home
RSS
Atheist gets her day at the Supreme Court
November 1st, 2013
04:39 PM ET

Atheist gets her day at the Supreme Court

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

(CNN)– Linda Stephens has lived in her upstate New York community for more than three decades and has long been active in civic affairs.

But as an atheist, those views have put her at the center of a personal, political, and legal fight that has reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

The issue is public prayer at her local town board meetings, another contentious case over the intersection of faith and the civic arena.

The justices on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether Greece, New York, may continue sponsoring what it calls "inclusive" prayers at its open sessions, on government property.

Stephens and co-plaintiff Susan Galloway have challenged the policy, saying virtually all of those invited to offer legislative prayers over the years were Christians.

"It's very divisive when you bring government into religion," Stephens told CNN from her home.

"I don't believe in God, and Susan is Jewish, so to hear these ministers talk about Jesus and even have some of them who personally question our motives, it's just not appropriate."

The town of about 94,000 residents counters that after concerns from the two women and others, it sought diverse voices, including a Wiccan priestess, to offer invocations. Officials say they do not review the content of the remarks, nor censor any language.

"The faith of the prayer giver does not matter at all," said John Auberger, Greece's board supervisor, who began the practice shortly after taking office 1998. "We accept anyone who wants to come in and volunteer to give the prayer to open up our town meetings."

A federal appeals court in New York found the board's policy to be an unconstitutional violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause, which forbids any government "endorsement" of religion.

Those judges said it had the effect of "affiliating the town with Christianity."

"To the extent that the state cannot make demands regarding the content of legislative prayers," said Judge Guido Calabresi, "municipalities have few means to forestall the prayer-giver who cannot resist the urge to proselytize. These difficulties may well prompt municipalities to pause and think carefully before adopting legislative prayer, but they are not grounds on which to preclude its practice."

Some legal experts say while the high court has allowed public prayers in general, it has not set boundaries on when they might become too sectarian in nature.

"The case involves a test between two different kinds of legal rules," said Thomas Goldstein, SCOTUSblog.com publisher and a leading Washington attorney.

"The Supreme Court has broadly approved legislative prayer without asking too many questions. But in other cases where the government is involved with religion, it has looked at lots of different circumstances. So we just don't know whether this court will be completely approving of legislative prayers in this instance."

The justices are now being asked to offer more firm guidelines over when and if such public prayers are constitutionally acceptable.

Felt marginalized

Galloway and Stephens say the elected board of the community outside Rochester almost always invited Christian clergy to open the meetings, usually with sectarian prayers. And they say they felt "marginalized" by the practice.

"When we tried to speak with the town, we were told basically if we didn't like the prayers, we didn't have to listen," said Stephens, "or could stand out in the hallway while they were going on."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Washington-based group that is representing the two women, cited records showing that between 1999 and 2010, approximately two-thirds of the invocations contained the words "Jesus Christ," Jesus," Holy Spirit," or "Your Son."

And the lawsuit claims that from 1999 through 2007, every meeting had a Christian-only invocation. Following the complaints from the plaintiffs, four other faiths were invited in 2008, including a Baha'i leader and a Jewish lay person.

The plaintiffs say the Christian-only invocations resumed from January 2009 through June 2010. They claim those invited to the monthly meetings were selected by a city employee from a local guide that had no non-Christian faiths listed.

"Politics and religion simply don't mix, and they certainly don't mix in the local context of the Greece town council," said the Rev. Barry Lynn, AUSCS executive director.

"The town seems to take the position that because once or twice over a decade, it hears from someone of a different religion, that somehow is inclusive. It trivializes what's going here - a local government that should be willing and interested in participation of all its citizens, it wants those citizens to participate in an almost inevitably Christian prayer, in order to begin doing their business."

Different rulings

While the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York last year unanimously ruled against Greece's policy, other courts around the country have found such invocations - if inclusive and limited in scope - to be permissible.

Congress regularly opens its sessions with a prayer. Wednesday's invocation by House Chaplain the Rev. Patrick Conroy began: "Eternal God, we give you thanks for giving us another day. Once again, we come to ask wisdom, patience, peace, and understanding for the members of this people's House."

Nearly 120 members of Congress, mostly Republicans, along with several state attorneys general have filed supporting legal briefs backing the city. So has the Obama administration.

"The history of prayers offered in connection with legislative deliberation in this country makes clear that a legislative body need not affirmatively solicit a court-mandated variety of different religious faiths– from inside and outside the borders governed by the legislative body– in order to avoid running afoul of the Establishment Clause," said Justice Department lawyers' in their amicus brief.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal ministry based in Scottsdale, Arizona, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Greece Town Board, saying the Supreme Court has upheld the practice of government bodies "to acknowledge America's religious heritage and invoke divine guidance and blessings upon their work."

"A few people should not be able to extinguish the traditions of our nation merely because they heard something they didn't like," said Brett Harvey, an attorney for the group. "Because the authors of the Constitution invoked God's blessing on public proceedings, this tradition shouldn't suddenly be deemed unconstitutional."

Stephens realizes the stakes are high for her community and for the law as a whole. But on a personal level, this legal fight has been tough.

"I've received something of a backlash, both Susan and me," the retired librarian said. "Threatening letters, some vandalism to my property, things like that. The prayers, and all the controversy, it makes you feel like an outcast, like we don't count in our town."

The case is Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway (12-696). A ruling is expected by early summer.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Courts

soundoff (6,237 Responses)
  1. tim heblows

    I believe in God but not religion. It is simply wrong to try and get everyone to have the same belief in the unknowable that you do. from Woody Allen...if Jesus were to ever return to Earth, he would like at all the hate and murder done in his name and never stop throwing up

    November 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • tim heblows

      umm should have been "look" not "like"

      November 2, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  2. Sid Stewart

    so who is trying to force anyone into Christianity?? no one is trying to establish a religion in that town; I would say let the council vote and decide if they want someone to open the session in prayer; let democracy run the show; oh I forgot: Atheists cannot stand when people decide for themselves; they have to shove their religion of non-belief down everyone else's throat

    November 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Very well said!

      Is there any 'like' button here?

      November 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Observer

      Sid Stewart,

      So you'd have no problem if atheists were given equal time in government functions to discuss their beliefs, right? It wouldn't be anymore "forcing" than what you support.

      November 2, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Doris

      Sid: "no one is trying to establish a religion in that town;

      How do you know that?

      Sid: "let democracy run the show;"

      It is running the show; the Consti-tution is running the show. If the state/local government screwed up initially and did not start adhering to the Consti-tution with its Amendments when they ratified them, then guess whose fault that is?

      November 2, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Marie

      Prayer doesn't belong in government. Period.

      November 2, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Huh?

      Lets set things straight. First, asking to not have a prayer is not "forcing" anyone to "do" anything. Second, I don't understand what a "religion of non'faith" is, considering religion requires faith above all else. Third, the woman is actually using democracy better than you want to believe. By bringing the case forward to the supreme court (aka the law of the land), Linda is taking an issue to an impartial panel of judges to decide based on our const.itution whether what the city council doing is legal or not.

      Call a whambulance and get over the fact that America, the country you claim to love (along with all its values) is allowing people of a different group than you to voice their opinions and uncover the accepted bias that you seem to think isn't a big deal.

      November 2, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Dave Green

      @Sid StewartThey? I'm an atheist and I have no religion, nor do I have any "atheistic standards of belief" that you seem to think is religious in nature. If atheism is a religion, then so is theism and if that's the case, do I get to lump you with every theist? Do I get to claim that you are a theocrat, or a religious terrorist, or any form of religious extreme? You ARE a theist after all.

      While I don't go around trying to get people to not believe whatever it is they do, for a Christian to be upset with someone advertising their world view and trying to force it down everyone's throat is about as hypocritical as you can get.

      November 2, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Patti M

      First of all, atheism is not a religion of non belief. Atheism does not meet any definition of religion. Atheists choose not to accept the existence of a supreme being. That is all that atheists have in common. As for atheists pushing anything down somebody else's throat, the whole idea is absurd. I have not heard of any atheist going door to door to get converts. I have not heard of any atheist blocking the door to a house of worship. I have not heard of any atheist forcing a religious person to sit and listen to an "atheist statement." All I have heard from atheists is the desire that they receive the same respect that is accorded to people who do believe that there is a God. One thing I do know for certain – most atheists do not admit that they are atheists to others for fear of condemnation. When I state that I am an atheist, I am always amazed at how many people whisper to me that they are also. Surveys consistently show that atheists are the least trusted group in America and that most people say that they would never vote for an atheist. It is usually the atheist who is on the receiving end of intolerance. As an atheist, I don't care at all what you choose to believe. I have never tried to convince someone else to be an atheist – let alone forcing it down someone else's throat. I am rarely accorded the same degree of respect.

      November 3, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  3. Sokesky

    And here I thought the tradition of our country is separation of church and state.

    November 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
  4. Karma

    Nope, you can't superimpose your religious beliefs in a public forum. Otherwise I demand a moment of meditation followed by an Ohmmmmmm

    November 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
  5. omeany

    As a former fundamentalist I understand why it can be offensive when no matter how well intentioned praying in a public place when not everyone believes as the people praying.

    I have changed my beliefs over the years due to research I have done on the origins of Christianity brought on by my trying to understand why my fellow Christians seemed so happy about people that didn't believe like us were going to burn in hell. I also had to question why during the Bush presidency they were so excited about killing the enemy and so against anyone who dare say anything to the contrary.

    Among my discoveries was the realization the Christianity as well as all fundamentalist religions are at there center a tribal religion which means anyone who does not believe in what the community says the tribal god believes is wrong and going to suffer the wrath of that god which is also a projection of what the community decides the penalty should be. In the case of most fundamentalism it's some form of hell.

    I have also been present when people "prayed" for me. This was out loud and usually addressed something the prayer felt I was doing wrong and asking god to "guide me in his ways" which of course were their ways cloaked in the guise of piety.

    I have no objection if anyone wants to practice any religion they choose even if I do not agree with it but I do think as a society we should make it clear that these beliefs are not to be forced on those who make it clear they want nothing to do with them. Freedom of religion should be practiced in church, in home and if someone asks then yes, feel free to share. My objection is when the beliefs of a few are forced on all.

    November 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • berryrat

      Very well said.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Citizen Caine

      Maybe, just maybe, instead of focusing your "research" on "fellow christians" you should've focused on your personal relationship with God... just saying....

      November 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
      • berryrat

        On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning, and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind. –Thomas Jefferson

        November 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        And yours is a very typical response – a Christian who disagrees with you is somehow not really a Christian. I've experienced this myself – it's a bit fanatical, don't you think, that your brand is the only brand?

        November 2, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
        • Citizen Caine

          You are making assumptions about me... it's funny how it's OK to be "fanatical" about sports and other things, but not beliefs about God... I have no "brand"...

          November 2, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
      • MoxRox

        Oh gee, look, another Christian telling someone else how they should live their lives, and what they should believe.

        When will you stop forcing your faith down our throats?

        November 3, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • lol??

      Yup, ol' ABE had quite a tribe with no kids!!

      November 2, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Citizen Caine

      After re-reading your post.... I agree totally with your last statement... why should any group, atheists included, force their beliefs opon us? A moment of "prayer", "meditation", "self analysis", "tweet", or whatever you want to do may be at the beginning of any gorvernment meeting... you do according to your faith, or lack thereof... simple, Isn't it?

      November 2, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
      • G to the T

        I'll take it one step further – remove the unecessary interruption from the begining of meetings completely. I think you may be confusing "secular" with "atheist". A secular government is to everyone's advantage.

        November 6, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  6. Meatwad

    If I was at that meeting I'd start singing and dancing the mad note ya'll. Why ain't you dancin'?

    November 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Steve

      If people want to pray then the atheist should just wait it out till they are done. Why should every change to their views?

      November 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Because fuck them.

        November 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
        • Observing

          Your post speaks volumes about you AB.

          November 3, 2013 at 5:45 am |
      • dcobranchi

        Because they're in a gov't meeting, not a church? Why should they have to listen to some preacher extol the virtues of his god, while the councilmen and councilwomen nod their heads in agreement? If some mullah got up and started to tell you how, unless you submit to the will of Allah, you will not go to heaven, are you going to be okay with that when the ONLY reason you're there is to try to get the sidewalk in front of your house fixed?

        Keep religion out of the gov't!

        November 3, 2013 at 6:41 am |
  7. AngryJew

    Zi0nism is not healthy for humanity.

    November 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
  8. Where is your god now?

    You are at a German “sparkle party”. You are wearing your party pants. You are ready to dancy dance. It is a hard-core German sparkle party and you are wearing your rubber boots. The music is pulsating and it feels good to dance. You notice a familiar face standing at the bar. You dance over to her as fancy as you please in your polished rubber boots. You bend low to smell her perfume and say hello. It is your father.

    November 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Bazinga

      RFLMAO!

      November 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Perfect

      Please continue posting these.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  9. Joe

    To judge or enforce ones views on faith or lack there of bring shame to both sides. No one should be forced to believe one way or another. Easy way to handle it, if people want to pray, let them, if they do not no need to make them. Let each person choose their path and respect it.

    November 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Let's pretend your are attending a town council meeting to ask them to modify a zoning regulation so that you can open a group home for female victims of domestic violence and their children under the age of six. They open the proceedings with a religious ritual but you do not participate as that would be counter to your beliefs. Members of council openly glare at you as a result. Are you confident that you will be treated fairly when you make your request?

      November 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • mjbrin

      then i take it you are suggesting a moment of silence?

      November 2, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        No – I'm suggesting no religion in government ever. The only tolerable moment of silence would be to remember someone known to the community for their contributions, without any reference to religion.

        November 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
  10. Mack

    Regardless of your stance, why should there be a prayer before a city council meeting? What about before a meeting at the company you work for? If there was no prayer today would you be fighting tooth and nail to get one in place? Of course not. #ridiculous

    November 2, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • omeany

      Congress has a prayer every day they meet and it doesn't seem to do much good for them or us.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
      • mjbrin

        and when did that tradition start, i often wonder

        November 2, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Citizen Caine

      Law of the land... a religion cannot be imposed on you.... that includes atheism...

      November 2, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Unfortunately for you, but fortunately for true freedom supporters, the courts do not agree with you. You are free to believe whatever you like but you do not have a right to practice those beliefs whenever, wherever or however you like.

        November 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
      • G to the T

        No – atheism isn't a religion. It's a relationship – between me and the cosmos...

        November 6, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  11. Where is your god now?

    You wake up feeling amazing with Marie next to you. She finally spent the night. You can make out the curve of her buttocks beneath the thin sheet. Your groin reacts and you press against her, fitting neatly in the begging crevice. She smells like flowers and honey. You throb with anticipation and she moans in anticipation. You reach for a condom, but realize to your dismay that your dog is busy chewing and has something stuck in his teeth…

    November 2, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Marie

      Duh. Oral.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  12. Paul

    The more distant we become from God, the greater our challenges will become, God does not need us, yet He loves/help us. We need him, yet we forget him. We walk by faith even atheists believe in something, that is called faith btwy..

    November 2, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Tell that to the thousands of kids with cancer.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
      • Citizen Caine

        Isn't it nice when we can blame the bad on God, but yet not thank him for the good? Don't be so hipocritcal!

        November 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          A. I expect more from a god.
          B. Don't call me hippo. I have lost 13 pounds.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          Actually, what they want is to blame all the bad on humans, and give all the credit to god, even when it's human doctors who cured a disease, or human volunteers who saved people from natural disasters, or any other good deeds that human individuals have done. And BTW, it's spelled "hypocritical".

          November 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
        • Citizen Caine

          Thanks Pseudo.. will ensure not misspell a word again...

          November 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Bazinga

      I'm an atheist, and I believe in scientific proof. That is faith? No, its fact.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
      • Big Willz

        Give me the fact that proves God doesn't exist 🙂

        November 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
        • Answer

          Grand prize winner!

          Ask to prove a negative.

          Ask your insurance to prove that you had an accident and get reimbursed. Try that.
          But you'll fail in your endeavor because your insurance agent will ask you for your positive claim. Welcome to the real working world.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
        • berryrat

          Logic failure. You can't prove a negative. Give me proof that Santa doesn't exist.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          More logical fallacy from religion. The burden of proof is on the one claiming that something exists, not for others to prove that it doesn't exist.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
        • Citizen Caine

          Answer... can you prove the existence of cold?

          November 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
        • Big Willz

          Can you prove that I am here on account of a cosmic explosion?

          November 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
      • Citizen Caine

        Can you explain with scientific fact why every "heavenly body" is where it's at?

        November 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          huh? By "heavenly bodies" do you mean stars and planets? If so, just because you don't understand some natural phenomenon doesn't mean that people with appropriate knowledge in the subject don't either.

          November 2, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
        • a reasonable atheist

          They're also all in constant motion.

          November 3, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • Pseudotriton

      Sure god needs humans. Without human imagination, he/she/it won't even exist.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
  13. vonn

    Just more of the Bible fulfilling its self in the last days.. Not everyone will make it.. satan will fight harder in the last days the Bible also tells us this..This must come to pass so hold on..

    November 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Answer

      Ya, we heard of all the other christards that have been saying the same crap.

      "The end of times.. judgement, hell.." Do read your fellow christards' comment.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
      • PoliticiansRcrooks

        Your intellect is only matched by your sheer physical presence hahahahahahahahah

        November 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
        • Answer

          You want to go with insults.. bring it.

          I know you freaks aren't up for it. Try me. Come on.

          The CNN mods love it when it gets dirty around here. It gives them something to accomplish. So bring your best material.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • PoliticiansRcrooks

        You funny wimpy wimpy...........hahahahahaha

        November 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
        • Answer

          You funny funny.. wimpy wimpy.

          ~Let's have a sing along.

          November 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • veritas

      What else has bee fulfilled....? Other that a pre-written script which to follow?

      November 2, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
      • veritas

        I predict that I am going to get another beer....wow...check that out..it happened...
        I feel as if Mr. Jack Daniels just might knock,,,,,and why is there a "K" in the front of that word?

        November 2, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
        • Citizen Caine

          When you are able to explain that... you will be able to explain your reasoning.... "Grasshopper"...

          November 2, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Alex

      According to Christians the end of days has been coming since the Tuesday after Jesus was crucified. 2000 years later and world still goes on.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • berryrat

      Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived. –Isaac Asimov

      November 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • EarthWorm

      Amen to your comment! I see now how the Lord can come back like a thief in the night. You have a great falling away from God that they think in their own mind I am self sufficing. Want to look at what happens when you think there is no God...America in decline morally. I wait on the LORD patiently for HIS return but I also pray others might get to know HIM before it is too late. Thank you Lord Jesus for saving us from ourselves with your ultimate sacrifice. As for this case it wouldnt surprise me for the court to rule in favor of Atheist..just the culture of today.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
      • berryrat

        The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible. –Mark Twain

        November 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Vonn... You are right on. Keep up the good work. This is just bible prophesy being fulfilled. Only the atheists are to blind and too ignorant to see it. Thank God I'm saved. I wouldn't trade it for anything...

      November 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
      • Observer

        Opposing View,

        If you ACTUALLY believed in all you've said, you'd be glad to answer questions. You don't.

        November 2, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
        • Big Willz

          Nor would he lob "you are going to hell" bombs all the time. Is he human? Does he have any compassion for people?

          Whether you believe the Bible or think it is hogwash, Jesus of the Bible showed a lot of compassion. This guy isn't the real deal

          November 3, 2013 at 12:02 am |
      • G to the T

        If that's what you truly believe, that it could happen any day now, why are you here? Why are any christians worried about legal/civil matters if none of it will be around in 10 years?

        For those of us outside of the belief, it can appear a bit odd.

        November 6, 2013 at 11:47 am |
  14. Where is your god now?

    Your husband takes you to the company Christmas party. You have long been jealous of his very attractive co-worker Genevieve, and your jealous imagination suspects there is a spark between them. You dress to the nines and look great. The moment comes to say hello to her. She is beautiful, charming and smells intoxicating. You break a heal just as you reach to shake her hand. You spill your drink on both Genevieve and your husband. They look at each other and giggle, holding the gaze a bit too long.

    November 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • lol??

      Karnal karma??

      November 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
  15. PoliticiansRcrooks

    Great Athiest honor students: Stalin, Mao, Lennin, Hitler greatest REAL mass murderers in history.....RECENT MODERN history also OBTW.............

    November 2, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Answer

      The route of your life is one of stupidity. It shows.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
      • PoliticiansRcrooks

        OK "rocket scientist" hahahahahahahah

        November 2, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • alex

      Most atheist countries in the world : Estonia, Czech Republic and Sweden. Who do they murder ? They have less per capita murders than US.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
      • lol??

        The Swedes have a pwoblem with Buddhists. Ask Tiger.

        They don't mind stealing from Europe either. vikings are pagan and are pro dark ages.

        November 2, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Pseudotriton

      Stalin and Mao's personality cults use the same strategy as religion to control their masses. Lennin and Mao were really mass murderers like Hitler who had systematic planning of genocides. However, Hitler was a *Christian*. How many times do we have to correct this bit of historical fact for your dimwits?

      November 2, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
      • lol??

        Don't ever apply fer espionage work.

        November 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
      • PoliticiansRcrooks

        Hitler used religion (Christianity) to get elected in a Christian nation. His personal writing clearly illistrate he was absolutely with ZERO doubt an ATHIEST. He wrote religion was a "Disease for those of a mental illness?" Sound familiar?

        November 2, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          citation needed

          November 2, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
        • lol??

          Pseudotriton
          citation needed

          Your parkin' violation is in the mail!!
          BBBbbwwwaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha

          Paul wrote it to ya!!

          Bwwaahahahaha

          November 2, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Common Sense

      First, Hitler was raised Catholic. 2nd you attempt to provide guilty by association to those who killed faithful in order to have better control on the populations. I suppose you decry Atheism this way because inside you know your "faith" makes no sense.
      Look up "List of atheists in science and technology" for a more important list if that is what is important to you.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
      • lol??

        VEGETABLES get raised. Children need training. Socies use this all the time.

        November 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • PoliticiansRcrooks

        Raised something means little unless you think Obama must be muslim (he was "raised one") so he must be one correct? Hitler used relgiion to get elected in a nation that was Christian overall. His writings clearly illistrated he had NO relgiious belief and would in the future stamp it out.........

        November 2, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
        • lol??

          The BLACK horse was devious!

          November 2, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • veritas

      Greatest mass murder....GOD....the great flood...well that was nice....just kill everything ...except for a few....

      November 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
      • lol??

        You wouldn't be here now without the flood. It would be pointless.

        November 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          your statements make no sense. Try not to disturb when grown-ups are talking.

          November 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
      • PoliticiansRcrooks

        If you are the "potter" or creator you murder nothing you move from one plane to another is that murder if so how? More like a small very short interval training evolution. For which my guess is your grade is utter fail at the moment.

        November 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
        • lol??

          God is incapable of murder. It does not apply. He raises the DEAD for reward or punishment.

          November 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          "God is incapable of murder"? I thought he/she/it is omnipotent and there's nothing he/she/it is incapable of? Why the constant change of "facts" whenever it suits your argument?

          November 2, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
        • lol??

          Pseudotriton, surely you understand transformational leadership. It's when the socies destroyed the triune nation of checks and balances. Now run along and look at the balance. it's in the red, commie.

          November 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
        • G to the T

          I'm sure the "potter" analogy would be great comfort to all those mothers desperately trying to hold their infants above the incoming waves of the flood... And really, who would want to worship someone who thinks so little of human life?

          One of the problems with assuming that a god is the source of morality is that it makes anything that god does, by default, moral. Even when it should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of empathy that this is a flawed argument.

          November 6, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Richard6895

      Vlad the impaler, Richard the first of England, any pope during a crusade, reverend jim jones, oliver cromwel, king david of Israel. If you wish to paint all atheiests with the same brush, please do the same to any beliver.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
      • lol??

        who said gubmint popes are believers?? They are tryin' to be a mediator for the Mediator. Just like the Herodian heroes.

        November 2, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
  16. Mike JOnes

    She could have walked out at the beginning or showed up late.
    Her rights were violated?
    Everything about my govt has God in it.
    Does she want us to change our money?
    Should the Declaration of Independence be re-written to accommodate her?
    How the rights of the one seem to overwhelm the rights of the many ... well at least if you are of a liberal way of thinking.

    November 2, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      She is correct.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Observer

      Mike JOnes,

      Should the Consti-tution (the LAWS of this land) be rewriten to make any mention of:

      God, Jesus, Christ, Christianity or the Bible?

      November 2, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
      • Observer

        typo: "rewritten"

        November 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Pseudotriton

      All of those are good suggestions, Mike. That silly statement needs to come off the dollar bill and the pledge, and all gov't functions need to be free of silly religious rituals. The gov't is not a religious agency.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  17. Eternity

    Judgment is coming... only a loser can actually ignore the presence of God. What is wrong to obey Jesus??? Oh... I know... it requires that we change our selfish and empty ourselves of evil that is destroying our land....

    November 2, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • Answer

      Give us that date douchebag.

      Be the next Harold Camping.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
      • Big Willz

        Harold Camping: Embarrassing Christians since 1921. By the way his middle name is Egbert. Nice

        November 3, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • berryrat

      Oh my, what if you have been believing in the wrong god? Perhaps Zues, or Allah, or one of a dozen gods might have a surprise for you when you get up there. I hope you find your path to divinity, but you should realize that there is more than one path.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Relictus

      Judgment day has come and gone, several times. God is a fairy tale for the simpleminded. Jesus was probably an amalgam of several prophets in "his" time. What is destroying our land is ignorance.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Common Sense

      Ha ... Godd one

      November 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
      • Common Sense

        Good*

        November 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • Fruit for Thought

      A loser? You think it's a game being saved or being damned? Believe you're going to get more points because you acknowledge God's presence? So does the devil.

      Seems you don't have a clue about the purpose and meaning of the religion you preach to us. There's a special place for such believers such as yourself, far worse than you have imagined for atheists. You are true traitor of Christianity.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  18. Not Too Hard to Understand

    Look, we all just need to calm down, grow up, and stop believing fairytale figures are real.

    Any other questions?

    November 2, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • lol??

      Obambam man cares fer you. He went for the ride, now you do the suicide.

      November 2, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • Mack

        You mean the muslim that was born in Africa? LOL, dullard.

        November 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  19. John

    Funny thing is going to happen. As the Supreme Court opens its session to hear this case, it will do so with a prayer, as usual.

    November 2, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Perhaps you are suggesting that a group of judges that don't rock the boat will see in favor of a group of Christians that don't rock the boat?

      November 2, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • dcobranchi

      I'll bet your next paycheck against mine that they don't end that prayer "In the name of Jesus, Amen."

      November 3, 2013 at 6:53 am |
  20. Steve

    Let us pray: "Dear Rational Basis of the Universe, may foolish beliefs be driven from the minds of all people, that the Singularity may occur, ushering us into Life Everlasting, In Logic's Name, Boo YAH!"

    November 2, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43
Advertisement
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.