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Your Take: Comments on misquoting the Bible
June 6th, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Your Take: Comments on misquoting the Bible

Our Sunday post about oft-quoted biblical lines that don't actually appear in the Bible struck a chord, with 5,000 comments so far.

Lots of atheists and critics of religion used the piece to ridicule believers, taking several different lines of attack. Here are a two:

Amanda
Because most people would prefer to be ignorant rather than think for themselves. That is what the whole of organized religion is based on, especially Christianity and Catholicism. Organized religion has never done anything good for humanity in history.

Atheism is Great!
Actually, the bible is nothing more than a collection of stories and moralities written by human beings thousands of years ago who's max age was maybe 30, who thought the Earth was flat, and who did not have access to scientific or medical science/information. It's not from "god" people, god doesn't exist either. Whatever helps you get through your life I guess. I personally don't need that crutch. Have a nice day.

There was also more nuanced criticism of organized religion, with some commenters arguing that the prevalence of biblical misquotes suggested that religious folk have been overly dependent on religious authorities for a long time:

Witchytiger
The point to remember here is that just up until very recently, the masses believed whatever their clergy told them. They either didn't have the skills to read (for whatever reason), or simply didn't believe they should read the bible themselves.

I once asked an elderly Catholic where her bible was ... (I love old books and thought her bible would be a real treat to look at ... ) She was horrified that I thought she'd even HAVE one ... Her thought, at the age of 90, was that Catholics are not supposed to read the bible on their own. It was their job to believe what the Father told them, and it was the Father's job to know the bible.

So many times it's either just plain ignorance, or the situation that they come from (IE: can't read, etc) that produces these types of situations. Thankfully we're coming out of those situations, if only little by little.

All the criticism of religion brought out plenty of faithful. One responded to Amanda, the religion critic whose comment is above:

Zach
Really, Amanda? I would encourage you to try to prove your statement about no good ever coming from organized religion. I can think of a few well-known and recent organized religionists who have done quite a bit of good – Mother Theresa, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandhi. I can also think of a few anti-religious people who have done a lot of bad – Stalin, Mao, Hitler. "Never" is a big word.

Others believers lobbed ad hominem  attacks on atheists:

Bottom line
Atheists/Agnostics have nothing of substance to do on weekends. Also since they are empty when it comes to faith or beliefs they have to make the attempt to urinate on ones who do so they can feel full and superior.

A fair number of commenters, meanwhile, criticized our piece, arguing that some misquoted scriptural lines have biblical roots:

David
Many of these phrases many not be in the bible verbatim, but their intent is very much contained in it, specifically "Spare the rod spoil the child". This phrase is a direct distillation of Prov 13:24 & 23:13-14 "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14).

I find it disingenuously nit-picky to state that a faithful paraphrase of a verse is "not" in the bible.

Mahanaim
I find it very disturbing that the "CHAIR" of a "SCHOOL OF RELIGION" would go record as say that the "the devil was not in eden". Kevin Dunn is right in saying that the word "devil or satan" was not mention in Genesis but if Mr. Dunn is "BIBLICAL SCHOLAR" then he should be familiar with the "BOOK OF REVELATIONS" which equates "THE SERPENT, DEVIL & SATAN" as one and the same: Revelations 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:". And you wonder where people get the wrong impression about things that are "IN" the Bible. Mr. Blake, apparently you did not know your Bible well enough to call Mr Dun on that one.

And, as always, there were plenty of attempts at humor, including this on Adam and Eve eating that apple:

Sean
If he didn't want man and woman to eat it, he should have made it broccoli or spinach.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Comments

soundoff (1,118 Responses)
  1. Will

    I live in Canada – to some it might come as a surprise i don't live in an igloo. However there are people in Canada that do. there is always a little truth that becomes distorted. Also I don't know this religion stuff you speak of, but i do know God through Jesus Christ. God is love. To me His words in the bible is like a lamp onto my feet.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Damien

      God is love....that's all you need to know. The rest are just footnotes...including good old JC

      June 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  2. Nacho1

    It is time to get OFF the bible and to start addressing issues far more important to us at this time.............there are social issues and economic issues that must be addressed in this country................does not include bickering about who knows or does not know the bible the best..............there comes a time when you must put down your toys and grow up............calling each other names and questioning each others intelligence and using outrageous language benefits nobody..............

    June 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      must..........put.............more...............periods................................................................................................................

      June 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • steve Oh

      there are no issues bigger than this. all the other issues you referred to stem from a lack of biblical knowledge. who is Melchizedek? i'm willing to bet that you don't know, because you don't know the bible. what else do you not know? you should read it. it's a very good book. 🙂

      June 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      Been a best seller for a few centuries. If the same logic that makes lady gaga good applies here, then its a very good book!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • John Richardson

      What are the bibles actual sales amongst people who actually buy one to read it themselves? Seems most are bought in bulk by religious busybodies with the intent of foisting them onto others.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  3. Mrs Smith

    For the sake of argument , I am a Christian and lets say that all of you that do not believe in God are right. If you are right when I die I lose nothing because I will no longer exist. On the other hand, if I am right when you die your screwed and there in no do over.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Sean

      I can just see you rubbing your hands together with glee.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Enlightend1

      Wrong! You will have lost the greatest gift of all and that is living your life the way you see fit, and not having to live up to impossible standards that nobody has ever met.

      This is the only life anyone gets and to waste it for the promise of something better after you are gone is about the dumbest thing people do.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      exactly. If athiests are right, and there is no god, then the worst that happens to me is i lived a good clean life trying to help others and then i die...oh heavens no! If we're right on the other hand: win 😀 !!! heck, even if it turns out the Hindu's got it right then we christians still should be pretty well of if we actually act like we're supposed to 🙂

      June 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Steve

      That's not correct. You end up having wasted your life, which is the only thing you ever possess.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • dan25ny

      Atheists would be no more screwed than the billions of other people on this planet that haven't accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      Steve thinks living a good life is a waste. Ouch. Glad he's not my friend.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • biscuit eyeballs

      Enlightend1: i think you obviously have not even read it. because that's not even what it says. you should read it. you'll be surprised what you find.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Kevin, VA

      Gotta love the niave attempt at pascals wager. it ignores one major thing. its not you are right or i am right, its your religion is right, or that one, or that one, or that one, or that one, or that one, or none. You christians that use pascals wager have obviously never taken 5 minutes to think about it (which your religion is designed to do , stop you from thinking) and just regurgiate it back out. its a BUNK argument.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • ScottK

      You logic only works if there are only two possible outcomes after death, your version or the atheists. What happens to your logic when you add in all the other world religions, sects, ancient religions and personal beliefs that add thousands of possible outcomes as well as thousands of differing rituals that would all need to be practiced to cover your bets?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • sasha rabbasensha

      Kevin, VA:
      word up dude!!!

      4 words... youtube William Lane Craig

      June 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Joel Bryan – Steve thinks living a good life is a waste. Ouch. Glad he's not my friend.'
      The poster never said anything about living a good life, he said being a christian. Huge difference in my experience.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      @Cedar
      He might have been refering to my comment directly above steves?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      I'll have held my head up and walked proud under an empty sky without flinching every time the lightning cracks for fear of a god coming to get me, while you creep along trying to please an invisible guy who doesn't think music and art are 'clean.' And if there's really a devil up there who wants to burn me for being my best self, let him come down here and try to make me worship him.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • bibleclwon isloved

      BibleClown:
      God loves you
      😀

      June 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Sure, if it turns out that Allah exists then you Christians will be in all sorts of great shape. You bet!

      You really have to consider ALL the possible outcomes before you declare yourself a surefire winner.

      THe fact that so many believers make this argument shows that their "faith" is just a fear reaction and a selfish concern only for their own well being. Unfortunately for them, they only know to fear the wild-eyed maniac god they were brought up hearing about. But there are oh so many more who might, just might be waiting for you with smoldering wrath! Try hedging THAT bet!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • NT Wright

      John Richardson: youtube NT Wright

      You may want to do some research on the EVIDENCE of Christ, and compare that evidence, and the First Century accounts, to the 6TH century outrageous accounts of islam, and you decide what is more plausible.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      At John
      Well considering Allah is actually the same god as the christian one (give or take a few details), and that we're still "children of the book", live msot of the same standards as a good muslim, then we should still be relativley well off 🙂

      June 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Barb

      You're wrong more than once –
      You've spent you're time and money on following, when you could have put it to better use.
      As for your 'argument', if there were a christian god, he'd have seen through you (being omniscience) he/she would know that even a small part of you followed just to save your 'soul' (and what kind of god would that be?) ... and anyway, I hope you're following the correct god – Shiva or Allah might be slightly upset with you at the end.
      You wouldn't find that funny if you were born someplace other than the family you were born into – but to be fair that's taken into account that most families stay with the religion or without that they were born into.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Vee

      Mormon Guy – "even if it turns out the Hindu's got it right then we christians still should be pretty well of if we actually act like we're supposed to."

      – If Allah is the real god, you will not fare well if you did not adhere to the 5 Pillars.
      – If Ra is the real god, you will not fare well if you cannot recite the spells, passwords and formulae of the Book of the Dead.
      – If Quetzalcóatl is the real god, you will not go to the highest heaven unless you died sacrificially or in battle.
      – If Zeus is the real god, you will not get across the river Styx unless you have a gold coin under your tongue.

      There are tens of thousands of specifications and requirements to get to 'heaven' from the tens of thousands of gods which have been dreamed up over the centuries. Many do not have the lati.tude of Hindu beliefs of coming back again for a do-over. Do you have ALL of the bases covered?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @NTWright Unlike you, I have pretty high standards of evidence. Hearing the "testimony" of alleged 1st century "eyewitnesses" who obviously can't be cross-examined if they ever existed in the first place and are not just a fabrication by some writer doesn't even get off the ground. It's absolutely pathetic that anyone would even proffer such "evidence". If you want to talk evidence, the evidence is against all gods. But what Mrs Smith was saying, as so many have, is that you can hedge your bets in a way that guarantees you can't lose. That is screamingly false.

      @MormonGuy Don't rely too much on the "people of the book" thing. After all, most evangelical Christians would be happy to consign you to hell and I'm quite sure that Allah would view the Book of Mormon as one book too many, eh? And the Koran doesn't give any wiggle room and I recall a verse in which Allah asserts special rage at those who were on the path but went astray, ie didn't accept Islam. Something to that effect. It's been awhile. But all THAT aside, try to generalize the point. There are all sorts of ways that a one true god might turn out to be and you simply live your life in a way guaranteed to please all of them. So you can't hedge this bet the way you think you can.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      Yep
      islam is along the same lines as christianity, and those five pillars are pretty close to christian values, i have in fact been to mecca, and i do donate a percent of my income to charities
      Ra-Watched the mummy and the mummy retunrs 5 times in a row once...i think im good
      Quetowhatshisname-Cortes is already dead, so that's one god i dont have to worry about. Even if he wasnt him, how else would i plan to die? duh
      Zeus-You say that as if i wouldn't naturally carry a golden coin udner my tounge? what idiot doesn't do that?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • GiveMeABreak

      I've heard this a lot, and I hate it more every time I hear/read it.

      I refuse to proclaim faith to a higher power simply for the sake of fire insurance.

      At the end of the day, no one can ever truly know what comes after death, but I'll know I lived my life true to myself.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Scott

      Better to face your god as an honest and humane atheist then a fake or mean spirited Christian.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  4. Me

    What do you mean? it is full of lessons on how to get away with murder and incest. Oh yeah, and how not to think but to live in ignorance and fear. Instructions on how I can get my BIG reward while 16,000 children starve everyday.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  5. Lyle

    God is real is has answered my prayers more than once. For all you non believers, please reconsider he will forgive you and loves you, believe it or not.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • french fry

      Yes, and for those that don't believe it, just pick up a copy of Antony Flew's book, 'There is a god. – How the world's most notorious atheist changed his mind'

      June 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Sigh . . . saying "this person believes it" or "that person believes it" is completely useless. Believing the president is a spy from Kenya doesn't make it so. At least try to put up a good argument. "Joe Freenbean used to be an atheist" does nothing for your argument. Turn some water into wine or something.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Scott

      Well, back when I was a christian he didn't do any thing for me and now that I am not he hasn't done anything too me either. He's has just as much impact on my life as the flying spaghetti monster. Although his followers put me through hell on earth.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  6. Matthew

    I love how this post lists the athiests first and even has comments revealing support for the Athiests citing a Christian Ad Hominem argument. Why CNN, bias a little?

    June 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • richunix

      Well it's better than the Christian using: Argument from authority (argumentum ad potentiam)

      June 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  7. allanhowls

    I just don't understand why a deity who gave people the power to think would establish a system of religion which actively discourages independent thought.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • ShaneB

      How is that?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Dave From Philly

      Free Will. Or freedom of speech. Same thing.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      ya know who else discouraged free thought? Athiest regiems like the communists....just sayin. Can't really lump all religions as discouraging free will

      June 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Colin

      Mormon Guy. I gotta ask – you believe in the gold tablets, tribes of Isrealis in North America, garden of Eden in Missouri and the whole magic underwear thing?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • JS

      This is a categorically untrue statement, some of the greatest minds recognized by history (both dead and living) are devoted Christians. Not to mention it is also a loaded argument: it assumes Christians are Christians because they're too stupid to think for themselves, whereas humanists and atheists are intelligent, critical thinkers who have arrived at their conclusions via reason and discernment. All atheists and Christians are influenced by the culture around them, their personal lives and upbringing, and education, to say otherwise is either deceptive (you know it's true but deny it), or ignorant (either party is unaware that the conclusions they have arrived at regarding faith are a product of external influences and our responses to them). Either way anyone unwilling to deny this–believer or unbeliever–lack self-awareness.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      @Colin
      Yeah that sounds about right. Although seriously, i think we're on to something with our "magic" underwear, its super soft and silky :)!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Mormon Guy
      You actually buy that Lost Book of Abraham stuff ?

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcyzkd_m6KE&w=640&h=360]

      Unbelievable.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  8. Daril Atkins

    Who can tell me where the universe ends or begins? Call the most learned scientist and ask them this question. Consider this a challenge. Even with an average IQ you could figure that if you consider the universe finite, then it will be contained in another dimension which if also finite, must also be contained and on and on infinitely. The answer to my question has to be that the universe can have no size as we understand it. How is it possible? No way you can comprehend. It is this incomprehension that leads one to believe that there is indeed a power or force that our small minds are incapable of understanding.
    The negative comments here seem directed at organized religion. My request to those who scorn believers is to keep your peace and use your own mental faculties to reflect on the subject of who created the universe. As humans we think we are really something, but just as the mite that creates allergies is invisible to the naked eye, so are we in the scale of the universe.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Damien

      Just because we can't comprehend infinity doesn't mean that a "who" created everything......silly goose!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • richunix

      Basic physic tells us how the universe is created and how it will end, not mythology 101

      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      June 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Yo Daril! I think you might want t o grab yourself a few more IQ points before wading into cosmology!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Wait, so you're saying that a cosmology must explain everything? Pretty neat, since yours just consists of "God made everything." You want me to explain things billions of light-years away, while you just smile and say "God made 'em." Sure, if you don't mind being stupid, then yours explains everything; congratulations! What causes disease? God. Where's the fire extinguisher? God put it somewhere. What's for dinner? I dunno, ask God.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Idontthinkso

      And that is exactly why I do not believe in any of "mans" so called attempts to create a God and explain his wishes to the masses.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Bible Clown: God, it's what's for dinner.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Artist

      God made me do it. I feel so dirty now.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Scott

      Actually I’m much more concerned about who is trying to ban abortion, birth control and gay rights. Those who would infect science classes with “intelligent design” and wouldn’t mind if our democratic government was replaced with a theocracy (interestingly this applies equally well to Christian and Muslim fundamentalists)

      June 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  9. George

    Shiva?
    Spaghetti Monster?
    Ra?

    June 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  10. TheyNotHim

    God has instructed me thus, and I obey: "Tell the people that the bible is not my word, but a corruption of man's vanities and prejudices. Put down the book and never look back. Few will listen, but many will hear."

    God has imparted wisdom unto me...I will share it here: "You will not hear my voice as long as your own drowns it out. The cries of your deep ancestry drowns mine out. Silence the ghosts to learn truth."

    He spoke to me and I speak to you. Amen.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Steve

      Oh, Jesus Christ.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      He just told me to tell you he was talking to the guy next to you and not to you at all.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Satan spoke to me and said that everything he says is a lie. So I'm thinking, "Oh hell (no pun intended), here I am right smack in the middle of an instance of the liar's paradox!" So I just shook my head and walked away.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  11. stevarreno

    Reading these posts, it stuns me how far the quality of education in the United States has dropped. Most of you people are idiots.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise I Cor 1:27. Oh shoot! Did I just call myself a fool?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Paolo

      Here, here. I mean – now, now.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Normon

      Thanks!
      "You people" are obviously so much better than we are.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • iAm learned

      uhh why is you say that all they the commentz here be better dan dat stuff you is just had wroten. we knows what we is talking about... and dey is not no god because dat like be da dummest thang ever to is to a think of a there be some god in da clouds er sumthin. tim keller, r.c. sproul, and antony flew aint got nuttin on my cnn peepz on dis board wut?! best recognize

      June 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Scott

      Read you history, it was worse in the past. Only recently (last hundred years or so) has education been shared with anything but the ruling class. Once upon a time (not too long ago) the most educated man in town was the priest. And many would like to return to that system

      June 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  12. WWCOG survivor

    Anyone ever hear of the Worldwide Church of God.....California based CULT......that I was raised in...a bunch of F!@cking nut jobs who brain washed people using the "Word of God"...Fear tactics, lies, misquotes, misinterpretations.....Check out WWCOG survivor blogs...laugh your religious asses off....Thanks to this "Religion".....I HATE RELIGION!!!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      Relgion is men. Men suck. God is awsome. I'm sorry for what happened to you.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      @Joel
      Very well said my good man

      June 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • tom

      when men suck they go to Hell Leviticus

      June 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • tom

      I understand that WWCofG hurt you and now you hate all religion

      OJ Simpson killed his wife - I hate all ex-football players - I hate all running backs - I hate all ex athelete bad actors - I hate knives - I hate gloves - I hate Bruno Maglia shoes

      June 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Scott

      @ Joel Bryan: If the Christian god was real he wouldn’t have let that happen

      June 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Why wouldn't he?

      June 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  13. drock

    If you are unable to believe in something that you cannot see, wouldn't that make you more "closed minded" & a "simple thinker" than someone that has faith that in something you cannot see? I do not understand the hatred & persecution of Christian beliefs by the left because I thought they were the party of tolerance & not hate.
    The message of Christ is love & sacrifice, and you can tell who are christian by their actions instead of proclaiming.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • JT

      Assuming you've never seen fairies or leprachans, are you so closed minded as to not believe in them?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      In Romans Chapter 1, God says even is invisible qualities can be seen in nature so that all men are without excuse. Have you really not seen God or do you just refuse to believe? I vote he refuses to believe it! Anyone else agree? Maybe if we take a vote, it'll become true! 😉

      June 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      I wouldn't just label it as the left, i'm a mormon AND a socialist who aligns with the left. It just so happens that more athiests are on the left than the right, so there's more flack coincidently coming from "the left". There's plenty of inolerance from the right...it just so happens to be intolerance towards other religons instead of religon in general...Also i vote Yea @Joel 😀

      June 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Nonimus

      It's not believing in that which you can't see, we all believe in air, atoms, gravity, etc., at least I think we all do. The problem is believing in things which have no evidence to support them. And, secondarily, expect others to believe in something based on your belief in something. Such as, "I know God exists, therefore we must pass this law that God would support."

      The Romans verse is useless from the same reason that using the Bible as evidence is useless it is circular reasoning. God exists because the Bible says so and it is the inspired word of God because the Bible says so and....

      June 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Barton

      [Nonimus]

      I'm glad to have seen you made mention to that fact (regarding the use of the bible as their proof); I'm always surprised that people don't realize they're being so circular.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Scott

      Drock: my world is filled with thing that I cannot see; but, I know are real because I can detect at least traces of them (gravity and magnetism come to mind). I have not been able to detect any traces of your god. He test out exactly the same as Zeus and the flying spaghetti monster. Give me repeatable, detectable evidence of your god and I will become a priest

      June 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  14. paxman2

    My dear atheist brothers and sisters, please go to http://www.medjugorje.com/medjugorje/scientific-studies/627-specific-tests-administered-to-the-medjugorje-visionaries-and-their-results.html and look at the results of the scientific studies done by more than a dozen scientist, neurologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists. The names and degrees held by each of the testers is listed at the bottom of this web page. Why would the people who tested them lie about the results? Gives an awful lot of authority to 6 'psychotic' kids. You believe in science until it goes against your beliefs.
    Pax.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      you still on this nonsense?
      Its bunk, was then, still is now. Heck why not go find one of the those kids that has since grown up rich and married some model or other. Or go talk to the pope who banned pilgrimages there before he became pope.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  15. FollowThis ToLearnASecret

    You thought you knew what you were talking about until you started watching all those William Lane Craig videos on YouTube and totally had your world rocked!

    June 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Free

      Ah yes, Craig, the man who said
      "Atheists themselves used to be very comfortable in maintaining that the universe is eternal and uncaused. The problem is that they can no longer hold that position because modern evidence that the universe started with the Big Bang. So they can't legitimately object when I make the same claim about God-he is eternal and he is uncaused."
      hoping that those who read it wouldn't consider that the Big Bang is an unintelligent event that started a process from the very simple to ever increasingly complex forms, and that a creator God postulates the exact opposite, that the most complex of things has always existed. Huge difference.

      If Craig rocks your mind I can't imagine what the impact of learning the actual scientific explanation has. 🙂

      June 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  16. Mike

    Nobody here can prove a god exists or not so I wish you would all shut up and stop acting like you know what the TRUTH is....either way you're ALL wrong.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      Unless someone's had a person encounter with God. You don't know they have or haven't, do you? Oh no! You're Big Brother! You've been following me around with a camera and know everything! It's true, I still lick the center of my Oreos!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • TheyNotHim

      I have had a personal encounter with God. He told me that the bible is man's book, not His Word. Put it behind you and live in peace.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • tommas

      Im sorry, saying that we don't know what is bigger than the universe at the moment is not wrong.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      And he told me to lick the center of my Oreos! Seriously, you prove my point. You say I can't prove it. I say I've experienced it. You can't prove that wrong. I'm willing to be patient and wait for others to see the truth. Others, however, say I can't know what I've experienced in my own life. That's crazy.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Free

      Joel Bryan
      And they say that UFOs sound crazy ... until you see one. Face it, there are many, many things that are just as likely as God that believers dismiss out of hand for the same reason: Lack of evidence. So, in a world that has a pool of things that do have objective proof going for them, and a pool of things that don't, isn't it just prudent to at least be 'agnostic' towards the unproven and live your life accordingly? Otherwise, how do you justify believing in God, but not aliens? For that matter, how do you justify believing in one god and not any of the others? Gut feeling? Hunch? Or just because YHWH is the most popular god these days?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Rayshooks

      Well said Mike. Finally someone who speaks of the truth; no one knows the truth! Not the non-believers, or the believers. that is why we have faith. faith doesnt require a text book. I am a practicing catholic and have faith. i don't tell non-believers they are going to hell or are wrong, because it is not my place to do so. I guess I figure that it isnt a bad thing to want to live a life caring for others and wanting to do right.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Free

      Rayshooks

      "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." Mark Twain

      So, basically, you're saying that faith is knowing that something isn't certain, but accepting that risk and believing in it anyway? Tell me, do you follow the same strategy evenly throughout your life? Do you buy stocks on faith, take medicines on faith, or vote for politicians on faith, or do you do research first, and make informed decisions?

      Many of us really don't believe that most believers are making a truly informed decisions in the matter of religion, so we bring up the problems and questions that have escaped their notice. We atheists are like the Ralph Nader of the religion industry.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • dan25ny

      Mike, to tell an atheist he should shut up because he can't prove God doesn't exist (because you can't prove negatives) is equivalent to saying he should shut up about magical unicorns and flying spaghetti monsters – we'd be very happy to shut up about the subject, if only the believers could as well.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      @ Free, as I said, I'm willing to be patient. I find it ironic that so many Atheists attack. All you really know is that YOU haven't experienced it. If I hadn't and someone else had, I'd be curious and want to know more. However, what we see is dogmatic attacks rather than honest dialogue. The fact is there are billions of people that have said they've personally experience God. Comapre that to however many thousands that have witnessed a UFO (which merely means unidentified) or the smattering of people that say they've personally seen an alien. Of those that have, you have only a small portion that are even believable. You certainly can find crazies that say they've seen God, but you can find billions of normal people that say they've experienced him in a very real way. Mind you, that's only the experiential argument. Read CS Lewis’s ‘Mere Christianity’ and you can find a strong philosophical argument. CS Lewis was an atheist that sought to disprove Christianity and instead became one.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Barton

      dan25ny

      I agree with you. If they leave their beliefs to themselves – fine; but leave me out of it.
      It's just that there's times when people feel them have to bring religion into about everything. I hear comments like the following all the time, 'thank god my car ended up not needing additional work'. You just want to put them on the spot and raise their conscious – remind them that there was the repair person who was smart enough to see you put the wrong bulb in your car's headlamp.'

      June 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Free

      Joel Bryan
      "All you really know is that YOU haven't experienced it."
      If having personal experience of a delusion were a prerequisite for declaring it as such how would we ever determine any belief as delusional? By your reasoning schizophrenics and bipolars could actually be hearing real voices that the rest of us just can't, right?

      "The fact is there are billions of people that have said they've personally experience God."
      Or, are there billions of people who have been taught to interpret what they experience as God? There's a huge difference. If we all experience the same things why is it that people have to be told that what they are feeling is God? Seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy, right?

      "CS Lewis was an atheist that sought to disprove Christianity and instead became one."
      Or, Lewis were merely a lapsed Anglican who got over his "anger" towards God, and personal laziness as a teen not wanting to spend time worshipping. His story is all too familiar. At best, he experienced a brief phase of atheism just as many atheists experience brief phases of being believers.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  17. Colin

    ?yes, as with most small children it was a dleightful story told to me to enhance the joys of christmas and easter. I, along with everybody else, outgrtew them. I also outgrew gods, angels, pixies and fairies, I am at a loss as to whay so many do not.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • FollowThis ToLearnASecret

      William Lane Craig

      youtube that

      June 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • That one Mormon Guy

      because you spell Why "Whay"...that's why

      June 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Barton

      Colin
      I agree. There's a reason that there's such thing as a Children's Bible. These are also the same stories that most older 'hoping for that everlasting life' people would tend to say shouldn't be taken literally.
      In other words, it's an obvious method to attract young imaginative minds.

      Really, That one Morman Guy? I'm all for trying hard to use correct grammar and such whenever possible, but correcting typing to make a point? I hope you were just making a friendly point. Otherwise one might point out that you should capitalize the first letter of your sentence, even though it was an incomplete sentence. You should also put a space in after that last '.', and use some ending punctuation.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  18. Eric

    Non-believers (or Atheists as Theists refer to them) do "care" about religion, but clearly not in the same way – they care about the negative aspect of Religion being imposed upon others of differing beliefs, which includes Atheists. For example, the almost 5 BILLION other inhabitants on this Earth who are not Christians probably don’t appreciate Christianity’s prejudices being inserted in their politics or children’s education. This article touches on how Biblical literalists expose the great hypocrisy of the Judeo-Christian religion here in America: Are we really stoning to death a woman who marries but is not a virgin? (Deuteronomy 22:20,21); are we really cutting off our hand if it causes sin? Spoken by Jesus himself (Mark 9:43); Denying offspring of unwed mothers entrance into church? (Deuteronomy 23:2); Are we really not wear clothing made of two different material?(Leviticus 19:19), Do we really not eat Shrimp or Lobster (11:10-12), or put our children to death for talking back? (20:9) - And yet a mere three versus later we take it LITERALLY as an abomination for man lying with another man (20:13)?? Pretty selective and unquestionably prejudiced. It is not difficult for a non-believer to acknowledge that there is good in religion, but we, as a society also must address the prejudice, hypocrisy, and ignorance Religion “teaches” in the self-righteous name of a God.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • tom

      Amanda: so you think organized religion has never done anything good for humanity in history? Mother Theresa

      every church I know of has a food bank for the poor

      June 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Colin

      Tom, Eric, of course, whether or not a particular religion also does charitable work is totally beside the point of whether the god(s) it believes in exist. I accept that Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Mulsims do a lot of charitable work, but I do not believe in their gods.

      I am curious as to why charitable works are used by Christians (and others) to support the idea of their god, while they reject all the other gods, whose follows are similarly engaged in charitable works.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Bruce

      Totally agree with your post as it completely resonates with how I feel. I also appreciate that your comments are thoughtful and reasonable unlike the "bomb throwing" that so frequently occurs – and I am talking about both sides here. I would readily acknowledge that organized religion has played a positive force in many aspects of our society, but there cannot really be any question that organized religion is also a major source of hate and responsible for most of the fighting in the world. The selectivity of picking and choosing what passages in the Bible need to be followed and which ones can be conveniently ignored also seem to undermine the credibility of the Bible (and its verbatim followers).

      June 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Eric, Colin and Bruce
      Great posts ! Thank you all.
      I was personally conflicted about this point, having had a great-aunt, (a Catholic nun), who founded a college which educated countless under·privileged people in medical careers, as well as being acquainted with many of her wonderful friends who spend all day caring for sick people. In the end I have come to the conclusion that they are, (were), innately generous people who would have found a way to be engaged in their charitable causes, no matter what they "believe" about theological topics. In fact one of the "eye-opening" things for me was coming to understand that they all, (in this community of nuns) ALL have many differing opinions about almost every religious topic, but find it productive to remain in their community because it is practically useful, (and social). My aunt, in her 80's, attended cosmological conferences, and in her obituary was quoted "reality is what it is", which I maintain was her way of saying to her family that she ultimately thought for herself, and in her wise way, was telling us to do the same, without "making ecclesiastical waves".
      In the end, for me, the "they do good don't they" doesn't cut to the real question HERE.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Eric! Classic post! Belongs in a FAQ or something.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  19. SeanNJ

    @k: You said, "don't you want a family of our own or someone to talk to or connect wth. God created us in Hs image therefore we have a soul and a spirit. In other words He created us for intimacy."

    Ummmm, if I had never been created, then I wouldn't know what I was missing, would I...

    Besides, I'll take oblivion over an eternity of torment that I received just because the all-knowing god that created me knew everything else except that I wasn't going to believe he existed.

    None of this makes you think of anything except more apologies and excuses, does it. Sad.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Sean

      Surprisingly similar sentiment to Milton's Paradise Lost!

      Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven.

      Makes ny sympathetic with Satan!

      Alas, he, like Jesus is a fabrication!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  20. TruthHandler

    I think a person's belief is based on his experience. Be born in a Christian family and its more likely that you will believe that way.. be born in an Atheist family and its highly likely that you will not believe in God. Have an experience like John Smith and you may start a new religion. Be blinded while on your way to murder someone like Saul was and you may end up changing what you believe too. Still there a many people who end up leaving the religion they were brought up in because they have an experience where another religion is introduced to them, Bottom line is "your belief" is based on "your experience". And if God is really like the way they told me... it would be up to him to give someone the experience it would take to believe. If Christianity is right... wouldn't it be a little bit of a disadvantage being born in a Muslim family? I know people wont admit that but at the end of the day.. i dont think religion is about God at all religions are someone experiences about God filtered through ego.. turning into..."It happened to me so this must happen to you"

    June 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Jim

      all religions use indoctrinated – and that is the biggest sin of all – indoctrination of children – not my children!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Really?

      That is not true Jim.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Free

      See a hairy shape in the woods and believe in Bigfoot, or see a weird light in the sky and believe in UFOs. That's why having a healthy sense skepticism for all things not supported by impartial evidence is perhaps best, right? Works for me, and most atheists I suspect.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Free

      Really?
      If you believe that just because you came to whatever church you're at as an adult that you weren't indoctrinated into your current beliefs then ask yourself if you came to these beliefs all by yourself, or did someone teach you? Did you actually experience the Spirit in your life, or did someone show you how to 'see' the Spirit working in your life? Think about it!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • William Demuth

      True

      Born a Nazi, stay a Nazi.

      Born in the Klan, stay in the Klan.

      Thats why we can't let ANYONE poison their childrens minds with Christianity any longer.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Here's a thought...

      Some are Christians...some are Muslim...some are Mormon, etc. Every religion has their Bible or Doctrine of how you are to act, believe, etc. Who's to say that, whatever religion you are, if you live that life faithfully to those beliefs that Heaven isn't for everyone?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      Ouch. My wife was born in Burma (90+ percent Buddhist) from a family of Buddhist. She converted because she realized the pointlessness of it and saw the hope in Christ. Her boyfriend and her family were angry with her. Not only was she not raised in it but even her current situation demanded she not convert, but she did.
      I sat in the middle of the street one midnight and asked God to show me the truth. I didn't want lies or indoctrination. Yes, I was raised in the church, but my family had issues. It would have been easy to turn away from it.
      A friend of mine was a Muslim Lebonese, he was eventualy killed by his family for converting to Christianity.
      Christ has changed many people's lives, and we don't regret it, no matter if our entire society mocks us for it.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Joel

      I believe Lebonese refers to a really old style of baloney, not human beings?

      As for your freind getting killed, great work your Jesus did in sticking up for his converts!

      June 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Really? – That is not true Jim.'
      I have to disagree. My wife and her first husband were both christian. They went to church each sunday and made sure their daughter, my now step-daughter, went too. She went to sunday school as well, they even enrolled her in a catholic daycare, sent her to awana once a week (if you dont know what awana is, its a christian kids club bascially), this happened during her informative years when a child has no concept of the idea that an adult might actually tell them something that is not true ( I still remember her face when she found out santa was not real)
      Now tell me how it is that children are not being indocrinated by parents?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
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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.