Top 10 Most/Least Religious States in the Country

Gallup just put out the lists of the Top 10 Most Religious States and Top 10 least Religious States in the country. This was based on responses to the question: “Is religion an important part of your daily life?

Can you guess which states are at the top?

My guesses were pretty good on that one. Except for Utah — Not in the top 10.

The ones at the bottom, though?

Not so much.

(Who knew Sarah Palin‘s state was less religious than Oregon?)

listreligious

It is sad to see that fewer than half the citizens find religion to be important in their lives in only four states.

(Work on it, Alaska.)

Even more telling is this map of the United States, comparing the most religious states (dark green) to the least religious (offwhite)

map

Are there any surprises on here for you?

(via The Invisible Pink Unicorn)

  • http://personman.com danny

    Now someone should compare that data with state literacy rates, education level and teen pregnancy rates.

  • http://seadour.tumblr.com Matt

    I thought Colorado would be a lot higher on the list, but sometimes I forget that Colorado Springs (New Life Church, Focus on the Family) is kind of a microcosm in the state.

  • http://raccoonsshelter.blogspot.com/ Diego

    I just noticed that if we change the word “religious” with “rednecks” in the map, it would still make sense.

  • Skeptimal

    Now compare this with red/blue maps from the past few elections. Clearly, religion has a poisoning effect on American politics.

  • http://www.emilyanalogy.blogspot.com Emily Terry

    I have never in my life been more profoundly proud to be from New Hampshire… or New England, for that matter.
    :-D

  • chancelikely

    Utah is a Western state, which probably is what is knocking it out of the top ten. Look at how much more religious it is than its neighbors – Utah/Nevada (except for that that tiny stretch of Oklahoma/Colorado) is the only border between two states that are three shades off from each other.

    The Republican party’s strength is in the pious South and the apatheist West. I’m pretty sure that they’re choosing red over blue for totally different reasons.

  • Steve

    Now, if the question was a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer, can we safely assume that the non-present percentage are agnostic or atheistic? That would mean that even in Mississippi 15% of the population are non-religious.
    That makes the oft-claimed “only 14% of Americans are atheists”, seem paltry.

    BTW. I like the ‘Redneck’ comment :-)

  • http://sinnersaintshiksa.blogspot.com/ Modern Girl

    The Dakotas surprised me. It is because they are rural?

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    See, here’s my problem with polls like this:

    If I were asked this question, my most honest answer would be “Yes.”

    Religion is a very important part of my daily life. I write about it almost every day. If I’m not writing about it, I’m often reading about it, or thinking about it.

    I’m just not writing/ reading/ thinking very nice things.

    How do you answer this question if you’re an atheist writer/ blogger/ activist?

  • Harknights

    I agree the Dakotas are odd. Why they specifically ranked so high? Allthough they are only 1% higher than Nebraska.

    And compare this to a Civil War map. Slave states Dark green. Boarder states light green. Union less green. How long will we have to fight the Civil War?

    The odd balls, Utah and the Dakotas are historal locations of conflict with the US government.

  • Harknights

    And too think about that question. What are other types of things that would be important but not part of your daily life? I guess what I am asking is. Are you really religious if it’s not important to you? for me Baseball and Poker are both part of my daily life. I read about them or play them daily. So what 15% of the people in the most religious state in the union say is that to them, their religion has a lower status than a game has to me.

    I think this falls under. Just because you don’t say you don’t believe in god doesn’t mean you do…and I think this is what the Right Wing is ultimatly scared of.

  • Miko

    The Republican party’s strength is in the pious South and the apatheist West. I’m pretty sure that they’re choosing red over blue for totally different reasons.

    Yes, totally different reasons indeed. The South is your traditional religious zealot conservatives, while the West are the frontier-individualist libertarians. Incidentally, the libertarian vote swung from about 70-30 in favor of Bush in 2000 (I was part of the 30) to something like 70-30 in favor of Obama in 2008 (which was a major factor in swinging the Mountain states blue), so the voting trend for the future is wide open right now: Obama’s bailout scare tactics are going to turn off the Mountain West, but we don’t really have anywhere else to go. So, while I’m not willing to predict the Mountain West becomes a blue stalwart, I wouldn’t say that it’s red territory either.

    And apatheist is a great term, but I think I still prefer “leave us alone”-voters. :-)

  • skinman

    I’m happy to see that the overly religious city of Colorado Springs (home to that bastion of hate known as Focus on the Family) hasn’t corrupted the rest of us here in Colorado. I honstly expected us to be higher up on the list.

  • http://www.myspace.com/youreundoingmybeltwronghun Tim D.

    Wow. I knew my state was high, but I hardly suspected it was the second. Guess that explains a lot.

  • http://noadi.blogspot.com Noadi

    We’re #3! Not that it surprises me in the least that Maine is ranked so high on the list. Also proves that rural does not automatically equal religious since Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont as all very rural states.

  • Rasputin

    RE the Dakotas, I think it’s an urba/rural thing. They’re both in the five least densely populated states in the US. More to the point, they just don’t have much in the way of cities.

    When I google “biggest city in North Dakota” wikipedia tells me it’s Fargo will less than 100 thousand. Tennessee has five cities larger, Minnesota two, and Iowa three.

  • http://newref.blogspot.com/ James

    I’m kinda supprised my state of North Carolina was so high. We’re the highest of all the blue states.

  • Rat Bastard

    In the Dakotas, you have all those steely-eyed missilemen (and all the infrastructure) of the air force working in the missile silos. In general, you’ll find a preponderance of buy-bull belt people in the military. That’s bound to skew the demographics a little. Just sayin’.

  • Epistaxis

    As a Californian, I’d really like to see it by county.

  • Eliza

    Go, Washington! (We’re near the bottom, but it’s only because of a few populous counties around Puget Sound. The whole rest of the state is religious/red.)

  • http://gaytheistagenda.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    Is it at all surprising that New England has the lowest divorce rates, crime rates, teen pregnancy rates, etc? They also enjoy higher overall health, education and quality of living. Now that MA and CT have marriage equality, ME is pushing for it and the other states probably won’t be far behind my wife and I are seriously thinking of braving the cold and snow if Prop 8 doesn’t get overturned.

  • http://thebasketeere.com Daymon Balser

    You can easily compare this data with IQ rates and I guarantee you won’t be surprised.

  • Tone

    heh, the Wisconsin result surprises me, I woulda thought we’d be higher to be honest. eh well…hooray for being a midwest anomaly!

  • Anonymous

    I like the third map here (at bottom) better :)~

    http://www.usatoday.com/graphics/life/gra/religion/frame.htm

    Can someone blow that one up into a poster? :)

  • «bønez_brigade»

    “Are there any surprises on here for you?”

    Yeah. Texas. It is neither the darkest green nor in the top ten. WTF?

  • Special Ed

    I love how Mississippi is at the top of this list, while being at the bottom in virtually every other national ranking…education, health care, economic development, etc. Why isn’t god doing more for these people?

  • http://sinnersaintshiksa.blogspot.com/ Modern Girl

    As a Canadian, I’m left wondering what this would look like for our provinces…

  • BruceH

    Poverty Distribution in the United States.

    Unwed Partners Living Together, including straight and same sex partners

    There are some powerful correlations there. What other correlations can we find?

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t read all the posts here but I can tell you some correlations from first hand experience.  I have lived in the south, the midwest, the west coast and the new england area.   The south is obviously full of dumb people.  There are a lot of good people in the south but lets face it there are a lot of just plain uneducated people there.   It is the most religious place I have ever lived and I wasn’t even in the heart of it.   The teen pregnancy rate was sky high and the crime rate as well.  So you would have to be totally ignorant to not see that being religious doesnt make you any any better morally, despite the false claims that christians make and want to believe. The main lesson here is that most christians do not practice what they preach.   The south was also the poorest and most miserable people.  Was it because they were made to feel guilty of everything they do and fear an imaginary god?  probably but who knows.  In the northeast I rarely saw a church and there was very low crime rate and people there were extremely happy and extremely intelligent.  What have we learned here?  Desperation, despair, lack of education, lack of intelligence, all lead to religion.  Unhappy people tend to be more religious because it provides a sense of hope and security.  There is no logic in it.

  • Luther Weeks

    Sad sad. Would only that CT be last on the list.

  • http://www.limetwists.com Cole

    I actually expected my homestate (Kentucky) to be much higher on the list. I was kind of relieved that it wasn’t, though, at the same time.

  • Wendy

    It’s pretty much what I expected… Except I thought Alaska and California would be reversed… I’m also surprised Alaska is less religious than Washington!! But the colouring trend doesn’t surprise me at all.

    For those interested in a similar map of Canada, check this out:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/religion/faithmap.html

  • Will Staples

    Regarding Alaska and Sarah Palin – it’s not really surprising. Palin’s family is originally from Idaho, I believe, and moved up there just to take advantage of Alaska’s resources or some such (oil pipes and strip malls, baby!), so she’s not representative of the local culture.

    Personally, I’m surprised Utah didn’t rank higher.

  • http://sinnersaintshiksa.blogspot.com/ Modern Girl

    The Canadian map is awesome! BC surprised me, until I thought about all the Canadians of Asian descent, particularly Chinese and Japanese heritage with no religion. But Alberta was far more non religious than I would have guessed, especially with Stockwell Day, and Stephen Harper coming outta there.

  • Mriana

    Missouri is 15th in being the most religious? Couldn’t prove it by me! Geeze! These people down here are freakin’ NUTS! I mean they talk about being “immortal” and having a relationship with Jesus, like it were some sexual experience. Gee, puts new meaning to necrophelia.

    I would hate to see what Mississippi is like.

  • MathMike

    Mriana Said,
    Missouri is 15th in being the most religious? Couldn’t prove it by me! Geeze! These people down here are freakin’ NUTS! I mean they talk about being “immortal” and having a relationship with Jesus, like it were some sexual experience. Gee, puts new meaning to necrophelia.

    Take out St. Louis and Kansas City. The the next two cities are Springfield and it’s neighbor Joplin. Springfield is home to Larry Rice Ministries and several evangelical colleges. Joplin has a couple more such colleges, and is home to the state’s prison ministries services and a company that produces multi media presentations for missionaries. The population of these two areas combined is barely 1 million.

  • Non-Conformist

    I for one think religion is the main cause of so many problems.

  • Johnnyswing1984

    The most religious states here are the home to the most brainwashed people in this nation. These dumbasses are getting their wallets sucked thin for a promise of “heaven.” The people who believe needs a splash of cold water to their face. I have told many that they are going to be greatly disappointed when they die, but they’ll never know…such a sad tale of the ignorant blind-they always need someone to tell them what to do, how to vote, who to believe, never in their pathetic lives will they decide anything for themselves. If “god” would only tell them now: when you are suffering, know that I have betrayed you…

    religion is the creation and the future of all evil in this country including the future of bipartisan politics from the “educated” fucktards that continuously keep getting elected.

    i was extremely pissed to find that catholic priests in sections of Ohio even commented during their preaches that McCain was the choice of “god.” And these sheep buy anything…so us logical and radical people are doomed until our end. Like Ron White says…”you can’t fix stupid.”

    • Thumper

      And tell us Johnnyswing1984, just what is your alternative to this great disappointment, this blind ignorance, this pathetic life we Christians live?  Just what is this great utopia you’ve discovered, this great truth that would cleanse and purify our brainwashed minds of blind Christian worship?  Do you honestly think we’re not capable of understanding this grandiose logical reasoning you’ve otained? Christians discarded that many centuries ago as utter nonsense…foolish childish rebellion…beliefs of darkness….works of the anti-christ….the same knowledge you have.  I don’t even expect you to understand that.  You would have to believe in a power higher than yourself which you atheist are actually capable but unwilling to do.  How I honestly pity you and your logical reasoning.  How I pity your soul.

      We’ll go on believing in God and Jesus Johnnyswing1984 because we know it to be a truth just as you believe it’s a lie.  We don’t owe you and your atheist friends any proof…the proof was the death on the cross and resurrection of Christ, and not anything of our own.   I hope some day you understand that, although it may take a splash of cold water to your face.  You are wrong Johnny! …you can fix stupid.

  • Amanda

    I have lived in northeast Mississippi my entire life. This is “home” and can’t help but have a love/hate relationship with it and have always (and still am) considered moving to a more liberal, non-religious state. There are many good, intelligent, non-judgmental people here but unfortunately there seem to be more of those religious extremists. I just turned 30 and I have been gradually coming out of the atheist closet for about the past 8 years. I guess I am completely out now but it still bothers me when friends and acquaintances start ignoring me and disappear all of a sudden once they find out I’m an atheist. Just let me post something denouncing religion (nothing rude mind you) on my Facebook page and watch my friends list dwindle! LOL! It’s just sad how the “loving” Christians become so unloving when you don’t share their same views.

    Also, I hate the fact that Mississippi, and the south in general, tends to be the butt of so many jokes referencing that we are all stupid rednecks. However, I’m sure most of you have seen or heard about the studies showing the direct link between lower IQ and strong religious faith. I’m not saying that all devout Christians are stupid mind you but it is interesting and a bit funny how so many of the “less gifted” people are always “luvin’ them some JESUS!!”. LOL!

  • Lindsay Gagnon

    I think religion is one of the stupidest invention ever to control human kind

  • Robbie

    i knew there was sumtin wrong with dem yakee’s now let go beat dem up with our double shotguns, jack daniel flask, hanging ropes and thick suthhern draw
    (the reason their is so much sarcasm in this comment is because all sterotypes are true)

  • Viv

    I know this has been touched on already, but I found the question quite misleading. If you’re in the South and you were brought up in any kind of religious family, you would agree that religion is important. However, I think many of these folks are confusing religion with family. I’m from Ohio and the ranking (in the middle) was very representative. Lots of folks were raised with religion and believe in god, but only about 65% actually practice their religion. I would have preferred a question that related to some sort of frequent practicing of religion. I know Tennessee would still rank high, but it would be more represenative.

  • DN

    The bible is probably the most powerful device ever invented. And like any powerful device you have to see who the person(s) are behind the curtain and their agenda. unfortunately critical thinking is the first casualty of becoming a “true believer”. Since moving to TN 15 yrs ago I’ve come to realise that most southerners are not stupid rather they choose to not only ignore any attempt to inject anything scientific into their thought that conflicts w/their beliefs,they take all their political direction from their church or any conservative politician that claim “God” guides their every decision. The base motivator is fear. Fear trumps intellect and all other emotions and it comes wrapped as Love. Sugar coating on a poison pill.

  • Nick

    Oh how I hate living in Georgia. Washington sounds nice. Maybe I’ll move there.
    Anyone notice what I did there? Atheist and patriotic. Take that, Bush 1.

  • Jason

    I wish they had a map by county. Does anyone know of one? Someone had a comment about Missippi being the poorest and the most religious. Data also shows them as giving the largest percentage of their income to charities( not just churches either). The poor helping the poor. If only the richer states would learn from their lesson.

  • jon

    I live in the 2nd least religious state (New Hampshire) and the other 3 are all surrounding my state. In other words, i live in the least religious geographic area in the country. Yet, my family is very religious. Location has not made a difference though.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna

    California’s at 57 percent, which sounds about right to me. I, too, wish we could see a breakdown by county. My guess is that the San Francisco Bay Area would rank somewhat lower. There really doesn’t seem to be a lot of overt religiosity here.

  • Hitch

    Yep, county breakdown would be good. For example north Florida is closer to south Georgia. And one would see the almost universal urban vs rural divide.

  • http://americanpropaganda.org JJ

    Great post, just not the full story. From reading the comments here, it seems that no one has put one and one together. All the stats that claim religious people are dumber and more violent are based off of racism. Compare these states to the U.S. Census. Look at the unemployment, population, poverty, race, education system and so on. Great job on using racism and calling it religion. Also, look at the total number of hate crime incidents for each state. It seems that the least religious states dominate in hate, by a large number. Try looking at the whole picture. Mao, Stalin, Kim, Lenin and all the other atheist icons would be so proud of you. Let me guest, you’re going to bring up the crusades which happened how long ago, or the abortion doctor killings (all 8 of them in a 33 year period), or how the bible talks about stoning people but you can’t name any incidents in America within the last 500 years, or how the Old Testament is so violent when Christians (notice the word Christ in that word) go by the New Testament no matter what you say. Go for it, the fact is that there’s no difference in the new atheist movement and how Hitler did the Jews or how Mao and Stalin did Christianity. It’s the same propaganda, just more modern. So when you reply, try something new and use a source that’s not bias. Look at all the atheist lead governments in history, do you really want to get rid of Christianity? Try to stick with Christianity and not other religions, I don’t speak for them unlike the many atheist who believe that they do. Try to use the “Christ” definition of Christianity, not yours. I have a question. Why are atheist freethinkers and anyone who thinks otherwise ignorant? Is that free thinking? You can only think one way to be a freethinker. How much does science really know about life and the universe? Why does science disprove God because an atheist says so when God is the one that put science here in the first place? When did atheism become hate, you should call yourself irreligious instead of giving the good people of atheism a bad name. Just a thought. Now, how many of you will reply with name calling or insults? How many of you will quote other atheist? How many of you will make statements with no source or just pick and choose your data? Here’s a good question. How many of you actually belief that the internet, the news, TV shows and Hollywood all have a Christian bias? How many of you are pissed off at this comment? Ask yourself “why”? Why are you an atheist? Science can’t explain 95% of the Universe, so how does science disprove God? A single strain of DNA contains information that would fill 50 Encyclopedia Britannica. Look at your facts, compared to all the truths that we don’t know about yet, how can they be facts? The only real fact, is that we don’t know nothing and that this world, use, animals and the universe is to detailed and perfect to call it an accident.

  • DN

    JJ, Hanging replaced stoning. Now go back and look at the last 500 years. And I’m not just talking about slavery which by the way used the bible as justification.

    Colossians 3:2 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth

    Now go back to Boston in 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing. A year earlier, Quakers in Sandwich had established the first Friends’ Meeting in the New World. Magistrates in both Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were alarmed by Quaker teachings that individuals could receive direct personal revelations from God. To protect orthodox Puritanism, the courts passed a series of laws forbidding residents from housing Quakers. Quakers themselves were threatened with whipping, arrest, imprisonment, banishment, or death. But driven by conscience, some Quakers repeatedly returned to Massachusetts to preach; four of them, including Mary Dyer, went to the gallows before a shocked King Charles ordered an end to the hanging of Quakers in 1661.

  • http://americanpropaganda.org JJ

    DN,

    Good job on telling other people want they believe, seems to be a popular trend among atheist.

    Here’s a thought, deal with the facts I made instead of creating new propaganda that has nothing to do with any of it.

    I’m not going to research your claim. I already know it’s one sided and half true.

    Slaves in the bible, are you talking about the slaves that are working off their debt? We call that work today. Do you not obey your boss at work? It’s called good work ethics.

    Stop with your elementary understanding of the bible.

    Just because you say it’s so, doesn’t make it so.

    I do have a question. If atheist are the first to admit that they don’t know it all, then why do they have all the answers?

  • DN

    JJ, Of coarse your not going to research my “claim.” I’ll make it easy on you. I cut and pasted it from The Plain Truth magazine. A christian magazine. New propaganda indeed. You said, “but you can’t name any incidents in America within the last 500 years.” I was talking about slavery in the south not 2000 years ago. Funny how things like that slip your mind, eh? Slavery = good work ethic, nice one JJ. (Psssst.. your I.Q. is showing.)

    Feel free to fling some more poo, it’s only human.

  • Jake

    Amanda Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 2:22 am

    I have lived in northeast Mississippi my entire life. This is “home” and can’t help but have a love/hate relationship with it and have always (and still am) considered moving to a more liberal, non-religious state. There are many good, intelligent, non-judgmental people here but unfortunately there seem to be more of those religious extremists. I just turned 30 and I have been gradually coming out of the atheist closet for about the past 8 years. I guess I am completely out now but it still bothers me when friends and acquaintances start ignoring me and disappear all of a sudden once they find out I’m an atheist. Just let me post something denouncing religion (nothing rude mind you) on my Facebook page and watch my friends list dwindle! LOL! It’s just sad how the “loving” Christians become so unloving when you don’t share their same views.

    Also, I hate the fact that Mississippi, and the south in general, tends to be the butt of so many jokes referencing that we are all stupid rednecks. However, I’m sure most of you have seen or heard about the studies showing the direct link between lower IQ and strong religious faith. I’m not saying that all devout Christians are stupid mind you but it is interesting and a bit funny how so many of the “less gifted” people are always “luvin’ them some JESUS!!”. LOL!

    —-
    I was going to post something very similar, but Amanda seems to have almost exactly said what I was about to say. The only difference is that I am from southeast Louisiana.

    • anonymous

      Complete empathy (though I attend a religious university in New England [not so bad]).

  • Shawn

    I don’t think IQ correlates as well as salsa. I.m.h.o. it’s all about “Salsa deficiency”

    [google: "salsa consumption map"]

    If we overlay the “map of salsa consumption in 1997″ with the map of religiosity above, we will see that there is a near perfect inverse relationship between the two. Less salsa is consumed in the Bible-belt, while the states with less religion have higher than average salsa consumption rates.
    Not eating enough salsa makes one more likely to believe in God…or possibly faith causes an intolerance for salsa. (we all know faith causes intolerance).

    If you are worried about becoming religious I suggest you try “salsa therapy”. You should start salsa injections now because it will take about 13 years to build up your immunity (according to the maps)…

    • Kittylover3

      Great work!!

  • Mac

    I think “JJ” believes he’s one of the more intellectual and informed citizens, clearly from Mississippi.

    ROFLMFAO…

    Perfect example of the majority of the dark-green people.

    Brainwashed. Uneducated. Foolish, and most certainly…. full of “poo”.

  • Meaghan

    I’m from Vermont and an atheist. Vermont is very rural it is the second least populated state, and trust me there are a lot of rednecks. Vermont is also a pretty poor state so poverty may not effect religious beliefs as much one might think. And I don’t know why that person would say that the least religious states are more violent… Vermont is the second safest state! Also you don’t have to be religious to own a gun!!! Vermont and Alaska have the loosest gun laws in the country (you can carry a concealed weapon without a permit, you don’t need to register the gun, or have a permit to own a gun you just need to be 18)! So maybe everyone needs to stop stereotyping nonbelievers, I love Vermont for all the reasons that makes it the most unique state in the country! (By the way ma and ct aren’t the only NE states with gay marriage! Don’t forget the 802!! we have medical marijuana and no death penalty too! Oh and about not stereotyping currently we have a republican governor… whatcha think about that???

    • New Hampshirite

      You certainly sound like a true Vermonter. We love to make fun of you guys in my state but it’s fun to see the common ground too.

    • Marked

      I think I am moving to Vermont…

  • Dusty

    Interesting side-note here; browse the cdc’s std monitoring reports. There is no way to know that the stats have anything to do with religion, but it does pose some interesting questions.

  • Hosebeatings

    @ Harknights: The Dakotas are that high because they’re crawling with hillbilly redneck religious fanatics. It’s like stepping into the dark ages as soon as you cross the border.

  • jok
  • andy58

    wEll I took a look at teen pregnancy and while there appears to be a higher incidence in “religios” states OK,TX,LA,MS,TN, there also exist anomalies such as Nevada very high teen pregnancies and very low score religiously.
    Wonder how “hard drug” use compares?
    Or how income might factor into the equation, and then there are other factors to consider, single parent upbringing, divorce rates, evangelical vs. liberal religions, climate?

  • sharp626

    I’m not surprised that the New England region rank low on the list. I just hope that, this stat will change in the future. It all starts with people like me who needs to stop playing games with God, and start getting serious and walk in my true divine calling. And that calling is to preach the ever lasting Gospel of Jesus Christ to the New England states!

    • A New Englander

      What makes you so certain that your “calling” is not of your own inspiration? Atheists and agnostics feel idetically led in certain directions over others but they don’t think it’s God. What makes Christianity different from anything else in the human psychy?

  • Kristi

    I cant say im suprised. Unfortunately I live in Tennessee, and I can tell you its FULL of bible thumpin rednecks. The literacy rate is probaly extremly low and I can tell you the teen pregnancy rate is high. I cant wait to get out of school and get out of this place!

  • tom

    Most people can’t bear to sit in church for an hour on Sundays. How are they supposed to live somewhere very similar to it for eternity?

    Mark Twain

  • adrian K

    Assuming your map is accurate, I’d like to compare it side by side with a map ranking poorest/wealthiest states. In my experience people with little money are the ones who are more religous than weathier individuals. Religion appeals to the poor because it is the one thing that gives them some kind of hope in their lives. I’m not an athiest nor am I religious, I don’t claim to know one way or the other, but what I do know is that too many people/organizations manipulate weak minded people through religion for personal gain.

    • Marky

      That certainly isn’t the case in the UK. The Church of England (Episcopal) wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for old upper middle class white ladies.

  • jhori

    Mississippi is the most religious, poorest and also has the highest number of lynchings in U.S. history. Kind of tells it’s own story, doesn’t it??

  • Mikael

    The top of this list basically reads as the states that make me embarrassed to be a citizen of this country in oh so many ways. The U.S. should seriously just split into two countries; trust me, the “great” state of Alabama won’t be missed.

    • Joey

      I’m from Alabama as well, Enterprise that is!

    • Matt

      I hate the state of Alabama. Finding intellectual people here is like finding a needle in a haystack. When I graduate I’m moving up north. Maybe I’ll get some real relationship advice, as opposed to getting advice from my Christian family, of which my parents and siblings are divorced and make low income. If I ever get married and have kids, I won’t let them anywhere near my family until they’re old enough to think for themselves.

  • Lee Stewart

    As an Englishman who has see his country go from Christian, to Cultural Christian to Secular & being pleased about it,I was suprised by some of the results here.I lived in California for 6 years & dare you say you are Humanist & they are ready to burn you,but now, when I eventually move back to the US,I am heading to a state where Religion is not obsessively part of their lives!
    By the way,I was a Clergyman!

  • Rochelle

    First points first, religion is highly overrated and if you want to be religious no one on earth cares or has a problem with that.

    The only atheists or anti theists that give religious people a hard time are those that are sick of seeing government supported religious policies everywhere. Why is stem cell research an issue? Abortion? Gay marriage? The average person does not care about these issues enough to write letters to their congressman or tv stations. They are normally waiting for some kind of influence to sway their opinion, “is this good? Bad? Not a big deal?” The irrational morons who make a big deal about these things are the ones who sway the average person-regardless of religion, creed, political views-into supporting this unconstitutional nonsense. No one has any right to tell scientists they are not allowed to experiment with stem cells. They can experiment with live mice just so you can wear cosmetics-not an animal activist to be honest, but I find this fascinating-but they are not allowed to experiment with something that is able to become fully frozen. You can’t freeze living beings people.

    Sorry to say it, but it’s obvious that weak minded people are religious. Now I’m not talking about theologians, or theists, I’m simply talking about “religious” people. People who think superstitious nonsense actually makes your day better or makes something turn out ok. Putting holy water on your child’s burning, feverish head, does not “cure them.” If they get better, it will most likely be due to the medication they took right before you put water on your kids head. If you honestly believe in these things..you’re an idiot. Plain and simple, you are a complete and utter moron who deserves to be laughed at. Do you cross your fingers and hope something doesn’t come true? Do you say jinx? Do you freak out when you break a mirror or come across a black cat? So why do you think that prayer makes the outcome of a situation better? -God has a plan and asking him to change that is anti Christian and not even plausible. God does whatever he wants and doesn’t care about your silly prayer.

    The real problem here is poverty. Stupid people are poor and uneducated and are more religious because of that. Some poor people may not be religious and may act out in other ways. Religion is like drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, raging, etc…Any type of thing you use to deal with your issues in life. Even music or art can be included in this because these are strong coping mechanisms for troubled people. The South is poorer, Nevada is a poor state, but they are also the gambling capital of the world. What do you think most people do there to cope with life?

    I also fail to see how religion is a GOOD way to deal with your problems…I mean you allow yourself to pretend that superstitions make your life better. That is not a positive thing and why don’t theists find this more insulting? Is it just about the followers and club members for you guys? That’s so absurd. You should be angry that weak minded people are being brainwashed to believe your most important thoughts!

    I understand why theists exist, there is something intellectual about those who ponder that which we do not know. One can look at science and be imaginative about it and wonder the possibilities (as long as they don’t call it fact), but religion makes no sense to me. It stopped serving its purpose during the middle of the 20th century. We have enough science and ideas to eradicate poverty around the world now. We don’t need to “have hope” aka dream that this will all come out ok at the end of our lives.

    Because that’s all hope is at the end of the day! It’s just a fantasy and dream and if there is no basis to this fantasy, then your life is a waste. People cannot eat hope, they can’t pay the mortgage, bills, gas with hope. They can only do this by getting themselves out of poverty, which means getting a job. Which in turn means education, skills, training, and of course the most important, freedom. Until then your “religion” is like a stupid hobby that annoys the hell out of everyone else. The neighbors, your friends, family members, don’t want to hear you ramble on about what stupid superstitious things you do in your free time. They secretly think you’re irrational by doing this, but they’ve been brainwashed in general to think that being “very religious”=moral. It does not make you more moral or important than anyone else on the planet, what an ego trip.

  • Rochelle

    Pretty much everyone on planet earth has a problem with those annoying religious dolts that “shout it from the hilltops!” Atheists and Christians are included here. I can bet that there are probably some people in the South now that are absolutely sick of hearing that crap. No one wants to here you brag about yourself or talk incessantly about the same stupid thing. Most people also don’t like being told that they need to believe and, in fact, participate in your stupid superstitious activities. Most people don’t like to be told that they better become religious-specifically your denomination which requires you to do something-or they’re going to be sorry or tortured in a fiery furnace. And so I think I speak for everyone when I say shut the hell up.

    Go be religious on your own time, go pray on your own time. Don’t make me do it too, or be forced to participate in the retardation of humanity and progress.

    • anonymous

      I was particularly interested by your phrase “retardation of humanity”, which I found ironic only because many have theorized that religion evolved into the mind of man via natural selection for the purpose of advancing mankind into social harmony. Today it seems to be an out-dated relic of our ancient development.

      • Elbradamontes

        Like it or not, bureaucratic societies are the most successful, and by successful I mean the best at securing resources. Seeing as I don’t farm my own food, I can see the benefit in cooperating with society in order to maintain my connection with that which sustains my life. Going from Nomad to Agrarian 6000 years ago however, it is much harder to see the argument. Those that are more susceptible to societal influence, and who are fearful of themselves and the world, would more likely congeal into a single functioning unit, both for safety and for guidance. Unfortunately, because of those fearful beings willfulness to suspend the belief of their personal value, those groups were much better at killing. To be perfectly honest, we have only evolution to blame for religion. Let us hope that Creationism turns out to be dramatic irony and not simply indefinitely sustained stupidity. 

  • New Yorker

    I’m skeptic of the true representation of this list. Most people think religious in America as Christian. But after being in New York for several years I feel New York is a very religious place. While yes there are all types of religions in New York it is very separatist here with regard to what religion you are. I was never aware of my own religious upbringing until moving here. There are religious companies here as well as neighborhoods that are strictly one religion or another. Some religions dominate certain areas, some have more influence than others. But people look at me and assume I’m part if one group or the other and it’s alienating. I haven’t met very many atheists here. And it’s probably not a daily part of peoples lives because it’s a given, and undercurrent that defines who you are in New York.

  • http://www.6060.me Steve

    It’s depressing how similar this is to the diabetes map recently out. But not surprising. But gosh, it’s great to be in Vermont!

  • Molly

    The most religious states are typically the least tolerant….religiously and racially.
    I live in Texas and HOLY CRAP the people are passionate! Half the time I’m totally isolated because I don’t go to church.

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  • dee

    Doesn’t surprise me about the bible belt states, but Florida surprises me that it isn’t rated as most religious. I live in the panhandle and everyone is so “in your face” about religion and being a christian. Guess it’s time to move to Vermont.

  • skylar

    i live in south dakota. i actually know quite a few people that are atheists.. but, from my experience, most people here are pretty religious. some to the point where it gives me a headache listening to them talk.

  • Ryan Trambley

    I believe in God, live in California, and was never asked. I don’t trust polls. Who were they talking to. For example, if Gallop took most of their answers from San Francisco, as compared to San Diego, we would have a completely different listing (and shade of green.) Also, larger cities tend to be more secular than smaller ones.

    I also think it is totally ignorant to call anybody religious, “stupid.” In return, it exposes you for the very insult you expound on those you feel”superior” to.

    -Ryan

  • Gloria

    Knowing God HAS improved my life. I think I would either be divorced or dead if it weren’t for Him. He is real, and He is faithful, and He is worthy of our respect and love. I come from a divorced family, and it’s been hell living with parents who still do not get along (I am almost 50). Only knowing God and His comfort has helped me through a lifetime of the pain of the strife and contention between my mother and father, and of feeling abandoned by my father at fifteen for another woman and her two teenage girls. It’s been a struggle forgiving him and my step-mother, and a struggle to walk in love and not pass the anger and grief and sadness of it all down to my children, and they are thriving (A students; gifted and talented and smart; musical). Not overweight or with diabetes. They aren’t perfect, and neither am I, and we still have some things we are struggling with, but knowing God has helped me to overcome a lot of pain and struggles in life. I am glad I found this site. I am shocked at the level of anger that many of you seem to have. God can take that away and heal the root cause if you allow him access to your heart. Life is short; too short to be bitter.

    • Anonymous

      How can you assert that God is “real” with such confidence when your only backing for him is faith–”being sure of what [one hopes] for and certain of what [one does] not see.”? You can see how others might have plenty of doubts and see God as one who man has created in his image to be an emotional and societal cruch?

    • Elbradamontes

      God is the created of all things. In the beginning there was “the word”. There is nothing outside of god and nothing beyond His reach. It was from God and by God that all things were made. God made you. God made your parents. God made them get divorced. God made your suffering. –  One can not create a rock, a mountain, and gravity and then blame the rock for rolling downhill. –  God improved your life because you needed help, not because God is the way. I am glad for you that you found a way past your suffering. But you have found it in a system that brought us The Dark Ages, The Spanish Inquisition, The Thirty Year War, The War on Terrorism, and the like. Minus the flood, Sodam and Gamora, and The Plagues, which have no death tally, close to 3 million deaths are attributed to God in The Bible. Satan? 10.

      • Anonymous

        Each religion believes in their own version of god.  Do you not see that the possibility of your god existing is just as implausible as the possibility of any other god existing?  Of course you don’t because being a bigot and self righteous is what allows you to be the good christian that you are today.  Open your mind and try thinking outside the box for once in your life, even if your brain is not capable, just try.  Your religion entirely depends on your location and therfore is completely arbitrary.  There is no credibility with any religion, it is all based on presumption and speculation in ancient literature.   If you don’t think science is credible then throw away your computer.  The funny thing about religious people is that they confuse faith for fact.  Just because you believe in something on account of your parents teaching you that was the right thing to believe does not make it true.   You cannot intelligently make any argument against science and if you try then you don’t realize that you are willfully ignorant because science is based on fact.   Your entire system of beliefs is built upon fear and guilt.   Your delusional point of view suits you well but  try reality and you might like it.   It is not always as happy as your fantasy world but at least it is real.

        • Capeberk

           hello I just wanted to respond to your seemingly pure embrace of science. first of all, all science is based on an assunption, the assumption that the human brain shows us reality as it actually is. There is no proof that the human brain shows us reality as it actually is. Both Stephen Hawking and Einstein have acknowledgede this. there is no way to learn about our world except by using our human brains however as Hawking and Einstein have said that does not mean they are showing us reality as it is. We have to make that assumption, that leap of faith that we are not brains in a vat. Hawking coined the term model dependent reality, because we only have our human brains to work with. Would you trust a monkeys brain,no but our brains formed from a series of cosmic accidents must be reliable , oh of course. Get a clue take philosophy 101 and stop making a fool of yourself, God and faith tell us we can trust our brain for we are made in Gods image, however science can offer no proof you must assume our brains are reliable.

    • A. Alba

      Gloria, I appreciate what you have to say although I find it logically ridiculous. The fact that you use religion in a peaceful way is a great thing, but you have to understand that one can live the same life and get over issues without the use of something that doesn’t really make any sense. Religion is to say the least, the most insanely corrupt form of control over people and is responsible for more death then anything else in history. If you use it as a personal coping mechanism, it’s basically just a psychological method of self comfort. It doesn’t make it true. To be blunt, your kind of creating an imaginary friend to speak to that helps get you by. Otherwise, you can’t credit god with actually ever having done anything.

  • DN

    Guess what Gloria, we all have bad things happen to us. It’s called life, get used to it. I have not ever felt the need to call on zeus,god,allah,thor or any other mythological fabrication to make it all bearable. You face it like an adult with help from friends and family or maybe even a rational therapist if necessary. Emphasis on rational. As for being angry here’s why. We can’t have a intelligent conversation with most people without some inane comment about what their imaginary friend did for them or hopes he will do for them. Or watch the news and hear someone tell how the lord saved a little baby from a tornado. And religious people all nod their head and praise the miracle. You know that very same blessing ripped a mother from her baby’s arms and shredded her right in front of her child, right?!! I like my anger right where it is, thank you. It keeps me vigilant in the fight against the tower of woo. You need to google the Skeptics Dictionary. Maybe we can get you to give up your snuggy blanket and enter adulthood like you should have.

    • Joe

      Who says God can’t be a therapist? Im deeply Catholic and you haveNO reason to bi*** at my religion cause it’s “Bullcrap” oh but when we say Atheists are wrong and you get butthurt. Maybe you grow up.

      God bless your freaking soul, scum.

      • Face palm

        I would call what you did getting butthurt, but I digress.

      • Nicole

        Deeply catholic?  Yeah, I can tell by your Christ-like response. Quite frankly, the catholic church is one of the most evil organizations on Earth.  I don’t know how anyone can be part of a group, led by a group of nefarious pedophiles in Rome, that protects child rapists, represses women and their rights, and demands money, money,money ( you should give more) while the Pope wear a gold hat and jewels around hsi neck.  Old nuns are being kicked out of retirement homes after giving their lives to the “Lord” because more money is needed to defend pedophile priests.  Eat meat on Friday and burn in hell…yeah, great religion you have there.

  • Richard Wade

    Sadly, tact is a dying art.

  • DN

    Well Dick, tact doesn’t work with these people. She’s a troll sent here by her christian mullahs to spread the blood/death cult virus. I’m not making this up! There are instructional videos on youtube by christian organizations telling their followers to disrupt and annoy any group on the internet that conflicts with theirs. This thread is about the least religious states. To them it’s a target. Pardon me if I get irritated when they send their sheep out to dump on it.

  • Joe

    What a lot of you are forgetting with the “redneck” comments, is that most of the religious states also have the highest percentage of blacks (Mississippi 40%). Also the most religious countries in the world are in Africa.

    There are very few black atheists. Funny considering they are worshiping their slaveowners and colonizers god.

    Also explains the teen pregnancy, illiteracy, and poverty too.

    • JRS

      In this poll Mississippi’s white population alone would have still been the most religious in the nation.

  • http://mentalnomadshow.blogspot.com Jason Tippitt

    I hail from the fourth most religious state but am going to grad school in the fourth LEAST religious state. And yes, they do feel a bit like different planets.

  • James

    Dan…the top 6 are regularly on the lower end of literacy and near the top of teen pregnancies.

  • http://None Anon

    Darn! I just graduated college and am looking to move, so I googled “Least Religious States” in hope of finding a more harmonious match. No such luck, I live in Boston!

    I wonder which countries are the least religious…

    • JRS

      Scandanavia

  • Jed Pekoy

    Good to know there are like minded people out there.

    The hatred that many atheists feels towards religious dogma stems from the fact that it affects the future of our lives and our planet… not just theirs. Religion often (not always) downplays the importance of sustainability (the basic need to intellectually preserve our planet for future generations). This is why “progressive” politics, often associated with the less religious, left leaning population are frowned upon by the religious right who tend to think that it is all in gods hands.

    We feel like we are being road blocked by a stampede of clueless morons (excuse the lost art of tact).

    It is not a simple as. “you can be religious, ignorant and live in fantasy land because it does not affect me”, because it does… in a BIG way.

    The religious right has always been a road block to progress, including woman’s rights, banishing slavery, sexual expression etc.

    We do not cherish the fact that the future of our lives and our planet is for the most part doomed due to uneducated, faith-based rather than scientifically rational based thinking people.

    If we atheists, non-theists, spiritual and the mildly religious logical thinking people could live on our own planet while the far-right religious folks destroyed there own, we would have no problem with you eliminating yourselves. As long as you did not pollute our planet in the process :)

    So YES… we do take it personally as it affects our very lives and futures.

    Personally, I sometimes feel like I’m being illogically forced to interact with folks that would be better off residing in a zoo. The main difference being that I actually like zoo animals.

    Again, sorry for the lack of tact, but this is serious business that affects our lives.

    As a side note, never try to change a brain-washed religious person. It all starts with education from early on. Leave religion out of schools, let children decide for themselves if they want to believe in Santa Clause once they are old enough to know better. The current generation needs to die off of natural causes making way for a new generation of educated (progressive) thinkers.

    Every wonder why certain politicians actually think it’s O.K. or even GOOD to cut school funding while at the same time giving the rich tax breaks?? Yup… Less competition from “enlightened” folks in the future.

    NEVER EVER cut school funding unless it means that there will be no food on the table for anyone. A solid education system is the foundation of a sustainable and logical future.

    Good Day!

    • Dtracer

      Your side note makes no sense, it works in reverse to. Leave anti religous teaching out of schools; i.e evolution etc and let chidren decide what they believe in. If you want to see children making decisions themselves, they would need an equal teaching of both religous and non religous views.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kaoakley Kevin Oakley

        You’re confused.  Unlike religion, evolutionary science does not claim to know all the answers about life and the universe.  It is not a “non-religious” view. It simply presents the evidence that scientists have discovered through observations, experiments and research.  

        Religion is just a bunch of talk, it does not actively seek knowledge about the world around us like science does.  That’s why evolution is taught in schools – it presents FACTS and EVIDENCE about life that have been discovered through hard work and research.  And this work is continuous, new information is being discovered everyday.  This knowledge is an invaluable tool for students – it enlightens them, promotes critical thinking, and satiates the natural curiosity of the human mind.

        Religion, on the other hand, has not provided humans with a shred of factual knowledge about life or the universe around us, nor is it actively seeking to find any such information.  Religious ideas are both baseless and unchanging – they do not provide evidence for any claims nor do they encourage any sort of critical thinking.  It’s like a dead end for the human mind.  

        Thus, scientific and and religious ideas ARE NOT two sides of the same coin that should be taught to students as equal viewpoints.  If anything, the only thing that is worth teaching about religion is it’s relation to human culture and history.  But no way “hell” should it be taught as an alternative to science.

  • david

    Choosing a religion is an emotional decision, choosing athiesm is an intellectual decision.

    • Lg_lp

      I’m sorry to burst your bubble…  I’m sure you spent a lot of time trying to come up with your quote, but for the record I actually DID make the intellectual decision to follow Christ…  While the vast majority of my Atheistic friends only based their decisions on an ‘emotional’ desire to rebel against their families wishes for them.

      If you need help revising your quote, just let me know though!  I’d love to help!

      • Billy Joe

        Can I ask how you made that an intellectual decision? 

      • Elbradamontes

        I’m sorry but do you feel the Jews rebelled “emotionally” from the Nazi Party? The reality is that there are both intellectual and emotional reasons for making a decision. For those of us who are both honest, wise and trusting enough in ourselves to think beyond what we are told, there is rational proof but there is also an emotional rebellion. Religion has caused an immense suffering on this planet, at least by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam…which are identical…and so there is also an emotional reaction. We don’t say you made the decision based on emotion because you are emotional, but because you lack intellect. In fact, assuming you worship the Bible, which Jesus commands you not to, you are instructed to suspend intellect in favor of faith. 

        • Goyakris

          You are not to worship the bible but follow the words of the bible.  Have you ever read the bible and saw how many of the intellectually moral decisions one should make to live their life are indisputable.  There is not one thing that Jesus preached that an atheist could possibly say you should do the opposite.  As far as thinking for yourself, you must not know very many Christians because many of us are very thought provoking and intellectual.  Our lives have led us to Jesus and I am free to live in a life that follows him and live like he would want us to.  I challenge you, not to become Christian, but at least try to act like one.  It would do the world some good if everyone just tried to be nice and understanding of your neighbor.  Imagine if we all just got along and didn’t pass judgement based on what we ourselves think.  You are just one person amongst millions.  Wouldn’t it just be better to spread goodness rather than judgement and condensation.

          • guest

            Most atheists have no problem with the bible or the doctrines of Christianity, we have a problem with the idiots who claim to be following it and the horrible things they do because of their religion.

            • http://twitter.com/myc4nr C4NR

              What we don’t have a problem with is the bible as Myth or Literature, and used in the proper genre and context.

              It’s when people claim that it is Truth, Morality, and History that get our hairs up.

              And when people say that the bible should be used as a basis of law and governance, it gets the steam seeping out of our ears.

              But when they say that our educational institutions and and our science labs should use the bible as some sort of foundation…well that’s when we tend to blow gaskets!!

              • guest

                I apologize for the modern day church’s lack of goodness. I’m sure all of you, like me, have seen many christian hypocrites over the years. So many people profess christianity for reasons other than, like you say, a decision for themselves. Most christians don’t even understand the implications that living out their faith has. The christian way should never condescend or judge. That’s not the way the bible teaches.  Matt7:1-5. we love you! everyone! no matter what they’ve done! we love you because God loves you! I’m sure you’ve seen evidence to the contrary, whether it be at church or an encounter with a so-called “christian,” but that’s not how those who are truly following Christ would act. Those who sincerely follow Jesus love you and want the absolute best for you! Jesus teaches in Luke 6:27-38 how those who believe in Him should behave themselves! I follow Jesus because I know his teachings and they are good and just. I hope and pray that christian hypocrisy does harm those who do not believe. I am praying for this web page! God bless!

                • guest

                  Correction: I hope and pray that christian hypocrisy does *not* harm those who do not believe.

                • UniversalAtheist19

                  I remember something my dad told me back when I identified myself as a christian (because I didn’t know I had a choice), “God knows you, before you were even thought of, he had a plan just for you.  And he has a plan for everyone.  He knows everything before it happens.” 

                  I questioned it then, I asked him about something else he told me, “Not all Christians are good Christians, some try to take advantage of people’s trust in them.”  So I asked my dad why god would plan for somebody to take advantage of other people using him as a tool for it.  He said, “Satan got a hold of them and poisoned their minds.” 

                  To this I asked him that if god were all powerful, then he would be stronger than Satan and he would have the power to stop it, and if he’s all knowing, then he knew that Satan was going to poison their minds and he would have the power to stop it before it even happened.  So, daddy answered, “God works in mysterious ways.”

                  I didn’t say it back then, but I’ll say it now: That is such a grotesque evasion of the many contradictions in Christianity that it is almost pointless to even point it out, because surely someone so delusional doesn’t care that it doesn’t make sense.  And why should they?  When they have “faith” it doesn’t have to make sense.

                  And so, an atheist was born.

                  So here’s my point of view, I dislike organized religion, not necessarily the teachings of the religion itself, but you can be a moral person without God.  Keep it out of schools and government.  If you want to believe in God, go ahead, but please don’t get offended and pushy (or even scared, as I have experienced before) if I say I am atheist.  I am not evil, nor do I worship the devil.  Honestly all I want is to be able to be who I am without persecution from the religious.  Is that so hard?   

                • http://www.facebook.com/dave.young.923 Dave Young

                  Great points: I to was raised Christian and never spoke out because I saw the judgement imposed on those who did. Now I speak out and people think I have lost my way, to a 
                  Bachelors and Masters degree that is looked down on because my education has made me realize faith is for the fearful and the immature. Who else would even think the idea of living for even was practical or able to apply logically. Just like people who say a dead relative is looking down on you, but not when you are masturbating, right!

                  I agree that there is this hypocrisy with theists (all denominations) where they want there freedom at the expense of your. I don’t even want to identify myself as an atheist, because then you get locked into the idiots who twist that too.

                  I just wish this world would focus on society evolving our own values, rather than forcing ones on people, which do not work. Look at the trail of prejudice handed down by religion, scientists attacked for believing outside the box, Salem witch trials, slavery, sexism, homophobia, skin-heads, abortion doctors’ murdered, Catholic priest ass-fucking kids, the Inquisition, the Crusades! Nice track record, but Atheist are problem, right? BULLSHIT, keep shoveling it!!

            • Guest

              If you don’t have a problem with the bible, then you haven’t read it.  If you don’t have a problem with the doctrines of Christianity, then you haven’t given them enough rational thought.  Turn the other cheek?  Never.

              I am an atheist, but I cannot speak for the majority of my kind, as you do.  But I do tend to think most atheists know more about the bible than Christians do.

              It’s vile, and an insult to human dignity and intelligence.  Yes, even the story of the sweet baby Jesus.

              At least watch some of Christopher Hitchens’ videos, friend.

              • guest

                Back to this thread once again!
                Sadly, horrible acts are often committed in the name of Christ and/or the church. Even back in bible times the religious leaders of that day used religion as a way to gain power, recognition, and pride. If you study the gospel books you will find repeatedly that Jesus was heavily opposed to these individuals.  The question of why God allows individuals to commit evil acts is as old as the written word itself. Job and Jeremiah wrestle with God over the same issue in Jeremiah 12:1-2 and Job 21:7-13. Why doesn’t God punish evil doers or simply destroy evil altogether? Why does He allow those who commit atrocities and injustices to live prosperously and avoid justice? It just doesn’t make sense!
                But what am I, but a sinner? I have committed more atrocities and injustices then I would ever want to think of. The countless horrible and hurtful acts I’ve committed are worthy of death. If God gave me what I deserved for my actions I would surely be put to death, if not worse. Have I done good deeds as well? Of course! Yet can good deeds committed by a murderer acquit his crime? I stand guilty before God. He truly has the right to execute whatever judgement on me that He wills. Yet, here I live. But why? Why does God not exercise justice on me and give me what I truly deserve?
                The answer: Love, Mercy, and Grace. You see, this is the good news of Christ! Even as I stand a criminal before God, He presented Himself as a sacrifice for my heinous crimes. He suffered so much pain and anguish to pay the penalty for my evil deeds. Because He loves me! Because He grants me mercy! That is why I was not utterly destroyed at the very first time I committed a sinful act. Each day is a gift of mercy from God! He continually gives both mercy and love to everyone! Even to me, an unjust, sin-filled, doer of evil. Not only does He show mercy to me, but He also wants the best life for me possible! That’s grace! He wants me to walk the path that He knows is best for me! That may not be the most comfortable path available, but it is most certainly the best! Will troubles come my way on this path? Most certainly, we live in a world troubled by sin. Will I make many mistakes along the way? Unfortunately, yes, I am an imperfect being, and by nature I make mistakes. Yet God continually showers strength for the trials and mercy for the failures. This is the gospel of Christ! This is the good news! That me, a sinner against God, could be saved from an existence that is corrupt at best, and absolutely horrifying at worst, and be placed on a new path that is purposeful, fulfilling, and life-giving! A life of service to God and others. How deep is the love of God extended toward me? I can not begin to imagine! I pray that God reveals Himself to you as He has to me.  I am praying for this web page once again. God bless! 

                • Mandocommando23

                  What kind of sick and twisted mind would think that torturing someone–let alone his own son–was okay, in fact necessary. This all-powerful deity couldn’t just FORGIVE people. Oh no, he needed a gruesome human sacrifice. It’s sick, seriously. And then his followers commit symbolic cannibalism and wear miniature torture devices around their necks. What a disgusting, perverse religion.

          • A guy

            Well it was written in the bible that disobedient children should be stoned. I think that’s a bad thing, however you say that every word should be followed, so I guess we need to start.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1202146462 Ben James

               I think everyone should get stoned. lolz

            • http://twitter.com/myc4nr C4NR

              …and that the infants of your enemies should be “dashed against the rocks”.

              …and that men, women, and children should be slaughtered if they have happen to be residing on your “promised land”.  Unless, of course, they are female virgins, in which case you are free to “take them”, or do as you please with them.

              …and that the drowning of innocents is justified.

              • SAS

                 Please specify, are you for or against this quote?

          • ProMe

            You are not to worship the bible but follow the words of the bible.  Have you ever read the bible and saw how many of the intellectually moral decisions one should make to live their life are indisputable…
            I’ve had my share of troubles in this country and I’ve realized that not once have I thought, what would the bible say about this situation.  So I searched for what 
            the bible says about Trespassing.  It seems to me, it 
            says nothing.  This is where I looked it up:
            http://www.openbible.info/topics/trespassing 

            First example of about 100…

             John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

            They don’t knoweth what trespassing is.

            In fact, even though they don’t know it and it’s not written in the bible… the have a prayer for it.

            Christians just need to be by your side… to
            help you along.  I kinda learned that from the 
            habitat for the homeless duplexes with 
            unrelated families entering into doors that
            were placed next to each other.

            I think the Christians need to learn what Trespassing means and how important it is to Countries like Iran.

            I take my stand while being “saved” at a rehab w/o drug
            or alcohol arrests.  Sent to a church that says the
            only children of god are those that are born again.

            I don’t go anymore… I felt like I was trespassing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.carro Joseph Carro

             Without condensation, many areas suffering from desertification would be imperiled! How would they use their air wells or fog fences to collect water, THEN?

          • http://twitter.com/myc4nr C4NR

            Cognitive dissonance is when you have competing thoughts that can’t be reconciled.

            Wouldn’t it just be better to spread goodness rather than judgement and condensation.”
            Christianity is a proselytizing religion that says join us and think like us…or go to Hell, you agent of Satan!This sounds pretty judgmental and condescending to me.  But then I’m prone to see things logically and reasonably.

          • Sean

             But I have no desire what-so-ever to try to control-freak every ones personal lives. I’m a good person because I want to be, not because I’m told to be. I don’t believe in “cookie cutter humans” I like differences and everyone who is not a malicious threat is good in my book, weather we have anything in common or not. Just let people be HAPPY! And leave them alone.

          • SAS

             Your post, just like (modern) Christianity is full of contradictions. While I absolutely believe that we should all “get along” hyper-religious freaks believe ” it’s my way or the highway” Mad men fed on fear and lies attempting to FORCE their antiquated superstitions upon everyone is the antithesis of “getting along” While I do applaud the charitable contributions of “Christian”  based religions I still believe that (so called) organized religions have caused FAR more harm than good to humanity throughout the years.

          • Guest

            *You* are to follow the bible.  Not everyone else.  So keep it to yourself.

            Yes I have read the bible.  No, I have not seen a single “intellectually moral decision,” unless you count God commanding Abraham to murder his son, which of course he didn’t do because fortunately a ram was handy.

            The core preaching of Jesus of Nazareth is “take no thought for the morrow.”  Deprive yourselves of worldly possessions and just follow me.  Into the desert.  To your death.  The opposite of that is FUCK YOU.

            You might be thought-provoking (more like concern-provoking), but that doesn’t mean you think.  Christians pray.  You ask for gifts, and you never ask the hard, painful questions.  You just shut your eyes and try to pray all the pain away.  And then you try to take credit for helping.  This is intellectual?  Hah.

            I refuse to act like a Christian, because I prefer not to insult people in the ways that Christians insult me.

            Christians do not have a monopoly on being nice.  Anyone can be nice; it doesn’t take religion to make people nice.  And if you’re so understanding, how come so many believers are so blindingly stupid about science and math (and I do mean the general public, not Newton, Galileo, and all those famous Christian scholars you love to trumpet so much)?  I recommend Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker.  After reading that wonderful text, you will *really* understand your neighbor.

            There is absolutely nothing wrong with using judgment.  In fact, I strongly recommend it.  If more people weren’t afraid to use it (and pass it), the world would be a much safer place, and stupid, dangerous ideas would be condescended out of the respect they seem to think they deserve.

          • Mandocommando23

            Jesus tells you to hate your family. I disagree with that (most of the time. ;)

            Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
            (Luke 14:25-27 ESV)

          • Anonymous

            ‘Do not think that I came to destroy the Law of Moses. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil it.’ – Jesus said that.
            So he supports the laws set out in Exodus, including that slavery was cool, children who disrespect their parents should be dragged into the middle of the town and publicly stoned to death, and that if a girl gets raped, she should be forcibly married to her rapist. Yeah, I guess I WOULD do the opposite of some of the stuff Jesus advocated, like most sane human beings (and most Christians; can you honestly say you’re in favour of that stuff?) This is the book that says God killed 42 kids (and by ‘killed’ I mean brutally mauled to death BY BEARS) for making fun of one of his prophets for being bald. He sounds like kind of a sociopath. I don’t like worshipping sociopaths. If I did, I’d go be a Nazi – they have cooler uniforms than you guys. And they’ve killed less Jews.

          • Anonymous

            ‘goodness rather than judgement and CONDENSATION’. Nice one. Yeah I’m in favour of goodness. Hence why I don’t follow one of the most judgemental intolerant religions to have existed.

        • Anonymous

          The nazi party certainly wasn’t Christian, that was a cover to keep the people’s trust, the Catholic Church was one of the only institutions to oppose them (Hitler and his high command were planning on going after Christians after the war). Hitler actually preferred islam to Christianity because it was more militant. The Jews on the other hand were good religious people. Atheism is complete denial of god which is not intellectual because you can never disprove His existence. Agnostic would be more intellectual if you don’t believe, since it actually recognizes this.

          Also Kim Jong Il, Joseph Stalin, Napoleon Bonaparte, Jeffrey Dahmer, Mussolini, Mao Zedong, Alfred Kinsey and the Columbine shooters were all atheists and among the most sadistic people in history (And atheism has always been a miniscule minority)

          • Marked

            “Atheism is complete denial of god which is not intellectual because you can never disprove His existence.”

            So what stops you from believing in the other countless gods man has dreamed up? Can you disprove their existence? Do you really not see how illogical that kind of thinking is?

            • Marked

              Also just take the double negative out of your statement…

              “because you can’t prove His existence.”

              Yes skeptics require proof, therefore they do not believe in god.

              • Anonymous

                Science in no way disproves God; however by definition atheists will utterly deny Him, therefore it is illogical. An agnostic is skeptical of God and thinks there is no way of proving His existence.

                • manfromvirginia

                  God, by definition, cannot be disproved.  Besides, the burden of proof lies on those who make the claim (that God exists), not those who refute it.

                  You also clearly do not understand what the majority of atheists believe.  Atheism is a lack of belief in a deity, not an assertion of an absence of one.  Many will however argue that there is no evidence that there is one, which is not the same as arguing that there is evidence that there is not one…

                • SAS

                   I have read your other posts, and in general we agree. However you do need to discern your definition between the often confused atheist/agnostic definitions. Moreover, I think we believe somewhat the same. I call it a “REALIST” arguably somewhere between the two, but more.

                • guest

                  You cannot prove or disprove God. PERIOD. So, this will be an eternal debate. No one really gives a damn what anyone else thinks, we just don’t want what YOU believe effecting US. And we get tired of Christians constantly saying “I know” because you don’t “know” you “believe” which is fine. 

                • Garrett B.

                  Just because something is not Disproved doesn’t mean it is true.
                  I could say that the whole universe is held up by an infinite amount of invisible, undetectable turtles. So, because you can’t disprove it does it mean its true?

                • M1i9k9e4g

                  Say I claimed that I saw a twenty foot tall, pink bunny rabbit while walking through the woods. Say I then told you that forensic evidence could not disprove he wasn’t there, because he has magic powers that allow him to walk around without leaving any indication that he was ever there.  You cannot disprove that the rabbit does not exist. So should you be skeptical? Should you admit that my story is possible, or credible, just because you can’t disprove it? Science doesn’t directly disprove any god. What it does show is that there is no evidence one exists.

                • Anonymous

                  There is also no evidence proving that life can evolve from nothing. Every experiment trying to prove so ends the same, and that is that DNA and everything else naturally breaks down rather than building up.
                  There is also the fact that the only evidence “proving” evolution is micro-evolution. It only changes existing features rather than creating new ones. At that point it proves nothing other than what had been shown through domestic dog breeding for thousands of years, recessive genes can turn into dominant and continue in that direction through man-made breeding or in this case environmental changes. Also even the Neanderthal had human qualities that do not belong to animals such as the ability to create art and bury their own dead. Then there’s the fact that (atheistic) evolution is based off random mutations which means there should be tons of out of place mutations in the fossil record and continuing currently.

                  The bible has historicity, many archaeological findings and outside historians verified it’s historical accounts.

                • guest

                  Wow. Just wow. Absolutely none of what you just wrote is true.  Please cite your sources. This should be good.

                • guest

                  Just to clarify the comment above was in response to Libertarian92.

                • Keiran191

                  OK Let me get started… First, Kent Hovind is not a reliable source on which to take evidence from.

                  Second, “it only changes existing features rather than creating new ones”, false. The bat has wings and it is a mammal, a pigeon has wings, it is a bird. One did not evolve from the other.

                  I suggest you learn the basics of divergent and convergent evolution which is basic high school biology.

                • http://twitter.com/Jesse_Stefani Jesse Stefani

                  libertarian92, your clear lack of knowledge about evolution does not even warrant a response. But I’m bored.
                  I’m certainly not a biologist. Hell, I only took BIO 101 in college. But even that basis of knowledge, coupled with a curiosity and the power of Google, have given me enough evidence to see that you’re wrong.

                  Biologists do not see microevolution and macroevolution as having a relevant difference, because they happen in the same way and for the same reasons. The two terms are really only used by creationists who try to formulate an argument and sound scientific.

                  If you need some proof of evolution that we can witness in our short lifetimes, just think of bacteria – particularly those related to sicknesses. When the doctor prescribes you antibiotics, they will always advise you to take the dose for the entire duration recommended, not just until you feel better. Also, antibiotics are not meant to be given out unless they are truly needed (although I know plenty of doctors who are much too liberal in this regard). This is because the bacteria can EVOLVE and reproduce, resulting in new strands that are resistant/immune to our medicines.

                • SAS

                   Hey I remember that rabbit. I gave him a carrot and we bonded! Not really, but that rendition is at least as good as any “B’ movie that I have ever seen and has far less holes than any religion that I have studied.

                • http://twitter.com/Jesse_Stefani Jesse Stefani

                  shouldn’t we all, then, be agnostic?

                  science does not disprove God, but it definitely makes Him less and less believable by the day, with each new discovery about our Universe. The truth is, God is no longer necessary to understand the world around us. It is superstition that many still cling to due to fear/upbringing.
                  I have faith (no pun intended) that the atheist population will continue rising, especially when the current adult population 40+ dies off. Youth seem to be less religious, even when most of their parents still are. These youth will have children and not indoctrinate them into religion, so it will probably result in a further drop-off. Good.

            • Anonymous

              Judo-Christianity has historicity and sound doctrines. Even Jewish historians of the time record Jesus as  a real person. His followers were tortured and killed before denouncing the resurrection which they witnessed. All of this is recorded by Greek and Jewish historians and obviously the Christian NT, so all sides agree. There were also prophesies of Him in the OT.

              Buddhism really shouldn’t be a religion as it’s debated whether Buddha was even religious himself but rather agnostic. Islam was a military dominated religion whose prophet was a child molesting rapist and murderer (as recorded by their own scripture). And every other religion is in one way or another mainly a worship of elements of the Earth with many gods for each one.

              • guest

                Buddhism isn’t a religion you dumb ass it is a philosophy.  But like most religious people YOU ARE RIGHT and EVERYONE ELSE ON EARTH IS WRONG.

                • Anonymous

                  Try looking up Buddhism, it’s a religion. Even just a simple wiki search shows  that. Come on, at least put a little effort in before making claims.

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1202146462 Ben James

                  yeah…because Wikipedia is known for their thorough fact checking system…

          • Morganwj

             please there has been plenty of sadistic religious people who where very religious. Like Ivan the terrible, tsar of russia was perhaps one of the most religious people in history even for that time. That norwegian guy who shoot a 100 people was very relgiious.
            Even Hitler said many times that he was a chrisitan.

            Also you do know that the catholic church made a pact with Hitler and didnt oppose him until that pope died and a new pope came to power.
            Also the current pope was a member of hitlerjugend.

            Since you are a Libertarian perhaps it would intrest you that Milton Friedman was an agnostic atheist, did not believe in god.
            Ayn Rand was a hardcore atheist.
            And many more famous libertarians were non-believers.

            So there are good and bad people on both sides.

            • Anonymous

              First, the charge against the Catholic Church is unwarranted as they did plenty to save Jews, more so than every government of the time combined. Their efforts changed Einstein’s opinion of the Church. Most of these efforts weren’t public as that would have created new problems, even the Jews didn’t want them doing this as they knew more of them would be killed. They did create a deal with the Nazis to try and protect their members from persecution, but it was violated promptly.
              http://users.binary.net/polycarp/piusxii.html
              http://bfhu.wordpress.com/2008/09/22/american-jews-defend-pope-pius-xii/
              http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/researcher-finds-proof-of-widespread-jewish-support-for-pope-pius-xii/
              http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/history/world/wh0033.html

              ‘The Israeli consul, Pinchas E. Lapide, in his book, Three Popes and the Jews (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1967) critically examines Pope Pius XII. According to his research, the Catholic Church under Pius XII was instrumental in saving 860,000 Jews from Nazi death camps (p. 214). Could Pius have saved more lives by speaking out more forcefully? According to Lapide, the concentration camp prisoners did not want Pius to speak out openly (p. 247). As one jurist from the Nuremberg Trials said on WNBC in New York (Feb. 28, 1964), “Any words of Pius XII, directed against a madman like Hitler, would have brought on an even worse catastrophe… [and] accelerated the massacre of Jews and priests.” ‘

              “According to the December 23, 1940 issue of Time magazine on page 38, Einstein said:

              Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks…

              Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.”

              Reports from high officials in the Nazi party say that the Christian thing was basically an act, because most Germans of the time were still Christian. At best if you read his speeches and believe it, he still wouldn’t be much of a Christian as he said the scriptures were wrong, and that Christ was Arian. Even the muslims believe Christ to be one of their prophets and no one would call them Christian.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_views

              And I’m not saying there aren’t any bad Christians, that would be silly. However these people are not this way because of Christianity, as it teaches good morals.

              Next, even the Anti-defamation league (Again Jewish) applauded the appointment of the current pope, he was forced into the Hitler Youth at a young age.
              http://www.adl.org/media_watch/newspapers/20050425-PhilaDailyNews.htm

              Lastly, I’m a Ron Paul libertarian.

          • guest

            Oh my God, forgive the saying it’s habit, Adolf Hitler was a “devout” Catholic, and every person you listed had their own religion. Jeffrey Dahmer did what he did because his mother locked him in a closet as a child.  And atheism is a miniscule minority because most of us don’t go around saying it because we don’t want to get shot or hung or burned or have our homes burned down or any of the other stupid shit that religious small-minded nut-jobs do to get rid of things they don’t understand.

            • Anonymous

              Most records outside Hitler’s public speeches showed he hated Christianity, his policies also showed this. He was raised Catholic. Even in his speeches he quotes Martin Luther (because he was an anti-semite), and his publicly claimed philosophy was of an aryan Christ, that Paul corrupted Christianity, therefore negating most scripture. He persecuted the Catholic church often with things like the Immorality Trials. Even if you were to believe him in his speeches, he still wouldn’t even really be Christian, let alone Catholic, since he completely rewrites history including Christ himself; Muslims also believe in Jesus, but they are not Christians.

            • logical

              You realize Atheism IS a religion right? So saying ‘religious small minded nut-jobs’ includes Athiests just as much as it does any other religion.

              • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.carro Joseph Carro

                 The saying is “if atheism is a religion then not playing baseball is a sport”

                A religion has two components which must both be present. It is a
                formalized system of ritual and belief. It is focused on a supernatural
                being or beings.

                Speaking to “formalized system of ritual and
                belief”, atheists are not an organization, just a number of folks that
                have independently, through thought and study, come to the conclusion
                that there is no supernatural force in the universe. There is no credo,
                instruction manual, or anything.

                Atheism is the lack of belief in
                gods. No more, no less. One cannot be atheist and religious. One is the
                absense of the other. The baseball analogy is spot on. But many
                religious people still claim that atheism is a religion and that it is
                based on faith. This is, quite simply, untrue.

                • SAS

                   If you choose not to decide, have you still not made a choice? Atheists worship (as it were) mankind, the individual,  the Earth and Sun, let alone the universe (multiverse) but most of all REALITY! Based upon the ENTIRE history of theology this meets  the fundamental criteria.

                • Cqx186

                  I’ve seen this argument so many times. Religious people view atheism as a religion because they cannot comprehend the world outside of a religious context. Therefore everyone must have a religion so they too have a basis for their beliefs. What the religious communities are missing is atheists don’t have ‘beliefs’, they have ideas.

                • http://twitter.com/Jesse_Stefani Jesse Stefani

                  it fails to meet the criterium of a belief in a supernatural deity. atheists believe that all things are natural, not created by the supernatural.

                  and going back a few posts, I disagree when religious people try to say that agnostic would at least be a more “intellectual” stance than atheist. these two are not mutually exclusive; most atheists are, in fact, agnostic atheists. that “atheist” part means that we do not believe in a god, while the “agnostic” part means that we don’t claim to know with absolute certainty. it is also possible to be a gnostic atheist, meaning that you claim to know with 100% certainty that there is no god.

                  of course, we have gnostic theists, who claim to know with certainty that there is a god. this is the large majority, encompassing all major religions.
                  It’s not really possible to be an agnostic theist. well, it is, but then you can’t belong to any accepted, major religion, because the only way to be accepted is to profess blind faith and “knowledge”.

            • SAS

               Moreover, Atheism is far from a ” MINISCULE MINORITY” it’s  an up and coming ideology, largely unknown to the masses by design! However, the more the religious “WRONG” attempt to persecute us, the more we must speak out! We are not the “bullies” we just react rather than pro act i.e. the ERRONEOUS “war on religion”   we are not the AGGRESSOR!. We have no desire to CONTROL you, but we will not stand to be CONTROLLED by your unmitigated ignorance, and prejudice.   Just like in the media, TRULY GOOD people are generally overlooked, while pure evil always get the headlines! We don’t PUSH our beliefs upon every one! While the hyper-religious superstitious, narrow track, control freak mad men fed on antiquated superstitions, fear and lies try to FORCE their ideology upon everyone.

          • Taslimagirl1

            how do you know that hitler preferred islam? what proof do you have? 

          • Njpullen

            Atheism never flew planes into buildings. Atheism never stoned a woman for being raped.  Atheism never tried to repress or enslave people.  Religious fanatics (of any religion) are the most dangerous people on Earth.

            • SAS

               Oh, just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg, my friend!”

              • FreeThinker

                Ever hear of the Dark Ages? Yeah, it was a time when religion ruled and had complete control of the land.

            • Tempdoom

              The more a country’s population is atheist, the more we find that they have better education and human rights.

          • SAS

             Apparently, you are trying to use a FEW  noteworthy names to support your hypothesis. By the same token, I can site pedophile priests, capitol punishments or in the case of Gallaleio  rescinding your accomplishments, albeit to his humiliation to circumvent death for “house arrest” by the Catholic church. I (somewhat) agree with your distinction between Atheist and Agnostic. Few people understand the correlation between the two.  That’s why I am a “REALIST’. I have had experiences with the existential. As far as an alleged supreme, all knowing being that knows and created all, lets just say I have educated doubts!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/W6QJMUS5G6ERR7ILD3VK76BHBI Tony Todd

          Funny how you claim the position of “intellect” yet also say that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are identical. That is not a well thought out claim at all. In fact, it’d be more accurate to say you feel the same about all 3 which clearly makes you emotional

      • Poppy

        I agree.  To be a Christian is a personal decision.  You can be born a Catholic or Baptist but you have to consciously follow Christ or you’re not a Christian. Good point.

      • Anonymous

        atheism is not about rebellion at all. It is about being logical.

        • Wayndom

          Only people who choose religion out of emotional needs attempt to “prove” that atheists do the same.  Like the “disbelief is an act of faith” nonsense…

          • Futurama

            I’m agnostic, but everything we do is an act of faith, Every decisions is basically a neurosis trying to detect the “validity” of a chemical reaction in our heads. You can make people not think straight by flashing colors and patters, by playing certain frequencies or sound patterns, or of course by changing the chemical reactions. Science gives us the best possible understanding of things as a process, but we’re still basing everything on the faith that the scientists we learn from aren’t lairs. (which of course they are as often as not) they are only human, and no ape is as logical as atheists and agnostics like to pretend.

        • AngGab8

          How can we question God as to what is logical? He made everything. Can you imagine creating something from scratch then having people attempt to explain and rationalize your creation?

          How dare we, the creations question the almighty creator? Rest assured my friend one day when you stand in judgement before God, you will remember this conversation.

          No one wants to force you to do anything, as a Christian and Christ follower- I would like to tell you that Jesus loves you and died on the cross for your sins. If you are a scientist, atheist, Christian, Jew, or identify with any other group, Jesus died for all of us and that love is open to you if you are willing to accept it.

          • Guest

            You answer yourself in your second sentence.

            If god made everything in the natural world, there would be evidence of that fact.  There isn’t any; not a single shred.  In fact, there is MORE evidence that he didn’t.  Everything in nature is the product of natural selection.  We formed ourselves.

            Your second paragraph speaks volumes about religious tyranny: don’t question, only follow.  Disgusting.

            • Susan Leigh

              You don’t think there is evidence of that? Seriously? PROVE to me that someone created the Mona Lisa painting? Did it create itself? Could it have? Is there the possibility that a windstorm went through an artists room and miraculously made that? Of course not! How much more intricately woven is the human eye? Dealing now with a perfectly made LIVING organism and with just ONE rod or cone off, one would see in only black and white or upside down. That is only to name TWO of the over 60 specific roles that the cells have. If someone can’t see that someone created us and the world around us, they are definitely  scientists only in the universe of “fools”. Over and out!

              • Tempdoom

                Humans are not at all perfect. what you call intelligent design is not intelligent at all. Humans have a bad design, the head and brain, the most delicate, yet most important body part is in one of the most vulnerable places.
                The reproductive system is in the middle of a sewer.
                He put us in the wrong place in the universe, as we are going to collide with the Andromeda galaxy.
                We are screwed, we orbit a galaxy which will bring us to a supernova, 2/3 of the planet is inhospitable 
                We cannot detect some of the most powerful radiation with our senses.
                Breathing is incredibly inefficient, we lose most of the oxygen we inhale!
                We breathe, eat drink, vomit, sneeze, cough all through the same pipe in our body, guaranteeing the death of millions!

                • Mandocommando23

                  You forgot to mention that human eye is actually not that great, as it has a built-in blind spot. Squid have much better eyes than humans. Also, some people are colorblind and some are completely blind, so, yeah…some design.

              • http://www.facebook.com/AIMZOOM Brent Michael

                 The ironic thing about the so-called “intelligent design” argument is that it disproves itself: Why aren’t there watches, Mona Lisa paintings, and other obviously DESIGNED objects occurring in nature? Because IT HAD NO DESIGNER. How do you tell an object that had no design? It shows influence of only natural, non-intelligent forces shaping it. Unless, of course, you’re claiming your god is infinitely inferior in design skill to any ten year old child, much less an engineer.

                • Nomoresamaritans

                  the Mona Lisa is easily explained when paired to the statue of Liberty, or movies we make today with CGI, you can claim that the original computer “had no creator” but we know who painted the Mona Lisa and we know who originally created computers and who created movies and how and we know that people who get slapped upside the head get amnesia so maybe that’s what you’re experiencing, some sort of self created amnesia as to who made you? yeah, you’ll probably try to claim that in God’s court room and it would be stupid to bet your bank account, because you will end up poor. especially when you pass that common law crap to help create, protect and enable the united states version of a tax payer funded child soldier program that the rest of the world has and you then get killed by one the more “technologically advanced united states versions” of the “child soldiers”, then I don’t think there will be a lot of people left to cry over your tombstone. You still want to argue? go ahead. I’ve got better things to do. like actually going and stopping hunger by GIVING things I don’t need to the poor or giving food, donating, and backing my faith up with action by donating my time to helping to STOP famine in our OWN country instead of arguing with a freak like yourself about your godless chatter. if you think godlessness is going to save you when a huge catastrophe is going to hit (in case you’ve been avoiding the television lately) don’t expect any more “good Samaritans” I think your ancestors may have killed or are attempting to kill off the last ones alive. we are depleted and are too exhausted to help those that are NOT in need. basically get yourself help.

              • http://twitter.com/Jesse_Stefani Jesse Stefani

                why does it have to be “someone created us?” why not “something?” That something is evolution by natural selection, we just about know this to be fact. We KNOW that humans were not created by a God, and we are also very confident that our plante wasn’t, either. It will probably never be possible to prove that there is no God, because you can’t really prove that something doesn’t exist. But I’ll bet my bank account that we never find proof of God ;)

              • Chris Jarroll

                None of that is actual evidence. So you’re argument holds no weight. And what about all those people that have biological flaws? I’m guessing god decided that he just didn’t love them as much? Or was it a mistake? Either way, it looks bad.

            • CleanBrain

              then explain this, something no atheist can yet explain but they love to create lies to profit from what they claim is “scientific evidence” and yet you too are a follower and you claim individuality, so how come you aren’t such an independent thinker? or further more, if there is no “evidence” then how do you explain PRO-CREATION, also called pregnancy, which involves still to this day a man or a man’s DNA and the DNA of a WOMAN, and the body parts to help INCUBATE, carry to full term and deliver another human life instead of your supposed theory of what you call evolution or “self creation”? how come we don’t just split in half and create another whole, fully formed human being, why are people even ON organ donator lists waiting for YEARS for transplants and why don’t we cure ourselves? because all you know is what you’ve been taught which is a continuous lie of lies to believe that you can create, heal, and destroy yourself and you don’t even have that power. but you can be manipulated into believing that. God is not someone you can manipulate and that pisses you off more than these lies you make up. 2 Peter 2 False teachers and your destruction. that message is for the godless, and now for the God fearing people that actually believe in Jesus, remember it does say that these people will not listen to us because they are full of godless chatter and that’s all they know, so stop arguing with them, it is fruitless, because THEY are fruitless, they come from bad trees and produce bad fruit or no fruit. Bad trees do NOT produce GOOD FRUIT, and GOOD trees do NOT produce BAD fruit so stop arguing and let them argue with their godless friends. it’s time to stop mingling in their societies. stop mixing with these godless weirdo’s, HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM. 2 Timothy 3 Godlessness in the last days. these are the people spoken of in 1 Timothy 6, lovers of Money, NOT God. they think Godliness is a means to financial gain. they serve Money not God. HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM. so stop arguing, their folly, their fault, their guilt is obvious to every one in heaven. these people cling to earth, they will never see heaven, they get buried by their possessions. nothing we say or do will open their hearts, their eyes are glued shut by lies and sin that they make love to. so just stop arguing with them and don’t bother anymore. save those that are willing to listen, those that WANT to know Christ Jesus. those are the ones Christ came to save. not the greedy. not the gluttonous, not those already saved. but those that didn’t know him. those that WANT to know him. so save as many as you can for HIS kingdom. and stop bothering with this one.

          • MajorMinus

             If I had to make everything from scratch, I would have done a helluva lot better than “god” supposedly did.
            Seriously, if he exists, dude sucks at making things.

        • CleanBrain

          is it logical to oppress people by claiming there is no God with the “hopes” that they will look the other way while you do pretty much whatever you please to whoever because you think that by claiming there is no god that you don’t have to be held accountable to anyone for anything you do so that makes you basically absolutely lawless? that’s called sin in the bible, no matter how you argue about it. it also says “the FOOL says in his heart “there is no god”. your not guiltless just by claiming Godlessness. it makes you 3 times as guilty. no matter what. you’ll never hide that shame.

      • Anonymous

        atheism is not about rebellion at all. It is about being logical.

      • Marky

        Nice one. If it was all about rebellion you’d get hundreds of thousands of kids from athiest/agnostic families converting to Christianity. It just doesn’t happen I’m afraid. Atheism is based on hard scientific fact from many of the greatest minds on earth.

        • Bkraber

          Many more great minds were Christian and Jewish, my friend.

          • Guest

            That doesn’t make their belief systems true.

            There is no doubt that Newton and Einstein were geniuses.  But when an atheist like Stephen Hawking comes along and proves that the universe did not need a divine creator, where is your god now?

            • Tempdoom

              Excuse me, but Einstein was a Deist not a christian, he believed in a god that created the universe i beauty, because otherwise it would have been a chaotic, ugly place.

              • MajorMinus

                 … but it IS a chaotic, ugly place.
                I mean, we can look at it all the live long day and say “Oh, our universe and all its sparkly little bits are so very pretty”, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are precariously held in balance by a gigantic black hole and we’re eventually going to crash into ANOTHER galaxy precariously held in balance by a gigantic black hole.
                If that’s not seen as chaotic and doesn’t foreshadow ugly consequences, I don’t know what does.

            • http://twitter.com/Jesse_Stefani Jesse Stefani

              Einstein wasn’t a Christian or Jew, by the way.

        • Bcschumacher

          i am a scientist and i can assure you that science does not prove or disprove God.  There are many scientists who do not believe in God.  There are also many scientists who do believe in GOd (i.e. John Polkinghorn).  How things came to be has an answer outside science – either there has always been a God who created the universe or there has always been the pre-existence of matter which somehow reacted to produce the universe.  The claims of Dawkins does not fly well most of the scientists i know – they disavow that the matter can be decided by science .

          • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.carro Joseph Carro

            I’m a scientist, too! Let’s have a Bunsen party!

          • http://twitter.com/myc4nr C4NR

            The existence of a creator of a universe IS a scientific question.

            People who try to separate religion from science do not want the questions of religion answered. 
            People who say there is no incompatibility between religion and science know neither religion, nor science.  Religion is active denial of science.  While, science consistently discredits accepted religious beliefs.  Here is another difference between religion and science. Science has no interest in kicking down church doors and forcing their ideas on the congregation.  While, religion has a vested interest in bulldozing schools and shutting down labs, or at least controlling what these secular institutions are doing, because religion is at risk from people utilizing critical thought, facts, and other empirical evidence.

          • Guest

            Opinions aren’t facts.  And just because the scientists you claim know turn a blind eye to the matter doesn’t mean that the tools of logic and of science cannot be used to determine it conclusively.

            No, it sounds to me like they’re just choosing to remain ignorant (for whatever reason, maybe because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, boo hoo) rather than “waste” any thought on the actually very important God hypothesis.

            For what it’s worth, I think you or they may be using “science” as a broad term, when you really mean the Theory of Evolution, in which case I would say you are correct— that that particular theory doesn’t prove or disprove the existence of gods.

            I am a scientist as well, and despite the mountains of non-conclusive evidence against the existence of a divine creator, the field of Cosmology has recently uncovered concrete, objective, peer-reviewed PROOF that one doesn’t exist and has never existed: a fact that makes perfect sense, despite anyone’s opinions on the matter (science has lots of these, you know).  The facts are there; the only thing that we need are more accurate instruments to measure it with certainty.

            With this new-found knowledge, it should be obvious that if gods do not exist in our natural universe, and if they didn’t create it, and if they DO exist and they don’t concern themselves with the natural world, then they are utterly useless and irrelevant, if not just a product of the deranged imaginations of feeble humans looking to explain away natural phenomena.  Old news to those of us with rational, non-religious minds.

            Stephen Hawking, for one, is in agreement that the universe did not need a divine creator, and has said so publicly quite recently.  This is the first time in history that a real scientist of his status has done so.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIoWr

            • alcide

              I agree with what you have said and how well you said it. The only slight issue I may have is with the use of Stephen Hawking to give your argument some oomph. He is a little over rated do to popular culture. Still to be respected, but just for the record, he doesn’t even rank among the top ten. As one physicist wrote, “He wrote a Pop Science Book and it made him famous.”. But then again, 99% of the worlds population would never recognize the names of  more noted individuals. C’est la vie.

            • troy

              Science is hypocritical. The origin of life as theorized by darwin is in direct contradiction to the scientific “law” of biogenesis. Life exists in the universe (look in a mirror), intelligence exists in the universe too (the mirror won’t help some of you). It is a far greater leap of faith to believe life on earth sprung up from dead matter (abiogenesis doesn’t happen) than from intelligent life. Humans will undoubtedly have the ability/technology to travel the universe and spark life elsewhere in the universe in another thousand years…..possibly much sooner. So god might not be a cosmic santa as you self-proclaimed “intellectual” atheists like to paint him. And for those religious fanatics out there, our Creator might just be US in the not so distant future.

              I hope I pissed everyone off!

          • Sa

            My friend, I am a scientist. You do not seem to understand what science is, thus I can reasonably believe you are not a scientist

          • Tempdoom

            Well, i always end up in this argument, since childhood. i would get to the point where they say, well then who created the universe?, then i’d say i dont know. then they reply with it must have been god. then i say who created god and they say he created himself. Are you kidding me?

        • guest

          hah come on do you really believe idiots like bill maher are the greatest minds on earth

          • SAS

             Bill Maher is far more intelligent, and has a better grasp on REALITY than most, if not all hyper-religious narrow track, closed minded, control freak mad men fed on fear and lies.

            • Guest

              And yet, Bill strikes me as someone that still doesnt “get” atheism.  I think he just gives it lip service and then goes on to promote PETA and veganism as if they had any real merit.  He also claims to be libertarian, and I don’t think he “gets” that, either (he votes, for instance).  Ever heard the phrase, “as dumb as an actor?”

      • Beccablue

        I also made that decision myself:))) I don’t like religion but I love God and see him move in my life everyday!!!

      • Carol F. Wyoming

        I have never thought that believing in an invisible friend was a sign of emotional health.  Placing credence in imaginary deities speaks to people’s need to believe that someone or something outside of themselves is in control of their lives.  The atheist accepts that living in reality is much more fulfilling than believing in fantasy.  We accept full responsibility for our lives and are good people because it’s the right thing to do.  

        • Carol Of New Hampshire

          God is not an invisible friend, niether is He outside of ourselves. He lives within all us!  He is the spirit of life.  We are all given a mind of choices and free will to choose how to live life here on earth.  Some choose to follow Christ and live according to his word, which is very fulfilling.  And some choose to follow Satin by believing that they themselves are in control to make better choices.  Those who believe in Christ don’t condemn those that are lost, instead we pray that someday you will come to know God.   We are all created as good people trying to find our way through life the best we know how.  Some get so lost on this journey we travel together that the mind becomes corrupt and evil by choice of free will.

          • Marcos

            Are you kidding me? the mind becomes corrupt and evil by the choice of free will? so you’re saying that if I choose to think for myself I will corrupt myself and turn evil? Well I prefer to live my life the way I want to think is the best way for me instead of following some imaginary guy in the sky. I mean really, if I don’t agree with God, I’ll end up in hell, for making my own decisions? Please, save that kind of junk for those who in your religion. That if they want to be happy and good, the only way is if they follow God and his teachings. Sorry but as an atheist, I believe in doing the right think and thinking for myself regardless of what I am told. But with religion, you must follow God’s taechings regardless of what’s right or wrong.

          • Guy

             Satin is a good fabric, don’t knock it

            • SAS

               Has anyone here ever read the “satanic bible” even if only in an attempt to dis-prove it? Against what many have been BRAINWASHED to believe, and, moreover a “bubble burst to those that think it proclaims ‘PURE EVIL” it actually proclaims adherence to self preservation, but WITHOUT creating harm to others!

          • Justin

            I think the commenter has a valid point in saying the only way to be evil is to stray from god… though the misconception is that the only way to be good is to be affiliated with Christianity… 

            In christian logic god and jesus created goodwill and morality for man, though in actuallity man created god and jesus to facilitate what was already there.

            Being good is not a characteristic that only Christians possess, yet the largest argument against secularism I’ve been exposed to is simply “atheists are evil because they do not believe in god”

            am I evil for not being affiliated? I  guess any donations I make to charity are in the name of evil… I am incapable of good.

          • SAS

             Some say ignorance is bliss. I applaud you in your bliss, however I prefer intelligence.

          • Tempdoom

            Excuse me, but Atheists are further from satin than theists–We don’t even believe he exists!

          • DrMark

            Carol, if satan was cast out for going against god why would he punish people who also go against said god? If there were to be a heaven & hell, the “good christians” will be spending eternity praising their deity on their knees no doubt while he basks in all that narcissistic glory. As for the rest of us “heathens” in hell, well im sure youve heard this saying before “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

          • Chris Jarroll

            “Those that believe in Christ don’t condemn those that are lost.” You only believe in a higher power that is supposed to send people into a place of torture if they don’t believe in him. That’s pretty damn condemning.

      • Derick Mattix

        You’re intellect is weak and your mind is feeble if this is the case.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.carro Joseph Carro

         You have many Atheistic friends? I’m glad you can speak for them in total honesty.

      • Guest

        Only a Christian could state something as total fact, stereotype others, and then finish off being a complete smart *** at the end.

      • TDL

        You just think it was intellectual. Clearly it’s not an intellectual decision.

      • Tempdoom

        You believe entirely based upon faith, rather than religion, please explain to me how that is intellectual and not emotional.

      • Patrick Montgomery

        Living in Alabama, home of the Sunday gatherin, I was the only atheist I knew. My best friends starting introing me as Pat the atheist. That was 3 yrs ago. I’m 46. For some reason I was a great friend and honorable. For years they never to my face degraded me. Then we got a black President. Their true nature came out. With southern Christians comes hate and bigotry. Behind the curtains here they are worse than ever. Actually reverting back in time.

      • Choice

        This is how it should be. Adults making choices on what they believe. Whether they choose religion or non-belief. What’s wrong is parents influencing children either way. Instead of allowing them to grow and form their own beliefs. They are not really beliefs if someone else forms them for you when you are too young to make that decision on your own.

    • Alec

      I think for most, religion was not a decision at all.  Children were indoctrinated into it by their parents and it was cemented in place through fear.  Emotional yes.  A decision, no.

      • TDL

        Yes, you’re right. Brainwashing is another way to say it. Any and every organization interested in acquiring an adult following knows the importance of indoctrinating the children while they’re still very impressionable. Fear plays an extremely important role. The Jesuits know it. Hitler knew it. It’s indisputable.

        • TheDudeGuy

          Are you not “brainwashed” from the moment you step into a public schooling institution to the time you decide to believe that atheism is intellectual?

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Have you heard of this magical tool called “critical thinking”? It’s kind of the opposite of brainwashing. Education gives us the tools and facts necessary to engage in critical thinking.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002975875578 Eric Franks

        Idiot.

        • oceanceaser44

          Yeah you make a good point, thanks for contributing

          • http://twitter.com/leifcid Leif Cid

            thanks dude, you made my day, tears of laughter, sometime the simplest things have the most impact

    • tiffany

      Some people here are so stupid, it’s actually funny. First of all, a young child who has not hit the age of reasoning cannot decipher between right from wrong, simply because they do not understand, i.e., because they are so young and are still mentally developing. Giving a child that “choice” will obviously make them “choose” to live the easiest and most “fun” lifestyle. Doing a lot of statistical and analytical research, it is very evident that (to quote) “A family that prays together, stays together.” The happiest cultures with the most tight-knit family bonds are actually societies that base their life and everyday decisions around religion. So yes, religion is evidently very important. It’s so sad to see that today, societies think, act and live in such a primitive and barbaric way. God bless all you non-believers because I don’t know where you think you are going to end up when your time here on earth is up.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7AEACYYOYIRIK3UBEHT3GCMFZM SethM

        Typical arrogant response.  I know better than everyone else because I read some bias information in an article written by someone with no credentials.  Also if you look at the people acting “primitive and barbaric” they are the religious ones beating their kids almost to death because of what they have read in the bible or blowing up buildings.

        • logical

          Those people are called Radical Extremists. Look it up. Not everyone who is religious is like that. I’m not saying everyone who is religious is happy and a good person and ect, but I am saying that just because there is a group of people who take it too far, it doesn’t mean that everyone who believes in the same God and concepts are the same. Talk about arrogance.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7AEACYYOYIRIK3UBEHT3GCMFZM SethM

             Who said they were all the same the fact that there are any extremist of that type are from a book written by sheep headers thousands of years ago.  The fact that you all base your stuff off the same book and end up so different shows how little truth or fact the bible holds so any belief extreme or not is silly when you still subscribe to the same religion these nuts do.

      • Nancy

        Then please explain why the highest incidence of divorce, teen pregnancy, domestic violence,etc is in the bible belt?

    • Julia

      Hi David,
      Consider the other side of the argument though. Just looking at facts, how does your argument hold up. I know that many of your beliefs about about creation are based on a trial and error system that came about by the “big bang”. Even the atom in itself is too perfect for someone to say that it came about by trial and error. All these different elements that combine to form amazing molecules such as water which is part of the reason we have life on this Earth. And yet in all the universe no one has been able to find it in its liquid state. I know they’ve found those planets in the Goldilocks zone where it MIGHT be possible, but thats 1 in what a trillion at least? The logic is much more sensible that this was not a coincidence, it was on purpose. That this all happened for a reason. I don’t say this with bitterness and hate. I say this because I care, I’d hate to see you go your whole life believing something that just doesn’t make sense.

      love, 
      Julia

      • Cqx186

        If you take into consideration the enormity of the universe then the chances of getting everything just right here isn’t that small. Your comment is full of assumptions. What is your basis for perfection and why does the atom fit it? Is it 1 in a trillion…at least?

    • ProMe

      Choosing to be Agnostic is a wise decision… the BEST of both worlds.
      I don’t want to be judged by the atheist or religious party. 
      Let swamij speak on the subject:
      http://www.swamij.com/theism-atheism-yoga-fear.htm Theists and Atheists in your family: If either of these types of people, Theist or Atheist, are present in your family, social and career worlds, the unspoken (or spoken) pressure to conform, follow, or convert to their views can be a tremendous threat to your sense of well being, both in terms of emotional response and the realities of functioning in a world of such people. This fear can have a devastating effect on ones feelings of safety in family, community, and professional life, and, in turn, on spiritual life. It can cause hesitancy, timidness, reluctance, mistrust, self-doubt, and other such emotions and reactions, which are often projections of an underlying fear. These, in turn, are antagonists to the tranquility or peace of mind consistent with meditation and other spiritual practices.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZRSG7HCLRMV2CWTT3GHEFJOPYE Purplethunders

      what is the percentage of intellect here?  You mean all the civilizations based on some belief or another, the Romans, the Greeks, the Persians, all the most magnificent Art in the Renaissance, all the Victorian fabulous writers and painters, all the French/Italian incredible culture based On Christian Essential Beauty,
      that is  using one’s emotions to make Art less intellectual and more GENUINE
      you mean the Gift of Creation as given to man by the Lord,
      all that is what you want to get rid of ?
      You got to erase all the UNESCO heritage i am afraid.   and stay alone in the Valley of atheistic Death.  I checked out.  Not to mention that the Industrial Revolution and all the main Geniuses of the past were Christian or had some belief. 
      Bigots or ultra atheists are exactly the same : their intellectual faculties are reduced to some primary emotions : pride and fear to learn.  not to mention their blindness.

      you mean you never visited some Cathedral ?  You want to erase Winchester, Reims or Rome in order to show that the uggly modern architecture is intellectually better?
      Geez.  your brains show a flat line of sterility. Not the wave of life.
      Have you EVER watched how the planets keep Order?  Nope.

    • Jellsbury

      Actually, in my view, athiesm requires the same amount of faith as religion, because it requires a definite conviction (God does/does not exist) regarding something we can never get a concrete answer on. Athiesm is the extreme that opposes faith, and for that I applaud it, but I think extremism in any capacity can be dangerous.

      • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

        Actually, atheism is simply a lack of belief in deities. I’ve been an atheist my entire life, and it didn’t require any effort or conviction on my part. I was just never indoctrinated to believe that gods and goddesses were real.

    • Stickittotheman28

      Agnostic isnt a bad choice either considering everyone gets all pissy when you tell people the truth about religion

    • http://www.facebook.com/Kevin.C.Jenkins Kevin C Jenkins

       Neither is a decision.  You either believe a thing or you don’t, and from there, you’re either honest with yourself (and others) about it or you aren’t. 

      People tend to assume that others act out of emotion, while they have rational reasons for what they do, but psychological research shows that everyone has an initial emotional reaction and then rationalizes it after the fact.  If you want better control over your thinking, you need to use critical thinking skills on yourself.  Practice scientific skepticism, and learn about all of the cognitive biases that tend to influence human thought.  You can’t completely avoid cognitive bias errors, but just being aware of them helps.

    • CHRWIM

      Unless you consider creation,  then a higher being becomes a logical choose while ignoring the facts becomes an emotional rejection of truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/groups/117382441655948?ap=1 Randy Cowherd

    Just like most other people, I don’t want my life to end. I just didn’t come up with a good enough reason to make believe that I get to somewhere after death than the ground.

  • Rmfasks

    I would love replies about more non-religious, or non-god-fearing communities.  Especially in terms of feminist rights.  I don’t believe in organizing women like farm animals and have to say that San Francisco is probably one of the most religious experiences that I’ve ever had in my life.  Please let me know if you know of anti-god, more feminist, more woman power, more socialist type communities.  Some combo of several of those in a higher quantity where women are just basically able to afford lives free of these oppressing things (cheaper, nicer, more space is fine), please email.  I do not like it here and am not into the thriving alter-life communities, either.  Searching for more information. Moving up here was in error.  These men are fundamental.  These women defend the men.  This place is dangerous and I hate it.  

    Thx
    rf  (email: rmfasks@yahoo.com)

  • Abysslooksback

    Omg, I know texass is fulla redneck inbred fuckwits(I live here unfortunately ) but that shit. Is scarey.

  • LINDALOURU1969

    ANY “RELIGION”, FAITH OR ATHEISM IS  SUCH A DEEPLY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE…I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY WE ALL JUST CANT SEEM TO KEEP OUR OPINIONS AND BELIEFS TO OURSELVES, AND LIVE BY THE ONE UNIVERSAL GOLDEN RULE AND JUST “TREAT OTHER KIND”.  OUR BELIEFS SHOULD NOT BE SUCH A GROUND OF DUALITY…REALLY THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG…BUT WE ALL HAVE EACH OTHER REGARDLESS.
    I AM A CLOSEST TO AN ATHEIST, BUT THERE IS LOVE OVERFLOWING OUT OF MY HEART FOR “EVERYONE”, REGARDLESS OF BELIEFS.

  • Anonymous

    Oregon, at least the big cities, are a good place for atheists.  However, if you are like me and hate coffee, you’re completely isolated and ostracized by your fellow citizens.

  • Mr. Box

    I tell ya h-wat. Kentucky has quite a wave of young atheists. SHS is 35% atheist or agnostic. (I’m one of em)

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.carro Joseph Carro

     I was made to go to church at an early age. I attended a Catholic
    college, studied most of the “major” religions and I also went to
    several different kinds of churches in my childhood (Baptist, Orthodox
    and Roman Catholic). I also dabbled in religious and non-religious
    philosophy where we held many conversations and dissected various
    literature on whether or not there is/are a God/Gods.

    As I grew older, I also looked into Spiritual churches and the “fringe” religions; mostly just to see what the big deal was.

    I’m not an expert, by any means, but I think I’m safe now in assuming
    I’ve made a very logical decision; one free of emotions. I’ve explored I
    think as much as I can without totally devoting myself to one
    particular religion.

    My conclusion is that religion is not for me. There should be a
    separation of Church and State. This is the land of the free, and we
    should be FREE to pursue any sort of religion we want to. I shouldn’t be
    made to feel uncomfortable for not being a part of the “gang”. I
    shouldn’t be persecuted or looked down on with that “tsk…tsk…”
    manner most purported Christians I’ve run into give to anyone who is
    different than they are.

    I think religion is a GREAT tool for times of need, or even if used
    correctly to apply the parables and dogma to your life to make it
    BETTER.

    I contribute to society just as much as anyone else. I certainly do my
    best. I’m a kind person, and I like to think I’m not entirely stupid or
    “savage”. I know some very kind and loving religious folk, but I also
    see far too many of those people using it as a tool for hate-mongering
    and fear-mongering.

    I would like to think of myself as Agnostic, rather than as Atheistic,
    only because I don’t deny that there could be some all powerful being or
    beings up in the sky…but I find it very improbable. I find it just as
    easy to believe that aliens came down and created Earth as we know it. I
    know immediately upon reading that, some people’s brains almost
    exploded in fury or disbelief…but if you’re talking about people who
    are being used as avatars for the gods, who ride around on crazy flying
    chariots, who used supernatural abilities to fight demons or heal the
    sick or bring the dead back to life…who part oceans and who are
    ultimately omnipotent and know all there is and all there will ever
    be…are aliens or anything else really all that hard to believe? See my
    point?

    Humans are fallible and thus can never truly know the answer to this
    great debate. Faith is one thing, but faith is for YOU. Faith is
    something YOU hold to, that YOU believe in. It is not FAITH any longer
    if you impose it on others. It is something else entirely. Keep YOUR
    faith, and stop denying others theirs if it’s not hurting you.

  • goodolboyim

    Please do not compare the wealthiest states as it has to do with intelligence.. look at Pakistan  20 % literacy then look at Mississippi. If you look at other religions and see there wrong ,look at your own religion and look at thru history how many people have been put to death because of religion.

  • call me the ref

    Life is bliss as an agnostic, neither fretting left and right, up or down, to be as just a being.  Agnostics strive to find answers to connect the spiritual to the scientific, to show everyone in the world that we all live in the same one that came about in the same way, to silent ignorance and self rightousness we are tireless in our pursuit to make your world safe to each other someday.

  • Doug Nusbaum

    You can find similar maps that track things like income, health, disease, immorality (you know out of wedlock children, sexual diseases, etc.) crime etc.   I find it UNSURPRISING that there is a very high correlation between people claiming that god is important to them, and all the bad things like rape, divorce, teen pregnancy crime etc., and a LOW correlation between belief in god and health education etc.   It is almost like god hates people of faith and likes people of knowledge.   Like he made us in his image so he gave us a brain and expects us to use it

  • Pred-cz

    Teach your children one religion and you indoctrinate them.
    Teach them many religions and you inoculate them.

  • Tori

    Of coures the South is the most religious <3

  • SAS

         What do you mean “It’s SAD to see that only four states” are not OVERLY religious? I am SAD to see that 46 states are still OVERLY religious. As a person who adamantly believes in personal freedom (provided that you do not overtly, let alone willfully harm anyone else.) I am not opposed to people believing in what ever they want, even antiquated superstitions Etc. However, hyper-religious people believe that their narrow-track, closed minded, control freak brain washings MUST be ENFORCED upon everyone else. Whether or not they are directly harmful is considered inconsequential. This is the true “root of all evil” For if everyone who does not believe, think, or act exactly as YOU do is evil well then, EVERYONE is evil!  Did we learn nothing from the Salem witch trials Etc. This is the reason why we progress sooooo… slowly as a society. There are so many LEGITIMATE issues facing society(war, hunger, poverty, environment and violent crimes Etc.) Still most of our politicians and other (so called leaders) waste so much time and money persecuting good and innocent people instead of finding solutions to our REAL problems. Lets take Santorum for example, this ignoramus seems to believe that if we could FORCE everyone to live in the Catholic ruled 16th century that EVERYTHING would be “just peachy” (yea, like there were NO problems back then!)

         Bottom line: If someone is not a threat to YOU (not your personal beliefs) than leave them alone, if not embrace them! The sooner we stop trying to “COOKIE CUT HUMANS” the better off we will ALL be!

         REMEMBER,  we have FREEDOM of religion. This is SUPPOSED  to guaranty;

         The freedom of an individual to choose a religion (OR NOT!) based upon their ideology and without persecution. It does NOT guaranty the freedom of YOUR religion to force its ideology upon every individual by persecution! Thus ending the SO CALLED  “war on religion”.

         Be happy being good to others AND your self!

  • VALERIE KERMIN

    Really good article. Interesting and useful. I used to go
    to church when I was a kid but discontinued when I was in college. I want to be
    regular again.  Someone suggested that Thomas Meano   is one of the
    best ways to know about Christ. His views give energy & new style to
    life.  Do you guys have any idea about
    him? I will like to talk to you.

  • Tonya M

    It is somewhat similar to the map of states showing percentages of college degrees.

    http://chronicle.com/article/Interactive-Map-Proportion-of/65009/

  • Jarett

    religion has astronomical truth which the blind wishful thinking idiot cannot see or accept.  ignorant sun worshippers… brainwashed from childhood to believe there good deeds will be rewarded after death…. jesus the plagarized personified sun deity created by the rich elite to prevent the masses from crushing their in vain profits

  • Jarett

    the church is a tax free organization where criminals can clean their money through…. criminals who know god’s a myth n hell doesn’t exist, n are so high in society that they are above the law and judicial punishment., yet they proclaim they are hellbound n have no fear..all this so people don’t see them for what they are…. IN VAIN FUCKING PUSSIES BORN INTO MONEY..

  • Jarett

    all this fighting between science and religion… they have the same theory… man was formed with earth and water…the only differance is religion credits an invisable man in their graven image…

  • http://www.facebook.com/lovelynjlady Jill Suzanne Faucher-Ross

    There’s more to life than being intellectual.  It’s like when Rush Limbaugh is always banging on about how his show has such scathing LOGIC in it….THERE’S MORE TO LEARNING IN LIFE THAN INTELLECT AND LOGIC!! You have to think with both your head AND your heart.

    • Jarett

      awww shut your  hole, you make no sense “more to learning than intellect’

  • Mitch

    I’m part of the 47% of no in Oregon!

  • Blkhawk83

    When everybody believes a false subject, it becomes the truth.

  • Jessica

    I am 14 years old and a happy atheist and I enjoy not going to church, because I have learned a lot that god is not real if he was this world would be a better place, some of you may disagree with me, but… its my choice if I wanna believe or not, but anyway back to what I was saying, I do not want to waist my time in believing in an imaginary person and why go to church on Sunday when you can hangout with your friends

  • Susan Leigh

    Laughing my head off at the original question about where to live and how literally a trillion “atheists” are judging Christians. For folks who supposedly believe in nothing, suddenly believe christians are idiots, etc. Interesting…….why are atheists always saying they believe in love, free will, believe in anything you want or nothing at all, but go into attack mode if you believe in christ? Just saying………

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      “Attack mode?” I don’t see anyone attacking the right of Christians to believe as they wish. We may think your beliefs are false or immoral, or both, but you’re certainly entitled to have them. That’s what tolerance is all about: respecting the right of people to believe what they want, even if we don’t respect the beliefs themselves. Disagreement isn’t an attack.

      • Leighmnf

        Maybe you hadn’t read the posts then, Anna. I would encourage you to do so. The original question had nothing to do with the comments, at all. Just skimming the first 3 or four comments below, i see “indoctrinated”, “emotional decision”  “brainwashed”, “invisible friend”…..what else would you  need to form the conclusion that there is  a tremendous amount of “verbal attacking” going on, which is a response to a question not even related. Perhaps you are reading an entirely different post and accidentally commented on this one.

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          Susan, criticizing Christian beliefs is not an attack on you as a person, and it’s not an attack on your religious freedom. I have not seen any comments attacking your right to believe in Jesus. There are comments discussing why people might believe in Jesus, and that’s where “indoctrination” and “emotional decisions” come in. Calling your deity an “invisible friend” isn’t an attack, either. To atheists, deities are imaginary. You might perceive it as rude, and I would not personally choose those words, but no one is suggesting outlawing your religion, closing down churches, or making it illegal for people to teach their children to believe in gods. You’re entitled to have your beliefs, and we’re entitled to disagree with them and point out why we think they’re false.

  • Lizlewky

    There WILL be a day when everyone will acknowledge Christ as Lord.  Even without faith, Nature confirms that God exists.  Believing that anything other than a Creator could have done this…I just don’t get that part.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      Maybe you don’t get it because you were indoctrinated from birth to believe otherwise? Children aren’t born believing in gods and goddesses. Adults tell them that they are real. Why assume that what the adults told you is true? Maybe the “Creator” is simply a figment of the human imagination.

    • Jarett

      i acknowledge christ every sunset, for he “cometh with the clouds” and “every eye shall see him even those that pierced him” or “his face shineth like the sun, and out of his mouth came a sharp double edged sword” … yea a sharp double edged sword… that kills both the good and evil… but the evil enjoy the light (jesus the sun) way more, with their born riches and tyranny.. How can good people love a god who gives free will to predators and lleaves the prey with a book of promises of reward for their suffering at the hands of evil men…  the only explanation is god is an invention of these evil tyrants…
       

  • boo

    God sucks

  • Teito Klein

    Nice, my state got second place!  I hate it when people say that Christians are ‘tricked into believing’.  It was 100% optional for me, and I made my own decision to follow God after he performed a miracle in my life.

    I’d say that a good majority of Atheists are liberal, correct?  Yet liberals are the ones that use their emotion towards politics. 

    Religion = love
    Politics = logic

    We should use both our emotion and logic, but we should save them for the right things.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IS3OTIHP465M4NRMH3KLK5SPDI Dave

    n

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IS3OTIHP465M4NRMH3KLK5SPDI Dave

    God Bless the WEST!

  • james thopfas

    Atheism is, I believe, the common knowledge of what we are and came to be but in that same fact all logic always if asked further question that we are sure not to answer: we rely on spirituality to grant it to us. But whether being religious or not, I believe it our own choose. Yet for most people, religion is a scapegoat to not admit to our own selfish deed, and Atheism forms a much more logical fact due to it not relying on “outside”  creeds. Aside from all that, both seem to have the general codes that bases itself on two morals: treat each other the way one should be treated as members of the same human race, and forgive those who have wronged you even without knowing them.

  • Proud Atheist

    Religion is mind control. So long as people believe there is an eternal consequence for their negative actions on earth they will stay in line. Its actually quite ridiculous. Whoever wrote the books that lead many people to believe in a higher power failed to hide the contradictions. All you theists should take a little more time to study what ever book it is that led u to theism. Actually try to notice their contradictions. Stop skipping all the bad stuff and weigh it out. These books weren’t inspired by a higher power but by controlling men whose desire was to control the masses. 

  • MajorMinus

    Well. Oregon is one of the least religious states.
    Glad I won’t have to move, then.

  • Koda

    Can your SCIENCE explains how it rains?

    Checkmate, atheists.

  • Tanner Campbell

    I think this chart is colored wrong. I mean, as an Atheist I like the bottom of the list more but there are only four states that are more atheist/agnostic than they are religious. The entire country should be green (more religious) with the exception of MA, ME, VT, & NH, which should be that off peach color since they are the only states that have a population comprised of predominately less religious (more least religious?) all the others are 51%+

  • HAMMER

    EVERYONE MUST BE RELIGIOUS!

  • http://www.facebook.com/AIMZOOM Brent Michael

    I’m surprised Florida is that low. I wonder how accurate their sampling was; in the boonies of Florida, for example, the nutcases skew higher.

  • me

    if there was a god and all this bible stuff is real, why do christians feel the need to shove it down everyone’s throat? it’s some bs. and why don’t they follow what their effing ‘creator’ told them to do and help other people instead of sitting around getting massages and buying new iphones and badmouthing those of us who wish they would shut the hell up. your fake happy face is making me nauseous. if there are so many christians in the us, why are there any people that are hungry or homeless? because you are a bunch of narcissistic hypocrites.

  • John

    The most religious states are also those with the worst public schools

  • Abi

    I love how the west coast is all white, I am surprised though that California is more religious than Oregon, but whatever. I truly don’t give a shit about religion, which makes sense since I live in Oregon. But whatever, people have the right to have an opinion about who and what they believe.

  • Caleb

    Religion in itself is not true Christianity. It was religious men who killed Jesus Christ. It is also religion that has started the most wars. (If you don’t believe me read Matthew 26:3&4). Also, Please check out http://www.livingwaters.com an http://www.geniusthemovie.com Thanks!

  • CleanBrain

    really? brainwashing huh? odd. cause that’s how most of those religions that steer people away from knowing Jesus Christ turn people away from Jesus, is through fear and intimidation and through brain washing. but when I was a kid I recognized his authority through what you atheists and pagans and religious nuts try to achieve called “out of body experience?” I believe you call it that, when my best friend died and I was 3 years old then. my parents never forced anything on me, but I do remember what I saw and what I felt. and I was never afraid of what I saw. I also made many friends at church and it seemed to me that at church was the more friendly atmosphere. public school wasn’t. society is not a nice place. godless people live in society. they hate church. they complain so much about church. but when I’m at church, it feels like home. laughing, singing, praising my God. and I LOVE TOO! and no my parents had nothing to do with that in fact they wanted me to do my homework and chores before they would let me go to youth group activities and most of the time we still had no money to go on trips even with the youth group but that’s when the pastor helped out and I was able to go even if my family was strapped for cash. but I worked hard to go. seems to me that children of a true moral based society HAVE morals and do better in school, have no reason to commit criminal acts and basically give people a good example of how to behave in public. so why are you complaining? oh yeah. because your children don’t behave in public. well, you have no one to blame but yourself but you’re going to blame anyone you can because that’s all you’ve been taught to do. it’s called irresponsible, and lack of conscience or immoral behavior. it doesn’t make you guiltless. it just makes you a wrecking ball so basically the rest of us have to duck and cover, as best we can. if that’s brainwashing than at least my brain is clean. AMEN!

  • Mary Jarecki

    Anyone who is a critical thinker will not buy into religious brain washing.

  • Meg

    Amazing when you consider the rate at which they kill and injure each other.
    I am an atheist and don’t believe them either.

  • disqus_DG0OI08DJV

    A more interesting question would be, “Of the people who report that religion is an important part of their daily life, how many actually exhibit a behavior that would illustrate that belief?”

  • oedipus99

    No surprises here, I wouldn’t want to live in any of the top fifteen or twenty states, all the best places to live are at the bottom of the list! I grew up in NH.

  • Lyons

    Look up “What states have the lowest IQ?” Nearly all of the ‘dumbest’ states are the most religious.

  • frank

    Why are the religious ones always the brainwashed ones? Had not Americans thought that maybe their media is brainwashing them? Religious has existed for a very long time, but atheism is very new. Westernization claims to no religion and encourages it, because it grants people to have an excuse to be god of their own “temporary” life. Of course, there will always be crazy people, but the crazy people are the ones believing (in god or no god) without the proper guidance. I consider religion not to be an emotional decision or intellectual one, but one that includes depth and revelations, encompassing all aspects in life. The U.S. needs to be more inquisitive, rather than judgmental, or else they can never grow. If you cast your comment at me without consideration, then who is the limited one?


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