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Atheists plan conservative outreach with booth at CPAC
The Reason Rally, sponsored by American Atheists and other secular organizations, draws a crowd to the National Mall in March 2012.
February 25th, 2014
06:00 AM ET

Atheists plan conservative outreach with booth at CPAC

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – American Atheists, an outspoken organization that advocates for atheists nationwide, will have a booth at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference.

The atheist institution, which is well known for its controversial billboards and media campaigns, informed CNN of its inclusion on Monday night, and a representative from CPAC confirmed that the group will have a booth at the annual national gathering of conservative leaders and activists in March. American Atheists hopes to use the forum to tap into the conservative movement and bring conservative atheists “out of the closet.”

“Just as there are many closeted atheists in the church pews, I am extremely confident that there are many closeted atheists in the ranks of conservatives," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists.

Silverman said coming to CPAC will be “the first step of many” in reaching out to Republicans.

[twitter-follow screen_name='danmericacnn'] [twitter-follow screen_name='CNNbelief']

“It is really a serious outreach effort, and I am very pleased to be embarking on it,” Silverman said.

The group’s inclusion is believed to be the first time that atheists have been involved in the conservative political gathering that has long been associated with Christian conservatives.

The Conservative Political Action Committee, the largest and oldest gathering of conservatives, is run by the American Conservative Union and will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor in Maryland from March 6 to 8. Last year, the event brought together thousands of activists to listen to dozens of Republican leaders speak about everything from economics and foreign policy to social issues. The event has long been considered a required stop for Republican presidential hopefuls.

Meghan Snyder, spokeswoman for CPAC, said American Atheists were included in the confab because “conservatives have always stood for freedom of religion and freedom of expression.”

“The folks we have been working with stand for many of the same liberty-oriented policies and principles we stand for,” Snyder said in an e-mail to CNN.

Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative think-tank Family Research Council, doesn't see it that way. In an email to CNN, a rankled Perkins wrote that the atheist group does "not seek to add their voice to the chorus of freedom."

"CPAC's mission is to be an umbrella for conservative organizations that advance liberty, traditional values and our national defense," said Perkins, who spokes at CPAC in 2012. "Does the American Conservative Union really think the liberties and values they seek to preserve can be maintained when they partner with individuals and organizations that are undermining the understanding that our liberties come from God? Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense."

The social conservative leader added: "If this is where the ACU is headed, they will have to pack up and put away the 'C' in CPAC!"

In explaining why the group decided to join CPAC, Silverman cited a 2012 Pew Research study that found 20% of self-identified conservatives consider themselves religiously unaffiliated. While that does not mean they are atheists, Silverman believes learning more about atheism will make it more likely conservatives will choose to identify with those who believe there is no God.

“Conservative isn’t a synonym for religious,” Silverman said. “I am not worried about making the Christian right angry. The Christian right should be angry that we are going in to enlighten conservatives. The Christian right should be threatened by us.”

American Atheists paid $3,000 for booth 439 in the event’s exhibition hall. Their booth will be right next to the Republican National Committee's booth, according to the room map.

American Atheists is known as the in-your-face contingent in the world of atheist activists, and the group’s members pride themselves as being the “Marines" of the atheist movement.

The group has long targeted Republican lawmakers, although Silverman considers the organization nonpartisan.

In 2013, American Atheists launched a billboard campaign against three Republican politicians: former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. All three Republicans have spoken at CPAC in the past.

In one billboard, Santorum is pictured to the left of a quote attributed to him. “Our civil laws have to comport with a higher law. God’s law,” the quote reads. Underneath the graphic is a tagline: "GO GODLESS INSTEAD."

The group has also prided itself on trying to reach into religious communities and bring people out of the closet. In 2012, American Atheists asked Jews and Muslims to come out of the closet in a targeted billboard campaign.

In addition to Silverman, Amanda Knief, American Atheist’s managing director, and Dave Muscato, the group’s spokesman, will attend CPAC. Silverman said they will be prepared to respond to questions from conference attendees.

UPDATE: CPAC reversed their decision and will not allow American Atheists to have an exhibition booth at the conservative conference.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

soundoff (729 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    The notion of conservative being tied to the religious is relatively new. Reagan moved the ball in that direction and religious conservatives took over that moniker since then. It is too bad, because I am a Goldwater conservative and I can't stand the Republican Party (can't stand the Democratic Party either). My hope is that the trend away from religiosity in the US will allow Consti.tutional conservatives to reemerge.

    What a total joke for a religious conservative to quote Jefferson. They are revisionist historians, right in line with their fact denial nature.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • colin31714

      I agree. I am tend to be conservative on fiscal and government power issues. The Republican PArty turns my stomach because of the religious influence. The democrats also turn my stomach, but given the choice between the God nuts and the others, I choose the lesser evil.

      Time for a third party.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        I am right there with you on all points Sir.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • bostontola

        The doc.ument that gives me "religious" feelings is the US Consti.tution/Bill of Rights.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Freethinker Libertarian Party

        February 25, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • SeaVik

        Agreed. Despite my strong disagreement with Democrats on many issues, I can't vote for a Republican on moral grounds as long as they support discrimination.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Arguably it started with Nixon's conversion of the Dixiecrats.

      Reagan was the beneficiary of the evangelical political movement coming out of organizations based in places like Colorado Springs, mostly as a reaction to Roe v. Wade which took place in 1973. It wasn't strategy on his part and G.H.W.Bush was a neo-con.

      It was Karl Rove who, with a focused strategy, really cemented the unholy alliance of the bible belt, evangelical protestantism and the GOP, resulting in the religious right (which is, ironically, neither).

      February 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
  2. bostontola

    Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.
    Barry Goldwater

    February 25, 2014 at 11:30 am |
  3. new-man

    Doc Vestibule: "Which one of us is the anti-Christ? "

    And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 1John 4:3

    February 25, 2014 at 11:30 am |
  4. bostontola

    A true conservative, Barry Goldwater:

    On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
    I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
    And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."
    Speech in the US Senate (16 September 1981)

    February 25, 2014 at 11:29 am |
  5. SeaVik

    "Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense."

    Uh, what? Thomas Jefferson was, like many of our founders, extremely anti-religious. Is it a requirement that to be a conservative, you have to completely ignore history? The sad thing is that these idiots claim that our country was "founded on Christian principles" so often and so loudly, people who are too lazy to do their own research actually believe it.

    It's sort of like Tea Party idiots who claim to support the consti.tution but know nothing about it. I wonder if Ted Cruz is aware that the consti.tution guarantees universal healthcare.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:58 am |
    • Dalahäst

      "That's a more complex answer. The "revisionist left" would like to make them secular and the "religious right" would like to make them saintly. "

      http://www.jameswatkins.com/foundingfathers.htm

      February 25, 2014 at 11:13 am |
      • commonsensed01

        You use a site written by an apologist as a "independent" middle ground reference perhaps? A man whose site loosely references that his goal is to make America a Christian nation. Yikes.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I thought that quote offered a fair observation, both sides like to claim the founding fathers as their own.

          Did he make unfair points?

          February 25, 2014 at 11:38 am |
    • Dalahäst

      "So, were the Founding Fathers Christians?

      They were certainly godly men who believed in a supreme being, but not everyone would subscribe to the Apostles' Creed"

      February 25, 2014 at 11:15 am |
      • Doris

        Of course it is generally agreed that the Deists of that day, which included several key founders of the government, believed that God was a creator, a watchmaker – but that he did not play an active role in people's lives.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:21 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes, some were deists. And some were Christian. Interesting, a lot of Christians supported people like Jefferson. Even though he was a deist, they still appreciated him immensely.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • Doris

          Kind of hard to say that soldiers are killed because America loves fags when your God doesn't get involved to support your own interpretation of some old book. ...thinking from a Deist perspective that is, thinking back to Jefferson, Madison, Payne, Franklin, Adams and the like....

          February 25, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • Doris

          Well and Jefferson was obviously a huge fan of Jesus, the man at least.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Uh hu. I say soldiers are killed because America loves f.ags (which some Christians have said), like you are an atheist who condones murdering and torturing people for holding a differing viewpoint than you (which some atheists have done).

          February 25, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • Doris

          "an atheist who condones murdering and torturing people for holding a differing viewpoint"

          can you point to some group in the here and now, however small, and say they've condoned such?

          On the other hand, in the here and now we have Westboro, we have the Uganda regime among several other predominantly Christian regimes in Africa.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          So, you are saying I'm guilty of crimes committed by others Christians (even though I oppose such actions)? But you are innocent of crimes committed by atheists, because I can't provide you an example of a group like Fred Phelps?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/06/10/the-black-atheists-of-atlanta-and-ho mophobia/

          February 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • Doris

          No, not at all. But if we're looking at current problems, many of them stem from religious extremism. And the groups are somewhat easily identified. I just don't see currently the same can be said of any atheistic group when we consider the world currently. I actually hope I am wrong because I would hope that in the days to come moderate Christians will not be complacent.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Sure. I find a lot of atheists on here who seem to paint religion as the cause of all the world's ills. And, as one atheist puts it: "They are highly simplistic analysis of the complex world in which we live. Failing to account for other factors they leave much to be desired as explanations for how the world and the people in it function"

          The fact that we have examples of non-religious regimes committing the same kind of crimes that religious regimes commit is important.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
      • SeaVik

        "They were certainly godly men who believed in a supreme being..."

        Keep in mind, this was over 200 years ago. If you actually do some research on our founders, it would be hard to conclude many of them would be anything other than atheists given the information we have available today.

        "Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."

        -Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782)
        TRANSLATION: Atheism is preferrable to religion.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Careful. One atheist group misquoted Jefferson on a billboard, which led many to point out to them that Jefferson was not an atheist.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • SeaVik

          He was essentially the equivalent of an atheist of that time. He didn't believe in any religion and didn't have the information we have today about the history of the universe that makes it clear that the existence of god is incredibly unlikely. He surely would label himself an atheist were he alive today.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Atheists don't believe in God. He believed in God.

          Lots of believers in God do not follow a religion. Sorry, he is not an atheist.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Actually, he's nothing. He'd dead. What I said is that it seems likely based on his views of 200+ years ago that he would be an atheist today. And no, he didn't believe in God. He believed in a general god. Not a specific God defined by a religion. HUGE difference.

          February 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • commonsensed01

        How can you claim they were Godly men? What makes a man "Godly"?

        February 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I imagine that guy meant they believed in God.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
        • commonsensed01

          Hitler was a Catholic, does that make him Godly?

          February 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't think he was Godly. He seemed pretty evil.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "So, were the Founding Fathers Christians?"

        Yes, most of them were, and that is what is so remarkable. That they created a goverment absent religion, not based on articles of faith, with authority delegated by the governed, and not by the supposed divine.

        The Const.itution starts with "We the People" not "By the Grace of God Almighty".

        February 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Exactly. That is Christianity in action. Many of them escaped theocracies that violated what Jesus was teaching.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Let's not forget that we don't live in theocracy today.

          February 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense."

      Anyone know what this is supposed to reference? The declaration of independence? or some direct quote?

      February 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
  6. new-man

    This is a hotly debated issue that has awesome implications tied to its understanding. What was Paul’s thorn; a sickness, an eye disease, or something that God sent to him? These are just a few things that man-made tradition claims, but what does the Bible say?

    The thorn was not sent from God, it was not sent to humble/humiliate Paul and it was not a sickness). This time I want to address what the thorn actually is and why it was sent. In the previous article I showed that when Paul referred to his thorn he called it his infirmity which I showed to be the persecution he suffered while spreading the gospel. – See more at: http://www.charismaministries.org/removing-pauls-thorn-in-the-flesh-part-2/#sthash.2naxc6yZ.dpuf

    February 25, 2014 at 10:38 am |
    • new-man

      Matt 5:11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” (NKJV) Luke 11:49 Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute (NKJV) John 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (NKJV) – See more at: http://www.charismaministries.org/removing-pauls-thorn-in-the-flesh-part-2/#sthash.2naxc6yZ.dpuf

      February 25, 2014 at 10:41 am |
      • new-man

        There are many more verses like this where Jesus spoke of the persecution some believers will face for His Name’s sake. The awesome work He did on the cross to provide us with salvation and healing did not include setting us free from the hate the world has for us. In fact, being saved is what pulled us out of the world. That is the reason why it hates us now, more than it did before we were saved and why it is trying to destroy us. When we accepted Jesus, we turned our back on the world and the devil in regards to their ways and their destiny. After being saved we turn back to the world to bring salvation to those still caught in it. When you actually do this, you make the devil pretty angry. When you do it with signs and wonders following like Paul did, you definitely rub him up the wrong way (And making him angry is not something to fear, it is actually something you should enjoy doing!). Since your spirit is now united with Christ, hidden in Him and seated with Him in the Heavenlies, the devil cannot find the real you to destroy you, yet your unredeemed body and soul can still be attacked. That is how this spiritual being (messenger from satan, unclean spirit, demon etc) could inflict damage to Paul’s body (flesh). The thing you need to understand about persecution is the reason why it was employed. Why were Christians imprisoned or killed? Because that was the most effective way the devil could stop them from reaching a problem that needed the power of God. When an early Christian reached a problem, the problem got solved with the power of God. Jesus said to heal through laying our hands on people. If you can keep the Christian from the sick person, you in effect stop the delivery of God’s power to that sick person through the laying on of hands. I know you can minister over a long distance, but long distance, though effective, should not be the first line of attack. Let me explain it like this: You are walking in the mall and see a man in a wheelchair. In your head you pray and command healing to restore his ability to walk. Suddenly he jumps out of his chairs and shouts: “I can walk!” You run up and say, “Yes, it is because I just prayed for you and God loves you, He did this.” That guy is going to look at you very funny and think, “Whatever!” Now imagine the same scenario but instead of praying in your head, you go over to the man and tell him the Gospel: that God loves him and God is bigger than his paralysis. Then lay your hands and command him to get up. If he then gets up and shouts, “I can walk!”, will there be any doubt that it was actually God? No, and that is why Jesus said “Go!” and not “Watch and pray in your head.” If you are there to actually speak the gospel (which is the power of God unto salvation) and then lay hands and heal somebody, it is much more effective display of the love of God towards a person then when just praying for them over a distance, them getting well and not knowing why. Back to the point, if you can physically stop the believer from reaching the person or problem, you reduce the authenticity and effectiveness of the gospel for the person with the problem. The physical restraining is what we refer to as persecution. Anything that physically stops or tries to stop you from spreading the Gospel is a form of persecution. That persecution is the messenger of satan. What is the messenger’s message? “If you don’t stop spreading the Gospel I am going to kill you!” It is merely a scare tactic the devil uses to try and stop us from fulfilling the great commission. The downside for us is that it hurts, even kills and it is not nice to go through things like Paul or the underground church in China goes through. The upside is that the greatest periods of growth in Christianity happened during the greatest periods of persecution. The further you chase somebody, the further they get. The disciples went to one town, spread the gospel there and got persecuted for it. The persecution forced them to go to a new town and do the same thing. If there were no persecution in the first town, the disciples would have probably stayed there and the gospel would not have reached the nations. Paul asked for this messenger to be taken away three times, and three times God said, “My Grace is sufficient for you.” What does that mean? If you want to know, look out for Part 3 in this series J But to end of, ask yourself honestly: What is keeping me from going? What is hindering me from stepping out for Jesus? Any excuse you give is the very thing that is keeping you from walking out your destiny, the Great Commission, here on earth. Glory to God! Freedom to Man! – See more at: http://www.charismaministries.org/removing-pauls-thorn-in-the-flesh-part-2/#sthash.2naxc6yZ.dpuf

        February 25, 2014 at 10:41 am |
        • SeaVik

          You seem to be having a hot debate with yourself that is completely unrelated to the article you're posting about. Do you understand why you're considered delusional?

          February 25, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • new-man

          If you truly believed what you just wrote then you would not have responded.

          If your intent was to insult – I'm sorry you wasted your time. I do not get insulted by godless commenters as this is how I see them
          Exo 23:28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hitt.ite from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. by little and little I will dive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

          so you see, you do serve a purpose.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study http://www.philly.com/philly/health/132456883.html

          February 25, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "so you see, you do serve a purpose."

          As do you. I'm a little biased in my opinion in of your belief system because I strictly see no evidence to justify the belief and no matter how many times you quote the bible, you're not going to convince me. I was a christian all of my life..practicing well in to my 20's, so don't tell me I don't know what I'm talking about ...the bible doesn't convince me, there is so much against it. I have many christian friends-a number of them who are ordained christian minister's and they do not portray the belief system as hateful. They understand that screaming scripture is redundant. They believe in the same god you do but the take it to the level of live and let live..in their minds god will sort it out in the end, so these people stand behind LGBT and they support women's rights and they tend to respect others people right to believe as they wish...those are the christians that make christianity look good.
          You help drag it down (your purpose)...personally I'm not seeing that as a bad thing.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • James XCIX

          The thing is, healing due to the laying on of hands just cannot be shown to actually work. And the reason the Romans didn't like early Christianity is simple–since the Christians didn't sacrifice to the Roman gods, the Romans thought that calamities in the empire were a result of the subsequent anger of the gods for not being worshiped properly. Nothing to do with Satan.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:47 am |
  7. James XCIX

    In the 60s and early 70s, Christians were highly involved in social movements that supported the advancement of civil rights for the oppressed, improved the conditions of the poor, and other causes that showed they were practicing what they preached. In those days, Christianity was admirable. Then, somehow it got attached to conservative Republicanism and the slide away from their self-professed principles began, resulting in what we see today–intolerance and a frightened bunker mentality that says anyone who's different is dangerous. What the hell happened? It's sad to see.

    I suspect Roe v Wade was the catalyst that allowed the conservatives to hijack the religion despite so many of their other policies being incompatible. When I consider which party's core values mesh most closely with those of Jesus it seems to me that it's obviously the Democrats. I get why the Republicans want them (votes, of course), but don't understand why today's Christians continue to strongly associate themselves with conservative Republicans, some to the point of saying you can't be a Christian and a Democrat. Kind of bizarre, really.

    Sorry to ramble–just venting, I guess.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:10 am |
    • Dalahäst

      Most Christians are not part of the Neo-Conservative movement. Most still stand up for social justice and peace, just like in past generations.

      Basically they are more interested in power and politics, than doing what Jesus asks.

      This doc.umentary, although a bit dated, is interesting and goes deep into the subject:

      https://archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares-Episode1BabyItsColdOutside

      February 25, 2014 at 10:17 am |
      • Dalahäst

        This gives a good summary:

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

        February 25, 2014 at 10:18 am |
      • James XCIX

        Interesting, thanks for the info. I think you underestimate the numbers of the types I was describing, though.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:29 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        actually, wrong.

        far too many of your Christian brethren are Fox News watching Republicans who think the world is 6,000 years old and believe the bible is literal and the word of god.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:37 am |
      • Dalahäst

        I probably do underestimate. I don't meet many in my life like that. But I also live in and visit places they generally don't.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:45 am |
      • Doris

        "Most Christians are not part of the Neo-Conservative movement. Most still stand up for social justice and peace, just like in past generations."

        It's kind of difficult to put a number on that, isnt' it? It's kind of difficult to put a number on complacency regarding others in your club, isn't it? Meanwhile, people continue to die and suffer unnecessary diseases in the name of "spooky physics".

        "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." –Thomas Jefferson

        February 25, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • Dalahäst

          "It tends to be forgotten however, that the most ruthless leaders in the Second World War were atheists and secularists who were intensely hostile to both Judaism and Christianity"

          "Later massive atrocities were committed in the East by those ardent atheists, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong. All religions, all ideologies, all civilizations display embarrassing blots on their pages".

          – Geoffrey Blainey

          Yea, whatevs, Doris. My "club" is like your "club".

          February 25, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • Doris

          Do we live in a totalitarian dictatorship?

          February 25, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • Dalahäst

          No. We believe all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • Doris

          Yes. And for those who penned the word Creator, it took on quite a different meaning than the God of the evangelist Christian, didn't it...

          February 25, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Christians didn't seem to have a problem with it.

          Sure, some Evangelicals and certain atheists would be upset about it today. What doesn't upset those guys?

          February 25, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.
          – Robert Heinlein

          February 25, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • Dalahäst

          “To some, the temporal triumph of the Christian community in the world is a sign of God's favor and the essential righteousness of the Christian position. The irony of the matter, though, is that whenever the Christian community gains worldly power, it nearly always looses its capacity to be the critic of the power and influence it so readily brokers.”

          – Peter Gomes

          February 25, 2014 at 11:34 am |
    • new-man

      one of the things to consider also is the media's need to lump things as one label vs. another - for no reason other than to garner higher viewership. Look at the ti.tle of yesterday's post for example: Christians vs. Gays?
      Yes, just like Mr. Baden has learnt from them, throw in the ? (question mark) and you are absolved of obvious lying, partial lying, and obfuscations.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:26 am |
      • Dalahäst

        Right. There are gay Christians and I don't think they oppose gays. That headline confused me.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:46 am |
    • 4morehorsemen

      That is a great observation. Politics has seemed to hijack religion on both sides of the aisle. If you try and form your own opinions that differ from either party, you get called out that somehow you don't belong or are wrong. And a lot of people, like Mr. Common Sense, work hard at trying to cement stereotypes of the opposing side.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:36 am |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    I hope they have good security at the booth. Christians are notorious for being violent when someone disagrees with them.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:55 am |
    • thefinisher1

      Asinine.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:56 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I know, right?
        Christians would never resort to violence and anybody who says they do can go have a seat on the Judas Cradle.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • theophileo

          Anyone who performs wicked deeds in the name of Christ is evil... They are NOT Christians. Scripture available upon request.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "wicked deeds in the name of Christ is evil"

          So you're not a christian. You portray hate against LGBT and women's rights all the time...immoral judging and yet your own book tells you not to judge. The hypocrisy is astounding.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:23 am |
        • theophileo

          "your own book tells you not to judge."
          --------
          No it doesn't. You're referring to Matthew, right? Where it says "judge not lest you be judged." OK, well, keep reading... "Do not give your peals to swine." OK, well, how can you tell who the swine are unless you judge?

          The passage isn't against judging. It's against condemning someone for something you yourself are doing.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • igaftr

          theo
          "Anyone who performs wicked deeds in the name of Christ is evil"

          Is it not wicked to allow someone to take your just punishment, so by that definition, all christians are evil, for allowing Christ to take your punishment. Thanks for clearing that up.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          dodge, dodge, slide, evade, reinterpret, twist, contort, lie, re-read, reinterpret ... see!!! the bible says exactly what I told you it says!!!

          February 25, 2014 at 11:35 am |
  9. new-man

    Is Anything Too Hard For God?

    Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

    Do you have a problem believing that the moment a sinner receives Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, he is saved? I believe that you will say, “No.”

    Let me then ask you which is harder for God (though in reality, we know that nothing is hard for God): To save a soul from hell or heal a sick body? Of course, it is “harder” to save a soul from hell because God had to send His Son to the cross.

    So if God has already given you the greatest miracle that you can ever receive, which is to pluck you out of the clutches of eternal damnation and give you eternal life, what is healing your body, saving your marriage, turning your rebellious teenage son around or giving you that business deal to Him?

    Therefore, don’t think that when you come to God with a headache, He says, “No problem,” but should you come to Him with cancer, He says, “Cancer? Wow! Not that easy. This is more problematic. I will need more power!”

    No! It may appear more difficult to us, but with God, nothing is too hard for Him because He says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”

    This was indeed the case for a church member who was suffering from ovarian cancer. After I had prayed for her, I told her, “This cancer is not a problem for God. Just believe that when God said that nothing is too hard for Him, it is so!” In a matter of weeks, she came back with tears in her eyes, testifying that she went back to the doctor and he pronounced her healed after he could find no traces of cancer in her.

    Beloved, if it is a miracle you need, it is a miracle you will get. God has already given you the greatest miracle of eternal life, so why would He not give you all the other lesser miracles?

    JPM

    February 25, 2014 at 9:47 am |
    • joey3467

      Is anything to hard for god? Yes, according to the bible he can't defeat an army with iron chariots.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:51 am |
    • averagejoe7six

      I got a few things that God can't do:
      1) make sense
      2) make a world without sin
      3) not blame his creations for sin (especially since he designed everything including sin)
      4) make an appearence
      5) be real

      February 25, 2014 at 9:52 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      go peddle your lies somewhere else!

      February 25, 2014 at 9:53 am |
    • tallulah131

      Your god is just as powerful as every other god humans have worshiped. And there is an equal lack proof for all those gods, including your own..

      February 25, 2014 at 10:01 am |
    • theophileo

      Healings are a wonderful thing, but let us not forget that God is sovereign, and ordains whatsoever shall come to pass. And it may very well be that our infirmities have been given to us because in having our infirmity, more glory is given to God. God will work in our lives in whatever ways best glorify Him. Sometimes it's through a healing, sometimes it is through our infirmities. Remember Paul was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble, and God would not allow it to be removed, though Paul prayed several times for it to be. God was more glorified in Paul's infirmity than if he were to be healed.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:02 am |
      • myweightinwords

        So...your idea of god is a parent with Münchausen syndrome?

        February 25, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • myweightinwords

          Münchausen by proxy, I mean.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • theophileo

          Being a Christian requires a paradigm shift – life isn't about us, it's about God, and ONLY about God. I understand that what happens to me is unimportant to me so long as it brings glory to God. If it is my health, so be it. If it my infirmity, so be it. If it is my death, so be it.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • myweightinwords

          So your answer is yes, your god has Münchausen syndrome by proxy. He gets glory for your suffering.

          When that happens here, we arrest the parent for child abuse.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • commonsensed01

          "Being a Christian requires a paradigm shift – life isn't about us, it's about God, and ONLY about God. I understand that what happens to me is unimportant to me so long as it brings glory to God. If it is my health, so be it. If it my infirmity, so be it. If it is my death, so be it."

          Yes a paradigm shift from logic and reason to: "If something good happens, it is God's wonderful work. If something bad happens, God put a challenge to me and/or he works in mysterious ways." As long as it brings glory to God. Yep, God has some serious control and ego issues. And doesn't seem to care much for the "little people" you claim he loves so much.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Debilitating agony is the kiss of Christ.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:09 am |
      • new-man

        Theo,
        this is one area I strongly disagree with you. Jesus came to do the will of God. No where in the NT do you see Jesus (as Joseph Prince would say) say to a person, your too healthy, have a dose of this sickness etc. No. In fact all that came to Him, he healed them all. The will of God is for people to be healthy. Even when the disciples couldn't heal the young boy, Jesus didn't leave him unhealed. He healed him, showing that it is always God's will to heal.

        I speak on authority, I know what I'm speaking of regarding this matter.
        (I've seen you written elsewhere that healing was during the time of the apostles, and while it was, it's the same power of God that's at work then that is at work now. As a matter of fact, then, they only had an in-part manifestation of the Holy Spirit, now we have the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and if you really grasp that it is the very same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead that now dwells inside each born again believer, you would not doubt that there is power in the word of God, not just 2000 yrs ago, but right now in this very moment.)

        This is a disagreement, not an argument/quarrel. I won't be responding further. Thanks.

        Blessings.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • theophileo

          New-Man,
          I love the discourse, you're not upsetting me by disagreeing, that's how we all learn isn't it?

          Can I draw this out to an extreme conclusion though? If we are given the power of ultimate health through the Holy Spirit to all who believe, then if a man truely believes, then he will never die.

          I believe in miracles, for sure, but what I believe is more important than my healing is the glory of God – whether that comes through my healing OR my infirmity. We will have ultimate healing, but I don't see in scripture where it is promised for this life. Rather, our ultimate healing will come with our glorification, and Jesus' miracles were a small glimpse into that.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:30 am |
        • new-man

          Theo: "Can I draw this out to an extreme conclusion though? If we are given the power of ultimate health through the Holy Spirit to all who believe, then if a man truely believes, then he will never die."

          I actually smiled when I read this because this was what was on my mind.
          John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
          My question is.. do you believe this Theo?
          I DO.
          There is also a dialogue in the Book of Thomas where Jesus said: Have you then discovered the beginning so that you inquire about the end? For where the beginning is, there shall be the end.
          He goes on to say:
          For you have five trees in Paradise, which are unmoved in summer or winter and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them WILL NOT TASTE DEATH.

          I agree that God gets the glory when we are healed... however He did not give that infirmity, in order to turn around and take it back.
          Jesus was bruised and striped for our healing... so all sickness and infirmity is of the devil...that is why when you've healed a person in the name of Jesus, you've just advanced the kingdom of heaven in that person's life and the devils kingdom has receded.
          That is also why we need to open our mouths more and speak the word of God over the afflicted to drive out ALL sicknesses, oppressions etc.

          Yes, some will say not everyone gets healed – Jesus died for everyone, yet not everyone is saved (we never say, O salvation doesn't work... it's the same with healing) Also a person doesn't go to war and fire one bullet then goes home. This is warfare... and from the natural we can see it like the children of Israel saw the giants as undefeatable, but who among us will be the Joshuas and the Calebs to say, let's take this mountain at once.

          Blessings.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:07 am |
    • James XCIX

      Plenty of Christians who get sick pray to be healed but are not. And of course, there's always the popular rebuttal about your god never healing in an obvious way, such as healing an amputee. Any explanations?

      February 25, 2014 at 10:40 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      oh the cult speak in this little passage.

      newman, you are taking delusion and imagination to a whole new level ...

      February 25, 2014 at 11:37 am |
  10. averagejoe7six

    It would be nice to see more conservatives speak out as atheists. They unfortunately get lumped in with the Sarah Palins, Michele Bachmanns, and Glenn Becks of the political spectrum as sharing their ideals. Just because I'm liberal and an atheist, doesn't mean I agree with Bill Maher all the time. Or that all I watch is MSNBC. And being a conservative doesn't mean you hate the poor and automatically want corporations to be de-regulated. Sometimes, but more often than not, we're associated with a group merely from our family and friend affiliations. So I'd rather not sour (insult) an entire bunch from a few 'front-men'. But like recently with Ted Nugent, when those 'front-men' go too far, level-headed conservatives need to swoop in and reel them back. Or denounce them altogether.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:28 am |
    • Rynomite

      According to the political spectrum quiz, I'm a "right-center social libertarian". Which is code for atheist with money.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:59 am |
  11. Vic

    [
    American Atheists is known as the in-your-face contingent in the world of atheist activists and the group’s members pride themselves as being the “marines" of the atheist movement.
    ]

    That is Atheism the 'Religion.' Atheism is no longer the passive state of disbelief in the "existence of God," hence true Atheism, rather, it is the active belief in a cause for the 'non-existence of God.'

    Positive......Negative
    Active........Passive
    Belief.........Disbelief
    Theism......Atheism

    The logical negative, which is a passive state, of Theism is Atheism. One can only be an atheist if he/she is passive. The moment he/she actively pursues the atheism stance, it is automatically a belief system.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:22 am |
    • new-man

      Vic- "The moment he/she actively pursues the atheism stance, it is automatically a belief system.

      You have stated correctly. Watch out!- now here comes the river of denial and flood of insults 🙂

      February 25, 2014 at 9:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      That is some fine semantic sophistry.
      Maybe for an encore you can prove that black is white – but you'd then have to be extra careful around zebras.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:29 am |
    • Vic

      [
      Research study that found 20% of self-identified conservatives consider themselves religiously unaffiliated. While that does not mean they are atheists, Silverman believes learning more about atheism will make it more likely conservatives will choose to identify with those who believe there is no god.
      ]

      Actually, that makes them SBNRs—Spiritual But Not Religious.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:30 am |
      • SeaVik

        No, it doesn't make them SBNR. They could be agnostic. Or they could have never even considered the matter (in which case, they're technically atheists).

        February 25, 2014 at 11:02 am |
  12. Robert Brown

    I like atheists, more importantly God has expressed his love for them.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:09 am |
    • ausphor

      RB
      Deist here. Does god also love the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, etc. or does your Christian lot have to proselytize and get them all in your club or they can't be "saved"?

      February 25, 2014 at 9:25 am |
      • Robert Brown

        God has expressed his love to every human in the world and yes they can all be saved.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • ausphor

          RB
          Do all people have to accept jesus as their saviour to be saved? A clear answer would be appreciated.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:38 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Yes

          February 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • ausphor

          RB
          So what happens to the 5 billion people (or so) that do not give a good god damn about your belief system, including me? I am proud to claim being a Deist and the anti Christ.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          ausphor,

          If you are a Deist, then you believe there is a God. You are very close.

          February 25, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
    • averagejoe7six

      Hello Robert, how has "God has expressed his love for them"?
      Wouldn't it be MORE loving to satisfy our curiosities and reveal itself? I'm just asking, because I was looking for that for a very long time.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:33 am |
      • Robert Brown

        I'm sure you are familar with John 3:16, that is God's expression of love for everyone in the world.

        I hope you will continue to seek. He just said to seek with no mention of a time limit. I know I'm very impatient, not saying you are.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • ausphor

          RB
          But you have to believe in him, that's the catch22, is it not?

          February 25, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • averagejoe7six

          I've stopped seeking, Robert. It actually clears a bunch of computing power. No need to worry about 'The Invisibles' anymore. I've not been given a reason to cling to belief. Religion did me more harm than good. And I feel better letting it go.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Ausphor,

          Yes, seek him with the faith you have, he will give you the faith you need.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Joe, I'm glad you are happy. If you face a time of need, call on the Lord. He is near those in need.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • ausphor

          RB
          Got it, he loves everyone but only if you believe in him, so I am doomed because I reject the Holy Trinity as myth. Carrot and the stick mentality and you believe it, quite sad.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      I'm asked to love them. Most are easy to love. Some are challenging.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:55 am |
      • Robert Brown

        Yes, there has only been one perfect human.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:21 am |
        • commonsensed01

          Why thanks, I know, I try to be humble about it. I'd like to thank the academy, my agent, my parents, my 5th grade teacher and ...

          February 25, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • doobzz

          I assume you are talking about Jesus. If Jesus was perfect, then he wasn't truly human.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • hotairace

          The divine jesus would have needed to be more than a myth to be human, or a god. It's easy for a mythical character to be perfect though.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Robert Brown

          All human and all God.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • joey3467

          You can't be fully human and fully god, if he was perfect then he wasn't fully human because no human is perfect, and if he wasn't perfect then he wasn't fully god. Why do you guys not think things all the way through?

          February 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      if your god would just show himself, there would be no atheists.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:57 am |
      • Robert Brown

        If you were going to bake a cake, would you follow a recipe, or just throw some stuff in there and see what happened?

        February 25, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          But that presumes a plan for which you have no evidence.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • tallulah131

          Cake as we know it did not spring fully formed from the human imagination. It evolved over time. Failures were forgotten or became other products. Successes were built upon. Each region where cake exists has it's own preferred flavor and format, to match the available products, flavoring and cooking techniques. The cakes eaten a thousand years ago are not the cakes we eat today. See how that works?

          February 25, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Santa & tallulah,
          I'd be happy to share the recipe.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • tallulah131

          No thank you, Robert. I have no interest in your imaginary cake.

          February 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Apparently your god loves atheists so much he'll let them suffer for eternity before he'll provide proof of his existence. Your god seems to be rather abusive.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:05 am |
      • Robert Brown

        He will give you a reason to believe, but he may not give you what you are currently thinking you need.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • tallulah131

          So god is withholding the evidence that would convince me for his own petty reasons. Right. Either your god is a jerk who would rather athiests suffer forever than provide compelling evidence, or more likely, your god does not exist.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • commonsensed01

          Robert: But that's the problem. I see no reason to believe because I see no evidence of "Him" or "Her". I see nothing in a spiritual or devoutly religious life that can not be obtained by living a decent secular life. Happiness, friends, health, financial success, fulfillment – these are all within my reach and I have achieved them. So why should I believe when I (and my environment and genetics) are the ones responsible for where I am in life?

          February 25, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Robert Brown

          Tallulah, I can only share the reasons I believe he has withheld things from me, but it might help. In mine own experience, he waits until i'm ready. He let me come to the end of myself, before he gave me what I needed. God is kind of like a farmer, he tills the soil of your heart and when it is ready he sows the seed of faith.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Commonsensed,

          Do you have peace?

          Hope?

          Joy?

          February 25, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I have peace, hope and joy, Bob. I'm sorry that your life is miserable without your religion, but you really can have a happy, fulfilling life without believing in unsubstantiated myths. Reality is so much cooler than pretend!

          February 25, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • commonsensed01

          Robert Brown asked me: "Commonsensed,
          Do you have peace?
          Hope?
          Joy?"
          Yep got them all, and why shouldn't i? I don't need the "Good Book" to tell me how to live or to pray to something I that isn't there. Why would I need a religion to lead a full, productive life?

          February 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
  13. theophileo

    "“Just as there are many closeted atheists in the church pews, I am extremely confident that there are many closeted atheists in the ranks of conservatives," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists."
    --------–
    Actually, Romans 1 says that every atheist knows there is a God, it is evident to them. They just choose to not honor Him as God or give Him thanks. So they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Then they exchanged God for images in the form of men and of birds and animals.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:30 am |
    • commonsensed01

      "Actually, Romans 1 says that every atheist knows there is a God, it is evident to them. They just choose to not honor Him as God or give Him thanks. So they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Then they exchanged God for images in the form of men and of birds and animals."

      Sorry but Romans 1 does not speak for me and many other folks. So if you want a hint that your good book is wrong, there it is. I see no evidence of a God, never have, and I am quite confident I never will. I don't worship men or birds or animals. My heart is not dark, I treat my fellow planet-mates as i best I can. That is more than I can say about a lot of the believers.

      Don't be so juvenile to try to place thoughts in my head from an outdated, poorly written text written over a span of several hundred years.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:08 am |
      • theophileo

        Then please tell me, avoiding the traps of infinite regress, how the causal chain that is our physical universe can be infinite in length when an infinite causal chain is paradoxical in that it cannot explain how the causal chain exists in the first place?

        February 25, 2014 at 9:18 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I know! Why don't we just place an arbitrary cap on the loop of infinite regression and call it "Chronus".
          You'd probably prefer "Yahweh", but since the tactic solves nothing, it doesn't really matter what you name it, right?

          February 25, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • theophileo

          Doc,
          GREAT! So you're admitting the existence of a "creator" that is outside of this physical universe is a logical necessity.

          February 25, 2014 at 9:30 am |
        • myweightinwords

          What's wrong with "I don't know" as an answer?

          And since the idea of an infinite god is also negated in your question, what is the point?

          Why are so many people so stuck on the unknowable past and the unknowable future? We're here now. This is the life we get. Stop obsessing about things you can't know and can't change. Live your life.

          *Of course if your life is the scientific and/or spiritual study of these things, I don't necessarily mean you. Carry on*

          February 25, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo.....Saint Larry
          You have been over this tired argument dozens of times. You will not convince anyone and no one will convince you to change your mind, so why bother? The same things you wish to express can be found on any number of apologist sites.

          February 25, 2014 at 9:40 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Note where I say "the tactic solves nothing".
          Assinging a "first cause" and giving it supernatural qualities like omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, omnibenevolence while also claiming it to be anthropocentric is patently absurd.
          And it still solves nothing as the Creator needs a Creator, ad infinitum

          February 25, 2014 at 9:40 am |
        • theophileo

          "And since the idea of an infinite god is also negated in your question, what is the point?"
          --------
          Here's the point.
          1) infinite causal chains do not exist because if it did, it could never explain how the causal chain began in the first place
          2) a beginning to this physical universe is a logical necessity
          3) something does not come from nothing
          4) since the physical universe isn't eternal because infinite causal chains do not exist, then it must have been created by something that was itself not physical, and was eternal. If it wasn't eternal, then we are back to infinite causal chains, which do not exist.

          The answer of "I don't know" is not an acceptable response, because it is a cop out to avoid admitting what you already know – that an eternally existing creator is necessary for our physical universe to exist.

          February 25, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • commonsensed01

          Sure: Because it is. If you are so puzzled by that, why not ask your God, since "He" made it so.

          But you answer me; Tell me how many gallons of water it would take to cover the entire plant with enough water to kill all the non-swimming animals in the great flood. Tell me where that water came from and where it went. Show all your work.

          And for extra credit, or if you can't do the math, just answer this one: If God is the first cause, where did God come from?

          February 25, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • Rynomite

          It's because of Almighty Thor.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:06 am |
        • myweightinwords

          The answer of "I don't know" is not an acceptable response, because it is a cop out to avoid admitting what you already know – that an eternally existing creator is necessary for our physical universe to exist.

          Nope. I honestly don't know. Mind you, I'm not an atheist. But I am not convinced of a "creator" either. I also feel no driving need to know where/how/when the universe began. Why? It doesn't change my life. It doesn't matter to today. It doesn't help me be a better person. It doesn't affect how I interact with others. It teaches me nothing about love.

          It doesn't matter.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • theophileo

          "If God is the first cause, where did God come from?"
          ------
          That is not a logical response since I've already shown that infinite causal chains do not exist. If someone or something "created" God, then you're back to the realm of impossibilities.

          Infinite causal chains do not exist. Therefore this physical universe had a beginning attributed to something that was non-physical and eternal. LOGIC demands it since infinite causal chains do not exist.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • commonsensed01

          Which is exactly my point! Saying God created the Universe and therefore there is no infinite chain doesn't work. You still have to answer where God came from. The unexplained "appearance of God is just the religious side of the same problem. You have to point to a source of God if you are going to claim that there is no logical starting point for the Big Bang.

          That you God existed forever does not allow you to get out of jail free from the argument. That in itself is an infinite loop.

          February 25, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • joey3467

          All you have done is claimed that infinite casual chains can't exist, but you have in no way proven it.

          February 25, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Absolutely. 🙂

        February 25, 2014 at 9:22 am |
      • new-man

        Theo,
        I see you've rankled several spirits – a haughty spirit; spirit of antichrist; a fearful spirit; and a lying spirit... and it's still early.

        Blessings friend.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • theophileo

          Most days it feels like trying to nail jello to a wall. Nevertheless, we are required to "preach the word in season and out of season."

          February 25, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Which one of us is the anti-Christ?

          "Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour."
          – 1 John 2:18

          Hey waitaminute! Doesn't that mean the "last hour" was 2,000 years ago?

          A Short List of Anti-Christs

          All Popes, Most Presidents (except Carter!? but especially Reagan), Emperor Nero, Arius of Alexandria, Czar Peter the Great, Caligula, Midrash Vayosha, Armilus, Adolf Hitler, Henry Kissinger, Mikhael Gorbachev, Napoleon Bonaparte, Antiochus IV, Ti.tus, Charlemagne, Benito Mussolini, Javier Solana, Rahmat Ahmad Maitreya, Saint Germaine, Prince Charles of Britain, Prince Felipe of Spain, Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, Miguel Angel Sosa Vasquez,King George, Elvis Presley, Sun Myung Moon, Saddam Hussein, King Frederick the Great, Aleister Crowley, Joseph Stalin, Francisco Franco, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Louis Farrakhan, Karl Hapsburg, Bill Gates, Jacques Chirac, Oprah Winfrey etc. ad nauseum

          February 25, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          " nail jello to a wall."

          Always nice to see the shoe on the other foot. Getting a taste of your own medicine is what this is. For years Atheists have had to stay quiet for fear of the potential consequences of admitting disbelief, that is slowly changing and it will continue to. Just as christians haven't stopped the onslaught of LGBT rights, you won't stop us either. Maybe not in any of our life spans but eventually, christianity will be a buried religion like many before it.

          February 25, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • theophileo

          Doc,
          Surely you, who have admitted to me that you are well learned of the Bible, know that the "last hour" is a Hebraism. And this is the "last hour" the "last days" in the Hebraic meaning that the time is near. NO OTHER prophecy need be fulfilled before the second coming. We're not waiting for a sign, we're waiting for the return. So every believer should live as if Christ could return at any moment.

          February 25, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • theophileo

          "Maybe not in any of our life spans but eventually, christianity will be a buried religion like many before it."
          --------
          You will indeed one day be rid of Christianity, but you will never get rid of "religion" altogether. And besides, when you are rid of Christianity in the world, you will only do so for 7 years. So says the word of God.

          February 25, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "7 years. So says the word of God"

          Just as you don't care that this is the 21st century not the 1st, we don't care what you believe your god says.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      "Actually, Romans 1 says that every atheist knows there is a God, it is evident to them."

      Of course it says that...the writers didn't want their sheep straying from the herd!! What they didn't know, amongst the many things they didn't know, is that the world would advance and human's would realize how they spun this interesting tale to try to inflict fear in to the followers and still con money from them.
      It shouldn't be that hard to figure out really...this is the 21st century and you should consider joining it.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:13 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

      @Theophileo
      Romans 1 says that God's "invisible qualities" have been "clearly seen" – a statement which is, of course, oxymoronic.
      That which is invisible cannot be seen, by definition.
      The natural universe is not evidence of the existence of the supernatural.

      But let's see what Paul says are some of the terrible characteristics exhibited by the ungodly, Theo:
      Are you a gossip? Check.
      Slanderer? Yep
      Insolent? No doubt.
      Arrogant and boastful? Over and over again.

      Instead of condemning this and that from your fiery pulpit, perhaps you should endeavour to lead by example and show some forgiveness, humility, charity and compassion.
      You know – behave as if you actually believe in Christ's example instead of just paying Him lip service.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:23 am |
  14. Travis

    America was/is a world power because of God,
    Following the Godless is suicidal and unwise.

    Former Godless U.S.S.R crumbled, let's learn our lessons and not forget who we were/are is because of God's mercy and grace.

    America is/will be one nation under God!

    February 25, 2014 at 8:19 am |
    • ausphor

      Travis
      In my area there are Mosques being built, even a Shinto/Buddhist shrine, at the same time that churches and religious schools are being closed and torn down. America is/will be one nation under Gods. That is what you really mean in a country with freedom of and from religion, right.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Journal of Religion & Society published a study on religious belief and social well-being, comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand.
      #1 on the list in both atheism and good behaviour is Ja.pan. It is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation. Over eighty percent of the population accept evolution.
      Last on the list is the U.S. It has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Ja.pan.
      Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best-educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human-development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest-ranked countries - Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands - all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:02 am |
    • ausphor

      Travis
      Quick look at religion in Russia 2012 survey...
      Russian Orthodox............41%
      Muslim..............................6.5%
      Christian(other).................4.1%
      Orthodox(other)................1.5%
      Neopagan/Tengrist...........1.2%
      Buddhist............................0.5%
      Other religions..................1.7%
      Spiritual no religion...........25%
      Atheist..............................13%
      Undecided........................5.5%

      You could look into some of the break away USSR countries but I imagine except for the Islam regions the figures would be quite the same. Also according to wiki the USA has 15% that declare themselves as non-religious. The leadership may have been godless but the people were not. Gods mercy and grace has had this nation in one war almost constantly since independence was decided by war.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The U.S.A. is a nation founded by the self-righteous. Though the term most often used in conjunction with the frontier settlers is "pilgrim", the proper term is "puritan". Those ships that landed at Plymouth Rock carried a tribe of people disillusioned with what they saw as the moral degeneration of their homeland. Convinced of their righteousness and confident in their role as God's messengers, they sought to impose their will on a new land and it's peoples under the guise of bringing elightenment. The mentality was hardly new, being the same Augustinian conceit of “Cognite Intrare” that helped fuel the crusades, inquisition and myriad other brutalities. Holding an entire race of people at musket point and condeming their cultures from a fiery pulpit, the arrogant, confrontational and technologically superior invaders saw no hypocrisy in killing those who refused conversion.
      This type of “convert or die” Christianity still exists in some parts of the world, as exemplified by groups like The National Liberation Front of Tripura who are known to forcibly convert Hindus.
      Once those pesky pagans had been both diminished in numbers and relocated, America lapsed into a century and a half of insular navel gazing. Ignoring international politics, the nation's methods of rationalization became widely accepted and formalized. While paying lip service to the lofty ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Const.itution, the pervasive mentality was obviously contrary to the "self evident truth that all men are created equal". White, Christian land owners may have been equals in at least an abstract, moralistic context but a slave based economy can hardly be considered egalitarian. The eventual abolition of slavery in a legal sense did very little to help the former slaves. Though denied the right to whip them thar ne.groes with impunity, the social elite were firmly established, milky white, “God fearing” and totally unwilling to alter the status quo in any meaningful way. No one save for the Mayflower descendents could realistically aspire to affluence or power. Some argue that this dichotomy still exists.
      Unlike Europe, and indeed most of the rest of the globe, the states gained much more than they lost due to their involvement in the Second World War. It cannot be denied that it was their eventual involvement that resulted in the comparatively quick resolution, but so bloody what?
      The morale of the populace at large never had a chance to degrade. Though many soldiers died in combat, it was more abstract to those on the home front. With no worry of invasion, aerial bombings, or indeed any credible threat to the home front and it’s manufacturing capabilities , it was possible for the yanks to adjust their industrial infrastructure with relative impunity.
      The dismal years of the Great Depression, still fresh in the memories of many citizens, made people realize how tenuous their economic system could be. The country needed new industry to reinvigorate the economy and, at the time, that industry was weapons manufacturing.
      The war proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that given the proper incentive, the American people could be astoundingly productive. In just a few short years, America became a self professed military Super Power. With no need to rebuild the larger social structure after the war, the money that every other developed nation had to spend just to get back to a decent standard of living was freely dispensed to increase arms production, perpetuating the cycle of prosperity.
      Defense spending started to rise and has done nothing but ever since, as has (by and large) the standard of living in America.
      Unfortunately, prosperity in a weapons based economy is obviously contingent on having a market for those arms. Sometimes, a doc/ument like PNAC (Project for a New American Century) comes to light and the world sees exactly how politics of empire and playing out and the details of the quest to spread the "Pax Americana" are laid bare – but all too quickly ignored and forgotten.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:07 am |
      • thefinisher1

        They didn't do it in God's name. They did it for selfish reasons that had NOTHING to do with God. They wanted the land and they stole it from the Indians instead of solving it peacefully. In their minds, they thought they deserved a land that wasn't theirs to begin. They came looking for religious freedom but ended up doing the same thing the Church of England was doing prior to their leave. They acted like spoiled brats.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          They absolutely did it in the name of God.
          They considered themselves the founders of a New Israel and the natives to be New Canaanites.
          The Puritans slaughtered the Pequot tribe in 1637 and considered it "god's work".
          "God laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven ... Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the Place with dead Bodies"
          – Captain John Mason

          Not only was the Pequot village set on fire, men, women, and children were gunned down as they tried to escape the flames. Captain Mason "gave full credit to God" for the slaughter. They claimed the Pequots had sinned against God and man, and thus, "We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings"!

          February 25, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • commonsensed01

          And then later on there was the whole "Manifest Destiny" debacle to move West and take over as much the Americas as possible. "God's will" it was proclaimed.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:15 am |
    • tallulah131

      This is a secular nation. Learn some history from real sources, not your church.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:10 am |
  15. ddeevviinn

    " Atheists plan conservative outreach". Just when you think life can't get any funnier or more bizarre.

    I will say, that is a rather impressive turnout captured in the photograph. It's gotta be what, at least 80 to 90 % of the total U.S. population of atheists?

    February 25, 2014 at 8:12 am |
    • commonsensed01

      We are everywhere, we are educated, we vote and we count. We will fight to keep your God out of our government and laws – regardless of the god you worship.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:12 am |
      • ddeevviinn

        You're less than 2% of the population, kind of hard to be "everywhere". But good luck with that.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • commonsensed01

          According to Pew, it's more like 6% with 20% being non-religious. And growing day-by-day.

          February 25, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • tallulah131

          Considering that one in five Americans is atheist, unaffiliated or indifferent, I'd say there's more of us than you claim. That has certainly been my experience. I am honestly amazed at how many fellow atheists i meet just going about my life. Admitting atheism publicly is a recent phenomena, because of the social and familial stigma some still face when they question or deny christianity.

          February 25, 2014 at 11:02 am |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    Maybe this will help untangle the Reagan era conflation of Christianity and political conservatism.
    You don't have to be part of the "Moral Majority" to support free market capitalism and a strong military.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:12 am |
  17. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Liberties come from God? The Standard God exists to be the parent that limits and restricts people when mommy and daddy no longer can. It serves to justify keeping a boot heel on the necks of people who live in ways that make upstanding Americans uncomfortable. It makes Arizona and Uganda possible. It wants you to be able to carry weapons to act out your rage against the ungodly and the unruly. It will help you be the worst you can be – and safe, of course.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:04 am |
  18. colin31714

    The article states:

    Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative think-tank Family Research Council, doesn't see it that way. In an email to CNN, a rankled Perkins wrote that the atheist group does "not seek to add their voice to the chorus of freedom."...."Does the American Conservative Union really think the liberties and values they seek to preserve can be maintained when they partner with individuals and organizations that are undermining the understanding that our liberties come from God? Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense."

    Actually, as usual, Perkins is misrepresenting matters. Jefferson was at worst, a deist and quite possibly an atheist. Read about the Jefferson Bible he constructed. He actually cut all of the supernatural BS out of the gospels, such as Jesus rising from the dead, because he knew they were mythology. But let the man explain his efforts for himself:

    "In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests..… or, shall I say at once, of nonsense. We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms …... There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an octavo of forty-six pages, of pure and unsophisticated doctrines.”
    (Jefferson letter to John Adams dated October 13, 1813)

    In writing that he was extracting “diamonds from a dunghill” in excising the supernatural acts attributed to Jesus from his Bible, Jefferson came as close as any President of the United States to calling the gospels, well, “a pile of bulls.hit.”
    It was Jefferson’s refusal to subscribe to the nonsense of the supernatural and his enlightened and deistic views that caused his opponents in the 1800 election to call him a “howling atheist.”

    How ironic that Perkins would cite Jefferson to oppose the atheists' booth. But, then again, Orwellian Doublespeak is one of Perkin's specialties.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Family Research Council are a bunch of ignorant, ho/mophobic, creationist loons.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:40 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        "The Family Research Council are a bunch of ignorant, ho/mophobic, creationist loons." Well, that about covers it... LOL

        February 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
  19. yukon67

    ...and another wall crumbles. Good job AA! Keep up the good work!

    February 25, 2014 at 7:34 am |
  20. thefinisher1

    Classic example of how atheist is a cult. Look at all the brainwashed cult members. Logic and reason is dead in atheism.

    February 25, 2014 at 6:58 am |
    • commonsensed01

      1. For something to be a cult, it has to have a devotion or strong belief in something. Atheism strong disbelieves in a God, thereby it can't be a cult. Just like red is not a flavor, off is not a TV channel and bald is not a hair style.
      2. Atheism tends to run in highly educated crowds. Extreme religion tends to run in those states that have the lowest education levels: Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana. So careful with the brainwash comments, they might hit close to home on your side.
      3. Logic and reason are the hallmark of atheism. Funny how they are often neglected by apologists.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:12 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.