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May 24th, 2014
06:00 PM ET

Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

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Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) – Back home, they erase their Internet histories, look over their shoulders before cracking jokes and nod politely when co-workers talk about church.

But in a hotel ballroom here on a recent weekend, more than 220 atheists, agnostics, skeptics and freethinkers let it all hang out.

The convention was called “Freedom From Religion in the Bible Belt,” and it was part celebration of skepticism and part strategy session about surviving in the country’s most religious region.

They sang songs about the futility of faith, shared stories about “coming out” as nonbelievers and bought books about the Bible – critical ones, of course.

“Isn’t it great to be in a room where you can say whatever you want to whomever you want without fear of anyone criticizing you for being unorthodox?” asked Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, as he opened the two-day convention.

The Wisconsin-based foundation co-sponsored the event with the Triangle Freethought Society, which draws its members from this state’s tech-heavy Research Triangle.

The nonbelievers came from as far afield as Ireland and France, but most described themselves as refugees from the heart of the South - atheist anomalies amid fiercely devout friends, family and neighbors.

We wanted to know what it’s like to be a nonbeliever in the Bible Belt, so over the course of the weekend we asked some of the folks here to share their secrets.

They had a lot to say, and some of their advice overlapped, but we came away with eight top tips. Some said they wished they’d had something like this list when they began their foray into religious infidelity.

So, without further ado, here’s a “survival guide” to being an atheist in the Bible Belt:

You may be lonely, but you aren’t alone

Not so long ago, every other letter sent to the Freedom From Religion Foundation would begin something like, “I’m the only atheist in Nebraska … “

It’s still lonely being an atheist in rural America, says Annie Laurie Gaylor, the foundation’s co-president, but there are plenty of skeptics and nonbelievers in God’s Country – if you know how to find them.

Even the most religious states like Mississippi and Alabama have secular meetup groups, although many keep quiet and require long drives to attend.

Gaylor’s favorite story about the secretive lives of Bible Belt atheists involves two neighbors in Georgia whose jaws dropped when they saw each other at an atheist gathering. Each had assumed that the other was a good, God-fearing Baptist.

“They were afraid to speak out," she says, "because they didn’t want to be stigmatized.”

Gaylor recommends looking online for atheist support groups in your area; and be sure to search for related terms as well: agnostic, freethought, skeptic and nonbeliever.

It’s no fun debating fundamentalists

Bart Ehrman doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who backs down from a fight.

The University of North Carolina scholar often seeks them out, regularly debating the Bible and early Christianity with evangelicals and other experts.

But Ehrman told the atheists gathered in Raleigh not to bother arguing with fundamentalists.

“You can’t convince a fundamentalist that he or she is wrong,” he says.

Their theology is a closed system, according to Ehrman, and their social bonds with fellow fundamentalists are too tightly knit to admit any wiggle room.

“You can point to any contradiction in the Bible and it just doesn’t matter. They will either find some way to reconcile it or say that even if they don’t understand it, God does.”

Technically, the term fundamentalist refers to a movement of 20th-century Protestants who rejected modernity and clung to a literal interpretation of the Bible.

But Ehrman has a different definition: “Someone who is no fun, too much damn, and not enough mental.”

People will think you worship Satan

Many Americans don’t actually know any professed atheists, according to surveys - which means they often seem to assume the worst about them.

Fewer than half of Americans say they’d vote for an atheist politician; a similar number say they wouldn’t want their children to marry a nonbeliever.

A recent study also showed that businesses in the South are more likely to discriminate against atheist job candidates.

“I don’t know what they think we are, Satanists or baby eaters or who knows what,” activist Todd Stiefel told the atheists gathered in Raleigh, “but it’s kind of scary."

A recent survey conducted for Stiefel's new “Openly Secular” campaign found that 20% of Americans can’t even define atheism. Far more don’t know what “humanist,” “freethinker” or “agnostic” means.

Behold, the six types of atheists

Based on “It Gets Better” and other gay rights campaigns, “Openly Secular” hopes to counter that ignorance by asking atheists to share stories online about their lives and beliefs.

“What we’re really trying to do is humanize us,” Stiefel says. “Frankly, most of the hate and distrust comes from misunderstanding about who we are.”

You don’t have to convince your friends, family and neighbors to accept all of your views, the atheist activist says. You just have to get them to accept you.

Sometimes it’s better to stay in the closet

After secular conferences like the one here Raleigh, many nonbelievers get so jazzed that they rush home and blurt out … "Guess, what? I’m an ATHEIST!!!"

That can be a really bad idea, says Sarah Morehead, executive director of Recovering From Religion.

It may help the atheist movement as a whole to share your lack of faith with friends and family. But it’s not always the best - or the safest - move for you, she says.

Recovering From Religion’s online support groups are filled with stories about people who lost their jobs, their kids or their spouses after coming out as atheist, Morehead says.

“It’s heartbreaking. People don’t realize how big a difference expressing their nonbelief can make.”

Recovering From Religion recommends having a plan in place before coming out as atheist.

“If you decide you’re a nonbeliever,” Morehead says, “you’re still going to be a nonbeliever in a year."

The group’s own 10.5-step plan includes creating a support network, declining to get into debates and preparing yourself for a “religious breakup” with friends and family. (The half-step assures budding nonbelievers they don’t have to be experts on atheism and points them toward educational resources.)

Don’t be the ‘office atheist’

Candace Gorham says her close family is accepting of her atheism - but she’s not completely “out” at work yet, and doesn’t know if she wants to be.

Gorham, who was raised in the black church, says religion is deeply embedded in the lives of many Southern African-Americans, and the borders between private and public spirituality often blur.

“I work for a black-owned company, and most of my supervisors are black females, and it’s just sort of OK for everybody to talk about God, or offer to pray for you,” says Gorham.

The 33-year-old is author of a new book called “The Ebony Exodus Project,” about black women leaving the church, which has pushed Gorham herself to become more public about being an atheist.

Recently, a co-worker told Gorham she had seen her talking about being an atheist on Roland Martin’s television show.

“I was like, Oh my God, shhh don’t tell anybody!”

A mental-health counselor who works with children, Gorham worries that people will stop referring clients to her once they find out she’s a nonbeliever.

According to a survey Stiefel presented in Raleigh, more than 50% of Americans believe atheist teachers and day-care employees - people who, like Gorham, work with children - are likely to face discrimination at work.

She knows it's only a matter of time until more of her office mates find out.

“It’s getting to a place where I don’t have a choice. I’m just going to have to be comfortable with it - but it does concern me.”

The Internet is your frenemy

A co-worker isn’t the only person who saw Gorham talking about atheism on television.

Her aunt read about the Roland Martin interview online, which led Gorham’s mother to call and ask if she is really an atheist.

The conversation went well, Gorham says, and her mother understands and respects her beliefs.

But the unexpected disclosure shows why many atheists cover their Internet tracks, even as they increasingly look for like-minded communities online.

Gorham says she used to delete her browsing history on her laptop after watching atheist debates and lectures online lest her husband or other family members find out her faith was wavering.

“I was still early in my deconversion and I wasn’t sure how he would perceive it,” says the Greensboro, North Carolina, native.

Others here for the conference said they keep two separate Facebook pages, one for friends and family and one for their secular communities.

“Facebook is my happy place,” says one middle-aged woman who made a nearly seven-hour drive to Raleigh from Crossville, Tennessee.

The woman, who didn't want to be identified, teaches at public schools. She says most of her neighbors and co-workers are Christians.

“Crossville is a small Bible Belt community with churches on every corner,” she said, “and everything shuts down on Sunday except for Wal-Mart and the hospital.”

Most co-workers assume she’s Christian, but she joins as many atheist groups online as she can and keeps an anonymous Facebook page called “Within Reason.”

One recent post asks people to click “like” if they’ve ever been unfriended because of an atheism-themed status update.

Some people take Bible-thumping literally

Adults may face more real-life repercussions for coming out as atheist in the Bible Belt, but that doesn’t mean kids have an easy ride.

Kalei Wilson, 15, says she lost friends after trying to start a secular student club at Pisgah High School in Canton, North Carolina; and someone used a Bible to destroy her science project, leaving the holy book on her smashed model of the universe.

The blue-haired, nose-pierced freshman says she’s not the only atheist at her high school, but most of them are closeted.

“I didn’t want to come out at first,” Wilson says, “but in order to start the club I had to.”

In exchange for her openness, Wilson says, some students mutter "Jesus loves you” as she walks down the hall, and she regularly receives text messages with the greeting, “Hey, Satan.”

“I’ve lost friends because of it,” the teenager says of her atheism, “but they’re not real friends if that’s what they do.”

Have a sense of humor

For all the heartbreaking stories, if was there was a soundtrack to the conference in Raleigh, it would include a lot of laughter.

It seemed as if the atheists and freethinkers here had been storing their sharpest religion jokes for weeks, preparing for the day when they would find an appreciative audience at last.

“I’ve been living in the South for 13 years,” says Pat Meller, who came to Raleigh from nearby Greensboro, “and I’ve had to watch my tongue for just as long.”

So for two days, Meller and her kindred spirits cut loose.

They quipped about the folly of prayer, bought bumper-stickers calling the Bible a “Grim Fairy Tale,” and wore T-shirts proclaiming their belief in life before death.

Harry Shaughnessy, president of the Triangle Freethought Society, played the cut-up emcee for much of the weekend.

“For every activist-oriented event we have, we want to have three to five things that are just fun,” says Shaughnessy, whose group holds regular “Heathen Happy Hours” and meets for barbecues in each other’s homes.

At one point, the youthful 44-year-old donned a crown and a form-fitting, skin-colored costume to bestow Freedom From Religion’s “Emperor Has No Clothes” award on Steifel for his activism.

Perhaps appropriately for an atheist event, Shaughnessy’s get-up left little to the imagination.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Black issues • Church and state • Culture wars • Discrimination • Internet • Lost faith • Nones • North Carolina • Prejudice • Religious liberty

soundoff (4,807 Responses)
  1. seble66

    God can only be found through a heart of faith. God has created man with the ability to think, discover, and reason. But all searching must first begin with God, recognizing Him as the author of all things and the One with absolute power and authority. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise” (Psalm 111:10).

    May 27, 2014 at 1:52 am |
    • benhoody

      Exactly. Those words are true but they are falling on deaf ears except they are a good reminder to those who do believe.

      May 27, 2014 at 2:01 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        I'd be surprised if those words had any basis outside of Christian indoctrination.

        May 27, 2014 at 2:06 am |
        • seble66

          All the early scientists were religious in one way or another.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I'm sure we have un-useful habits of thinking still. We aren't machines of rationality.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:25 am |
      • LinCA

        @benhoody

        You said, "Those words are true but they are falling on deaf ears except they are a good reminder to those who do believe."
        Those are completely moronic. It's circular reasoning. Spouting nonsense like that is what invites ridicule. It shows that whoever says that is not rational.

        While they are true – the only way to believe gods exist is to already believe they do – as an argument for the existence of gods they fail completely. The exact same argument goes for a belief in the Tooth Fairy.

        Beliefs in gods is instilled through indoctrination. You get beliefs in fictional characters from your parents and their agents, not because there is some inherent truth behind them. The only difference between a belief in your god and the Tooth Fairy is that you were allowed, even encouraged, to abandon belief in one and not the other, but they are equally real.

        May 28, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • seble66

      Philosophical study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science. the precursor of natural sciences such as physics.
      Natural science historically developed out of philosophy or, more specifically, natural philosophy

      May 27, 2014 at 2:21 am |
    • skytag

      "God can only be found through a heart of faith."

      According to you the way to "find God" is to believe he exists, but I see no reason to believe any god exists. A classic chicken-and-egg problem.

      What actually happens is that people decide to believe in a god because they find that narrative appealing. Once they decide to believe in a god they have a strong incentive to interpret ordinary events as evidence of his existence.

      May 27, 2014 at 2:30 am |
      • seble66

        God has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. Billions of dollars have been spent searching for a hypothetical particle, the elusive Higgs Boson. The God particle. The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer.
        The eye..can distinguish among seven million colors. It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages - simultaneously. How it could be by chance?

        May 27, 2014 at 2:42 am |
        • kermit4jc

          AMEn seble..and folks wanna believe in chance evolution?..totally unbelieveable

          May 27, 2014 at 2:44 am |
        • skytag

          "God has surrounded us with evidence of himself"

          Correction: We are surrounded by a world full of things and events and you tell yourself they are proof of God's existence when they seem good. When they seem bad you make excuses to give God a pass for them.

          Frankly, I think you are surrounded with evidence your beliefs make no sense, but you refuse to see that evidence.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:47 am |
        • skytag

          "The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer."

          Nonsense. It doesn't "point to" anything. This is a classic example of simply deciding to believe something about the world around us is evidence of a God.

          A highly complex world would be the natural result of billions of years of evolution, change, and diversity in geography and climate.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:52 am |
        • kermit4jc

          @skytag..im amazed that you would think all the complex things came as result of chance evolution.....and us Christians are told we have no rationale????

          May 27, 2014 at 2:53 am |
        • seble66

          Are nature and chance an atheist's God?

          May 27, 2014 at 3:02 am |
        • freefromtheism

          @Seble66: by definition, an atheist does not believe in deities
          now, i'm sure that's not what you mean, but what many (and perhaps this is what you're doing) believe that if an atheist does not believe in a deity, she must replace that lack of belief with something else, as if there were some sort of "god void"
          so, i'm here to tell you that that is not the case

          May 27, 2014 at 3:08 am |
        • freefromtheism

          @kermit4jc: two things
          1) appealing to "chance" not only is a better explanation because the explanation does not require invoking supernatural enti.ties (see Ockham's razor), but
          2) there are PLENTY reasons for rejecting the notion of the god of Abraham (the triple-O god)
          so, no matter how unlikely, "chance" remains an infinitely better explanation than "God did it"

          May 27, 2014 at 3:13 am |
        • kermit4jc

          lol..appealing to chance that involves complexities of billions of different things......insects, plants, humans, animals....I mean come one...how PLAUSIBL is that? the odds are SO GREAT ..I mean it is beyond impossible...im sorry...but its a fantasy land...for people who want to live it without God.....its not rational to believe in such a high odds game as that

          May 27, 2014 at 3:16 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          You have absolutely zero knowledge of evolution and natural selection, yet you argue against it as if you do. Go read a real science book (not one of your intelligent design or creationist books) and gain some real knowledge so that you aren't arguing against things that you have made up. You aren't arguing against reality, you are arguing against what you want reality to be.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:20 am |
        • kermit4jc

          no need for such words...You are such an idiot to think that's all I ever read..i LOVE biology and such...JUST because I disagree with you does NOT frigging mean IM uneducated....sheesh.....you assume too much...you know..if youre such a free thinker and a science guy yourself..you should know that scientists don't make assumptions on everything..they ASK QUESTIONS>.and that's how they learn..maybe YOu should ASK me questions and learn a little more about me

          May 27, 2014 at 3:23 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          If you loved biology so much then you would have a firm grasp of evolution and natural selection, which you obviously don't. I say you are uneducated because you ARE uneducated. You argue against your idea of what evolution is, not what it actually is. You argue against "chance" when what you should really be arguing about is randomness. There is a big difference between the two in biology. You think you have arguments that disprove the validity of idea that contradict your beliefs, but all you really have are arguments against what you THINK those ideas are. Go educate yourself. If you actually are educated, then argue against REAL science, not your made up version.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:27 am |
        • kermit4jc

          lol..chance..randomness..all pretty much means same thing..and BOTH are very very implausible in reality..tho think that everything came about as such..Im sorry.but again I am NOT uneducated...just cause we disagree does nOT mean I don't have a firm grasp of it....so maybe my CHOICE of words do not say such....you are just assuming AGAIN..and not beothering to ASK....which I find it really dishonest..expecially for one who purports to support the science..where quesiotns are ASKED in order to learn

          May 27, 2014 at 3:31 am |
        • kermit4jc

          god of Abraham (the triple-O god)<-never heard the triple o thing before...what you talking of?

          May 27, 2014 at 3:17 am |
        • seble66

          Foe eg. Isaiah 40:22 New American Standard Bible
          It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:16 am |
        • freefromtheism

          kermit4jc
          the Judeo-Christian god... call the idea what you will, but you know what I'm talking about (triple-O stands for the three omni)

          May 27, 2014 at 3:36 am |
        • kermit4jc

          yu mean the three gods..Jesus Father and holy Spirit? sorry ssir..butno one has used terms like that around here (where I live) be more specific please...

          May 27, 2014 at 3:39 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ok..ok....I get it..like omnipresent, omniscient. Omnipotent....

          May 27, 2014 at 3:40 am |
        • sam stone

          kermy.,,,an omniscient god and freewill are incompatible.

          May 27, 2014 at 5:54 am |
        • waynegage

          The complexity of the natural world does not support intelligent design. Intelligent design would not require the complexity. The real world does not require a creator. It requires physics.

          May 27, 2014 at 6:35 am |
        • hilikus1027

          "God has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. Billions of dollars have been spent searching for a hypothetical particle, the elusive Higgs Boson. The God particle."

          Maybe you should look at what that name came from. Be careful at what you consider a 'suggestion or proof' of your point. The censors will not let me post the real name...but it is "The God &%$# particle"

          "The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer.
          The eye..can distinguish among seven million colors. It has automatic focusing and handles an astounding 1.5 million messages – simultaneously. How it could be by chance?"

          And we eat out of the same hole we breathe...we have an appendix which serves no purpose, and only causes, sometimes deadly, problems.

          I don't have a problem with what you believe...I have a problem with what you use as proof, and then act like everyone else is blind who doesn't believe the same. Thirty seconds on google, and you would understand why your post not only offers no proof...it doesn't even offer a reasonable suggestion. That is why you catch hostility when you post such things.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • dandintac

          Christians have turned complexity into some sort of mysterious supernatural characteristic which only an all-powerful magical being can accomplish.

          Let me demystify it right here. "Complexity" is nothing more than a lot of "simple". There is nothing really special or mysterious about it. It's the natural result of more time–that's all.

          Let's see if I can get a link to pictures on this post.

          Here's a simple dried up river bed on Mars–probably the result of a melting glacier.
          http://oncirculation.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/upperreullvallis_perspective1.jpg

          Now here's a more complex dried up river bed. Do you see how one is just a lot of the other? There is nothing qualitatively different.
          http://www.history.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/mars-riverbeds.jpg

          There's nothing intelligent about complexity. I have four daughters–one is extraordinarly sloppy, and another is very neat. My daughter the slob (love her–but facts are facts)–her home is very very complex. But there's no intelligence behind the mess. My other daughter who is much neater, keeps her home free of clutter, and gets rid of a lot of things she doesn't need. Her home is much simpler, and I think, much more intelligent–since she can always find what she needs.

          One can find many instances of complexity where I think we can all agree that no intelligence was behind it, and we can find lots of simple–like a simple dike or levee to guard against flooding–that are very intelligent. In fact, intelligent design is where things are actually SIMPLIFIED.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
      • seble66

        Let's assume If everyone knew there was an all knowing powerful God watching them 24/7, then they would be submitting to Him,. No choice on their behalf. It's being forced to submit to someone higher than you, even if you hate him. No loving relationship. When all other things are stripped from our lives, these remain these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
        1 Corinthians 13:13

        May 27, 2014 at 4:38 am |
        • sam stone

          being watched 24/7 demonstrates love?

          May 27, 2014 at 5:57 am |
    • delius1967

      Your willingness to utterly abandon rationality reminds me of a good joke: a religious man and an atheist are arguing over the nature of the universe. Finally, in disgust, the religious man says, "I can't argue with someone who is so lost. You're like a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat that isn't even there!" The atheist replies, "With all due respect, I think you are also like a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat that isn't even there. The only difference is, you found it."

      May 27, 2014 at 2:32 am |
      • seble66

        Do you need a miracle to believe? like Gideon Story
        In the Bible: Judges 6 – 8
        God grants His blessings through the operation of faith. It is by grace through faith that He transfers the good news of His will to earth, and it is only by faith.

        .

        May 27, 2014 at 3:44 am |
    • sam stone

      starting with a belief in god to determine whether there is a god is a bit circular

      May 27, 2014 at 5:49 am |
    • denkidemuerto

      You at best have faith in men's words. Men wrote the bible. You now only believe that God inspired the bible because men have been saying that for thousands of years. So at best you believe what men have been telling you all along. You have no more access to God and his thoughts than any other person on the planet. To idolize the bible because you believe men when they tell you God inspired it does not make you holy. I bet you haven't even learned Hebrew to fully grasp the Old Testament. Ah, you have faith in men to translate it properly for you. So much faith in men!

      May 27, 2014 at 8:11 am |
    • G to the T

      "God can only be found through a heart of faith"

      A nice statement maybe but what does it actually mean? I don't believe in "mind" let alone "heart" (though I understand the references). What you are essentially saying is that I must ignore my rational "mind", allow my emotions to dictate my beliefs ("heart") and embrace that for which there is no objective evidence ("faith").

      For me, evidence is what led me away from faith. I have only ever asked for the proof of Thomas. Not everyone thinks "faith" is a good thing.

      May 28, 2014 at 10:16 am |
      • gulliblenomore

        Faith without proof....blind faith....borders on the insane

        May 28, 2014 at 10:20 am |
    • LinCA

      @seble66

      You said, "God can only be found through a heart of faith."
      That is because there is no rational support for it. You have to either be unable or unwilling to evaluate the case for gods to remain a believer. In this day and age, being a believer requires ignorance, willful or otherwise.

      You said, "God has created man with the ability to think, discover, and reason."
      Man invents gods when his ability to think, discover, and reason leave him without an answer.

      You said, "But all searching must first begin with God, recognizing Him as the author of all things and the One with absolute power and authority."
      Nah, the assumption that there must be such a creature is what keeps people stuck. Being open to the possibility that the creature that you worship is nothing more than a figment, is a start to rationally evaluating the beliefs people cling to.

      May 28, 2014 at 11:10 am |
  2. seble66

    The Christian worldview not only welcomes rationality and scientific investigation of the world, it has been the premier driving force in history behind those endeavors.. Theologians pursued science for biblical reasons. Their scientific spirit germinated during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and blossomed after the sixteenth-century

    May 27, 2014 at 1:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You entered the Christian worldview through a suspension of rational thought. You welcome science and rational thinking as long as your Christian faith isn't challenged.

      May 27, 2014 at 2:04 am |
      • seble66

        Scientism can't defend them without arguing in a circle. Their defense is instead a task for metaphysics, and for philosophy more generally; and even the language and mind you use to reason and conclude are not objective measurments.

        May 27, 2014 at 2:31 am |
        • G to the T

          Untrue. Science is willing to reach a point where we say "we don't know". Science takes into account the flaws in human subjectivity and bias.

          Metaphysics/philosophy (and honestly I'm loathed to group them) may bring some insight, but without the scientific method to test those insights, they are only baseless suppositions.

          May 28, 2014 at 10:22 am |
    • skytag

      That was back when they believed science would confirm their religious beliefs. When the results of scientific study contradict what the church teaches the church has historically rejected it.

      May 27, 2014 at 2:33 am |
      • seble66

        Can you put few list of the results of scientific study that contradict with the BIBLE? Even science support the begining of the Universe. Most historical bible persons, place and events are found to be true. To God, a thousand years is like a day. So, to Him, Jesus died about 2 days ago. We can't prove old miracles by science.

        May 27, 2014 at 2:55 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Let's see, the heliocentric universe (the bible says that the sun revolves around the earth), the fact that the earth is a sphere (the bible called it a circle), that humans can only live longer than 120 years (your lord said something along the lines of only being in a body for 120 years). Want more?

          May 27, 2014 at 2:59 am |
        • kermit4jc

          the bible says that the sun revolves around the earth), show that it is making it a FACTUAL statement that sun revolves around the earth..if you wanna bering up sunrise and sunset..you better call your local weather station and tell them to corret their thinking.....apparnelty you don't believe in using figures of speech....do YOU use figures of speech when You talk? do you live under a rock? your examples are useless..since they do not say for fact the earth is a circvle and such...

          May 27, 2014 at 3:06 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          You mean like how "Jesus rose from the dead" is a figure of speech? The only observations in the bible are ones that were directly seen. There is no knowledge in the bible. Your god didn't inform anyone of facts of the physical sciences. They were only writing down how they saw things. It was men writing down their perceptions: the earth is a circle (therefore flat), the sun revolves around the sun (because it moves across the sky while we are standing still), etc.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:23 am |
        • kermit4jc

          lets deal with the other things first..sems you are avoiding in provig that the writers were not using figures of speech..BTW the writers of the Gospels were NOT using figures of speech cause they talked about actually seeing Jesus..so a terrible argument on your part anyways..the context of the Gospels show it isn't figure of speech...you ever use context before when you communicate? if not,m you better start now so you can understand others better....now back to the circle of the earth and the sun revolving around the earth..prove that they were NOT using figures of speech..but making a factual statement...

          May 27, 2014 at 3:27 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          1 Kings 7:23 “He made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.”

          This would mean Pi = 3 which is obviously incorrect.

          Matt 13:31-32: ” “the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed which…is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown is the greatest among herbs and becometh a tree.”

          There are many seeds that are smaller than the mustard seed and mustard seeds to not become trees.

          Matt 4:8: ” Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.”

          There is no way to see all of the kingdoms of the world from the top of a mountain...unless the earth is flat.

          In Genesis, your god creates plants before the sun. Plants cannot live without the sun.

          In Genesis, the moon is described as a light, when it actually only reflects light from the sun.

          I can go on and on, but here are just a few blatant scientific errors.

          Care to argue that these are "figures of speech?"
          There is no way to see all of the kingdoms of the world from the top of a mountain...unless the earth is flat.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:43 am |
        • kermit4jc

          1 Kings 7:23 “He made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.”

          This would mean Pi = 3 which is obviously incorrect.<-sorry..but it was NOT giving exact numbers...sheesh.....WHERE does it say that it was giving EXACT meaurements ??? sorry..but a weak attempt and ignorance ..and assumoptions the Bible was giving exact measurements

          May 27, 2014 at 3:45 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          It gave EXACT measurements. It doesn't say, "about 10 cubits," etc. It says 10 cubits, period. Your thought processes AMAZE me. You are a marvel of dogmatic stubbornness. There is literally NOTHING to be said that could convince you that you are not right. You are a fanatic. The bible doesn't say its depiction of ANYTHING is exact. That puts your entire religion into question because it could all be approximations and interpretations.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:49 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Matt 13:31-32: ” “the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed which…is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown is the greatest among herbs and becometh a tree.”

          There are many seeds that are smaller than the mustard seed and mustard seeds to not become trees.<-ignorance....the Bible refeered to the smallest seed a FANER in THAT time would use in his field....you are pretty ignorant of Jesus parables..He used everyday things that the PEoPLE knew of....MOST likely NONE of those people heard of other types of seeds...and it would be USLESSS for Jesus to use those examples! very weak argument....read the other accounts where Jesus qualifies this being the smallest seed they used....

          May 27, 2014 at 3:47 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          It says directly "the least of all seeds." There is no ambiguity there. You keep referring to me as ignorant but the problem here is that you will interpret ANYTHING I SAY as a misinterpretation. It is utterly pointless trying to talk to you because you are not reasonable. You will insert meanings whenever they serve you. You will dismiss facts when they don't fit with your views. You will change meanings when it serves you. You're like a robot without a logic circuit. Whatever your programmers told you is true is true, regardless of evidence against it.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:53 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Thingsyouhaventthought.....Kermit is a clown. It is a complete waste of time having any type of discussion with him. He thinks everybody that does not think like him are ignorant and proclaims so on just about every post. His arguments are always the same and he has absolutely no respect for anybody else's opinions. He has no idea how to debate, and I, and a few others, have now refused to engage in his nonsense.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          you don't engage cause you know I tell truth..I say context and I provide it..yet no one has provided to the contrary...and YOU say I don't know how to debate..maybe YOu should look up the word debate...

          May 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....I already told you, I have no intention of getting in any discussions with you. You continually use the words pathetic or ridiculous when others try to make a point. You randomly capitalize words for emphasis when you should be concentrating on making a valid point. You always seem like you are yelling and try to belittle people you are having discussions with. I have no intention of wasting my time dealing with the likes of you under those circ-umstances. I don't discuss anything with finisher, salero, or scot for that matter, and for the same reason.

          May 27, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Complete truth. This guy is one of the most obnoxious, ignorant, and intransigent people I've ever met. He has some weak, cop out response to every piece of evidence you throw at him and he is convinced that it actually proves the evidence incorrect. Good job in not wasting your time.

          May 27, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Matt 4:8: ” Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.”

          There is no way to see all of the kingdoms of the world from the top of a mountain…unless the earth is flat.
          HYperbbole..it does NOT say Jesus saw ALl the kindgoms of earth..again figure of speech..prove he wasn't using figure of speech there....your attepts are futile and out of ignorance

          May 27, 2014 at 3:50 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Again, it DIRECTLY STATES THAT SOMETHING HAPPENED. You think the bible is perfect so there will never be anything that can be said to disavow you of your delusions. Good day to you. Have fun running circles in your mind for the rest of eternity.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:54 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Care to argue that these are “figures of speech?”<-soirry..but I did nOT say everyone of the so called "cpontradictions" are figures of speech...as in the parable of the mustard seed.....you seem pretty ourt of whack and assume too much in that way

          May 27, 2014 at 3:51 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Your god didn’t inform anyone of facts of the physical sciences.<-the Bible is a HISTORY book..was NEVER intended to be a Science text book explaining science! .....so that comment is really usless...

          May 27, 2014 at 3:28 am |
        • seble66

          For all practical purposes, what you were taught wasn’t entirely wrong. Does the Earth actually orbit the Sun? NO. Both orbit each other in a spiral move. What you were told is a combined effect. btw it depends on what location you viewed.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:11 am |
        • seble66

          For eg. Isaiah 40:22 New American Standard Bible
          It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:19 am |
        • freefromtheism

          for starters, in Genesis, the earth came before "light and stars" and so on... that's of course false, as there is NO scientific view in which that is even possible
          the bible is PACKED with nonsense and contradictions; I suggest you do some personal research

          May 27, 2014 at 3:20 am |
        • kermit4jc

          actually..not so....the scientists assume the earth came after sun and all....its ALL in how they INTERPRET the data....scientists are not always correct you know

          May 27, 2014 at 3:24 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          The early Sun did exist first because planetary systems form after matter collapses due to gravity. The compression of the gas and matter eventually becomes so tight and so hot that nuclear fusion begins and a protostar is born. Other gasses and matter begin to rotate around the protostar, cools to become rocks and metals, and begins clumping together into planets and also continuing to fall into the new star. The sun HAD to come first.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:34 am |
        • kermit4jc

          of course..without a God that would happen..anmd that's how scientists interpret the data..without God in the equation....so they assume that It HAD ot be first.......however..when you include God and the BIble in yoru argument..GOID is the one who makes things work...laws of nature did nOT exist until things came about to be imposed on....in other words..no gravity on earth until earth appeared.....gravity cannot impose itslf on nothing....

          May 27, 2014 at 3:38 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Your argument is utterly irrational and not based in reason, therefore there is not scientific argument that can be used against it. All you have to say is, "things were different when god was making things so that explains everything." You lack a shred of evidence that your god exists and you refuse to accept all of the hard evidence available that proves your holy book to be incorrect. There is absolutely no point in debating with you because you aren't arguing empirical fact, you are arguing irrational faith.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:46 am |
        • freefromtheism

          kermit4jc
          I hate to burst your bubble, but there is no "interpreting the data" in this case
          you should probably go and do some actual reading regarding the subject (I suggest reliable, scientific sources)

          May 27, 2014 at 3:32 am |
        • kermit4jc

          lol..I hate to burst your ignorance..but scientists DO interpret data...its how they come up with information...or do they read things blindly (ironic how things appear "blindly" out of nothing) and then make their findings? I been in science courses and such..we take data and interpret them and prodice those findings in written form...

          May 27, 2014 at 3:34 am |
        • freefromtheism

          kermit4jc
          I think you missed my point. Look, the information is out there and you can go look at it yourself; don't just reject it by thinking that you know better just because you assume that your explanations are the only rights ones. If you care at all about the truth, be honest about what you know and don't know and about what you understand and don't understand.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:41 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I haven't assumed anything...I looked already..found truth

          May 27, 2014 at 3:43 am |
        • denkidemuerto

          There is no Nazareth. There has not been a single piece of ancient writing that has mentioned Nazareth. No rabinical literature either.

          Harry Potter mentions a few real places, does that make Harry Potter factual?

          May 27, 2014 at 8:20 am |
        • igaftr

          kermit
          " haven't assumed anything...I looked already..found truth"

          You really need to study the phenomena of self-delusion. It is simpler to accept as real, something there is no actual evidence for, to convince yourself something is real, so your mind can move off of it. It takes more mental energy to accept that you do not know, so convince yourself you do know.

          You may want to start with Trivers' theory of self deception.

          May 28, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • kermit4jc

          You really need to study the phenomena of self-delusion<–and you really need to stop being an armchair psychologists..youre not qualified to charge people like that

          May 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      How does rationality lead to the acceptance of the abstract concept of sin?

      May 27, 2014 at 6:01 am |
    • denkidemuerto

      There is nothing about being Christian that drives people to scientific discovery. Actually many of the Muslim countries during the times you mentioned had many more scientific discoveries. In fact China also had many scientific discoveries as well. No, being Christian does not give you a leg up in science. It just means you enjoy being a religious person.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:17 am |
  3. bernerf

    ...And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O LORD, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy." And the LORD did grin and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats and large chu... [At this point, the friar is urged by Brother Maynard to "skip a bit, brother"]... And the LORD spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."[

    May 26, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
  4. gtinelp

    Sooooo if Ms. Candace Gorham is so indubitably proud of being an atheist, why is her first response being seen on the Roland Martin’s television show "Oh my **GOD**, shhh don’t tell anybody!”??? What's the point of invoking a Deity she considers to be a fictional character, hmmmmm?

    May 26, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I know right...?

      Just last night I said "Jesus H. F***ing Christ on a cr@cker".

      It was then that I realized I really did believe in god.....

      May 26, 2014 at 11:55 pm |
      • Keith

        That is exactly when I realized that I was a closet Christian when I said "Jesus F'ing Christ" after I hit my finger with a hammer.

        May 27, 2014 at 12:06 am |
        • benhoody

          Hold the hammer with both hands next time to avoid hitting your finger, or better yet, hold the nail with a clothespin and you won't hit your finger.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:47 am |
        • Keith

          Thanks

          May 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      The same reason I say "thank god I'm an atheist", or say goddammt when I hit my finger with the hammer. It's just part of our vocabulary....nothing personal.

      May 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
    • skytag

      What a dumb, juvenile comment.

      May 27, 2014 at 1:42 am |
    • artificialleech

      Well I don't know about you, but I usually say "Oh my God!" when I see something Unbelievable.

      May 27, 2014 at 2:00 am |
      • gulliblenomore

        Leech....I say the same thing, but I don't capitalize the word 'god'

        May 27, 2014 at 6:31 am |
  5. dale3242

    Theists (Protestant Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.) all disagree with each other. They all claim that their God or Gods are the true gods and all the others are false. Because the beliefs of most religions are incompatible, most of them, if not all of them, logically must be false. Most theists believe in their one God, Atheists just go one god further.

    May 26, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      i don't think buddhists have a god

      May 26, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
      • Keith

        Buddhists are to Hindu's as Christians are to Jews.

        May 27, 2014 at 12:08 am |
        • sam stone

          hindus have gods, buddhists have none

          May 27, 2014 at 6:06 am |
        • Keith

          Buda was from a high born Brahmin family, he was a Hindu. He only rejected the Creator god, the Devas are still an important part of the Buddhist Cosmology. Many forms of Buddhism believe in "god or gods"

          Jesus was from a Jewish family, he was a Jew.

          Neither intended to create a following of any kind.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • G to the T

          I depends on the branch of Buddhism. Some are more supernaturally inclined than others.

          May 28, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • Keith

          I suppose that is true of all religions.

          May 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • igaftr

          According to the teachings of Buddha, it does not matter if there are gods or not, that if we believe or not will not change if they are there or not, so belief in gods is moot.

          Some Buddhists believe in god, some don't, but to follow the teaching of Buddha, it makes no difference.

          May 28, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • Keith

          Yes, I understand that, but to say that Buddhists do not have "gods" is incorrect because many sects do have them.

          May 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
    • seble66

      Don't expect all religion to agree on this issue we all have diferrent conceot on the origin of the Universe and
      What kind of Philosophy we follow. If accept DUALISM most likely you will be a Judeo-Christian-Muslim member. Pantheism include Buddhism, Confucianism, Freemasonry, Hinduism, Occultism, Taoism, and the New Age movement. These are based on three broad types of Pantheism. Deism – A Stepping Stone to Atheismn, Darwinism and a few Christian sects.

      May 27, 2014 at 2:09 am |
      • G to the T

        Agnostic Atheist Buddhist here. While I agree with some of what you are saying, I don't think it's as clear-cut as you present. There is as much variation within these groups as within any other.

        May 28, 2014 at 10:43 am |
  6. Keith

    I grew up in the Bible Belt, raised by fundamentalists. I have not met any people in my world travels as stupid as the people I was raised with.

    May 26, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
  7. dcm5150

    I'm definitely in the opposite world in California.

    May 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
  8. danab1234

    Please don't reproduce you childish, brain-washed religious nuts.

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

    May 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • fakeitgoodnasa

      What will happen to the likes of Bill Nye (as well as the 'creation' scientists) once NASA et al. are fully exposed as frauds? No doubt this exposure will indeed fulfill the prophesy in Revelation (as their is only one Creator God, and creation is indeed geostatic) thus debunking and virtually obliterating evolution from A to Z.

      May 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        fake...shouldn't you be out on a ledge somewhere? Not everything is a conspiracy theory....

        May 26, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
      • tallulah131

        I hear foil is on sale at Walmart, fake. Better stock up. You can never have too many hats.

        May 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
  9. lean6

    I'm what I consider a free thinker when it comes to religion. I cannot see how a free thinker would ever associate with even this sort of gathering mentioned in this article. Keep ALL of your expectations and thought policing outta my head!

    May 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Cuz you never really know. There might really BE a teapot orbiting the sun.

      May 26, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
  10. whippstippler7

    Let's all agree to simply ignore Finisher. He is a troll, but one without the slightest sign of intelligence or wit.

    May 26, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
    • tallulah131

      He also goes by the name of Salero, so feel free to ignore this troll-name, too.

      May 26, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        Oh, that idiot? I should have recognized his brand of slop.

        May 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      He's just some fat 40 year old virgin who's never kissed a girl and still living in his parent's basement and gets his jollies when he gets responses from his one-liner drivel.

      May 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Evertime I see the name "TheFinisher" I think of a cheesy p0rn film...

      May 26, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
      • thingsyouhaventthought

        Every time I see it I think of Mortal Kombat and want to "Finish Him!"

        May 26, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          thefinisher VS thefluffer

          May 26, 2014 at 11:19 pm |
  11. thefinisher1

    Man invented the idea of atheism thus since man invented it with his own imagination, it must be false. Atheist logic 101😝😜

    May 26, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
    • thingsyouhaventthought

      Do you ever finish arguments or do you just leave whenever you are revealed to have nothing substantial to say. You are the definition of a blind dogmatist. When you can't prove your point you just run away and try to make trouble somewhere else.

      May 26, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Keep on lying, kiddo. It does more damage to your atheism!

        May 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          How can a question be a lie? Do you have a book next to you listing the most inane, stupid responses that can possible be used in a conversation?

          May 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
    • thingsyouhaventthought

      Second, atheism isn't a system. It isn't a thing to be invented. It is the LACK of a thing. A lack of belief in a deity. But the false logic displayed here is what we've all come to expect from the likes of you.

      May 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        you are correct, atheism isn't a system, it's a childish rant

        May 26, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
        • LinCA

          Not believing in the Tooth Fairy is a childish rant? Not believing in the Easter Bunny is? Atheism is nothing more than not believing in imaginary creatures.

          Most believers are typically far stronger atheistic than atheists when it comes to gods other than their own. They are frequently even willing to kill or die for their version of imaginary friend or the rejection of those of others.

          May 26, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • skytag

          That was childish.

          May 26, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • sam stone

          gee, scotty, all it takes is one click from your trusty sidearm and you too can be with jeebus.

          May 26, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          scot....you really are not very bright, are you? Atheism is a lack of belief in any god due to lack of proof. There isn't anything to rant about. No atheist I have ever heard of has ever gone around knocking on doors handing out pamphlets explaining the joys of atheism. Childish rant? Exactly what are you basing this silly statement on? Is Hinduism a childish rant? Is Buddhism? Is everything that everybody believes in other than what you believe a childish rant?

          May 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
    • skytag

      Oh look, a Christian posting something mind-numbingly stupid to disparage atheists. More evidence Christianity is a fraud.

      May 26, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Your comment is provided more evidence that atheism is hogwash.

        May 26, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          How?

          May 26, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Man invented the gods also.
      Man "discovered" antibiotics. Does that make them "false" ?
      Did Jebus bother to tell you how to stop infections ?
      If the idea of the gods were of "divine" origin, why are there so many ?
      Oops. Fail again All-Washed-Up1

      May 26, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        Your disbelief is in your imagination. Grow up, kiddo! Time to start acting like an adult.

        May 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
        • danab1234

          That's coming from someone who believes in a book full of absurd, magical nonsense. You are the one that needs to grow up.

          May 26, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
        • readerpan

          Adults don't have imaginary friends.

          May 26, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
    • danab1234

      Atheism wasn't "invented", genius. Everyone is an atheist when they are born. Your book of fables was invented

      “If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.”

      ― Penn Jillette

      May 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        So, if what you're saying is true, ATHEISTS invented the thing you hate. LOL!!!!!! Too funny!!!

        May 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • danab1234

          You have a reading comprehension problem and it's past your bed time.

          May 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          You said all humans are born atheists which means..the very first humans, whoever they were, invented something you hate the most!!! Atheists invented it, silly dumb troll!!

          May 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • readerpan

          You seem to believe, along with the other irrationality you spew, that born is the same thing as alive.

          May 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." – Jeremiah 31:33, NKJV humans have a conscience, something evolutionists cannot and never will plausibly explain.

        May 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Actually they have. It's explained in Anthropology 101. Something you never took.
          If the wonerful moral code is "written on men's hearts". why is it the OT says they can kill their disobedient children. You call THAT moral ?

          May 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
        • readerpan

          And apparently that "conscience" has no problem exterminating an entire tribe of people, down to the last infant and domestic animal.

          May 26, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I will never understand why these bible thumpers unsheathe passages from the bible as it they were a sword, quote the passage, then say 'Hah! See?", as if that is going to make us suddenly believe anything....especially since we all know that the bible is just a book of fairy tales. Very strange behavior indeed.

          May 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • skytag

          How can you say they never will? Are you omniscient?

          May 27, 2014 at 1:55 am |
    • whippstippler7

      Let's all agree to simply ignore Finisher. He is a troll, but one without the slightest sign of intelligence or wit.

      May 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
    • danab1234

      It's always amusing when someone tries to reason and they believe in invisible people in the sky, talking snakes, people made from magical ribs, etc. Grow up.

      May 26, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
      • benhoody

        Ya right, we should all be like you and believe that everything we now see evolved from nothing, zip, zero. And then one day out of nothing, like magic, dead matter appeared, again, from nothing, it simply appeared. And then over time this dead matter exploded, bang, and there it somehow magically happened, this dead matter over time somehow started to think and reason, wow, now that really is magic. But that's nothing, more magic happened, this dead matter somehow decided to see what was going on, and poof, dead matter started to see. But wait, there's more, this dead matter wanted to smell, and hear, and feel, and talk etc., isn't that amazing, all from something that never was,. It's nothing that a snake can talk compared to some dead matter that was nothing to begin with. Wait now, there's more, what about dead matter over time beginning to amazingly have emotions, wow, talk about magic,. Look, this is only the way I see it, I don't care if some people think differently or not, that's up to them, but when I read these comments and the HATE that is in them from Christians or Athiests I am appalled to hear such childish stupidity towards others just because they don't agree with someone else. Athiests think they are right and Christians think they are right, they can't agree so they turn to hate, pretty sick. There are a few Athiests and a few Christians on here who commented their opinion and did so without hate, hats off to you guys, good examples to those who can'tcomment without voicing their hatred toward those who think differently. We are all going to find out in the end aren't we, and the end is a lot closer than we think, we only have a few short years in our life, we all think we are right but someone is going to find out they are wrong, don't be so sure you are the one that is so right, you may be shocked when the time comes. I like to think the final outcome will be positive for everyone, but to be so self righteous as to hate someone who thinks differently can't be a positive outcome as far as I'm concerned.

        May 27, 2014 at 12:22 am |
        • skytag

          You cannot prove that over the course millions or perhaps billions of years random circumstances could not combine to produce what you describe. Frankly, your comment is childish. It offers no evidence of any kind, it simply derides those who don't share your beliefs.

          All you're really doing is kicking the can, so to speak. You deride atheists for not being able to explain things like the origin of the universe and life, but your "explanation" is to claim a God whose existence you can't explain did it. Seems like a big copout to me.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:07 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ben....you are one of the most self righteous people on this blog!

          May 27, 2014 at 6:34 am |
        • benhoody

          You obviously haven't re-read your past comments, do so and then you will see what being self righteous is all about. You mock and say hateful comments about those who dont agree with you as if you are so right and they are so wrong. There are more opinions than just yours, but when someone voices theirs and it doesnt agree with you, all you can do is again mock and criticize. You are the self righteous one on this blog, and are only trying to point the finger at someone else because you don't like their comment because it's not what YOU believe.

          May 27, 2014 at 9:04 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Ben.....you are quite wrong, as usual. I have stated many times that i don't know if there is a god or not, but with no proof, I can't buy into the god theory. You on the other hand, state emphatically that there is a god, and without providing any proof. That is both pompous and arrogant. I also said that belief in anything at all with no proof is insane, and I stick by that.

          May 27, 2014 at 9:46 am |
    • Omega

      Troll.

      May 26, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
    • demoguy1

      Speaking of logic, you could use some.

      May 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      Just curious, but how does one invent not believing in something?

      May 26, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        According to strict atheists, we are all born atheists which means ancient humans invented religion thus they also invented atheism! Silly dumb troll! 😜

        May 26, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Were there non-stamp collectors before stamps existed? Yes, there were. In fact everyone is born as a non-stamp collector.

          May 26, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Care to watch me not handle snakes ?

          May 26, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • hotairace

          Why don't you delusional believers listen to atheists when we tell you we got religion wrong?

          May 26, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Do people start churches to not stamp collecting, or hold not stamp collecting conferences? Is there a not stamp collecting religion?

          Because there are atheist churches, atheist conferences and atheist religions. It blows my mind that such things exist: but they do.

          May 26, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          If there were laws passed based on holy stamps or laws designed specifically to support stamp collecting or discrimination against non-stamp collectors, then yes there very well might be organizations, support groups, and conferences about non-stamp collecting.

          May 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          dala....That blows your mind? 130,000 people killed by a Tsunami without a helping hand from your god blows my mind. Allowing thousands of children to be abused daily blows my mind. Your god standing by helplessly allowing thousands to die of starvation in Africa blows my mind. A few atheist conventions and get-togethers blows your mind? You really need to get out more.....

          May 26, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          If there were a stamp-collectionists model of the creation of the universe then you might see a few people disagreeing publicly, yes.

          May 26, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
        • skytag

          We are not born atheists. What a dumb claim. Atheists believe there are no gods. We aren't born believing anything about anything.

          You clearly need the services of a mental health professional. Mentally healthy people do not troll the Internet posting the kind of nonsense you post.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:14 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Atheism is a LACK of belief in gods, not the belief that there are no gods. Therefore, since babies are incapable of believing in gods, by definition they are atheist. Atheism is not some system and code like religion. It isn't something to be accepted. It is something that exists in the lack of belief in gods.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:16 am |
    • dgoren11

      Huh? Atheists didn't "invent" atheism. They don't believe in God, feeling that God is a man-made invention, which he is. You know that and we ALL know that. Is there a supreme being of SOME kind? Perhaps, as I am not an atheist, but I certainly am not stupid enough to believe in the book of fairy tales called the Bible. A whale swallowing a man who then later comes out, a virgin that gives birth, a man that separates the water in a river and turns the river into blood, a bush than burns but does not get consumed by the fire a man that builds in ark somewhere around present-day Israel, and gets two of every animal, millions of species, including, I suppose, sharks, polar bears, humpback whales penguins, from all corners of the Earth, onto an ark, Adam and Eve, the only inhabitants on Earth, have two sons who find two other women as wives (where did they come from), a talking snake, and on and on and on. Talk about brainwashed humans. If there is a God, he gave me a brain for a reason.

      May 26, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        That's your opinion and belief NOT a fact. Atheists don't want to admit defeat. Boy. Logic doesn't exist in today's atheism!😜

        May 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          you tell um fini!

          May 27, 2014 at 1:21 am |
      • benhoody

        You say if there is a God he gave you a brain for a reason, then maybe you should try using it instead of mocking something you don't know about and can't prove.

        May 27, 2014 at 2:16 am |
  12. Joeseph Eclaire

    The guns have always been out there, that is not real problem. We have a couple 2-3 generations now who have become disassociated from society. Meaning they have never learn social skills of in person associations. And what has help fuel that disassociation is the social media sites.

    This kid was not mentally ill in the traditional sense. And there are literally thousands like him roaming around in America and because they don't fall under nor exhibit the traditional mental illness's they fly under the radar.

    Classis psychopath ! Can appear normal at anytime, and you will never know until they act upon their thoughts.
    The police theorized that he murdered his roommates in their sleep.

    Yikes !

    May 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
  13. observer

    awanderingscot,

    LIAR'S TEST:

    You claimed that I have used profanities on here.

    Supply ONE CASE. We'll PROVE who the LIAR is.

    I'm waiting, LIAR.

    May 26, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
  14. awanderingscot

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x_zmTpiZEU

    May 26, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      atheist devolves into petulant little boy

      May 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
      • thingsyouhaventthought

        Christian never evolves beyond a petulant little boy.

        May 26, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Your point is ?

        Krauss is a Physicist, not a Professional Debater, (for mucho mucho dollars) as Craig is. Krauss has always been a poor debater. That in itself does not make him wrong. Wanna see Craig get creamed ?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0qKZqPy9T8

        May 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
    • nepawoods

      Do you have any thoughts of your own, or do you only post links to cherry-picked debates?

      May 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Question for you nepa. Are atheists by and large pro-choice?

        May 26, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Tell us when *exactly* conception occurs. Then explain why a clump of cells with no neural tube is a "human" any more than an unfertilized egg. Then explain why the majority of ALL pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion. Seems the biggest "abortionist" is your god.

          May 26, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          of course conception occurs when the egg is fertilized but if you can't answer the question or are afraid to i understand.

          May 26, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          Speaking of AFRAID to answer, how are you doing with the LIAR'S TEST?

          May 26, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          since Bucky doesn't have any real convictions other than that God doesn't exist i'll throw it out there for any atheists are atheists Pro-Choice or not?

          May 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          STUMPED? You're getting killed on the LIAR'S TEST. Ready to be a man and apologize?

          May 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • Omega

          Atheists don't believe in any god. Period. Atheism may correlate to other beliefs or qualities, but there is a difference between correlation and causation. You may learn that in high school.

          May 26, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "Egg is fertilized" is not good enough. Does the first DNA have to be replicated ?
          YOu have no idea what "convictions" I have. Jebus told you not to judge. Why is it you know better than he ?

          May 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          By law it is a human when the fetus is viable, around 22 weeks. If you want ti change that law then you'll have to produce some evidence to say otherwise such as proof of consciousness or proof of a soul. Please get back to the rest of humanity when your done, we'll be getting along just fine without you.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:28 am |
        • kermit4jc

          @neverbeenhappier..law doent always mean its the best.....the fetus is always human..no matter whether in the womb or outside...it does not become a lizard or anyting else...that baby already ahs its unique characteristics that is part of definition of human....when aborted..there will NEVER be another one like it....so sad many see it as a piece of meat..again showing shallow value of life.....pathetic.....

          May 27, 2014 at 1:54 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          A just-fertilized egg is not a piece of meat; it is far away from reaching that state. At conception, what you call a human being is nothing but a collection of cells. A microscopic mote of tissue with no traits of its own beyond the DNA of its parents. There is nothing unique about it. You destroy more advanced bacteria in your stomach lining every moment of your life. Do you feel bad about that? Probably not, since those bacteria have slightly different DNA from you. And what about still births? Are those your god's chosen abortions? Is it also pathetic of your god to choose to abort those fetuses before they have a chance to live? Is a the shell of a human (brainless, no consciousness) worth more to you than the life of a fully developed female? That shows a pretty "shallow value of life" to me.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:01 am |
        • kermit4jc

          very ignorant analogy....a fertilized egg has all the characteristics of a humn imprinted on it...bacteria doesn't....such a stupid analogy..

          May 27, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          "Characteristics of humanity" are not "imprinted" on anything. They develop over time as the fetus matures. A brain isn't "imprinted" on a clump of organic tissue. The DNA contains the plan to develop it but that doesn't make it exist; it means there is potential for it to exist. Removing a clump of tissue before it has the chance to develop is not killing a human being. It is destroying cells that had the potential to eventually become a human being. And you didn't address the other issues I brought up, but I'm sure I can guess why.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:20 am |
        • kermit4jc

          WHAT other issues? and you are typical..trying to justify killing of babies so you can get out of responsibility to care for another human being

          May 27, 2014 at 2:22 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          The other issue of which is more important, the life of a full grown female or a shell of a human. I'm not trying to justify anything. I'm discussing how a clump of tissue is not a human being. Just because a bunch of pieces of metal and plastic can be transformed into a car doesn't make it a car. It has to be built first.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:26 am |
        • kermit4jc

          MY God aren't you full of false and foolish analogies?

          May 27, 2014 at 2:27 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          So, aside from meaningless accusations, do you actually have anything to say? Or do you just like calling other people's arguments stupid then running off to spread more of your misinformation?

          May 27, 2014 at 2:32 am |
        • kermit4jc

          WHAT misinformation..youre the one using usless anologies ...car are not personal..like humans are....

          May 27, 2014 at 2:35 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Sorry, it doesn't work that way. If a fetus that has no brain, nervous system, or other characteristics of a human being is threatening the life of a full grown woman, which would you have die? The woman or the shell of a human? That is the question. They can't both live. You have to choose.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:39 am |
        • kermit4jc

          LMAO...and you show me the true shallowness of what LIFE is and the value of life......If I truly vaued the life..I could sacrifice my life for it....if mY life is more important than another persons..then I would live a sad pathetic self centered life.....see...the fact you have to put forth a choice as such shows the self centeredness of humans

          May 27, 2014 at 2:43 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Uhhh, okay. Do you live under a rock or are just deluded? Unborn fetuses threaten the lives of mothers ALL THE TIME. See, if a choice isn't made then BOTH of them die. Your response is nothing but a cop out. You refuse to choose because your black and white morality system can't handle problems with moral ambiguity. See, people like me believe that a developed, grown woman is more important than a fetus that isn't even human yet. People like you would follow a god right off the side of a cliff if it said walking off a cliff was right. What if your god changes its mind on what is good and bad? What then? What if your god sends down a new book saying that murder is good? Would you start killing people? My guess would be yes.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:48 am |
        • kermit4jc

          MAYBE if you read my POST AGAIN...I di dnot deny they don't happen.....I JUST pointed out how grown humans are SO self centered if a baby threatens their life....they think themselves more important than the baby inside.....btw people like you are ignorant..you ASSUME I thought this cause I believed in God...sorry Charlie..I was against abortion LONBG before I became a Christian...I saw value in life..no matter WHErE it is..womb or outside of womb...YOU on the other hand use SHALLOW reason to give value to life..and its no wonder that humans commit suicide....they don tknow value cause people like you cheapen life

          May 27, 2014 at 2:50 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Apparently you don't value the life of the mother very much if you are willing to let her die so that an empty shell of a fetus can survive. And it is part of our makeup to want to survive. We all want to live. I would definitely choose to live so that I could have another baby instead of dying so that an empty shell could one day become a human. Then I could have four children and make even more life, instead of only having one and dying. Then the child would have to live without a mother, probably live with birth defects, and live with the knowledge that its mother had died because it had been born.

          Secondly, I mentioned your morality system, not your religion. They don't have to be the same thing. I also see value in life. I love life and only want to protect it. But when a fetus threatens the life of a mother, it is that woman's choice what to do. It is no more killing a human being than when you step on an ant.

          You sure do have lots of rage and hate for someone who is supposed to be filled with love for everything. All the name calling and insults. You would work great on a propaganda campaign making people hate other people just because the don't believe the same thing.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:57 am |
        • kermit4jc

          uh you got that pretty backwards....the woman can sacrifice her life..that does not devalue her life at all.....in fact she can be seen with dignity to be self sacrificing....but alas..with your remakrs..you pretty much show me you don't think self sacrifice is worth a lick either.....let me ask you this..if you were in a fox hole with another person and a grenade lands there..the other person jumps on it..saving your life...would you say that person did not value life at all? same deal here......all you are trying to do is spin spin so you can justify murdering babies who didn't ask to be born in the first place....and btw most abortions are nOT due to threanted life...the majority of the over 2 million abortions a year are due to "convinince" so really..the life of a mother being threatened really is almost a non issue

          May 27, 2014 at 3:01 am |
        • kermit4jc

          It is no more killing a human being than when you step on an ant.<-your comment befor that you love life and want to proetc it...pretty much contradicts that comment you made of an ant..again showing you don't really value life except on a shallow basis..again no wonder many people commit suicide....people like you and others around them feign valuking life in its truest form....

          May 27, 2014 at 3:03 am |
        • kermit4jc

          all human life is important....how egotistical of you to say such..about a full grown woman

          May 27, 2014 at 2:29 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          I am asking you. You are the one not giving an answer. So, which is more important, the shell of a human or a full grown woman? Choose.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:31 am |
        • kermit4jc

          they are BOTH impotant..pathetic to h ave to make a choice

          May 27, 2014 at 2:35 am |
        • kermit4jc

          and another psathetic analogy..WE are not God..WE are not giver of life....GOD has right ovger life..not us.....pathetic and ignorant

          May 27, 2014 at 2:16 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          OH, so only your god has the right to have a mother carry a child for nine months just to have it die on the table? Gotcha. I guess the no-third-trimester abortion laws don't apply to your god because that is a law of humans. But since miscarriages and stillborn births occur, couldn't that be your gods way of saying abortion is a-ok? Your god sure does seem to love doing it himself.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:23 am |
        • kermit4jc

          still a stupid and pathetic argument..GOD is giver of life..GOD is one who owns life..NOT you..not the mther...GOd is JUDGE..not you are the mother..not me.....God is not some other humen being...He is ABOVE all....

          May 27, 2014 at 2:25 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          lol Oh, so your god judges unborn children and sentences them to die? That makes even less sense. So let me get this straight, you say your god gives life for a few months then just decides to take it back, devastating the parents who wanted to raise the child and see it flourish? Your god sure does seem fickle and cruel. I wonder what your god does with those babies he kills when they get up to heaven.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:29 am |
        • kermit4jc

          we ALL die...youre using a pathetic emotional appeal.....IM not God..I don't know what HE sees in the babies future..GOD does..and He does things BEST for them...with that in mind..who are YOu to judge God then???? DO YOU know the future of the baby? you sound pretty arrogant to me

          May 27, 2014 at 2:34 am |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          We all die, but those babies never even got a chance to live. Your god obviously doesn't see anything in those babies' future because they are dead before or right as they are being born! If your god does what is best for the babies, why have them be conceived at all, if only to have them die before their first breath? That makes absolutely no sense. And I can't judge things that don't exist. All I'm doing is questioning the flawed ideas of an outdated, contradictory, and destructive worldview.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:37 am |
        • kermit4jc

          they DO live! sheesh...such ignorance...heaven is LIFE..not death......they are ALIVE in heaven...far better place then here on earth..and it makes NO sense to YO ucvause You are not God..YOU don't see all things..YOu don't know all things....yet YOu seem to judge him as a monster.....that's arrogance right there

          May 27, 2014 at 2:40 am |
      • danab1234

        He has no thoughts of his own. He is a brain-washed religious nut.

        May 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Archaeoraptor Liaoningensis: Fake Dinosaur-bird ancestor

          The most recent and perhaps the most infamous evolution frauds was committed in China and published in 1999 in the journal National Geographic 196:98-107, November 1999. Dinosaur bones were put together with the bones of a newer species of bird and they tried to pass it off as a very important new evolutionary intermediate.

          "Feathers For T-Rex?", Christopher P. Sloan, National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 196, No. 5, November, 1999, pp.99,100,105

          May 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
        • observer

          There are Christian FRAUDS all the time. Pastor Bob Coy was just one of a long line.

          May 26, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          scot, From wikipedia
          "Archaeoraptor" is the generic name informally assigned in 1999 to a fossil from China in an article published in National Geographic magazine. The magazine claimed that the fossil was a "missing link" between birds and terrestrial theropod dinosaurs. Even prior to this publication there had been severe doubts about the fossil's authenticity. It led to a scandal when evidence demonstrated it to be a forgery through further scientific study. The forgery was constructed from rearranged pieces of real fossils from different species. Zhou et al. found that the head and upper body actually belong to a specimen of the primitive fossil bird Yanornis.A 2002 study found that the tail belongs to a small winged dromaeosaur, Microraptor, named in 2000. The legs and feet belong to an as yet unknown animal.

          The "Archaeoraptor" scandal has ongoing ramifications. The scandal brought attention to illegal fossil deals conducted in China. It also highlighted the need for close scientific scrutiny of purported "missing links" published in journals which are not peer-reviewed. The fossil scandal has been used by creationists in attempts to cast doubt on evolutionary theory. Although "Archaeoraptor" was a forgery, many true examples of feathered dinosaurs have been found and demonstrate the evolutionary connection between birds and other theropods.""

          You'll note that scientific review corrected the forgery as it would an error, and that any error or forgery provides no evidence for creationism.

          May 26, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Actually it's not the most infamous one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piltdown_Man\
          Piltdown was. Yet it in no way, did its exposure refute Evolution.There are mountains of evidence for Evolution. As a theory it works Every single reputable university in the entire world assumes it is a true model, and teaches it. If it were possible to refute it, someone would have, and collected their Nobel Prize.

          May 26, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
    • fakeitgoodnasa

      Creation is geostatic, i.e. Earth is indeed fixed. All other theories are 'babel'...

      May 26, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        And only you know this? What credentials do you have that outweigh Nye, Hawking, Tyson, etc? I think I will take my chances with them, thank you....

        May 26, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
  15. bostontola

    finisher,
    You have made it very clear how you regard other people's beliefs. In your world, atheists are childish, dull, whiners, selfish, and liars. It is clear because you have repeated this many times. What you haven't done, is say what your beliefs are. Why?

    May 26, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
    • thingsyouhaventthought

      What he hasn't done is bring any meaningful argument to the table or offer any content to the discussion other than insults and ignorance. I wouldn't expect him to have much to say about his beliefs.

      May 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • skytag

        This is how Christians act when they feel threatened.

        May 26, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
    • midwest rail

      What he has made clear is that he is only here for a flame war. The mystery ( to me ) is why anyone responds to the twit.

      May 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • thingsyouhaventthought

        An inherent revulsion to willful ignorance and militant arrogance. Even understanding engaging in dialog is futile and meaningless, it's a hard compulsion to control.

        May 26, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
  16. thingsyouhaventthought

    You provide proof that you AREN'T a Christian. I'm waiting with bated breath.

    May 26, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      Huh?

      May 26, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
      • thingsyouhaventthought

        Accident. This awful commenting system lead me to accidently post a response as a new comment. Whoops!

        May 26, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
      • demoguy1

        Perhaps a pic of you not handling a snake(?)

        May 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
  17. jvance83

    Zealous proselytizers of any religion (or any secular cause for that matter) can be irritating and intimidating. Claiming that your religious faith has endowed you with the ultimate gift of eternal life, and that as a result of that gift you are obligated to actively "save" the non-believer is an illegitimate claim of moral superiority.
    Belief (even to the depth, breadth and width of one's heart) in an idea is not equivalent to truth.
    Truth is an absolute. It doesn't need any of us and cares not one whit whether any of us find it or not. It is indestructible and incapable of deceit or uncertainly. Truth needs no champions, nor does it heed them.

    May 26, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I think that in this world where people lie as easily as breathe, truth needs champions is we wish it to be known. But truth does not need our approval.

      May 26, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
  18. kyzaadrao

    Some days you just can't scare up a good revolution. CNN needs a zombie apocalypse. In the meantime, when in the bible belt travel light, never go out at night and remember that you too could be kidnapped by Christians who sell atheists to aliens.

    May 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
  19. grandeclectus

    How disgusting is it that so many people have to hide their non-belief in fairy tales?!. Any sane person would toss the book when god rested and the evil snake made a rib woman eat an apple thereby bringing about the fall of mankind. We got free from Zeus. I hope the future will bring about the downfall of all that nonsense.

    May 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
    • claretheresep

      There are extremists on both sides of the discussion of God. Just because non-believers can't get the proof they would like from believers doesn't mean it doesn't exist. No Atheist can prove God doesn't exist just like no believer can prove he does. It's a personal experience. If one asks to understand and be shown then he/she will be shown by God. It's wrong for believers to bash those that don't and it's wrong for non-believers to bash those that do.

      May 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
      • benhoody

        Totally agree with you.

        May 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        I can't prove that an Invisible Sasquatch riding a transparent flying Harley Davidson motorcycle created the universe either, but if I told you that I based my life on such a belief, that I raised my children to believe that, that I went to meetings of other like-minded believers every week, that the Sacred Sasquatch Scriptures told me that Sasquatch hated brunettes, and that the Sasquatch created the universe by farting it out of its dual butt-holes, and that I wanted that belief taught in schools, wouldn't you think me just a little bit nuts?

        May 26, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • engineersguidetogod

          "Dual butt holes" – now that's quality literature there!

          May 26, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • claretheresep

          It's up to you to believe whatever you want. I personally would tell my children of my beliefs but I won't control what they choose to believe nor would I try to. I'm not trying to get my religion taught in school. I believe the best places to learn and teach religion are within the home, church and among people who will be allowed to make their own decisions and not have to profess a belief to get a passing grade.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:25 am |
      • thefinisher1

        Atheists are like infants that cry as whine when people don't give them what they want. Basically, they are selfish people.

        May 26, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          You really have absolutely nothing of value to say, do you? That's the life of a Christian troll, I guess.

          May 26, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • benhoody

          I hate to admit it but I have to agree with you, except the part where you call him a Christian. A real Christian would not say what he/she says.

          May 26, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Finny's only real friend is his sock-puppet Sally.

          May 26, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Who says I'm a Christian? Evidence? Don't assume, kid. Makes you look foolish.

          May 26, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          I say you're a Christian, kid. Don't pretend you are something you aren't. It makes you look like you.

          May 26, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          So an atheist's refusal to believe in a god equate to selfishness? Interesting. By extension, I take it that your refusal to believe in Santa Claus equates to you being selfish.

          One hopes – yet doubts – that you have the intellectual capacity to understand how foolish you sound.

          May 26, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          You only demand that YOU and ONLY you are given the evidence. I'd say you are a spoiled selfish little brat.

          May 26, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Finny's just a troll. The only thing trolls worship is themselves.

          May 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          I know he's just a troll but my god I think he actually believes himself and takes himself seriously. What kind of warped beings could possible spawn this guy?

          May 26, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          It would appear that finisher is either (a) 9 years old, or (b) has the intellect and reasoning skills of a 9 year old.

          Hang on – that's a bit harsh. I've known a number of 9 year olds who exhibit vastly superior communication skills. let's change that to a 6 year old.

          May 26, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          No rebuttal? LOL. Your atheism must be very weak! ^_^

          May 26, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          lol A rebuttal to what? There are no rebuttals to insults, which is all you do. By the way, are you ever going to go and try to continue your futile argument about scientists and religion and how facts are "interpretable?" Or are you just a kid, kiddo, stupid religionist, spoiled brat, idiot? Did I get all of you names you use? If not, please feel free to update me on your ever expanding vocabulary.

          May 26, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Awwww!!!! I offended your pathetic atheism! Awww!!! Does somebody need a diaper change?

          May 26, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          This guy should be held up as the poster child for modern American Christians: arrogant, ignorant, childish, uneducated, dogmatic, close-minded, and offensive to everything reasonable and rational. What frightens me the most is that there is an army of Jesus drones out there just like him. Oh, how I weep for the future.

          May 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Except you have no idea what I believe so...what you just claimed is from your imagination.

          May 26, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          lol I know that you are a Christian. Everyone here does. Get over it. You're transparent and shallow beyond the pale.

          May 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          Wrong. Provide proof or what you claimed is a lie. I guess atheists believe I bearing false witness against someone that proposes a challenge. awwwwwww!!!! You spoiled atheist brats are so cute when you are trapped! 😝😜😊😝😜

          May 26, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • thefinisher1

          •believe in

          May 26, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          You provide proof that you AREN'T a Christian. I'm waiting with bated breath.

          May 26, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          finished, So explain your points about atheism and atheists- you know the evidence you used to form your opinion.

          May 26, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • sburns54

          Sad to say, this is about as intelligent a comment you are liable to get from the average christian that posts on CNN's religious articles. Enlightened debate? Rational arguments for believing? Some cogent christian apologetics? Nah.

          May 26, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • Omega

          Quiet, child. The grownups are talking.

          May 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
        • archtopopotamus

          I find Christianity rather selfish and narcissistic. They concept that Christians can have a personal relationship with this all powerful creator (who seems not to give a rats a$$ about how many lifeforms he wipes out by storms and pestilence) is primitive and desperate.

          May 26, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
      • sburns54

        I'm an agnostic atheist.
        I realize that the non-existence of a god cannot be proven- as a person who believes in the scientific method and the verity of proof, I must admit that. I do have to say, in all truth, "I do not know.'
        But I sure as heck don't BELIEVE there is a god. And certainly not one like the psychotic killer of the OT, or ones that resemble any of the myths mankind has come up with so far.

        May 26, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • claretheresep

          I believe all of God's direct Words in the Bible. But, I know some of it was human interpretation, some was directly spoken by God and written down, some was stories about Jesus, some was symbolism, some of it was just the recorded thoughts of minor prophets that were kept in for historical significance or because it revealed some spiritual truth, etc. Heck, the Psalms are poetry. Yes, I can't prove any of this, that's where "faith", "belief" and "personal evidence" comes in. The whole Bible wasn't supposed to be read as if it were a textbook. I believe it doesn't always have to be literal to convey a truth. That would be like saying "All the lessons in Aesop's Fables are worthless because I've never seen a talking fox."

          May 27, 2014 at 1:39 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Clare....there is no proof anything was spoken directly by god. Some people claim it was, but Joseph Smith claimed he read golden tablets out of a hat, and I don't believe that either.

          May 27, 2014 at 6:25 am |
      • LinCA

        @claretheresep

        You said, "No Atheist can prove God doesn't exist just like no believer can prove he does. It's a personal experience."
        Is that really the standard that you use to determine whether to believe something exists or not? If you apply that standard consistently that must mean that you consider a belief in the Tooth Fairy rational. Really?

        You said, "If one asks to understand and be shown then he/she will be shown by God."
        Nonsense. Only those that already believe such a creature exists will be "shown". What they are "shown" are the beliefs they've been inundated by, and indoctrinated into since childhood. Religious beliefs are not held because they are true. They are passed from generation to generation.

        You said, "It's wrong for believers to bash those that don't and it's wrong for non-believers to bash those that do."
        Maybe so, but pointing out how ridiculous religious beliefs are is fair game. I will not go knocking on anyone's door to tell them how infantile their beliefs are, but I will not shy away from that should someone put their beliefs up for discussion.

        May 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
      • skytag

        It's disingenuous to liken atheists to believers, as atheists don't try to try to make laws based on what they believe a god they can't prove even exists wants them to do.

        Seven state constitutions prohibit atheists from holding public office. Needless to say, those provisions have been ruled unenforceable, but the fact that they put in those constitutions in the first place demonstrates the arrogance of Christians in trying to legally discriminate against atheists simply because we don't buy into a bunch of myths and fairytales.

        May 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • claretheresep

          Some Christians who are trying to to legally discriminate against Atheists are wrong to do so. I'm a believer who enjoys talking to Atheists/Agnostics or anyone about God when they're civil.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:34 am |
    • benhoody

      That's what you believe fine, But there are millions of those who don't agree with you, and for good reason. You call those who believe in God insane, more athiest hate toward others just because they don't agree with you, what's up with that? You know you can't prove there is no God, so why would you say nasty things against those who believe there is a God, and why mock and speak against a being you can't prove doesn't exist?

      May 26, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
      • thingsyouhaventthought

        Don't mock me, you can't prove I don't exist, ahaelawejhlwalfej!!!!

        http://likeithateit.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/flying_spaghetti_monster_2.jpg

        May 26, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        @ ben – you're absolutely correct. So you would question anyone who chose to question the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, right?

        May 26, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
      • nepawoods

        I can't prove we're not surrounded by invisible boogeymen either. That doesn't make it a reasonable belief that we are. Common sense says if there's no evidence a thing exists, then it's reasonable to believe it doesn't.

        May 26, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • lean6

          Common assumption...common practice.

          May 26, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
      • skytag

        "more athiest hate toward others just because they don't agree with you, what's up with that?"

        Another Christian lying about atheists to attack them, more evidence that Christianity is a fraud. Nothing grandeclectus said suggests he hates Christians or that he hates anyone for disagreeing with him. Apparently you don't take that commandment about not bearing false witness too seriously.

        "You know you can't prove there is no God"

        More evidence religion makes people stupid. I can't prove Santa Claus, vampires, and leprechauns don't exist either. The burden of proof in the case of existence falls on those who claim something exists.

        "so why would you say nasty things against those who believe there is a God, and why mock and speak against a being you can't prove doesn't exist?"

        To those of us outside the bubble in which you encase yourself the idea of believing in a god for which there is absolutely no objective evidence is irrational. It's just something you believe, it's something you believe so strongly you base important life decisions on it, try to get other people to believe what you believe, and Christians have a history of trying to impose their beliefs on all of society through laws. All in the name of doing what they think a god they can't even shows exists wants them to do.

        May 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
      • archtopopotamus

        Christians believe the bible because an authority figure (parent or pastor) told them it's true and societal pressures reinforce the belief. These authority figures were in turn indoctrinated the same way. If that chain were to be broken – by forbidding the indoctrination of children – religions would die out rapidly. Humans would still strive for answers to the origins and meaning of existence, but perhaps it would be a more open minded process, and society would still create moral codes.

        May 26, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
        • engineersguidetogod

          So, are you saying that you would be supportive of a law that forbids parents from teaching religion to their children? Perhaps you would like the children to be turned over to the state so that the state can re-educate them? This is the day we commemorate those who died fighting for the freedom that we have to practice our religion. Perhaps you would prefer to live in communist China, where things are a bit more controlled.

          May 26, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          He is proposing a hypothetical situation to demonstrate the transient nature of religion. In the absence of the indoctrination of current religions to new generations, they would immediately die out because there is no natural inclination to believe in them. New ones may rise in place of the old religions but they would be completely different. Religions are just constructions of humankind that only exist as long as people insist on them.

          May 26, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
        • thinkmoo2014

          I am a Christian and I agree with much of what you have stated. I know that I do not know, but I know what I believe. I think absent history and the bible, our imaginations would still lead many to believe in a deity, even in today's scientifically enlightened times. I believe we have a spirit that is inherently good when we are born, else the world would be even worse than it is now. I am not mad at you for your beliefs, as we should all be free to believe as we like. I don't quite understand how a person would have much to live for if they did not believe in a life after earthly death; I guess just the fear of this life being it and once it's done you are done, or maybe the challenge of survival, but I personally hope for more than that. As long as you don't mess with me or my religion and you are not hurting anyone, I don't see where it is any of my business what you do or believe. Blessings on you all!

          May 26, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Moo.....I understand why most people want to desperately believe in life after death. It is because their life here on earth pathetically sucks. That is what made the slaves in the 1800's so spiritual. They did not want to believe that they lived their entire lives in bondage and that there was not some sort of reward in the next life. It's also why prisons are full of converted non-believers. I have a great life here on earth and see no need or desire for any god, and I am quite happy with my decision.

          May 26, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
        • Joeseph Eclaire

          Science can never be left alone to judge morality, nuclear destruction has proven that point for nuclear energy was not created to serve mankind but to destroy it. Nor can religion be left alone to guide mankind's morality for terrorism hiding behind religion has proven it's failings.

          The great comfort is knowing that religion did not come from God and without God there is no science

          May 26, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
  20. shamachen

    I am an African-American female who was born raised in a small-town in south Georgia and I now live in an Atlanta surburb. I am not an atheist but I don't belong to a church or believe in organized religion and I never will which is the same thing as being an atheist in the South. Most of the time, I can navigate pretty safely because I have been doing it all my life but there are times when the religiosity is oppressive mainly because it is intolerant and just plain crazy. I have to speak out when they start in on gays or rant about other religions but even then it has to be done gently because the insanity is so pervasive and goes all the way to the top of most organizations. It's a relief to know that I am not alone; but it can be difficult because so much of social life revolves around church here; if you don't belong, you are left out in the cold.

    May 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I'm sorry for your isolation. In a better world, religion would take a back seat to simple humanity.

      May 26, 2014 at 6:08 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.