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CPAC reverses decision, will not allow atheist group at conservative conference
David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, will not have a booth at CPAC.
February 25th, 2014
02:53 PM ET

CPAC reverses decision, will not allow atheist group at conservative conference

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington - Organizers for the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference will not allow American Atheists to have an exhibition booth at the conservative conference, the group's spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The decision comes just hours after American Atheists, the outspoken organization that advocates for atheists nationwide, announced that it would have a booth at the event. David Silverman, president of American Atheists, tells CNN that a groundswell of opposition from high-ranking members of CPAC compelled the group to pull the invite.

Meghan Snyder, a spokeswoman for CPAC, said in a statement to CNN that “American Atheists misrepresented itself about their willingness to engage in positive dialogue and work together to promote limited government.”

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

"I'm surprised and I'm saddened," Silverman said in response to the announcement.  "I think this is a very disappointing turn of events.  I was really looking forward to going."

Representatives of CPAC called Silverman Tuesday afternoon and said they would be returning the group's money, Silverman said.

"It is very obvious to me they were looking for a reason to say no," Silverman added.  "Christianity is bad for conservatism and they did not want that message out there."

In an interview with CNN on Monday night, Silverman said his group planned to use the booth to bring conservative atheists “out of the closest” and said he was not worried about making the Christian right angry because “the Christian right should be threatened by us.”

Snyder said CPAC spoke to Silverman about his divisive and inappropriate language.

“He pledged that he will attack the very idea that Christianity is an important element of conservatism.  People of any faith tradition should not be attacked for their beliefs, especially at our conference.  He has left us with no choice but to return his money,” she said.

When Snyder confirmed to CNN on Monday that American Atheists would be at CPAC, she said in a statement that they were allowed to display at 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.

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 Maryland's National Harbor 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.

The decision to include American Atheists outraged some conservatives, with many taking to Twitter to voice their disapproval.

According to Silverman, Dan Schneider, the executive director of the American Conservative Union, called him to talk about the group's inclusion in the event and the response from conservatives members.

In a statement to CNN on Monday night, Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative think-tank Family Research Council, expressed outrage at the decision, stating that the American Atheists did "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 spoke 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."

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

American Atheist is well known for its controversial billboards and media campaigns and is considered the in-your-face contingent in the world of atheist activists. The group’s members pride themselves as being the “Marines" of the atheist movement.

The atheist organization paid $3,000 for booth 439 in the event’s exhibition hall. That money will now be returned. Its booth was set to be right next to the Republican National Committee’s booth.

In explaining why the group decided to join CPAC on Monday, 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.

“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," Silverman said at the time. This “is really a serious outreach effort, and I am very pleased to be embarking on it.”

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.

On 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 help "closeted atheists" come out, as it did in a 2012 billboard campaign aimed at Jews and Muslims.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Politics

soundoff (829 Responses)
  1. prlatina

    Why doesn't Silverman buy an island and take all his followers, non -believers with him. He felt it would be a good idea to attend so that all the conservatives would come out of the closet??? I'm sure when their ready they come out. These people are so negatives and questioning people about their beliefs - It's none of your dame business. So pathic

    February 28, 2014 at 8:57 am |
  2. Roland

    Why would AA want to be part of CPAC? To turn into APAC???

    To AA:
    What exactly is a conservative atheist?
    What are you conservative about?

    February 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
    • valdr89

      That last question was so stupid it gave me brain damage. If you've never heard of "economics", stop voting and strongly consider a vasectomy.

      February 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • Roland

      Forgot to add a note to the OP: Trolls can excuse themselves from attempting to answer that question, it may go over their head.

      February 27, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
      • joey3467

        They are called fiscal conservatives moron. And religious nut jobs are driving them from the Republican party.

        March 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
  3. Salero21

    HAHAHA 😀 😀 😀 Atheists/Satanists et. al. the whole world knows about their extreme hypocrisy, dishonesty and pathological lying. That's why they're being shun from the meetings of men of reason and reasonable men. 😀 😀 😀

    More proof, more Evidence on top of more Evidence of the Total stupidity of atheism which is Forevermore. HAHAHA

    February 27, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • Reality

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      February 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • Austin

        No. What god is that?

        You sould follow the only true God . Reason being he Loves. you , and formed you spiritually eternal and temporally physical for reason and pleasure trial and glorification.

        Furthermore the one true God dwells everywhere that sin is not such as around you and then inside you once you request the gift of His holy spirit through the blood ajd finished work of Christ.

        He also dwells in his creation here and in heaven.

        February 27, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • Reality

          "He" only exists in the figments of your imagination.

          February 27, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
        • Austin

          He exhists on his own. You exhist because of him .

          February 27, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Define "existence", and in doing so, (since he had not created spacetime yet) use no term that references time in your definition.

          Never mind.
          You can't

          February 27, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Nice story bro. Needs more vampires and dragons though.

          February 27, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
        • sam stone

          More unprovable allegations from Austin

          February 28, 2014 at 1:08 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Really ? "being shun" ? Someone who can't even write a sentence in correct English has the ignorant stupidity to talk about others ?

      February 27, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
  4. ogamidiagoro

    Do I smell fear?

    February 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • Salero21

      Have you shower in the last 3 months?

      February 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
  5. Reality

    Only for the new members:

    For posting on the doors of the topic meeting:

    The Apostles' Creed 2014: (updated and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    February 27, 2014 at 6:57 am |
  6. Akira

    Lol.

    How about we just keep morons from trying to quash the rights of others via religious beliefs that have no place in our secular laws? How about that these fools actually study the Constitution to see if their grand proposal violates it? How about they cease wasting taxpayer money and time on something that will not enhance the lives of all citizens, instead yet again marginalizing others, but looks damn good on their resume for their re-election campaign?

    That'd be a start.

    February 26, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • Akira

      Response meant for a thread below. Sorry.

      February 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
      • Austin

        The new testament law is a guideline for the Church.

        Jesus died for all sinners.

        The gate is narrow because people would rather sin than desire righteousnes.

        Righteousness is possible through water and fire baptism. If you call upon the name of jesus you receive supernatural conviction.

        This results in freedom from sin and bondage? The foothold that was created by satan will be over ruled by resurrection power.

        February 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Bondage?....you like whips and ball gags? Whatever floats your boat....

          February 26, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Nope, ya dope.
          Jebus : "No one shall come to me unless the Father draw him". "For many are called but few are chosen:".
          Now why would he actually go to the trouble to say that, unless it were true ?
          Your deity is capricious. Get over it.

          February 27, 2014 at 12:31 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Jebus NEVER said he was going to die for anyone. The church made all that up much later.
          When the young man in Matthew asked him what he must do to gain eternal life, did he say
          "Just wait until I die for your sins, and assuage my mad dad" ?
          No. "He said keep the commandments". The "salvation paradigm" was invented by Saul of Tarsus to compete with the Greek mystery cults. It makes no sense in Hebrew culture. It's a Greek/Zoroastrian concept. Not a Hebrew concept.

          February 27, 2014 at 12:35 am |
        • sam stone

          Sin is a man made concept that is irrelevant to those outside the group that defines sin, Austin

          You are delusional

          February 27, 2014 at 5:28 am |
        • sam stone

          "If you call upon the name of jesus you receive supernatural conviction."

          wow, convicted again?

          i guess the rest of us are not guilty

          February 27, 2014 at 5:32 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Austin: You wanted to know why we 'pick' on you...re-read your posts. This one is a prime example. You obviously have no care about what anyone thinks, just what your imaginary friend (aka the voice in your head) says to you. You truly belong in an asylum, especially since you hear voices that do not exist...that in itself is a sign of mental illness and if left untreated could lead to you doing horrible things (ie; getting upset with your imaginary friend and hitting the bottle again, then maybe driving in to a liquor store-you have stated you fantasize about blowing them up). It seems that you and Andrea Yates are on the same intellect level...both crazy and in need of medication.

          February 27, 2014 at 5:57 am |
        • Akira

          Austin,
          This post is completely unrelated to anything in my post. What this perhaps a misplacement reply to someone else?

          February 27, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • Austin

      What does fool mean?

      February 26, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
      • sam stone

        chump, dolt, lummox, sap

        February 27, 2014 at 5:35 am |
      • Akira

        Fool(s):
        1.Arizona State House and Senate

        February 27, 2014 at 11:21 am |
  7. Akira

    Brewer vetoed the bill! Yes!

    February 26, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
    • midwest rail

      She had no choice – it's a shame that sanity had to be forced on them. But yes, good news.

      February 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
      • Akira

        Some people were not sure if Brewer would actually do what common sense and Constitutional law would dictate.
        Nice to see that for once, Brewer did the right thing.

        February 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      She is going to smoke a turd in hell now!

      February 26, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
      • Akira

        Indubitably. Doing the right thing condemned her.
        Lol.
        We are totally regressing...wth is wrong with people?

        February 26, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So our rights come from god...but apparently we have some extra rights...where do those come from?

          February 26, 2014 at 11:05 pm |
        • Akira

          Huh?

          February 27, 2014 at 11:33 am |
  8. Austin

    God knew every one of our downfalls and sins. God knows the rest of your life . He has redeemed us all.

    February 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • guidedans

      God Bless.

      February 26, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        You do know that Austin is a liar and a proven one...right? Did you know that he put lives at risk during a drunken rampage one night? Is this the type of person you deem good?

        February 27, 2014 at 5:44 am |
        • Woody

          It seems as if Austin killed a lot of his own brain cells. Heavy drinking will do that.

          February 27, 2014 at 8:55 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I don't believe you

      February 26, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      Only coupons need to be redeemed

      Only slaves need salvation

      if god knows what a person will do before they do it, there is no free will

      punishing people who lack free will paints your god as a vindictive pr1ck

      allowing an innocent person to take your punishment is the sign of a coward

      blather on, austin

      February 27, 2014 at 5:40 am |
      • guidedans

        Sam,

        Just because God knows everything that we will do before we do it does not limit our ability to do anything we please. Imagine that you filmed an event, then you traveled back in time (before the event occurred) and left the film in a box out in space somewhere. Does the existence of that film in that time period limit the free will of the actors who performed the event? I would argue it does not.

        As for your comments about coupons and slaves. I want you to think about how wrong deeds are rectified. Imagine if you murdered someone. Can you right that wrong by saving someone else's life? By saving 1000 peoples' lives? I would say no. That wrong would stand forever on you as a punishable offence. If God is truly just, then He would hold you accountable for that offence. But God is not just just, He is also merciful, so in order for you to not be held accountable for your actions, somebody has to. God, being the loving father He is, came down to Earth to take on all of humanity's sins so that we would not have to be held accountable for our actions and receive the eternal punishment for them.

        All you have to do is accept the gift and it is yours. Do it.

        February 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
  9. Doris

    (I'm just gonna stay up here. I don't want to make eye contact. I think fred is down there somewhere spinning around in his little wheel.)

    February 26, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      All bark, no bite

      February 26, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
      • Doris

        Lol – I know. I just didn't want to get involved in the endless endless. He does seem to have a sense of humor.

        February 26, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I knew exactly what you meant...I have the same problem..lol

          February 26, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
  10. Salero21

    HAHAHA 😀 😀 😀 😀 Poor atheists they fool only themselves. Their extreme hypocrisy, dishonesty and pathological lying is driving them farther away from the realm of men of reason and reasonable men. Now they're resorting to childish tantrums and boohooing on Blogs and Forums on the internet boohoo, boohoo, boohoo!! 😀 😀 😀

    February 26, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Salero21 is as fine a representative of the Standard God as one could wish for.

      February 26, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
      • hotairace

        And by Dalahazz's silence, one that it apparently supports thru its silence.

        February 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  11. eudaimonia2013

    "I say we build a 50 foot wall around Arizona and give the repubs what they really want...a country run by their rules. See how long it takes for them to feel the pain of having rights denied."

    I agree..

    February 26, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
    • Akira

      Brewer vetoed that awful bill.

      February 26, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
  12. joeyy1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w
    3

    February 26, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • Doris

      Extremely boring music. I need coffee.

      February 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      Thanks joeyy, hadn't seen it in awhile.

      February 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
      • midwest rail

        Right ? This should be on ALL the threads.

        February 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
  13. TruthPrevails1

    Texas is one step closer to legalizing same gender marriages. 🙂

    "A federal court judge just issued a preliminary injunction that finds the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. As with similar rulings, U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia stayed his decision pending appeal, so couples cannot begin to marry.

    Nevertheless, the ruling, from the deep south in a state evenly split on marriage equality is yet one more brick knocked down from the wall built by former President George W. Bush — ironically, the former governor of Texas as well.

    “Applying the United States Constitution and the legal principles binding on this Court by Supreme Court precedent, the Court finds that Article I, Section 32 of the Texas Constitution and corresponding provisions of the Texas Family Code are unconstitutional,” Judge Garcia wrote. “These Texas laws deny Plaintifs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintifs wish to be married to a person of the same sex. The Court finds this denial violates Plaintifs’ equal protection and due process rights under the Fourtenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."
    (http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/breaking-texas-ban-on-marriage-ruled-unconstitutional-by-federal-judge/politics/2014/02/26/83704#.Uw5Hoc7EnFI)
    I get that there is an appeal yet to happen but if recent history holds true, this will be one more state giving equal rights.

    February 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • hotairace

      Maybe Texas with secede and form The Christian Republic of Dumazzes Formerly The State of Texas."

      February 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        I say we build a 50 foot wall around Arizona and give the repubs what they really want...a country run by their rules. See how long it takes for them to feel the pain of having rights denied.

        February 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          I say we just split the country in half geographically east to west and then flip a coin to see who gets which side. Seeing that the nation is pretty much a 50/50 split in political/social ideology I think it would be prudent. Every person could receive a one week pass to cross over and visit the other, kind of like visiting that crazy Aunt you've got to go see once a year. Then, in about 20 years when the progressive side has self imploded from taxation and immorality, the adults can cross over and clean up the mess and restore sanity.

          February 26, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • hotairace

          The progressive side would likely have lots of money 'cause they're more likely to significantly cut defense spending. The regressive side would likely still be under attack from much of the rest of the world as they prolong religious disputes, so would probably double down on "might is right." Now who gets the north, next to Canada? Hopefully the progressives.

          February 26, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          But all the money they would save on defense cuts who be funneled into supplying condoms to the elementary schools.

          February 26, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • hotairace

          Think of the money that would be saved by not needing to provide as much financial support for unwed mothers. Think of the number of abortions that would not be conducted. Think!

          February 26, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          And think of the money you could save by euthanizing everyone over 60, and those who had any degree of physical or mental handicap. It would be a brave new world, and one in which you would have such a budget surplus you could put together the most ostentatious ga y pride day parade known to man.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • hotairace

          Why are you suggesting that people, of any age, should be harmed? As in, where does that thinking come from?

          February 26, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Knowing that on your geographical side babies would still be vacuumed out of their mothers bodies for sake of convenience, this just seems to be the logical progression .

          February 26, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
        • hotairace

          Highly illogical actually. I bet you believed Brain Dead Sarah P went she went off about death panels.

          February 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Actually, while I agree with many of her political positions, I've never really been a big fan, and I certainly would never wish her to be POTUS. In a country in which we have so many individuals who have both brilliant minds and logical thought processes, it always amazes me with what type of candidates we end up with. I just find it hard to believe we can't come up with leaders more qualified for their positions then Palin, GW, and Mr. Obama.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • Akira

          Actually, it'd be great fun to see how many women from one side try to sneak in to the other to get their abortion; Christian woman are the ones who overwhelmingly make up the number of those obtaining abortion.

          February 26, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • joey3467

          I am not surprised at all by the quality of presidential candidates because I think that running for president is a sign that you are at least partially insane.

          February 27, 2014 at 10:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Actually, there's an effort to make Texas blue by 2020. I contribute to it. It may happen, but Ted Cruz and his sort will need a place to go. Perhaps New Mexico will provide a corridor to Arizona.

      February 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
    • Austin

      The old testament had defferent offerings for intentional and intentional sin. Jesus covers both categories. He restores our downfalls as our intercesor .

      God is holy and loving. Jesus loves you.

      February 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Oh silly boy Austin, you are in need of being medicated. Your imaginary friend has zero control and fortunately the rights for LGBT are being granted at long last...your imaginary friends book has been shown to be wrong on the issue...I bet that just bites your ass-doesn't it?
        Some of us are not brain damaged as you appear to be (religion has caused you great harm) and we simply manage to live good, law abiding lives without imaginary friends.

        February 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
  14. Doris

    [ " Archbishops Justin Welby of Canterbury and John Sentamu of York said the letter was a result of "questions about the Church of England's att-itude to new legislation in several countries that penalises people with same-se-x attraction".

    The letter comes as Archbishop Welby starts a five-day tour of four African countries.
    'Draconian'

    In Nigeria this month, President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a bill which bans same-se-x marriages, gay groups and shows of same-se-x public affection.

    In Uganda – Archbishop Sentamu's native country – a bill allowing for greater punishments for gay people, and those who fail to turn them in to police, has been passed by parliament, but blocked – for now – by President Yoweri Museveni. " ]

    ========
    Not impressed at all by the "good" of the greater Anglican church. Not at all. (Uganda is primarily Christian and primarily Anglican/Catholic.)

    February 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Doris,

      even worse than these laws were signed is that they were instigated by US evangelicals, who having failed with their anti-gay hatred in the US, are now spreading it in sub-Saharan Africa.

      http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2014/0225/Uganda-s-anti-gay-bill-refocuses-attention-on-US-evangelical-influence-video

      I also posted this link further down the page but it is worth reading. The rabbit hole is pretty deep here.

      February 26, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
      • Doris

        Yes, thanks not(GOPer), I suspect these issues have been far worse than I have imagined there.

        February 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • Doris

        "A federal judge has struck down a ban on same-se-x marriage in Texas, ruling Wednesday it has no "rational relation to a legitimate government purpose."

        I needed just a little good news today.....

        February 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You have to love when reality wins out. 🙂 Friends of mine in Texas have been waiting 12 long years for this.

          February 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
  15. Doris

    "Papal Nuncio to Uganda Archbishop Michael Blume was written to by Divine Word Missionaries Brother Brian McLauchlin on 21 December, asking him to speak to Catholic bishops in the country [Uganda] about the law’s potential to abuse people’s human rights."

    Oh gee, they couldn't see this coming??

    Not impressed RCC, not at all.

    February 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
  16. Apple Bush

    There was never any point in me being a Christian. With my luck, I would just get to the gates and then they would look through their little pad and screw up their faces and lift their brows and finally after much deep sighing they would ask me to sit with group W. You don't want to sit with group W.

    February 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Because of the litterers?

      February 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Once they pull out their 8 x 10 color glossy photographs with pictures and arrows on the back of each one explaining what each one is.....I'm going to Hell for being a litter bug.

        February 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          ...and paragraphs. Paragraphs on the back of each one.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          ...explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against you...

          February 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • ausphor

          Free verse could confuse them but does the bible allow it.....

          February 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
  17. Apple Bush

    Do we know the enemy?
    Shadow boxing in suits.
    Some of them are partly right some of the time.

    February 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
  18. Apple Bush

    Arizona lawmakers want to know what the world is coming to. They want to stop and reverse the direction despite chewing off their own feet.

    February 26, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
  19. Doris

    One poster recently wrote:

    "Everyone here should be a Christian.
    [..] why don't you just go with the belief that provides you with the most utility?"

    Well Christianity does provide utility for a number of things – one being hate.

    Of course one needs to research to find the brand that allows them to fully utilize their potential to hate in a specific manner. I mean one wouldn't want to join an Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) for instance if you hate gays. Since the ELCA is gay-friendly, you're not likely to get the cooperation you're searching for there. Good luck there trying to organize an effort to contact Ugandan evangelicals to offer support for them in their ministry to lock up or rid their country of homosexuals. On the other hand, you might actually find the right church in something like the Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod if you already hate the Pope and want a group who's there ready to hate him with you. You might even get lucky and be put on a committee that will find once again that the Pope is an Antichrist whenever they renew that position (I think the last time was in 2011).

    Perhaps you're a hater of the use of contraception. In that case you should head on over to the RCC. There you'll find plenty who, like you, think it's much more important to attempt to establish a good sound policy on contraception, which of course is much more important than preventing disease and unwanted pregnancies.
    It's a tough task, but keep your head up, there supposedly over 40,000 different sects, so certainly one of them has the interpretation of God's Word that will fit perfectly with your view of the world – what you hate in it, what makes you feel icky and what makes you feel comfy.

    (eyeroll, with disgust)

    "Richard Branson to boycott Uganda over their anti-gay law."

    OK maybe one bright note of sensibility for today....

    February 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      What are the Christian Gays supposed to do in this Arizona thing?

      February 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
      • Doris

        I have no idea, but can you imagine being thrown into jail for life on suspicion of not reporting someone who is gay because the law now states that in Uganda. Let's just see how far moderate Christian complacency goes with this..

        February 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
    • theophileo

      To love righteousness, one must hate unrighteousness. To call nothing abhorrent shows a lack of principles.

      February 26, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
      • Doris

        Pretty much everyone calls something abhorrent, don'tcha think? Of course one gains extra leverage in keeping things they feel abhorrent at bay if they can scare others about it, don'tcha think? Unexplainable magic is one way to instill fear, don'tcha think?

        February 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • theophileo

          "Pretty much everyone calls something abhorrent"
          -----------
          Sure, but based on what? Moral reletivism? If that's the case, then there's really nothing "good" or "bad," just things that tend towards progression in a society or not. Ergo, there is no good and bad per say, just opinions...

          "Of course one gains extra leverage in keeping things they feel abhorrent at bay if they can scare others about it"
          -----------
          Fear can be a good motivator for certain things. A fear of snakes for instance will keep you from picking on up and getting bitten. But a love of true righteousness springs from a desire to do the will of God, not out of a strict fear of retribution. A child does the will of his earthly father because he loves him for who he is in his life, the same is true of God.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • observernow

          theophileo,

          The Bible certainly isn't the ultimate guide to morality since there are so many "morals" in it that Christians and others find completely IMMORAL. Slavery, discrimination, beating children, etc. is WRONG by the standards of most people today.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • Doris

          theo: "If that's the case, then there's really nothing "good" or "bad," "

          Well if we consider that case, then we have to consider that all the judgments based on perceived collective morality that has evolved socially would also include those that have been thought of as divine in origin, right? And I am not convinced that this is not the case. The values levied by each of us would not be different, it's still just an argument over the source for which there is no demonstrable evidence, right?

          February 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • eudaimonia2013

          @theo-

          "Sure, but based on what? Moral reletivism? If that’s the case, then there’s really nothing “good” or “bad,” just things that tend towards progression in a society or not. Ergo, there is no good and bad per say, just opinions…"

          Yes, this is true.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "If that's the case, then there's really nothing "good" or "bad,"

          That's not actually true. There is no objective "good" and "bad" but there is a subjective "good" and "bad" that humans have defined, they being the subject. You might say slitting a throat and watching the blood poor out would be a bad thing, but if it's a pig in a slaughterhouse where they are making me some bacon then it's good. Things that hurt humans and cause pain are generally viewed as bad whereas things that cause humans happiness and joy are generally considered good.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • theophileo

          "it's still just an argument over the source for which there is no demonstrable evidence, right?"
          ---------
          It's always about the source... If you look at a 6 year old and tell him that something that he just did is wrong, he'll say "says who?"

          As to whether or not there is demonstrable evidence for the source of the Bible, I've got no desire to get into a lengthy discussion about this again for which there is no convincing for some people. "They have Moses and the prophets, if they will not believe them, they will not be convinced even if a man were to come back from the dead."

          February 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • eudaimonia2013

          @theo-

          "They have Moses and the prophets, if they will not believe them, they will not be convinced even if a man were to come back from the dead.""

          Considering that human history is wrought with the ignorance of a theistic culture mis-understanding the world around them and claiming things they don't understand as "bad" or the "devil." Our current society, based on the technology alone, would seem like magic and evil doings.. -_-

          That said, with cryogenic study and stem cell study on the rise.. coming back from the dead might be a boring everyday possibility for a society. Be careful, how serious you take the wisdom of the "ancients."

          February 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • eudaimonia2013

          @neverbeenhappier-

          "That's not actually true. There is no objective "good" and "bad" but there is a subjective "good" and "bad" that humans have defined, they being the subject. "

          While I agree with your point regarding the existence of subjective good and bad.. I would just go a step further and say that there is only subjective good and bad.. and define it a bit further and say that historically there has been mostly "cultural goods and bads" if that makes sense lol

          February 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • theophileo

          "That said, with cryogenic study and stem cell study on the rise.. coming back from the dead might be a boring everyday possibility for a society. Be careful, how serious you take the wisdom of the "ancients.""
          ----------
          After reading statements like that, sometimes I think that the ancients are the only people who make sense to me any more...

          February 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • Doris

          "[If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope." –TJ

          February 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • eudaimonia2013

          @theo-

          "After reading statements like that, sometimes I think that the ancients are the only people who make sense to me any more..."

          I understand that if you are reared in a world that looks to ancients as "wise." Then it makes sense that their reasoning would be comforting to you. But, unless, and probably until, society has a way to turn back time and supplant you there.. Future technology shouldn't make you feel disconnected. Otherwise, you will join the company of the many who were afraid of wire technology, new herbs.. new healing methods that don't require leeches.. and new theories that do not look to god or chants to heal and mend the sick. It will be okay.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • believerfred

          neverbeenhappieratheist
          eudaimonia2013
          As to good or bad it is only subjective if there is no God or if you are opposed to God then substitute absolute authority. This is why Jesus could say no one is good but God. This is why the difference between good and evil is termed as light and darkness. There is an objective light and an objective absence of light. There is God and the absence of God. Your issue is that when you limit the possibility of understanding the unknown you also limit your perspective.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          No Fred. Moral absolutism is either a myth or neither moral nor absolute.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • Doris

          "then subst-itute absolute authority."

          No. and no need for teddy bears, either, fred.

          February 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • eudaimonia2013

          Hi Believerfred,

          "As to good or bad it is only subjective if there is no God or if you are opposed to God then subst.itute absolute authority."

          Just out of curiosity- If you were to find yourself locked in a moral problem with another person who has a different absolute authority, how do you gain access to the absolute authority so that it can clarify what is "good?" in a way that brings peace to both of you?

          February 26, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • ausphor

          fredie
          Billions of people do not give a good God damn what jesus may have said or not and yet have created their own moral system under their own version of God(s). If you actually do believe there is only one God, yours, how do the others get around "There is God and the absence of God."?

          February 26, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
        • believerfred

          Doris
          But, if I follow you I am left with only an improbable accidental existence in a cold hostile universe filled predominately with dark matter..................how about just a little night light such as the hope that when we die we enter infinite non existence?

          February 26, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor
          No one gets around the truth. You are sounding like Pilate who asked Jesus "what is truth" when he saw the Priests and their religious ones demand to crucify innocence and free a known convicted murderer. In the absence of an accepted absolute authority everything becomes relative. The reason you observe billions with varied views of morality is because they have chosen absent God in their lives.

          February 26, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Fred,

          you could go with a glib pop-culture reference courtesy of Steven King's "The Shawshank Redemption" that is the antidote to Pascal's Wager:

          "Get busy livin' or get busy dyin' ".

          So much of Christianity is about dying. Why not live this life as the only one you've got? Make the most of it. Live well and be remembered well. Leave the world a better place for your having been in it. Why would that worse than living with one foot in the grave?

          February 26, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Doris

          fred I would not deny you that. But when the hope manifests itself as judgment (and not really then just hope), that's begging for division and disenfranchisement imho.

          February 26, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • ausphor

          fredie
          That is one of the reasons I find Christian's like you so ridiculous, the only reason in your mind they have an absence of God is because you say so? Is that not feeling superior to all that may worship a different God than you do? Is that not against the teachings of Christ, love thy neighbour?

          February 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • believerfred

          eudaimonia2013
          "locked in a moral problem with another person who has a different absolute authority"
          =>That is proof in itself of absolute authority. In the absence of an absolute authority accepted by parties in conflict there can be no peaceful resolution or unity without expanding acceptable morality.

          "how do you gain access to the absolute authority so that it can clarify what is "good?" in a way that brings peace to both of you?"
          =>This is the story of the Bible and the purpose of creation. Outside the presence of God (access to absolute authority is only within not without) there can be no "good" and thus no peace. The story was written so we need not be smarter than a 3rd grader to understand. There was no conflict in the Garden of Eden until one steps outside the presence of God. Outside the presence of God is the tree of knowledge of good and evil (light and darkness). Outside of God we are drawn into the way of the world of subjective right and wrong morals being one of them and everything begins to reflect personal desire (I.e. it is no longer an objective thought process).
          In answer to your question one simply needs to step back into the presence of God and the peace that transcends all understanding will be yours (that's from Saul of Tarsus not me). Why? because you have found the truth which is perfect love that covers all sin (word for what separates us from God).

          February 26, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor

          "the only reason in your mind they have an absence of God is because you say so?"
          =>I have no way of really knowing who "they" are and even if I did I still would have no way of knowing whose they are (i.e. if they are Gods "children" or not).

          "Is that not feeling superior to all that may worship a different God than you do?"
          =>It is the exact opposite. If I am in the presence of God then I would know with every fiber of my being that any sense of superiority is darkness and a stain on my soul that by the grace of God would be forgiven.

          " Is that not against the teachings of Christ, love thy neighbour?"
          =>yes, it is wrong to look down on anyone regardless of cause. No good can ever come from judging others.

          February 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • ausphor

          fredie
          By they I think you may have figured out the 5 billion people that do not bow down to your flavor of God and truth. Pretty weak omnipotent God that can only get 2 out of 7 people to buy into the delusion. He should be sent down to the minor leagues. Hell the 2 billion people that claim to be Christian are split into thousands of cults, many saying that the other guys aren't really Christians, what a joke the whole scam is.

          February 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • eudaimonia2013

          Fred

          "In the absence of an absolute authority accepted by parties in conflict there can be no peaceful resolution or unity without expanding acceptable morality."

          Okay, so there are billions of people on the planet with differing views of god and some with no belief in god and yet there are peace pacts made all the time among human beings. Do you agree that this is a human reality?

          February 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • believerfred

          Doris
          " when the hope manifests itself as judgment "
          =>To claim only those in Christ will find salvation and the rest will not is difficult to say in a way that is not somehow offensive. Let me assume you reject God and you know that for me it is a sin to look down on anyone or judge anyone (they were made for a purpose onto God and are loved by God every bit as much as I am). I am making the statement concerning salvation not to judge but explain salvation in a way there can be no doubt as to what is necessary.

          February 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • believerfred

          eudaimonia2013
          Yes I agree. As I stated outside the presence of God we need to expand acceptable morality (if that was the conflict) or acceptability over what ever we were in conflict over in order to have peace. You take the south 40 and I'll take the north 40 so we shake hands. Based on some mutual advantage we agreed to this division.

          February 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • ausphor

          fredie
          I will a$$ume you agree with John 3:16, how about Mark 16:16? I am a believer or I am toast is that not what your delusion maintains or were Jesus' supposed words lies? Damn I am going to have lots of company in the lake of fire (Revelations 20) 5 billion non believers and probably more than half of the so called Christians. Ridiculous, you say you are not superior because of your beliefs, your words belie that statement.

          February 26, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor
          In AD 100 there were 1 out of 350,000 people who believed in Christ and today that number is 1 out of 7. Islam which was contrived in AD 650 was taken out of the main books of the Old Testament which is why God and their verses are very close to the Bible. Mohamed did not like the Jews as his family line from Ishmael fought against the Hebrew from the days of Isaac and was threatened by the Christian movement yet had to explain this Jesus. All like the Catholic Church took the truth and began to add what they needed for various reasons. This diversity of belief does not change the reality of God anymore than diversity among Homo sapiens changes the reality of last common ancestor

          February 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • ausphor

          fredie
          And your god is gooder than all the other gods because......
          you say so
          you believe so
          that is what the delusion requires
          you are afraid of hell
          you are a desp!cable sinner
          you need a crutch to get through the day
          you are dumber than a bag of hammers
          etc. etc.

          February 26, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor
          We are all bound by the choices we make in life. At the end of your life you will have exhausted your existence in this world. Don't you think it is only fair that you and I both reach our final destiny based upon what we loved most in this lifetime?

          February 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • ausphor

          fredie
          Okay, that last post was a little over the top to which I would not expect a response. But your mind seems to be parked in the Abrahamic religions, can you not see or think outside that box?

          February 26, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • ausphor

          fredie
          Thanks for the response. If you believe that your god will condemn 5/7th of the worlds population to eternal damnation and torment sorry no, I find your belief system to be cruel and unusual. Fred it is just a man made book, fine believe in it but quit trying to peddle it to others, that is what you do.

          February 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor
          "your mind seems to be parked in the Abrahamic religions, can you not see or think outside that box?"
          =>Even when I was agnostic I still could not figure out the why of existence. The limits of scientific discovery always concludes with " we don't know why we exist and we don't know what the purpose of existence is". That leaves me with naturalism which by its own foundation is impossible if there is anything in existence that is not material (i.e. having physical properties of matter). By faith then I would need to accept there exists something other that does not have mass either static in tensor or exhibiting amplitude. That other is no different than what Paul talks about as faith or the properties of the kingdom of heaven and Moses description of God who cannot be seen by man.

          =>other religions have gods that depend upon known physical properties for their composition and that is nonsense and can be proven nonsense since we do understand most visible properties of matter.
          The God of Abraham defies science (i.e. science cannot discredit by evidence or known natural laws)

          "quit trying to peddle it to others, that is what you do."
          =>No one is going to believe in God because of anything I post. One either has that sense something greater than self exists and there must be reason for existence or not.

          February 26, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • sam stone

          "Ergo, there is no good and bad per say, just opinions..."

          And you do the same thing. You just hold up the morality of iron age man as the standard.

          This is irrelevant in the 21st century

          Morality changes. Get over it

          February 27, 2014 at 5:47 am |
        • believerfred

          sam stone
          One always need a standard and an absolute truth is best place to begin. On a scale of 1 to 10 you may be 2 or a 9 but without a standard we have never been.

          February 27, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        There are more than enough abhorrent human behaviors without evangelical missionaries stirring up hate for gays in sub-Saharan Africa.

        February 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • sam stone

        what makes you think you know what is righteous and what is not, saint corn pone?

        February 27, 2014 at 5:42 am |
    • Akira

      "“Everyone here should be a Muslim. .
      [..] why don’t you just go with the belief that provides you with the most utility?”

      Nope. It doesn't make any more sense. Faith for expediency seems shallow.

      February 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
  20. Austin

    Tp. That is not when i became saved at all. I never stated that. It was nothing like that at .

    I was baptised about 8 years before that date and saved. Went to college and learned evolution and rejected my faith. Had intense struggle. Saw the church go with war. Rejected my upbringing. And over the past 13 years my salvation has over ruled my rejection of God.

    And after i vandalized the church is was over the next 13 years that i was given supernatural gifts of the spirit.

    The night i vandalizd the church was not a salvation experience. I was very upset with the word of God.

    February 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
    • Austin

      I have to go for a run .

      February 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Run Austin, run!

        February 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • ausphor

          Oh dear. went to college and learned...What college admits a semi literate student, bible school maybe, but an accredited college!! You wouldn't be stretching the truth Austin?

          February 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      You obviously didn't pay attention in college! I'm sorry to hear the education system failed you. As for your accident, so you got into a hissy fit during a drunken stupor...it's like Akira said-you have given up one addiction for another.
      If you ever wish to be taken seriously, why not contact James Randi? Show us we're wrong in thinking you are delusional, otherwise I'm not certain what cheap thrill you're getting from coming here and constantly being laughed at-does it make you happy in some weird way?
      I like how you only picked on the one part of what I had written..not able to respond to the rest or too afraid to?
      And I don't care what your excuse was for the night you stupidly got drunk and got behind the wheel of 3000 pounds of metal and in turn put the lives of others at risk-christians do it all the time-it doesn't mean they've fallen, it simply means they're human...don't be such a hypocrite and a coward.

      February 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
    • guidedans

      Austin, Good for you, man. Don't let the world try to bring you down. God loves you and you are forgiven. You and I know that, I wish that the rest of the thread would understand it better.

      To everyone else, We are not trying to convert you because we want more people in our club, there are billions of Christians already, we have tons of brothers and sisters already. We are trying to convert you because we love you and we know that God loves you. We are worried for your eternal salvation, and you, if you were truly rational beings, would be too.

      God doesn't want anyone to go to Hell, but God is not going to force you into Heaven if you don't want to go.

      February 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
      • commonsensed01

        guidedans:
        "God doesn't want anyone to go to Hell, but God is not going to force you into Heaven if you don't want to go."

        Santa Claus loves you, but he won't bring you the gifts on December 25th if you aren't a good little boy or girl.

        Do anyone else see the parallel here? Why do little kids stop believing the latter but adults still believe the former?

        Thanks for wishing that I go to your imaginary "friendland" when I die. Sorry I won't be there as I intend to go where dead people really go – nowhere.

        February 27, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • guidedans

          Commonsense,

          What if you are wrong about your beliefs? Is it really worth holding the beliefs you hold if the potential consequence is eternal torment?

          I guarantee that your beliefs are based on assumptions (e.g., that this reality exists, that you are actually awake, that your senses are giving you an accurate view of the universe). The only difference between my assumptions and yours is that I also assume that an all-loving God is the author of that reality. I really don't think you understand how much "knowledge" you take for granted. Really, why are you trying to debate whether God is real when you can't even prove that you are real?

          February 27, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.