Why God doesn’t go away
March 27th, 2013
09:41 AM ET

Why God doesn’t go away

By Paul J. Zak, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Paul J. Zak is a professor at Claremont Graduate University in California and author of 'The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity.' The views expressed are his own.

I carried a lot of crosses as a Catholic altar boy. I also learned to mumble phrases in Latin and breathed in enough incense to choke an elephant. There is something serene about being behind a ritual. It lets you observe and reflect. And wonder why in the world people show up.

Roughly six percent of Americans report that they are atheists or agnostics according to a 2012 Pew Research Center poll.  But, that means that over 90 percent believe in a God. Pew also reports that 80 percent profess a religious affiliation and half of those with a religious affiliation regularly attend church. So what motivates 120 million Americans to attend a church, synagogue or temple?

I began running experiments searching for a biochemical basis for moral behaviors in 2001 and found in a decade's worth of research that the molecule oxytocin motivated people to return kindness when they were shown kindness. Given my Catholic background and later skepticism that only Catholics would get into heaven (if such a thing exists), in my experiments I only asked college participants the most cursory questions about their religious beliefs. Guess what? Few college students are religious at all – and I found no difference in oxytocin functioning or prosocial behaviors between believers and nonbelievers.

Then the "weenie alert" went off in my scientist brain – I could learn so much more about the role of religion in moral behaviors if I got off campus. Free roaming humans are more religious than college students and I could study them in their natural habitat rather than in the sterile confines of my lab. Presuming, of course, religious people would let me study them.

More from CNN: Americans polarized over religion

After several meetings to gain permission, I went to a Christian church and took blood from volunteers before and after a Sunday service. I also took blood at a folk dance because many ancient religious rituals (and some current ones) involve coordinated movements. Then, I trekked deep into the rainforest of Papua New Guinea and took blood samples from indigenous peoples decked out in leaves and feathers as they did a centuries-old tribal dance.

In all these rituals, a majority of participants released oxytocin. Those who released oxytocin reported that they felt closer to their communities and said they would volunteer to help other community members. We did not find that the change in oxytocin was associated with an increased sense of connection to God or some "ultimate reality." In fact, there was no discernible difference between nonreligious and religious rituals at stimulating oxytocin release. A rugby team I studied produced as much oxytocin during their warm-up as did evangelical Christians who worshipped and sang in my lab.

The effect of ritual even worked for this skeptical scientist. Due to several equipment failures, I was embedded in my village in Papua New Guinea for several days with nothing to do. Quite quickly the villagers brought me into their daily rituals and I felt like I had joined their community and formed attachments to its members.  I still feel this way.

So why do people show up at church? Because people show up at church. Rituals build community by releasing oxytocin making rituals "sticky." An older woman in our folk dance sample told me she attended because dancing reduced her chronic pain. I asked her if this was due to the exercise or the people. After a pause, she said "both." Our data support her intuition.

Research from other scholars has shown that regular churchgoers are generally happier and healthier. Why? Oxytocin reduces stress responses and having more relationships make us happy. Churches also give attendants a chance to help others, another activity that increases one's satisfaction with life.

Sure, you don't need God, or church, to be happy or healthy. But the desire to park bottoms in pews has led churches in the U.S. to be effective community builders.  Humans need community and even reminders to be a bit less selfish and help others by studying ancient texts. Perhaps the saying "God is love" has it backwards. When we love others, we embody Godliness.

The proportion of atheists and agnostics may keep on growing, but as long as churches use rituals to bring people together, God is unlikely to go away.

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Topics: Religion

soundoff (635 Responses)
  1. us_1776

    The Sky Fairy does not exist.

    Get over it.

    .

    March 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • Let There Be Light

      Prove it. You can't. Therefore you're nothing but talk...

      March 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  2. Timmay

    I think a big reason so many people believe in God is because a lot of people in this Country are uneducated.

    March 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  3. John

    Somehow I doubt Oxytocin can explain all the subtleties of Christian (or any other religion's) belief. Who can tell me with certainty what preceded the Big Bang? Or how human consciousness works? Or describe to me four dimensional space? There are limits to modern, 21st century science that we are often too arrogant to accept. Do i believe in God? Yes. Can my faith be summed up by a hormone? Very doubtful.

    March 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • inspiration

      John, just because you are not educated and dumb doesn't mean that science has limits. It does not. The only limitation is the ability to observe due to the lack of tools that yet need to be developed.

      March 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply
    • Let There Be Light

      Science will always have limits. Even science in itself is a limit because it is a belief in things that exclude God..

      March 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  4. Cal Newlan

    Oh, look at all the fashionable "atheists"! Sheep. calnewlanministries.com

    March 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • capnmike

      Calling people names because they do not believe in a bunch of tripe, fairy tales and lies only exposes your own stupidity. Why are you so threatened by Atheism?

      March 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
      • Cal Newlan

        Why are you a fashionable atheist? Are you really such a frightened child? When I called myself an "atheist" twenty years ago in college, where were all the other "atheists"? Oh, that's right, it wasn't fashionable yet. Sheep. Accept Jesus Christ today! calnewlanministries.com

        March 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • Let There Be Light

        Capnmike… You mean the fairytale that "this is a world where God does not exist?" I guess you're right. People who believe that are living in a fantasy...

        March 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Timmay

      Actually you are the sheep for believing such nonsense. This supposedly merciful character has you terrified of your own shadow and that if you don't follow all of his contradictions you will took in a furnance for all eternity. I thought he was merciful not vengeful. If he was merciful he would allow anyone into heaven but instead he is vengeful the way you make him sound.

      March 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Reply
      • Cal Newlan

        Come to Christ like a child, Timmay. It should be easy for you. calnewlanministries.com

        March 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      isnt the sheep the one sticking with the larger flock? that would make that the religious lot.

      March 29, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • HitchedBritches

      Is your God's name Tucan Sam? You sure sound like a fruit loop.

      March 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Unfortunatly Cal, you fit the profile of the bully pastor which the atheists point to when they show their hatred of organised religeon.

      April 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • lngtrmthnkr

      Cal, your love of others isnt avident.

      April 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  5. John

    I'm also not certain why intelligence and education has to equate to atheism. I've met some very stupid, poorly-educated atheists in my day. (Some very stupid, highly-educated ones too for that matter!)

    March 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • inspiration

      Believing in a religion is the equivalent of believing that the Earth is flat. Educated people know better.

      March 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  6. capnmike

    Something that never existed in the first place can't "go away". What doesn't go away is the brainwashing and belief in this utter nonsense.

    March 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  7. inspiration

    Religion is the equivalent of a mind-altering drug. As long as people get hooked, it's difficult to wean them off just like heroin addicts. That's why I think religious brainwashing should be forbidden before the age of 18. Before that age it's a horrible thing, It's like giving cocaine to two year olds.

    March 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Cal Newlan

      Spare us your pseudo-sophisticated, pc babble! calnewlanministries.com

      March 29, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • darkstar

        Spare us your supernatural psychobabble. Take your meds or grow up, whichever comes first.

        March 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        "Psychobabble"? Atheists and their non sequiturs ...

        March 29, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  8. stubbycat

    Rituals are symbols, nothing more. But the tendency of the unenlightened, hypnotic prone human mind is to absorb the ritual, get lost in the ritual, and forget the original meaning behind the ritual. For example, Christians who practice rituals are no "closer" to God than the pagans who came before. The amazing Jesus seems to have used ritual in a limited degree to lead his followers to the deeper spiritual meaning of life which he was trying to impart, just as he used the parable. Christ comes as spiritualized consciousness, as love, harmony and healing demonstrated, not as bread, wine or any material substance or dogma.

    March 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  9. John

    God does not go away because God is real. The Catholic Faith is True.

    March 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • darkstar

      Zeus does not go away either. Or Marduk. Or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc.. If none of them go away, it's going to get awful crowded up there.

      March 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
      • Cal Newlan

        "Flying Spaghetti Monster"? Come up with something original, dummy!

        March 29, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
      • Worldbelow

        Russell's teacup is my personal belief.

        March 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  10. The Ghost

    I read these comments and am stricken by the spitefulness of the posts of those who claim atheism as a belief. Let me explain something to you: Christianity IS evidence based. Unfortunately for those engaged in atheism, they are enbracing an unproven methodology that, one day, could have far reaching ramifications for them - ramifications their limited world view has not allowed them to yet consider. As a child you experience the world as a child. Hopefully, as you age, you will not be so close minded towards God. One more thing: Consider why the world is so down on Christianity. You can be virtually any religion and no one - essentially - cares. But claim Christianity as your faith and suddenly you are marked. Why would this be? For the simple reason that if you are a Christian, you are untouchable. Your views are governed by a belief in a God who loves beyond all and rewards good with good, evil for evil. A God for whom the only requirement is faith in Christ. Once you share this belief system, No one can take that away from you but you. You pay no dues and there are no new stipulations of which you must be aware. For those who recognize this, the world is a different place than that with which the rest of the population knows. The *rules* are changed. In order for you to understand this, you'd have to be a Christian. If you are blessed, perhaps one day you will know this.

    March 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • Worldbelow

      Aren't the jews persecuted too? How about Muslims? I wouldn't want to be a muslim carrying a briefcase on a NYC subway. get over yourself, see the truth, the bible is a book of LIES...

      March 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • cedar rapids

      oh please the christian lobby group in the US is arguably the strongest one there is. Trying running for office as an atheist in this country and you will get people specifically highlighting that in attack ads.
      Stop playing the victim because its bull.

      March 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • marsally

      If indeed the world is down on Christianity it is because of people like you who spout pious nonsense. Where in your post is there any evidence of love? You want to be right because you cannot fathom being wrong. Therefore there is nothing about you that is in anyway attractive to nonbelievers – whatever that term means.

      March 30, 2013 at 7:40 am | Reply
  11. Worldbelow

    I talked to god every night, until one night he finally talked back. He told me to kill

    March 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  12. kennyzales

    Science may be able to infer God but will never reveal that chemicals are God. That's like saying the evidence that I love my wife is revealed by the flowers I bought her. Science has been secluded to explaining the universe only in physical terms. However, I believe there is hope: As we delve further into quantum physics and quantum mechanics, we are getting dangerously close to melding physical science with the non-physical, spiritual realm. We're not there yet but we're getting closer.

    March 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  13. pasigiri

    Why won't God go away? Because He is eternal. He's the Creator. What? Can the clay pot say to the one who formed it, "You didn't make me. You don't even exist. I can do anything on my own."? Why yes it can. You hear this said today. You read it on this board.

    March 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Reply
    • GDAL

      No. Clay pots cannot talk.

      March 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  14. Let There Be Light

    Atheists are living in a fantasy. They believe this is a world where God does not exist. They are deceived. And sooner or later they're going to find that out. The good news is there really is a place where God does not exist. It's called hell, and the lake of fire and brimstone. And when atheists get there (and surely they will) they will be without God forever…

    March 29, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Reply
    • Bostontola

      Atheists living in fantasy?!? Who believes in the invisible all powerful being? That's like Cpatain Kirk saying Magellan was a fictional character. Believe what you want, but atheists usually get accused of being material, not fantastic.

      March 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Reply
      • Let There Be Light

        Bostontoia… I don't have to believe in an invisible all powerful being (I wouldn't have a clue whether such a being existed or not anyway because I can't see invisible things). I believe in Jesus Christ. And that is all the belief I need.

        There is plenty of real world evidence which proves that Jesus Christ was here. So any atheist who cannot or do not believe in Jesus Christ, I'd call that pretty fantastic as well as delusional…

        March 29, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
      • Bostontola

        Atheists go with what they can see and test, the definition of rational. Like I said, believe what you want but believers in god are the only ones that resemble delusional. Atheists may be materialistic, not delusional.

        March 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
      • Let There Be Light

        Atheists are gullible people with weak minds who believe whatever they are told. Lucifer told you to bend over and you obliged. He told you that God does not exist and you believed it. You didn't test anything. No one provided you with an ounce of proof that God does not exist. Yet you still believed it. So don't try to say you go by what you can test or prove. You go by what you are told. And you have believed a lie without an ounce of proof. That makes you both deceived and deluded…

        March 30, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • marsally

      Why is it that you seem so delighted with the prospect of others spending eternity in a lake of fire? You wonder why folks are turned off by Christianity. You turn people off.

      March 30, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
  15. 6bq5

    Don't matter how hard the Atheists will try but they will never make God go away, he's here to stay. He was and is and will always be here.

    March 29, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • Let There Be Light

      If atheists truly believe God doesn't exist, then why do they need him to go away? Sounds like a contradiction to me...

      March 29, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply
      • Bostontola

        Why do you think atheists need god to go away? The author certainly does not represent atheists.

        March 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  16. Cal Newlan

    Atheism is just a ridiculous fad. It's the disco music of the early 21st century. calnewlanministries.com

    March 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Reply
    • calvin

      As a Christian Cal, I am really saddened by your comments in this blog. You are giving them what they want. Jesus is love! Your comments to me are coming across harsh and rude. God is Love!!

      March 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • Cal Newlan

        Sometimes you just have to call a brute beast a brute beast. I adore Romans and 2 Peter.

        March 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  17. Let There Be Light

    Why God won't go away?... Not to worry. One day you shall get your wish. For God won't be in the lake...

    March 29, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • Bostontola

      Most atheists don't think god will go away because something has to have existed to go away.

      March 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Reply
      • Let There Be Light

        The topic of this article calls you a liar. The person asking the question is an atheist...

        March 30, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  18. JS

    The US is a (multi)religious country. I'm not religious but that's fine with me. I regard genuine religious impulses and behavior as desirable qualities. As long as we have separation of church and state, value diversity, and want people to think critically and behave ethically, religions are more than welcome to flourish here. As a political note, I don't think the right-wing of the Republican Party is going to succeed in its efforts to appropriate Jesus.

    March 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  19. DJR

    Just as the idea that oxcitocin is some sort of catalyst to belief, I neither see so could say do not believe in oxitoxin so too is GOD. Believing or disbelieving does not define existence or non existence, it only defines weather people believe or not. In the BOOK of 2 Timothy it is written we knew from our earliest ages. Knowing is not the same as believing.

    March 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  20. Theadore Realist

    ***********************

    The Christian god emanates from the EVILbible.com (please visit this website)

    So thank goodness the Christian GODisIMAGINARY.com (please visit this one too)

    ******************************

    March 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  21. Josef Bleaux

    Religion is for people who can't think for themselves. All religions are nothing but ancient mythology and ignorant superst!tious nonsense. The ignorant masses eat it up like candy, it comforts them in the face of their mortality. Intelligent people don't need nor want that. No imaginary, invisible, supernatural sky fairy required.

    March 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Reply
    • Cal Newlan

      Stop lying to yourself, Josef! Are you going to spend the rest of your life running from reality like a frightened child? You don't have to cry yourself to sleep any longer. Accept Jesus now! calnewlanministries.com

      March 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Reply
    • Let There Be Light

      Apparently, it is you who can't think for yourself. Someone came along and told you that religion is just made up stories etc. and you believed it. They didn't show you an ounce of proof to back up their claims, yet you believed it. Sounds to me like it is you who wasn't thinking for yourself...

      March 30, 2013 at 1:30 am | Reply
      • hotteacher69

        Have you thought that maybe some people aren't taught about religion, and therefore make up their own opinion about it? That they're not these 'deluded sheep' or whatever you claim them to be? Everyone is allowed to believe or not believe in whatever. Simply because they aren't christian doesn't make them bad. >.>

        March 30, 2013 at 6:10 am |
  22. Bostontola

    A very smart co-worker of mine is a devout Christian. We were joined by a Mormon and the discussion went to the Mormon tenets. After the Mormon left, my Christian friend was dumbfounded that a person could believe such nutty things that the Mormons do.

    Why can intelligent people so easily see the folly in every other religion but their own?

    March 29, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • Cal Newlan

      I assume you consider yourself to be a thoroughgoing naturalist. If so, why can't you see the folly in believing in "free will" and an "embodied essence" philosophical anthropology? On the other hand, if you don't believe in "free will," then how can you be certain of the veracity of your own opinions and beliefs?

      March 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Reply
      • Bostontola

        I don't know if we have free will (depends on definitions). I am not certain of all my words, some are opinion.

        March 29, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        Fine, Bostontola, then you may be way off base regarding people who believe in God, right?

        March 29, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
      • Bostontola

        I don't think I'm omniscient.

        March 29, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        I didn't imply that you thought you were omniscient, Bostontola! My point is that if you want to be a thoroughgoing naturalist, you're going to have to deal with the consequences. After all, you wouldn't want to "delude" yourself, would you?

        March 30, 2013 at 12:00 am |
      • Bostontola

        You did imply omniscience by suggesting I may not think I could be wrong about believers. I don't know if I'm delusional either. I carry on assuming I'm not. It has been successful so far.

        March 30, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • Let There Be Light

      Answer: For the same reason you can see the folly in everybody else but can't see the folly in yourself...

      March 30, 2013 at 1:27 am | Reply
      • Bostontola

        Great! So you do see the folly in your beliefs.

        March 30, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  23. jossy mathew

    This is wrong,Jesus is the only way, truth and the life.Jesus died for all mankinds sin.if you believe in ur heart that jesus died for ur sin accept him as your personal savior ,then u will be saved.human life does not end with death,if you die in jesus ,you will have an eternal life with jesus in heaven,if you denie jesus ,you have to stand before God ,s judgment throne,and you will have to spend ur eternity in hell .Repend now,salvation is free.Jesus is coming back soon.prepare for his coming.jesus loves you.he did everything for us in the cross.he paid everything for you.why people cant open their heart for him.satan is a liar.dont listen to satans deceiving ideas.satan want to take everybody to hell with him.satan knows what wil happen to him @ the end.open ur heart to jesus today.read bible. glory to jesus.praise the lord.

    March 29, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • Let There Be Light

      Don't forget, to be saved you have to do more than just "believe in your heart and accept him as your own personal savior". There is no scripture in the bible for that. To be saved you have to follow the scripture of Acts 2:38, which says – "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Once you receive the Holy Ghost, only then are you saved....

      March 30, 2013 at 1:04 am | Reply
  24. McBob79

    I'm amazed at how many people like this guy just can't accept that people believe in a higher power and no matter how much logic, science, reasoning they try to use people just keep going about there merry way believing. In fact it seems to bother them... Bothers them just because of what people believe even though it doesn't I pact them at all. Sad...Actually, its pathetic.

    March 29, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Reply
    • Let There Be Light

      That's just Lucifer at work. If a person is not saved, Lucifer can use you at will to try and discourage others. That is why atheists continue to fight against Christians even though they don't believe...

      March 30, 2013 at 1:06 am | Reply
  25. cheekyindian

    Disappointed with the article......well heres my take on why God is here to stay.....God is defined by religion.....as paramount, supreme, infinite.....and science is limited...it begins and ends with what we can observe....our senses are limited, we enhance it sometimes with the help of science but even that has its limits.....science cannot be until you observe something and rationalize it.....so philosophically and even scientifically there could be stuff happening around you right now that a human might never detect with or without science.....if we cant understand what is around us, what is us- then we cant say that there is no God.....

    March 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm | Reply
    • Bostontola

      Cheeky, you are right, there is no proof god doesn't exist. There is also no proof god exists. The objective evidence (an enormous amount) is consistent with a natural universe.

      March 30, 2013 at 12:15 am | Reply
  26. pmmarion

    “Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.” Robert A. Heinlein

    March 30, 2013 at 12:21 am | Reply
    • Let There Be Light

      If what you said was true, Hollywood Movie superheroes would not exist.

      As for gods acting like spoiled children, the true eternal God is the only perfect God. All other gods are evil and of the devil. It's no wonder they misbehave...

      March 30, 2013 at 1:11 am | Reply
      • marsally

        According to your book, this perfect God ordered the genocide of an entire race of people – the Canaanites. Your perfect God considered David a man after his one heart. This David who slaughtered men, women and infants so that the Philistines would not discover that he was actually not an ally. Shed some light on some of this please – or change your handle.

        March 30, 2013 at 7:25 am |
  27. Natrldiver

    Better to have a faith in God and find out he does not exist than to be ignorant and find out on judgement day. Honest people of religious belief have one thing that most fail to recognize and that is faith. Faith will carry one long way and through faith one does not have to be a bigot, hater or racial pundit. It does not matter to those of faith how others act for we serve a higher calling.

    March 30, 2013 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • Let There Be Light

      The bible also says – "Romans 14:23 – whatsoever is not of faith is sin." And atheists have no faith. Therefore, everything they believe in is sin…

      March 30, 2013 at 1:18 am | Reply
  28. lolwut

    So before reading them, I'm guessing these comments are going to contain a lot of:

    (1) Smug evangelicals talking about accepting Jesus and parroting the Bible, unable or unwilling to make any sort of intellectual argument that might actually resonate with people

    (2) Smug atheists high-fiving each other over their supposed intellectual superiority and giggling at oh-so-edgy attempts at blasphemy ("fairy tales," "old man in the sky," etc. Yawn.) that we've all heard a thousand times before.

    ...

    Yep.

    March 30, 2013 at 1:05 am | Reply
    • marsally

      And you were right. Where have all the moderates gone? Into yoga, I think.

      March 30, 2013 at 7:18 am | Reply
  29. Let There Be Light

    You left out one thing…

    (3) Smug people who claim not to identify as an atheist or a believer but who wants to sit back and judge everybody else according to their own arrogant self-righteousness.

    March 30, 2013 at 1:24 am | Reply
    • lolwut

      Yeah, but I'm a paragon of humility and figured I didn't deserve my own category.

      Please, though...continue repeating the same dumb arguments that discredit the cause you're trying to defend.

      March 30, 2013 at 1:45 am | Reply
      • Let There Be Light

        You don't know what humility is. If you did, you'd have dropped your own opinion long ago in favor of the word of God and opinion of Jesus Christ. And the mere fact that you have not accepted the word of God or opinion of Jesus Christ is only an indication that you're arrogant and not humble…

        March 30, 2013 at 4:23 am |
      • lolwut

        If I did that, would I turn into a plonking, narrow-minded, humorless nitwit like you? Hmmm...you make a tempting offer! I bet Jesus is so proud that you've rejected the gift of human thought in favor of cowering inside the reassuring box of your flawed doctrine.

        March 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • marsally

      And the loving Christian speaks and once again we are reminded that behind the love language is a lot of hate.

      March 30, 2013 at 7:20 am | Reply
      • GOD IS LOVE

        Jesus's message is a love letter to mankind and you think it is a hate speech? that's amazing....

        March 30, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  30. PJ

    I suspect the number of actual atheists/agnostics is much higher than 6%, but many are afraid to answer honestly, especially since they are, as a group, the last true pariahs.

    March 30, 2013 at 1:49 am | Reply
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