believe", and..your existence will "Not be written" in "Gods book of life. To "Not" acknowledge him, means to "Not be acknowledged". There for, your place that has a "down payment" on it, Will be passed on to another. When you entered this earth, God had placed a "down payment" on your place in Heaven. As you go on in life, Your "lay-a-way", will be sold" to the next player" !!! And there will be many who will want what is so "Freely given" !!!! Now that's a "bargain for me", and i'll take it!!

          October 27, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • Reality # 2

          Strong circ-umstantial evidence that there is no god (or did they all die as martyrs?)

          Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

          1. 300,000,000 approx.

          2. 200,000,000 ?

          3. 100,000,000 approx.
          Black Death

          4. 80,000,000–250,000,000

          5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
          Spanish Flu

          6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
          Plague of Justinian

          7. 40,000,000–100,000,000

          8. 30,000,000[13]
          AIDS pandemic

          9. 12,000,000 ?
          Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

          10. 5,000,000
          Antonine Plague

          11. 4,000,000
          Asian Flu

          12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

          October 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Ergo

      Hmmm, it must be "God's" will that it's this way then... and he would have known it even before "he" created it.

      October 26, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • tony

      I'd like freedom from church billboards

      October 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  4. AvdBerg

    To know the true and living God and the way of Repentance (Mark 1:4) is a decision every person needs to make based on his/her free will.

    For a better understanding of the existence of God vs. Atheism, Christianity, Islam and other religions we invite you to read the articles 'Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?', 'World History and Developments in the Middle East' and 'Clash of Civilizations', listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    There is no name under heaven, other than the name of Jesus Christ, whereby man(kind) can be saved (Acts 4:12).

    We also invite you to read the articles 'The Decline and Fall of a Divided Nation (Matthew 12:25)' and 'Barack Obama – President of the United States of America'. .

    All the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9, and what mankind must do to be reunited with the true and living God.

    October 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • bostontola

      God is an illusion. It seems real, but it's not.

      October 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • Colin

        Thank you for adding proof to my statements that all so called atheists are liars.

        October 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • tony

          You are not making sense.

          October 26, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        Would you agree that the carnal mind (the 5 senses) cannot fully account for all that exist.
        For example...The electromagnetic spectrum...man can only see within the very small range of the "visible region"...yet we know (how do we know) that there are other regions to this spectrum that cannot be "seen" by the unaided eye.
        There's a whole world of unseen dimensions out there. There are 7 dimensions of the spirit world. (Science is slowly 'bumping' into these dimensions).

        The things of God aren't hidden from his people...they're hidden for his people.

        October 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • GhostBallBusters

          Jesus' Beloved,

          Your "Jesus" believed this (he believed "every dot" of the OT, y'know:

          Moses said: "These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you":

          Deuteronomy: "11 If two men are fighting, and the wife of one man tries to rescue her husband by grabbing the other man’s private parts, 12 you must cut off her hand. Don’t have any mercy."

          October 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • Check

          Jesus also believed the following things, since he accepted (yea, even "wrote") the OT:

          - You cure leprosy by having a dove killed, dipping a live one in its blood and having it fly around. Also, you have to anoint the toes of the suffer with the blood.–Leviticus 14

          - You discover unfaithful wives when their bellies swell and their thighs rot after they are made to drink some magical water. - Numbers 5

          - Prized striped goats are bred by having the mating parents stare at striped objects. –Genesis 30

          – You may buy, own, sell, and will slaves to your descendants (only foreigners for slaves, though, no Israelis) –Leviticus 25

          There are several other similar instances of absolute rubbish that this "God" "spoke", along with a bunch of other rules and laws that are obviously only from the minds of primitive men. How anyone can believe that this stuff came from a real smart divine being is ludicrous.

          October 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Well that is just lame news for the millions of human beings all over the world who have never heard of Jesus.

      October 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • Colin

        Provision has always been made in that situation.

        October 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
        • WhenCowsAttack

          Then what is the point of evangelism, Colin? Serious question. After all, most of these humans are breaking the first commandment- worshiping other gods.

          Doesn't seem like telling people about it is doing them any favors.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • tony

          Missionaries. The obviously least effective way of a god sending messages his/her/its people.

          October 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • Fan2C

        "Provision has always been made in that situation."

        In your dreams and fantasies, Colin.

        October 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  5. bostontola

    Free will is an illusion and has been conclusively proven so by controlled, replicated scientific testing. This eviscerates the Christian notion of choosing Jesus as savior or burn.

    Defensive reaction to this is understandable. We "feel" free will so it must be real. We define reality to be what we feel. What could be more real than what we feel?

    People 500 years ago were certain the sun went around the earth because they could definitively feel that the earth was stationary. They had no concept of inertial reference frames.

    The problem is, scientists have studied the reliability of our senses and the feelings that come from them. Our senses are very limited, and distorted. With our eyes we see a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, with our ears we hear a small portion of the audio spectrum, etc. Even within the range of our senses, our perceptions are highly distorted, biased by what we expect to see/hear/smell/feel. These internal biases are a very valuable feature of the processing in our brains. They allow very successful operation with a much smaller "computer". If we didn't have these biases, we would be much less intelligent (we would have to dedicate computing power to analyzing more possibilities in most cases where the outcome is as expected).

    So the bottom line is, humans' conscious sense of what we feel and perceive as reality is limited and flawed. These flaws are exploited by hucksters and magicians. Free will is one of the illusions. There are many controlled experiments where people are led to believe they are tasting root beer when its orange juice.

    These mental flaws, illusions, are also at the root of belief in god(s). Humans have the unique and extraordinary ability to imagine. I don't have to explain the advantages of that kind of ability. We can imagine a future and make plans to realize that imagined future. That fertile imagination can create art, literature, etc., but it is not fully controlled. It can run away into conspiracy theories, paranoid thoughts, etc. It can imagine beings even more powerful than humans, so powerful they can't be seen. How can we tell the difference between reality and fantasy then? With god(s), there are many tells. All man made god(s) have human character flaws, our imaginations are also limited. All man made god(s) exhibit human intellect and contemporary knowledge. To paper over issues, creative people invoked infinity, omniscience and omnipotence. Those singularities enable logical loopholes, man is quite resourceful.

    October 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Please cite reliable references supporting your claims that free will is an illusion.

      As per the famous contemporary theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx, God ( assuming one exists – my note) is not omniscient. Please read, pause and contemplate the following by Schillebeeckx:

      Church: The Human Story of God,
      Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

      "Christians (et al) must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history."

      "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices.

      Therefore the historical future is not known even to God, otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings.

      For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

      October 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • bostontola

        If I provide scientifically reputable references will you concede that Christianity is false?

        October 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • Colin

          What you contend doesn't exist. That said that the so called atheist is never limited by the Truth. The self deceived atheist lies like a moral person breathes.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          As noted many times:

          Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

          From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

          Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

          To wit;

          From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

          "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
          Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

          Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

          Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

          The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

          Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

          The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

          "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

          The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

          With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

          An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,


          "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

          p.168. by Ted Peters:

          Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

          So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • ME II

          Not that I agree with @bostontola on this particular issue, but your ad hominem name-calling does nothing for you position. Also, when you capitalize 'Truth', it appears as if you are indicating something that is not necessarily true.

          October 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  6. The TEN

    1.Do not worship any other god than the one true God.

    2.Do not make idols or images in the form of God.

    3.Do not treat God's name lightly or with disrespect. Because of God's importance, his name is always to be spoken of with honor.

    4.Dedicate or set aside a regular day each week for sabbath rest and worship of the Lord.

    5.Give honor to your father and mother by treating them with respect and obedience.

    6.Do not deliberately kill a fellow human being.

    7.Do not have se.xual relations with anyone other than your spouse. God forbids s.ex outside of the bounds of marriage.

    8.Do not steal or take anything that doesn't belong to you, unless you have been given permission to do so.

    9.Do not tell a lie about someone or bring a false accusation against another person.

    10.Do not desire anything or anyone that does not belong to you.

    October 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Signs you are in an abusive relationship
      – Monitors what you're doing all the time
      – Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
      – Threatens to hurt you, or your children if you don’t love him
      – Blames you for his or her violent outbursts or shortcomings
      -Being se.xually controlling
      – You have an impending sense of consequence that will come if you don't "obey."
      -Tells you that you are “nothing” without him and you don’t deserve his love

      October 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Many OT, NT and koran thu-mpers are actually thu-mping the rules and codes of the ancients like King Hammurabi and the Egyptians who wrote the Book of the Dead and who did NOT need revelations from angels or mountain voices to develop needed rules of conduct for us h-o-minids.

      "Hail to thee, great God, Lord of the Two Truths. I have come unto thee, my Lord, that thou mayest bring me to see thy beauty. I know thee, I know thy name, I know the names of the 42 Gods who are with thee in this broad hall of the Two Truths . . . Behold, I am come unto thee. I have brought thee truth; I have done away with sin for thee. I have not sinned against anyone. I have not mistreated people. I have not done evil instead of righteousness . . .

      I have not reviled the God.

      I have not laid violent hands on an orphan.

      I have not done what the God abominates . . .

      I have not killed; I have not turned anyone over to a killer.

      I have not caused anyone's suffering . . .

      I have not copulated (illicitly); I have not been unchaste.

      I have not increased nor diminished the measure, I have not diminished the palm; I have not encroached upon the fields.

      I have not added to the balance weights; I have not tempered with the plumb bob of the balance.

      I have not taken milk from a child's mouth; I have not driven small cattle from their herbage...

      I have not stopped (the flow of) water in its seasons; I have not built a dam against flowing water.

      I have not quenched a fire in its time . . .

      I have not kept cattle away from the God's property.

      I have not blocked the God at his processions."

      "The Book of the Dead was written circa 1800 BCE. 2 The Schofield Reference Bible estimates that the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt and the provision of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai occurred in 1491 BCE., some three centuries later. Many religious liberals, historians, and secularists have concluded that the Hebrew Scripture's Ten Commandments were based on this earlier docu-ment, rather than vice-versa."

      October 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      These are more realistic and none demand idolatry for fear of eternal suffering:

      1. Mental contamination is the root of all evil. All children are born pure and unpolluted. It is wrong to fill their minds with ideas of racial, national, religious or gender superiority. History and religion should be taught in schools from a world perspective, everyone's point of view being considered, and no one's point of view being elevated above that of others.

      2. Thou shalt not ill treat children, neither physically nor mentally. Do nothing to instill feelings of guilt or inferiority in the mind of a child. Children are beautiful and defenceless. It is the lowest form of cowardice and the gravest wrong of all to harm a child in any way. Love children above all else. Care for them as though your own life depended upon their happiness.

      3. Do nothing unto others that you would not like done unto you, (courtesy the Buddha).

      4. Go out of your way to befriend people of different races. Learn from them. Seek ways to build bridges, not chasms, and meet in the middle.

      5. Care for your planet. It is the only one you have and the only one you are likely to have. Do nothing to the environment that you would refrain from doing in your own home.

      6. Kindness, consideration and care are the three golden rules. When faced with the choice between two evils, and no third choice is available, choose the lesser of the two evils based on which is the kinder.

      7. Treat animals as though they are your relatives, for in reality, they are.

      8. Accumulate only so much wealth as can be reasonably used for your immediate needs and enjoyment. Do not horde wealth while others go hungry and homeless. Nothing raises the self esteem more than knowing that you are a valuable member of the human race, a person who makes a difference.

      9. Be courageous. Speak out against prejudice and cruelty. To remain silent while harm to others is being planned or is occurring is to condone and countenance evil. Contribute your energies to a kinder, more intelligent, more humane world.

      10. Take nothing at face value. Question everything.

      October 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Or simply, Do No Harm !!!

        October 27, 2013 at 12:00 am |
  7. Cpt. Obvious

    Fvck you, CNN! \

    CNN is deleting my actual posts with well-thought out arguments and cogent responses, but they allow the posts by the person stealing my moniker that have nothing but inane madness. Wow, CNN.

    October 26, 2013 at 11:47 am |
  8. Atheism is the natural state of children and every living thing

    Get out and do something for the common good. Stop muttering to statues or the almighty nothing.

    October 26, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Colin

      All children are granted life from the Throne of God and are left with an inner knowledge of God. Life allows us to freely choose God in love and so return to God and the excellent eternity God has prepared for us. Only the very foolish reject God and it is written woe to that one who harms a child. Denying a child a relationship with their creator is the worst form of child abuse .

      October 26, 2013 at 11:39 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Wow, you are one of the most dense people on here!!! We've explained this before loser boy, no child is born knowing a god, much like you they are brainwashed to believe it. Get some help and please get yourself fixed-we wouldn't want you spreading the delusion to innocent children!

        October 26, 2013 at 11:48 am |
        • captain america

          Which part of you are not one of US are you having problems understanding. Tend to your own country and leave US and our countrymen alone. There's your sign

          October 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          What part of International Website and freedom of speech are you not getting?
          What you're not getting is that our countries benefit one another in a great many ways.
          You're no accomplishing anything by sounding like such a hateful ass.

          October 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Which god would that be, exactly? After all 5 billion people and growing do not believe in the Christian delusion. Even the millennium group are increasingly turning away from Christian BS.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • Colin

          If you don't even know who God is you should have no place at the American table.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          The adults have a nice table, Colin. Eat your peas.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • Charm Quark

          But I do, Vishnu, have you read the Vedas?

          October 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Colin: If you wish a theocratic country, then you might wish to move to one that is that way otherwise suck it up and deal with Secularism...it is what your founding fathers wanted. (or did you forget the whole 'separation of church and state' thing?)

          October 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • Colin

          You do not have to go on your original post tagged you as an ass hole.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        "Denying a child a relationship with their creator is the worst form of child abuse ."

        If your god can be denied having a relationship with anyone, especially a child, that god is really not very powerful...sounds more like "non-existent."

        October 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
      • tony

        All children are naturally atheists, until some elder person tells them stories that they are to young to see through.

        October 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • We should not lie

      to our children. There are no eternal consequences, but one day the child will have grown up and realized that you lied.

      October 26, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • Colin

        A lie is the first character trait of the so called atheist.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 26, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • truthprevails1

      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” Stephen Roberts

      October 26, 2013 at 11:44 am |
      • captain america

        No one here gives a sh it what you content. You are not one of US and we sure as hell don't want ya. There's your sign.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:57 am |
        • truthprevails1

          That is your opinion and much like you don't care about mine, I don't care about yours. Have a nice day CA, I'll still be here...maybe you should ask the nurse for your meds now!

          October 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • captain america

          If you'd keep your bull sh it there and quit pretending to be an American there would be no issue. Go be be useless there in your own country,we sure as hell don't need you and we're wise to your crap. There's your sign.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          I don't pretend to be something I'm not, I just enjoy the thing everyone has the right to...freedom of speech...don't like us Canadian's commenting on this INTERNATIONAL NEWS SITE, take it up with Ted Turner.

          October 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • bostontola

      Your blog name is offensive, please change it.


      October 26, 2013 at 11:45 am |
      • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

        Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:55 am |
        • bostontola

          Shouldn't you treat others as you would want to be treated?

          October 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • bostontola

          Please, please, PLEASE make the Truth go away PLEASE !

          October 26, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          Mimicry is an evolved characteristic, ironic.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
      • Colin

        The blog name represents Truth no wonder you want it changed. No so called atheist can stand Truth.

        October 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          Not just atheists, Jews, Muslims, Taoists, Buddhists, etc don't accept your "Truth". Why single out atheists?

          You Christians don't even agree with each other about what "Truth" is, you have many sects. You even kill each other over difference in Christian "Truth".

          "Truth", you must be kidding me.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
        • Colin

          The best that can be said for the so called atheist is that they are a liar. History shows that atheists are mass murderers ,torturers and worse. Other cults as mentioned can be reached by Truth , with a self deceived atheist not a chance.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          Some mass murderers were atheists, some were religious, I don't get how you can generalize to all atheists. If you do, then all Christians are murderers also. If Hitler was a vegetarian, would all vegetarians be mass murderers?

          October 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          If you have to capitalize "truth" in an effort to validate your position, it is a sure sign you can't.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Colin

          I knew you can't stand Truth. Truth is Truth it does not require validation.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


          If you can't validate your "truth" how is one to know it is actually "true"? Until your "Truth" is validated it is nothing more than an asserted claim.

          Also since you failed to answer my question as to why Jesus isn't mentioned in our Consti.tution I will take it that you admit your position that this is a "CHristian nation for CHristians" is wrong.

          October 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  10. Colin

    For two hundred years America has been great because of faith. Those who hate America are now undermining the values that make America great. Sad thing is historically those are the losers real atheists shoot first when they take power. America created by Christians for Christians.

    October 26, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • ?

      For those two hundred years very few years have seen the country at peace, always fighting one war or two, faith in a loving god doesn't seem to work all that well.

      October 26, 2013 at 11:21 am |
      • Sammy

        Christian theologian Randy Alcorn argues that the joys of heaven will compensate for the sufferings on earth, and writes:

        Without this eternal perspective, we assume that people who die young, who have handicaps, who suffer poor health, who don't get married or have children, or who don't do this or that will miss out on the best life has to offer. But the theology underlying these assumptions have a fatal flaw. It presumes that our present Earth, bodies, culture, relationships and lives are all there is... [but] Heaven will bring far more than compensation for our present sufferings.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Hope of some promised but unproven perfect world to come after this one should not preclude an attempt at peace here on earth.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          But only for those who say the right magic words in the right order. As for those children born with harlequin syndrome who never hear about god in a way that convinces them, they're going from extremely horrible to extremely terrible horribleness that never ends. Yay, God!!

          October 26, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • sam stone.

          if that were the case, sammy, why are there not mass suicides of christians seeking eternity with their savior?

          October 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • Colin

        The word god refers to an idol. America is one nation under God, and America has kicked ass militarily when it had to up until the appearance of so called atheists. The vulgar ohare got prayer removed from our schools resulting in an embarrassing performance in Vietnam, Coincidence? I think not!

        October 26, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • ?

          An amazing leap of faith totally lacking in logic, quite christian I agree.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • captain america

          We don't go looking for fights but for two hundred years we've put world bullies in their place, British, canadians, Germans and now Camel jockeys. The good faith of a great nation is on the line. You so called canuk atheists can go to hell. We whooped ya once and you ain't improved much since. There's your sign

          October 26, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Sammy

          World War I and Vietnam had similar outcomes. Germans were winning World War I militarily, but the left wing politicians started to withdraw their support for the war, starting a downward spiral / negative feedback loop that would cause Germany's defeat.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • ?

          You seem to have missed the early Indian and territorial wars that were fought to build wealth and power.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • Sammy

          I guess my point is that left wing politicians, many of whom are godless, throw monkey wrenches into the works.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "America created by Christians for Christians."

      Where is Jesus mentioned in the Consti.tution? I would think if this country was created specifically for Christians the founding docu.ment of all the laws of the land would have at least mentioned him...

      October 26, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • Colin

        Declaration of Independence, first statement of this Christian nation.You mention the Creator you mention God.You mention God you mention Jesus. (No wonder you refer to yourself as cheese, you ain't too bright.)

        October 26, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          The Declaration of Independence has absolutely no bearing on the laws of this land, it was simply a statement of Independence from England. My question to you was why doesn't the founding docu.ment of our LAWS have any mention of Jesus, since this is a CHristian Nation and all. But of course instead of actually answering the question you throw out a red herring to deflect the fact the Consti.tion's doesn't say a word about this being a Christian nation. Kind of an important omission for your argument.

          Second, "Creator" does not equal "Jesus"...if it did why not just write "jesus" in the Declaration? Not that it would matter, like I said, the Declaration has zero effect in establishing our secular government. Talk about not being bright...

          October 26, 2013 at 11:57 am |
      • ?

        Our friend Colin forgets that the land was stolen from the Indians and some of the early wealth of the country was built of the backs of slaves, Christian behaviour at its most hypocritical. Of course Christians once they became powerful enough began persecuting those that did not believe as they do and now whine if someone dares call them liars and scam artists.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • ?

          " built off of"

          October 26, 2013 at 11:41 am |
        • Colin

          Purchases (Manhatten) treaties and military victories against heathen aggressors does not equate to theft. You think there is stolen land ? Give yours back. America was not built on the backs of slaves either. Enterprising Christian men and women of all races built this country.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:49 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Idyllic thoughts about family and country seem to go along with belief in God. Are you unable to see anything as it really is, other-Colin?

          October 26, 2013 at 11:52 am |
        • Science

          Ancient DNA Links Native Americans With Europe

          posted on October 26, 2013 04:29AM GMT


          October 26, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Really Colin if someone came on to your property and tried to take it from you, if you are not a wimp, you would try to defend yourself and your people. I think trying to discuss anything with you would be an exercise of futility, have a terrible day, bye now.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • Colin

          That,s right we defend America as one nation under God and other than God and America hating so called atheists we are a United States.

          October 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
        • Science

          Hey Colin

          Were you in the military/combat ?

          October 26, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  11. Jesus' Beloved

    Thank God that his Righteousness, Grace, Mercy and Love toward us is not optional.
    (It's man's option whether or not he chooses to receive abundantly from ALL that is FREELY given).

    Jesus, thank you that you give abundantly and freely to ALL.

    October 26, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Brian

      A well reasoned, post!

      October 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
      • sam stone.

        brian: what portion of that post is reasoned?

        October 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Are there any consequences for non-belief of Jesus? Then it is not "free".

      What you are describing is a mob boss. "Accept my help or suffer the punishment, the choice is yours".

      Nice god you have there...

      October 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  12. Sammy

    Atheists could choose not to come here to this blog and provoke religious people, but they choose to do so anyway.
    Atheists know that this blog is a good place to unleash their sadistic tendencies.

    October 26, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Why should atheists be excluded from posting on a belief blog? They have beliefs. They just aren't the same beliefs you have.

      October 26, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • Sammy

        This is how I see the atheists in this blog.
        Like the ugly monsters that taunted Aslan:


        October 26, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Many atheists would say that that is how they see Christians on this blog.

          Neither is reason to exclude either side from the discussion.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        This is why there's really no such thing as an "atheist"... because everyone has beliefs.
        What one believes fundamentally is the foundation on which they build their life.

        October 26, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Having a belief does not mean a person can not be an Atheist.

          The word Atheist only states that the person does not believe in the existence of a god. There are many other things a person can believe in...and some Atheists prefer to express themselves as having a belief that there are no gods.

          Thus your statement that there really is "no such thing as an atheist" is incorrect.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Beliefs don't = theism

          Atheism is a lack of belief in god(s)....not a lack of belief

          You argument is inane.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • sam stone.

      i will remember that next times a pious christian threatens non believers with eternal torture,

      until then, sammy, go fvck yourself

      October 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  13. Claude Bawls

    When I joined the Army in 1984, I was asked if I had an objection to the term"so help me god" in my oath. If I had, I would have sworn in seperately from those who didn't have an objection and it would have been left out. It has been an option, at least for Army enlistees, for quite a while now.

    October 26, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  14. AE

    Let God's will, not my will, be done.

    October 26, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Topher


      October 26, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Good luck with that.

      October 26, 2013 at 10:27 am |
      • AE

        Yea, my self will is pretty strong at times. But God's will has proven to be the better path to follow in my life.

        October 26, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • Charm Quark

        So you have surrendered your ability to have free will back to god, good thinking, convince Topher to do so also,

        October 26, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • Topher

          That's not what AE said at all.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Your reading comprehension skills have always been suspect thus your absolute belief in the bible . If god's will is done yours means diddly squat, get over it.

          October 26, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  15. bostontola

    An omniscient, omnipotent god could have created man with free will as some churches profess, but putative god did not do that. Conclusive scientific tests show that in many cases, people decide and act without free will driven by unconscious reaction.

    The implications with respect to accountability in a civil environment for our actions is interesting but not relevant to the religious discussion. The implications to the Christian doctrine of free will are profound. Since humans weren't given full free will, then the entire notion that this omniscient god gives us a choice to accept it as savior is unfounded.

    Once again, science and religious dogma are at odds. The entire assertion of free will by Christian leadership is another example of man using what he thought was observably obvious as a dogmatic foundation of his religion. Just like the geo-centric system was "obvious" for millennia, the entire church doctrine will have to be re-rationalized by the best Christian thinkers.

    Don't worry, they'll come up something, the human mind is quite creative.

    October 26, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I wonder if free will is possible. If there is ever such a thing as choice. Perhaps the ensemble of events that caused me to choose crepes this morning is so large and complex that a machine the size of the Universe couldn't have predicted my choice, but still it was such that no other choice was possible. The black cherry filling was excellent. Fresh whipped cream too.

      October 26, 2013 at 9:58 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Free will is illusion. But then again, what isn't?

        October 26, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • Topher

          How is free will illusion? Tom Tom just proved it true. Every decision or choice you weigh is a demonstration of free will.

          October 26, 2013 at 10:05 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I'd be delighted to've proved something so early in the day, Topher. Doesn't look like it happened. I was pondering about whether there can be choice. Suppose everything that is possible happens. Things that don't happen are impossible. What would that say about choice?

          October 26, 2013 at 10:32 am |
        • Topher

          That doesn't make any sense, dude. If I come to an intersection and can go left or right, both getting me to my destination, I have a choice to make. If I choose left, that doesn't make going right impossible. It just means I went left.

          October 26, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Topher, turning right or left are not events in isolation. Aside from, perhaps, the quantum world, events aren't isolated. Something is possible because it has the weight of a network of events going back to near the origin of the Universe behind it.

          October 26, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • bostontola

      Your defensive reaction is understandable. We "feel" free will so it must be real. We define reality to be what we feel. What could be more real than what we feel?

      People 500 years ago were certain the sun went around the earth because they could definitively feel that the earth was stationary. They had no concept of inertial reference frames.

      The problem is, scientists have studied the reliability of our senses and the feelings that come from them. Our senses are very limited, and distorted. With our eyes we see a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, with our ears we hear a small portion of the audio spectrum, etc. Even within the range of our senses, our perceptions are highly distorted, biased by what we expect to see/hear/smell/feel. These internal biases are a very valuable feature of the processing in our brains. They allow very successful operation with a much smaller "computer". If we didn't have these biases, we would be much less intelligent (we would have to dedicate computing power to analyzing more possibilities in most cases where the outcome is as expected).

      So the bottom line is, humans' conscious sense of what we feel and perceive as reality is limited and flawed. These flaws are exploited by hucksters and magicians. Free will is one of the illusions. There are many controlled experiments where people are led to believe they are tasting root beer when its orange juice.

      These mental flaws, illusions, are also at the root of belief in god(s). Humans have the unique and extraordinary ability to imagine. I don't have to explain the advantages of that kind of ability. We can imagine a future and make plans to realize that imagined future. That fertile imagination can create art, literature, etc., but it is not fully controlled. It can run away into conspiracy theories, paranoid thoughts, etc. It can imagine beings even more powerful than humans, so powerful they can't be seen. How can we tell the difference between reality and fantasy then? With god(s), there are many tells. All man made god(s) have human character flaws, our imaginations are also limited. All man made god(s) exhibit human intellect and contemporary knowledge. To paper over issues, creative people invoked infinity, omniscience and omnipotence. Those singularities enable logical loopholes, man is quite resourceful.

      Yours or anyone else's personal beliefs are not my concern. I do get concerned and put into action when people want to impose their beliefs on others, when they want to limit my freedoms based on their beliefs, or distort public education based on their beliefs.

      October 26, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  16. matthew sanchez

    13:4-5 "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months."

    -The Bible

    October 26, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  17. Reality # 2

    As noted previously- some info about the guy who has been agitating for this for years:

    Mickey Weinstein takes 50% of the donations to his "non-profit" as his salary. If he was really concerned about the situation, he would simply donate his time and effort to the cause at no cost but paying himself a quarter of a million dollars every year for writing a few op-ed pieces has the stench and ooze of a money-grab. (See his group's Form 990's at guidestar.org )

    And please note that the USA taxpayers paid for Mickey's law degree which he got while in the US Air Force. (And I do believe, Mickey also gets a US Air Force pension paid for by the USA taxpayers)

    More on Mickey W's "non-profit" as per his Form 990:

    Whereas most "non-profits" have a board of directors of a least five members, he has three members and of course he is one of them.

    And besides the quarter of a million dollars/yr. salary, he pays himself from the donations of $500,000- $700,000 per year, he lists a number of expenses paid for by his "organization" of three:

    These expenses total another $250,000/yr. which apparently end up in his pocket. (Part IX, line 5 on his 2011 Form 990).

    Another "non-profit" racket indeed!!!

    (remember, I am an atheist)

    October 26, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

      Weeding out religious discrimination/bias can be a full-time job, especially when you are dealing with something as large as the military – there can be a lot of steps and effort before you go from the problem to the solution.

      October 26, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I don't care whether you are an atheist or not, you seem to be at least partially misrepresenting Mr. Weinstein. 1st from what little I know he does much more than "write a few op-ed pieces". 2nd, so what if he obtained his law degree through the military, why are you holding that against him? If he has earned a pention like anyone else, why shouldn't he receive it? Considering the level of religious dominionism in the military, especially in some of the higher ranks, he is doing some pretty important work.

      October 26, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • Reality # 2

        His few op-ed pieces are his published routinely on the Washington Post religion blog. And that is about all he does other threatening the military with law suits which he could do himself using his tax-paid law degree. And taking a quarter of a million dollars a year of donated money for this? Give us a break !!!.

        October 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Oops, delete the "his" in front of "published".

          October 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          If you want to agrue he is over paid, fine, but I don't agree. You mention his "tax paid" law degree as if it is a mark against him. Why? Legally defending a secular military is a full time job and there is much more to it that just throwing around "threats". You seem to be intentionally minimizing his work as if this is more of a personal beef you have, not saying you do, but that is the feeling I get reading your arguments against him. I have read many testimonials from members of our military that feel he works very hard at protecting their religious and non-religious freedoms (not all are atheists). Obviously many people that support the MMRF don't agree with you. You could change my mind with a well reasoned argument but you have failed to produce one.

          October 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Weinstein's money grab/con is well-docu-mented at http://www2.guidestar.org/FinDoc-uments/2011/203/967/2011-203967302-08d9fe4f-9.pdf (make sure you remove the hyphen in Doc-uments.

          October 27, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  18. sam stone

    Observer, u r way beyond dumb. Ur IQ is so low they created new fractions just to measure it.

    Did u no that ancient Egyptians started building facilities to store grain after Joe taught them to?

    October 26, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • sam stone.

      wow, the name stealing troll strikes again

      October 26, 2013 at 8:19 am |
      • sam stone

        You can;t steal an alias as it is a deception to begin with.

        October 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  19. Charm Quark

    We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate amongst us anyone who does. So help me god.
    Written that way it would seem that those that need help from some god to be ethical and moral are the problem?

    October 26, 2013 at 7:23 am |
  20. saggyroy

    I was at Offutt AFB in Omaha for aircraft maintenance training in 1982. I went to church on base, and they had ALERT signs behind the altar, and hotline phones in the lat few rows of pews just in case there was an alert. I thought to myself, "sorry God, gotta go out and nuke some one."

    October 26, 2013 at 7:17 am |
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About this blog

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