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10 things the Belief Blog learned in its first year
June 8th, 2011
01:01 PM ET

10 things the Belief Blog learned in its first year

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - In case you were wondering about all the balloons and cake: CNN’s Belief Blog has just marked its first birthday.

After publishing 1,840 posts and sifting through 452,603 comments (OK, we may have missed one or two) the Belief Blog feels older than its 12 months would suggest. But it also feels wiser, having followed the faith angles of big news stories, commissioned lots of commentary and, yes, paid attention to all those reader comments for a solid year.

10 things we've learned:

1. Every big news story has a faith angle. Even the ordeal of 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for more than two months. Even the attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Even March Madness. Even - well, you get the point.

2. Atheists are the most fervent commenters on matters religious. This became apparent immediately after the Belief Blog's first official post last May, which quickly drew such comments as:

acerider
Can we have a fairy tale blog too?

Sunil
This is nothing but America moving away from its wondrous spirit of Apollo 11 into a mindset of the perpetually intellectually challenged.
I think there was some news today about scientists having created the first artificial cell. That should have been a HUGE story. And yet, what do we get? A faith blog. Pathetic.

Rachel
This blog is terrifying. It's amazing how much power the radical religious right is amassing in our country right now. If I can't have some legislation, can I at least have some news that does not cater to zealots?

Those early comments presaged an avalanche of alternately humorous and outraged atheist responses on virtually everything the Belief Blog publishes. They're more evidence that atheists are coming out of the closet to trumpet their disbelief, argue with the faithful and evangelize their godlessness. (It's worth noting that the Belief Blog does plenty of atheism stories.)

3. People are still intensely curious about the Bible, its meaning and its origins.

It's an ancient tome, but more than any other book in the Western tradition (with the Quran being the lone exception), the Bible still fascinates us. And it still feeds our most heated debates. In February, a guest post here arguing that the Bible is more ambiguous on homosexuality than traditionally thought elicited more than 4,000 comments. A response post insisting that the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality brought in an equal number of comments - and was the most popular story on CNN.com on the day it was published.

Other Belief Blog pieces about biblical scholarship - including a recent offering about biblical misquotations - have also caught fire. More of us may be reading it on iPhones these days, but the Good Book still matters a lot more than the popular culture lets on.

4.   Most Americans are religiously illiterate. Despite the appetite for stories and commentary about the Bible, most Americans know little about it. A huge Pew survey released in September found that most Americans scored 50 percent or less on a quiz measuring knowledge of the Bible, world religions and what the Constitution says about religion in public life. Ironically, atheists and agnostics scored best. How did you do on the quiz?

5. It's impossible to understand much of the news without knowing something about religion. Why did the Egyptian revolution happen on a Friday? Why was Osama bin Laden's body buried so quickly after he was killed? Why did Afghan rioters kill seven United Nations workers in April? You simply can't answer those questions without bringing in religion.

6.  Regardless of where they fit on the spectrum, people want others to understand what they believe. That goes for pagans, fundamentalist Mormons, Native Americans, atheists - everyone.

7. Americans still have an uneasy relationship with Islam. Nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks provoked many Americans to pay attention to Islam for the first time, much of the country is still somewhat uncomfortable about the religion, which counts 1.5 billion followers worldwide.

The biggest domestic religion story in the Belief Blog's young life was probably last year's opposition to a proposed Islamic Center and mosque near New York's ground zero. And with the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, domestic tensions around Islam may flare again. The Arab Spring, meanwhile is raising weighty questions about Islam's role in post-autocratic regimes, guaranteeing the religion - and its relationship with the U.S. - will be one of the world's big stories for years to come.

8. God may not prevent natural disasters, but religion is always a big part of the response. We see it play out every time Mother Nature delivers a punishing blow, from March's Japan earthquake and tsunami to the recent tornado that flattened much of Joplin, Missouri.

9. Apocalyptic movements come and go. The May 21st doomsdayers drew loads of interest, largely thanks to a massive ad campaign, but they're hardly original.

10. Most Americans don't know that President Barack Obama is a Christian. It's ironic, since church-based community organizing led him to politics and since his close relationship with a pastor almost sunk his presidential campaign, but that's what a Pew poll found last year.

Only about a third of Americans correctly identified Obama's religion, while nearly one in five said he's a Muslim. Another irony: The longer Obama's been in office, the smaller the proportion of Americans who can correctly name his faith. As the 2012 presidential race approaches, this story bears watching, since views of candidates' religion influence voting patterns.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Comments • Technology • Trends

soundoff (1,520 Responses)
  1. PrayFor OurLeaders

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnmS_vULPxw&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  2. YANKO

    http://WWW.WPRAY4U.COM

    June 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    Refering to point 10:

    I have ever heard that president Obama is a Christian. Assumed, he really is a Christian, how can he say that the Koran is a Holy Koran? Of course, president Obama must be neutral, concerning beliefs. It would not be adviceable for him to prefer or to neglect any belief in his country. However, strictly seen, Christianity is even above public office. I guess, he did not want to insult the Muslim people. Objectively seen and from the point of view of the Christian Church the Koran is not holy and no divine revelation. Read the Koran (really) and get disillusioned about that novelette. Switch off TV and read the Koran.
    Read the Koran once, forget it all and start to read the Holy Bible, God's Holy Word, the Holy Scripture. Get advanced in religion by reading the Bible.

    In conclusion: Of course, as president of the US, Mr. Obama should not neglect or prefer any belief. But concerning his own personal belief and his deepest convictions, he should be honest. A Christian is not allowed to say, the Koran is holy. Everybody who denies Christ, will be denied by Christ.

    June 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Hey, I missed you at the Klan rally last week.

      We sacrificed somea dem city nigrettes to Jesus and had us a real good old time.

      Bring your momma and your sista next week, I will get them a tycut.

      They are one person right?

      June 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Laughing

      You really are unbelievable. How can you possibly see a difference between the koran and the bible? really? You call one a novelette and another one the holy word of god, how did you reach that objective conclusion all on your own? Seriously and critically read the bible again you'll notice a couple of things. 1) it's full of errors, contradictions and just plain stupidity 2) it's not much different the Koran and 3) well aren't 1 and 2 enough?

      June 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      You have neither read the Bible nor the Koran, I suppose. Don't rave, but read.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rainer
      Have you bothered to read the Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, Sunnah, Nahjul Balagha, Avesta, Vedas, Upanisahds, Bhagavad Gita, Puranas, Tantras, Sutras, Vachanas, Adi Granth, Purvas, Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pravacanasara, and Pancastikaya; Anupreksa; Samadhishataka of Pujyapada; Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati, Tattvarthasutra, Pali Tripitaka, Jataka,, Visuddimagga, Tripitaka, Lotus Sutra, Garland Sutra, Analects; the Great Learning; the Doctrine of the Mean; the Mencius, Tao Te Ching, Chuang-tzu, Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, K-oki, Ofudesaki, Mikagura-uta, Michi-no-Shiori, Johrei, Goseigen, Netarean Shower of Holy Doctrines, Chun Boo Kyung, Kitab-i-Iqan, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Book of Mormon, Dianetics, or Revelation X ?

      There are countless "holy" books out there, none more or less valid or "true" than the other. Each is considered sacred by the cults that follow them.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Laughing

      Oh, I hope you were referring to me. If you were I might add that I have actually read both a couple of times. I am a religion scholar because I find it very interesting. I call myself a scholar because after all these years of reading various holy books, researching religions both alive and dead and I can't possibly in my right mind believe that a single religion is right.

      I really hope you take your own advice and read it as well, but this time, for arguments sake, read the bible with an open mind that it might not be written by god, but by a group of men at the council of Nicea who picked and chose what would go into the bible and what wasn't good enough or too damning.

      The I have a little more faith in the koran being truer because it wasn't collectivly made by a big council. It's still a load, but at least it's slightly less suspect. So please, pull your head out of you bum and actually understand what type of book your defending and the other book that your chastising.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Just remember, everyone who denies The Incredible Hulk, will be denied by The Incredible Hulk.

      Frankly I think you are dangerously indoctrinated.

      They need you in Afghanistan, so you and Jesus can kill the towel heads, and with any luck, they can return the favor!

      June 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Tim

      @Laughing: I'd like to hear you expound on your statement that "the Bible is full of errors"? I consider myself pretty well versed in Christianity and the Bible, but at the same time I try to remain open-minded to the opinions/beliefs of others. However, statistically the Bible has the lowest error-rate of any book from antiquity (by a fairly large margin) and by comparing current texts to our oldest examples (the dead sea scrolls and others), we can confirm that the the material in the Bible has remained unchanged over hundreds of years and hundreds of translations.

      June 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Tim if the bible is unchanged why do the two versions of the ten commandments not match each other?

      Don't be silly. It has been edited, assembled, gutted and reassembled by men with an agenda.

      I mean if the commandments don't match Moses stone then SOMEBODY was spinning them.

      Jeez, I mean it isn't rocket science

      June 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  4. PonderThis

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiVgKYjik1Q&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  5. MyNameIs Muddd

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03pyLpdbALQ&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  6. Mark from Middle River

    >>"Actually, since it is the believers that are positing a god, it would be their burden to supply evidence that god does indeed exist."

    Oh really? It does appear that the ones who are making the claims should be the ones offering the proof. Time and time again, here on the blog it is on the Atheist that more often than not post that there is not a God. Predominately they make this claim in post before a person of Faith can even post a first message.

    So, you are partially right. The burden falls on the one making the claim. Check your post I say to my Athiest friends, who are the ones that make the first strike.

    So, since you are trying to convince me and others of faith that there is no God. It is for you to bring the argument to us when you make such claims 🙂

    June 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • reply

      Lame, if you had proof you would be jumping up and down to share it but since you don't you play the word game. Typical twisting of words and meaning signifying nothing.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • William Demuth

      If your God is omnipotent, he could NOT have created me because I am imperfect.

      Perfection can NOT beget imperfection, therefore your God is a lie

      June 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Interesting.... so your proof is that I have no proof?

      That's the best you have.... interesting. 🙂

      June 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Colin

      Mark, would you accept the same argument you are making from somebody who believes with all their heart in Leprechauns? Can you not see that an inability to prove a negative is meaningless. But, that is a far cry from saying that the ting that cannot be disproved is credible or likely. THAT requires evidence.

      This is not hard stuff, but seems to elude even bright theists who pause to reflect upon it.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Perfection can NOT beget imperfection, therefore your God is a lie"

      So, your responce is that you want to tell persons of Faith that the God they hold that can do anything ...can't do what he wants?

      Calling Davey and John R. I only have a 20 minute window to post this morning. Yall can come up with better than these two.

      Suggestions, check out the Book of Mormon about God creating us and creating the Angels. I am not a Mormon but maybe that might help you.

      l'chaim

      June 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Ok

      "Interesting.... so your proof is that I have no proof?"

      What's your proof? You don't have any so you just proved the person right by writing more nonsense.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Colin

      Mark, let me give you a list of things I cannot disprove-
      God
      Allah
      Vishnu
      Krishna
      Santa Clause
      Bigfoot
      Pixies
      Aliens who abduct drunken fishermen in Mississippi
      The Bermuda Triangle
      Honest Lawyers

      Now, which of the above do you believe in and how did your draw the distinction from those whose existence you discount?

      June 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • JohnR

      Elementary epistemology for Mark, with special reference to existence vs non-existence claims: You can prove that there are pink hippos by simply providing one. You cannot prove their non-existence, no matter how many of the usual gray(ish) ones you provide. This asymmetry between existence and non-existence claims has been a known, recognized result in epistemology (ie theory of what we can know) for several centuries. You are free to believe in god. You are not free to change the rules of epistemology.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Mark from Middle River

      So then the misery and horrors of this world is your Gods will?

      No wonder we nailed him up on some two by fours.

      And for what it is worth this was covered by Epicurus back in 341 BC.

      Either your God dosen't give a cr@p, or he can't change anything, or he is a lie

      Any of those leave the people who worship him as nothing more than fools.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hey Colin, caught me as I was heading out the door to work.

      The point I feel is that since a Atheist can not prove that he is right then the same noose that is around the neck of the Christian is around his as well. It is not the person of Faith alone. This is the trick that Atheist have played for a while and does not work for me. As my hands are tied so, I am guessing are yours. That a Atheist can not prove a negative ... means just that, they can not prove that there is no God.

      If a person says that he believes in Leprechauns, smurfs, ... its on him to prove. If I go to him and say there are no such things then foolishly I have jumped into the same quandary because all he has to do is look at me and say ..prove it.

      All I can do is just keep whining and saying ..there are no leprechauns, there are no leprechauns but since I can not prove it to him then all I can offer is my opinion or my belief and at the end then what we have are two instances of beliefs. One belief that there are no leprechauns and one belief that there are not.

      So as another Said ... Atheism is a belief because they can no more prove that there is not a God than a person of Faith can that there is.

      Atheism, just another relationship to God

      l'chaim

      June 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Ok

      "Atheism is a belief because they can no more prove that there is not a God than a person of Faith can that there is. "

      You can prove there is no God easy enough. I want the water in all our drinking glasses to turn to blood right now. So, God if you are out there prove your existence by showing us and turn our water into blood at this moment right now. Hmmmm, nothing, nada.... see there is no God.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Mark from Middle River, I can prove that God does not exist:

      God cannot exist because Santa exist and we all know that Santa and God cannot exist at the same time.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > The point I feel is that since a Atheist can not prove that he is right then the same noose that is around the neck of the Christian is around his as well. It is not the person of Faith alone.

      The concept of proving that atheism is right is silly. It's the logical default position and self evident. But I'll spell it out for you anyways. If you hold beliefs without requiring evidence, then you can hold conflicting ideas. For example, you can believe without evidence that elves exist and elves do not exist. You then have to admit that your process of accepting ideas allows you to be wrong (because elves exist or do not exist, but not both). This means that your process of determining what is and is not real by way of accepting ideas without evidence is faulty any worthless.

      > This is the trick that Atheist have played for a while and does not work for me. As my hands are tied so, I am guessing are yours. That a Atheist can not prove a negative ... means just that, they can not prove that there is no God.

      Actually, they are different arguments. Saying there is no God at least is consistent with the observed universe. We cannot observe or prove supernatural events. Saying there is a God is violating everything we've seen or known.

      > If a person says that he believes in Leprechauns, smurfs, ... its on him to prove. If I go to him and say there are no such things then foolishly I have jumped into the same quandary because all he has to do is look at me and say ..prove it.

      Only if you're silly enough to believe that you can absolutely know something. Even science doesn't say it knows for certain.

      > All I can do is just keep whining and saying ..there are no leprechauns, there are no leprechauns but since I can not prove it to him then all I can offer is my opinion or my belief and at the end then what we have are two instances of beliefs. One belief that there are no leprechauns and one belief that there are not.

      They're different as I have shown you.

      > So as another Said ... Atheism is a belief because they can no more prove that there is not a God than a person of Faith can that there is.

      Atheism is the lack of belief in a God, nothing more. Gnostic Atheism is the rejection of a God. Agnostic Atheism is a lack of belief. I hate these terms, but it's weak atheism and strong atheism.

      > Atheism, just another relationship to God

      Atheism, a lack of a relationship with something that hasn't been shown to exist. Just like avampirism, apixism, or aunicornism.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Tim

      William, your argument doesn't make any sense: 1) omnipotent means all-powerful and in no way implies perfection 2) how can you possibly "know" that perfection cannot beget imperfection? you have absolutely no support for that claim.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Tim

      Ommipotence requires perfection. If one was omnipotent yet imperfect, your omnipotence would grant you the ability to perfect ones self.

      Divinity is absurdity.

      June 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      So much written after I logged off from that location. Even Eric wrote something. I liked Bob's comments. While I disagreed with parts of his reply I can respect the thoughts he is putting forward.

      >>> “Only if you're silly enough to believe that you can absolutely know something. “
      You know, isn't that something Sophocles said?

      I and I feel a growing number of folks are seeing that Atheism has either backed into being a belief by choice or by pure accident. I hear some staunchly rejecting that view but their comments mostly end up with saying that they believe there is not a God or that Atheist hold the belief. Your closing statement is still has the word “relationship”.

      >>>”actually, they are different arguments. Saying there is no God at least is consistent with the observed universe. We cannot observe or prove supernatural events. Saying there is a God is violating everything we've seen or known.”

      We, meaning you can not. In many ways it is one of those things that folks can just point to as being unable to explain. In science this happens quite often. With one high profile University's lab coming out with one finding only to have another University come out with another. Heaven help if neither wishes to back down to what they feel is the truth in their finding. Then what you have is very much a copy of what you find in the differences of the Faiths. The sects are just smaller in Atheism when it deals with the Science fields. So you see there is not really that much difference in Atheism and other forms of faith.

      Both believe they are right. That “could be wrong”... riiiiight? I think Decartes would not hold that to be even possible in a human who is centered on his own well being.

      June 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  7. MyNameIs Muddd

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kreSbagj_RM&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  8. James Black

    lol

    June 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  9. KoolKeith IsTheBest!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYzPZis9X_o&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • JohnQuest

      This guy sounds like William Craig, neither makes any sense. The core of their argument is: God Must exist because We (humans) exist. That is the silliest argument I have ever heard. I don't think any adult would except it from any child let alone another adult, but that is essentially what these geniuses are giving us.

      Water exist because we cant live without it
      The sky is blue because we like the color blue.
      Stars exist because we like to look at them.

      ETC.............

      June 9, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  10. JohnR

    @Steve (the real one) William has issues. Be gentle.

    June 9, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      No questions so far?

      June 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • JohnR

      Fair enough, Rainer. Germany has an excellent school system. Yet, of those who try to make actual arguments on this blog, you are arguably the most hilariously inept. What's up with that?

      June 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  11. JohnQuest

    Rainer Braendlein, Surah 9-31 does make a valid point, (I see that you chose to ignore it). A Christian can not rationalize it away, no matter how hard they try. It is tantamount to Schizophrenia to to be a Christian, for example: there is only one God BUT they are called (Jesus, The Holy Ghost, and God), I have yet to hear a plausible explanation. If the Trinity is true than maybe God suffers from Schizophrenia not the believers?

    June 9, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Nearly the same time when Muhammad established the Islam, the papacy was established. In former times papacy meant that the Roman Catholic Church ruled even outside the Church. They wanted to rule even states and nations. The crown of the pope is a treble crown (Tiara) that means, he is higher than the emperor.

      I have a theory (I have no proof for it): Muhammad saw that the power of papacy grew and decided to protect the Orient against the Occident, which more and more came under the rule of papacy. Muhammad probably knew that a good religion can keep together a country and invented the Islam. That would fit to what Muhammad says in sura 9, 31.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      I have a theory concerning the trinity:

      Compared with human beings God is a Majesty. When God always would appear in his Majesty, all people would bow before him. However, I guess, the triune God searches not solely for people, bowing before him, but people who love him, not depending on His Majesty. God decided to reveal himself in Jesus Christ that means in lowness. When we see Jesus , we see God in lowness. Maybe it is allowed to say that Jesus is God's heart. I cannot prove this by the Bible.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    Refering to point 7 of CNN article:

    According to Christ's command, I love my muslim neighbours. However I am allowed to check out their belief.

    Currently there are radio broadcasts in Germany about Islamic Shools in India and Pakistan (shools, educating Islamic leaders). It is awful how the teachers of this shools love the Taleban. Of course they say, we don't promote any violence, but they give mental support to the terrorists. Would you appreciate people, having sympathy for the devil?

    Dear Americans be aware of the Islamic danger. It is a real danger!

    http://www.confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    June 9, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • William Demuth

      Dude

      You are German, and you want to warn US about religious extremisim?

      I seem to remember eight million or so people your country slaughtered because they interpreted the bible differently than you?

      I suggest you shut your mouth, because Nuremberg part two seems like a damn good idea right about now.

      We should have nuked Berlin sixty years ago.

      June 9, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  13. Wake Up

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpEyqRtJw_E&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • God Needs More Money Again

      So why is it that whenever you see someone say "wake up" on one of these blogs, that person shouting it always is a complete whack job?

      June 9, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Sean

      I think they mean, "Wake up! Nobody else will listen to me!"

      June 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    Refering to point 4 of CNN aricle:

    Regretably the biblical knowledge decreases. I suppose the people have some real interest in the Bible, but they don't have enough time to read it. Our whole world has become a Satanic Mill according to the well known English song: And did those feed in ancient times ... . In this worldwide factory everybody is supposed to function like a robot. Of course, it is easy to rule robots. You can rule them by TV.

    http://www.confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    June 9, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  15. High MyNameIs

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqsUjml01rs&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • God Needs More Money Again

      I like this guy. He looks like a child molester on thorazine.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  16. High MyNameIs

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jC9o1UTa58&w=640&h=390]

    June 9, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  17. Reality

    One more time as obviously the moderators refuse to respond:

    Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, this blog's moderators/editors noted:

    "yes, paid attention to all those reader comments for a solid year."

    You did??????

    Then where is the information about the oft-complained about word filter? i.e. how hard would it be to publish the following in the Terms of Service/ Rules of Conduct:

    • This blog has a "offensive" word filter which either will delete or put your comment in the "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words containing "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual".

    • And make sure any referenced web addresses do not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post.

    "Sensitive" words/fragments found by commentators such as Sam Dude ––

    ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
    ba-stard
    co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
    co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
    cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
    cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
    do-uche
    ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
    ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
    fu-ck......!
    ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
    ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
    jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
    ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
    ji-sm
    koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
    nip-ple
    pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
    pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
    ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
    se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
    sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
    sh-it
    sl-ut
    sn-atch
    sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
    ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
    tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
    va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
    who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
    wt-f....also!!!!!!!

    There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
    -–
    Allowed words / not blocked at all:
    anal
    anus
    ass
    boob
    crap
    damn
    execute
    hell
    kill
    masturbation
    murder
    penis
    pubic
    raping (ra-pe is not ok)
    shat (sh-@t is not ok)
    sphincter
    testes
    testicles

    The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

    And YES to those who suggested a search engine to check previous comments as the current limit of about 50 comments per page makes finding previous comments very difficult to find when the number of comments exceed ~ 150.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  18. Kirk
    June 9, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  19. Kirk

    Atheists are the most knowledgeable commenters on matters religious.

    Fix'd.

    June 9, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Sean

      And the funniest. If the Bible had more humor, maybe more people would be interested in it.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    Refering to point 3 of CNN article:

    Does CNN put the Koran on the same level like the Bible? That would be more than horrifying. I have read the Koran once and the Bible several times. The Bible really is a revelation of God, but the Koran is a concoction of Muhammad. Muhammad lived some hundred years after the time, when the Bible was yet completed. Muhammad just copyed parts of the Bible and added on some own ideas and removed, what did not fit in his concept. In sura 9: 29 and sura 9: 30 Muhammad expresses hate against Jesus the Messiah, Christians and Jews (people of the scripture, Nazarenes).

    http://www.confessinchurch.wordpress.com

    June 9, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

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

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Current RCC problems:

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

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

      Current problems:

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

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

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

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

      Current crises:

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

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

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

      Current problems:
      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."
      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

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

      June 9, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • FairGarden

      @Rainer, all religious texts including Koran and all belief systems ultimately put the responsibility of salvation upon the human shoulders – no guarantee and in fact 100% dam-nation and con-dem-nation is likely. Any writings besides the Bible is simple-minded. Only the Biblical Christianity provides the sure salvation and the different new good life by the Divine Savior. The Bible alone is worthy of lifetime reading and study.

      June 9, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Dear Reality,

      could you say it more briefly? I need some remaining time for reading the Bible.

      June 9, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • William Demuth

      Hey Reality

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

      So is the Senator from New York, but that dosen't make him a bad person does it?

      June 9, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Laughing

      @ Rainer Braendlein

      Refering to point 3 of CNN article:

      "Does CNN put the Koran on the same level like the Bible? That would be more than horrifying. I have read the Koran once and the Bible several times. The Bible really is a revelation of God, but the Koran is a concoction of Muhammad. Muhammad lived some hundred years after the time, when the Bible was yet completed. Muhammad just copyed parts of the Bible and added on some own ideas and removed, what did not fit in his concept. In sura 9: 29 and sura 9: 30 Muhammad expresses hate against Jesus the Messiah, Christians and Jews (people of the scripture, Nazarenes).

      http://www.confessinchurch.wordpress.com"

      That's a joke right? It makes absolutely no sense how you can blast the Koran as a made up book by Muhammed and then in the same breath say that the bible is the true word of god? It's that kind of mental gymnastics that astounds me and other atheists alike. Do you know when the currect form of the bible was written and how? Read up on your history, you'll find that the bible is way more suspect than you're led to believe

      June 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • DaLe

      Re Surah 9, verses 29, 30 and 31, talk not only about polytheism and monotheism.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • DaLe

      No expression of hate though.

      June 9, 2011 at 3:48 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.