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After a schism, a question: Can atheist churches last?
Sunday Assembly founders Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans have begun to franchise their "godless congregations."
January 4th, 2014
09:00 AM ET

After a schism, a question: Can atheist churches last?

By Katie Engelhart, special to CNN

LONDON (CNN) - The Sunday Assembly was riding high.

The world’s most voguish - though not its only - atheist church opened last year in London, to global attention and abundant acclaim.

So popular was the premise, so bright the promise, that soon the Sunday Assembly was ready to franchise, branching out into cities such as New York, Dublin and Melbourne.

“It’s a way to scale goodness,” declared Sanderson Jones, a standup comic and co-founder of The Sunday Assembly, which calls itself a “godless congregation.”

But nearly as quickly as the Assembly spread, it split, with New York City emerging as organized atheism’s Avignon.

In October, three former members of Sunday Assembly NYC announced the formation of a breakaway group called Godless Revival.

“The Sunday Assembly,” wrote Godless Revival founder Lee Moore in a scathing blog post, “has a problem with atheism.”

Moore alleges that, among other things, Jones advised the NYC group to “boycott the word atheism” and “not to have speakers from the atheist community.” It also wanted the New York branch to host Assembly services in a churchlike setting, instead of the Manhattan dive bar where it was launched.

Jones denies ordering the NYC chapter to do away with the word “atheism,” but acknowledges telling the group “not to cater solely to atheists.” He also said he advised them to leave the dive bar “where women wore bikinis,” in favor of a more family-friendly venue.

The squabbles led to a tiff and finally a schism between two factions within Sunday Assembly NYC. Jones reportedly told Moore that his faction was no longer welcome in the Sunday Assembly movement.

Moore promises that his group, Godless Revival, will be more firmly atheistic than the Sunday Assembly, which he now dismisses as “a humanistic cult.”

In a recent interview, Jones described the split as “very sad.” But, he added, “ultimately, it is for the benefit of the community. One day, I hope there will soon be communities for every different type of atheist, agnostic and humanist. We are only one flavor of ice cream, and one day we hope there'll be congregations for every godless palate."

Nevertheless, the New York schism raises critical questions about the Sunday Assembly. Namely: Can the atheist church model survive? Is disbelief enough to keep a Sunday gathering together?

Big-tent atheism

I attended my first service last April, when Sunday Assembly was still a rag-tag venture in East London.

The service was held in a crumbly, deconsecrated church and largely populated by white 20-somethings with long hair and baggy spring jackets (a group from which I hail.)

I wrote that the Assembly “had a wayward, whimsical feel. At a table by the door, ladies served homemade cakes and tea. The house band played Cat Stevens. Our ‘priest’ wore pink skinny jeans.”

I judged the effort to be “part quixotic hipster start-up, part Southern megachurch.”

The central idea was attractive enough. The Assembly described itself as a secular urban oasis, where atheists could enjoy the benefits of traditional church - the sense of community, the weekly sermon, the scheduled time for reflection, the community service opportunities, the ethos of self-improvement, the singing and the free food - without God. I liked the vibe and the slogan: “Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More.”

Shortly thereafter, Assembly services began bringing in hundreds of similarly warm-and-fuzzy nonbelievers. The wee East London church grew too small, and the Assembly moved to central London’s more elegant Conway Hall.

The Assembly drew criticism, to be sure—from atheists who fundamentally object to organized disbelief, from theists who resent the pillaging of their texts and traditions. But coverage was largely positive - and it was everywhere.

In September, a second wave of coverage peaked, with news that the Assembly was franchising: across England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, the United States and Australia. That month, the founders launched a crowd-funding campaign that aims to raise $802,500. (As of mid-December, less than $56,000 had been raised.)

Still, prospective Sunday Assembly franchisers seemed exhilarated. Los Angeles chapter founder Ian Dodd enthused that he would “have a godless congregation in the city of angels.” In November, his inaugural Assembly drew more than 400 attendees.

But as the atheist church grew, it began to change—and to move away from its atheism.

“How atheist should our Assembly be?” wrote Jones in August. “The short answer to that is: not very.”

Pippa Evans, Assembly’s other co-founder, elaborated: “‘Atheist Church’ as a phrase has been good to us. It has got us publicity. But the term ‘atheist’ does hold negative connotations.”

Warm-and-fuzzy atheism gave way to not-quite atheism: or at least a very subdued, milquetoast nonbelief. Sunday services made much mention of “whizziness” and “wonder”—but rarely spoke of God’s nonexistence.

The newer, bigger Sunday Assembly now markets itself as a kind of atheist version of Unitarian Univeralism: irreligious, but still eager to include everyone.

In a way, this is a smart move. According to the 2012 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 20% of Americans have no religious affiliation, but just a fraction of those identify as atheists.

A godless congregation is likely to draw crowds if it appeals to what Herb Silverman, founder of the Secular Coalition for America, calls “big-tent” atheism, which includes “agnostics, humanists, secular humanists, freethinkers, nontheists, anti-theists, skeptics, rationalists, naturalists, materialists, ignostics, apatheists, and more.”

But atheists who wanted a firmly atheist church—a Sunday Assembly where categorical disbelief is discussed and celebrated—will not be satisfied.

As the Sunday Assembly downplays its atheism, it also appears increasingly churchlike.

Starting a Sunday Assembly chapter now involves a “Sunday Assembly Everywhere accreditation process,” which grants “the right to use all the Sunday Assembly materials, logos, positive vibe and goodwill.”

Aspiring Sunday Assembly founders must form legal entities and attend “training days in the UK,” sign the Sunday Assembly Charter and pass a three- to six-month peer review. Only then may formal accreditation be granted.

This is not an East London hipster hyper-localism anymore.

Selling swag and charisma

Organized atheism is not necessarily new. French Revolutionaries, for instance, were early atheist entrepreneurs.

In 1793, secularists famously seized the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, to build a “Temple of Reason.” They decorated the church with busts of philosophers, built an altar to Reason, lit a torch of Truth - and brought in an actress to play Liberty.

A half-century later, French philosopher Auguste Comte drew acclaim for his “religion of humanity,” which imagined an army of secular sages ministering to secular souls. London has hosted formal atheist gatherings for almost as long.

History suggests, then, that there is nothing inherently anti-organization about atheism. As Assembly’s Sanderson Jones puts it, “things which are organized are not necessarily bad.”

To be sure, Sunday Assembly members in the United States say they've long wanted to join atheist congregations.

Ian Dodd, a 50-something camera operator in Los Angeles, had long been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church; he enjoyed it, but wanted something more explicitly irreligious.

Nicole Steeves of the Chicago chapter found herself yearning for a secular community—a “place to check in and think about things bigger than the day-to-day”—after having her first child.

But it is one thing to support an atheist "church" - where the ‘c’ is small and the effort is local - and another to back an atheist ‘Church’ that is global and centralized.

The former responds directly to the needs and fancies of its community. The latter assumes that its particular brand of disbelief is universally relevant—and worthy of trademark.

Centralized atheism also feeds hungrily on charisma, and Sanderson Jones, who resembles a tall, bearded messiah - and who, despite the SA recommendation that Assembly hosts should be regularly rotated, dominates each London service - provides ample fuel.

But it remains to be seen whether the Sunday Assembly’s diluted godlessness is meaty enough to sustain a flock.

“Because it is a godless congregation, we don’t have a doctrine to rely on,” explains Sunday Assembly Melbourne’s founder, “so we take reference from everything in the world.”

So far, Assembly sermonizers had included community workers, physicists, astronomers, wine writers, topless philanthropers, futurologists, happiness experts, video game enthusiasts, historians and even a vicar. The pulpit is open indeed.

My own misgivings are far less academic. I’m simply not getting what the Sunday Assembly promised. I’m not put off by the secular church model, but rather the prototype.

Take an October service in London, for example:

Instead of a thoughtful sermon, I got a five-minute Wikipedia-esque lecture on the history of particle physics.

Instead of receiving self-improvement nudges or engaging in conversation with strangers, I watched the founders fret (a lot) over technical glitches with the web streaming, talk about how hard they had worked to pull the service off, and try to sell me Sunday Assembly swag.

What’s more, instead of just hop, skipping and jumping over to a local venue, as I once did, I now had to brave the tube and traverse the city.

Back in New York, Lee Moore is gearing up for the launch of Godless Revival - but still speaks bitterly of his time with the Sunday Assembly network.

Over the telephone, I mused that the experience must have quashed any ambition he ever had to build a multinational atheist enterprise.

“Actually,” he admitted, “we do have expansion aims.”

Katie Engelhart is a London-based writer. Follow her at @katieengelhart or www.katieengelhart.com.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Church • Faith • Houses of worship • Leaders

soundoff (4,535 Responses)
  1. AE

    One thing that Christian churches do well is providing support and aid to those who are hospitalized and/or dying. My pastor's schedule involves visits with members and relatives of members who are in need. Plus she tries to meet with those who have no one to visit them. Hopefully these atheist congregations can provide this type of service for members.

    January 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
    • Observer

      AE,

      Yes, churches do a LOT of charity work.

      Just for once, could you give atheists and agnostics credit for partially SUBSIDIZING those churches by paying some of their tax bills?

      January 6, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
      • AE

        Thanks.

        January 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
  2. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    This article highlights a fundamental problem with congregations of non-believers.

    Anti-theists are often annoying and create the negative connotation around the word "atheism". If a congregation tries to distance itself from anti-theists, there will be friction.

    Any attempt to define an orthodoxy of non-belief is going to be met negatively anyway. Orthodoxy is the anti.thesis of inclusiveness.

    January 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
  3. Dennis Arashiro

    As an atheist who belongs to a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship I choose not to belong an atheist echo chamber. I'm afraid that atheist churches will boxed themselves into static creeds just like theist churches. I appreciate being in the company of atheists, agnostics, Christians, pagans, and whatnot who have in common the desire for spiritual growth in ourselves and each other no matter what direction it sends us. Unitarian Universalists are inclusive but hardly irreligious as the author claims. We take religion seriously. We see it as a dynamic vehicle, not an unchanging construction.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I think you have misinterpreted what was written.

      "The newer, bigger Sunday Assembly now markets itself as a kind of atheist version of Unitarian Univeralism: irreligious, but still eager to include everyone."

      Unitarianism is religious and eager to include everyone. In contrast with Unitarianism, the Sunday Assembly was intended to be irreligious.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
  4. Science Works

    Hey L4H and Vic looks like you did go ape sh!t on the BB !

    January 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
    • Unity @ St. Mary's

      Wonder if Liver is going to break out her ignore list, which she obviously spent hours on instead of doing the work I pay her to do?

      January 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
      • Science Works

        OK that was funny – that list too !

        January 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
      • Science Works

        Looks like AE did too !

        January 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
  5. Live4Him

    Notice: I will only respond to those to whom my post is addressed. Everyone else will be ignored.
    Dyslexic, You have a mixture of facts and hearsay in your post, so lets dissect it.. I'll need to get back later to your forthcoming response, as my time is limited at this moment. Maybe tomorrow or later tonight.

    @Dyslexic doG : The King James version of the new testament was completed in 1611

    This statement is true.

    @Dyslexic doG : There were (and still are) NO original texts to translate.

    Again, true, but misleading. You haven't given any evidence that the copies were any different from the originals.

    @Dyslexic doG : The oldest manuscripts we have were written down 100's of years after the last apostle died.

    The earliest verifiable fragment dates from 125 AD, which was 92 years after the crucifixion. And there are some fragments that could be as early as 60 AD – a mere 27 years later. However, copies that are more complete than these fragments were copied from the originals 100's of years after the last apostle died.

    @Dyslexic doG : There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts with no two alike. The king james translators used none of these anyway.

    Totally false – on every level. There are over 24,000 NT extant manuscripts that date prior to 500 AD. And when comparing like-for-like (i.e. a specific book, chapter and verse for a given language), computer analysis determined that they were 99.9% identical. This is a far cry from your posit. The only identified changes were word tense, word order, and spelling differences. And we haven't even begun to discuss the OT manuscripts, which were compared against the Dead Sea Scrolls and found to be remarkably unchanged.

    @Dyslexic doG : The king james translators used none of these anyway.

    Correct. The rift between the Protestants and the Catholic Church made things difficult at this time. As such the Church didn't want to lend any manuscripts to the 'heretical rebels'. As such, the entire NT translation was done from a poor translation called the Received Text (Textus Receptus sp?). In spite of the numerous errors in the copy, it was the best they have. This is why more modern translations are more accurate than the KJV.

    <><

    January 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • Habe

      Arrogant twit.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      your 99% accuracy is fanciful. I look to Dr. Bart Ehrman for accurate figures.

      I suppose if the comparison you speak of was done by people in your cult, i.e. christians, then it would be obvious why they would read complete differences and/or contradictions and claim they were the same message or the same essence or the same feeling. Christians do this today when questioned about bible discrepancies, so anyone reading this will know exactly what I mean.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        "Computer analysis" is an appeal to authority. What did it actually consist of?

        January 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Notice: I will only respond to those to whom my post is addressed. Everyone else will be ignored.

        @Dyslexic doG : your 99% accuracy is fanciful.

        Mine source was a scientific study, so why do you reject science?

        @Dyslexic doG : I look to Dr. Bart Ehrman for accurate figures.

        Logic fallacy : Appeal to Authority. In addition, his work is dishonest by using two different standards in his work – one for academic works and another 'freer' for popular works. If that's what you want – go for it.

        @Dyslexic doG : I suppose if the comparison you speak of was done by people in your cult, i.e. christians

        So, you prefer biase in your 'trusted' sources, instead of seeking the truth wherever it is found. I prefer to find the facts whereever it can be found. Dr. Bart Ehrman prefers to market to the gullible who won't bother to look beyond the 'truth' as he presents it.

        <><

        January 7, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Live4Him says "(my) source was a scientific study, so why do you reject science?" It can't be seen whether a study was in fact "scientific", or at least properly done, if the study is known only to Live4Him. This sort of thing is why Live4Him is not a reliable representative of whatever belief Live4Him hopes to represent. As I said earlier, the fallacy is a simple appeal from authority.

          January 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
    • Observer

      Live4Him,

      The Bible is nothing but a SELECTION of stories. MAN decided which he liked and kept and which to THROW AWAY.

      There is ZERO proof that he didn't goof.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      L4H, These were hand-copied for centuries and there are many differences between surviving texts. There are tens of thousands of errors between known copies, admittedly the majority are minor, but as there are no originals no one can say how close to them the current versions are.

      January 6, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
    • Billy

      Before I reply to Live4Him, I want to know up front – are dealer taxes and tags included or not?

      January 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Maybe you should exchange email addresses with Dyslexic, since according to you he/she is the only one allowed to reply to...grow up lie4him, you're still acting like an arrogant tool (not slander, not libel....it's only an alias on an anonymous blog).

      January 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
  6. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Put the word "atheist" in a Belief Blog headline and the clicks just roll on in.

    Ca-ching goes the internet.

    ~3800 posts over a weekend, not too shabby.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      and this is the worst atheist article they have ever written.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Do we know who Katie Engelhart is anyway?

      She isn't a regular correspondent here.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
      • Maddy

        I've never seen her here before.

        January 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Science Works

          A little international flair – maybe she is from – LONDON (CNN)

          January 6, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
  7. Rodents for Romney

    Well, there are 33.000 sects of Christians, each of which is convinced IT ALONE has THE Truth.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
  8. james

    what are they congregating to talk about, how every religious person is stupid, then amen and it's over?

    January 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
    • Alias

      I guess they could talk about things the bible got wrong:
      2SA 6:23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
      2SA 21:8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:

      January 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
    • Habe

      Do you do that is your church: talk about how stupid atheists are?

      January 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • The Church of Atheism

      With the creation of atheism in 1783, the Godless parasites, lead by the virgin Richard Dawkins, created a cult known as "atheism". Much like the Catholic Church, it is organized into different sections. The Fapacy, the holy atheist Richard Dawkins, is the president of the church. He exhibits omnipotent powers, and can banish evidence that supports intelligent design from existence. His Bishops, the moderators of Reddit and the CNN Belief Blog, control the minds of the public. Members of the church, also known as internet users, will torture you if they discover you have tarnished the shrine of Richard Dawkins in your home. Torture is mostly gay love, because, lets face it, all atheists are atheists because they are secretly gay. Other members of the church, "scientists", also known as wizards, spend all their time creating potions to cure ailments such as free thought, even though it's evident that all problems in the world are caused by Thetans and witches. When intellectually challenged, atheists will begin masturbating violently and will eventually kill themselves. Atheism is a religion. Why the fvck do you think all their arguments are "I don't believe god exists?"

      January 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
      • Maddy

        Wow. Who knew Dawkins was so old?

        January 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
      • Alias

        If you thought that hard about your religion, you would probably convert to ours.

        January 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
      • doobzz

        Did you fap while writing that?

        January 6, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        More proof that you can't fix stupid.

        January 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
  9. Destruction is fun.Death is funner.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 🙂

    January 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
  10. Vic

    Open your heart and mind to the possibility of the existence of God, and then He will lead you to it. It is evident by this creation, sentience, Natural & Special Revelations, basic instincts, intuition, and common sense.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Yes, it is possible there is a God. One that doesn't have much interest in interacting with humanity.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    •  Marcus Welby, MD

      "Open your heart"

      Please do not attempt such a procedure on your own.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
      • Vic

        PRICLESS

        January 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • Vic

        PRICELESS

        January 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
    • Observer

      Vic,

      It's likely that most, if not all agnostics (like me), are willing to believe in God. We just need PROOF and there just isn't any.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
      • Vic

        Right On!

        God reveals Himself to the individual according to His Divine Will & Wisdom.

        January 6, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • G to the T

          Doesn't do the group appearances anymore eh?

          January 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
    • Vic

      !Meant as a reply!

      January 6, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
      • Alias

        Please reply to this:

        JO1 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
        JO1 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

        January 6, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • Vic

          Righteousness is imputed unto the believer on the basis of FAITH in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. A Christian believer in born again in the "spirit" and not in the 'flesh,' hence "sanctified in the spirit." Once saved through the Lord Jesus Christ, God looks us in the "spirit."

          January 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • Chikkipop

          Vic,

          Think about this. Seriously.

          When you guys go on & on using all this "Bible-speak" ("Righteousness", "FAITH" "Lord and Savior", "born again in the “spirit” and not in the ‘flesh,’ hence “sanctified in the spirit.”, "saved", etc.), can't you see that it accomplishes nothing!?

          These concepts are meaningless to those of us who have not bought into theism. Why not try using commonly accepted, ordinary words to tell us how you know about a god? "Sanctified in the spirit" means nothing to us. What is a "savior"? What do you mean by "righteousness"?

          If you ever wish to be understood, the last thing you should do is babble on like a brainwashed cult member. Think for yourself and speak in a language that others who are not in your circle can understand.

          January 9, 2014 at 9:05 am |
        • Alias

          I can tell you just made that up without looking at the bible to get full context.
          It really sounds good though.

          January 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • Alias

      Open your mind and you will see how we cannot believe in your bible:
      In two places in the New Testament the genealogy of Jesus son of Mary is mentioned. MAT 1:6-16 and LUK 3:23-31. Each gives the ancestors of Joseph the CLAIMED husband of Mary and Step father of Jesus. The first one starts from Abraham(verse 2) all the way down to Jesus. The second one from Jesus all the way back to Adam. The only common name to these two lists between David and Jesus is JOSEPH, How can this be true? and also How can Jesus have a genealogy when all Muslims and most Christians believe that Jesus had/has no father.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
      • Vic

        I don't know much about that genealogy other than that Mary—Mother of Jesus—was from the House of David, was visited by the archangel Gabriel, who informed her of God's favor and Will, and was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit through Whom the Lord Jesus Christ was conceived in the flesh.

        January 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • Alias

          how is that relevant to my point that the bible contradicts itself?

          January 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • G to the T

          "I don't know much about that genealogy other than that Mary—Mother of Jesus—was from the House of David" Citation please. Both geneologies are for Joseph. I don't recall ever seeing on for Mary.

          January 7, 2014 at 8:20 am |
    • JWT

      It is not at all evident. And besides that there is no need or reason to believe in any of the gods.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      will you open up your mind to the possibility of no god, vic?

      January 6, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
      • sam stone

        apparently not.

        January 7, 2014 at 5:52 am |
  11. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    I personally don't believe an atheist "church" is a good idea. It is in a sense giving credibility to claims of atheism being a belief system, which it is exactly not.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
    • AE

      My church serves as a great venue to help me interact in community, serve others and meet new people. And as Nadia Bolz-Weber puts it: "When else do you get to stand in public and renounce evil?"

      I think there is a basic human want that the atheist congregations can help meet.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
      • Habe

        You can renounce evil in the middle of the street, if you so desire. Unsure why you feel a church is necessary.

        January 6, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • AE

          I find my church helpful.

          January 6, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • Habe

          That's good. Glad to hear it.

          January 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    O God O God we are all so horribly twisted and depraved, but we thank you that you sent your son to die and undie so that we might through waterboarding and ritual cannibalism get a ticket to his wedding and not be tortured eternally.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Alias

    how about these bible quotes:
    ISA 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
    DEU 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    Christians, please explain how I can believe in your god when the only proof you have of his existence is a flawed book?

    Starting a religion is easy it seems. Joseph Smith wrote a book equally as flawed as the bible and he has millions of followers as convinced as you. L Ron Hubbard wrote a book equally as flawed as the bible and he has millions of followers as convinced as you. It seems the only difference in christianity is that you have a 2,000 year head start.

    January 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • Billy

      Plus, around the time the Bible was being compiled transparency was a word of Satanic origin.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • Alias

      Not entirely true.
      L Ron Hubbard keeps his book secret so we can't really know if it is flawed or not.
      We can believe, but we can't prove anything.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        ahhhh, not true. Scientology books are SO available I can get them on Amazon. Some of his advanced voodoo is closed to the public but the basic foolishness is there for all to see.

        January 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • Dennis Arashiro

      The books are not equally flawed. At least the Bible is based on some real people and real events, perhaps mixed in with some fictional characters and events. It's a historical novel like War and Peace. The Book of Mormon is based on nothing real at all. Archeology has found nothing to substantiate its claims about the past. It's a piece of fantasy fiction like The Lord of the Rings.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
      • doobzz

        The Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon have some real people and events mixed in with some fictional people and events, but I'm not going to chant in front of stacked stones on Beltaine because I read them.

        January 6, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          LOVE those books!

          January 6, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • doobzz

          Me too. They're my guilty pleasure!

          January 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
  15. Coed Restrooms on the Sabbath

    Pooop ooop de doooo 🙂

    January 6, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • Observer

      How are you doing in kindergarten?

      January 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • Lil P00py

      Hey – you talkin' ta me??

      January 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      •  

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsQKKdaOyCg&w=640&h=360]

        January 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
  16. Charm Quark

    Vic
    And that makes you feel special and better than all of the rest of god's creations, because your lot got it right, pompous and arrogant the whole belief system. With the added bonus that the princes of the church in all cults live the high life off of the backs of the sheep.

    January 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It makes Vic feel saved, if not safe, from hell – something his religion required him to believe in so that the whole thing might make sense to him.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
    • Vic

      When I look at MYSELF, my fellow Christians and my fellow humans, altogether, I see exactly why the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins.

      January 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Really, Vic – what is so wrong with you that deicide and that whole scheme by your God was necessary?

        January 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

        Correction .. you "interpret" why, based on your own choice of beliefs.

        January 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
      • Alias

        You should think about WHY your god HAD TO make that baby and torture it to death.
        The answer will prove your god is not all powerful and does not see everything.

        January 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Vic
        Is it just original sin that makes you need saving or did you do something really disgusting, I am dying to hear the lurid details. Go ahead spill your guts, confession is good so the story goes.

        January 6, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
  17. Doc Vestibule

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeaGXjD_iDY&w=640&h=360]

    January 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
    • Maddy

      Hmmm...a Bloody Mary sounds good right now...

      January 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
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About this blog

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