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Baby boomers flood seminaries
February 13th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Baby boomers flood seminaries

In the 2002 film, “The Rookie,” actor Dennis Quaid plays a middle-aged high school baseball coach who tries out for a major league baseball team.

The movie’s plot line is now being replicated at the nation’s seminaries. A growing number of baby boomers are entering seminaries to take their last shot at fulfilling a lifelong dream, a recent article suggests.

Melba Newsome says in a Time magazine article that the nation’s seminaries are enjoying a baby boomers boom - the 50-or-older demographic group is the fastest-growing demographic at U.S. divinity schools, according to the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

Seminaries tend to be dominated by the under-30 crowd, but the baby boomer group has surged from 12 percent of all seminary students in 1995 to 20 percent in 2009, according to the Association of Theological Schools, Newsome said.

Some of the boomers decided to enter the ministry after being laid off or  stalling in their careers, but some of their decisions go deeper Newsome said.

Maybe older divinity students – no longer saddled with their children’s tuition or big mortgages to pay off – are motivated by a newfound freedom to pursue their lifelong passions.

They include students include Patrice Fike, 64, who is using $100,000 of her savings from her career in pediatric nursing to enroll at the Episcopal Church’s General Theological Seminary in New York City, Newsome writes.

Fike said she was surprised to see so many seminary students who were her age.

It felt good to see so much gray hair.

The article said that many of the boomer seminarians thought of entering the ministry when they were young, but career, family and mortgages got in the way.

But, like Quaid’s character in “The Rookie,” they didn’t want to keep living with regret.

Fike told Newsome:

This is what I’ve wanted since I was 8 years old.

The article brought a question to my mind, though. In athletics, age is a liability.  Older athletes lose strength and flexibility.

But could old age equip people to be better ministers?

For example, how can a young minister who has never been married or had children or even lost many friends to death counsel grieving couples?

And might an older minister do better at dealing with the temptations of ego, sex, and money?

Is it better to be a rookie minister when you have gray hair?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Education

soundoff (459 Responses)
  1. Greg s

    We are Creatures of Spirit and Flesh. The Haters can deny God all they want, They try to convince themselves they are creatures of Flesh only. There conflicted by this and they vent against us Who they see as the cause of there confusion. If it where simply a choice with a simple yes or no answer there wouldn't be all this Hate, They would not care one bit weather we believed in God or a Purple dinner plate. Its interesting They Pretty much ignore the other religions and go straight for the one true God. I think Some folks have just gotten so mad at him that denying him is there only outlet for there anger. If they truly didn't believe in God there wouldn't be this crazed anger that we witness on these posts.
    We have total free will. If I choose to jump off a cliff I can, If another chooses to throw me off a Cliff he might succeed. Bad things happen all the time. God does not intervene except where he sees fit, None of us know the Mind of God. True miracles ended with the last apostle. We live and we Die. God does not see death in the same Light we do, we see it from a flesh perspective as the end Pfft! God sees it as the next step in our Lives. If we live to be 88 that's great........If we live to be 12 and die at the hands of a crazed wacko, This wasn't Gods Plan, He may know that could happen this way but its not his plan, He does not intervene. So if somewhere in your Past you were late for a very important interview and cried out to God to help and you ended up loosing the Job and Now its all Gods fault, So you hate him because he didn't reach down and make it all better for you. We are on or own down here folks. How we live our lives and the choices we make will be what decides our hereafter. Those of us who have accepted Christ are not effected by your rants in the way that you wish. . We know God exists and nothing you can say as your turn red faced and shake your fist at God will change our minds. Because we know whats going on with you. We pray for You, We pray that the Lord will help you to sort it all out. Again if you truly didn't believe in God that wouldn't bother you one bit either.

    February 14, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  2. Zeus

    God stole my thunder.

    February 14, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • W247

      I'm sorry but this was just funny!

      February 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  3. VitruviannMan

    Spend 100K when you're 60 to go to a school to learn about what desert people believed 2000 years ago? What a waste of money! Tens of lives could have been made better with that!

    February 14, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Steve the real one

      How about we just allow people decide what to do with their own money!

      February 14, 2011 at 10:33 am |
  4. Mike

    On April 5, 2008, my wife and I were walking downtown on our way to a concert. Without warning of any kind I had what the doctors called "Sudden Cardiac Arrest." I literally dropped dead right there on the sidewalk. Cutting this short due to the lack of space, I was "officially" dead for 27 minutes. Not really. While my body was lying there on the sidewalk the rest of me took a short trip where I had a very pleasant experience. Suddenly I regained consciousness in the Recovery Room, and discovered I had been gone eight days and had been through open-heart surgery. I am not a Theologian or a Scientist, meaning I am not qualified to analyze my experience. You draw your own conclusions – just keep them to yourself. I will say this much: Anyone who denies there is life after death is literally dead wrong, pun intended. There is definitely something on the other side.

    February 14, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Magic

      Mike,

      It is highly unlikely that you were "dead" for 27 minutes, and are still able to write this. Certain necessary brain cells cannot survive that long.

      My brother had a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated within about 15 minutes or less. He survived, but his brain was damaged from the lack of oxygen and he lived his final 10 years at the mental level of perhaps a very slow 5 year-old.

      I don't dispute that you had an 'experience', but there is no proof that it was the 'afterlife'.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  5. Once-was-lost

    As a current student, and at the age of 48, I believe that the Lord led me back to school so that I might be better equipped to serve the Lord in full time ministry somewhere. I have two sons in high school, a wife of 23 years, and work in a white collar business. Getting my degree from a seminary is not about "tax exempt status", and it is not about "a second career", and it is most certainly not about being burned out in my current job...It is all about God and my serving him execellently wherever I might be (Colossians 3:22-23). I will complete my degree this spring and at that point will continue to serve the Lord where I am currently working until he calls me to serve somewhere else. It is not about me at all...it is all about God and his perfect, sovereign will for my life. You may never understand that position or that thinking, and that is fine.

    February 14, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Casey Archer

      Seminary studies were what finally compelled me to leave Christianity altogether.

      February 14, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  6. Tom

    I've read articles over the years citing the decline in people entering the priesthood. Previously, I'd simply thought it was a reflection in a change in the level of religious faith. Then, I read this article and saw the paragraph:

    "They include students include Patrice Fike, 64, who is using $100,000 of her savings from her career in pediatric nursing to enroll at the Episcopal Church’s General Theological Seminary in New York City, Newsome writes."

    One hundred thousand dollars to join a profession that you don't really have any hopes of recouping that money? I mean, I get the whole "vow of poverty" thing, but, this seems to be a pretty high cost of admission. Perhaps if there wasn't such a high up-front cost, more people would give consideration to the field?

    February 14, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Magic

      I hope that this nurse has plenty of other money stashed away to fund her 'golden' years, or that her church will take care of her, and that it doesn't fall to the taxpayers to handle that necessity.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  7. The Jackdaw

    Good. Baby boomers are old. Maybe they will die before they can halt progress for too long.

    February 14, 2011 at 9:29 am |
  8. RobA

    Come on, now, folks...if it weren't for the god-haters, who would you complain about in places like this?

    February 14, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  9. Josie

    I am in my early 30s and getting ready to go into theology, and most likely seminary and history of it all. I say all age groups definantly have their advantages and disadvantages. That being said...

    I have had Atheists attack me for believing in any God, they saw it as weak, yet they put just as much in science. Now I love science and do think it explains a lot, but it does not explain how life started in the first place. I do not believe we were some random accident....and that all we do when we die is dissappear! I was Pagan for years, just recently converted to Christianity, as have a lot of my closest friends, but we didn't go through a church, we haven't been baptised since we were kids, and most of us still only worship at home. Many of our Pagan views carried over, and will remain a strong part of us. Now that is more of what more and more Christians are becoming...oh and study your history if you think the Bible is complete, because man himself took away many books when the Church first formed in Rome!

    Well, that is all from me...time to run morning errands now.

    February 14, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Josie,
      It does not sound like you are going to be a Catholic priest, and are leaning towards a denomination.
      Will you start a new ecclesial community or is there one that you know of out of the 38,000 to choose from that thinks like you already?

      February 14, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • W247

      Catholic Mom – hopefully the Lord will draw her to Him and she will know the truth and not become involved in a cult, where others besides Jesus and the Lord are worshiped.

      February 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  10. Sybaris

    Here's a tip:

    Spending your money on seminary school is like paying someone to teach you Alice in Wonderland.

    Save your money and your time for something more productive.

    February 14, 2011 at 8:33 am |
  11. George

    I think this is a wonderful trend as many churches are having a hard tome financially, and older clergy will be able to work for less pay than younger clergy with a family and all the bills to go with it. God sure does work in strange ways.

    February 14, 2011 at 8:14 am |
  12. Steven

    Religion is dying

    February 14, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • Alex

      I wouldn't say religion is dying, but rather under frontal attack at times by the minority of people. You have to realize that the majority of the human population have a faith of some sort. As I understand there are 1 billion who claim no belief in a god, which includes those who are agnostic or just non religious. Then there is the almost 6 billion other people who are religious.

      February 14, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • Steve

      Just because the religious out number the rationals doesn't mean there is a god or any particular mythology is right. There was time not to long ago when the majority belived the earth was flat, slaves we cool, and women were property. The attack is on igornace.

      February 14, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  13. kryga

    Gays and lesbians too, many of them baby boomers as well, are flooding seminaries to use the Churches as propaganda machines like what happened to the Episcopal Church.

    February 14, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • More Power2Em

      Hip, Hip, HOO-RAY!!!

      February 14, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • They're Equal2

      Equal Opportunity for ALL! One has to remember that Jesus said absolutely nothing about Gays and Lesbians not serving in this capacity or otherwise! And it is by His blood that we are Saved! If God is calling them to serve and they have answered His call in their heart, then who are we to detract them from their calling and judge them?

      February 14, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • Jen

      Which is the saddest statement of all. We need to minister TO them and show them Christian charity, but they have no place as ministers to US until they commit themselves to celibacy. Sadly, I don't imagine that is part of the picture in the Episcopal church.

      February 14, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Jen,

      You are so right! It is all about celibacy....just as it is for everyone who is not married [man and woman.]

      February 14, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  14. Livelystone

    $100,000 to be taught by a man the things of God?........... even for the baby boomers aging eyesight you can get nice large print Bible for $25 and learn straight from God rather than listen to some man tell you his opinion of God

    Unless the professors or whatever they call the staff at theological schools have signs and wonderings following them proving that God is with them.......... all they are is just another wrong opinion but being paid a lot of money

    February 14, 2011 at 7:12 am |
    • ralph

      100K for 4 to 5 years of school. Sounds about right when you add in living expenses.

      February 14, 2011 at 7:26 am |
    • Auntie Warhol

      So God sells the Bibles He wrote for $25? Are you sure God retains the publishing rights to His book? And are you sure He is getting the money?

      February 14, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  15. Vicar Ryan

    The most important aspect of ministry is striving to understand and relate to others with compassion and love. A young person may not have experienced what another is going through in grief or joy, but that puts them in a unique position to not take anything for granted. And just because one has walked the earth longer, does not mean that they have a greater wisdom, or a greater understanding of the experience of life. In fact, it will be harder for these last. Because the world changes, and the church must change. Even now, our communities of faith are not the same as when the Baby-Boomers were in their teens or twenties. The ministry is different, and is even now in transition as the church adapts to a more secular society. And what humanity calls brash, young and foolish, may carry God's wisdom. In any event, any ages brings its blessings and curses, its challenges and advantages. Let us not assume that God equips us according to our age. -from a 27-year-old seminarian

    February 14, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • Bettye Mcgill

      Well said Vicar! I agree with you. I am pursuing a Master's Degree in Divinity at the age of 55 and i appreciate your insight. May God bless you with the knowledge of HIS WILL in ALL things

      February 14, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • Emmitt Langley

      I'm sure this will get moderated out...but the reality is that no demographic carries God's wisdom.

      The Bible carries it. Every generation of man will try to ignore God's Word. It's not that one race, one gender, one economic stratum, or even one age group is better than any other...it's about those, regardless of demographic who have the courage to see past their own selfish desires and tap into the truth that only God's Word can give.

      Only Christ can set you free from the bondage of sin...and THAT hasn't changed in the history of the church.

      February 14, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • khalief

      "And just because one has walked the earth longer, does not mean that they have a greater wisdom, or a greater understanding of the experience of life."
      My friend, you are mistaken. Experience is the currency of understanding and wisdom. While experience may not necessarily lead to wisdom, it is the backbone and must be cultivated with introspection and reflection. If this were not so then you would have no need for your scholarly studies but would instead be teaching the classes. Let us also not assume that God equips us based on our desire.

      February 14, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • phil

      Loving and caring is VERY important...but isn't the most important telling people about Jesus in love and care?
      Sometimes this involves rebuking, othertimes comforting with the Gospel. But what's most important in ministry is simply proclaiming what Jesus proclaimed: that we were dead in our sins, but God made us alive with Christ, he forgave us all of our sins...so that we will not suffer wrath, but live.

      That seems most imporant to me, because without...there is only wrath.

      February 14, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • CatholicMom

      khalief,

      I agree….
      Scholarly learning is what everyone needs in order to counsel another person more precisely.

      So many say, celibacy should be banned and all priests should be married so they can better help the married couple. With divorce rates at 50%, it doesn’t sound like the experience is the best teacher.

      Priests receive many years of study in all areas of life and make excellent teachers and counselors…and do not rely on their own experiences for what is best for each person regarding life issues.

      February 14, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Brad

      I cant help but chuckle a bit when I read articles like this because God does not age discriminate, you can see it in all the wide ranges of ages of people God gifts to preach/minister/Pastor/teach. Let's first understand that God gives the gifting not a seminary. You can attend seminary all you want, but that does not make you what only God can gift you to do. Our wisdom, our power, our authority and whatever spiritual impact we can make only comes from the Word of God, thats why age isn't an obstacle or any other human "limitation". Let's get the carnality out of our thinking, nothing is impossible with God.

      February 14, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • deb

      I agree with you to a certain degree but it always amazes me how young people sometimes do not seem tor realize that we oldsters have been living in the same world they have and as a result we have "evolved" as well as the next person. We see the same things, read the same books/magazines, experience life on a daily basis just like young people and are not stuck in our teenage years.

      February 14, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  16. BD70

    Maybe its deeper spiritual growth or maybe its the tax exempt status they are looking for.

    February 14, 2011 at 7:05 am |
    • well read

      I hope you do realize that it is only the organizations that are tax exempt. You cannot set up a non-profit religious organization as a sole proprietorship. So, each individual that works for the organization has to pay individual income tax, Fica, etc.

      February 14, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • Phil

      @ well read. I am sorry to point out that you are wrong on a couple of your claims. I spent several years on a church board and helped run a religious school.
      1 anyone can start a church and avoid taxes. Some of the large mega churches are owned by one person. You are correct that it would not be a sole proprietorship, that is a type of company. All you need to do is say you are a church and bam no taxes. The IRA would have to claim you are not a church and they don't want to start deciding who is or is not a church. Some churches will make the extra effort to register as a 501(c)3 but that is not needed per IRS code.
      2 If an employee is "called" by the spirit to the church, mission, chuch school they do NOT pay FICA. This may have been set up only for ministers but has been expanded over the years. Pastor, teacher, school secretairies janitors, basketball coach etc.... all they have to do is say they were "called" to the job and skp the taxes. All of the "called" workers can also claim upto 100% on their income as a housing "allowance". If they have a spouse with a good job some will claim that 100% of their income goes to paying for the house and pay NO federal tax on 100% of their income.

      February 14, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  17. Gary

    Figures..

    February 14, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  18. Katie

    They're studying for their last exam....

    February 14, 2011 at 6:12 am |
  19. Erica

    I'm just wondering what all the God Haters are doing on this blog.

    February 14, 2011 at 4:59 am |
    • Edward

      They are attracted to anything that mentions religion or morals. At every opportunity they feel compelled to let the world know they hate God and to give their reasons. I am not sure if they are trying to prove it to themselves, if they are trying to justify their own bad behavior or if they only believe in themselves. One would think if they were so sure of themselves in hating God they would not need to tell everyone about it and would also be secure enough to accept that others love God. All we can do is what will really drive them crazy – pray for them.

      February 14, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • jen

      @Edward - geez, reverse what you just said, but put "love" in there - and that's what wacko religious people sound like - first off, how do u hate something u dont believe in? 2ndly, go ahead and waste your time praying for people like me, you only look like a fool to do so, why do you care if I dont believe in YOUR god - or I could be just like you and say that God told me you're a fool, can u prove to me that he did not? I also love how you "assume" that non-believers are out doing bad all the time, 99.99999% of crime is done by 'believers' - doesn't seem to stop them now does it... and of course lastly, the reason so many baby boomers are entering is cuz they are afraid to die - that's what most of you religious people are after any ways...what happens when u die - here's a clue - you cease to exist and go into a box or a urn - end of story.

      February 14, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • CSmith

      Jen:
      "first off, how do u hate something u dont believe in?"
      It must be very hard, but the posts we see on forums like this prove it's possible.

      February 14, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Luke

      @Jen – The fact that you are acting like a child on here proves one thing – whatever you say holds no weight in my book. It's tiring to see the hate pouring from your mouth and others that are like you. I do not care if you believe in God or not, but it bothers me when people like you lash out at anyone because of their belief in God. Why don't you just leave us alone? Is that too much to ask?

      February 14, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Luke

      By the way, where did you get the "99.9999999 percent" stat? That's preposterous, and it's sad at the same time because of your willingness to throw out an invalid statement when you are supposedly so enveloped in "facts".

      February 14, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Patrick

      Erica. I don't hate your "God". You can't hate something that you don't believe in. I am, however, disturbed by religious people. To believe in a father in the sky who loves you and gives you rules is to try and live forever as a child. It is to forgo the responsibility of growing up and realizing the world you live in is up to you. Religion often denies reason, science and progress. Religion often divides people and can cause war. It's frustrating for me to live in a world full of such dangerous children who are so certain about something no one can truly be sure of. Life is beautiful and wonderful. It's full of plenty of mystery and chances to be a better person. I suggest you let go of some of your certainty and evolve as a person. I know it's hard to be uncertain and face the mystery. We will not move forward till all these childish ideas about god are dropped and we realize we are all one and "god" is inside us. You could try meditation or Buddhism as the next step. It's at least closer to the truth.

      February 14, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Michael

      Theists always have it wrong. Yeah, I do see a lot of atheists that you can tell "hate" God. Maybe a loved one died and they blame God or some crap, but let me make something very clear, most atheists don't hate God–they hate what the idea of God does to many so people: Provide them with the arrogant idea that they KNOW something that they could not possibly know. Theists think that atheist impose on them. If another human being is challenging your ability to discern the tangible, then shouldn't that be a good thing? Atheists want to know if people around them have imaginary friends, nothing wrong with that. But it' an article of a theist's faith to spread false claims with no evidence and until this plague spreading (or until PROOF comes about) you will always have people who will challenge your crazy beliefs.

      February 14, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • VitruviannMan

      "God-haters" is a little far fetched. I'm a believer-turned Atheist (after years of research in scripture, philosophy & science), and I don't think that Atheists hate God at all. That term does not even make sense as Atheists deny a belief in Deities – which is actually quite similar to your beliefs, except you still have one Deity you believe in.

      I know that believers like to think that Atheists have something they're disturbed by -perhaps their own beliefs, or their empty souls or some ghastly concept like that- but that is not the case at all:

      Answer me honestly: do you ever even consider that, perhaps the Atheists have figured something out (namely that we've been duped since childhood for purposes of being controlled easily), and perhaps they're trying as hard as they can to let you know about it also? Do you ever even come close to considering that?

      February 14, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Edward

      Jen – you only prove my point. I don't care what you do or do not believe in – you are the one that has a problem with those that believe in God. It is obvious to everyone but you. By the way bad behaviour does not just mean breaking civil law – bad behaviour is also doing immoral or hateful things. I do realize morals probably don't exist for most of those that hate God and for some reason they all appear hateful – so you don't have a clue about what I am talking about. I do pray that people like you finally find peace in your life – if that makes me a fool, well at least I am still not as big a fool as folks like you that hate what you don't understand or what you don't agree with.

      February 14, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Edward

      VitruviannMan – Everyone has heard endless times from folks that have it all figured out that there is no God and all the religions in the world were only created to "control" people. Also love the concept that religion has caused every war and all the harm in the world. I also know that these enlightened that figured this out on their own must now tell the rest of the world. What "controls' you or do you just do anything you want and make up your own "belief system" as you go along? Always love the concept that one is against organized religion but have their own belief system. In other words you just do what you want and justify it any way you want. That is not a belief system – that is simply making up your own religion and in reality thinking you are a God. Good for you if this makes you happy and "free" .

      February 14, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • LP

      Echoing what others have said, it defies logic to claim that atheists hate god; one cannot hate something one does not believe exists. Any animosity that exists on the part of the non-believer is largely directed not at the deity, but at believers who insist on villifying the atheist's choice of philosphy, and imposing their beliefs and religiously-based life-rules on others.

      @Edward – you state: "One would think if they were so sure of themselves in hating God they would not need to tell everyone about it and would also be secure enough to accept that others love God." Well, one would think believes would do the same, but most don't. Most feel compelled to "tell everyone about it" and are not secure enough to accept that others don't believe there are gods.

      That said, it's a shame that so many articles on the belief blog result in debates over the existence/non-existence of gods; instead of comments on the article itself. Focus, people.

      February 14, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Edward

      LP – If one hates everyone (whom they don't know) that believes in God – it would appear their real target for their hate is God. If one truely believes there is no God, one would have absolutely no issue with those that do believe. They would have no issue with anyone that tells them they should believe. By having an issue with any of this only suggests they continue to need to prove to themselves that there is no God. Maybe when they do indeed finally believe there is no God they will finally have no problem with those that do or those that would try to convince them there is one.

      February 14, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • VitruviannMan

      Edward, if you must know, I follow the laws of the society I live in, and I check those laws against the Golden Rule and the definition of Liberty as Rousseau defined it. I indeed feel happy and "free" given the fact that my moral values come from the collective critical intelligence of many distinguished philosophers, scientists and political theorists.

      You find this groundless since to you it seems like I could make my mind up anyway I want and still be able to justify it. I find that ironic; you are actually the one who's basing all his moral values on a book which condones slavery and subjugation of women, simply because it was written 2000 years ago by a desert tribe, and your priority in life is not service to humanity or the well-being of others, but service to a mythological concept called God – everything else comes second.

      Now tell me, does that make you feel, devout? Do you feel like you're gaining His favor by arguing against people like me, who defend critical thinking, equal rights and humanism? Do you feel morally superior to me, because I say "forget God, our priority should be helping other humans"? Damn, I envy the comfort you find in your blind faith. Sucks that I'm too thoughtful turn my head away from the facts of nature.

      February 14, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  20. Erica

    SB and Magic,

    Why do people even conceive of perfection when they are so imperfect? Why does humanity want and long for something they will NEVER attain? It's a bit ironic that man was born with that longing. But then again, it's not because WE WERE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD!

    February 14, 2011 at 4:54 am |
    • RichP, easton, pa

      Keep telling yourself that. There are only two things that I know that can change that, upbringing and a NDE. I just hope I get it right this time around..

      February 14, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Patrick

      Your philosophical musings sound like those of a young girl. With out the ability to conceive of something better what would drive us? What would drive any creature? Does not even the simplest animal try to be safer, less hungry, and more "content" than it was a moment ago. We need something to drive us or we don't move forward. If we don't move forward we are less likely to survive.It has nothing to do with a Christian god. What we call god in this world is a crude, distracting, icon that actually gets in the way of the true nature of the ineffable mystery of life.

      February 14, 2011 at 9:29 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.