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The worst places in the world to be religious
Rohingya Muslim children at a refugee camp in Burma, where authorities have incited violence against them, according to the State Department.
May 15th, 2014
10:56 AM ET

The worst places in the world to be religious

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - Since 1999, the U.S. State Department has tracked the world's worst abusers of religious rights. 

As the most recent report notes, it has never lacked for material. Persecutions of people of faith are rising across the globe.

Among the most worrying trends, according to the State Department, are "authoritarian governments that restrict their citizens’ ability to practice their religion."

In typically bland bureaucratic language, the State Department calls these "countries of particular concern." But the designation can come with some teeth.

Sudan, for example, where a Christian woman was sentenced to death this week for leaving Islam, is ineligible for some types of foreign aid.

In addition to Sudan, here are the State Department's "countries of particular concern." You might call them "The Worst Places in the World to Be Religious."

Burma: The Burmese government puts a stranglehold on every religion except Theravada Buddhism, says the State Department.

Some government officials even enticed non-Buddhists to convert, and Muslims in the state of Rakhine, particularly Rohingya Muslims, are subject to discrimination and lethal violence, according to the State Department.

China: "The government harassed, detained, arrested, or sentenced to prison a number of religious adherents for activities reportedly related to their religious beliefs and practice," the State Department says.

That includes jailing Uyghur Muslims, one of whom was sentenced to 10 years for "selling illegal religious material," and Catholic clergy who were arrested for not belonging to the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association.

That pales compared with the persecution of Tibetan Buddhists, according to the State Department, who suffered through "an intense official crackdown at monasteries and nunneries, resulting in the loss of life, arbitrary detentions, and torture." 

Eritrea: Just four religious groups are officially allowed to openly practice their faith in this African nation; the rest are subject to jailing or worse.

So if you're not an Eritrean Orthodox Christian, a Sunni Muslim, a Roman Catholic or an Evangelical Lutheran, life could be tough for you here. Harsh detentions for religious dissenters are the norm, according to the State Department.

Iran:  This Muslim-majority country's respect for religious rights has declined in recent years, according to the State Department.

"There were increased reports that the government charged religious and ethnic minorities with moharebeh (enmity against God), 'anti-Islamic propaganda,' or vague national security crimes for their religious activities," says the department's report.

The government has imprisoned numerous members of the Baha'i faith and Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor who has been physically and psychologically abused, according to the State Department.

Iran begins trial for U.S. pastor 

North Korea: Human rights groups provided numerous reports that members of underground churches were arrested, beaten, tortured or killed because of their religious beliefs, the State Department says.

The authoritarian nation has jailed as many as 200,000 political prisoners, according to the State Department, many on religious grounds. The country discourages any religious activity not sanctioned by officially recognized groups.

Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American reportedly accused of spreading Christianity in North Korea, was sentenced in 2013 to 15 years of hard labor.

Kenneth Bae worried about his health in North Korean camp

Saudi Arabia: The oil-rich monarchy doesn't even pretend to respect religious rights for any faith other than Islam.

Sunni Islam is the official religion, and the country's constitution is based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

The public practice of any other religion is prohibited, according to the State Department, and Arabian authorities beheaded a man in 2012 for engaging in "sorcery."

Sudan: This country has been on the State Department's naughty list since its inception in 1999.

Sudan penalizes blasphemy and conversion from Islam, sentencing a Christian woman whom judges say converted from Islam to death this week.

The country has also arrested and deported Western Christians suspected of spreading their faith, according to the State Department.

Christian woman in Sudan sentenced to death for her faith

The country's "morality police" require strict obedience to its interpretation of Islamic law, beating and stoning women accused of acting "indecently."

Uzbekistan: Technically, this country's laws respect religious rights.

But in practice, the Central Asian nation maintains strict control of its majority-Muslim population, according to the State Department.

"The government continued to imprison individuals based on charges of extremism; raid religious and social gatherings of unregistered and registered religious communities; confiscate and destroy religious literature, including holy books; and discourage minors from practicing their faith," the department said in its 2012 report. 

People jailed on charges of "religious extremism" have been beaten, tortured and even killed, according to the State Department.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Africa • Baha'i • China • Christianity • Church and state • Discrimination • Foreign policy • Interfaith issues • Iran • Islam • Islamic law • Middle East • Muslim • North Korea • Persecution • Prejudice • Religious violence • Saudi Arabia • Tibet • Tibet • Violence

soundoff (2,628 Responses)
  1. joeyy1

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeedE8vH1FQ&w=640&h=360]

    May 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
    • tallulah131

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4zV4pJ8MwM&w=640&h=360]

      May 15, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
  2. dyinggladiator

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the "8 worst places to be religious" are such, because of religion? haha......

    May 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
    • kenmargo

      Very good point!

      May 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
  3. kenmargo

    The answer is simple. Pray to your all powerful god to solve this problem. Seems to me this is the perfect time for god to show up and save the day. (Like Mighty Mouse)

    May 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  4. kudlak

    And yet, American Conservative Christians often consider themselves persecuted just because the freedom of religion guaranteed by their own Const.itution prevents them from establishing their's as the national religion. Someone puts up a billboard voicing their opinion about Christmas and they act like they're living in one of the countries listed in this article. Amazing!

    May 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
  5. booblay

    Where's Kansas on the list?

    May 15, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Fvcking funny!

      May 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
  6. Doris

    The eight worst places in the world to be religious?

    Well, it's like smoking or drinking. It certainly can be dangerous in some places to smoke depending on the laws. But as with any vice, in the end, it's best to avoid altogether.

    May 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
  7. Salero21

    More Evidence of the Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE of Idolatry/cultism/paganism/evolutionism and of course atheism.

    May 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Hey finisher: your mom called and said that she really wants you to move out of the basement. She said if all you want to do is troll, you need to get a job and troll on your own dime.

      May 15, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
      • Salero21

        Yo you so stupid!

        May 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • danab1234

      Evolution is a fact. Are you saying that your invisible man just went "poof"?

      May 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        It's a fact? Do you then have evidence?

        May 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          There is a mountain of evidence supporting evolution which is why 95 – 99% of scientists believe in it.

          "One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science". An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters, states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution". A 1991 Gallup poll found that only about 5% of American scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists" – Public Belief for evolution and creationism B.A. Robinson 1995

          May 15, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • transframer

          Oops, believing in something (evolution in this case). Looks like religion to me

          May 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/home.php

          It is fact – that's why all leading universities teach evolution and none teach creationism.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          neverbeenhappieratheist

          The number of people believing in something has no bearing whatsoever on its reality.

          Do you know of any evidence that conforms with the scientific method (testable, repeatable, demonstrable)?

          May 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • kudlak

          transframer
          Believing in something that has the evidence to back it up is just wise. Religion goes against the "wisdom of this world", correct?

          May 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • transframer

          Yep. And the same will tell the Christians, Muslims whatever. They'll back up with Bible, Qua ran and others

          May 15, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          In Santa We Trust

          Just because it's taught as fact doesn't make it a fact.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • kudlak

          transframer
          By themselves, the Bible, Qu'ran and other scriptures are just books. Books that have been demonstrated to not always be factual. It would be unwise to accept them as factual in light of this.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          kudlak

          "Books that have been demonstrated to not always be factual.

          As in disproven? Such as?

          May 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Yet centuries-old texts shown to be largely incorrect you can accept unquestioned? Why do you reject the vast quantity of evidence? If your creationist friends could challenge those facts and prevent evolution being taught, they would. The reason they can't is because anyone objectively reviewing the evidence can only conclude that evolution is fact. As they found in the Dover trial et al.

          The persistent denial of the scientific method and the rejection of conclusions based on sound science is not smart. There is a mountain of evidence for evolution. You accept scientific method when it brings you vaccinations, satellite TV, GPS, internet, self-driving cars, etc.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • Alias

          Topher,
          Are you still claiming that we have to construct another Big Bang to prove one happened?
          And we have to evolve a species to prove evolution??

          May 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Alias

          "Are you still claiming that we have to construct another Big Bang to prove one happened?"

          No. We CAN'T do that. Thus it doesn't meet the scientific method.

          "And we have to evolve a species to prove evolution??"

          You certainly need SOME kind of evidence. Otherwise, you're taking it on faith. Which is fine if that's what you want to do, but don't go around calling it a fact. We don't see evolution happening. It supposedly takes billions of years or happened billions of years ago. You have zero physical evidence of a change in kinds. And then there's the biggest problem of it being biologically impossible. The evidence is staunchly against evolution.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • danab1234

          95-99% of scientists? It is more than that. No legitimate scientist can deny evolution.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          Well tranny, I believe you are dumb as a rock, so yeah I have religion, and my church is "The Church of What's Happening Now."

          May 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • kudlak

          noahsdadtopher
          The facts speak to a universe vastly older than 6000 years that never experienced a worldwide flood, for example. Belief in such things requires a faith that the facts are, somehow, false in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. If you can manage to convince yourself of that, then you live in a world where the word "fact" really doesn't mean anything at all, correct?

          May 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          danab1234

          "95-99% of scientists? It is more than that. No legitimate scientist can deny evolution."

          Logical fallacy. ... AND No True Scotsman. Hey, I got to use that one!

          May 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          kudlak

          "The facts speak to a universe vastly older than 6000 years that never experienced a worldwide flood, for example."

          Actually, the evidence for a worldwide flood are quite good. The "fact" is you and I have the same evidence. The difference is how you and I interpret that evidence. We both have a presupposition going into it that determines our conclusions. For instance, mine is that the Bible is true. Yours is that (and correct me if I'm wrong) there is no God and that billions of years and evolution is true. So I can take those same pieces of data and conclude the Earth IS quite young — 90-95 percent of dating methods actually point to a young Earth. It's just that if the article or textbook you are reading has a secular worldview, it's not going to report those things — only the ones that seem to agree with that worldview.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          If every cloud completely rained out, it would add less the 3 feet of water all over the earth. If the water came from within the earth, the laws of nature say that the resultant vacuum would immediately be filled by water flowing back in.

          The story of the Noah's ark may be one of the earliest works of science fiction.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "If every cloud completely rained out, it would add less the 3 feet of water all over the earth."

          So what? You're forgetting that the Bible tells us the water came from three sources, not just one. And the cloud thing is an atheist claim that is just ridiculous. As if there's a standard number of clouds and cloud mass. As if they aren't constantly changing.

          "If the water came from within the earth, the laws of nature say that the resultant vacuum would immediately be filled by water flowing back in."

          The oceans taking up two-thirds of the planet has something to do with this. And those oceans are DEEP.

          "The story of the Noah's ark may be one of the earliest works of science fiction."

          It's early, I'll grant you that. But science fiction? The evidence would suggest otherwise.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • believerfred

          noahsdadtopher
          I am not aware that 90-95% of dating methods point to the earth being less than 10,000 years old. Can you point me to a few. THanks

          May 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          You have dropped to a level beyond "idiot". You are redefining the stages of stupidity. A creepy coward.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          believerfred

          "I am not aware that 90-95% of dating methods point to the earth being less than 10,000 years old. Can you point me to a few. THanks"

          There are several articles online for specifics, but for instance these things point to a young earth ... the amount of salt in the sea, the depth of the silt on the ocean floor, the existence of blue stars, the distance of the moon from the earth, the existence of comets ....

          May 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          "And the cloud thing is an atheist claim that is just ridiculous."

          My source was a column written by the woman with the highest IQ in the world and she thoroughly researches.

          Now tell us what YOU think the correct number is and what your reliable source is.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • sam stone

          Evidence, gopher? How's that tailbone nowadays?

          May 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "My source was a column written by the woman with the highest IQ in the world and she thoroughly researches."

          Does this woman have a name? And if so, what is her worldview?

          "Now tell us what YOU think the correct number is and what your reliable source is."

          So you're telling me there's a set number of clouds across the globe?

          May 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          sam stone

          "Evidence, gopher? How's that tailbone nowadays?"

          You mean the coccyx? I suppose you're going to claim it's vestigial and that's it's a left-over from our time as apes. The problem is that it can't be vestigial because it has a use. It's vitally important in anchoring MANY muscles. If you deny this I'll be happy to find someone to fund removing yours as proof one way or the other.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • sam stone

          Please, professor gopher, tell us again how death is unnatural

          May 15, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Do you know of any evidence that conforms with the scientific method (testable, repeatable, demonstrable)?"

          Yes. Short of getting out my biology textbooks spending hours reading them to you, here is an easy link to the mountains of evidence: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/search/topicbrowse2.php?topic_id=46

          I myself am not a scientist so I have not done the tests or dug up and examined the fossils myself, but I do trust the vast majority of the scientific community whose job it is for I don't believe they have any reason to lie about their findings. Their work is under constant scrutiny and many of them are religious so they would love to find some evidence that we didn't evolve and we just got here magically as the bible proposes. Sadly for the fundamentalist scientists the evidence contradicts every aspect of their delusional fantasy so they have to invent new blatantly false terminologies like "Historical Science" which is why they are so few in number.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topherism is a condition that allows a person to reject all knowledge that does not agree with that persons a priori beliefs. (also known as (Philioidiotism). The sad part is Topher is going to pass on his delusions to his children and also attempt to screw up other peoples children with his absurd beliefs. This fool is a danger to society having broken all ten commandments in his book of silly. Why he is loose in society is a mystery/miracle!!!!

          May 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher

          Her name is Marilyn vos Savant and she writes for Parade Magazine. I'm not surprised you haven't heard of her.

          We are talking about an AVERAGE. Maybe it's TWICE as high. You know, like SIX FEET. That should flood the mountain tops, right?

          GET REAL.

          So what is the CORRECT number? Still waiting.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Speaking of ocean salinity levels – how is it that there is fresh water on the Earth?
          If the oceans flooded the entire planet and mixed with whatever fresh water there was 4,000 years ago, all that fresh water would become salinated.
          The Nile river wouldn't have been able to support ancient Egyptian agriculture, thus they wouldn't have built the pyramids, therefore they wouldn't have taken Jews as slaves – thus Exodus cannot possibly be accurate

          May 15, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "Her name is Marilyn vos Savant and she writes for Parade Magazine. I'm not surprised you haven't heard of her."

          So her worldview is ... ? And Parade Magazine? Really?

          "So what is the CORRECT number? Still waiting."

          Correct number of what?

          May 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          She has the HIGHEST IQ in the world. How is yours doing?

          It is really sad that you think that TRUTH depends on the messenger. Her world view is one of INTELLIGENCE. Why not try it?

          So what is the CORRECT number of feet of water that the earth will covered by if all the clouds rain out? Still waiting.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "It is really sad that you think that TRUTH depends on the messenger. Her world view is one of INTELLIGENCE. Why not try it?"

          Truth doesn't depend on the messenger. But her worldview will bear her out if she says she knows such a thing.

          "So what is the CORRECT number of feet of water that the earth will covered by if all the clouds rain out? Still waiting."

          Your question is a straw man. How many clouds are there in the atmosphere right now? And how many in 10 minutes? An hour? Tomorrow?

          May 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          go to talkorigins.org
          The evidence for evolution has been presented to you time and again topher. You're just to intellectually dishonest to ever actually admit to it. Just like slavery being advocated in the bible.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          You are the one who made a fool of himself by insisting that she is wrong.

          So tell us the REAL NUMBER?

          STUMPED AGAIN?

          May 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          hawaiiguest

          "The evidence for evolution has been presented to you time and again topher. You're just to intellectually dishonest to ever actually admit to it. Just like slavery being advocated in the bible."

          You obviously believe in it. So what's your favorite? Fruit flies becoming fruit flies? Perhaps finches that became finches. Or the stickleback that are still stickleback? Don't give me a link. Give me your thoughts.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • samsstones

          The typical cowardly answer of Topher..."Correct number of what?" as if he is too stupid to follow the thread, oh wait....

          May 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          observer

          "So tell us the REAL NUMBER?"

          Still a straw man. Tell me how many clouds are in the sky. You claim to have a source who knows this. So let's hear it. I have no idea how many clouds there are out there right now.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          Once again you completely avoid actually responding to anything within the post. You don't understand what evolution is, or what the model states. You build straw men, you ignore evidence, and you completely avoid any point made. I gave you a link because no matter what anyone here says, you will dodge. If I gave you a specific study, you would ask for a link. If I gave you something general, you would ask for specific studies. Don't pretend that you're being reasonable topher, because you never have been on this forum.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          hawaiiguest

          "Once again you completely avoid actually responding to anything within the post."

          You mean like you're doing right now?

          "You don't understand what evolution is, or what the model states."

          Sure I do. Darwinian evolution says that one creature, given enough time, will become a completely different creature. We've never observed this nor do we have evidence it ever happened in the past. And once again there's that pesky science saying it's biologically impossible for a cow to become a whale.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          I believe every one that responds to you think you are trash. You are simply a born again fundie jesus freaking nutter that has lost all ability to reason in a logical manner. I feel so sorry for your children.

          May 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones

          "I believe every one that responds to you think you are trash."

          Well, I'm sorry YOU feel that way.

          "You are simply a born again fundie jesus freaking... "

          All true ...

          "nutter ..."

          Says you ...

          "that has lost all ability to reason in a logical manner."

          Says the guy using logical fallacies to support his argument.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          1) Even saying "Darwinian evolution" is a misnomer. We have built upon darwins ideas and moved far past them. Using this term merely illustrates my earlier point that you have no concept of what the evolutionary model states.

          2) Limiting the evolutionary model to big changes is a common tactic from those who wish to discredit evolution. The evolutionary model merely states that, from generation to generation, random mutations occur. Those mutations are acted upon by the environment, and either becomes more prevalent through gene transfer (i.e. reproduction of the organism) or is selected against and does not continue on.

          3) Assuming that you've actually understood the last point, the mutations can either cause a change in the phenotype or not, depending on the mutation.

          4) Given enough time, speciation occurs. Animals that may have been the same species that became seperated geographically will either adapt or die to their environments. Eventually they will change so much that they can no longer interbreed successfully.

          That is evolution topher. That is what has been proposed to you and is proven through the scientific method. Using your pathetic "fruit flies to fruit flies" bull proves what I said earlier. You have absolutely no concept of what the evolutionary model actually states.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          Oh dear, what fallacy have I used, read the thread the only comments I have made is that you are borderline crazy and are a danger to your children and other peoples children. You are so deluded that you really believe that you have broken all ten commandments in your book of silly and are still walking around as a freeman in society when you should be incarcerated.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        • Madtown

          Says the guy using logical fallacies to support his argument.
          ----–
          There is no sitcom on tv right now more entertaining than the Belief Blog.
          #dumbpeoplearefunny

          May 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • believerfred

          noahsdadtopher
          The only thing I can find biblically that points to a young earth requires one to assume all descendants of Adam and Eve are listed. This is not case given the Hebrew word for "Sons of" can mean successors or nations. I see no need to date the time of say Noah based on assumed age of listed descendants. Do you?
          If the Bible said the earth was 6,824 years old I would force the science to fit the Bible but it does not. I see no need to do this.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          hawaiiguest

          "1) Even saying "Darwinian evolution" is a misnomer. We have built upon darwins ideas and moved far past them. Using this term merely illustrates my earlier point that you have no concept of what the evolutionary model states."

          This is the same term Richard Dawkins uses. Are you saying he has no concept either?

          "2) Limiting the evolutionary model to big changes is a common tactic from those who wish to discredit evolution. The evolutionary model merely states that, from generation to generation, random mutations occur. Those mutations are acted upon by the environment, and either becomes more prevalent through gene transfer (i.e. reproduction of the organism) or is selected against and does not continue on."

          Of course there are small changes. That's micro-evolution. But those changes are limited to that creature's genetic information and will never add up and create something completely different. "Selected against" is appropriate because this is nothing more than natural selection. Do the finches' beaks change, grow and lessen? Yes. But they are always still finches.

          "3) Assuming that you've actually understood the last point, the mutations can either cause a change in the phenotype or not, depending on the mutation."

          There's no change in kind. Thus it's NOT evolution.

          "4) Given enough time, speciation occurs. Animals that may have been the same species that became seperated geographically will either adapt or die to their environments. Eventually they will change so much that they can no longer interbreed successfully."

          There's a type of bird that's often used as an example for this. Forgive me in that I don't remember which one. But the fact is, the end result is still a bird. It didn't change kinds. It's like the fruit flies that are bred until they no longer have wings. Sure, they look different. But they're still fruit flies. It's NOT evolution.

          "That is evolution topher. That is what has been proposed to you and is proven through the scientific method."

          You've proven natural selection or micro-evolution. Sure. But not macro-evolution (Darwinian).

          "Using your pathetic "fruit flies to fruit flies" bull proves what I said earlier. You have absolutely no concept of what the evolutionary model actually states."

          I think I just proved I actually do know. And you haven't proven (macro) evolution.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @fred

          A blatant admission that you would use your bias to force evidence to come to the conclusion you want? Amazing that you would readily admit that.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          believerfred

          "The only thing I can find biblically that points to a young earth requires one to assume all descendants of Adam and Eve are listed."

          Do you have a good reason to believe they aren't? Do you know how important genealogies are to the Jewish people? Not only that, but Christ taught that the entire OT was true. Be careful not to call God a liar.

          Do you believe in millions and billions of years? Was there death before sin?

          "This is not case given the Hebrew word for "Sons of" can mean successors or nations. I see no need to date the time of say Noah based on assumed age of listed descendants. Do you?"

          Yes, I do.

          "If the Bible said the earth was 6,824 years old I would force the science to fit the Bible but it does not. I see no need to do this."

          The Bible never explicitly states the age of the earth. If it did it would immediately be outdated.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • samsstones

          freddy
          You have to understand what a hypocrite Topher is. He has no problem dishing out his garbage religious tracts to other peoples children. When it comes to his kids, "Unless they are born again Christians who holds the bible to be 100% god's inerrant, infallible word, I don't want them anywhere near teaching my children." Topher is a disgusting pile.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          samsstones (or sam stone, whichever one you are)

          You're my favorite heckler.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          Micro and macro evolution distinction is a red herring. There is no difference. Change is change.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • Madtown

          Christ taught that the entire OT was true. Be careful not to call God a liar.
          -----
          No worries, God didn't write the OT, so doubtful he'd be offended.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          hawaiiguest

          "Micro and macro evolution distinction is a red herring. There is no difference. Change is change."

          Yeah, but there's a major difference. Macro evolution says there's limitations based on the animal's biology. Macro says there's no limitations. Science says there's limitations. A cow only has the biological capability of creating another cow — which of course is what we observe. The cow does not of the genetic option to develop a blow-hole or fins and become a whale.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          Are you seriously saying that, in your view, "macro-evolution" states that a cow would give birth to some completely different species in a single generation?

          May 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          topher, In addition to the links you have been provided multiple times, read, for example "Your Inner Fish" by Neil Shubin. There is evidence in the DNA, fossils, and the experiments.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • samsstones

          Topher
          Mutual admiration perhaps. You are my favorite target of ignorance bred from believing so much disinformation taken from fundie and apologists sites. The amount of lies and bad science the likes of you can absorb without actually researching the knowledge that is available is astounding. Blindly ignorant, you are pathetic but quit spreading your delusion to other peoples children, creep.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          topher. Micro-evolution over millions of years IS macro-evolution. As you disagree with the latter – what mechanism prevents micro becoming macro?

          May 15, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          hawaiiguest

          "Are you seriously saying that, in your view, "macro-evolution" states that a cow would give birth to some completely different species in a single generation?"

          No. I'm saying that the variabilities are limited. So that even over a very long period of time the result will still be a cow. I might look completely different from the original, but it will still be a cow. A horse does not have it in its genetics to grow cow-like ut.ters. Let's say we are able to take a newborn calf and docu.ment its changes from the parents. And then that cow's calf and so-on. The changes may make it have longer or shorter hair, different color or color patterns, different or no horns, height, width, etc. But the changes will never ever mount up and make the cow have non-cow characteristics.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          In Santa We Trust

          " In addition to the links you have been provided multiple times, read, for example "Your Inner Fish" by Neil Shubin. There is evidence in the DNA, fossils, and the experiments."

          Is this the whole "human embryos have gills" thing? If so, this was proven false in the mid-1800s.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          In Santa We Trust

          "Micro-evolution over millions of years IS macro-evolution. As you disagree with the latter – what mechanism prevents micro becoming macro?"

          Not if the thing remains what it originally was. If that's the case, it's just a long period of micro. Genetics. Biology. All-known science. We've NEVER observed one creature becoming a completely different creature. As with Darwin's finches ... yes, their beaks are different sizes and we observe them increasing and decreasing ... but they are still finches. Micro, but not macro.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          And yet, we see that exact thing happening in the fossil record. But then again, you're on of those young earthers, so i'm not really sure why I'm bothering to try and get you to see sense.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          hawaiiguest

          "And yet, we see that exact thing happening in the fossil record."

          For instance?

          May 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          You asked for fossils – try this. There are many more
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils

          May 15, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          Once again, go to talkorigins.org
          I'm not a scientist, so I can only tell you so much. I've given you what evolution actually states. If you want the specific fossils, dates, and names, then you'll have to do your own research.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          It's much more than that. DNA wasn't discovered until the 1950's so another red herring from you about the 1800's.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          In Santa We Trust

          So what you have are some dead things that look similar. So what? All fossils prove is something died. You can't even prove from the fossil that it had offspring, let alone that offspring was different from the original.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Small changes between each generation over millions of years would equal big changes. What are you saying prevents that?

          May 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          So it's all a conspiracy to trick us? DNA, fossils, dating techniques, etc. etc.? Yet you accept the science that suits you. Funny how that works.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          In Santa We Trust

          "It's much more than that. DNA wasn't discovered until the 1950's so another red herring from you about the 1800's."

          DNA has nothing to do with it. It has everything to do with knowing what those "slits" are (simply folds that develop into features we still have as full grown adults) and that the guy who came up with it admitted his drawings were made up. Not a "red herring" at all.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • believerfred

          noahsdadtopher

          "Do you have a good reason to believe they aren't?"
          =>Yes, Matthew, and Luke wrote different accounts of linage of Jesus to appeal to two different audiences. Matthew writing to the Jews began with Abraham while Luke writing to all began with Adam. Moses was establishing the account of where nations came from out of his family.

          "Do you know how important genealogies are to the Jewish people?"
          =>Yes, that is why all extant records were destroyed in 70AD. The importance of bringing forward the word of God came after Exodus and we are speaking about the oral traditions recorded by Moses.

          "Not only that, but Christ taught that the entire OT was true. Be careful not to call God a liar."
          =>No, Jesus taught that the law of the prophets was true not the interpretation of the Scribes and Pharisees. He was saying the Word of God stands (laws and commandments) and will be fulfilled completely. The Word of God makes no mention of the age of our earth or universe. We are doing exactly what Jesus warned us not to do when we claim the Bible gives us a young earth.

          "Do you believe in millions and billions of years? Was there death before sin?"
          =>Based on known natural laws and assuming they are constant over the period in question I accept the current consensus for the age of the universe and age of the earth.
          When you speak of death relative to sin I assume you refer to the biblical separation of the relationship between man and God. If you are asking was natural selection in place before Adam and Eve ate the apple the Bible does not say. My guess is that it was around long before and does not conflict with the Bible.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          In Santa We Trust

          "Small changes between each generation over millions of years would equal big changes. What are you saying prevents that?"

          Genetics. For instance, and I understand this is almost TOO simple, but let's go with hair. Father cow was black and white (your standard holstein) and momma cow was all brown. So baby cow's genetic possibilities include 3 colors or a combination of those colors and markings. No where in her genetics is the ability to have blue hair. No matter how many times she and her offspring are mated will the changes morph into new information to have blue hair. In fact, all we do observe is the loss of information. So for instance, let's say she grows up and mates with only brown cows and her offspring brown cows ... eventually, the genetic line is going to lose the information for black and white. Or let's say she's 100 percent holstein ... she will NEVER have great-great-great-grand calf that's a black angus unless you introduce black angus information. And even if you did that, it wouldn't be evolution, it would be natural selection.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          It's been a few years since I read it so I can't easily summarize, but it is nothing to do with Haeckel apart from using some names that Haeckel did. As you demand so much evidence for the science that disproves your bible, how did you ever accept the bible – there is no evidence for the majority of it and only evidence against the foundational parts.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          In Santa We Trust

          "So it's all a conspiracy to trick us? DNA, fossils, dating techniques, etc. etc.? Yet you accept the science that suits you. Funny how that works."

          I'm sure for some people it is a blatant lie, but not in general. I don't necessarily believe it's a conspiracy. I think you are just keeping true to your worldview. You don't believe that God is true, so anything that would point to a young-earth, for instance, you throw it out as anomolous data. Yes, I tend to do the same thing, but again, we both have worldviews and presuppositions that go into how we interpret the same data.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          Genetics is anything but simple.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • kudlak

          noahsdadtopher
          I don't presuppose that there is no God. The evidence, however, leads me to that conclusion. Same for evolution and the age of the world. My only presupposition is that the evidence actually points to what it points to. I suppose you can call that having a "secular world view".

          "The oceans taking up two-thirds of the planet has something to do with this. And those oceans are DEEP."
          And the continents are also HIGH and, since you apparently don't believe in a geological age long enough to raise mountains, that still doesn't leave you with enough water to completely cover the world. Besides, you would still need oceans in order for ocean creatures to live prior to your presupposed flood, correct?

          Observer is correct, if water came from inside the planet then what's taking that space now? Maybe you believe in some hidden world under the crust, complete with dinosaurs the size of bees and bees the size of dinosaurs?

          May 15, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          believerfred

          "Yes, Matthew, and Luke wrote different accounts of linage of Jesus to appeal to two different audiences."

          No, those lineages ... one is Mary's and one is Joseph's.

          "No, Jesus taught that the law of the prophets was true not the interpretation of the Scribes and Pharisees. He was saying the Word of God stands (laws and commandments) and will be fulfilled completely."

          How many times did Jesus ask, "have you not read ..." He taught it as completely true.

          "The Word of God makes no mention of the age of our earth or universe. We are doing exactly what Jesus warned us not to do when we claim the Bible gives us a young earth."

          I agree it doesn't say specifically, but it's pretty clear how old it is by the text.

          "When you speak of death relative to sin I assume you refer to the biblical separation of the relationship between man and God."

          My point was that when God finished the Creation, He said it was "good." Hard to call death, disease and suffering "good." There was NO death before sin.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          kudlak

          "And the continents are also HIGH and, since you apparently don't believe in a geological age long enough to raise mountains, that still doesn't leave you with enough water to completely cover the world. Besides, you would still need oceans in order for ocean creatures to live prior to your presupposed flood, correct?"

          The mountains would have been created during the flood. A worldview flood would have absolutely catastrophic, including to the tectonic plates. And the depths of the oceans would have greatly increased because of the water coming from below the crust. For instance, the Great Rift Valley.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • sam stone

          samstones: yep, one day noah will ask gopher why his head is so full of crap, and gopher will hold up the bible and say"it's god's will"

          May 15, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • believerfred

          hawaiiguest
          "A blatant admission that you would use your bias to force evidence to come to the conclusion you want?"
          =>Science tells us it took billions of years to get to Adam and Eve and the Bible says 6 days. On a theological standpoint I understand the 6 days of creation for what they are as well as the day of rest.
          Verse 1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.....................Verse 2 The earth was formless and empty darkness was over the surface of the waters. =>there is plenty of room between these two verses if one is concerned about the billions of years between singularity and some very important words. "let there be light and there was light .....he separated the light from the darkness" => bingo the purpose of creation was separation of light and darkness (good and evil) as the Bible is the plan of salvation from the empty darkness of death

          My "bias" has not changed the Bible or Science as both deal with matters that are important to all of us.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • sam stone

          "death is unnatural" – gopher

          does anything else need to be said?

          May 15, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @fred

          "If the Bible said the earth was 6,824 years old I would force the science to fit the Bible but it does not. I see no need to do this."
          You said this. Your entire post is merely a deflection. You have exposed that you don't care what evidence says, only what you interpret the bible to say, and that you will do whatever you need to to preserve that presupposition.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • believerfred

          samstone
          I do not get that sense of topher at all. I think his son has a great dad and a good chance of seeing life in all its wonder. By this I mean he can experience the wonder of Christlikeness through a godly family and the full frontal assault of the world that has turned away from God. He will have an uphill battle in school and college as to Love God and love your neighbor will continue to be under great attack.
          History has great way of revealing our nature. The religious once stoned those who would claim the earth was round and today it is the secular who stone Christians that attempt to teach the way of the Lord

          May 15, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @fred

          Get off your damn persecution complex bullshit. Here's a tip, people finally saying that christians aren't allowed to force their religion on others and discriminate isn't persecution.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Thank you, Fred.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...today it is the secular who stone Christians that attempt to teach the way of the Lord "
          Certainly not in the United States, fred. And in case you meant that metaphorically, then it would be contemporary Christians who are still doing the stone slinging.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • kudlak

          noahsdadtopher
          No mountains prior to the flood?
          19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. Genesis 7:19-20

          Might I suggest reading your Bible first?

          May 15, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          kudlak

          Perhaps I should be clearer if only so you don't try for rabbit trails. The current mountain ranges were formed during the flood.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          Ignoring my posts again? How like you.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • kudlak

          sam stone
          Supposedly, being around the magical Tree of Life in the Garden would have keep people (and animals) immortal. Maybe it's what's keeping God alive too?

          May 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          hawaiiguest

          "Ignoring my posts again? How like you."

          Uhh ... I don't think so. Which did I miss?

          May 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
        • kudlak

          noahsdadtopher
          How's it possible for the same world-wide flood to simultaneously erode all existing mountains while forming others? Wouldn't it just level everything?

          Gen 8:9 states "But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark." and then, by verse 14 it states "By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry."
          Well, where did all the water go, and why is it that we have oceans today?

          May 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          1) Where I told you, once again, to go to talkorigins.org
          2) Where I pointed out that genetics is anything but simple.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          You said "And the cloud thing is an atheist claim that is just ridiculous."

          So what is the correct answer?

          You claim it is wrong and yet you don't have a CLUE what the answer is.

          Classic!

          May 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          kudlak

          "How's it possible for the same world-wide flood to simultaneously erode all existing mountains while forming others? Wouldn't it just level everything?"

          Do you know of a verse that says they were all eroded? And I think catastrophism caused by crust erupting, being pushed around, earthquakes would have done a LOT of mountain creating. And let's not forget the erosion caused by the runoff. Grand Canyon, anyone?

          "Well, where did all the water go, and why is it that we have oceans today?"

          The "earth" as in the "land" dried out. The water went into the oceans and lakes and seas we have today.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @topher

          No science backs up the bible's world wide flood claim. You pointing to landmarks that we know of, and proposing that the flood did it when we know what actually formed them is ridiculous.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • believerfred

          hawaiiguest
          no, I am saying if the Bible said the earth was 6,894 years old I would believe the 5% of scientists that hang onto various young earth positions. The Divine nature of the Bible is that it gives no date certain.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • observer

          noahsdadtopher,

          Water rose THOUSANDS of feet above sea level and then just went into the seas. So the seas went into themselves and so dropped HOUSANDS of feet.

          You are a riot.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • observer

          typo: should be THOUSANDS

          May 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher

          hawaiiguest

          "No science backs up the bible's world wide flood claim."

          That's not true. There's a LOT of evidence for the global flood.

          "You pointing to landmarks that we know of, and proposing that the flood did it when we know what actually formed them is ridiculous."

          You THINK you know how it formed, but even secular scientists know there's a problem with their own theory.

          May 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Noahsdadtopher,
          “Do you know of any evidence [for evolution] that conforms with the scientific method (testable, repeatable, demonstrable)?”
          – topher May 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
          “Actually, the evidence for a worldwide flood are quite good. “
          – topher May 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm |

          Is there a double standard here? Or have you repeated a worldwide flood recently?

          May 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • sam stone

          really, fred? denying others their civil rights is christlikeness?

          May 15, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • believerfred

          sam stone
          Christlikeness leans towards a broken heart over all the pain brought about by sin in this world. Christ died so ALL could experience the wonder that is God. Everyone is given the gift of eternal life some choose not to accept it.
          Civil rights are given by men while freedom is only found in Christ. All have sinned and fall short. We are all equal opportunity sinners.

          May 15, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @fred

          So now you're changing what you said to avoid being called on it. How typical.

          @topher

          Bull. You have given absolutely 0 evidence for a global flood, and in proposing that, you completely discount all geological evidence that we have, not to mention physics. Oh wait I forgot, magic man done it. Easy to assume your right when you propose magics.

          May 15, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          You bet. There are mountains of evidence.

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW9G2YVtBYc&w=640&h=360]

          May 15, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
        • believerfred

          hawaiiguest
          Using a microscope please explain the difference between these two posts:
          " no, I am saying if the Bible said the earth was 6,894 years old I would believe the 5% of scientists that hang onto various young earth positions."
          ""If the Bible said the earth was 6,824 years old I would force the science to fit the Bible but it does not. I see no need to do this."

          May 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @fred

          Are you that disingenuous? Do you really not see the difference between saying "I'll believe the 5%" and "I would force the science to fit the bible"?

          May 15, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • believerfred

          hawaiiguest
          Actually if you take all the various fields of science together a supernatural event is the only realistic conclusion. Yes, that is squeezing science to agree with a 6,984 year old earth because I would need to pick and choose out of each.

          May 15, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
        • Madtown

          Christ died so ALL could experience the wonder that is God.
          ----
          How are you defining "ALL"? All of humanity? Or all of the humans who think along the same lines as you, and happen to have access to your preferred version of man-made religion? God has created many humans today, that will go their entire lives never even hearing the name Christ. Why would that be the case if Christ is truly for ALL?

          May 15, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • Doris

          OK, although I don't agree with fred on divine morality and sin, I'm gonna go ahead and give him 1/4 point for "Christlikeness".

          May 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
        • believerfred

          Everyone that could possibly make a decision for Christ is given the best possible chance to make the right choice. The rest will reject God directly. An atheist born in the jungle of Africa rejects God as does an atheist in New York. I don't hear about to many atheists in Iran.
          The assumption is that the plan of salvation creates the best possible way to redeem the maximum amount of souls with the least amount of suffering. In short God has it all mapped out and has capacity to anything.

          May 15, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • believerfred

          Jesus said:"How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling."
          This theme of the greatest of Angelic being and man rejecting Gods desire for them runs throughout the Bible. God trying to save the lost. Certainly if God is God he could at the blink of an eye do anything. This tells me seeking and striving after the way or desires of God for our life is the key. The seeking must come from a place in the soul that wants the way Jesus made clear.
          So what about the person that just happens do all the loving things Jesus mentioned yet never was exposed to the theology. The Bible says the Good Shepherd will leave all the others and go find the lost one.

          May 15, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
        • Madtown

          An atheist born in the jungle of Africa rejects God
          ---
          First, how do you think you know all of this for certain? Second, what about a spiritual individual born into the African jungle? He may believe fully in God(as he believes God to be), be very spiritual, and seek God earnestly. He still doesn't have any concept of the existence of christianity! How on earth can someone reject a thing, when they have NO KNOWLEDGE of that thing? Seems as though you make the classic mistake of believing there's only 1 way of thinking about God......your way. When you hear "God", you think "christian God". There are many more ways of thinking of God than just 1.

          May 15, 2014 at 11:05 pm |
        • hawaiiguest

          @fred

          Good job in not actually addressing my post at all. Still just as disingenuous as ever.

          May 15, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • Madtown

          The Bible says the Good Shepherd will leave all the others and go find the lost one.
          --–
          Well, that is awesome! However, you must realize that the bible is 100% irrelevant to anyone who has no knowledge that the bible even exists. Turn the whole scenario on it's head: what if God actually gave the "real religion" to a different culture than you have contact with, and you have no knowledge of this real religion. Why couldn't this be the case? It's exactly what you want to impose on other humans in this world with no knowledge of christianity.

          May 15, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
        • believerfred

          Madtown

          "First, how do you think you know all of this for certain?"
          =>For some unknown reason Jesus began to show me that His words are trustworthy without fail. I have no reason to doubt.
          "Second, what about a spiritual individual born into the African jungle?"
          =>Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me. I am the Good Shepherd and my sheep know my voice. Jesus has not lost one of His sheep (except Judas). Their was no indication that the criminal on the cross with Christ was Christian all we know is that he said "we deserve this yet you are innocent, remember me" Jesus said: "today you will be with me in paradise". In short if you are lost for what ever reason the Good Shepherd will call you and lead you back.

          "Seems as though you make the classic mistake of believing there's only 1 way of thinking about God......your way."
          =>No, God is much greater than any can imagine. In Jesus we see the Radiance of the Glory. God reveals himself through man. Jesus said to the religious ones that knew the way that they will be surprised when he says depart from me for I knew you not. Then his disciples asked then who can enter the kingdom "for when I was hungry you fed me, when I was sick you cared for me, when I thirsty you gave me water, when I was in prison you came to vist.......but we did not do these things......to which Jesus replied; when you do this for the least of these you do it to me"
          Exactly what is so hard about the way?

          "When you hear "God", you think "christian God". There are many more ways of thinking of God than just 1."
          =>No, there is no Christian God only God who said to Moses tell them "I AM" sent you. Jesus said I AM the way. The way is God. Spinoza was onto something when he gave an excellent proof for God as he got the "IAM" part without knowing it, but he did not know God and further rejected all anthropomorphisms. Just as with Moses God reveals himself to the extent a person is willing and capable of being in the presence of God. It is a very fearful presence due to the intensity of Holiness not in any negative connotation. There are as many ways of thinking about God as there are people yet God simply is.

          May 16, 2014 at 2:31 am |
        • believerfred

          hawaiiguest
          Sorry, I don't know how many more ways to say rejecting the consensus of the scientific community and accepting a highly unlikely possibility is stretching science to fit my belief.
          It certainly is not disingenuous, however does present poor communication skills.

          May 16, 2014 at 2:42 am |
        • believerfred

          Madtown
          " what if God actually gave the "real religion" to a different culture than you have contact with"
          =>Then I will still be in good company with Jesus. Actually it is only in Jesus that I have any hope because I would be consumed by the holiness, a burning holiness if I were not "in Christ".

          May 16, 2014 at 2:56 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "Jesus began to show me"

          fred doesn't know why, but the creator of the universe thinks he's special and has come knocking on his brain instead of the other 6 billion people, likely because they are brown or just happened to be born in countries that the Christian God has trouble traveling to. Maybe his plane just can't make it across oceans...

          The fact is, flood geology contradicts the scientific consensus in geology, paleontology, physics, geophysics and stratigraphy, and the scientific community considers it to be pseudoscience. Topher and fred don't care about that because they really really want the bible to be true because it has promised them all sorts of awesome stuff like eternal bliss for them and their families if they just keep hanging onto the thread of faith. They also want it to be true because they have interpreted "Gods Will" as whatever they and their fellows want since God hasn't weighed in on shlt for two thousand years. It's funny how their will and "Gods Will" are interchangeable.

          Global flood didn't happen as proven by geology and the only way around it is to invent a false term "Historical Science" which if used in any university science department will get you thrown out on your ear. Our DNA proves we did not descend from a single pair of pre made humans and in fact according to our DNA we as a species have gotten down to no fewer than a few thousand anytime in the last 100,000 years. Our DNA proves humans interbred with neanderthals and denisovians, two other related hominid species proving we were not the only competing biped, we just happened to win out.

          The only way around any of this evidence that completely shoots down Genesis is the claim that their God can suspend physics and breaks all his own rules to accomplish his goals and one of those goals apparently is fooling humans by placing false evidence or erasing any evidence of his own so no one can ever prove he was involved, which makes no sense.

          If there was any sort of active supernatural force happening we would be able to detect it. We are able to detect planets in far away star systems because we can measure the effects these bodies have on the universe. We have never found any evidence of anything supernatural, ever. You would think that those who pray to the "correct" God would have a slightly higher statistical rate of the individual feeling as though the prayer was answered. The facts show that whether you pray to Allah, Jesus, Zeus, Vishnu or even Satan, you get the exact same statistical rate of answered prayers. Statistics would have proven by now which religion is the "correct" religion if there were any supernatural powers being used to aid them. It just makes no sense to put your trust in sad ancient myths instead of embracing education and the possible future we could make if we all supported science and technology to launch us into the next century. Instead most religious just complain about how the world is getting worse but they have the answer, that's right, their God will come and smite anyone they dislike and deliver them unto paradise. They have absolutely no investment in the planets future.

          May 16, 2014 at 3:10 am |
        • sam stone

          "In humans and other tailless primates (e.g., great apes) since Nacholapithecus (a Miocene hominoid),[5][6] the coccyx is the remnant of a vestigial tail, but still not entirely useless;[7] it is an important attachment for various muscles, tendons and ligaments—which makes it necessary for physicians and patients to pay special attention to these attachments when considering surgical removal of the coccyx.[8] Additionally, it is also a part of the weight-bearing tripod structure which acts as a support for a sitting person. When a person sits leaning forward, the ischial tuberosities and inferior rami of the ischium take most of the weight, but as the sitting person leans backward, more weight is transferred to the coccyx.[8]"

          this is about the coccyx, topher

          May 16, 2014 at 6:29 am |
        • sam stone

          "Civil rights are given by men while freedom is only found in Christ. All have sinned and fall short. We are all equal opportunity sinners."

          Blah, blah, fvcking blah.

          Sin is a religious concept that only applies to the members of the religion

          Also, great way of not answering the question.....how is denying equal rights christlike?

          May 16, 2014 at 6:35 am |
        • sam stone

          topher, that quote was from wikipedia

          regarding the "everything taught as fact is not necessarily fact" line (may not be exact, sue me)

          perhaps you should keep that in mind when you start speaking of the bible stories as if they were fact

          May 16, 2014 at 6:41 am |
        • Madtown

          No, there is no Christian God only God who said to Moses tell them "I AM" sent you. Jesus said I AM the way
          ---------–
          Extreme face-palm. Again, you make the point Fred, to you there's only 1 way of seeing God. Interestingly, others in different religions feel the same way about their belief system, and this is the reason for this article, and the other article about the woman sentenced to death for stepping away from Islam. People born in Egypt think their preferred way is "correct", and yours is incorrect. This is the reason religion is such a divisive force.

          "Jesus said I AM the way"....how is Jesus "the way" for humans with no knowledge of him? How many HUMAN BEINGS will God create today that will never hear the name Jesus?

          May 16, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • kudlak

          noahsdadtopher
          And I think any catastrophism that caused the crust to erupt would hurl rocks down upon poor Noah, if he managed to survive being poached by the superheated water, that is.

          But you believe in the Bible, so anything must seem possible to you.

          May 16, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • believerfred

          sam stone
          "everything taught as fact is not necessarily fact"
          =>Those who reject absolutes realize that all notion of truth is not truth at all except for those who choose to think it is true and only for a period of time. Based on all recorded history of science, scientific facts are simply a consensus at a point in time. That is true is it not?
          The Word of God is absolute truth and God never changes because God is complete in all ways given an eternal nature.

          May 16, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • believerfred

          Madtown

          "Fred, to you there's only 1 way of seeing God. Interestingly, others in different religions feel the same way"
          =>One more time we all see God differently tell me what you see.
          =>Isaiah presented a vision of God as have others and they are not exact duplicates. With the exception of Isaiah I do not see a vision or physical description of Jesus in the Bible. This happens to be one of the reasons I find the Bible to contain the word of God because all other holy books get this aspect of God wrong. There is absolutely no way for me to know how God is revealed to others yet I can read and hear about their accounts. On feature of the God of Abraham as presented by Moses is that of a personal God who wants to bless creation. No two personal relationships with God are alike.
          Muslims, Christians and Jews see some very distinct differences in Jesus (Christ), the Spirit of God and the Father. We are speaking about God who is regardless of attempts to define personal experiences and beliefs that are personal and varied. It is difficult enough to describe the 3 persons of the God head to those who believe and understand the trinity yet alone those who reject trinity or any components. These problems have to do with the fallen world not God.

          "Jesus said I AM the way"....how is Jesus "the way" for humans with no knowledge of him?"
          =>It was his sacrifice on the cross when the curtain was torn that opened "the way" which is that personal relationship with God. Prior to that religious "Priests" controlled access to God. The only thing that blocks "the way" to a personal relationship with God is you.

          "How many HUMAN BEINGS will God create today that will never hear the name Jesus?"
          =>The plan of creation continues until the last possible soul that can be redeemed is redeemed.

          May 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • believerfred

          sam stone
          "Sin is a religious concept that only applies to the members of the religion"
          =>Sin is an offense against God. Your opinion of God does not change the offense. Even if there is no God or simply the God of Spinoza you have offended the one believed in by others and perhaps loved by others. Common decency would suggest you not stick it in their face. Then again common decency is relative. How is it that does not bother the godless?

          "Also, great way of not answering the question.....how is denying equal rights christlike?"
          =>Since we cleared up slavery and the issue of women in the Bible I assume you want to address gay marriage? Why do you deny the civil rights of those under 18 or second cousins, polygamists, sisters, brothers, etc. etc.

          May 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
      • Salero21

        Did you actually observed it happening or are you just parroting without the Evidence in hand?

        May 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Observe it yourself – http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/home.php

          May 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • kudlak

          Salero21
          Do we need to actually observe someone committing a crime to have evidence that they did it?

          May 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • danab1234

          Please don't reproduce.

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

          May 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          Salero says:"Evidence in hand." This guy always has his hands in his pockets playing with the "evidence." He hasn't lost a home game yet. A real winner.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  8. pandeist

    No person has ever been oppressed or attacked in the name of Pandeism - so if your measure of truth in a faith is how blood-clean its hands our, here is your highest truth, in Pandeism. Which, coincidentally, is the theological model which most parsimoniously fuilly accounts for all of the claims of all of the theistic faiths (which have failed to bring peace or universality) while not contradicting any scientific knowledge. At the very least, consider giving Pandeism a fair shake for a fair amount of time.....

    May 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
  9. danab1234

    Is there anyone who lives indoors who honestly still believes in this religious nonsense?

    May 15, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Everyone has the right to believe or not to believe as they choose. They just don't get to force that belief on others.

      May 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
      • bspurloc

        maybe someday the GOP will comprehend this and stop trying to force their "christian values" on everyone the very ones they themselves dont abide by.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Everyone has a right to their own opinions, not their own facts. You cannot teach in our public schools that the earth is flat since that is contrary to ALL available evidence. You cannot teach in schools that people of darker skin colors are not humans and thus not deserving of human rights since that is contrary to ALL available evidence. You shouldn't be able to teach in schools that the earth is only 9000 years old and that humans came from a pre-made pair of humans who had 800 year life spans since that is contrary to ALL available evidence. All the religious have is their opinions, the rest of us at least attempt to stick to facts as they are far more universal than the competeing superhero comic book stories of religion.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I believe that falls under the "not allowed to force their beliefs on others" category. Belief is often subjective. I believe that the Red Wings are the greatest sports team ever. I am allowed that belief, but I can't teach it in schools or punish those who don't share my belief. Religion is pretty much the same thing.

          May 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • niko

      Yes, and happily. There are some who believe and even have advanced STEM degrees. Have a nice day!

      May 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
    • ignatzz

      Wow. That's one of the most ignorant, sheltered and provincial questions I've ever heard.

      You must do very little reading.

      May 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        I believe he was being facetious, but it is hard to tell if it is a joke when the reality of his premise is fairly sound.

        May 15, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • ignatzz

          I don't think so. Facetious means "funny."

          May 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          not quite

          May 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          facetious: treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.

          Serious issue: Religion

          "Everyone living indoors" = civilized humans

          Joke: Why are any civilized humans still worshiping the archaic dung dance that is religion?

          A joke often employs irony, sarcasm, word play and exaggeration. This would be an example of exaggeration, because we all know that many people who live indoors still practice rituals akin to witch doctors, they just don't see them as the same. For some reason it is socially acceptable to go to Church and pretend to eat your Gods flesh and blood while chanting ritual prayers but dancing around a sick person with a feather stick dipped in chicken blood is way too crazy.

          Okay, that last bit was sarcasm...

          May 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The last part was also reductio ad absurdum.

          May 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
  10. danab1234

    I would be embarrassed to be religious in any country.

    May 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
  11. observer

    Recap of persecutors:

    Burma - another religion
    China - atheists
    Eritrea - Christians and Sunni Muslims
    Iran - another religion
    North Korea - atheists
    Saudi Arabia - another religion
    Sudan - another religion
    Uzbekistan - likely atheists

    Results: Religion – 5, Atheists – 3

    May 15, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
    • watussi10101

      Do you actually care if your religion is true or not ? Or are you just trying to say "we should all be religious because the world would still have problems if we were atheist"?

      Also, as most of the world is still religious and we agnostics or atheists or people who don't make assumptions about our universe are still greatly outnumbered, the craziness just might have spilled over.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        Speaking of making assumptions, how do you get "we should all be religious" from there being fewer bad atheist countries according to this list?

        May 15, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • watussi10101

          Gotta admit, that was originally made for another comment. I concede you are right here.

          May 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      As Doc posted on the previous page:

      North Korea – Cult of personality – religious worship of their leader

      This is just as sectarian as any other. It's not "atheism".

      I would dispute your characterization of Uzbekistan, but I don't have better data that what is in the article and that is completely insufficient to make the determination that you have made.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
      • ignatzz

        [North Korea – Cult of personality – religious worship of their leader

        This is just as sectarian as any other. It's not "atheism".]

        Bet they aren't True Scotsman either.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Let me fix your list for you:

      China – Cult of Personality (Maoism)
      North Korea – Cult of Personality (Kim Dynasty)
      Uzbekistan – Predominantly Muslim (with state sanctioned religious ceremonies)

      May 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • transframer

      Not sure what you achieve by that. Christianity is the only real religion, all the others are fake. Also atheism is itself a religion. Now not all Christians are saints and they do evil things many times but still, that pales in comparison with the evil done by the other religions.Christians do bad things in spite of Christian teachings. The others do bad things to conform to their religion or because of lack of such teachings. That's the huge difference.

      May 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
      • observer

        transframer

        (fill in the blank) is the only real religion, all the others are fake. Yep.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Can you please give us your definition of "religion" ?
        It seems at odd with the common, dictionary definition...

        May 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
        • transframer

          No I can't. Dictionary definitions are no good. But, empirical, religion is believing in some god(s) or in the non-existence of any god (atheism). It's obvious that only one such belief can be true, i.e. the object of the belief does exist/happen.

          May 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • observer

          transframer

          "Dictionary definitions are no good."

          Sadly, that reflects on your level of intelligence.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "religion is believing in some god(s) or in the non-existence of any god"

          That's like saying "playing sports involves physical activity, or a complete lack of movement"

          May 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Tranny here sounds like a troll bent on making religion look bad. I would not be surprised if he/she also calls him/herself Salero, finisher and maybe even Daneb.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
      • writingto11

        I'm sure you know atheism is not a religion, you just are desperate to cling to some sort of "gotcha." Sure, some people are fanatical about their atheism, but that doesn't change the meaning of the word.

        May 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
  12. Dyslexic doG

    if you really want to know about it in the USA, visit https://www.au.org/

    May 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
  13. noahsdadtopher

    If you really want to know about this subject, visit persecution.com.

    May 15, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      That should be called xtianpersecution.com

      May 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • tallulah131

        You forget that in the christian world view, only they are being persecuted. Everyone else is simply being righteously punished for not being in the "one true god".

        May 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      As highlighted by the eight countries above, and notwithstanding the inappropriateness of "she asked for it by dressing that way" r.ape apologists, how much of the persecution of Christians is directed at the unwelcome attentions of Christian missionaries?

      The persecution is wrong, but if Christian missionary work stopped, there would be a dramatic reduction in the amount of Christian persecution.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
      • samsstones

        Topher hands out religious tracts to other peoples children, at some point a parent may take offence and shove that tract up Topher's ass. Creepy behaviour even for a born again jesus freaking nutter like Topher, well deserved persecution should it befall him.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
      • MadeFromDirt

        It is true that Christian missionaries are persecuted. But it is also true that areas where Protestant missionaries prioritize teaching the truth of the Gospel (as opposed to direct humanitarian aid and social reforms) in the long run have higher rates of improvement in economic development, education, health, and democracy. Interested in the data? Look into sociologist Robert Woodberry and the Project on Religion and Economic Change.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • writingto11

          Interesting data. Unfortunately, an idea being useful doesn't make it true.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Only the Protestants eh? The Catholics never did nothing for nobody I suppose?

          There is no question that missionary activity can do good things for communities – dig wells, establish schools etc. They do this for a price – there's no free lunch here.

          "We'll do lots of nice stuff for you if you change your culture and convert."

          May 15, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • ignatzz

        [ notwithstanding the inappropriateness of "she asked for it by dressing that way" r.ape apologists, ]

        No, that's EXACTLY what you'e doing, and saying "notwithstanding" doesn't make it otherwise.

        May 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The persecution is wrong. Nobody deserves to be persecuted.

          Having said that, pragmatically speaking what goes around comes around. If they weren't trying to destroy another community's culture they wouldn't get hurt.

          In my opinion, despite any collateral good it may do, missionary work is unethical.

          May 15, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Soviet Communism was absolutely atrocious, especially in Romania.
      What is interesting when you study the history is that the Communist party leveraged sectarian strife in the religious communities to their own advantage.
      In Romania, they enlisted the aid of the Orthodox Church in supressing other Christian groups.
      By submitting to the communist authorities, the head of the Romanian Orthodox Christian Church, Patriarch Justinian, became a public figure and even served as a guest at state diplomatic receptions.
      Those clergy who were willing to compromise with the totalitarian regime were actually paid a salary by the government!

      Those who were bold enough to stand their ground and decry the communist regime's perversion of the Church, like the fellow who founded persecution.com, wound up imprisoned, tortured and/or executed.

      It makes one stop and ponder who is more evil – the communists who persecuted dissenting Christians or the other Christians who helped them do it....

      May 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
      • transframer

        Submitting to the civilian authorities, whatever are they, is a duty of Christians. Helping them to do evil things is another story.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • flightfromfrostmtn

          BS.....question everything.....blindly following the as.shats is sheer stupidity.

          May 15, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
    • samsstones

      Topherism is a condition that allows a person to reject knowledge that does not agree with that persons a priori beliefs. (also known as Philioidiotism)
      Topher you are a creep and a liar.

      May 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
  14. groginohio

    How about a list of worst countries to NOT be religious?
    1 – USA

    May 15, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
    • flightfromfrostmtn

      we are not gutted like a fish on the street or imprisoned...while the US isnt the most ideal country to be an atheist, it could be much worse.

      still...we do have people like George H.W. Bush that would strip citizenship from us if they could...

      May 15, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
  15. kevin3g

    So America didn't make the list of countries intolerant of religion! How can that be, what with the liberal establishment's "War on Christmas" and "War on Christians."

    May 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      You're kidding? Right?

      May 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Oh Kevin. That's hilarious! Thanks! LOLOLOL

      May 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
    • noahsdadtopher

      There are wars on those things, but it's nothing in comparison to what is going on in other countries.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        No, there really isn't.

        There is no "war on Christmas". There is no "war on Christians" in the US. It is entirely a fabrication of the Fox Populi.

        May 15, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Contemporary evangelical Christians are so heavily invested in their persecution complex that any attempt to level the playing field is met with cries of anguish.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
    • rm115

      You need to get out and walk around your neighborhood and little more. I bet you can't go one block without bumping into a church of some denomination.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
    • jjmcdade

      Really, that's you logic? Can you not see past the ignorance of that comment?

      Wonder why CNN would omit the official state atheism of China and North Korea or the atheism of Burma's Than Shwe. I already know the rebuttals to what I just said, so please spare me the copy-and-paste recycled Soviet Union rhetoric because I know that you know that the evidence contradicts it. View my prior comments and note the science, it might be difficult to detect since most atheists have no clue to what science looks like – but they're dam good at evoking it.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        "Freedom of religion is guaranteed by China's constltution. Estimates of religious demographics in China vary. A 2007 survey found that 31.4 percent of Chinese above the age of 16 were religious, while a 2006 study found that 46% of the Chinese population were religious" Financial Times. 2 August 2012.

        Oh, i'm sorry, i should get my news from Fox like you do jjm, then I would know that they are really totally atheist and they hate God and Christians and religion of all sorts because that is what I want to believe as a Fox viewer, right? Reallity be damned! Jesus Jesus Jesus! Jesus is on my toast and China has state sponsered atheism forced on everyone and we need to grab our guns to fight the war on Christmas! Only 97% of the commericals in December last year had a Christmas theme and thats down from 98% the year before so the war is real I tell you!! Aaaaaccckkkkk!!!! Dey tuk ar jebus!!

        May 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
    • bspurloc

      get your faerie tales out of politics then come talk

      May 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • writingto11

      Further evidence that we are such babies, and have no idea what real oppression is.

      May 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
  16. sealchan

    I think it is an interesting case that China, which is, as I understand it, dominated by the atheistic Communist party, expresses its own brand of religious intolerance. This does take the wind out of the sails of those who argue that religion is a more likely cause of human suffering than atheism would be in its place.

    May 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • G to the T

      "were arrested for not belonging to the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association."

      This is less about religion (or atheism) than it is about sharing power. The Gov in China does not want to share power with Vatican.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
      • southerncelt

        The only "power" the Vatican has is to form consciences based on peace and love for those that want it.Why are you so threatened by that?

        May 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          oh the workings of your infantile, cult-addled mind ...

          May 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Why are you so threatened by that?"

          I'm not, nor have I any idea why you might think I am. All I was trying to say is that authoritarian govt's don't like to share power. One of the objections to Kennedy being elected was people saying he would put the Pope before his country. I think the Chinese govt has a similar concern (correctly or not).

          Again, it's about power and control, not really belief, even if it's being couched in those terms.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
      • sealchan

        I agree this is about power, but that is what enables anyone to inflict suffering, the power to do so. Given power, atheists and believers are subject to the same problems. It is the extent to which either atheists or believers espouse to a superior moral stance that gets them both into trouble when "power corrupts". Believers who profess that their beliefs give them superior moral fort-itude are likely wrong. The beliefs of believers might give them a useful compass but that does not mean that they still cannot get lost. Athiests must have principles as well and principle are, like beliefs, a guide when sufficient information for a more confident decision is not at hand. Action or inaction, knowledge or lack thereof, does not excuse one from the burden of having to make a decision in many situations in the real world.

        May 15, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "This does take the wind out of the sails of those who argue that religion is a more likely cause of human suffering"
      ------------------

      Really? When 7 of the 8 examples are sectarian oppression. And yes, I am including North Korea as sectarian.

      No one here will argue that communism is an ideal we should strive for.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        it's like how christians pick the one line in their bible out of a thousand that may have some fact to it and say that's proof that the bible is all true ...

        May 15, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      atheism is not a life philosophy. if you'd like to see an atheistic philosophy, try Humanism.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
      • ignatzz

        Or Randian Objectivism. Nothing like calling the poor "parasites" because you think money is your only objective measurement of value if there is no God.

        May 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • G to the T

          "objectivism" – the philosophy of d.ickwa.ds in my humble opinion.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • ignatzz

          Some of the biggest d.ickw.ads on the planet, yes.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • widem1575

      China is definitely weird in how they handle religion. The have a secular government which basically says "here are the 5 religions you can have, no one can proselytize for them, and no one can say bad things against them."

      Its not surprising since though since they pride themselves on the restriction on information.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Maoism is the de-facto religion of China with Mao Tse Tung as the object of worship.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • watussi10101

      Do you actually care if your religion is true or not ? Or are you just trying to say "we should all be religious because the world would still have problems if we were atheist"?

      Also, as most of the world is still religious and we agnostics or atheists or people who don't make assumptions about our universe are still greatly outnumbered, the craziness just might have spilled over.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • sealchan

        I care if my religion enables me and others to find meaning and motivation in a world full of my own and other's ignorance, cruelty and greed. I don't care to accept my religion without this proof and I don't care, personally, to enforce my particular myths and rituals on others. My religion is my subjective method toward finding meaning. For me it is a subjective truth to cultivate alongside other more objective truths such as those principles described by science.

        Ironically, one has to be blind or an extremist to not see that identifying with one's own subjectivity is an essential part of achieving a personal objectivity that one can live with. Religion provides a language for getting directly at this subjective experience. However, too often religion pretends to a greater objective truth.

        FYI...on my reading list are books by Joyce Meyer (Beauty for Ashes) and Dalai Lama (The Art of Happiness).

        May 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
  17. garythebadger

    Imagine if there were NO religions...none of this suffering would be happening. When will people grow up?

    May 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • southerncelt

      Imagine if there were no atheists, we'd have fewer wars to remember.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Because atheist sects are constantly fighting over who believes in God the least?

        Can you name a single war waged in the name of atheism?

        May 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • ignatzz

          The Christero War.

          Actually, I can't think of a single officially atheist Government that did not jail and execute people for being religious, and didn't begin doing so almost immediately upon being established. Not one.

          May 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • watussi10101

          Ignattz.... There should be no official governenment stance on religion or non religion. Period. People should be free to choose as they are in America ( where the only problem remains a largely uneducated and illogically thinking public). Who is saying to ban religion? Educate the masses with science, do not indoctrinate them with translated script from middle eastern culture thousands of years ago.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          ignatzz, The Cristero War was not between two competing groups of atheists.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • ignatzz

          [I There should be no official governenment stance on religion or non religion. Period. People should be free to choose as they are in America ]

          Totally agree.

          [Who is saying to ban religion? ]

          Oh, more than one person on this thread has said things like "Why should we tolerate religion?" Read the comments. Ideological intolerance is not exclusively the province of the religious.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • ignatzz

          [The Cristero War was not between two competing groups of atheists.]

          No, it was caused by an atheist government trying to forceably eradicate religion.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          They certainly were not fans of the Vatican – but don't forget that in 1926, the Mexican government supported the establishment of the Mexican National Catholic Church.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        southerncelt ... your writing is familiar ... have you changed your name?

        May 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        Southern....you must be nuts! Nobody has ever started a war on the concept of atheism!

        May 15, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • ignatzz

          Yes, those Russian priests must have imagined that the Atheist Government drove them into exile on pain of death.

          May 15, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          ignatzz, What happened in Russia was not because of atheism – it was because of totalitarianism. Also bear in mind that for centuries religion has shared power with monarchy, so an uprising against monarchy often affected religion.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • ignatzz

          [What happened in Russia was not because of atheism –]

          Of course not – that would be inconvenient to your preconceived narrative.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Did you read the rest? Religion was part of the problem to be solved – the various churches and monarchies had a good thing going – total power and wealth. You seem to overlook the European experience because the USA largely avoided those problems.

          May 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • otoh2

          ignatzz,

          Yeah, Stalin banished Russian priests - he also banished a ton of other groups which he thought were a threat to him and his regime:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_transfer_in_the_Soviet_Union#Deportation_of_social_groups

          May 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
      • fintronics

        Imagine if there were no redneck southerners... .we'd have less bigotry.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
      • danab1234

        Foolish comment

        May 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      • watussi10101

        Imagine if you had been educated, my time would not have just been wasted reading that dross. You are a pawn.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • danab1234

      I wish I could be around then but it is probably a century or two away. Sigh.

      May 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
    • ignatzz

      Wow, that's stupid.

      May 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
  18. Don

    We in the USA take our freedom for granted, particularly religious freedoms. In many places around the globe choosing a religion (or NOT choosing a religion) can be met with terrible - even fatal consequences. Whether we admit it or not, people of faith have it good in North America. Click on this map-link below (from Voice of the Martyers) to find out about the hardships of Christians around the world.
    http://www.persecution.com/public/prayermap.aspx?clickfrom=%3D6d61696e5f6d656e75

    May 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
    • Alias

      You clearly mean that americans are free to be christians.
      Practicing other faiths can be met with terrible – even fatal consequences. Whether we admit it or not.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        It is sad to see so many angry atheists on this blog. Your sacred atheism has turned out to be one giant lie that you can’t face. Awww! Sorry your atheism won’t come to your rescue.

        May 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Woody

          "sacred atheism"????

          This may be THE all time classic oxymoron. You just don't get it, do you? Atheism, for about the nine thousandth time, is simply the lack of belief in a deity. Not just the Christian deity, ANY deity. A lack of belief, nothing more. If you're not a troll, you must have an IQ more than a few points lower than Forrest Gump.

          May 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
      • Don

        I don't know what kinds of experiences you've had, but as a Christian American I stand up for the freedom of all Americans to believe – or not believe – whatever they wish. Christian faith has a deeper history in the US, but compared to most places in the world we have far more freedoms for all religious views.

        May 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "We in the USA take our freedom for granted, particularly religious freedoms.
      ----------------–
      I don't. Our first enumerated right (freedom of and from religion) is precious and needs to be constantly defended.

      I oppose attempts to limit this right, particularly those with sectarian motivation.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
  19. thefinisher1

    Why are the atheists on this blog so angry? Are you mad because your atheism is a lie and you smell like sausage?

    May 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • thefinisher1

      I like sausage kiddo. I like it a lot.

      May 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Actually, I don't like sausage any more than your failed atheism.

        May 15, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
      • Alias

        Can we leave your gay se.xual tendencies out of this?
        That belongs on another blog.

        May 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          My ga.yness is not the issue angry atheist loser. It is your fake atheism that has you so mad at the world! Who can blame you?

          May 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • watussi10101

      Atheism is a lie? But we haven't made any claims for it to be a lie... We simply ask of people to not make assumptions about things without being able to back it up with fact. This is also how science works. We establish fact and move from there.

      I will never say that there is no creator for a fact bc I do not have this information and neither does anyone else, despite about 90% of this crazy world thinking they do. They claim that there IS a creator and usually they are pretty specific about what they know this creator wants. I simply ask them to tell me how they know this and if someone has a logical explanation I will genuinely listen and change my stance, but therein lies the difference between us. I am willing to concede what I believe if logic says otherwise, most of you are not.

      May 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
    • fintronics

      thefinisher = ignorant troll = ignore

      May 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Aw Sally, at least you could pretend to offer soething of value to the conversation.

      May 15, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
  20. Alias

    These are all examples of goverments using religion to control the populations.
    This would belong in the "Politics" tab as well as it goes here.

    May 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • ausphor

      Alias
      I know it maybe difficult to stop replying to the moron, but by doing so you just stoop to his level. Just ignore the attention seeking idiot, please.

      May 15, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      • Alias

        *sigh*
        For the benefit of the Greater Good I'll try.
        I just found it So Funny that he would reply to himself and try to pass it off as somone stealing his name .....
        Political correctness is a great concept – but stupidity can be hysterical.

        May 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • ausphor

          Thank you. I believe the only way to be rid of it is just to ignore it.

          May 15, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
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About this blog

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