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My Faith: How saying a blessing changed my secular family's meals
June 12th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Faith: How saying a blessing changed my secular family's meals

Editor's Note: Katia Hetter is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly.

By Katia Hetter, Special to CNN

"Hey, we didn't sing the blessing!"

After all these months, my 3-year-old daughter's words still startle me.

Since my family's move from New York to Atlanta, Georgia, last year, almost everything in our lives has changed. That includes the instruction of a blessing before eating. We do it to take a pause from the business of our schedules and to remember all that is good in our lives.

I like our new tradition, but it still surprises me. I rarely heard a blessing spoken before a meal during my childhood.

For one thing, we'd always had a mix of religions around my family’s table. My mom is Jewish and my dad was Lutheran. One person's blessing could exclude another person from the moment, even if neither parent was particularly religious.

I also had family and friends who were religious and those who were not. Who wanted to jeopardize congeniality at the table by invoking one version of God, knowing it wasn't another person's higher power?

As an adult, I continued to uphold my family’s tradition of eschewing spoken prayers at meals. I didn't want someone else's idea of God on my plate in my own house.

Yet I had an inkling that was missing, as I harbored a secret sense of gratitude that powers beyond me had brought bounty to my table.

The author and her daughter say a blessing before eating.

That feeling had crystallized in Thanksgiving in 1999, when I sat as a young adult at my friends' table at their Manhattan apartment. My hosts, Jennifer and Jason, shared their prayer and guests were coaxed into sharing gratitude lists. It was a lovely moment, with people stopping to think about what we had instead of what we wanted.

Later, when I started attending fancy foodie dinner parties with my spouse, where the work involved in preparing the food was enormous, the chef often got applause. But rarely was there any thanks for the people who tended the crops and animals or for the earth that nourished it all.

Around that same time, prayer began to enter my life on an occasion because of my father-in-law, who always says a Christian prayer of thanks at the dinner table. I saw the way it quieted the family and brought everyone together.

Last fall, my child's pre-school teacher introduced a blessing in her classroom, which is housed in an Atlanta, Georgia church but isn't religious (except about being green, recycling and composting).

"The blessing came from my wanting the children to appreciate their food and coming together," my daughter’s teacher told me.

Every child in the classroom knows not to take a bite of snack or lunch before holding hands and blessing the food. Although there isn't any mention of any particular God, a sacred feeling seems to come over the wiggly bunch of 2- and 3-year-olds as they recite it from heart:

Blessings on the blossoms,
Blessing on the fruits,
Blessings on the leaves and stems,
Blessings on the roots,
Loving hands together as we say,
Blessings on our meal,
And our time together.

Does the mention of God matter? If it does to you, yes. What matters to me is that my toddler seemed to benefit from the experience of a blessing, of acknowledging something greater than herself, and we followed her lead.

We haven't deconstructed it or edited it to include concepts she doesn't yet understand. We added "and we're grateful for our family" because she added it.

When my daughter asked that we say this blessing at the dinner table, I simply said yes and wrote it out on a blue sticky note for us to recite. I knew right away that it filled my need for some gratitude shared with family and thanks for everyone who worked to put that food on our table.

When we hold hands and say it or some version of it, we are transformed. We are consciously a family in that moment, grateful and present for each other and our food, regardless of the day's events. It is a sacred moment for me.

And although I'm still the grumpy person I've always been, I'm happier because of my daughter's introduction of a mealtime blessing. I am more likely to stop when I'm upset and remember my blessings because I have practice speaking them out loud.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Katia Hetter.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Food • Opinion • Prayer

soundoff (928 Responses)
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  2. Eliane

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    March 2, 2012 at 3:44 am |
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  5. Marie Kidman

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=390]
    ~

    June 23, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Marie

      Can you stop posting this garbage, it's not worth the look people don't bother.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  6. Muneef

    [43:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    [43:1] H. M.

    [43:2] And the enlightening scripture.

    [43:3] We have rendered it an Arabic Quran, that you may understand.

    [43:4] It is preserved with us in the original master, honorable and full of wisdom.

    [43:5] Should we just ignore the fact that you have transgressed the limits?
    -----

    Inherited Traditions Condemned

    [43:22] The fact is that: they said, "We found our parents carrying on certain practices, and we are following in their footsteps."

    [43:23] Invariably, when we sent a warner to any community, the leaders of that community would say, "We found our parents following certain practices, and we will continue in their footsteps."

    [43:24] (The messenger) would say, "What if I brought to you better guidance than what you inherited from your parents?" They would say, "We are disbelievers in the message you brought."

    [43:25] Consequently, we requited them. Note the consequences for the rejectors.
    ------–

    Invisible, Devilish Companions*

    [43:36] Anyone who disregards the message of the Most Gracious, we appoint a devil to be his constant companion.

    [43:37] Such companions will divert them from the path, yet make them believe that they are guided.

    [43:38] When he comes before us he will say, "Oh I wish you were as far from me as the two easts. What a miserable companion!"

    [43:39] It will not console you on that day, as transgressors, that both of you will share in the retribution.
    ------

    God's Messenger of the Covenant

    [43:40] Can you make the deaf hear; can you make the blind see, or those who are far astray?

    [43:41] Whether we let you die before it or not, we will surely requite them.

    [43:42] Or, we may show you (the retribution) we promised for them. We are in full control over them.

    [43:43] You shall steadfastly preach what is revealed to you; you are in the right path.

    [43:44] This is a message for you and your people; all of you will be questioned.

    [43:45] Check the messengers we sent before you: "Have we ever appointed any other gods – beside the Most Gracious – to be worshipped?"
    -------

    Jesus: Another Example

    [43:57] When the son of Mary was cited as an example, your people disregarded it.

    [43:58] They said, "Is it better to worship our gods, or to worship him?" They said this only to argue with you. Indeed, they are people who have joined the opposition.

    [43:59] He was no more than a servant whom we blessed, and we sent him as an example for the Children of Israel.

    [43:60] If we willed, we could have made you angels who colonize and reproduce on earth.

    Jesus and the End of the World*

    [43:61] He is to serve as a marker for knowing the end of the world, so you can no longer harbor any doubt about it. You shall follow Me; this is the right path.

    [43:62] Let not the devil repel you; he is your most ardent enemy.

    [43:63] When Jesus went with the proofs, he said, "I bring to you wisdom, and to clarify some of the matters in which you dispute. You shall reverence GOD and obey me.

    [43:64] "GOD is my Lord and your Lord, you shall worship Him alone. This is the right path."

    [43:65] The opponents disputed among themselves. Woe to those who transgress from the retribution of a painful day.

    [43:66] Are they waiting for the Hour (Day of Judgment) to come to them suddenly when they least expect it?

    [43:67] The close friends on that day will become enemies of one another, except for the righteous.
    -------

    They Hate The Truth

    [43:78] "We have given you the truth, but most of you hate the truth."

    [43:79] Have they schemed some scheme? We too are scheming.

    [43:80] Do they think that we do not hear their secrets and conspiracies? Yes indeed; our messengers are with them, recording.

    [43:81] Proclaim: "If the Most Gracious did have a son, I would still be the foremost worshiper."

    [43:82] Be He glorified; He is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord with the great dominion, far above their claims.

    [43:83] Let them blunder and play until they meet their day that is awaiting them.

    [43:84] He is the only One who is a deity in the heaven and a deity on earth. He is the Most Wise, the Omniscient.

    [43:85] Most Exalted is the One who possesses all sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them. With Him is the knowledge about the Hour (end of the world), and to Him you will be returned.

    [43:86] None of those whom they idolize beside Him possess any power to intercede, unless their intercession coincides with the truth, and they fully know.

    [43:87] If you asked them who created them, they would say, "GOD." Why then did they deviate?

    [43:88] It will be proclaimed: "O my Lord, these people do not believe."

    [43:89] You shall disregard them and say, "Peace;" they will surely find out.

    http://www.submission.org/suras/sura43.html

    June 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  7. Muneef

    Angry HB.

    Just want to add that if you think you are American surely such as you will cause this great country to break into endless civil wars with all nations out and within her by the use of such links of insult,hurt&hate to others beliefs...carelessly to consequences that may result ? wonder if the cow madness has any thing to do with that !

    June 21, 2011 at 8:34 am |
    • Muneef

      Angry HB.

      Now that I have never came across your screen name or att-it-ude for the past many months in any of these belief blogs...and only in this particular blog which gives me a notion that you are some how connected to this subject either by being the author or the family circle of this subject story....I might be wrong but it is possible...! 

      June 21, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      "I might be wrong"

      Oh, dear Cthulhu are you wrong. In so many ways are you wrong.

      1). The problem with you, and so many religious people, is that you are taking the internet way too seriously.
      2). I post under about 10 different names, depending on what I feel like saying. In an environment where screen names aren't attached to anyone, they are entirely useless.
      3). If a single picture caused this much chaos (and in the past it has) than I have no respect of Islam or any muslims. Why? BECAUSE IT'S A PICTURE. Clam the fuck down.

      To repeat my point, since your English is broken and terrible: Stop taking everything so seriously. If something offends you, grow up.

      June 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Muneef

      Mmy screen name is my actual name and I wouldn't like you mess about using it...it's that my right to keep? You can write what ever you want to but in your screen name or any that you may use but in my own... Some how you are endangering my life by adding my name to those pictures you post and that is no right to do..!?

      June 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      Thank you for your support but I am Yemeni and English is not my mother tongue language therefore I try my best to express my self in the sake of God but now that you tell me that this place is not taken seriously and just a waste of time got me wondering whether to remain or go....?

      June 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  8. Muneef

    Angry Filth.
    Think is bad using my screen name for your posts...?!

    June 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      Yeah, but it's really funny though.

      img13.imageshack.us/img13/4871/lollnj.jpg

      June 20, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Muneef

      Angry.

      Which one you thought was funny the Link or using my own Screen Name?
      Some one else I knew would have said phony baloney....(GodSent)...some time now he is not around..?!

      June 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Muneef

      ...both?

      June 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      Angry HB.
      I think the use of some's else screen name to express or mess up some one's views is morally wrong by any understanding... 
      If all carried out your way then this place is not longer suitable for expressing one's views...! Would you want to be the one that starts such unacceptable acts ? I mean I could easily make a mess using screen names of others putting words or posts that does not agree with their own views....but would that look right to you and them?

      To All here;
      Would want to hear your views here and if such acts agree with you and wouldn't mind that happening to your posts in your own screen name ? 
      After all expect it is alright with CNN since they have not done any thing to eliminate such acts....expect they depended on our morals...!

      June 21, 2011 at 8:25 am |
  9. Muneef

    Prof. Wagner: I believe that the Holy God speaks to us in the Quran

    Professor Walter Wagner, a professor of theology, shared his vision of the Quran with Sunday’s Zaman readers.
    After carefully reading the Quran and examining it based on his many years of study, a leading American theologian has concluded that via the holy book God is speaking to all human beings around the world, a voice that, in his astonishing book, he said he tried to transmit to readers and students, as well to himself, to deepen his understanding.

    Professor Walter Wagner’s fascinating book “Opening the Qur’an: Introducing Islam’s Holy Book” is definitely a bewildering and inspiring book, not only for the non-Muslim and English-speaking readers, but also Muslim readers. Wagner “opens” the Quran by offering a comprehensive and extraordinarily readable, step-by-step introduction to the text, making it accessible to everyone who is interested in Islam and Islam’s holy book.

    Watch: http://www.ebru.tv/en/genres/TalkShow/footnote/episodes/4/402-walter-h-wagner 

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-246986-prof-wagner-i-believe-that-the-holy-god-speaks-to-us-in-the-quran.html

    June 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      Actually wait, I've changed my mind.

      img13.imageshack.us/img13/4871/lollnj.jpg

      June 18, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  10. Muneef

    [18:27] You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's scripture. Nothing shall abro-gate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it.

    [18:28] You shall force yourself to be with those who worship their Lord day and night, seeking Him alone. Do not turn your eyes away from them, seeking the vanities of this world. Nor shall you obey one whose heart we rendered obl-ivi-ous to our message; one who pursues his own desires, and whose priorities are confused.

    [18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve. We have prepared for the transgressors a fire that will completely surround them. When they scream for help, they will be given a liquid like concent-rated a-cid that sca-lds the faces. What a miserable drink! What a miserable destiny!

    [18:30] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, we never fail to recompense those who work righteousness.

    [18:31] They have deserved gardens of Eden wherein rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and will wear clothes of green silk and velvet, and will rest on comfortable furnishings. What a wonderful reward; what a wonderful abode!
    ----–

    June 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:43] No force on earth could have helped him against GOD, nor was it possible for him to receive any help.

      [18:44] That is because the only true Lord and master is GOD; He provides the best recompense, and with Him is the best destiny.

      [18:45] Cite for them the example of this life as water that we send down from the sky to produce plants of the earth, then they turn into hay that is blown away by the wind. GOD is able to do all things.

      [18:46] Money and children are the joys of this life, but the righteous works provide an eternal recompense from your Lord, and a far better hope.

      [18:47] The day will come when we wipe out the mountains, and you will see the earth barren. We will summon them all, not leaving out a single one of them.

      [18:48] They will be presented before your Lord in a row. You have come to us as individuals, just as we created you initially. Indeed, this is what you claimed will never happen.

      [18:49] The record will be shown, and you will see the guilty fearful of its contents. They will say, "Woe to us. How come this book leaves nothing, small or large, without counting it?" They will find everything they had done brought forth. Your Lord is never unjust towards anyone.
      ------

      June 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:54] We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.

      [18:55] Nothing prevented the people from believing, when the guidance came to them, and from seeking the forgiveness of their Lord, except that they demanded to see the same (kind of miracles) as the previous generations, or challenged to see the retribution beforehand.

      [18:56] We only send the messengers as simply deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they take My proofs and warnings in vain.

      [18:57] Who are more evil than those who are reminded of their Lord's proofs, then disregard them, without realizing what they are doing. Consequently, we place shields on their hearts to prevent them from understanding it (the Quran), and deafness in their ears. Thus, no matter what you do to guide them, they can never ever be guided.

      [18:58] Yet, your Lord is the Forgiver, full of mercy. If He called them to account for their deeds, He would annihilate them right there and then. Instead, He gives them a respite until a specific, predetermined time; then they can never escape.

      [18:59] Many a com-m-unity we annihilated because of their transgressions; we designated a specific time for their annihilation.
      ------

      June 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      [18:100] We will present Hell, on that day, to the disbelievers.

      [18:101] They are the ones whose eyes were too veiled to see My message. Nor could they hear.

      [18:102] Do those who disbelieve think that they can get away with setting up My servants as gods beside Me? We have prepared for the disbelievers Hell as an eternal abode.

      [18:103] Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are?

      [18:104] "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good."

      [18:105] Such are the ones who disbelieved in the revelations of their Lord and in meeting Him. Therefore, their works are in vain; on the Day of Resurrection, they have no weight.

      [18:106] Their just requital is Hell, in return for their disbelief, and for mocking My revelations and My messengers.

      [18:107] As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, they have deserved a blissful Paradise as their abode.

      [18:108] Forever they abide therein; they will never want any other sub-sti-tute.

      [18:109] Say, "If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would run out, before the words of my Lord run out, even if we double the ink supply."

      [18:110] Say, "I am no more than a human like you, being inspired that your god is one god. Those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord."

      June 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      Your readings are boring without pictures, so I'm taking the liberty of helping you out in that department.

      img13.imageshack.us/img13/4871/lollnj.jpg

      June 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  11. Muneef

    MANNERS AND MORALS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD 

    http://www.elazhar.com/prophetstories/Chapter1-2.htm

    EISA 'Jesus'

    http://elazhar.com/prophetstories_u/Chapter2.asp

    June 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      Your prophet approves.

      img13.imageshack.us/img13/4871/lollnj.jpg

      June 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  12. Muneef

    About mankind evolution.
    Verses from the Quran;

    [95:4] We created man in the best design.

    [95:5] Then turned him into the lowliest of the lowly.
    ----

    My words It could be saying that Monkeys and Apes come out of mankind when they were turned him into the lowliest of the lowly.
    Meaning that Mankind was not a result of evolution of Monkeys & Apes...rather the other way round on reversed evolution...!  

    As mentioned in these verses;

    [2:65] You have known about those among you who de-sec-rated the Sabbath. We said to them, "Be you as de-spi-cable as apes."

    [2:66] We set them up as an example for their generation, as well as su-bse-que-nt generations, and an enlightenment for the righteous.
    -----–

    June 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      Yeah, once again, I'm gonna have to say: http://sheikyermami.com/wp-content/uploads/full-of-shit1.jpg

      June 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      [5:60] Say, "Let me tell you who are worse in the sight of GOD: those who are condemned by GOD after incurring His wrath until He made them (as de-spi-cable as) monkeys and pigs, and the idol worshipers. These are far worse, and farther from the right path."

      June 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      img13.imageshack.us/img13/4871/lollnj.jpg

      June 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  13. Muneef

    God has not kept us ignorant,he taught the Angels,he taught Adam and then taught us all the knowledge there is today encouraging us to read and write;
    ------

    [2:31] He taught Adam all the names then presented them to the angels, saying, "Give me the names of these, if you are right."

    [2:32] They said, "Be You glorified, we have no knowledge, except that which You have taught us. You are the Omniscient, Most Wise."
    -------

    [55:1] The Most Gracious.

    [55:2] Teacher of the Quran.

    [55:3] Creator of the human beings.

    [55:4] He taught them how to distinguish.
    -------

    [96:3] Read, and your Lord, Most Exalted.

    [96:4] Teaches by means of the pen.

    [96:5] He teaches man what he never knew.
    -------

    New generations Losing the Contact Prayers (Salat);

    [19:58] These are some of the prophets whom GOD blessed. They were chosen from among the descendants of Adam, and the descendants of those whom we carried with Noah, and the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and from among those whom we guided and selected. When the revelations of the Most Gracious are recited to them, they fall prostrate, wee-ping.

    [19:59] After them, He sub-sti-tut-ed generations who lost the Contact Prayers (Salat), and pur-su-ed their lu-st-s. They will suffer the conse-que-nces.

    [19:60] Only those who repent, believe, and lead a righteous life will enter Paradise, without the least injustice.

    June 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      http://sheikyermami.com/wp-content/uploads/full-of-shit1.jpg

      is my response to you.

      June 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Muneef

      Angry Hell Belly...

      If it is that what you posted me is again the pig reading the Quran....then I say as a Muslim I do not eat any thing related to pigs therefore far from being it as who consumes it ?! After all we learned that they are humans who angered God,so as seems you are as good as eating humans consuming it;

      [5:60] Say, "Let me tell you who are worse in the sight of GOD: those who are condemned by GOD after incurring His wrath until He made them (as de-spi-cable as) monkeys and pigs, and the idol worshipers. These are far worse, and farther from the right path."

      June 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      Welcome to the joke, smart guy. Have another.

      img13.imageshack.us/img13/4871/lollnj.jpg

      June 17, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  14. Matt

    @JohnR

    Regarding your ABC's of evolution:

    True or False:
    Is it possible for a Scientist to make an error in judgement?

    June 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Matt,
      I'm not certain of the entire conversation with John, but in response to your question, yes, it is entirely possible for a scientist to make errors. That is why the scientific method stresses the iterative approach of observation, hypothesis, prediction, and testing. Acceptance in the larger scientific community usually requires additional peer-reviewed publication (primarily for sharing of information) and independent verification of result, preferably by multiple other groups. None of this eliminates the possibility of errors, but it does minimize the probability.

      Now, you may think that is weak when compared with the 'certainty of divine truth,' however, from another perspective, even it 'divine truth' is accurate, there is no way to verify it. Science is useful because it works, that is it's greatest test.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Meh

      I REALLY want to see where he's going with this. I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

      June 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  15. Carl

    So you poison your children's minds with the practices of the child molesting cult.... In a sane world calling social services on you would be an option.

    June 15, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  16. Matt

    @Diyogee

    You said: "Using the Bible to prove the resurrection is like using a comic book to prove the powers of superman.""

    That is a VERY GOOD POINT for someone who has never studied the Bible or made an investigation into its pages.

    So, then I revise my question: Why do you think the Bible written? Is it Mans words about a God- for men? Or is it God's Word for man?

    Lets borrow from a Truth from the Evolutionist theory: Let us pretend that the Bible was not written. Little drops of ink, blotched together, soon evolved into letters, then letters formed words, words in turn broke off and became sentences, all of a sudden paper appeared, and over 10 Billion years a book formed itself out from nothing. Yes Evolutionary theory put into modern day practice.

    If there is Evolution then where is the evidence of it occurring?
    Can evolution be seen with time lapse photography?
    When do scientist expect the next evolutionary epoch to hit this world?
    What is in the foreseeable future for Evolutionist. How does the world evolve into a better place?
    So many ???'s

    We expect evolution to be expected and unexpected if it is up to chance, and hypothetical random mathematical occurrences, and or mutation. But what satisfaction to life comes from that? Yes, I agree there can by joy in the unexpected and spontaneity. However, unexpected random events can prove deadly, How does evolution eliminate those dangers, or can it? Or must we except that which can not be controlled?

    June 15, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Amen

      Way to show those Evolutionists why their "theory" is so incredibly ridiculous. When you try to use Evolution to explain anything, it just sounds so absurd, yet they (by they, i mean evolutionists) try to push it on us like it's a verified fact? puh-LEASE.

      here's another question evolutionsits can't answer: if we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

      June 15, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • LinCA

      @Matt said: "If there is Evolution then where is the evidence of it occurring?
      Can evolution be seen with time lapse photography?
      When do scientist expect the next evolutionary epoch to hit this world?
      What is in the foreseeable future for Evolutionist. How does the world evolve into a better place?
      "

      @Amen blurted out: "here's another question evolutionsits can't answer: if we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?"

      Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present exhibits A and B for the need for science education. The ignorance portrayed in these statements is totally mind-blowing.

      If the US is expected to compete on the world stage in the fields of science and technology, and this is what we bring, it will be over before we even begin. It's like bringing the elementary school checkers club to compete in major league baseball.

      I would like to pray to the christian god to knock some sense into his followers.

      Cheers.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • JohnR

      Amen, You are ignorant beyond words. Your question makes it clear that you don't even know the ABCs of evolution. And yet you presume to criticize. This is the sin of hurbris once again.

      Matt, Even on the punctuated equilibrium version of speciation, it takes on the order of tens of tousands of years for an isolated group to diverge from the "parent" species enough to be considered a separate species, and even then they won't necessarily look DRAMATICALLY different even in life, let alone in the fossil record. The problem you are having is that you aren't getting your mind around the vastness of available time. If you took just one eightteen inch step per day, it'd take you about ten years to walk a mile. Insanely slow, no? If you were in open territory like the Sahara, it would be hard for observers to confirm you were moving at all. But in 10 million years, you'd have walked about a million miles, or about 40 trips around the circu-mference of the earth. 10 million years ago is considered quite recent in geological time.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "Can evolution be seen with time lapse photography?"
      In a way that's what fossils are.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Amen

      For the record, I was joking. I thought that with Matt's views getting refuted as hard and as often as they were, the boy might need a friend.

      It really pained me to write that sentence about evolution, because it is easily the one sentence that makes both me and my Biology major girlfriend want to claw our eyes out.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Amen Ah, the perils of trollhood!!!!! :-D

      June 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  17. Matt

    @Mah @ Joe

    Good for you! May all bend knee at your Throne of Self righteousness.
    Oh, but the Evolutionist do that already!

    By the way, I don't hive a hoot what you name you go by here. Pick any one I don't care.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Meh

      Ad hominem attacks? Somehow, I'm less than surprised.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  18. Mike Gantt

    However small the step toward God, it's always wonderful to see!

    June 15, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  19. Matt

    @John Richardson
    You mentioned earlier that you were a Methodist, but now you are an "agnostic tinged n-eo- animist" Please, explain the reason of your transformation, but only if you want too.
    @ Joe
    My apologies to you that you felt the need to use curse words to defend your belief in Evolution and I am surprised that the CNN "moderators" didn't catch that word.
    @Meh
    I am confused. According to the Dictionary "Meh" is defined as Indifference and or boredom; to be used when one simply does not care. So what you are really saying is that you do not care. So why do you blog and post comments here?

    Peace

    June 15, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • Meh

      Clearly I've broken your argument if you are resorting to questioning me about the name I chose for this cesspool of a discussion board. Names mean absolutely nothing, especially when CNN doesn't require you to register your name. To prove my point, I'm also Joe.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • Joe

      And to answer your question, I'm a mother fucking HTML master. Now stop being dumb and comparing living creatures to computer programs and encyclopedias.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • JohnR

      @Matt I'll try to get back to you on this in more detail at some point. My journey went via evangelical Christianity, studying with Jehovah's Witnesses, study of other mythologies, studying some in the mystical traditions and studying and communing as best I could with nature. After even a little experience of experiential spirituality of either th mystical and natural sorts, ALL book religions seem deader than dead. But that's hardly my only criticism of them.

      June 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  20. Matt

    @Reality
    You make good points, Shall we examine them one by one?

    #1. Perhaps, this is because you do not believe in World History and/ or archeology.
    #4 TRUE- Because most modern day "Christians" do not follow Jesus' example or his teachings. Easter was added to Christianity so that the Pagan's would be able to continue to worship the God's of Spring and still be "Christian" too.

    As for proof of a resurrection -There were many eyewitnesses to confirm that “Christ died for our sins” and that he had been raised up. One was Cephas, or Peter, as he is better known.

    “The twelve,” the apostles as a group, were also visited by the resurrected Jesus—an experience that no doubt helped them to overcome their fear and become bold witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection.—John 20:19-23; Acts 2:32.

    Christ also appeared to a larger group, “upward of five hundred brothers.” Since it was only in Galilee that he had followers in such large numbers, this may have been on the occasion described at Matthew 28:16-20, when Jesus gave the command to make disciples.

    What a powerful testimony these individuals could give! Some were still alive in 55 C.E. when Paul composed this first letter to the Corinthians. Note, though, that those who had died were spoken of as having “fallen asleep in death.”

    Another outstanding witness to Jesus’ resurrection was James, the son of Joseph and Jesus’ mother, Mary. Prior to the resurrection, James evidently had not been a believer. (John 7:5) But after Jesus appeared to him, James became a believer and perhaps played a role in converting his other brothers. (Acts 1:13, 14)

    At his final meeting with his disciples, on the occasion when he ascended to heaven, Jesus commissioned them to “be witnesses . . . to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-11) Later, he appeared to Saul of Tarsus, a persecutor of Christians. (Acts 22:6-8) Jesus appeared to Saul “as if to one born prematurely.” It was as if Saul had already been resurrected to spirit life and was able to see the glorified Lord centuries before that resurrection was due to occur. This experience abruptly halted Saul in his course of murderous opposition to the Christian congregation and caused a remarkable change. (Acts 9:3-9, 17-19) Saul became the apostle Paul, one of the foremost defenders of the Christian faith.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:18 am |
    • Diyogee

      Using the Bible to prove the resurrection is like using a comic book to prove the powers of superman.

      The Bible, and the books of other religions, while certainly useful to some degree in guiding people toward morality, is absolutely useless in providing proof of God.
      These books do not prove the existence of God; they are the account of people who believe in the existence of God.
      There is no way or reason to prove that God exists to another. There is only to know, and fully understand, that God exists within you.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • JohnR

      Exactly, Diyogee. The analogy I used when I was startled by a similarly lame attempt at proof by an otherwise intelligent fellow grad student is that using the bible to prove the resurrection is like using the Old Irish tales I had been studying then to prove the superhuman powers of Irish folk hero Cu Chulainn. That guy didn't get it, either. Amazing.

      June 15, 2011 at 1:32 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.