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December 7th, 2013
09:16 AM ET

An atheist photographer focuses on faith

Opinion by Mark Schacter, special to CNN

(CNN) - I don’t believe in a divine presence, nor do I subscribe to any organized religion.

And that, perhaps oddly, is why I am drawn to the mystery of faith.

With the wonderment of an outsider, I try to understand the seemingly incomprehensible (to me, at least) pull that faith exerts over so many people's lives.

As a photographer approaching this mystery, I am confronted by what might seem like a contradiction: Photographs capture what can be seen, and yet faith is often invisible.

But even if personal faith can't be seen directly, there are some tangible traces of its existence, and that's where I point my camera.

In particular, I photograph houses of worship, whose bricks and clapboard, stained glass and steel are often the largest and most visible manifestations of religious faith.

I've photographed Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Baha'i sanctuaries in the United States and Canada.

I've also interviewed Christian ministers, a rabbi, a imam and a Buddhist scholar about the significance of their spiritual homes, pressing them to explain how they reconcile their sometimes opulent houses of worship with the fact that religion is ultimately about transcending worldly things.

Often, they answered that the magnificent building is of little consequence. It serves a valuable purpose only if, through its grandeur, it transports worshipers to a spiritual state of mind.

“The point of the building is to leave people feeling awestruck,” said the Rev. Michael Busch, rector of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto.

But is it the building itself that gives the space a sacred quality, or is holiness derived from the devotions of worshipers, present and past, who have occupied the space?

I don't pretend to know the answer to that question. But I do know this: Even an ardent atheist can look at a house of worship and see the signs of an invisible human longing that is common to us all, believer and unbeliever alike.

Mark Schacter is a photographer based in Ottawa, Canada. Mark's newest book of photography, Houses of Worship, has just been published. It's available now in Canada and will be released internationally soon. His website is www.luxetveritas.net.

The opinions expressed in this commentary belong to Mark Schacter.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Buddhism • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Houses of worship • Islam • Judaism • Mosque • Opinion • Sikh • United States

soundoff (2,235 Responses)
  1. lolCAT2000

    @lol??: Are you trying to mock me with your posts?

    December 7, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    •  

      ( pot <-> kettle )

      December 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        What are you trying to say?

        December 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  2. Vic

    I don't like to digress since I don't think we have exhausted the discussion on the subject matter; however, due to the heavy digression on this blog, I would like to address the following statement that has been presented here:

    "Evolution is taught in every major university and college biology program in the World."

    with the this statement:

    "Cigarettes are sold in almost every convenient store or so."

    December 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Vic

      "..with the following statement:.."

      December 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Street Epistemologist In Training

      I assume you are suggesting both statements are true – yes?

      December 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • Vic

        Clever!

        What I am saying is that, are cigarettes good for the world?

        December 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • snowboarder

          that is just a plain mor0nic assertion, cigarettes are sold with warning labels about their health hazards and with age restrictions.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Vic

          What WARNING label would you put on the teaching of Evolution Of Species?

          December 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Street Epistemologist In Training

          False analogy. Schools teach subjects that are believed to be true, even when other inst!tutions such as religion don't agree. Stores sell what their customers want regardless of the actual benefit ("truthfulness" or "goodness") of the product.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • snowboarder

          @vic, what warning would be required when imparting knowledge? "this knowledge contradicts religious doctrine and may cause you to question traditional religious beliefs"

          December 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Vic

          "Stores sell what their customers want regardless of the actual benefit ("truthfulness" or "goodness") of the product."

          "Evolutionists sell what their customers want regardless of the actual "truthfulness" of the Evolution Of Species."

          December 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • Dandintac

          “Evolutionists sell what their customers want regardless of the actual “truthfulness” of the Evolution Of Species.”

          Oh you're so clever! But here's the problem. The majority of Americans don't want Evolution to be correct. They want to be told that they are special, and God made them.

          Furthermore, one could just as easily say this: "Religion sells what their customers want regardless of the actual “truthfulness” of the Bible.

          The difference is this: there is vast amounts of evidence for evolution. It doesn't matter whether the customers want it or not. It's an observable scientific fact. Religion on the other hand...

          December 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Vic

          "Stores sell what their customers want regardless of the actual benefit ("truthfulness" or "goodness") of the product."

          "Evolutionists sell what their customers want regardless of the actual "truthfulness" of the Evolution Of Species."

          December 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • snowboarder

          @vic, every religion and culture has it's own creation story, yet evolution is still the only theory which is supported by a mountain of evidence.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • JJ

          Are you suggesting that teaching science is equal to selling cigarettes? Are you on a Texas school board?

          December 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • Street Epistemologist In Training

          WARNING: Evolution is believed to the best explanation for life on Earth. As is standard in properly conducted science (which excludes the so-called Intelligent Design movement), evolution is constantly being updated and refined. Students are strongly encouraged to maintain their knowledge of evolution so that their understanding does not become frozen similar to religious beliefs.

          December 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • JJ

          Vic – "What WARNING label would you put on the teaching of Evolution Of Species?"

          WARNING: The teaching of Evolution and the acceptance of the 150+ years and mountains of gathered evidence that supports evolution is hazardous to one's faith (delusion). The continued use of reason, logic and rational thinking can cause one to become skeptical of certain bronze age primitive writings that has hither to been taught as truth by one's elders and pastor. Continue thinking at your own risk.

          December 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • GAW

      False analogy?

      December 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • Vic

        What I am saying is "are cigarettes good for the world?"

        December 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • sam stone

          Gosh, vic....if you are equating the sale of ciggys as being bad for the world and then try to piggyback teaching of evolution with it, you go to the top of the list in the moronic argument hall of fame

          December 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Art

      So teaching Evolution increases ones of cancer?

      December 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • Maddy

        Or their propensity to smoke, apparently.

        December 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @vic, with that skewed logic the fact that cows milk is sold in convenience stores for human consumption means humans are born from cows.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      Vic: What has one got to do with the other?

      December 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      That is just a plain dumb argument.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow, Vic. Comparing the teaching of one of the best scrutinized and accepted (and best supported by evidence) scientific theories to selling a product known to cause cancer is actually quite funny. It's amazing how desperate your arguments have become.

      December 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • lol??

        The pwoblem is the typical follower of evolutionism isn't much concerned about facts. Ya let jj get by with "................WARNING: The teaching of Evolution and the acceptance of the 150+ years..................." And you know evolutionary theory has been around for about 25 centuries. Sloppiness and feel gudiness shouldn't cut it in science. Get crackin' or the moolah might dry up.

        December 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  3. Live4Him

    Well, gotta go! later!

    December 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Maddy

      Have a nice afternoon.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      see you in 3 days when they move the rock ...

      December 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • JJ

        ROFLMAO!

        December 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  4. MAKY

    It is kind of hilarious to see how defensive and derailed to see how opposites point of views can become in comprehensive statements to defend each individual point of view. I guess it is my turn to add to the madness :).... I'm an atheist and I confessed to have walked into temples of workship and admired the "holiness and hopefulness" the buildings spread to their walls. I've had the opportunity of visiting Spain and Portugal and admire arquitectual buildings cathedrals, synagogues, and mosques that have taken my breath away and I confess, I have even teared up and felt guilty for not believing in a g-d or that supreme being 90% or so of the universe believe in (please those of you who are onto metrics, please don't "crucify me" if my numbers are off :).... At the same time, I have collected my rational thoughts and think of the history and what those places represent. They have history in their walls, a majestical vibe that spreads, they have witnessed rituals many of inhumane nature that makes me even question more who we are as a specie, would a g-d really want cruelty and violence inside those holy walls? The reflexion I have taken is we humans are marvelous creatures who can create "holy places" in royal style buildings decorated and built with the best foundations because we want to 1) create a perpetual legacy that others would admire, 2) exposes how vulnerable we are to each other and how debilitated our minds are. We are objects of experiment to one another and it takes a holy appearance to transform our thinking, 3) religious people are attracted to join a religion not only through "holy scriptures" (a man made book full of rules and oppressions to keep the masses in control) complemented by the temples because its ambience is set to display what promise to be "paradise" "the after life" "we will all be happy in heaven" kind of tale. It takes me luckily just to step out of the temple to come back to reality. Many times I have laughed about the holiness feeling, the candles, the dim light, the smell of incense, accompanied by the art and expression of great painters who were more atheist that many of us here yet their work of art are hung on famous temples or cathedrals around the world. It is ironic, it takes an enclosed place with the above descriptions to change our minds about reality and millions can't get out of it. It would be more realistic if we would practice our "faith" by getting out of the "holy temple" and stoping crimes, injustice, death, famine, hunger, child molestation, etc, that we are all witness to but because there is no promise for individual reward of a eternal paradise accompanied with the beautiful scenery with candles and dim lights with magnificent ceilings and mosaics, we turn away from the real cruelty of our world and our specie. I guess it is easier to believe in something that doesn't exist because we can't deal with what we know is true.... Just remember this, the next time you visit a holy temple, don't forget to observe those who are outside -nothing changes when you come out, no prayer makes the beggar filthy hungry man become rich in a minute, but You can feed him, at least once, and that to me is real.... Words and thoughts of a human who is not a scientist or psychologist, just a human who is glad to see life for what it is.....

    December 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • GAW

      In a world full of polarized views and extremists I wholly welcome your fresh and balanced perspective. And hopefully it will be deeds not only words that will make this world better place.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
      • maky1278

        GAW – I believe in deeds and our individual purpose to rescue what we know as humanity with the selfish purpose to find my happiness. I'm a true believer we are all utilitarians.... We want good to feel good even as atheists... I might not believe in a supreme being but I believe in humanity and I want to live the rest of my days in a happy state of mind....

        December 8, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • Justice

      Moving... I appreciate your kindness and feel your empathy when you write about the condition of the world outside those walls and there's no doubt in my mind that we can overcome our differences if we try. Perhaps we're all on the same journey.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • maky1278

        Justice, since a child, I always felt disturbed by how the church was represented. I was unfortunately born and raised catholic and came to terms at age 17 that my disturbing feelings were toward inequality and the hypocritical disposition of the church, it's participants and the messages.... In my venture, I read the Torah, Koran and even a punjabi script of shiks book. All are rules that oppress and focus on the temple, the images, the scripts and what left overs you can provide to those who belong to your faith. I have witnessed religion sects discriminating and denying food to others that do not belong to their religion. What kind of example is that for the rest? Being atheist has taught me more about being human than belonging to a religious group or tales about a supreme being who supposedly created the world in 7 days (yeah because that is possible ; ) and we are not supposed to question) and if that means burning in hell (promises of my lovely family) then I guess I will, because for sure, don't care and I kind of like the way I live my life....

        December 8, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Maddy

      What a beautifully written post! Thank you.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • snowboarder

      "I have even teared up and felt guilty for not believing in a g-d"

      that is their purpose.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • maky1278

        Indeed..... It is amazing the power of persuasion these walls have. Luckily, I can walk out free from the spell and come back to the reality... Santa Claus is not coming to town, neither is the Holy Spirit and whoever else is in the little tale....

        December 8, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      A little grammar would go a long way to making that post coherent.

      December 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
      • JJ

        Not just grammar but some sentence and paragraph breaks too. I got lost in the block of text after the 3rd sentence and had to stop.

        December 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • snowboarder

          I got farther than that, but I have to agree.

          December 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
      • JM

        Can't see the forest for the trees.

        December 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Heena

      I love this. It truly is inspiring for someone like me who is still on the verge of atheism. At times, I feel guilty for not believing in a g-d but there are also times when I feel the power that faith has, it keeps people sane, it them someone to look up to when all is going wrong.

      December 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
      • JJ

        You feel guilty for being a skeptic towards incredible and absurd claims? You should step back and think about that a bit more. Guilt is the corner-stone of all cults that keeps people from leaving. You should trust the rational side of your brain.

        December 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • Steve brinkman

        When you start to weaken, have a heaping helping of Richard Dawkins.

        December 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  5. Saraswati

    I like the parallel of the photographer searching to understand the world of religion much as religion has sought to understand the world. Religious studies, sociology, psychology and other fields take on much of this search now to understand ourselves. With luck and hard work we can hope to do better than in the past, yet some photographer will shoot pictures of our universities and some archivist will collect our outdated manuscripts.

    December 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Justice

      Nice post.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  6. JW

    A Biotechnolgist explains what made him believe in God:

    Did your view of evolution change?

    I gradually realized that the various theories of evolution lacked rigorous scientific proof. In fact, they are basical- ly stories invented to explain how the remarkable designs found within living things, such as the immune system, could originate in a mindless man- ner. The more I studied the im- mune system, the more I real- ized just how complex and effective it is. Thus, my re- search led me to conclude that life is a product of an in- telligent Creator.

    Can you give us some evidence of design?

    The immune system is actually an astonishing array of struc- tures and mechanisms de- signed to defend us from
    a wide variety of agents, in- cluding bacteria and viruses. The mechanisms, in turn, can be grouped into two comple- mentary systems. The first mo- bilizes an attack on invading microbes within hours. The second takes several days to respond but targets the invad- ers like a well-aimed arrow. This second system also has a good memory, so that if a specific invader returns years later, this enemy will be met with a rapid response. The whole system works so well that often you do not even re- alize that you have been in- fected and effectively defend- ed. Also amazing is the way the immune system distin- guishes between foreign sub- stances and the hundreds of cell types that make up our body.

    Could we say, then, that your knowledge of science has strengthened your faith in God?

    Absolutely! The power and so- phistication of our immune system points to a wise and loving Creator. I might add that science has also strengthened my faith in the Bible. For ex- ample, Proverbs 17:22 tells us that “a joyful heart is good medicine.” Researchers have discovered that our state of mind can influence our im- mune system. Stress, for in- stance, can weaken our im- mune response.

    Many of your peers don’t believe in God. Why is that?
    The reasons vary. Some,as was true of me, simply ac- cept what they were taught. Perhaps they assume that evolution is backed up by good science. Others give lit- tle thought to how life began. That’s a pity. I think they should ask more questions.

    December 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Niknak

      That's right JWMarriott, just go with "god did it that way," so much simpler.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • Wendell

        If you are going to keep it that simple: It is either "God did it" or "nothing did it".

        December 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • Niknak

          No, us atheists use what is provable by hard facts as to how things work.
          When we cannot find those hard facts we have no issue with saying we don't know, yet.
          There is a cause for everything. Just because we cannot explain something does not mean "then god did it."
          But you believers seem to like that explanation the best.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Wendell

          No. There are smart atheists and there are dumb atheists. There is no "us" atheists who all use facts and logic to arrive at the same viewpoint.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Does This "biologist" have a name? Credentials are an important.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • JW

        This biologist has a name, though I'm not going to tell you. Or do you think all biologists and cientists are atheists??!

        December 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Saraswati

          I think about 5% of NAS biologists believe in god, so they can certainly be found.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • tallulah13

          What are you? Eight years old? If you chose to post a quote as if it were some sort of evidence, you must provide a source if you want it taken seriously.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Saraswati

          lol...yeah, that was funny.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • Wendell

          The other 95% of NAS biologists are probably not atheists.

          "In the course of her research, Ecklund surveyed nearly 1,700 scientists and interviewed 275 of them. She finds that most of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong. Nearly 50 percent of them are religious. Many others are what she calls “spiritual entrepreneurs,” seeking creative ways to work with the tensions between science and faith outside the constraints of traditional religion…..only a small minority are actively hostile to religion. Ecklund reveals how scientists–believers and skeptics alike–are struggling to engage the increasing number of religious students in their classrooms and argues that many scientists are searching for “boundary pioneers” to cross the picket lines separating science and religion."

          ~~only a small minority are actively hostile to religion.~~

          http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/04/13/are-top-scientists-really-so-atheistic-look-at-the-data/#.UqOQ1yep2fU

          December 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Wendell, we are talking about vastly different populations of scientists. Not only are NAS members a muchmore elite grout, but we are also looking only at biologists vs a wider group of scientists. Ecklund's own study of this much less selective group also found disbelief highest among biologists.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Dandintac

      Name of this person please? I'd bet money this is either made up, or the person was a Creationist from the get-go.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201402/hans-kristian-kotlar-faith/

      December 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • JW

        Sarasw- how do you know it's from there?

        December 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Google is mightier than the sword.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
        • tallulah13

          The name of the biologist is Dr. Hans Kristian Kotlar. His specialty is biofuels.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • JW

          It's not google. Sawas likes to explore on the Jehovah's Witness official website... I don't blame him, the website is packed with Top bible info that benefits believers of other religions and non belivers!

          December 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Saraswati

          It was magic.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Thanks for the laugh, JW.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Street Epistemologist In Training

          I have never been to jw.org. It took only one attempt to find the above quote using Google.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • JW

          I would recommend you guys to go to jw.org. There are in other mag issues from other months that have similar experiences. This Biotechnologist is just one in many.
          And there are many other questions answered.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Oh no thank you, JW. I prefer to get my anwers from real sources.

          December 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • Noel

          Ok, this particular post/reply back and forth takes the cake for the best of the night.

          Freaking hilarious!

          December 8, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Steel On Target

      Nothing like using Jehovah witness crap to make an argument stop.

      December 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      that story is about as made up as your bible

      December 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  7. Justice

    I still like this article. It makes me think of residual energy and the power of those who exist all around us in the spiritual realm. Not to change the subject; but, yes, there are other dimensions that co-exist within our own. It's truly a miracle when the two are one.

    The power of prayer ... Awesome!

    Thoughts and Prayers to the Mandela family and all those who stood beside him in his endeavour to make this a safer world, not just in South Africa, but everywhere.

    December 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Niknak

      More unprovable drivel, injustice.
      Like your god and creation myth.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • Wendell

        Please don't troll here.

        December 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Niknak

          How was that trolling WendellDavis?
          He made a claim of fact, that he cannot possibly back up with any evidence.
          Just like his claim of the existence of god.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • Ponder1

          Calm down. You are acting like the fundies that go door to door trying to convince others your opinion is a fact.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    The 5 laws of the Theory of Evolution have proven their validity thousands of times by millions of people.
    The principles are practically applied on a daily basis in fields like medicine, geology, mathematics, molecular biology, robotics, chemistry, astrophysics, agriculture, epidemiology, aerospace engineering, architecture, data mining, drug discovery and design, electrical engineering, finance, geophysics, materials engineering, military strategy, pattern recognition, robotics, scheduling, systems engineering etc.

    Tangible proof can be found by studying vestigial features, ebryonic development, biogeography, DNA sequencing, pseudogenes, endogenous retroviruses, labratory direct examination of natural selection in action in E-Coli bacteria, lactose intolerance in humans, the peppered moth's colour change in reaction to industrial pollution, radiotrophic fungi at Chernobyl... all of these things add to the modern evolutionary synthesis.
    We have directly observes speciation in Blackcap birds, fruit flies, mosquitos, mice, Shortfin molly fish and other specimens.

    Some of the methods used to determine the age of the planet include:
    Stratigraphy, Dendrochronology,Obsidian Hydration Dating, Paleomagnetic/Archaeomagnetic , Luminescence Dating, Amino Acid Racemization, Fission-track Dating, Ice Cores, Cation Ratio, Fluorine Dating, Patination, oxidizable Carbon Ratio, Electron Spin Resonance , and Cosmic-ray Exposure Dating.

    Evidence for the Genesis Creation account comes from The Bible and... NOTHING else, I'm afraid.

    - Doc Vestibule

    December 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • lol??

      You wouldn't want to see any evidence any more than a woman bent on having an abortion does.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Noel

      Careful, don't let some theists see that! Facts and truth have no part in their world. For example, found this in my email about half an hour ago from one of them, but because I don't feel like being stalked, I'll keep his or her name out of it (I mean, he's already emailed me once out of the blue) but, and I quote " Hey Noel. You seem intelligent enough. I think you'd really benefit from visiting http://www .religionfa cts.com/christian ity/index.htm. It has REAL answers for believers and non believers alike, unlike the lies that a majority of these so called scientists have been spreading for almost a hundred years. I feel based on a few of your posts and citing them as your source that you've fallen victim to their propaganda. There's even a few articles on that".

      Ok, I'll bite, on what?

      "On atheists being afraid of the power of the church, so a hundred years ago or so, they started calling themselves "scientists", and spreading around lies they claimed as facts, backed up with statistics to complicated for the average man to verify for himself. It's still happening today, scientists still only exist because they're mostly privately funded by atheists to continue to feed the anti Christian propaganda machine. All the facts are over at that website. After reading the truth for yourself, you have my email, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. Be Blessed"

      Yeah.......

      December 8, 2013 at 12:43 am |
  9. Vic

    Well, there is a lot of digression in here. Anyhow, I would like to say this about something from the article, that is the "places of worship."

    The Bible mentions that throughout human history, people always built high places for their worship. Now, the Bible considers most of those high places to be for idolatry. The Bible also specifies the Temple Of Jerusalem to have been the ONLY true high place for the worship of God.

    I DO NOT agree with this statement from the article:

    [
    “The point of the building is to leave people feeling awestruck,” said the Rev. Michael Busch, rector of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto.
    ]

    That's basically, idolatry!

    We Christians live by Faith in Almighty God, the Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit.

    December 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • snowboarder

      it may be idolatry, but it is certainly true.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      For much of history the point was to bring tourism dollars to the towns with the best temples, oracles and churches. Now the architects seek very specific spaces known to inspire the desired mental states. For some religions those would warmth, for others peace. but the space does matter.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  10. Live4Him

    @snowboarder : you fall into the same type of fallacies when you make the completely unfounded statement that soft tissue can not survive beyond a particular time.

    Not at all. I've presented the scientific studies on this issue numerous times. I'll do again. I've also previously quoted university web sites teaching the same thing.

    DNA could only survive 10,000 years in Temperate environment
    Lindahl, T. 1993. Instability and decay of the primary structure of DNA

    DNA could only survive 100,000 years in icy environment, but other proteins such as collagen probably completely degrade in less than 30,000 years
    Poinar, H. N., Höss, M., Bada, J. L., and Paabo, S. 1996. Amino acid racemization and the preservation of ancient DNA. Science 272:864-866
    Smith, C. I., et al., 2001. Neanderthal DNA: not just old but old and cold? Nature 410:771–772.
    Willerslev, E. and Cooper, A. 2005. Ancient DNA. Proc. R. Soc. B 272:3–16

    December 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • snowboarder

      as I recall, there was no mention of dna recovered from the supposed soft tissue. how is that inconsistent with my statement?

      December 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @snowboarder : as I recall, there was no mention of dna recovered from the supposed soft tissue. how is that inconsistent with my statement?

        First, you're wrong that DNA wasn't recovered. While it wasn't announced initially (since they hadn't extracted it yet), subsequent announcements have sequenced the partial DNA (similarity to birds). Second, cells (i.e. blood vessels, blood cells, etc.) are comprised of DNA. Since the larger structure survived, it would mandate the smaller structures to survive as well.

        December 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
        • snowboarder

          @live, you'll have to provide a link to that. I find no reference to the recovery of dinosaur dna.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • tallulah13

          They found protein. They are still trying to develop a way to extract DNA. There is no way to predict if they will succeed. I suspect that Liver's only source is the creationism website because they are the only ones who would make such a patently false claim.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @snowboarder : you'll have to provide a link to that. I find no reference to the recovery of dinosaur dna.

          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/04/070412-dino-tissues.html

          Dinosaur Soft Tissue Sequenced; Similar to Chicken Proteins

          December 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Protein is not DNA, Liver.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @tallulah13 : Protein is not DNA, Liver.

          What is sequenced?

          December 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • ??

          Wait. I'm confused. That article talked about a 68 million year old t-Rex.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @?? : Wait. I'm confused. That article talked about a 68 million year old t-Rex.

          So? An evolutionist would rather DIE than admit that dinosaurs lived less than 10,000 years. And the people in the article are committed evolutionist – whose livelihood depends upon them sticking with the evolutionary theory.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Sequencing is determining the order of the components. In this case, protein was sequenced. The article you cited only mentioned DNA a single time, and that was in reference to the qualifications of one of the scientists who was a skeptic.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • tallulah13

          You should have read the article before citing it.

          And scientists would probably be excited and astonished to learn that any dinosaur species survived that long. But the difference between a scientist and a creationist is that the scientist allows the conclusions to come from the evidence. A creationist twists and invents evidence to support the conclusion they want. Creationist "science" fails to stand up to scrutiny. That s why it s not taken seriously.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • JP

      As I recall, it was thou roughly debunked that it was even Dino soft tissue by the person that discovered it.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @JP : As I recall, it was thou roughly debunked that it was even Dino soft tissue by the person that discovered it.

        Find the article. Then I'll refute it (AGAIN). The only attempt to refute it was a self-published analysis which bore little resemblance to the original pictures. The author couldn't be published in a respectable journal, so he self-published. (lunchbreaker brought this up previously).

        December 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • JP

          So you disbelieve the person that actually discovered it yet you use that as supporting your position?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Niknak

          So instead of going with science, lie4him, with all it's facts and stuff, you would rather go with "god did it" than actually try to find how things work?
          So glad the people like you are not involved in our scientific community.
          If so we would all be back in the dark ages.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  11. alibaba

    Rule #1 of atheism : when a non-atheist challenges your belief system, just reply to that person by saying he is ignorant, without providing any counter-argument.

    December 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • JP

      When asked to prove there is a God, tap dance.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
      • MikeJitunes

        When asked to prove atheism do back flips.

        December 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
        • JP

          How can a person prove not believing in any gods?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • snowboarder

          @mike, exactly what proof is required of atheism?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        • Ponder1

          Anybody can be an atheist. All you have to do is say you don't believe in God. From the lowly crackhead begging for change to the richest man in the world. You don't have to explain yourself, be intelligent or use facts and logic to come to your conclusion. You just tell others you don't believe in God. You can be a stupid atheist. Or a very smart atheist. You can be a hostile atheist. Or a kind atheist. You can be a trolling atheist. Or an atheist that engages in conversation in a civil manner.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @JP : How can a person prove not believing in any gods?

          You're being asked to prove your belief that there aren't any gods.

          snowboarder : exactly what proof is required of atheism?

          You seem to think that a belief in atheism is as simple to prove as pointing at the sun. Many atheists attempt to sidetrack the issue by twisting the definition and claiming that it isn't a belief, but rather disbelieving in any gods. However it is worded, the term belief is in the definition and thus should have SOME evidence to follow it.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
        • Niknak

          Ok lie4him, give us some proof that big foot does NOT exist.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Dandintac

          My proof that a belief in Gods is not justified–is the absolute failure of theists to produce a single shred of hard verifiable, testable evidence, even after thousands of years of desperately trying to do prove God's existence. This is why believers invoke "faith".

          It's much like the reason why most people do not believe in Centaurs, Gorgons or the Minotaur. There's no evidence for them. Imagine though, people demanding that we must have "faith" that Centaurs exist, and that there would be no purpose, morality or meaning without Gorgons, or that the Minotaur wanted to have a "personal relationship" with us.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
        • Street Epistemologist In Training

          I don't believe gods exist because no one has provided evidence that would stand up to the standards of the scientific method or the justice system's rules of evidence. In addition, no one has provided a link to a scholarly article published in a reputable scientific journal that successfully concludes that some god was responsible for something.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Al H.

      Non-believers use facts and logic to come to their conclusions. Believers make all of the decisions based on fear of not pleasing an invisible sky fairy and facing eternal punishment.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
      • Niknak

        Mostly they just parrot what their family and friends want to hear.
        Your average believer is a conformist and wants not to be outcast from his hers social network.

        December 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • Al H.

          I know. We are so much better than they are.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Niknak

          I don't know if we are better, but we are not afraid to say "I don't know" instead of going along with the whole creation myth, just to appease the people we know.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Al H.

          Yea, they totally just agree with the creation myth to keep their friends and family happy. I'm saying we are better than people like that.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Niknak

      You must not be up on the definition of atheism, Alirubarb.
      When it comes to god(s), we don't have a belief system.
      Believing in mythical creatures is ignorance.
      Believe. Ll you want, but that does not make them any truer.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Ali is a troll, and he's being helped out today by his little sock puppet friends.

        December 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • Niknak

          Thanks thallus ah, I see that now.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
      • Ponder1

        Some atheists stand up against right-wing fundies that try to impose their view on others...and turn around and act like right-wing fundies that try to impose their view on others. Atheism definitely doesn't prevent one from trying to impose their views on others.

        December 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
        • Niknak

          The difference 1/4Pounder, is that atheists don't go around bothering people at their homes trying to talk them out of god.
          Or erecting houses of non worship and asking the local tax payers to fund them.
          Or forcing other peoples kids to not believe in god.
          Or any of the other things you believers foist on us using your made up Stone Age myths.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Ponder1

          Or go onto religion blogs and act hostile toward... oh wait. You are acting just like one of those people....NEVERMIND!

          December 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  12. Live4Him

    EVOLUTION IS MATHEMATICALLY IMPOSSIBLE

    Okay, we've discussed 1) The Case for Christianity, and 2) Dino Soft Tissue for some time now, so lets move on to a new topic. But first, lets get some key definitions in place before we start.

    1) Species: According to evolution, a specie is a kind of life that can reproduce its own kind.
    2) Transitional specie: According to evolution, a specie that is between two other species (i.e. A evolved into B, which evolved into C – so B is a transitional specie). Since, evolution holds that all species are capable of evolving, this means that all species, except the initial specie, are transitional species. For this discussion, I'll presume specie and transitional specie as the same.
    3) Speciation event: According to evolution, this is the process whereby a single species becomes two distinct species. It usually occurs over a period of time, but may be a cataclysmic event also.
    4) Law of Averages: a statistical principle that shows a more or less predictable ratio between the number of random trials of an event and its occurrences.
    5) Current number of identified species: approximately 1.9 million species. Some scientists predict this number may go as high as 50 million species eventually.

    Speciation events are presumed to be a random occurrence via the trial of producing offspring. When given sufficient time, two different species will have the same number of speciation events, albeit not necessarily at the same time. Applying this concept allows us to utilize mathematical concepts to determine the number of species that have lived on the earth over its history.

    The number 2 raised by a power will double the number X times. For example, 2^1 = 2, 2^2 = 4, 2^3 = 8, and 2^4 = 16. So, if we know the number of speciation events that occurred over evolution's history, we could calculate the number of species that have lived on the earth. Unfortunately, no evolutionist has ever ventured a guess at the number of speciation events between a modern specie and the first specie. However, Richard Dawkins has ventured an estimate on the number of speciation events that occurred to develop the modern eye. He postulated a number between 1,000 and 100,000 speciation events to develop the modern eye.

    For the sake of this discussion, I'll presume that there were 1,003 speciation events to develop the modern eye. This would mean that there should be one centillion (i.e. 1E303) transitional species. Not all species can leave fossil evidence, but if we presume that only a millionth of them would we would still have 1E297 transitional specie fossils.

    Since the upper limit of identified species is estimated to be 50 million (i.e. 50E6), then it becomes obvious that evolution is mathematically impossible since evolution predicts almost 1 centillion species in the development of the eye alone!

    December 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      you really are delusional on so many levels aren't you?

      December 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • TJ

      Why is this statement "Evolution is taught in every major university and college biology program in the World." wrong?

      December 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @TJ : Why is this statement "Evolution is taught in every major university and college biology program in the World." wrong?

        Lets assume that every school in the world taught that 2+2=3. Does this make it correct? No. So, it doesn't make any difference what is taught, but what can be proven by the evidence. That's why it is called a logic fallacy.

        December 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • JP

          So since you disagree that evolution doesn't exist, you say it's not being taught in the uni's?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "Lets assume that every school in the world taught that 2+2=3"

          But that's not what's going on here. YOU, and other Creationists are the ones who are saying, in effect, that 2+2=3, and everyone else is wrong–with your claims about evolution and creation. Evolution is an observable scientific fact. Creationism is a wild claim without a shred of evidence, and without even a testable hypothesis.

          December 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • MikeJitunes

      Wow Christian and intelligent. What would Isaac Newton think? Another evolutionary myth busted.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • birch please

      "Speciation events are presumed to be a random occurrence via the trial of producing offspring"... No, in a vacuum perhaps but not on an ever changing planet with constantly occurring geographic isolation events.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @birch please : No, in a vacuum perhaps but not on an ever changing planet with constantly occurring geographic isolation events.

        You have two choices: planned or cyclic and random. Which do you want to defend? Note: Either answer will result in the same outcome – as long as there is sufficient time to normalize the results. And given the proclaimed 1 billion years of life on earth, the results will be normalized.

        December 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Speciation events of the sort you are referring to need not occur in isolation, but can collect with other changes in clusters within individual species. Also, they need not stay isolated in species. Transfer of information between species does occur. It's called lateral transmission. Your model is not valid, that is why evolutionary science hasn't collapsed and gone away because of it.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Tom, Tom, the Other One : Speciation events of the sort you are referring to need not occur in isolation, but can collect with other changes in clusters within individual species.

        As defined by Dawkins, speciation events cause a separation of a specie into two.

        @Tom, Tom, the Other One : Transfer of information between species does occur.

        I guess it depends upon one's definition of a specie. The definition that I'm using implies that offspring between two species are impossible. Thus, lateral transmission isn't possible either – unless you're meaning something like viruses leaving a genetic imprint on it's host.

        December 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Okay, we've discussed..."

      Too funny.

      December 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Saraswati : "Okay, we've discussed..." Too funny.

        You've been around long enough to have participated in those discussion – regardless if they were in the last few days.

        December 7, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  13. Ponder1

    I wonder if he takes pictures at the new atheist mega-churches?

    December 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      troll

      December 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Al H.

      Non-believers gather at atheists "churches" to support each other and appreciate others. Believers gather because they are trying to please an invisible sky fairy and have been brainwashed into believing they will be punished if they don't.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  14. bostontola

    Many scientists are Christian. Dr. Francis Collins, the person who led the Human Genome Project is a devout Evangelical Christian. He strongly rejects Creationism and Intelligent Design and endorses evolution ( with God intervention). I personally know a good number of Christian scientists, none of them thinks evolution is false.

    December 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • snowboarder

      agreed, christian scientists adapt their theology to conform to reality. discarding the portions of religious texts as allegorical that do not match their knowledge.

      of course, I always wonder when determining that any part of the bible is not literally true where one actually stops?

      December 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Live4Him

      I guess you never knew A.E. Wilder-Smith, huh?

      December 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • AE

      Here are some different religious group's views on evolution

      http://www.pewforum.org/2009/02/04/religious-groups-views-on-evolution/

      December 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  15. LDizzle

    Colin nailed it, no creationist can say a damn thing about that. Utter destruction, cheers man.

    December 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Mitch

      Agreed... Game Over... Go Home!

      December 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Colin : Evolution is taught in every major university and college biology program in the World.

      Two for one! We see two logic fallacies (argumentum ad verecundiam and argumentum ad numerum) committed at the same time – Excellent demonstrations of an illogical argument.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • TJ

        Sure. You mean they're not?

        December 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @TJ : Sure. You mean they're not?

          It's immaterial whether they are taught / accepted by many. Popular opinions never make it a fact. At one time, all the experts believed that the four main elements were air, water, earth and sky. Widely believed, but still false. So, a popular belief doesn't make it a fact. Only the evidence can validate a theory.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • Not so

          And evidence does validate the theory. Mountains of it. Your "fallacies would only be correct if they were teaching it without any supporting evidence.

          Your position has NO evidence, and yet it is widely taught as well. Look in the mirror, fool, for your own post hangs you.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • TJ

          So you cannot say his statement is factually incorrect.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Not so : And evidence does validate the theory.

          You mean like finding dino soft tissue (which can only survive for 10,000 years in temperate environments)? Or do you want to ignore that evidence?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • TJ

          Which university is that taught at?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • Street Epistemologist In Training

          Live4Him, you took exception to Colin's claim about evolution being taught, not whether or not evolution is valid. You have been challenged to provide the name of a single university or college that does not teach evolution as part of their biology curriculum. Are you raising the validity of evolution because you cannot name such a university?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @TJ : So you cannot say his statement is factually incorrect

          Again, it is immaterial. The issue is proving whether evolution itself is valid. And there is tons of evidence against such theory.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • TJ

          So you cannot say Colin is incorrect.
          You are the one calling his statement incorrect. Prove it.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Street Epistemologist In Training : You have been challenged to provide the name of a single university or college that does not teach evolution as part of their biology curriculum.

          Still committing logic fallacies.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • snowboarder

          @live, you fall into the same type of fallacies when you make the completely unfounded statement that soft tissue can not survive beyond a particular time. you happily believe scientists that tell you things that don't contradict your theology, but deride those that do. your assertions are comical.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Sales

          Use logic, not logical fallacies, to prove your point. Should be easy if you appreciate logic. For both sides.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • TJ

          You raise the question, L4H. You commited the logical error, not Colin.
          This is his statement: Evolution is taught in every major university and college biology program in the World.

          Why is that statement wrong?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
      • Street Epistemologist In Training

        It should be very easy for you to prove Colin wrong. You only have to name one major university that does not teach evolution. We're waiting. . .

        December 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • Live4Him

          He's committed a logic fallacy – thus there is no need to do anything further.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • TJ

          So again, you cannot say his statement is factually incorrect.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  16. JW

    Next time atheist sees a tornado or a hurricane making things evolve to something complex and organized.. Drop me a line?!!

    December 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Jan

      The wise person would take shelter.

      December 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • ooo

      JW,
      Your ignorance is screaming at 120 decibles!

      December 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Mitch

      Next time Jesus walks on water and parts the red seas... give me a call, I get get a ton of YouTube hits with that!

      December 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Bob Bobson

      JW

      How do you hide something from an ignoramus?

      Just put it in any book other than the Bible.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • bostontola

      JW,
      You're smarter than that, I can only conclude you are baiting people.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • BabylonTheGreat

      You do have a point, I don't ever recall an explosion creating anything that had order to it.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • logan5

      Huuhh??

      December 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  17. Wes

    If you claim to be an atheist while also claiming to be a scientist, then you are no scientist at all.

    Stop predetermining the outcomes. Real scientists are agnostic.

    December 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • bostontola

      Why do you think you are qualified to designate who is and isn't a scientist?

      December 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • Wes

        Science designates that. It's a religion of doubt. You must not be a scientist. Probably should read up on what makes science science.

        December 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • snowboarder

      you will probably note that the majority of atheists are agnostic atheists. simply not finding credible reason to believe in the innumerable gods created by men.

      December 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • lol??

      yeah, change the A&A's focus to themselves.
      Debaters, please choose yer mate!!

      December 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • logan5

      Atheist scientists are not legitimate scientists and agnostic ones are? What an ignorant statement!

      December 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • G to the T

      "Real" scientists know that agnostic and atheist answer different question and aren't exclusionary.

      December 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  18. elliott carlin

    I once went to an atheist meeting.
    It was in a large cardboard box and painted black in the interior.

    Nice ambiance.

    December 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • snowboarder

      color me skeptical

      December 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • elliott carlin

        We come from opposite ends of the spectrum, but "touché" there snowboarder!

        December 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  19. snowboarder

    I truly enjoy architecture, so even as an atheist, I love to visit houses of worship.

    December 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • bostontola

      When I travel, I always try to see houses of worship. They wanted to create power experiences with those buildings and succeeded many times.

      December 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • logan5

      Agreed! Despite my atheism, I am still drawn to magnificent houses of worship. I ignore the delusional, misguide motivations behind their construction and focus on their pure beauty. One structure I must visit before I depart this Earth is the "Hagia Sophia" in Istanbul.

      December 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  20. ZachsMind

    If a material thing like a building is required to make believer and unbeliever alike feel awestruck, does this not negate unequivocally the idea of preaching against material things? If they can only provide awe using the very thing they demand followers abdicate, that's simply not practicing what is being preached. If they demand a god exists, but refuse to provide evidence for doing so negates faith, yet turn around and give that god a physical domicile within which to commune with this nonexistent being.. why are we still having this argument? Religion fails itself, and yet is still propped up with the most material of possessions: money. It is the most blatant of scams, but ooh what pretty pictures those churches make.

    December 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Jan

      The problem isn't a beautful building. The problem is the flawed individuals inside.

      December 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
      • TJ

        Says the as-much-flawed person making the infantile statement.

        December 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Jan

          Are you saying you are perfect?

          I am glad you recognize you are infantile.

          December 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • TJ

          Jan: Sorry kid, but you're not that slick. Greasy? Yes. Snide? Yes. Arrogant? yes. But your little quips are infantile, and I doubt in a face to face convo you'd hold up very long. Been there, done that. I've seen your type. Now, go play with your arrogance and let the adults here converse.

          December 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • Jan

          Aww. You don't like my posts.

          Feel free to ignore them, I condescending one.

          All you have done is the sane thing you're accusing me of...which makes you not only condescending, but...wait for it...but hypocritical as well.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Jan

          Should have been "O condescending one"
          And you never dis answer the question of your supposed perfection.

          I freely admit I'm flawed. Will you?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • elliott carlin

        Jan, its Saturday night, go out and party.
        Tomorrow morning is when all the bigots spew their hatred of all things religion.
        You're a bit early to that party.

        December 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Jan

          It's 1:48 where I'm at. Did you hit the bottle early?

          December 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Jan

          Oh, and do please show me where I posted anything bigoted. I'd be interested in knowing if you know what that word means.

          PS. I'm not atheist. Assumption fail on your part.

          December 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Well said.

      December 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • lol??

      Do ya like Frank Lloyd Wright or the Rev Wright. Debate away on who is a wrong dong. The Nazis were into the Greek style which meshed with their style of s*ex, too.

      December 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • ZachsMind

        wow. you godwinned yourself dude. that didn't take long, did it?

        December 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • Jan

        There you go thinking about gay se.x again.

        December 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • snowboarder

        @lol, do you ever make comments that are not nonsense?

        December 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • elliott carlin

          No she doesn't. she never developed the filter between her mind and mouth. typical.

          December 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • snowboarder

          @lol?? is a she?

          December 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Jan

          I think lol?? is male. He posts a lot of misogynist things.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • AE

      Not all religious people meet in big buildings. Some meet in basements of coffee shops or in unused movie theaters on Sunday mornings. Some meet in homes or in the cafeterias of junior high schools.

      Some religious people offer their big buildings to be used by other groups. Like recovery groups, Boy Scouts, neighborhood organizations and preschools. Some of the buildings are being put to good use in my community.

      December 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
      • ZachsMind

        I think you missed my point.

        Material places are required to experience a fellow human being preaching how bad it is to embrace material things. In order to hear this message that spirituality is an improvement on materialism, one must use materialism. However, you don't need to use spirituality at all to hear someone list the positive things that material things bring to people's lives.

        Not all people respond to big buildings. I sometimes find myself inspired by the smallest of things, but it's still a thing. I am also sometimes inspired by my own imagination, which may not be a thing at all, but i can tell reality from fantasy. My previous point was, if this anti-materialist message was valid, it wouldn't need materialism in order to deliver it.

        December 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • AE

          I see now. Yea, I can agree.

          December 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
      • lol??

        At this point in time of Mob Power rules, Christians need to go underground and model the early churches so they aren't such easy targets for the zombies.

        December 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
        • snowboarder

          I see the "christian persecution complex" is still alive and well.

          December 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • logan5

          Wait a minute! Isn't the figurehead of the Christian church a zombie too?

          December 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.