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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. Alias

    If I said something abouth the gays in San Francisco, that wouldn't mean all the people in San Francisco were gay, would it?
    The article has a context. It is dealing with the religious bigots in the south. Does the article imply that every single person from Kentucky to Georgia has a problem with atheists? Or does it assume there is a culture in the south that does?

    May 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
  2. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Daniel Burke.

    An interesting article. Thank you.

    May 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • Reality

      Indeed and Dan is one of the few moderators/editors who takes the time to help you out with blog sign-up issues.

      On the other hand, how many atheists work for CNN? Probably not many if any at all considering they are based in Atlanta. Based on Dan's educational background, I don't believe he is.

      OK a question for Dan, is being an atheist an issue in getting a job with CNN?

      May 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
      • thingsyouhaventthought

        What do the author's belief (or lack thereof) have to do with anything re: the original comment?

        May 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Reality

          The author, Dan Burke, would not be reporting on said topic meeting if he were an atheist since he would not have been hired if CNN employs only Christians for jobs in Atlanta.

          May 27, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • Akira

          Fared Zakaria is employed by CNN, and he was born into a Muslim family, although he not religious today.
          So, I'm guessing that Christianity isn't a requirement.

          Just off the top of my head.

          May 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • Akira

          Not to mention, you can always email him and ask, as if the journalist's religion has anything to do with the articles he authors.
          Which, IMHO, it shouldn't.

          May 27, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • Reality

          Zakaria works for CNN in NYC.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:52 am |
        • Akira

          CNN is Atlanta-based. They have the say who gets hired.
          Zakaria works at their bureau office in NYC.

          May 28, 2014 at 11:45 am |
  3. jaareshiah

    Because of religion's role in the massive bloodshed over the centuries, the failure to adhere to the morals of the Bible (like Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart) and thus hypocritical, the greed that exists among televangelists (such as Tammy Bakker's 50 ft. walk-in closet and gold-plated plumbing fixtures at Jim and Tammy Bakker's private penthouse in PTL's Heritage Grand Hotel), is a few of the reasons some have become atheists.

    So ironically, a leading cause of atheism is religion. Historian Alister McGrath explains: “What propels people toward atheism is above all a sense of revulsion against the excesses and failures of organized religion.” Religion is often seen as a factor behind wars and violence.

    An atheist and philosopher named Michel Onfray muses on how it is possible that the same religious book (the Bible) could inspire two types of men, one “aspiring to saintliness,” the other “carrying out an act of inhuman cruelty”—terrorism. Both the Crusades and Inquisitions of the Catholic church several hundred years ago to the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram show what religious extremism can do and hence turn individuals toward atheism.

    However, some atheists have looked more closely at evidence of a Creator and came to be impressed by the Bible's ability to influence lives for good, realizing that the churches of Christendom have disregarded the Bible's "code of conduct" and are not representatives of God. They began to look afresh at the Bible.

    One former atheist, a social worker, came to be impressed by the Bible’s ability to affect lives. He said: “Having spent many years, with very limited success, trying to help people change behavior that was damaging to them and others, I found it remarkable to see how dramatically people could change for the better. I also learned that the changes were sustained.”

    Another former atheist named Bertil said to himself concerning Jehovah's Witnesses who came to his door with the Bible's message of hope: ' Poor fanatic. You have come to the wrong place ! He then says: "I let him in and began to vent my indignation concerning God, the Bible, and religion.”

    Appealing to common sense, the young man who called on Bertil showed him that there is an enormous distinction between true Christianity and the religion practiced by those who are Christians in name only. Bertil explains what impressed him, beyond arguments in favor of the existence of a Creator: “I admired his patience with my stubbornness. . . . He remained very calm, and he always had some literature for me and was well prepared.”

    Religious hypocrisy, atheistic teachings as evolution, and the prevalence of wickedness have caused many to doubt or even deny the existence of a Creator. However, the Bible’s explanation of God’s permission of suffering (the churches have no clue as to why God permits wickedness to continue) has touched the mind and heart of many former atheists. By taking the time to find the Bible’s answer to such vital questions, many have come to be convinced that there is a God who is, in fact, “not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27)

    May 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • doobzz

      I didn't become an atheist because of the hypocrisy of any one person, or even the hypocrisy of religion in general. I just studied the bible.

      Your post is just another No True Scotsman iteration.

      May 27, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Scroll back to the putting the kybosh on all religion comments to see that atheists use rational reviews and thinking about history and archeology for their decisions not the misadventures of evangelists .

      May 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      "(the churches have no clue as to why God permits wickedness to continue"
      -----------–
      I could actually speak to a lot of what you said, but instead of that, I'll just slay this one.

      Romans 3:5 says that our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God… God is not the author of evil, He did not create it, but He ordains it because had a plan for it. And God’s ultimate plan is His own glorification... In eternity past, God determined to put His attributes on display, and in order to do that, He had to create a people who would be sinners – in so doing, God’s attributes of love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace would be demonstrated through the salvation of the elect. And in the same way, God’s attributes of hate for evil, justice, and wrath would be demonstrated in those who refuse to love Him. Thereby, for all eternity, the elect will forever glorify God in His mercy, and the damned will forever glorify God in His justice.

      Gos ordains that evil exist for the following reasons:
      1) to bring chastisement and discipline on God's people to bring about their repentance
      2) To humble His people
      3) To teach a stronger brother how to help a weaker
      4) To bring the lost to repentance through conviction
      5) To demonstrate His glory by the demonstration of all of His attributes – mercy, grace, justice, etc...

      May 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
      • Reality

        And your god has personally revealed this to you?

        May 27, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Through the Bible, yes.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Theo, the bible is a poorly written book of fiction. How do you think that reveals the existence of a god to you?

          May 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          not poorly written..poorly read by likes of you and others

          May 27, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • Madtown

          Through the Bible, yes.
          ----
          Except, God didn't write the bible, so how would you truly know it's his personal revelation to you? And, why to YOU? What makes you more special than human beings God created, yet have never heard of christianity?

          May 27, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
      • Reality

        From a theologian who has studied the subject of god in great detail:

        As per the famous contemporary theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx, God (Schillebeeck assumed one exists) is not omniscient. Please read, pause and contemplate the following by Schillebeeckx:

        Church: The Human Story of God,
        Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

        "Christians (et al) must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history."

        "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices.

        Therefore the historical future is not known even to God, otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings.

        For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

        May 27, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          This person needs to do a study on the Sovereignty of God.
          I'd love to give him a reading list too because apparently he's never studied the Bible.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • Reality

          Schillebeeckx never studied the bible?? Give us a break!! It is you who has never really read the bible in depth nor read any books reviewing Christian theology based on said book of semi-fiction.

          Father Edward Cornelis Florentius Alfonsus Schillebeeckx (English pronunciation: /ˈskɪləbeɪks/ SKIL-ə-bayks, Dutch: [ˈsçɪləbeːks]; 12 November 1914 – 23 December 2009) was a Belgian Roman Catholic theologian born in Antwerp. He taught at the Catholic University in Nijmegen.

          He was a member of the Dominican Order. His books on theology have been translated into many languages, and his contributions to the Second Vatican Council made him known throughout the world.[1]"

          A list of some of Father Schillebeecks' studies and resulting books:

          Christ the Sacrament of the Encounter with God. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1963
          Revelation and Theology: Volume 1: Revelation, Tradition and Theological Reflection. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1967
          The Eucharist. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1968
          Clerical Celibacy Under Fire: A Critical Appraisal. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1968
          God Is New Each Moment: Edward Schillebeeckx in Conversation with Huub Oosterhuis and Piet Hoogeveen. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1968
          God the Future of Man. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1968
          The Mission of the Church. New York: Seabury, 1968
          The Concept of Truth and Theological Renewal. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1968
          Problem of Eschatology. New York: Paulist Press, 1969
          Revelation and Theology: Volume 2. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1970
          World and Church. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1971
          “Critical Theories and Christian Political Commitment,” Concilium 84 (1973): 48-61
          Truth and Certainty. Herder and Herder, 1973
          The Understanding of Faith: Interpretation and Criticism. New York: Scribner, 1974
          Jesus: An Experiment in Christology. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1979
          Marriage: Human Reality and Saving Mystery. New York: Seabury, 1979
          Christ: The Experience of Jesus as Lord. New York: Crossroad, 1980
          “The Christian Community and Its Office Bearers,” Concilium 133 (1980): 95-133
          Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ. New York: Crossroad, 1981
          God Among Us: The Gospel Proclaimed. New York: Crossroad, 1983
          The Church with a Human Face: A New and Expanded Theology of Ministry. New York: Crossroad, 1985
          On Christian Faith: The Spiritual, Ethical, and Political Dimensions. New York: Crossroad, 1987
          For the Sake of the Gospel. New York: Crossroad, 1990
          Church: The Human Story of God. New York: Crossroad, 1990
          Mary, Mother of the Redemption. Kansas City: Sheed & Ward, 1999
          The Language of Faith: Essays on Jesus, Theology, and the Church. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999"

          May 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Reality,
          And yet, if he questions the doctrine of predestination, which is supported by many Biblical proofs, then he is at the same time denying the sovereignty of God, which is also supported by numerous Biblical proofs. If he denies the sovereignty of God, then he believes that God is not really God, which pretty much nullifies just about anything that he has to say on the matter, because that is proof that he has never read the Bible.

          A plain reading the Bible converted an Augustinian Monk from the heresies of Catholicism in the 16th century, and it can do it today.

          May 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • samsstones

          Look who slithered back on the blog, no other than Theo. A plain reading of the book of silly have convinced many people that it is bull sh1t. There I corrected that for you. Still haven't heard the Theo definition of "light".

          May 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • Akira

          Augustine also believed deaf children were the result of the parents sin.
          Not sure I'd swallow every single word he wrote without question.
          And, wasn't Augustine a Catholic bishop?

          May 27, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Reality

          Look out as it appears Theo P might be another wayward Lutheran as per his comment about the "heresy slaying" Augustinian monk from the 16th century i.e. Martin Luther.

          For the next posting on the church door at Wittenberg: (to the point without all the 95 theses cluttering up the door)

          The Apostles' Creed 2014 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

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

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

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

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

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

          Amen
          (References used are available upon request.)

          May 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • G to the T

          Theo – "if he questions the doctrine of predestination,"

          You Calvinist Theo? In my studies, most denomination's deny predestination as it precludes free will, a necessary component is divine justice is to be truly "just". You may consider atheists nihilistic but predestination would truly mean that nothing we do matters.

          May 28, 2014 at 11:12 am |
      • doobzz

        Nothing like drowning every man, woman, child, infant, fetus, elderly, handicapped or mentally challenged person, along with every animal and plant on the face of the earth to demonstrate one's "glory, mercy, justice, grace, etc".

        May 27, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          That particular incident would be justice.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • doobzz

          Of course, because infants, fetuses and animals are so evil and sinful. Plants, too, they are the worst sinners. All those wicked flowers, taunting the bees with their sexy pistils, anthers and stamens.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          doobzz,
          You don't comprehend the wickedness that happened at the fall, and how that single act of unrighteousness has tained everything that lives upon the earth. The fact that everything that lives also now dies is evidence to their tainted nature.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • doobzz

          Another arrogant assumption. I understand what the bible says just fine. I studied the bible for several decades as a born again Christian. That's why I'm an atheist now.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • bchev

          doobzz,
          Every spring the plants quite literally bukkake the entire planet aroudn them, without asking. Of everything on the list I would say they may have actually earned a good drowning.

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

          At least it would keep the pollen count down a bit.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "You don't comprehend the wickedness that happened at the fall, and how that single act of unrighteousness has tained everything that lives upon the earth."

          Theo, there is a difference between "comprehending" a story and thinking it's true or a legitimate excuse for immoral behavior. The bible does not excuse immoral behavior whether you like it or not.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "The fact that everything that lives also now dies is evidence to their tainted nature."

          So before the flood are you saying that no animals died? Nature was in some stasis where the circle of life had not yet been invented? All these creatures you claim were specifically designed for the jobs they are assigns cleaning up dead waste and recycling it back into life didn't exist until after the flood? Really?

          May 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          For God so loved the world that He killed everything that couldn't fit on a 400 foot floating zoo.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          He is a righteous and just God. He was righteous and justified in putting them to death since they thumbed their noses at Him. Some children just wouldn't be happy and can't get along with the God's other children so they'll have to go somewhere else.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Doobz, newsflash for you. the Holy Spirit was never EVER in you. you're deluded.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • doobzz

          Scotty, newsflash for you. You're right.

          There is no such thing as a "holy spirit", so I never had the "holy spirit" in me. Neither do you, but feel free to continue in your delusion.

          Oh, and look up No True Scotsman, while you're at it.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          no son of God, one of the elect, ever apostatizes like you apparently did.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • doobzz

          There is no evidence of gods, no evidence of sons of gods, and those who feel they are the "elect" of mythical beings are simply deluded.

          I was too, for a long time, having been raised in a super religious home. There's still hope that you may someday come to your senses and join the real world.

          No True Scotsman, scotty.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "they thumbed their noses at Him."

          So which direction was that exactly? Kind of tough to thumb your nose at a silent invisible undetectable being. And then to murder them all for a thumb to nose offense? Really? You worship one sick and twisted deity.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Some children just wouldn't be happy and can't get along with the God's other children so they'll have to go somewhere else."

          I do so love when someone calls Planned Parenthood clinics abbatoirs in on breath and then rationalizes Biblical infanticide with the other.
          It seems that most of the time God just wants you to kill your own children – like when He spoke directly to Deanna Laney, Jennifer Cisowski, Khandi Busby, Angel Rico, and Laushaun Harris – all of whom killed their kids after God delivered one of His patented divine, psychic messages.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          – like when He spoke directly to Deanna Laney, Jennifer Cisowski, Khandi Busby, Angel Rico, and Laushaun Harris – all of whom killed their kids after God delivered one of His patented divine, psychic messages.<-ignorance..pure ignorance..God does not demand us to do things to our children......nothing in the Bible to support it

          May 27, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "So before the flood are you saying that no animals died?"
          --------------------
          Nope. I didn't say that. I said that death is evidence of sin's corruption. It was before man's fall in the Garden of Eden that there was no death... I think you're getting your Bible mixed up.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          In the modern world, the study of genetics and DNA analysis has proven that males are not made of dirt, nor are women clones spawned from the first male's rib cage.
          We also understand the physiological and cognitive requirements for speech and can definitively state that that neither serpents nor donkeys nor flaming foliage have ever had the ability to talk as humans do.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • samsstones

          Theo
          How about another stupid analogy, you ran away from the last one. Go ahead, try.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • Doris

          Stop it, doc! Too much information! All you're doing is making Theo press Gullible's Travels ever more firmly against his forehead.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Oh wow, you believe no animals died before Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden? I mean I want to laugh but i'm just stunned at the enormity of your idiocy. That has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard a believer say. I was an evangelical Christian for more than 30 years and no one I knew believed that the animals in the garden were some how never dying. It would mean the entir circle of life didn't exist until some shmuck ate an apple. And here I thought the normal version of Genesis was full of holes, yours is completely insane. You do know we have a fossil record dating back millions of years right? That all those creatures would have no reason for sharp teeth if all they ate were fruit and never died. Do you believe the T-Rex ever existed or do you think it a Satanic plant? Did you have a traumatic brain injury at some point in your life which keeps you from having logical thoughts?

          May 27, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • Doris

          bchev wrote some things. a-hem... LOL.. I'm afraid now every time I take an antihistamine, I will be thinking of it as a morning after pill...

          May 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • doobzz

          Blame those wanton pollen pushers. Honey is just their gateway drug.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • hotairace

          Kermy, your opinions about what your alleged but never proven god asks people to do are no more credible than those who claim god asked them to kill their children. You have exactly the same amount of evidence as they do and you are likely to be as mentally ill as them.

          May 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          agin making unqualified assertions about mental illness....stay away from that ok? ANd they do not have same amount of evidence..agaiun nothing in the BIble supports their cause

          May 27, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • hotairace

          How can you argue against their deep seated religious beliefs and personal experiences? What evidence do have that shows their god did not instruct them to kill their children?

          May 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • Doris

          kermit: "agin making unqualified assertions about mental illness....stay away from that "

          What exactly did anyone say to Theo or awanderingscot that was unqualified?

          May 27, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
        • hotairace

          Kermy gets his panties in a knot whenever I describe delusional believers as being mentally ill.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes...because you are not qualified to say such things...you throw the terms around recklessly and without merit

          May 28, 2014 at 2:13 am |
        • hotairace

          Not unlike yourself when you make claims about your alleged but never proven gods.

          May 28, 2014 at 2:17 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Kermit
          "God does not demand us to do things to our children……nothing in the Bible to support it"
          Sorry Kermit – God has commanded people to slay their children on an altar, gather the neighbours to stone lippy children to death and occasionally, He forces parents to cannibalize their kids.

          "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and ... offer him there for a burnt offering.... And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son."
          – Genesis 22:2

          If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
          – Deuteronomy 21:18

          And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend.
          – Jeremiah 19:9

          May 28, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Cant YOU read..i aid nothing supports US in doing so..God does not ask US to do so..and those examples save for Jrermiah are for GRoWN children...as for Abraham...He did nOT kill his child.....sheesh.poor attempt..as for Jeremiah....God ALLOWED a siege..which caused them to do so.....next time try to read the context of te Bible an my psts....Jeremiahs example was about a SPECIFiC situation.....you are vey ignorant

          May 28, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit .... Another example of you being hateful. You keep providing your own examples. You are a horrible person.

          May 28, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Kermit
          Before resorting to personal attacks, perhaps you should review your statement.

          "God does not demand us to do things to our children – nothing in the Bible to support it"
          I cited instances in which God has indeed demanded His followers to do things to their children.
          There is a precedent. Just because God stayed Abraham's hand at the last minute, that doesn't mean that He didn't order Abe to kill his child – and Abe was quite ready and willing to do it.

          In the case of Jennifer Cisowski, God told her to dash her infant's head on the rocks so (her words here) "Just like Jesus raised Lazarus, I threw the baby on the stones by the pool." Perhaps she was thinking of Psalm 137 and figured she should be happy about dashing infants' heads on rocks.

          When God speaks to people, He seems to do it very privately. "Divine revelations" are never announced by God to large groups of people simultaneously. It seems He tends to pick specific people to whom he transmits psychic messages.
          Since nobody has a means of intercepting and deciphering divine, psychic messages, all claims of such communications are equally valid.

          Of course, all the people I mentioned people have been found legally insane by the judicial system, so if you hear God's voice speaking to you, it's time to check with your local psych ward to see if you need a huggy jacket.

          May 28, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Since nobody has a means of intercepting and deciphering divine, psychic messages, all claims of such communications are equally valid.<–so in other words..screw context..make up your own stuff right?

          May 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Grown children" ?
          That's like calling a butterfly a "metamorphosed caterpillar".

          May 28, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          not at all....grown children is acceptable term....especially in the ancient Middle East...(remember...we are not is USA here with the Bible) and also..it has to be grown children..what was described was nothing like a 10 year old merely throwing a tantrum...the person is a drunkard and all sorts of things...wow...I can see it now..a 10 year old going to the tavern every night and getting drunk

          May 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Akira

          Kermit, is that what Doc said?
          The mentally ill have their own reality. As a psychologist, you know that.
          Therefore, you have to know that when patients say God commanded them to do this or that, that is the reality they believe.

          Calling someone ignorant because they point that out is needlessly inflammatory, especially when they are recounting well-known facts about these cases.

          Those that have psychotic breaks tend to not look at what is "Biblically correct."
          That's why they are ill.

          May 28, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • hotairace

          What context are we missing kermy? They all believe crazy sh!t and they did crazy sh!t. Seems pretty clear they're crazy (mentally ill) and their beliefs and actions are related. What am I missing?

          May 28, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
      • samsstones

        Theo
        Your god had his supposed only innocent son crucified for the fun of it, hardly merct, grace, justice. Shake your deuded head.

        May 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Jesus Christ stepped off His throne and came to earth WILLINGLY, and gave His life WILLINGLY, to take the punishment YOU so richly deserve. you really should be alot more appreciative.

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

          Scotty
          I am not some coward that would let another person (in this case a myhtical deity) take punishment for me if I desrved some. But since I do not believe in the whole "sinner" nonsense, I will be fine. Wander on, Scotty, wander away.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I will never willingly let someone else take any punishment in my place. If I have done something wrong, then I should be the one to make amends. To me, the frenzied happiness that christians display when they talk about the crucifixion is almost psychotic. Human sacrifice is human sacrifice, no matter how many bows and ribbons you put on it.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          and you'll get your wish someday, but by that time you won't even be a memory to us. scream all you want right now.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • tallulah131

          If indeed you are right, I will accept my punishment, because that's what adults do. However, there is not a single shred of evidence to indicate that there is any sort of afterlife at all, so I'm not terribly concerned. I will continue to live my life as an accountable, responsible human being, making amends where I do wrong.

          I'll leave the pretending and excuse making to the christians.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I think maybe it was a typo and he meant his name to be "apanderingscot"...

          May 27, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Maybe amaunderingscot?

          May 27, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Doris

          wanderingdolt: "to take the punishment YOU so richly deserve"

          Maybe you should go self-flagellate scotty, since you're so hyped up on self-deprecation all the time.

          What a creep.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • Reality

          (from Professor JD Crossan's book, "Who is Jesus" co-authored with Richard Watts)

          "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

          "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

          "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."

          May 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        "6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled." Genesis 6:6

        It seems like less of a plan and more of a "just winging it" moment. Also, does your God have a heart and if so, how can it be troubled? Would that not mean he was confused as to what to do? Is this not proof according to scripture that God does things and then later thinks "Well that was a bad idea." Is this not just another example of humans projecting their insecurities on their invented deity to explain the hardship of survival on this planet?

        "God is not the author of evil, He did not create it, but He ordains it because had a plan for it."

        Ordain: make (someone) a priest or minister; confer holy orders on. 2. order or decree (something) officially.

        So he didn't create it but he "ordered" it? From who did he order it? One of his creations? And thus proving that he did in fact create evil if you believe in the bible creation myth.

        Oh, and you can't keep trying to invent new definitions of words to better suit your preconcieved ideology.

        May 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "does your God have a heart and if so, how can it be troubled? Would that not mean he was confused as to what to do? Is this not proof according to scripture that God does things and then later thinks "Well that was a bad idea." Is this not just another example of humans projecting their insecurities on their invented deity to explain the hardship of survival on this planet?"
          ------------------
          This is what is known as "phenomenological" or "condescending" language. The language about God has been condescended to the understanding of man. It is in much the same way that a parent may use "baby-talk" to speak to an infant who has no way of understanding higher forms of language.

          "So he didn't create it but he "ordered" it? From who did he order it? One of his creations? And thus proving that he did in fact create evil if you believe in the bible creation myth."
          -------------------
          Here’s an analogy: We must look at unrighteousness (sin) not as a thing in and of itself, but as a lack of righteousness. In the same way, darkness is not a thing in and of itself, but it is rather a lack of light. In just the same way that light is not a direct cause of darkness, darkness exists wherever the light is withheld.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • samsstones

          Theo
          More ridicule, yes sir. Define light, any which way you want, is it just what our human sight can observe, what about the rest of the "light" spectrum that sceince has discovered how to see?

          May 27, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Here's another analogy: Atheism isn't a think in and of itself. It is simply the lack of the falacies and immoral beliefs of religions. Religion is an actively bad thing. Atheism simply means an absense of that bad thing.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Wow, what a way to dodge the questions by claiming our language just isn't enough to understand your creator. Apparently then the entire bible is baby talk and can be thrown out the window as none of it actually means what it says and you have to read between the lines and listen to how Theo and others of his ilk define words and meanings and things to match their preconcieved ideology of "Were in charge cause we know what the God of the bible wants even when it says something different. We'll be the judge of the interpretations so just hand over your freedoms to our God who owns you as slaves and quit bltching."

          May 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          Oh, and darkness isn't really dark and empty space isn't really empty, so your attempted explanation of evil falls on its face.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • Akira

          Oh, is that what phenomenological means?
          Is that what condescending means?
          I had no idea they meant the same exact thing.

          Huh.

          May 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Oh, and darkness isn't really dark and empty space isn't really empty, so your attempted explanation of evil falls on its face."
          -----------------–
          I'm sure that even you, before riding through the countryside at night on your motorcycle will turn on the light. We can go back and forth about the many understandings of the word "light" but even a child understands that light displaces the darkness. And it is with that simple meaning that the analogy of righteousness and unrighteousness is used.

          Unrighteousness exists as an absence of righteousness, and the darkness exists wherever the light is withheld.

          May 28, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • fintronics

          Light = chicken,, darkness = no chicken

          May 28, 2014 at 10:12 am |
    • tallulah131

      I'm an atheist because of history. The christian god is just one of thousands of gods, and there is not a shred of proof for any of them. Every culture created their own gods as placeholders for the unknown, but as that unknown was investigated and explained, those gods went away. The christian god remains because it is the placeholder for that last great mystery: Death. When we as a species finally put away the fear of our own mortality, I suspect the christian god will go away, too.

      May 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
    • jknbt

      how about the religion of atheism as one of the main moving forces supporting the murder of babies in the slaughterhouses/abortion mills/planned parenthood clinics of america?

      since 1974, a whopping 57 million innocent babies have been murdered. This is the population of NY state & California combined.

      so stop with the patronizing crap about christianity being the source of wars and death. you people defend and support killing babies!

      May 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Atheism is not a religion. The majority of women having abortions are christian.

        Next?

        May 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • Akira

          I have always found it astounding that people conflate atheists with abortions, being that what you stated is absolutely a correct, but inconvenient truth.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          It is one of their "No True Scotsman" defenses. They (any self righteous Christian who hasn't been faced with an unwanted and extremely inconvenient or potentially life threatening pregnancy) believe that anyone who has an abortion must be an atheist since there would be no way to make that decision if they were a true Christian.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I suspect that there are more true Scotsmen than there are "true christians".

          May 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • jknbt

          atheism is a type of religious philosophy...it has opinions about god, the bible, and other religious topics just like any religion. laws are based on it.

          the "christians" who shamelessly murder their babies because they are untimely or inconvenient are murderers. My bible says no murderer has life (Jesus) in her. The rare exception where this should be tolerated is when the mother's life is in immediate danger, ectopic pregnancies, or when the baby is horribly deformed like in anencephalophy.

          these so called christians have he llf ire waiting for them unless they repent.

          Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matt 7:21

          May 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Atheism is not about "opinions of god," it is about not believing in a god. That isn't an opinion. It's a fact. I do not believe in god. A fact, not my opinion. That fact is not based on my opinion of gods, it is based on the fact of my denial of the existence of gods. And why are there exceptional abortions when your god says "thou shalt not murder?" If you think abortion is murder then ALL abortion is murder.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Jknbt...,,sorry, you are just wrong. Atheism is nothing more than not believing in any gods, period. We don't believe in your god just like you don't believe in Zeus. And your opinions about Greek mythology are the same as our opinions about your bible. Pretty simple, really.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          thanks for proving my point jknbt with your "these so called christians "

          If your God torments people for eternity for the few short years they lived on earth then I am so very glad he/she/it doesn't exist. What a horrible universe this would be if that were true. I feel sad for those of you who long for that universe, you must live sick unhappy lives to wish that on anyone.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • igaftr

          jknbt
          Atheism is NOT belief in gods. That is it...all the rest you say is atheism is not atheism. (theism is not a reliigon in itself, neither is the opposite a-theism)
          Abortion is NOT murder, since murder is the ILLEGAL taking of a human life, and since abortion is legal, you are using the wrong word.
          many of you believer bretheren try to say that your god did not murder everyone on earth in the Noah myth, because HE made the laws, so it was LEGAL for him to kill everyone...abortion is also legal, so not murder. If you try to say it is murder, then your god is also a murderer...so which is it...you can't have two differnet definitions going ( except for Vic and Theo who seem to make up definitions everytime they post)

          May 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        How do you feel about your god and all the miscarriages it causes or fails to prevent?
        Fertility is just a religion's way to ensure it has a future.

        May 27, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          HOw do I feel about My God taking the lives of the children from in the womb? IM ok with it..why not..they are inheaven....IM not Gods judge..I am not the supreme ruler....

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

          I can't believe I'm even speaking to you again but your comments are just so egregious and inflammatory that I can't help it. But since all of the aborted "babies" as you call them are also in heaven, what is your problem with it? Isn't it better to be in heaven than on earth?

          May 27, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          My problem is we are nOT God..WE are not one to judge...and WE do itout of selfish desires...rather than for the baby..again the MAJORITY of the 2million plus abortions in USA ALONE are done out of "convenience" for themother......such a self serving society we live in...I will speak for the unborn in that matter

          May 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          But surely abortions are also god's will, right. An omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent god would have the power to prevent conception or abortion. So the fact that it doesn't must mean it's OK with abortion as it is with miscarriages.

          May 27, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God is not a puppet master..he allows sins to occur to show how depraved people are...again we have noright to take the life of the baby..ONE whatsoever..ESPECIALLY for self centered reasons

          May 27, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          You don't see the inconsistency?
          How does entrapment work if the rules are not laid out – just 40,000 different interpretations?

          May 27, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and that's a false and ignorant statement to say 40,000 different interpretations.....that's so far from the truth....just cause there are that many denominations..doesn't mean we all disagree on everything....

          May 27, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "..doesn't mean we all disagree on everything"

          Have you ever heard or read someone who says those in a different denomination are going to hell? Sounds like a pretty strong disagreement.

          May 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          uh..not all 40,000 do that to one another..lets try again...just because there are 40,000 different denominations does NOT mean we disagree on everything..and not ALL of those denominations say the other is going to hell....

          May 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "not all 40,000 do that to one another..lets try again"

          No, of course not, but most Christians I encounter say having the correct way of thinking (not acting, not believing, but thinking) about what Jesus's sacrifice means is essential for salvation, and if you're not thinking correctly (their way, of course) then you're doomed.

          May 27, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – "IM ok with it..why not..they are inheaven"

          I'd be interested in how you resolve that idea with the picture you have of yourself in heaven. I'm assuming part of what you picture is yourself as a sentient being, meeting friends and family perhaps, with the knowledge and memories you have from earth intact. If so, what sort of existence do you picture an unborn fetus has in heaven?

          May 27, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          would it matter? after all..we are not going to spend eternity thinking of the past.....and forgetting about living in the moment.....for the unborn...certainly there will not really be any memories...

          May 28, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • James XCIX

          "would it matter?"

          Depends on your point of view, I suppose. To me, it seems that vastly different earthly experiences would result in vastly different heavenly existences.

          And if it doesn't matter in the end, then crude as it may sound, I don't see that you can really counter the argument that if aborted fetuses always go to heaven then they've been done a favor by not having to face the risk of eternal torment that a full life of sin would have brought.

          May 28, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          So, kermy, killing fetuses is OK as long as it's your god doing the killing?

          May 27, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God takes ALL life..not just babies....God is our Creator..He reserves that right..we dont

          May 27, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          So why do you make such a fuss about abortion and not miscarriages or victims of traffic accidents, gun rampages, preventable and curable disease, etc. etc.

          May 27, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          OMG you that dense? you don't know the difference? abortion is murder! miscarriage is not...abortion by HUMANS is murder..they have NO right to take the life of the baby! sheesh...think before you type

          May 28, 2014 at 2:07 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          According to you they are all acts of god – either the god caused it happen or did nothing to prevent it. Why do you only focus on the unborn?

          May 28, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • sam stone

          kermy: your god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck. thanks for playing

          May 27, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • benhoody

          Old self righteous Sam at it again, mock, call names, whine, cry, and on and on, same old same old, if they don't agree with me says Sam, I'm just going to call them names like a little kid, I don't like it when they disagree with me or have a different opinion, I'm right and they are wrong, how dare they. Sam your a pathetic cry baby who just wants its own way. Your first comment and your last and the ones in between are the same old rant filled with hate towards anyone who disagrees with you, you are right no matter what and no one else can possibly no anything except you, pathetic.

          May 27, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          your god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck. thanks for playing<-you have yet to prove that..you najme call god yet don't show it..sure he takes lives....that's not vindictive or petty...it seems you don't like anything Holy....God isn't doing this basedon feelings like you and I.. dictionary.reference.com/browse/vindictive
          disposed or inclined to revenge; vengeful: a vindictive person...God shows no revenge..but Judgment..sorry..you got to show in the Bible God is not judging..but being revengful

          May 28, 2014 at 2:04 am |
        • Doris

          Sorry kermie, but your god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck – when you need him to be, of course.

          May 28, 2014 at 9:42 am |
        • kermit4jc

          When I NEED Him to be vindictive? God isn't vindictive...you even know what the word means..and if you do...show me God is vinidictive...nowhere does the Bible show it

          May 28, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • G to the T

          Kermit "why not..they are in heaven?"

          Supposition. Age of accountability is extra-Biblical. By all accounts, original sin + no jesus = hell/separation from God. Loop-holes are for those that believe that God's concept of "just' must conform to that of humans.

          Everyone that died in the flood is in Hell, or what God did isn't "just" by his own definition.

          All of the above being said, I'm stating a theological position, not what I personally believe (none of it happened anyways).

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

        70+% of the abortions had each year in the USA are had by believers. Believers could reduce the number of abortions performed each year in the USA simply by following their own cults' rules, no change in laws required, no reason to blame atheists for believer behavior.

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

          70% are performed on Christians. The rest are made up of all other faiths combined.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          but WHAT kind of Christians? the ones who go to church on holidays? the ones who are regular attendees? the ones who believe in the Bible? I mwan come in..REALITY and FACT is...there are Christians by NAME only..and nothing more..they sure don't LIVE like Christians....

          May 28, 2014 at 2:11 am |
        • hotairace

          And Kerm. y now wants us to believe he is one of the only true christians and a true judge of true christians. I suggest his mental illness has just reached a new level.

          May 28, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • Akira

          They are obviously the kind of Christians who abort their fetuses.
          The point isn't what kind of Christians you think they are; the point is that 70% are Christian women.
          The numbers do not lie, and are a direct contradiction to the oft-asserted claim that atheists are running around willy-nilly getting abortions left and right.
          I am dealing in the data, here.
          As the psychologist you say you are, you should appreciate the distinction.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "FACT is...there are Christians by NAME only..and nothing more..they sure don't LIVE like Christians...."
          ------------------------
          This is more 'true Scotsmen' nonsense.

          You can't go around claiming that the US is a Christian country because 75% of the population is Christian and then say that the representative 70% of women who have abortions who affiliate with Christianity are not 'true Christians'.

          Only about 31% of Americans attend church regularly.
          PRRI: "I know what you did last Sunday".
          http://publicreligion.org/research/2014/05/aapor-2014/

          If regular church attendance is what it takes to be religious, then the religious are a minority in the US. That definition is fine by me, so lets cut all the crud that this is a "Christian country".

          May 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I think it would be virtually impossible, based on the laws on our books, to claim this is anything but a Christian country

          May 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • hotairace

          How would you like to be a christian woman, in need of counseling after having an abortion, looking for same at the clinic kermy claims to work at? Do you think you would get professional help, or would you be chastised for not being a true christian, and perhaps turned over to priests (possible child abusers) for confessional counseling?

          Kermy, prove that you do more than clean toilets.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          context sir..context..this is NOT a counseling blog.....so don't assume that the way I respond here is the way I respond in the clinics and such

          May 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • James XCIX

          kermit – ".there are Christians by NAME only..and nothing more..they sure don't LIVE like Christians."

          Just curious, do you agree with the idea that everyone sins and that all sins are equally abhorrent to your god?

          May 28, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes...all sins are equal...all sins turns us away from God

          May 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "yes…all sins are equal…all sins turns us away from God"

          So as I understand it, since merely thinking a sinful thought is just as bad as murder, humans can't tell who's doing the worst sinning, and that's why there's an admonition against humans judging others.

          May 29, 2014 at 8:54 am |
        • kermit4jc

          did iI say or judge who is doing the worst sinning? otherwise what does that have to do with our conversation at hand?

          May 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • James XCIX

          ".there are Christians by NAME only..and nothing more..they sure don't LIVE like Christians."

          Referring back to my first post–seemed like some judging of who's being a good Christian and who isn't, as though you can tell.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          there is n o such thing as a "good" Christain..either yuo are..or not...Christians can be shown as ones who do not LIVE in sin (constantly) sinning even John addresses this in one of his epistles (about a Christian who "no longer sins") And again as i said..many people have admitted they are Christian by NAME only....cultural..meaning they dont really follow the teachings....and their lives arwe marked by constant sinning...they live with each other out of wedlock....never repenting of their sins (if they repent, then they would be seperating from the relationship or get married-this is one example of living in sin) I as a Christian who tries to actually follow the teachings of Jesus will make a mistake now and then...but I repent of it and turn from it...huge difference

          May 29, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • James XCIX

          "they live with each other out of wedlock….never repenting of their sins"

          Perhaps they don't agree with you that it is a sin; marriage is a civil ceremony, after all. In any case, even if you believe it is a sin it's still just one sin.

          "...they dont really follow the teachings"

          I thought Christianity was past being concerned about rules for behavior and is all about what's in the heart, and you cannot know what's in others' hearts.

          " I...will make a mistake now and then…but I repent of it and turn from it"

          Then you must be pretty close to reaching perfection by now if you've managed to make all your sinful mistakes only one time each.

          May 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I said that was ONE example..they do other sins...(I know cause they are humans) I thought Christianity was past being concerned about rules for behavior and is all about what’s in the heart, and you cannot know what’s in others’ hearts.<-following WHOS rules? their own..or Gods? as for making mistakes..i said occassionally....Im nowhere near perfection..not in this life..no one is

          May 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Sorry to revive an old thread, but I was curious–do you think that a couple must be married in a religious ceremony in order to not be living in sin, or is a civil ceremony sufficient?

          May 30, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          be married..whether elaborate, church or mayors office,,,,,must be a committed one....which is hard to find nowadays as people are recklessly getting together, not caring of the consequences (broken homes, children with one parent out of the house, etc)

          May 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • James XCIX

          OK, thanks for the reply, although it has not been my observation that marriage necessarily makes a relationship more committed.

          May 30, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Alias

          'Christian counselors' do not have to have the same qualifications as the professionals who work outside of the church.

          May 28, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          says who?

          May 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • Alias

          If you worked in the field you would know.
          The specififcs are different in different states.

          May 28, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          of course they are different for each state...sometimes between counties as well

          May 28, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • Alias

          AS an example, ministers, priests and pastors can offer counseling.

          May 28, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          true..but only to an extant

          May 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
      • thingsyouhaventthought

        Abortion is not about "killing babies" you hate-mongering propagandist. Halting the development of a pre-human fetus is not murder. You can't "murder" a clump of organic tissue. You can't murder an empty shell shaped like an infant human. Without a brain, without a mind, without consciousness, with a nervous system, a fetus IS NOT A HUMAN BEING. It is a POTENTIAL human being. The vast majority of women undergoing an abortion do so with great reservations, grief, and pain. It is not an easy experience, nor should it be. But to label them as murderers is gross and monstrous slander. There is much more to the decision of having a baby, of bringing a new life into the world, than simply "I have a potential human being in my womb." Most women who have abortions lack the means to care for the child and provide for it so that it is raised in a healthy environment. It isn't about fun. It isn't about enjoyment. It is about necessity.

        May 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • jknbt

          you were once just a clump of cells....every one of them has the same dna you do now...you were them...

          and your living soul and spirit were there, whether you believe it or not.

          when a mother kills her child, she is killing all of the generations that would have come out of that person. Killing a person is a form of killing God. Too bad you don't understand that.

          and every society that has had abortion on demand also eventually has mandatory euthanasia. You may be first in line when you turn 65 and your country decides you are untimely and inconvenient also.

          May 27, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          jknbt....ok, since you say there absolutely is a soul and spirit in me.....it should be easy to prove.....so, prove it! And....let's cross the age 65 bridge when we get there please.....nobody is advocating forced euthanasia....

          May 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "and every society that has had abortion on demand also eventually has mandatory euthanasia. "
          -------------------
          Name a single society that has "mandatory euthanasia"!

          May 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • jknbt

          hey gopher, how about nazi germany? the holocaust started with killing babies, then the mentally retarded, then the mentally ill, and then killing of concentration camp people who were 65 or older which was considered too old to work back in the 1940's....then they killed as many as possible.....

          May 28, 2014 at 8:51 am |
        • tallulah131

          jknbt:

          There was no 65 age limit in the concentration camps. The Nazis killed anyone they couldn't use, and then they killed those they could use when they were used up. Basically, you are making stuff up because you don't have any facts to support your claims. If you want people to take you seriously, stop lying.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • Akira

          Hitler's "Final Solution" most certainly did not start with babies.
          And the rest of your post is a false assertion to give veracity to your claim that it started with babies.
          It did not.

          May 28, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • igaftr

          jknbt
          I have no idea where you are getting your information from, but it is widley accepted that the first overt steps toward the final solution was Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass. The Catholic church was strangely silent even though they knew exactly what was going on.

          May 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "the holocaust started with killing babies"
          ---------------
          Nonsense.

          And genocide is not an example of "mandatory euthanasia".

          May 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
      • Akira

        Well, stop conflating atheism with abortion, because it is a dishonest thing to do.
        If that 70% are Christian, that means 30% are all other religions combined, with a small showing of atheists in the mix.
        Lying about abortion and who is obtaining them doesn't strengthen your stance any.

        May 27, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
        • believerfred

          73% in the U.S. are Christian.....................logical to assume abortion rate is due to demographics

          May 28, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • hotairace

          But (most) christian cult rules clearly say no abortions. Why do so many christians ignore their cult's rules and their alleged but never proven imaginary buddies? Are churches shunning or stoning their rule breakers?

          May 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • Akira

          Yes, Fred, I know; which is why people who present that atheists are the ones getting the abortions is dishonest. As I stated.

          May 30, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      "Because of religion's role in the massive bloodshed over the centuries"
      oh ... right i forgot. but here is your death toll. more than all the wars in the history of the world combined.
      the Big 3: Hitler (atheist) 50-80 million, (Stalin atheist) 43million, Mao (atheist) tops the list at 65 million
      Pol Pot, another darling of the atheists killed 2.5 million people within the span of a short 3 years

      Of the 125 thousand people investigated by the Spanish Inquisition, only 1.8 % were executed.
      The crusades give an estimate of 1 million but this includes military personnel. how is that for some perspective?

      May 27, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
      • James XCIX

        awanderingscot – I know I'm not the first to point this out to you so I don't know why you continue to ignore it, but there is a difference between someone who kills in the name of their religion and someone who kills for some different reason. None of the leaders you mentioned were killing in the name of their non-religion–their religious non-belief was as incidental to the reason they were killing, which was their political ideology, as was their hair color.

        May 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          Also Hitler was a Catholic, and the Catholic Church backed him up at first when it was only Jews and Gays he was going for. They fell out when he tried to rewrite their doctrine for them.

          May 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "Of the 125 thousand people investigated by the Spanish Inquisition, only 1.8 % were executed.
        --------------
        So that makes it OK then?

        Most of those 'investigated' by the inquisition were forced to convert. Most of the people Stalin sent to the Gulags came out alive.

        "It turns out that, with the exception of the war years, a very large majority of people who entered the Gulag left alive.
        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/mar/10/hitler-vs-stalin-who-killed-more/

        Your excess death totals by communist despots are on the high end by the way.

        May 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • thingsyouhaventthought

        Not that pointing to individual warmongers has any relevance whatsoever when being compared to wars perpetrated by religion (apples to oranges), but Hitler was not an atheists. Indeed, here's a direct quote from one of his speeches: "There may have been a time when even parties founded on the ecclesiastical basis were a necessity. At that time Liberalism was opposed to the Church, while Marxism was anti-religious. But that time is past. National Socialism neither opposes the Church nor is it anti-religious, but on the contrary, it stands on the ground of a real Christianity. The Church's interests cannot fail to coincide with ours alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of today, in our fight against the Bolshevist culture, against an atheistic movement, against criminality, and in our struggle for the consciousness of a community in our national life, for the conquest of hatred and disunion between the classes, for the conquest of civil war and unrest, of strife and discord. These are not anti-Christian, these are Christian principles."

        He may have not be Christian, but he certainly had a Christian background and he never confessed to being atheist. He spoke out against religion but that didn't mean he didn't believe in a higher power. And by the way, the VAST majority of Germans, and hence Nazi, were Christians.

        May 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
      • igaftr

        scot
        How is lying helping your cause?
        Hitler was not an atheist...learn some history.

        Also, you may try to make the claim that they were atheist, but that was not the reason people were dying.

        In the case of the wars and destruction blamed on religions, THAT was the stated reason for the violence.
        Not so with the atheist leaders, where the violence and death was due to political reasons, and famine.
        You have to examine the REASON people were dying. And Hitler was one of YOURS, he even tried to abolish atheism...seriously , get an education.

        Your argument is the same lame, false misrepresented argument that is completely false...so you are staying true to form.

        May 27, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Calling Hitler an atheist and exaggerating numbers is in the christian playbook. They seldom actually address actual fact (that the majority were killed by famine or because they were "enemies of the state") and simply depend on shock value.

        It's sad that they don't realize that when they post on the internet, the real numbers and the real reasons are readily available to anyone who is interested in the honest truth. They only expose themselves as liars, something that their own god admonishes against.

        May 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Hitler led an atheist regime? Is that why Nazi uniforms were emblazoned with the slogan "Gott Mit Uns"?
        Or why he said: ""We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
        The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942

        "The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy ...proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism... "
        – Adolf Hitler in an article in the Völkischer Beobachter, February 29, 1929

        Mao created his own religion with himself in the Godhead position, thus making him an autotheist, not an atheist.
        Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school in Phnom Penh and Stalin 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary. Historians have noted their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being 'declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones”.
        While they both sought to eliminate traditional religions from their kingdoms, they did so in order to divert the common man’s fervour to their own cults of personality. Their victims were killed for being political rivals or dissenters – it didn't matter what their religious leanings were.

        Now let us examine Christianity's history when dealing with atheists –
        For 1500 years, Christians outlawed atheists from the universities, or any teaching careers, besmirched their reputations, banned or burned their books or their writings of any kind, drove them into exile, humiliated them, seized their properties, arrested them for blasphemy. They dehumanized them with beatings and exquisite torture, gouged out their eyes, slit their tongues, stretched, crushed, or broke their limbs, tore off their breasts if they were women, crushed their scrotums if they were men, iimprisoned them, disemboweled them, hung them, burnt them alive...

        May 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Of course, you're right and why didn't i think of it. Of course you as an atheist would believe all of Hitler's propaganda just as much as people who knew nothing about God but called themselves Christians also believed his lies. But this in no way shape or form makes Adolf Hitler a Christian despite your saying so. This is a dishonest argument on the part of atheists but one I've come to expect. And because someone at one time had an experience with religion (Hitler, Stalin and Mao) makes them an adherent? Another specious and dishonest argument from people who have no moral values.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • thingsyouhaventthought

          Every argument against you is "dishonest" because you have no other accusation to hurl against it. When everyone that doesn't believe the same of you is dishonest, of course what they say is misrepresentative and incorrect. It doesn't matter YOUR arguments always fall flat but that your opponents are "dishonest and amoral." Nice cop out defense. I lesson in Brainwashing 101.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Scot....I don't even know how to respond to that last post except to say....you are a fvcking idiot.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • magsmagenta

          If Hitler believed he was doing the Christian Gods will that makes him a Christian, What type of Christian that makes him is up for debate, but it certainly doesn't make him an atheist.

          May 28, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • igaftr

          scot
          I am not saying that Hitler was a PRACTICING christian, but he was a christian, and invoked YOUR god in many of his speeches.
          He was against atheists, and even tried to abolish atheists. He considered atheism to be a mental illness, and did not think that atheists could be moral ( and in that, you have something in common with the way Hitler thought ,scot...how does it feel to know you think the same as Hitler did, at least in regards to atheism?)
          Learn some history.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Did any of those despots murder anybody in the name of Atheism?
          Did they wave an Atheist flag to rally their people?

          What they did was use religion and/or its forms and trappings as their primary tools of statecraft.

          To blame what you believe is their lack of religion for their actions is as stupid as saying that because Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Lukashenko, Kagame, Pinochet, Hussein, and Gadafi all sported mustaches, facial hair is evil.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • hotairace

          For a group that has no moral values, at least according to DumbAzzScot, we atheists should feel good that we are way under-represented in prisons.

          May 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
        • James XCIX

          awanderingscot – "But this in no way shape or form makes Adolf Hitler a Christian despite your saying so"

          There's plenty of evidence to support the idea that Hitler was a Christian, some of which has been presented on these blogs. You can't really argue that he wasn't a Christian because he didn't act like a Christian, since Christians typically profess that everyone sins and all sins are equally bad.

          But where is your evidence that supports your idea that Hitler was an atheist?

          May 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "Most of the people Stalin sent to the Gulags came out alive." this statement is so stupid and patently false i'm not going to even comment further on it. This is so fun to watch, atheists in denial. Mao (atheist) the communist darling of the atheists was a good church going little boy; Stalin (atheist) systematically murdered millions, stabbing, shooting, bludgeoning, but mostly giving a slow tortuous death of starvation always attended church services afterwards; Hitler (atheist) dreamed of a German super-race as he listened to reports of gas-chamber statistics, he used Christians as cover but he himself and those around him were not – back to school my atheist schoolboys and make sure you have your copy of Mein Kampf, you obviously haven't read it, ever.

        May 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          From Mein Kampf:
          "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

          "Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise."

          "It would be more in keeping with the intention of the noblest man in this world if our two Christian churches, instead of annoying Ne.groes with missions which they neither desire nor understand, would kindly, but in all seriousness, teach our European humanity that where parents are not healthy it is a deed pleasing to God to take pity on a poor little healthy orphan child and give him father and mother, than themselves to give birth to a sick child who will only bring unhappiness and suffering on himself and the rest of the world."

          "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so."
          – Adolf Hitler, to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

          "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. ...Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross."
          – Adolf Hitler, speech on April 12, 1922

          "The fact that the Curia is now making its peace with Fascism shows that the Vatican trusts the new political realities far more than did the former liberal democracy with which it could not come to terms. ...The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy ...proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism..."
          – Adolf Hitler in an article in the Völkischer Beobachter, February 29, 1929, on the new Lateran Treaty between Mussolini's fascist government and the Vatican

          "By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare in any way with the consequences which are visible in the destruction of our common religious and ethical values. The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society. ... "
          – Adolf Hitler, speech before the Reichstag, March 23, 1933, just before the Enabling Act is passed.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • hotairace

          DumbAzzScott, you would have at least a small amount of credibility if you just simply provided some actual evidence for your alleged but never proven gods. Otherwise, it looks like you are just flailing around, throwing up crap on a variety of subjects to deflect from your, and your ilks', basic problem of believing childish myths, of most likely, being mentally ill.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the 'remaking' of the Reich as they call it.

          -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

          Hitler was a very evil man who was not above deceiving and manipulating his own countrymen.

          By helping to raise man above the level of bestial vegetation, faith contributes in reality to the securing and safeguarding of his existence. Take away from present-day mankind its education-based, religious-dogmatic principles– or, practically speaking, ethical-moral principles– by abolishing this religious education, but without replacing it by an equivalent, and the result will be a grave shock to the foundations of their existence.

          -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

          Hitler was a master of manipulation with evil intent. This was necessary in order to garner broad support for his aggression

          Of course, even the general designation 'religious' includes various basic ideas or convictions, for example, the indestructibility of the soul, the eternity of its existence, the existence of a higher being, etc. But all these ideas, regardless of how convincing they may be for the individual, are submitted to the critical examination of this individual and hence to a fluctuating affirmation or negation until emotional divination or knowledge assumes the binding force of apodictic faith. This, above all, is the fighting factor which makes a breach and opens the way for the recognition of basic religious views.

          -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

          Hitler was no adherent to Christian faith, he was a evil and manipulative madman who was a genius in propaganda.
          He used religion to further his sick and evil aspirations

          May 27, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "Hitler was a very evil man who was not above deceiving and manipulating his own countrymen. ...

          Hitler was no adherent to Christian faith, he was a evil and manipulative madman who was a genius in propaganda.
          He used religion to further his sick and evil aspirations

          ------------------
          Fine. Why then did the good Lutherans and Catholics of the Third Reich do Hitler's bidding?

          It sounds like you are saying that religion causes people to do evil?

          May 27, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          You know, they are fooling us, there is no God… all this talk about God is sheer nonsense. – Joseph Stalin

          God is on your side? Is He a Conservative? The Devil's on my side, he's a good Communist. – Joseph Stalin

          I believe in one thing only, the power of human will. – Joseph Stalin

          Death solves all problems – no man, no problem. – Joseph Stalin

          I trust no one, not even myself. – Joseph Stalin

          Marxism is not only the theory of socialism, it is an integral world outlook,
          a philosophical system, from which Marx’s proletarian socialism logically follows.
          This philosophical system is called dialectical materialism. – Joseph Stalin

          (materialism is extant to the beliefs of evolutionist Charles Darwin)

          The Materialist Theory – "It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary,
          their social being that determines their consciousness."

          May 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          scot,
          The nonsense about probability on your blog shows that logic and reason are not your strong suits.

          May 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • Doris

          " You know, they are fooling us, there is no God… all this talk about God is sheer nonsense. – Joseph Stalin "

          OK so even lunatics sometimes guess the right answer. So what?

          May 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "Most of the people Stalin sent to the Gulags came out alive." this statement is so stupid and patently false i'm not going to even comment further on it.
          ----------------–
          Did you even bother to read the link I sent? Most of the estimates compiled before the fall of the Soviet Union drastically exaggerate the actual casualties.

          I'm not an apologist for Stalin or Mao. What they did was truly horrific. There's no need to exaggerate what they did, the facts (in so far as we can determine them) are bad enough.

          But conflating atheists with communist despots is fallacious.

          The Thirty Years War caused the deaths of 8M Europeans. In 1650 the population of Europe was 100M give or take. We can conclude that the Thirty Years War killed roughly 1 in 12 Europeans over the "true form of Christianity".

          Stalin allowed/caused approximately 20M people to die, some directly, but most by famine. The population of the USSR in 1940 was 191M people. Somewhere around 1 in 9 Soviets died due to Stalin's oppressive regime.

          Relatively speaking it's not much different to what Christians did to each other in the Protestant Reformation.

          May 27, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          well well, wrong once again GOP. nearly all historians would disagree with you. the Thirty Years war was about territory and power, not religion. proof of this is the fact that the Protestants eventually joined the Catholics.

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

          "the Thirty Years war was about territory and power, not religion.
          ------------------
          "The Thirty Years War was not about religion! Good one! That's really funny.

          I'll agree it was about territory and power. When religion is an instrument of the state, religion is all about territory and power.

          They don't call them the Wars of the Reformation because they had nothing to do with religion. There's a whole bunch more of them too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_wars_of_religion

          The English Civil War is one of them. It is the backdrop to the English colonies in North America.

          May 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
        • igaftr

          Most scholars? They would tell you it STARTED, as one of the main causes, as Catholics vs. Protestants. Over the course of the war, and more countires got involved, it changed, but baseless beliefs once again at the core of the violence.

          May 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        I believe, based on statements made by all the despot leaders you mention, that they were all anti-theists and not really atheists. Atheism asked nothing of them, their anti-theism asked them to attack religion based on how they viewed religion as a competing political force. I believe any religious person attempting to draw any sort of negative conclusion about atheists based on the actions of these despots is being patently false in their motives and merely want to demean and attack people who have done nothing other than reject belief in their imagined deity. They are angry and frustrated and resort to false attacks because they have no other argument against the atheist stance of proof before belief.

        May 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
      • hotairace

        No amount of murder by totalitarian regimes, atheists or any other group or individuals can exuse murder by christians. But DumbAzz Scot, and other delusions, might sleep better if they can convince themselves they're not the most evil people on the Earth.

        May 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
      • Doris

        So much to do from the wandering snotty one regarding totalitarian despots who were cruel to anyone who kept them from their goals. But what about real dastardly objectives by certain Christians in other parts of the world just within the past few years? For that all one needs to look at is the activities of Scott Lively and his team of evangelicals who traveled to Africa from the U.S. to incite the killing and jailing of certain people there that didn't fit into his particular Christian world view. Scotty and Theo would fit in nicely with the Lively bunch ready to wield the sword of their God based on their particular interpretation of Gullible's Travels.

        May 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
  4. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Theo,

    Words have mutiple definitions,

    Ritual (from Websters dictionary)

    1: of or relating to rites or a ritual : ceremonial

    2: according to religious law

    3: done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol

    You are conflating the definition of this term into 1 broad definition. Something apologists like yourself often do to confuse and muddy the water.

    May 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      "muddy the water."
      ---------
      Shall we now talk about the various meanings of idioms used by atheists? Pot, meet kettle.

      May 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • samsstones

      Philioidiotism allows Theo to change any definition of a word to suit his pupose which goes along with interpreting/twisting any silly bible verse to prove that he, Theo, is the voice of god on earth. Pompous and arrogant to the core.

      May 27, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        I didn't change the definition of the word "ritual." I used an extant definition. But, if it gives you reason to mock, then go ahead and say that I did if it makes you feel better.

        May 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • samsstones

          But Theo.Ridicule, mockery and derision are the last resort for onr who is so deluded as you. You should be used to ridicule by now; tell us what the only "truth" there is that applies to all of mankind, LOL.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Whether you used an "extant" definition or not is moot to my point. All the definitions are "extant".

          Also you cited Websters for your definition and I copied and pasted from Websters....they are not the same.

          Your implication was clear...atheists share rituals as a matter of "being" atheist. They don't. And then you used a conflation of the definition in an attempt to defend your non-sequitor.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
  5. kermit4jc

    Of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run inst.itutions every year, 10% committed suicide<-yeah....no surpise when people are referred to as unwanted......such a selfish term......

    May 27, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • Madtown

      Speaking of selfish, when my wife and I started down the road of adoption, one of the first agencies we dealt with was religious-based. It was made quite clear that the MOST IMPORTANT thing to them, was that the child be placed in a home that would follow the same religious guidelines that the agency promoted. Prospective parents had to sign a contract that said the child would be raised with biblical teachings. We never went back. So, for this agency, it was a secondary concern that a child be placed in a great home with loving parents. They just wanted to make sure that the parents were christian first, no one else need apply. Revolting.

      May 27, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        yes..it is soooo orevolting to care about the WHOLE well being of a child...rather than SOME well being of the child..even psychiatrists and psychooogists say spirituality is im portant..Im sorry you only care about part of the kids well being

        May 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • yukon67

          We have very different ideas about the term "well-being".

          May 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • igaftr

          So kermit, you would have no problem then, if you were looking to adopt, that they exclude you because you believe in things that no one can show exists, excluded simply because you believe....you would be OK with that, right?

          May 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          what would they show me? lol..I already know there is a soul..a spirit..a God

          May 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • Madtown

          you only care about part of the kids well being
          ---–
          That agency may produce people like you, which is reason enough for me to steer clear.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so you admit that you care only for parts of the kids well being..thanks then

          May 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • hotairace

          Informing children, and adults for that matter, that most likely there are no gods *is* caring for their phycological well being.

          May 27, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          why do you make such unqualified statements? You are no psychologist and hardly any psychiatrist or psychologist agrees with what you say.....where bI work spirituality is important..though not forced...it is nOT a Christian run agency....the psychiatrists and psychologists all here say it is important.....

          May 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey Kermy – Education really sad state to withhold it from children no ? – and it is the state ?

          States are fighting new science curriculum teaching climate change and evolution
          By Jacob Kastrenakes on May 19, 2014 09:55 am Email @jake_k

          http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/19/5730600/states-debate-ngss-science-standards-teaching-climate-change-evolution

          And we KNOW evoluion is truekermy – right kermy ?

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

          Actually, religion doesn't play a part in psychological therapy unless it's part of the presenting problem.
          In other words, in a professional setting, it shouldn't come up.
          This would include adoption agencies that are not run by religious orgs.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          sorry..your opinion based on I don't know what..i WORk in the field..it IS brought up...but again not forced or such.. sorry..when we fill out intakes and such...religion is added into the play (questionair about if one is religious or not and what they adhere too) it can be part of a solution! It is ENCourAGED where I been going to...if they are atheist...then unless they sk about it..its not mentioned.....sorry but I work in the field..you obviously dont

          May 28, 2014 at 2:09 am |
        • hotairace

          Kermy, it's called an opinion, azzhole.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • Akira

          Intake papers will ask religious affiliation. Most medical paperwork does.
          It is not required to answer, as, unless it is pertinent to the treatment of the client, (as in my formentioned presenting problem), it is generally not relevant to the treatment.
          In other words, if you don't state what religious affiliation you are, treatment isn't withheld.
          I don't know where you work; I can only state what is the norm within my state and some of the other university-based medical center staff whom I have been affiliated with.
          Perhaps your institution has its own intake regulations.

          May 28, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • hotairace

          Religion and the insane behaviors associated with it are given a free pass by society in general and mental health "professionals" in general. It's only a matter of time before DSM-X lists belief in alleged but never proven gods as a mental illness.

          May 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Akira

          HAA, I have my doubts that some would even know what DSM-V is.

          May 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The DSM-V is a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders....

          May 28, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
      • yukon67

        Followed the same track w/ church-affiliated adoption agency. Did the same paperwork..."I will raise them to follow Jesus Christ..." blah blah blah. Signed it. Smiled. Nodded. Prayed. Now this humanist has two beautiful boys. Funny how non-binding those silly agreements are. I hope it worked/works out for you!

        May 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • Madtown

          You're right, it's unenforceable. Just pretty pathetic, and we didn't want to deal with them on principle. It worked out!

          May 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • SeaVik

        That is truly disgusting. Next time I hope you'll just lie to save a child from the mental abuse of religion.

        May 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          right, let him or her grow up in a home completely devoid of morals, an atheist home

          May 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Wow, scot....you are much more ignorant than I gave you credit for. I apologize. I had no idea you were so ignorant that you would believe atheists had no morals.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • doobzz

          LOL, awanderingscot. Because not believing in your deity means I have no morals. Sure. Uh huh. Righto. Got it.

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

          That's a pretty idiotic statement. I am an atheist and my morals would never allow me to conduct myself according to the highly immoral bible. My morals would never allow me to brain-wash a child as required by Christianity. Of course, being an atheist is unrelated to the development of my morals. But not being Christian has been critical in avoiding becoming an immoral person.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Alias

          @lostscot
          the morals I received from evolution are superior to the morals practiced in the bible.

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

          I find it so amusing to think that one has to lie about a person's morals to justify why it is better to let a child languish in a state-run orphanage rather that let that child be adopted into a loving home that just happens to not worship the same Christian God as you, Scot.
          What about Muslims adopting? Is that a-ok by you?

          May 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • igaftr

          scot
          Considering the fact that Christianity is based on the IMMORAL practice of allowing another to accept YOUR just punishment, Christians do not have any moral high ground to work with.

          On the other hand, our evolved humanity is where morals come from, and these were written into your bible...too bad so many of you interpret the bible to mean whatever you want it to mean, so it has been used to justify slavery, beatings, forcing women to marry their ra.p.ist...on and on. If the humanity that was written into the bible was actually followed, well lets just say 90% of your posts would not be here.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
    • Reality

      Please cite reputable sources to confirm your statement.

      Also, we are still waiting for you to peruse the references on the historical Jesus.

      May 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
  6. Vic

    IMHO, anywhere you go in the USA people are tolerant and cordial pretty much. I've been to 24 states and drove in 21—including Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Kansans, Kentucky, Tennessee, & North Carolina, in the Bible Belt, ah..."Southern Hospitality"—and saw no different than that. It would take something very unusual to stir up the pot. When people, whoever they are, keep things within reason, it's hard for things to go wrong.

    I can't help it reflecting on Attorney Jan Schlichtmann when people push matters to the limit, I would then say "Attorney Jan Schlichtmann went too far." Just like attorney Jan Schlichtmann went too far in his demands, many movements commit the same overkill.

    I believe we have the epitome of civility in the "Golden Rule" by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Early on:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/24/atheists-in-the-bible-belt-a-survival-guide/comment-page-5/#comment-3017267

    May 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
    • Madtown

      "Wish I had the Golden Rule, that sounds like a great way to live. But, I've never heard of Christ, guess God wants me to follow another path."

      – Bob, coming to you live from the Amazon

      May 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • bostontola

      I agree. The golden rule is one of the best man has developed. It is amazing how old it is.

      "Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you." - Ancient Egyptian concept of Maat appears in the story of The Eloquent Peasant (c. 2040–1650 BC)
      "Do not do to your neighbor what you would take ill from him." – Pittacus (c. 640 – 568 BC)

      May 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • igaftr

      Vic
      Your opinion not withstanding, when you have POTUS like George HW Bush saying this in a 1987 interview

      'No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God"

      You can clearly see the bias that must be overcome.

      If you ever listened to the moronic Megan Kelly of Fox news, and the venom in her voice when she talks about atheists, you can clearly see she also thinks that atheists are second class at best. These people are reaching huge numbers of people that will then think it is ok to mistreat atheists.
      The war continues.

      May 27, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
    • ausphor

      Vic
      So why don't you come out against the likes of Salero21 and thefinisher1 who are the farthest thing you can get from the golden rule?

      May 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
      • bostontola

        The golden rule has a flaw, it doesn't work with sadomasochists.

        May 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • Alias

          That is not the dumbest thing I've ever read on this blog, but it does deserve honorable mention.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          Coming from you, that's a compliment.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
  7. Alias

    The article touched on a very important part of this – schools.
    Schools do a lot to influence the culture and thoughts of children. If the schools teach evolution, then the students will have more doubts about the creation story. If a majority of teachers show a bias toward christians, that will have an impact too.

    May 27, 2014 at 11:15 am |
    • bostontola

      Should we avoid chemistry? Evolution address what happens to life, chemistry addresses the origin of life. Should we avoid physics also? Chemistry is just the observed laws of atoms and molecules obeying physics. Then should we avoid mathematics as well? Physics rests on mathematics.

      May 27, 2014 at 11:40 am |
      • Alias

        Please read more carefully.
        That post said nothing about what we should teach.
        I just pointed out the importance of the schools on the children.

        May 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • bostontola

          My mistake. Your 'If, then" statement led me to think that doubting their creation story was a bad thing. If not, ok.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • igaftr

      You act as if "schools" were some unknown ent!ty. WE are the schools, they work for US and WE tell them what to teach. It is the parents that need to be involved.

      May 27, 2014 at 11:45 am |
      • Alias

        It is actually a small part of that 'WE' that sets the school policy.
        That is why what gets out into text books can be influenced by outspoken (and well funded) religious groups.

        May 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • igaftr

          That is true, but it is a small part that make up all of any part of government. The great thing is, any given "we" can make themselves part of that small part. Yes, money does speak very loudly, but can be overcome, as the fact that evolution is being taught, and religious refernces are removed will attest. It is far from perfect, buit the system encourages interaction and participation.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  8. bostontola

    I do business with some companies in the bible belt and have for many years. The people are some of the the most sincerely friendly and caring I've met anywhere. I have always stayed clear of religion and sciences related to origins (evolution, Big Bang) in all conversations. They are very polite and would never bring it up either. It works very well. It is sad that that is necessary, but I think most people would accord similar courtesy if they knew a person had a sensitive subject they didn't like to engage in.

    May 27, 2014 at 11:03 am |
    • Alias

      As long as they accept yo uas being 'one of them' they will like you.
      This is true of all people, not just the bigots in the south.

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

        That's not been my experience at all. They don't seem to care about being one of them. They like you if you are trustworthy, fair, etc. Religion is a hot button, that is different. Just keep clear of hot buttons.

        May 27, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • Alias

          Riiiiight.
          Tell themyou are a vegan nazi and see if they treat you any differently.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Your prejudice is showing.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Alias

          so what am I prejudice agianst?

          May 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          People in the south.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Alias

          So a vegan and a nazi would be widely accepted in the south?
          I would like to point out the article did mention the bible belt – or do you think the article is being unfair to stereotype the deep south as well?

          May 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          I said I did business with them, you labeled them bigots. You generalized all people with a broad brush. Do you actually think there are no vegans in the south?

          May 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • bostontola

          Nazis are not accepted hardly anywhere, why associate them with the south?

          May 27, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Alias

          If I said something abouth the gays in San Francisco, that wouldn't mean all the people in San Francisco were gay, would it?
          The article has a context. It is dealing with the religious bigots in the south. Does the article imply that every single person from Kentucky to Georgia has a problem with atheists? Or does it assume there is a culture in the south that does?

          May 27, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • Alias

          I absolutely did not associate nazis with the south. I picked a group that would universally be rejected.
          You need to look at your own biases if you reached that conclusion.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • bostontola

          Your analogies make no sense. You are grossly prejudiced. Yuk.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Alias

          If you want to complain about my use of the word 'vegan', you almost have a poiint. Just keep in mind that Hitler was a strict vegitarian and maybe you will make the connection.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Alias

          I see. You don't wan tto make any generalizations, because there are always exceptions.
          Don't study sociology.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @bostonola,

      it's one thing to do business with someone, where you know the "tribal" subjects like politics and religion are third-rail topics and everyone understands that they must be avoided as part of any professional discourse.

      It's another thing altogether when living and working in a community that is awash in religiosity. I see that as the point of this article.

      May 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
  9. yukon67

    Being an atheist in Alabama is an effective way for a middle class white man to get a small taste of what its like to be a minority. You are immersed in church goers. You see more folks praying in restaurants. New neighbors get asked their name, where they're from and whether or not they've found a church home. Most of my co-workers are Southern Baptist, conservative Republicans that hate liberal democrats and dog-cuss Obama daily. I have NO doubt that it would be a career-limiting move for me to discuss my ideals, atheism/humanism with anyone here.

    May 27, 2014 at 10:45 am |
    • fintronics

      Same here......... (an atheist in North Carolina.)

      May 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    Survival for Atheists in the bible belt is easy. The Christians all put those little "jesus-fish" stickers on their cars so we Atheists can easily identify the delusional and know to keep a safe distance away from them.

    Thanks for the public service Christians.

    May 27, 2014 at 9:29 am |
    • workingcopy12

      Dog, I think most (by far) of the Christians in the South (or anywhere for that matter) would probably not be too wrapped up in your atheism and they would treat you with respect...but for the fact that you are amazingly arrogant–that's why you would be treated with such disdain.

      May 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        mainly you are correct about the Christians here in the south. I live here just fine.

        my main concern is the fairytale BS that they try to teach I place of science in school here.

        You also need to understand that me disagreeing with you does not make me arrogant. Find a better word.

        May 27, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • workingcopy12

          Of course disagreeing with me does not make you arrogant. It's the childish taunts, the raving accusations, the hyperbole–that's what makes you arrogant. Just read your own posts.

          May 27, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
  11. Theo Phileo

    Creed of the Modern Society by Steve Turner...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=22Izi_91A9g

    May 27, 2014 at 9:09 am |
    • Madtown

      Watched some of this, Jesus is depicted multiple times as a fair-skinned white man. LOL.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:52 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        Sure.. As satire...

        Unfortunately, that is the result of a society who permits itself to create images of Christ in the first place. People create images of deity that reflect their own likeness, and in so doing, make an idol.

        May 27, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • Madtown

          That's what religion is in the first place....man-made.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:30 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "That's what religion is in the first place....man-made"
          ------------
          If by that you mean songs, creeds, traditions, practice, and rituals? Then I agree. After all, even atheists have those.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:40 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          What is an atheist ritual?

          May 27, 2014 at 11:02 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Our ritual of non-prayer and non-attendance of non-religious gatherings... geesh, get with the atheist non-program...

          May 27, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • hotairace

          Sounds like Theo Puffy Words is leaning towards becoming a muzzie.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          "What is an atheist ritual?"
          ------------
          I meant ritual in the sense of routine. It doesn't have to be in a context of religion to be a ritual. For instance, how many people do you know who can't even say "hello" until they've had their first cup of coffee.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "I meant ritual in the sense of routine."

          OHHhhhhh. I didn't know you were conflating definitions of words again. SIlly me...

          May 27, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Blessed:
          Ritual – noun: Any formal insti.tution, or procedure that is fllowed conistenty

          So, with Webster's definition bove, tell me, how did I "conflate" the defnition?

          May 27, 2014 at 11:46 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          theo,
          "I meant ritual in the sense of routine."

          Then it's not an atheist ritual – it's a ritual.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Theo,

          Words have mutiple definitions,

          Ritual (from Websters dictionary)

          1: of or relating to rites or a ritual : ceremonial

          2: according to religious law

          3: done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol

          You are conflating the definition of this term into 1 broad definition. Something apologists like yourself often do to confuse and muddy the water.

          (well stated Santa)

          May 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • SeaVik

          There's no such thing as an "atheist ritual". The concept makes no sense. How do you have a ritual based on not believing in fairy tales?

          May 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          evolution is a fairy tale and you believe in it.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "evolution is a fairy tale and you believe in it."

          1) When you start a sentence, you should capitalize the first word.
          2) Another thing you should have learned in school: Evolution is a conclusion based on evidence, not a made-up story like a fairy tale or religion.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • fintronics

          "evolution is a fairy tale and you believe in it."

          Waving on a big flag at the village idiots comvention.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • fintronics

          "convention"

          May 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
  12. elliotrodgersisnotwhiterthanobama

    I am an athiest and a transplant from Los Angeles to Jesusland in the inland pac northwest. In the 10 years I have lived here I have only had two people push christianity on me. One was a transplant from Philadelphia and the other was a Hispanic from Los Angeles. I find it funny that cnn and other US media would be so engrossed in highlighting the backwardness of fly-over states yet give so little attention to the fact that blacks and Hispanics in California were the majority demographic in voting for prop 8 while whites and Asians were the majority on the other end. The media attempted damage control by contriving that white mormons in Utah had used some kind of juju to trick blacks and mexicans in California into thinking they were voting in favor of gay marriage by voting for prop 8. Sorry but blacks and mexicans are not that dumb, white liberals. And they hate you just as much as you know they do. Go down to Compton, East LA, Oakland put your rainbow colored jockstraps on and let your freak flag fly. See what happens.

    May 27, 2014 at 9:06 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      "let your freak flag fly"
      --------–
      I just saw Shrek the Musical last night, and now I can't get that song out of y head!

      May 27, 2014 at 9:15 am |
      • elliotrodgersisnotwhiterthanobama

        Just don't let it happen in the hood if you want to live.

        May 27, 2014 at 9:17 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          I live about an hour and a half outside of Atlanta, and I go into Atlanta alot for business, so I know about the hood.

          It takes just one trip to Atlanta to understand why Sherman burned it.

          May 27, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "I live about an hour and a half outside of Atlanta, and I go into Atlanta alot for business, so I know about the hood."

          No. You. don't. And neither do I, but I don't go around speaking in a condescending, insulting and patronizing manner to people who most likely speak from experience LIVING in the 'hood.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • igaftr

          people who call it the hood, have forgotten the most important part of the word neighborhood.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • observer

      elliotrodgersisnotwhiterthanobama,

      Your name tag tells us all we need to know about your level of intelligence.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:18 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        His blog site name is no better

        May 27, 2014 at 11:02 am |
        • awanderingscot

          pitiful .. checking bloggers info outside this blog. you need to get a life.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Scot....why are you such a fvcking idiot? There is nothing wrong with checking who you might be engaging in conversation with.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • igaftr

          yes scot, checking facts and information would seem pitiful to you.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Go away scotty the troll

          May 27, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Prop 8 Exit Polls – 2008 (conducted by CNN)

      S.ex and Race % of respondents Yes on prop 8 No on prop 8

      White Men (31%) 51% 49%
      White Women (32%) 47% 53%
      Black Men (4%) 62.5% 37.5%
      Black Women (6%) 75% 25%
      Latino Men (8%) 54% 46%
      Latino Women (11%) 52% 48%
      All Other Races (9%) 49% 51%

      The only ethnic group that is notably more in favour of defining marriage as between man and woman exlusively are African Americans. They are also the only group with such a large division between genders, with significantly more women against gay marriage than men.

      Religious affiliation seems far more important than race when it comes to gay rights.

      Religion % of respondents Yes on prop 8 No on prop 8
      Christian (73%) 65% 35%
      Non-Christian (27%) 18% 82%

      May 27, 2014 at 9:36 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Text formatting FAIL!
        Hopefully the data is clear enough....

        May 27, 2014 at 9:37 am |
    • skytag

      Oh dear, another trained bot making everything about liberals.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:52 am |
  13. runninggun1024runninggun1024

    In tennessee the atheist disguised as a hypocrite calling themselves CHRISTIANS meet in church on Sunday to discuss one thing MONEY and ways of making more.Their leadership calling themselves ministers and preacher go as far as calling the atheist servants of Satan while they just left two blonds at the best western.my opinion

    May 27, 2014 at 8:22 am |
    • religionismanmade1

      you disrespectful pos....congrats, everyone who thinks different than you in satan.......

      PS. Your religion siphoning money from people has been going on since men created the religion.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:43 am |
      • awanderingscot

        let us distinguish organized religion from personal religion so you don't condemn grandma and grandpa. what have they ever done to you?

        May 27, 2014 at 8:53 am |
        • skytag

          They were a part of a family wide effort to brainwashed us into believing myths and fairytales about an imaginary God.

          May 27, 2014 at 9:53 am |
  14. Reality

    STOP, STOP, STOP,- the kybosh was put on all religions years ago so why is this blog still in existence? For those who have missed this, one more time:

    Putting the kybosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details are listed in the addendum for those who are not reading-challenged.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    May 27, 2014 at 8:14 am |
    • Reality

      The addendum to the above:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
      prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics”and the Boston Marthon bombers.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:17 am |
  15. cnnboardnazi

    Hmmm, why is it they ONLY ATTACK CHRISTIANS? What about JEWS, or MUSLIMS, or Hindus, or Buddhists?

    Why? Because doing THAT would be "HATE SPEECH" to them as only Christians deserve intolerance.

    Notice most of their efforts are not focused on just practicing their non-belief for FORCING their views on believers and outright attacking believers. But they are the poor witless victims?

    May 27, 2014 at 8:06 am |
    • religionismanmade1

      Forcing their views? Not any more than a christian forces their views on the population.

      Attacking? When have you been "attacked" for your faith?

      May 27, 2014 at 8:11 am |
    • observer

      cnnboardnazi,

      It is Christians who are trying to force their beliefs on others in the U.S. It is Christians who collect tens of millions of dollars to fight against equal rights for gays. It is Christians who try to change laws to restrict rights for women.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:13 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Wow, such blatant ignorance! We don't attack anyone, we stand up for equality. The reason Christians seem to be the ones we are most outspoken about is because it is the Christians who are using their belief in a Secular country to try to tell women what they can and can't do with their bodies; it is Christians who are trying to tell LGBT that they can't get married or have rights; it is Christians who are trying to ensure that their prayer is said at town hall meetings. Are you getting the picture here? I no more support Muslims or Jehovah's or any religion, than I support yours.
      It's funny how Christians demand respect but yet refuse to give it...if you want your set of beliefs respected and you want your personal privacy respected-then do the same for others.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:19 am |
      • awanderingscot

        so what you are saying is that you are pro-choice and you agree that murdering babies is moral? and you point to the old testament where God ordered an evil baby sacrificing culture to be destroyed and you've got to nerve to call my God immoral? that is hypocrisy and utterly profane. this goes to prove atheists have no moral foundation whatsoever. the 'theory' of evolution comports no morality at all.

        May 27, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          A lot of pro-lifers fight tooth and nail for unborn children, but provide no solutions for unwanted children.

          According to the Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently 123,000 orphans awaiting adoption in America.
          Of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run inst.itutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years.

          100% of relinquishing mothers who later aborted said they chose abortion to avoid the pain of lifelong uncertainty over the child's fate if relinquished to secret adoption.
          -Americans For Open Records (AmFOR) 1997 Survey of
          1,000 Relinquishing Mothers Who Later Aborted.

          Fully 1/4 of adopted kids between the ages of 12 and 17 will be returned to orphanages by the adoptive parents.
          3 times the cost of foster care, and 10 times the cost of welfare, is the cost to operate an orphanage.
          50% of street kids in the US are runaways from foster homes.
          40% of adoptees wind up in schools for disturbed children.
          Over 65% of inmates in California were foster kids.

          I think Sister Joan Chittister said it best:
          "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking. If all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed, and why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of what pro-life is.”

          May 27, 2014 at 10:08 am |
        • awanderingscot

          this is not a salient point and does not address the issue of infanticide. it merely deflects and does not address the issue as it relates to the murder of unborn children. are you in favor of murdering babies? or will you continue with your specious argument about adoption?

          May 27, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          When does "ensoulment" occur in human beings?
          Jewish theology says it begins with the first breath of air – ergo, a foetus doesn't have a soul.
          If you think it begins at conception, you're simply being arrogant and assuming you know how God works.

          "As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

          May 27, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          If a blastocyst is an infant, then an acorn is an oak tree.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Young Christian women are taught to think that being a mother is good, except then they're told not to get pregnant. Motherhood is grand, but it’ll wreck your life.
          If you give up a kid for adoption, you’re a failure!
          If you get pregnant, you’re a failure!
          But be fruitful and multiply!
          We say “here, have a condom. No, I can’t tell you more, or your parents will sue. Sure, you’ll have s.ex anyway, but we can’t give the impression that we approve, so we just won’t tell you about how to handle it if it does happen.”

          We need to stop arguing about the semantic evils of abortion and concentrate on making it unnecessary. We need to encourage people to have abortions if they must, and make damn sure that the next generation doesn’t have to. Or that giving up children for adoption is a mature, honourable choice. Or that getting sterilized and adopting a used kid is even better. But we’re not acting in an intelligent way, for the most part, and for some reason people who don’t use birth control use vaccines and take antibiotics for their strep throat and TB. They use the positive applications of technology and yet feel bad about using the other side of it.
          We need to stop feeling and start thinking.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • awanderingscot

          when does conception occur? you are dodging. are you in favor of murdering babies or not? you're obfuscating by trying to redefine when life begins. you are being dishonest.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Is a blastocyst an infant?

          May 27, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • awanderingscot

          i'm laughing, now you're quoting Jewish theology to support your argument. that's deceitful and dishonest.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • igaftr

          scot
          As many of your fellow believers will point out, murder is the ILLEGAL taking of life ( used in the argument that god can't murder because he makes the laws)
          Since abortion is legal, it is not murder.
          I firmly believe that using abortion as a method of birth control is abhorrent, but it is not illegal, so it is not murder.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:27 am |
        • awanderingscot

          is a fetus a life? careful now.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • awanderingscot

          abortion is the illegal taking of a life. proof of this is the psychological damage done to women who have had an abortion. there is no denying this, that would be futile. it does not matter that man has passed a law saying it's ok. God's law is written in everyone's heart, everyone has a conscience (some would debate this but even a hardened conscience qualifies). it is a hardening of the heart that has led man to pass a law making the murder of unborn children legal. murdering babies is an abomination to God and an abomination to all of His children who still have a heart.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:50 am |
        • Akira

          What's interesting about this thread is that TP didn't mention abortion at all.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "The vast majority of Christian theologians and saints throughout history have not believed life begins at conception.
          Although he admitted some uncertainty on the matter, the hugely influential 4th and 5th century Christian thinker Saint Augustine wrote, “it could not be said that there was a living soul in [a] body” if it is “not yet endowed with senses.”
          Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic saint and a giant of mediaeval theology, argued: “before the body has organs in any way whatever, it cannot be receptive of the soul.”

          And lest we forget, God has COMMANDED people to commit abortion, like in Numbers 31 (wherein He also orders Moses and his people to commit r.ape)

          American evangelicals, meanwhile, widely opposed the idea that life begins at conception until the 1970s, with some even advocating looser abortion laws based on their reading of the Bible before then."

          – John Dudley

          In the end, men do not and cannot control abortion. (I am assuming that scot here is a male).
          Whether for or against the child being born, ultimately, the decision rests with the mother (except in extreme cases of violent assault to force miscarriage or forcible confinement to force gestation).
          Biologically speaking, a male's contribution to a gamete is over as fast as you can say "zygote". If nature was fair, all women would contribute would be an egg and something else would carry it to term.

          And what do you know of how abortion affects women?
          My partner had an abortion when she was younger and doesn't regret it.
          It was the right decision for her at that time, just as having a child was the right decision for her later on.
          However you might feel about it – it isn't your decision to make, nor your place to try and deny others the right to make it.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • igaftr

          "it does not matter that man has passed a law saying it's ok"

          Yes , it actually does because it then eliminates it from being murder, by definition.

          What does NOT matter, is what you think your god thinks. YOUR belief in god is what is ILLEGAL to try to legislate.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:15 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          The bible did not invent morality nor is it a pre-requisite for morality.
          Evolution is a fact.
          "Pro-life" is in fact anti-choice; there is no campaign against the myriad of other ways to lose life: drug safety, water safety, gun safety, traffic safety, food safety, etc. etc.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Akira

          Scot,

          this is not a salient point and does not address the issue of infanticide.

          Infanticide is the crime of killing a child within a year of it's birth.
          I just thought you'd want to know that you're using the term incorrectly.
          Also, look up the term 'hyperbole'.

          May 27, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Obviously, the health and welfare of living children are not salient to people whose only concern is making sure the fetus is born. This is one of the many great hypocrisies of christianity.

          May 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        awanderingtot: What I support is a woman's right to control over her own body. I am not blind, I fully comprehend that sometimes unwanted pregnancies occur; that women get pregnant via the result of rape/incest and so the choice should be there up to the point that the laws say (Roe v Wade settled this, so your point is moot-your belief doesn't over-ride the laws of the country in which you reside). It is not murder if the fetus is not viable outside of the womb-thus the limit on how late in to a pregnancy an abortion can be had.
        Tell us...there are 9 year old girls being forced to marry and in turn reproduce, if they were saved from that life and were pregnant, should they be forced to carry through?
        What you don't seem to comprehend is that it is not your business what people do with their own body-you wouldn't want us advising you to have a vasectomy, so don't tell others what to do. You've lost this battle just like your ilk is losing the gay rights battle. If you wish to live in a Secular country, respect it and respect all others right to believe and live as they wish...until you're paying their way, it's not your business!

        May 27, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • awanderingscot

          so according to your logic then someone can murder a baby by virtue of the fact that it cannot survive outside the womb? what about a child that requires life-support even after birth? by your logic that child is fair game too. and by virtue of the fact that I AM now paying for it makes it even more immoral. you and your 'ilk' are forcing your belief on me. thank you for clarifying that, you are also a baby murderer because you support it.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Scot
          "what about a child that requires life-support even after birth ?"

          In such a scenario, is it the parents or the state that makes the decision whether or not to continue with life support?

          May 27, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • Akira

          Your logic is to lock up women and force pregnancies? What happens after the resulting birth?
          Are you and "your ilk" going to step up and raise the baby?
          You should probably consider giving your speech to the over 70% of women getting abortions who are Christian.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:18 am |
      • Reality

        Only for the new members of this blog–

        Leaving religion out of the equation:

        The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an atheist guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

        Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

        The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

        : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co–ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

        Added information before making your next move:

        "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

        See also: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/26/opinion/bolan-se-xual-health/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

        And from:
        "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about (even though is becoming a major cause of throat cancer)," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (Maybe it should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

        Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

        The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

        – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
        – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

        Followed by:

        One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
        Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
        The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
        Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
        IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
        Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
        Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
        Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

        Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

        May 27, 2014 at 10:55 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There a number of reasons for the preponderance of non-believer flak towards Christianity.
      First and foremost, he social and political influence of Christianity in the U.S. far surpasses any other religion's. The most vociferous amongst them, and thus the most successful at wielding their influence, are the least desirable of the lot. It's the nutbar, ultra-conservative, intolerant fundamentalists that try to have their views of morality legislated into virtually every aspect of American life.
      Jews, Buddhists and Hindus don't tend to prosthelytize, let alone try force others to practice their beliefs.
      America has never seen a PAC working to make the US a Kosher nation.
      Muslims are hardly exempt from non-believer derision – the difference is that the Atheist who bad mouths Islam is very likely to have Christians talking flak right along side them. While their reasons may differ, neither group wants to see Sharia law practiced in the States.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:27 am |
    • skytag

      Christianity is the only religion in America with enough members to give it political clout or the ability to engage in any meaningful amount of discrimination or persecution of those who aren't part of their cult.

      It wasn't Hindus who started the KKK, put provisions in seven state constitutions prohibiting atheists from holding public office, created blue laws, and so on. What are the chances a Jew, a Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist could get elected President in the U.S.?

      How is this not obvious?

      May 27, 2014 at 8:52 am |
      • Alias

        I see that you are unaware of how powerful the jewish lobby is in Washington.
        Of course, the jews and christians are close allies in government, but your view is too narrow.

        May 27, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • elliotrodgersisnotwhiterthanobama

      People shriek that christioans have the political clout to stop late term abortions yet have no problem with jews lobbying to give billions of dollars a year to israel to murder Muslims and bulldoze their homes and orchards. They have no problem with AIPAC deciding our foreign policy. When spmeone asks why Gitmo is still keeping people under years of torture and captivity with no trial and when the United nations claim ed that Obama slaughtered close to a thousand Pakistani women and children with cowardly drones white liberal america shrieked that they "evolved" to accept Gitmo and the patriot act just like obama "evolved" to accept gay marriage when it became politically expedient and that the UN was "racist" for highlighting the body count in Pakistan.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:16 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        You should make yourself a tin-foil yarmulke to keep the Israeli satellites from scanning your brain.
        Are you familiar at all with America's history of intervention in the Middle East in the last 70 years or so?
        Aside from Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom (none of which were instigated by Israel), the US has overthrown governments, armed insurgents, and attempted numerous assassinations.

        A brief time line:

        1944 – The Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement is signed by the US and Britain, dividing all the oil in the middle east between the two nations. President Roosevelt sketched out a map of the Middle East and told the British Ambassador, "Persian oil is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it's ours."

        1949 – The US helps overthrow the democratically elected government in Syria and replaces it with a military dictatorship

        1953 – Iran tries to nationalize their own oil. America overthrows their government and puts the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi in power for a 25 year rule of terror.

        1958: The merger of Syria and Egypt into the "United Arab Republic," the overthrow of the pro-U.S. King Feisal II in Iraq by nationalist military officers, and the outbreak of anti-government/anti-U.S. rioting in Lebanon, where the CIA had helped install President Camille Caiman and keep him in power, leads the U.S. to dispatch 70 naval vessels, hundreds of aircraft and 14,000 Marines to Lebanon to preserve "stability." The U.S. threatens to use nuclear weapons if the Lebanese army resists

        1960 – The US tries to as.sas.sinate Iraq's leader, Abdul Karim Qassim

        1973-1975: U.S. supports Kurdish rebels in Iraq in order to strengthen Iran and weaken the then pro-Soviet Iraqi regime. When Iran and Iraq cut a deal, the U.S. withdraws support, denies the Kurds refuge in Iran, and stands by while the Iraqi government kills many Kurdish people.

        1979-84: U.S. supports paramilitary forces to undermine the government of South Yemen

        1979: U.S. President Jimmy Carter designates the Persian Gulf a vital U.S. interest and declares the U.S. will go to war to ensure the flow of oil.

        1979 – America begins a decade long campaign, providing $3 Billion worth of arms to the fundamentalist Islamic Muhajideen terrorist group.

        1980 – Iraq invades Iran with tacit U.S. support, starting a bloody eight-year war. The U.S. supports both sides in the war providing arms to Iran and money, intelligence and political support to Iraq

        1985 – The U.S. secretly ships weapons to Iran, including 1,000 TOW anti-tank missiles, Hawk missile parts, and Hawk radars.

        1985: U.S. attempts to as.sas.sinate Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a Lebanese Shi.ite leader. 80 people are killed in the unsuccessful attempt

        1998 – President Clinton sends 75 cruise missiles pounding into rural Afghanistan The U.S. also destroys a factory producing half of Sudan's pharmaceutical supply, claiming the factory is involved in chemical warfare. The U.S. later acknowledges there is no evidence for the chemical warfare charge.

        1987- The U.S. Navy is dispatched to the Persian Gulf to prevent Iran from cutting off Iraq's oil shipments.

        1988- The Iraqi regime launches mass poison-gas attacks on Kurds, killing thousands. The U.S. responds by increasing its support for the Iraqi regime.

        America has been sticking it's nose in the Middle East and playing the politics of empire long before AIPAC had any kind of clout.

        May 27, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • myweightinwords

          And then we wonder why the Muslim world despises us and why terrorists target us.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • Reality

          And stopping the encroaching USSR communist bear had a lot do with the post WWII USA foreign policy as did/does an economy based on the free flow of oil.

          May 27, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Hmmm, why is it they ONLY ATTACK CHRISTIANS?"
      ---------------–
      Who, atheists or the CNN Belief Blog.

      In either case, the answer is no.

      May 27, 2014 at 11:39 am |
  16. Southwest Missouri Politics

    I was a professing atheist in the "Bible Belt" and recently became a professing Christian. I have received much much more flak as a Christian than an atheist......

    May 27, 2014 at 7:55 am |
    • midwest rail

      It would be interesting to know what preceded you receiving "flak" as a Christian, and what you define as "flak"...

      May 27, 2014 at 8:04 am |
    • denkidemuerto

      Interesting. So lots of athiest ridiculing you in the South now for being Christian? Oris it a bunch of Christians ridiculing you for being the wrong kind of Christian? Once you start believing things with bad evidence, I guess you should be ready to take pot shots from all over.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:05 am |
    • skytag

      Why did you become a Christian instead of joining one of hundreds of other religions?

      May 27, 2014 at 8:54 am |
    • awanderingscot

      as you will soon find out atheists (at least in this blog) broad brush Christians. there are vast differences between organized religion and personal religion that comes from reading the bible.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:08 am |
      • igaftr

        he said as he broad brushes all atheists....

        May 27, 2014 at 9:14 am |
      • Madtown

        there are vast differences between organized religion and personal religion
        ----
        There are differences, not sure they're vast. With a "personal religion", you'd likely be making up your own rules. By following organized religion more closely, you're just following rules made up by other human beings.

        May 27, 2014 at 9:44 am |
        • skytag

          Given the fact that Christians "church shop" it would be more accurate to say those who affiliate themselves with a church affiliate with one that shares their views on what the rules should be.

          May 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Southwest Missouri Politics

      You said, "I was a professing atheist in the "Bible Belt" and recently became a professing Christian."
      What could lead an adult to start believing in the Easter Bunny, or other fictional characters?

      May 27, 2014 at 10:52 am |
      • tallulah131

        When I see the word "politics" in the name, I can only guess that this person found it more politically profitable to be a believer.

        May 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
  17. chrise1313

    So – What is the difference between organized religion and organized non-religion? Why can't we just believe what we believe as individuals? Why do we have to get together in large groups of like-minded individuals to profess our beliefs?

    May 27, 2014 at 7:49 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Herding instinct.... baaa

      May 27, 2014 at 7:53 am |
    • skytag

      There are many reasons people like to associate with others who share their beliefs and interests. Put a little thought into it and the reasons are obvious.

      May 27, 2014 at 8:57 am |
    • awanderingscot

      attendance is not required, it's desired. i don't think anyone tried to stop atheists from attending their convention. i would not be in favor of anyone Christian or otherwise trying to stop the convention.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:15 am |
    • igaftr

      When you believe in things that there is no evidence for whatsoever, you need to look to the herd for confirmation that you are believing the right thing. A basic psychological concept. People need to preach to the choir, and get confirmation, since there is no confirmation from anywhere else.

      May 27, 2014 at 9:31 am |
      • awanderingscot

        it would appear that atheists are no exception as this article proves; people look for comfort and support from people who believe the same way, and atheists are no different.

        May 27, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • igaftr

          yes scot...thats what a basic psychological concept means......

          May 27, 2014 at 9:49 am |
  18. bandjammer

    Sick to even think of this.

    May 27, 2014 at 7:32 am |
    • religionismanmade1

      lol why? Because you dont agree with it? bhahahahahahaha

      May 27, 2014 at 7:42 am |
  19. dustieryder111

    simple answer...if you believe,good,your right...don't force it on anyone that does not...non-believer,good....your right,..dont force it on anyone that does not.

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

      Except when does your kid have a choice over what they believe? If you block all of their access to other ideas and call those ideas "evil" until they're 18, do they even have a chance of making up their own minds? It's more complicated than just 'don't force it on anyone'... people should not be allowed to brainwash their children. Atheist parents should introduce their kids to all the religions and the belief systems of all of them, as well religious parents shouldn't attempt to inhibit the learning of ALL currently accepted scientific theories, which have been rigorously tested and have made predictions in the field, such as evolution and inflation theories.

      May 27, 2014 at 7:32 am |
      • bandjammer

        Atheists should... or Atheists must...?

        May 27, 2014 at 7:33 am |
      • hotairace

        Why should any parent spend any time exposing their children to any/all myths? Other than the minimal entertainment value (look at the crazy sh!t people believe!) what is the unique benefit(s) that can't be gained through studying other domains?

        May 27, 2014 at 7:46 am |
        • myweightinwords

          What can be learned by learning about what other people believe?

          How about tolerance? How about understanding about the power of myth and it's affect on people?

          There is a lot to learn.

          May 27, 2014 at 9:58 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        I didn't come to my conclusion on my disbelief until my daughter was 15-a mere 5 years ago. However, I was also not a practising Christian and her father is a practising Wiccan. We exposed her to belief system's of every kind we could-living in a huge city can be advantageous. We agreed that if she ever wanted to attend church, we would not deny her that right. We encouraged her to read and read everything she could get her hands on. In high school she took a comparative religions course, she's explored Mormonism (more like chasing a boy-teenage hormones) and she's gone back to her Wiccan roots.

        May 27, 2014 at 8:29 am |
        • Alias

          So you all christians delusional and then go home to where your husband and daughter cast spells.
          Interesting.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No that is not the case. I'm long separated from him and she is off at college. However, the casting of spells is slightly off their home lives...they do attend rituals and things like that but neither try to impose the beliefs on me or their friends who don't believe as they do.

          May 27, 2014 at 10:36 am |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    God is implied by ... well, nothing comes to mind. God reveals itself? Why only in such ways that believers can't be distinguished from people who are deluded, or liars?

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

      Don't let that slow you down. Believe what there is no reason to believe anyway. Sing songs, read a lot of propaganda material, surround yourself with like-minded people and in no time you'll be convinced ordinary events are proof God exists.

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

        for something to be a proof of something else, that something else must exist/be true to begin with, otherwise you're just begging the question (logical fallcy–look it up)

        May 27, 2014 at 3:01 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.