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Satanists want statue next to 10 Commandments
A Ten Commandments monument erected outside the Oklahoma state Capitol.
December 9th, 2013
01:46 PM ET

Satanists want statue next to 10 Commandments

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Lots of lawmakers have been accused of devilish behavior, but Oklahoma's state capitol may become the first to actually have a monument to Satan.

If a New York-based group called the Temple of Satan gets its way, a statue of the Evil One would sit next to the recently erected 10 Commandments monument on state capitol grounds.

"They said they wanted to be open to different monuments," said Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the Temple of Satan, "and this seems like a perfect place to put that to the test."

Greaves and some legal experts say the Constitution is clear: the government can't endorse one particular religion. So, if a state capitol has a monument to one faith, it must allow monuments to others as well.

The Temple of Satan is less a religious body organized around rituals and regular meetings than a roving band of political provocateurs, said Greaves. They believe Satan is a "literary construct," the spokesman said, not an actual being with horns and hooves.

Last year, the Temple organized a gay and lesbian kiss-in at the gravesite of the mother of anti-gay preacher and activist the Rev. Fred Phelps. It also held a rally at Florida's state capitol in support of a law that allows "inspirational messages" at public school assemblies.

"It allows us to spread the message of Satanism," which centers around respect for diversity and religious minorities, said Greaves.

Oklahoma legislators voted to erect the Ten Commandments monument in 2009, using private funds donated by Rep. Mike Rietz, a surgeon and Southern Baptist deacon.

Rietz declined to comment on the Satanists' proposal on Monday, citing an separate and ongoing dispute with the American Civil Liberties Union over the Ten Commandments monument.

Oklahoma state Rep. Bob Cleveland told CNN that he's not in favor of the Satanist's proposed statue.

"I believe that only monuments that reflect Oklahoma values should be allowed on capitol the capitol grounds," Cleveland said in an e-mail on Monday.

But if Christians and Jews can have their monument to the 10 Commandments, then Satanists must be allowed to erect their own statue, said Brady Henderson, legal director of the American Civil Liberty Union's Oklahoma chapter.

"We feel like the Satanic Temple has a very strong argument to say that, if the state allows one religious monument, you have to allow others," Henderson said.

Oklahoma's statehouse grounds already has monuments honoring its heritage and Native American history, said Trait Thompson, chair of the Capitol Preservation Commission.

"Individuals and groups are free to apply to place a monument or statue or artwork," Thompson said.

The commission then determines whether the proposal abides by its standards and votes on whether to approve it.

Greaves said he's received the required forms from Oklahoma's Capitol Preservation Commission and is working on a design that will meet its standards.

"We want something big and bold that will be able to stand up to the weather or whatever other kinds of assaults," that may target the monument, he said.

"My favorite idea right now is an object of play for children. We want kids to see that Satanism is where the fun is."

The Temple of Satan created a Indiegogo fundraising page on Monday, but have thus far only publicly raised $150 towards its goal of $20,000.

Not all Satanist groups see the fun in political provocations.

Magus Peter Gilmore, head of the Church of Satan, which was founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, said he believes in strict separation of church and state.

"Rather than placing multiple 'advertisements' for various religions, we think it best for the (10 Commandments) monument to be removed to private property and that there be no objects supporting religion of any sort placed on the statehouse grounds," Gilmore said.

Earlier this year, Gilmore's Church of Satan squared off against a British group of Satanists over abortion rights, after activists shouted "Hail Satan" to drown out anti-abortion activists at the Texas state capitol.

READ MORE: Satanists square off on abortion (Yes, really)

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Culture wars • Devil • Satanism

soundoff (3,610 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    Thomas Jefferson

    "Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies."

    "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."

    "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man."

    December 10, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Charles

      Why is this not argument from authority?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

      December 10, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • G to the T

        Because he's using them to counter the argument that the Founding Fathers were christian. Not an appeal to authority per se, more of a clarification of what they actually said (instead of what people think they were about).

        December 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • ME II

        I suspect that it is a response to claim that the US is founded on Christian principles and that he is citing examples of the founding fathers that disputer that claim, in which case it is not a argument from authority.

        December 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      "I own slaves and I have relations with them ;)" Thomas Jefferson.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • Justice

        :D.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • doobzz

        " 21:20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
        21:21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money." – god, in Exodus

        December 10, 2013 at 11:15 am |
      • Observer

        Responding to the Pride,

        Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian.

        December 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • AE

      I don't think he said those things. What site did you get those from?

      http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/07/07/false-founding-father-quotes-f/

      December 10, 2013 at 11:11 am |
      • TJ

        I dunno. I found the second quote at Jesus-is-savior.com

        But I didn't read the whole thing cuz it seemed to be talking smack about TJ.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • AE

          http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102×5040472

          December 10, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • K-switch

        AE, I would say why does it matter? Atheists love to quote founding fathers and Christians love to quote Einstien. Whatever D-bag said what does not equal the truth. It's as ridiculous as the argument that whatever Hitler is, the opposite must be true.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • AE

          One of those quotes made the news because an atheist group falsely attributed it to Thomas Jefferson.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • AE

          They paid to have it put it on a billboard. Yikes.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • TJ

          Which quote?

          December 10, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • TJ

          "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on fables and mythology."
          I found this saying he did say this (and varients) at Monticello.org.

          Yikes.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • AE

          Nope.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/10/27/the-atheists-should-have-been-better-skeptics/

          December 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
        • TJ

          Yawn. Whatever. I'm not playing the link game all day with you; the point is, what OK did was blatantly unConsti.tutional, and the ONLY reason you support this is because it supports YOUR religion.

          Bet you only pay attention to the Consti.tution is when you want to trot out the "well regulated militia" part.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
        • AE

          Nope. I don't support placing the 10 Commandments on government property. And I don't live in Oklahoma so I really don't care about that issue.

          I also don't support false quotes attributed to people.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • MMM

      Hey doggie, you selected the right name for yourself.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  2. guest

    Let them put up their monument. Statues and monuments may provide some inspiration, but I really doubt that anyone will ever be converted because of a statue or monument of any kind. BTW, does anyone realize that the Ten Commandments are inscribed at the base surrounding of the dome of the U. S. Capital building? (The letters are so small (approximately 2”) they are hard to read from the ground without the aid of binoculars or some other optical device to help see them.)

    December 10, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Tr

      Did you know there other gods represented there too? So I guess that's fair. Putting up a satanu monument would be fair here too.

      December 10, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  3. Mary

    What does a monument mean? The 10 commandments are set in the HEARTS of believers. Juxtaposed with the other and what? It takes nothing nor adds nothing. It amounts to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things. The NATIONAL anthem will STILL be GOD BLESS AMERICA... and whenever it's spoken it's a prayer. 🙂

    December 10, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      which god?

      December 10, 2013 at 10:57 am |
      • Mary

        The same God that gives you breath of course. 🙂

        December 10, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • doobzz

          Which one of the thousands of gods would that be?

          December 10, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • doobzz

      The national anthem is "The Star Spangled Banner", not "God Bless America".

      December 10, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        You beat me to it...

        December 10, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • doobzz

          @ LET

          😉

          December 10, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • Mary

        Congress said so. Hoover said so. I have another mind on the matter(and will be alright if I am the only one.) 🙂

        December 10, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • Madtown

          Mary, are you Topher's wife?

          December 10, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • TJ

          HOOVER?? The idiot that propelled the US into the Great Depression with his idiotic policies? That HOOVER?

          Or J. Edgar? Who was an abomination all his own?

          December 10, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • doobzz

          How does that change anything? Your comment contains factual errors. Just because you and Herbert Hoover would prefer a different song doesn't change that.

          Benjamin Franklin lobbied hard for the turkey to be the national bird and animal, and he didn't get his way either. He may have died considering the turkey our national bird, but it still isn't.

          Dumb argument.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • ME II

          @Mary,
          "Congress said so."

          When?

          December 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  4. Tina

    He said it himself, it's not a religion it's political...do these people really believe Satan stands for respect of diversity?? Satan doesn't give a crap about them or their cause and would turn on them in an instant!! This is a joke and an insult to Americans.

    December 10, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • igaftr

      Yes it IS insulting....that you would accept putting a religious monument on government property...you are just not happy with something other than YOUR religion.

      The monument on govt land of the 10 commandment is very insulting indeed.

      December 10, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Justice

      You got it!

      December 10, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • Justice

        Correction: Tina got it. Ignore the trolls.

        December 10, 2013 at 10:50 am |
        • Alias

          So you want to avoid the issue and attack satanists. Fine. What about a Muslim monument? Are you willing to accept that?

          December 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      putting a monument to your plagiarized, unoriginal commandments at a government location in clear violation of the principles that founded this country ... now THAT is an insult to Americans.

      December 10, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Justice

        bark bark bark

        Move to another country if you don't like it!

        December 10, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          How do you not get that the first amendment is in direct conflict with the first commandment? Which do you want ... your god or your country?

          December 10, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • Keith

          I love this line of thinking. Those of us who don't worship your imaginary friend in the sky do not deserve rights and should move to another country if we don't like it. And you guys seriously think there is a war on Christianity?

          December 10, 2013 at 11:40 am |
        • doobzz

          Speaking of trolls.

          December 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Jen

      "Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, who spearheaded the push for the Ten Commandments monument and whose family helped pay the $10,000 for its construction, declined to comment on the Satanic Temple's effort, but Greaves credited Ritze for opening the door to the group's proposal."

      From another story on this subject.

      Did Ritze use his influence to get this pushed through?

      December 10, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  5. Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

    "Oklahoma state Rep. Bob Cleveland told CNN that he's not in favor of the Satanist's proposed statue.

    "I believe that only monuments that reflect Oklahoma values should be allowed on capitol the capitol grounds," Cleveland said in an e-mail on Monday."

    And we can see just how unenlightened this man truly is of the wisdom of the founders understanding of our liberties.

    December 10, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Justice

      Ohhhhh yeah... Right on!

      December 10, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Justice

        Note to Context – What can you possibly understand about 'civil' liberties when you can't even excercise civility?

        December 10, 2013 at 10:55 am |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

          Just saying that I think I do a pretty good job at being civilized, thought I am flawed like every other human. I have taken atheists to task many times for here for such behavior. But if you are saying that my speaking against what you hold to be true is uncivil, then I think you need to examine what uncivil means.

          December 10, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  6. JW

    You don't need to belong to a "satanic church" to be doing the will of the ruler of this world.

    1 John 2:15-17:"15 Do not love either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him; 16 because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life —does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world.17 Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

    Isn't it true that this is what we generally see people doing?

    December 10, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Alias

      So I shouldn't love my wife.
      I will not be converting to your cult in this lifetime.

      December 10, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Ben

      It's sad that all you see is ugliness in this world and cannot appreciate the beauty. It seems like many of you Christians need to tear down everyone else's reasons for living in order to justify your own. Religion divides people, and we'll be better off without it.

      December 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • Justice

        Ben, you should talk. You and your atheist friends personally attack every Christian who comes to this blog.

        December 10, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Incorrect, we actually only attack the annoyingly dumb ones. It isn't our fault that you seem to breed faster than us...

          December 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Justice

          Blame that on survival of the 'Fittest'

          December 10, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Actually, my analogy is from the movie 'Idiocracy'

          December 10, 2013 at 10:41 am |
      • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

        "Religion divides people, and we'll be better off without it."

        I don't know about being better off without it. Certainly it is divisive with all of the other harms, but it does offer a means by which a group of people meet regularly to discuss and be reminded of some things that are moral, some examples of morality. If this is gone, what will replace it? Nascar? Reality TV?

        I think Thomas Jefferson had a great idea to strip the nonsense out of the Bible and look at the philosophically helpful teachings. I think the Unitarian movement is a step in that direction, being open to all, including atheists and agnostics.

        December 10, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • Justice

          Good luck on abolishing religion just cause YOU don't have one. A sound mind would be one who promotes freedom of religion. We got it right the first time.

          December 10, 2013 at 10:45 am |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

          Regardless of whether you wish to acknowledge it, religion has been evolving ever since it's creation, constantly trying to find kinder forms, which is why Christianity won out over Judaism. Now along comes science, disproving many of the explanations provided to us in the Bible. Couple that with the growth of the "nones" – people of faith turned off by the bigotries and politics of their church. Witness the outflowing of well wishing for the new pope because of his wonderful lean on basic human kindness.

          It's happening – it's just that you don't want to accept it because it is the loss of what you hold so closely.

          December 10, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • Justice

          And you're loving it because it means mote anarchy for you to relish yourself in.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  7. Apple Bush

    I am ok with this as long as they also allow a black monolith,

    December 10, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

      Never be "ok" with this because Christian religions can outspend and out monument any other religion here, increasing its presence in our government.

      December 10, 2013 at 10:16 am |
      • lol??

        Remember the Alamo!! Remember the Crystal Cathedral!! Yeah, water slides, too!!

        December 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • Alias

          We should also remember the oil money flowing into OPEC.
          If a bidding was started it would be hilarious.

          December 10, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Alias

      If you are going to have a white monolith, you have to have red, yellow, and black ones too.

      Maybe we could just put up one that is full of different color stars?
      Do you think we could we all agree to that?

      December 10, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        That would likely be construed as an endorsement of ho/mose/xuality.
        You want legislators to catch The Gay?

        December 10, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Open the pod bay doors, Apple!

      December 10, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  8. Alias

    This is more important than the christians posting here seem to comprehend.
    If we start putting Islamic scripture on monuments at our courthouses, and open all meetings with a prayer to Allah, how long will it be before Sharia Law becomes the standard for court rulings?

    December 10, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

      Stop watching fox, listening to Rush, Beck, and take a deeeeeep breath. Relax.

      December 10, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • lol??

        Breathing from the deep will stay in Vegas?? You guaranteeing she doesn't have a throat infection??

        December 10, 2013 at 10:23 am |
      • Alias

        I'm not a fan of Fox news. I'm just trying to put this into a context the christians can understand.
        In case you missed my point I'll spell it out:
        Non-christians do not want christian laws any more than non-muslims want Sharis law.

        December 10, 2013 at 10:27 am |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

          Having been a former Christian, I can tell you that argument does not work, correct as it is, because they don't want to walk a mile in someone else's shoes – they want you to walk in theirs. So, you have to show them the things that are wrong with theirs.

          December 10, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • archangelrey

        anti-christ is pusturing now, the names is coming out clearly.... fox, beck, limbaugh,Lucien, Magus more names will be reveal

        December 10, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Ben

      It will only become the standard if Islam takes's the Christian position of being the majority religion, and then you'll know what it feels like to be in the minority. You'll be fighting for a separation of church and state then, I'll bet, once your power is handed to another group.

      December 10, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  9. Reality # 2

    Satan, the demon of the demented.

    The Ten Commandments- A Jewish scribe's (not Moses) summary of the Hammurabi Code and also the Egyptians' Book of the Dead. They should note this on all copies
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    December 10, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  10. emskadittle

    why are the christians not upset that they jews have a monument at the state capitol

    December 10, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

      Because their religion (Christianity) is an evolution of Judaism, a child of Judaism, if you will.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • devent

      satanism is just a joke and a protest .it has no logical foundation except to say that freedom is expressedbby them to show that a contrasting religion can exist in a fundamentally religious country.it is more concerned of proving or showing the greatness of an ideology or political stability of the western democracy.,but as a religion ,it is like refering Marx to the comedian Marx brothers

      December 10, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • lol??

        Humour from the deep??

        December 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  11. Charles

    Horton Hears a Who is an allegory for the god-human relationship, and the believer-disbeliever relationship.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0xQsleqNyQ

    December 10, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LET's Religiosity Law #11 – “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

      December 10, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  12. lol??

    Satanists don't believe in Satan?? Methinks they even lie about THAT!!

    December 10, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Alias

      there are many different satanic groups, just like there are many different christian churches. Remember the WBC.

      December 10, 2013 at 10:03 am |
      • lol??

        WBC?? Related to the BBC??

        December 10, 2013 at 10:09 am |
  13. Justice

    The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

    December 10, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

      ... and the beginning of unjustified, fearful slavery.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • danny

      LOL.

      Free nuts on the BB today.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Madtown

      Why fear?

      December 10, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Ben

      Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. Thomas Jefferson

      That leaves out creationists.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:28 am |
      • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

        Agree. When one has to willfully reject provable facts (age of the earth, evolution, etc.), one is deluding oneself.

        December 10, 2013 at 9:31 am |
        • Justice

          You hold on to Evolution as your proof of the non-existance of God and go on and on with it, blah-blah. Very unconvincingly, I must add.

          December 10, 2013 at 9:43 am |
        • ME II

          @Justice,
          Evolution and science is disproof of Young Earth Creationism, but says nothing about the existence of god(s).

          December 10, 2013 at 9:47 am |
        • Ben

          Actually, evolution through natural selection leaves no role for a creator god in the process. One might have been involved, but only in a way that had to be so subtle as to be undetectable, and even unnecessary to the natural process. It's not proof against God, but it ruins the Creationist argument completely.

          December 10, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

          @Justice

          "You hold on to Evolution as your proof of the non-existance of God and go on and on with it..."

          Gosh, if that was all it took, my argument would be very weak indeed. As a former Christian, I say that no God exists because of these things:

          1. The errors in the Bible.
          2. The revisions of the Bible.
          3. The contradictions of the Bible.
          4. The cruelties of the Bible.
          5. The immoralities of the Bible.
          6. The bigotries of the Bible.
          7. The racism of the Bible.
          8. The misogyny of the Bible.
          9. The discrimination of the Bible.
          10. The lack of proof of God.
          11. The proof of human love greater than God's unproven love.
          12. The suffering on the earth.
          13. The tendency for one to be a believer of whichever religion
          is in the majority of where one lives.

          Need I continue?

          December 10, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • igaftr

      Is it wise to be afraid of a god that no one knows exists?

      People naturally fear the unknown, that is a survival instinct.

      Wisdom to fear which god? There are so many to choose from.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:40 am |
      • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

        so many to choose from in our imaginations, but in reality, none.

        December 10, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • Charles

        If gods don't exist, then why would there be so many to choose from?

        December 10, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • igaftr

          charles
          That's an easy one...ignorance.
          Men create gods to fill in the gaps in his own knowledge.

          Why is the ground shaking, and the mountain is smoking? Must be the god of the volcano is angry ( several gods created due to ignorance of a volcano

          Why does the sky flash with lightening and why does it make that huge noise...must be an angry god...( several gods created due to ignorance of lightening)

          Yours is no different.
          Where did everything come from including life? No evident answer so it must be a god.

          You see gods are mans answer to questions he does not know how to ask or how to answer...a simple response to ignorance.

          No evidence of any of these gods.

          December 10, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  14. Robert Brown

    Atheists say God is evil because babies, children, and those who have never heard the gospel are doomed to eternity in hell. I don’t believe that babies and children go to hell. Jesus said, in Matthew 19:14 “…Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” I believe that God’s justice is perfect, so anyone who hasn’t heard the gospel and had the opportunity to be saved would not be condemned either. I think it would be better if you were a wild person in the jungle who had never heard of Jesus, than to have heard the gospel and rejected it.
    Atheists also criticize an eternal punishment. They think an eternity of pain is an inequitable punishment regardless of the crime. They especially see an eternity of punishment as unjust just for not being able to forsake reason and have faith in a being that can’t be proven. Believers trust that God’s justice is perfect, we can’t know your heart, but God does. If you feel that tug at your heart when you hear the gospel, this is the Holy Spirit. Don’t turn him away. Ask Jesus for forgiveness, ask him to save your soul and you will no longer have the dread of punishment.

    December 10, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Science Works

      RB what does a soul look like and where is it no magic stuff ok ?

      I know what a sole looks like !

      December 10, 2013 at 9:03 am |
      • Angela

        Not everything that exists has substance to it.
        That's what abstract nouns are all about.

        December 10, 2013 at 9:06 am |
        • Ben

          Abstract nouns are used for abstract concepts such as love or beauty. Abstract things don't DO anything by themselves; they require an agent to give them substance, and then this "substance" only resides in the human imagination . If the devil, or God are abstract nouns, then they require worshippers to give them shapes that only exist in our imaginations as well, right?

          December 10, 2013 at 9:18 am |
        • Charles

          Horton heard a Who.

          December 10, 2013 at 9:23 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Science Works,
        Your soul is invisible. You are familiar with your soul, you just don’t realize it. Please allow me to introduce you to your soul and say hello to him or her for me while you’re at it. Your soul is that little girl or boy that is deep within you. Learn to love your soul, for he or she is who you really are.

        December 10, 2013 at 9:11 am |
        • Science Works

          Wow RB the magic stuff is your answer like the talking snake !

          December 10, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

          That reminds me of a line from Earth, Wind and Fire's "That's the way of the world"":

          Child is born with a heart of gold,
          Way of the world make his heart so cold.

          December 10, 2013 at 9:28 am |
        • Science Works

          Yeah RB and they found an ancient lake bed on mars that could have supported life billions of years ago.

          Just released news.

          December 10, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • igaftr

      RB

      You have turned away from the creator Nogomain, who created everything including himself out of nothingness.
      Turn away from your false god or you will be punished for eternity in the afterlife.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Woe betide those who reject (INSERT HOLY BOOK) as the inerrant word of (INSERT DEITY) for they shall suffer in (INSERT PUNITIVE POSTHUMOUS DIMENSION).

      December 10, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Hoss Cartright

      You don't understand the Atheist one bit. I am Atheist and the whole dam lot of yas are nuts for believing in an religion.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

      @Robert Brown

      "Believers trust that God’s justice is perfect, we can’t know your heart, but God does."

      The Old Testament proves that God's justice is neither perfect nor just. It contains many examples of how God has been cruel, unjust, immoral, and murderous, and those are some of the reasons atheist reject the existence of God – because we have known (as has everyone) people in our lives with more kindness than God.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:37 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Youtube video – "Context!!!!!!",

        That seems to be the general idea. I think in most cases it is misunderstanding or a warped sense of justice. If you would like to pick a specific example, we can discuss.

        December 10, 2013 at 10:04 am |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

          That's easy. Let's take the story of Noah. Tell me how the drowning of innocent children, babies, and helpless animals is an example of a higher morality, a higher good. Keep in mind that probably everyone you and I know, regardless of their belief or non-belief, would never do any of these, thus exhibiting a higher morality and kindness than God.

          December 10, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • Robert Brown

          The answer can be found in Genesis 6:
          5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

          6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

          7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

          8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

          The wickedness and evil thoughts of the people is why he killed them all. We aren’t given the detail for what this wickedness was specifically. Later on, after the flood, there was a god who people worshipped where they would heat a brazen image red hot and place their infants in its’ harm, this would probably qualify as evil and wicked, but the bottom line is we are not told the specifics here.
          The wickedness and evil must have been very bad because it says that it grieved God at his heart. It not only broke his heart that they were wicked, I think it broke his heart that there was no alternative but to destroy them. It must have been worse than we are capable of imagining.
          So, God is less moral or more evil than most people because he killed these people? What would you have done?

          December 10, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Logical fallacy – appeal to an alleged, unproven authority.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          RB,
          What did the "... beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air" do to deserve god's wrath? Or did Noah have a list of those that were not wicked and chose them for the Ark?
          How did Noah get to the Americas, Australia, etc. to collect their pairs of animals?
          Of course the easier option for an omnipotent being would be to start again – smite all humans and create a new Adam and Eve.
          Don't you see how little sense these stories make?

          December 10, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

          Ok, Robert, so here's where, for me, the Biblical explanation for this all falls through. As part of the punishment for not freeing God's people from bondage, one of the plagues, if you will, that was visited upon the Pharaoh and his people was the death of the first born. God had that power and exercised it.

          And so God could have exercised that same power with the wicked rather than flooding the earth, thus sparing the innocent children, infants, and animals. His choice not to do so points to a cruelty that no one I know of would commit – killing of the innocent. This makes people more moral than the most moral being they worship. If the people who wrote these stories would have understood the problems these types of things cause for their religion, my guess is that the Old Testament would never have been included in the Bible, and the number of believers would be higher. There are a few problems with the New Testament, but those can't hold a candle to the problems the Old Testament creates for Christianity.

          But I appreciate the honesty of you answer, and I hope you appreciate the honesty of mine.

          December 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Youtube video – "Context!!!!!!",

          Yes, I do appreciate the honesty of your thoughts. I agree the OT creates a lot of controversy. Christians believe it is the same God in both OT and NT. Here is the use ascribed to the OT to those who are in the new covenant, 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” There are spiritual truths taught in the accounts of God’s interaction with his creation. The prophesies of the coming savior, psalms, and proverbs are all wonderful.
          Part of the problem with the OT these days is directly related to the time it was written. We perceive our modern society to be much more gentle and civilized than ancient times. Overall it is, but the nature of humans hasn’t changed at all, killing and brutality still occur.
          The agreement between God and humans changed with Jesus, we now live in the age of grace. Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

          December 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • ME II

      @Robert Brown,
      FYI, the article is about Satanists, not Atheists.

      However,
      "Atheists also criticize an eternal punishment. They think an eternity of pain is an inequitable punishment regardless of the crime....
      Ask Jesus for forgiveness, ask him to save your soul and you will no longer have the dread of punishment."

      Many Atheists do criticize eternal punishment (although there are no tenets in Atheism) and your response does not address that criticism.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • tallulah13

      The god you imagine is an evil thing. Fortunately, there isn't a shred of evidence to prove that the god you imagine actually exists. Unfortunately, it show how easily humans will believe anything they are taught or told as long as it offers them a prize they find desirable. I wonder how far christianity would have gotten without the empty promise of heaven?

      December 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Joey

      God is evil because he spends most of the Old Testament ordering the deaths of people, up to and including the vast majority of the people alive on the planet. He orders genocide and seems to be o.k. with rap.e as well. What is not evil about that?

      December 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  15. Frank Bunneh

    "Forgive them Lord Lucifer for they know not what they do"
    -Some guy about to urinate off of his deck

    December 10, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  16. Denzel Johnson

    America is who it is because of the blessings of Almighty God.

    America needs God not satan.

    God bless America!

    December 10, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • edelweiss

      Amen.

      2 Chronicles 7:14

      December 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
      • HotAirAce

        Logical fallacy – appeal to an alleged, unproven authority.

        December 10, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      America is great because of the hard work of the many men and women who strive to make it better, not some imaginary god for which you have no evidence.

      December 10, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Rick

      Grow up.... stop believing in ridiculous fairytales.

      December 10, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      America is the world's only superpower because of its unparalelled capacity for destruction.
      Is a doctrine of overwhelming force what Christ would teach?

      December 10, 2013 at 8:47 am |
      • Charles

        Maybe, if he hadn't been crucified.

        December 10, 2013 at 8:49 am |
      • Ryan

        The US leads in charitable giving , has the most number of leading Universities in the world and leads in other programs.
        Your argument right there is very weak when pitted against facts.

        December 10, 2013 at 9:07 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Please cite references. I'd like to know some specifics about the charities.
          Bear in mind that organization like the IMF and the World Bank attach some pretty heavy quid pro quos to their "assistance".
          In order to secure the funding for rebuilding after a natural disaster or whatnot, those "charities", which are the extended arms of American corporations, require that the nations sell of their national resources to the lowest bidder, which effectively cripples their capacity to rebound in the long run and makes them beholden to said corporate interests.

          If you're referring to private charities, the overwhelming majority of them only use a fraction of what is donated to them to actually do any kind of tangible charity work. The rest goes to "administrative overhead".
          The United States scores worse than most developed nations in high-level math and reading skills (source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
          Ja.pan, Canada and Finland are among the highest performing countries in literacy and math proficiency exams.
          16- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. display the lowest mathematical proficiency out of all the countries assessed by the OECD.

          December 10, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  17. AtheistSteve

    I'm watching the live broadcast of the memorial for Mandela. Pres. Obama just shook hands with Raul Castro.
    Let the right wing mud slinging commence...in 3, 2, 1...

    December 10, 2013 at 6:32 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Do you thing anyone that might or does attack Obama will figure out that that (shake hands) is what Mandela would have down with his enemies?

      December 10, 2013 at 7:33 am |
      • HotAirAce

        . . . done . . .

        December 10, 2013 at 7:34 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Let me try again:

          Do you think anyone that might or does attack Obama will figure out that that (shake hands) is what Mandela would have done with his enemies?

          December 10, 2013 at 7:36 am |
  18. john lennox

    God is so great and amazing in his love for us. He allows us to have independence and freedom in making our own choices because he respects us. Some people feel powerful everytime they insult God because they are ungrateful for this precious wonderful eternal life he gave everyone but please please don't judge those people it's not always their fault and we never know what problems they had or have in life until we step in their shoes. Each day we should always strive to make the people around us more happy and don't forget that doing nice things for disadvantaged people will cause you too feel good too. If you read this thanks for listening and God bless

    December 10, 2013 at 6:28 am |
    • truthprevails1

      That was a load of crazy in a few sentences. How is one ungrateful to something they see no evidence for the existence of? Are you ungrateful to leprechauns or unicorns or the Easter Bunny or Santa?

      December 10, 2013 at 6:36 am |
      • john lennox

        Sure of couse you can put it that way if you think it's logically sound to compare unicorns and leprecauns to God. You can prove God exists, its easy, all you do is keep seeking him.

        December 10, 2013 at 6:49 am |
        • truthprevails1

          You're funny...in need of serious medical help for those delusions but funny none the less.

          December 10, 2013 at 6:55 am |
        • Rick

          Wow.... to much LSD when you were young?

          December 10, 2013 at 8:41 am |
      • john lennox

        Hey thanks man meditation is really good and just for the record prescribed drugs are drugs or better yet what you call "medication" Maybe one day you will understand how awesome it is to relax and enjoy an abundance of security and comfort within God's love.

        December 10, 2013 at 7:11 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Are you 100% certain your god exists? Where is the evidence for your god (try not using the bible)? See, some of us happen to care that our beliefs are based on evidence, you obviously don't.
          evilbible.org, godisimaginary.com both will enlighten your weak, gullible mind

          December 10, 2013 at 7:28 am |
      • john lennox

        truthprevails1 I've been on both of those websites. They are specifically designed to increase a pessimistic state of being. Then again that might be why you like them so much. You can be spoken the gospel all day long but if you allow your ears to stay closed your better off using a meat hook for a coat hanger look fact of the matter is this, it's completly your choice whether you want to accept that faith will unlock the door to your salvation. But know that I am in compliance with whatever you decide because you are my friend

        December 10, 2013 at 7:54 am |
        • Rick

          The same goes for believing in that useless rag called 'the bible'. It was made up to control the masses and make them do the churches bidding (as well as keep the fat priests warm and fed).
          If you choose to believe the drivel contained in that 'book' that's your problem. Stop trying to ram it down everyone elses throat.
          If you believe the crap contained within it then you are truly as intelligent as the village id!ots of years ago.
          Try actually THINKING for yourself....

          December 10, 2013 at 8:51 am |
      • Rick

        Santa is a fat beeotch....

        December 10, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      God is an incompetent boob. He freely allows Satan, a superbeing in his own right, to manipulate and deceive mankind according to your own book.

      December 10, 2013 at 6:43 am |
      • john lennox

        Yes you are correct God does allow satan to rule this world. But God also gave you a free life and and a ticket to paradise so what do you really have to complain about?

        December 10, 2013 at 6:54 am |
        • Rick

          Still waiting for my ticket to paradise..... is the USPS really THAT slow?
          I'm assuming the ticket is for Bora Bora right?

          December 10, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

      "God is so great and amazing in his love for us."
      Then why did he kill every person and every creature on earth in the Great Flood?
      Why did he allow the murder of so many Je wish during WWII?
      Why did he allow slavery and murder of Native Americans, South Americans, and Atlantic Islanders by the Europeans exploring the "New World?"
      Why did he allow the drowning of nearly 250,000 people by the Boxer Day tsunami?

      "He allows us to have independence and freedom in making our own choices because he respects us."
      This means he allowed the murder and slavery of many innocent Christians and non-Christians by tyrants throughout the ages.

      "Some people feel powerful everytime they insult God because"
      Atheists can't feel power for insulting something they know does not exists – that would be irrational.

      "they are ungrateful for this precious wonderful eternal life he gave everyone"
      So far no one has ever seen a person with eternal life. Although this would be nice, it is nothing more than wishful thinking.

      "but please please don't judge those people it's not always their fault and we never know what problems they had or have in life until we step in their shoes."
      This is something we both can agree on as non-believer and believer.

      "Each day we should always strive to make the people around us more happy and don't forget that doing nice things for disadvantaged people will cause you too feel good too."
      We should do good things because they are simply that. Whether we get something in return is not the reason for doing good.

      "If you read this thanks for listening and God bless"
      Agree, if you read this thanks for listening and have a wonderful day.

      December 10, 2013 at 7:53 am |
      • john lennox

        First off your an atheist you said you know God doesn't exist. But your an atheist and have absolutely no evidence that God doesn't exist so how do you know? You could at least be like an honest christian and say that you have faith in your belief system instead of stating an absolute that's irrational in itself. Secondly if God does allow all those things to happen (which he clearly does) then who are you that's so holy to condemn the one that gave you life? Are you perfect? Definitly not none of us are face it your just as simple minded as the rest of us human beings. Maybe you dont understand his ways. Would you be consider that a possibility? Or are you just so ceartin in everything you think that you are also convinced that you have the answer for everything or maybe your fellow man can fix the world is that who you follow?

        December 10, 2013 at 8:16 am |
        • Rick

          "You're".... I thought christians were supposed to be educated? Wait... that's an oxymoron.

          December 10, 2013 at 8:55 am |
        • Rick

          YOU believe in the invisible sky daddy, so its on YOU to prove that he exists. You can't have it both ways.

          December 10, 2013 at 8:57 am |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!!"

          @john lennox

          Let me give you an example of why I do not need to disprove any god, but rather it is the believer that needs to provide proof. The other day I was walking through the forest when I heard a voice, and it called itself "Ufalom." And Ufalom spoke to me, and told me that on this day, at this time, I would be having this conversation with you. Another friend of mine had the same vision of me talking with you.

          Now, can you prove that we did not have that conversation and vision? Did the fact that more than one person made the claim make it any more true? The only way you know it is false is if I tell you I made it up. Otherwise, according to your line of reasoning, you must accept that Ufalom exists just as I must accept God or gods. So, that makes no sense. The person making the claim must submit the proof, otherwise we discount it just like everything else in our lives.

          December 10, 2013 at 9:16 am |
      • john lennox

        Look bro you want god to prove himself to you and I can't necessarily disagree or say there's something wrong with that because I was there at one point. I understand you and you dont want to risk trusting in him until he shows you the undeniable proof of his existence and he will if you keep asking him but I cant guarantee that it will be a pleasant experience bro you can trust me on that

        December 10, 2013 at 9:37 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Do you ever look back at what you type and say to yourself, "Self, I don't think I'm very bright and I certainly don't know how to write a cogent argument/rebuttal. Maybe, I should refrain from writing further so that I don't make myself sound like a dumbass?"

          December 10, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • tallulah13

      There is no proof that any god exists or that there is any sort of afterlife. A truly moral person does not need the empty promise of eternal life to treat others as they would be treated. All that is necessary is simple human empathy and compassion.

      December 10, 2013 at 9:55 am |
      • john lennox

        An atheist moralist I like that. You want proof ask God for proof I can't give it to you and that's just keeping it real and want to know something else you wont usually hear? I can't even give you guys faith that totally comes from you so imagine how helpless i feel about that. The devil lose's because God's love reigns supreme.

        December 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
        • tallulah13

          I'm an adult. When someone makes a fantastic claim, I require proof before I believe. There isn't proof that any of the thousands of gods ever worshiped by humans actually exist. You god is no exception. Therefore I can not honestly believe in a god.

          And for the record, athiests are just as moral as christians. Good people will be good, bad people will be bad and religion rarely makes a difference.

          December 10, 2013 at 10:20 am |
      • john lennox

        Exactly you want some christian like myself to pull out some magic wand and all a sudden force God to show his face to you, Aint gonna happen I can speak of miracles, truth, and love but in the end it all depends on your will to know God. Jesus is the king lord and saviour and only through his self sacrifice you will be given eternal life. Now stop asking me and start asking God! And if you want to be my friend email me terrazasj920@yahoo.com

        December 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • tallulah13

          Wow, John. It's like you didn't comprehend a word I said. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. There isn't a single shred of evidence that your god, or any god, actually exists. Special feeling may be convincing to you, but I prefer to deal in fact. I used to believe that I was a christian, but when I actually looked at what I believed and why, that belief did not survive. The genie is out of the bottle, and there's no honest way, and no desire on my part, to put it back.

          December 10, 2013 at 11:22 am |
  19. MightyMoo

    This is the best example of someone shooting themselves in the foot I ever saw.

    December 10, 2013 at 6:25 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.