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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)
  1. Martin

    Thanks to Katie Hetter for sharing this story.

    I made a page on facebook for the sole purpose of collecting different graces/ways of thanking for the meal. I call it a peace project...

    Please all consider sharing yours here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Gracebook/203879172987214

    best,
    Martin

    June 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Martin: That's an interesting idea. Since it is such a free form thing, I bet there are tons of different ways people "say grace". Very interesting.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Quotes from the Quran about mankind image, never in the Quran was stipulated that man was created in the image of God but rather that what was mentioned;

    [7:11] We created you, then we shaped you, then we said to the angels, "Fall prostrate before Adam." They fell prostrate, except Iblees (Satan); he was not with the prostrators.
    ----

    [40:64] GOD is the One who rendered the earth habitable for you, and the sky a formidable structure, and He designed you, and designed you well. He is the One who provides you with good provisions. Such is GOD your Lord; Most Exalted is GOD, Lord of the universe.*
    -----

    [64:2] He is the One who created you, then among you there is the disbeliever, and the believer. GOD is fully Seer of everything you do.

    [64:3] He created the heavens and the earth for a specific purpose, designed you and perfected your design, then to Him is the final destiny.

    [64:4] He knows everything in the heavens and the earth, and He knows everything you conceal and everything you declare. GOD is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
    ----–

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

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

    June 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Muneef

      Finally as per the last verses of the Quran;

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

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

      June 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Muneef

      [82:6] O you human being, what diverted you from your Lord Most Honorable?

      [82:7] The One who created you, designed you, and perfected you.

      [82:8] In whatever design He chose, He constructed it.

      [82:9] Indeed, you disbelieve in the religion.

      [82:10] Oblivious to the fact that there are (invisible) keepers around you.

      [82:11] They are honest recorders.

      [82:12] They record everything you do.

      [82:13] Surely, the pious have deserved bliss.

      [82:14] While the wicked have deserved Hell.

      [82:15] Will incur it on the Day of Judgment.

      [82:16] They never leave it.

      [82:17] Awesome is the Day of Judgment.

      [82:18] What a day; the Day of Judgment!

      [82:19] That is the day when no soul can help another soul, and all decisions, on that day, will belong to GOD.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • JohnR

      Muneef! Good to see you back amongst us, given your country's travails! How are you?

      June 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Muneef

      JohnR.

      Hi there am fine just been paying 300% over the official price of Diesel for my generator just to remain on line with you guys..and of course beside other needs mainly Air Conditions and refrigerators otherwise impossible to live..there is panic some people are making panic and storing for future need or for black market prices..any way seem our electricity board are facing the same with diesel oil supply for that there are many many times during a day it goes off...

      June 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Dang, Muneef. Sorry to hear it. Take care. I wish I didn't feel like such a useless blob sitting off to the side wishing, wishing that it could all be better.

      June 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      John Rich.

      Thank you friend and don't worry it will be better by God's Will... We as believers ought to have faith in God Will and that "There is always a Light at the End of the Dark Tunnel".... So soon we will get through reaching the end of the tunnel of God knows how many Tunnels there are yet to pass through but this is life and that is our share out of it...
      "

      June 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Reality

      Solving Yemen and Muneef's problems in less than two minutes:

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic/terrorists ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world to include Yemen

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      June 14, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  3. Adam

    Blessing food is pointless, as there is no GOD. Religion is a lie made up by man. The fact that religious people are allowed to vote just disgusts me. Religion has NO PLACE in politics. Then again, neither do the Republitards!

    June 13, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Matt

      @Adam
      I am a religious person and I do not vote. You can not serve two gods.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Muneef

      [6:117] Your Lord is fully aware of those who stray off His path, and He is fully aware of those who are guided.

      [6:118] You shall eat from that upon which GOD's name has been pronounced, if you truly believe in His revelations.

      [6:119] Why should you not eat from that upon which GOD's name has been mentioned? He has detailed for you what is prohibited for you, unless you are forced. Indeed, many people mislead others with their personal opinions, without knowledge. Your Lord is fully aware of the transgressors.

      [6:120] You shall avoid obvious sins, as well as the hidden ones. Those who have earned sins will surely pay for their transgressions.

      [6:121] Do not eat from that upon which the name of GOD has not been mentioned, for it is an abomination. The devils inspire their allies to argue with you; if you obey them, you will be idol worshipers.

      [6:122] Is one who was dead and we granted him life, and provided him with light that enables him to move among the people, equal to one in total darkness from which he can never exit? The works of the disbelievers are thus adorned in their eyes.

      [6:123] We allow the leading criminals of every community to plot and scheme. But they only plot and scheme against their own souls, without perceiving.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  4. Matt

    @TheyNotHim

    Would chance accidents produce complex information, such as a computer program, an algebraic formula, an encyclopedia, or even a recipe for a cake? Of course not. Yet, when it comes to sophistication and efficiency, none of these even begin to compare with the information stored in the genetic code of living organisms.

    Imagine this: An archaeologist sees a rough stone that is more or less square. He may attribute that shape to chance, which would be reasonable. But later he finds a stone that is perfectly formed in the shape of a human bust, down to the finest details. Does he attribute this item to chance? No. His logical mind says, ‘Someone made this.’ Using similar reasoning, the Bible states: “Every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4) Do you agree with that statement?

    “The more we get to know about our universe,” writes John Lennox, “the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator God, who designed the universe for a purpose, gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”

    Regrettably, among the things that undermine belief in God is evil perpetrated in his name. As a result, some have concluded that mankind would be better off without religion. What do you think?

    June 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Laughing

      I would like to agree with you, but there are some things wrong in your argument. First, you ask, "Would chance accidents produce complex information, such as a computer program, an algebraic formula, an encyclopedia, or even a recipe for a cake?", you're right that these things didn't just pop into existance, but neither did human beings. We evolved from very simple organisms into the complex organisms that we are today. Our complex genetic code comes from years and years of trial and effect, the best genes survived and so we say that they are so complex and perfect that something must have made them. Can you see that maybe it was us being made, but rather the modern human that you know now came into being because our genes happened to work the best out of all the combonations our genes arranged themselves in?

      Secondly, you discuss the nature of finding a stone that was clearly made by a human. You first posit that since it was made by a person, there must have been meaning to that. There could have been, but it could have been equally likely that it was made with no purpose at all. You then take that and use the same reasoning that since we make stuff that we in turn must have been made by something else and that is god. Are you sure? Are you positive that the specific god from the chrisitian bible is the one to have done that, or another god in another religion, or a god from a religion that has yet to be invented? Your analogies take some pretty big leaps to get to your point and that's why it doesn't really hold sway as a rational argument that since we're here, we must have been created and there is a reason to it.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Matt.

      Do you really think that Bob the Magical Blue Sock created everything? But, let's for a moment assume that he did. Then who created Bob?

      Not (yet) knowing every answer is OK. Inserting mythical beings as the cause for anything is nice and tidy, but intellectually dishonest. You don't get any answers, you just stop searching for them. Also, every time you insert your religion into science, you inevitably create another opportunity for science to prove your religion wrong.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Laughing

      LinCA said it better than me

      June 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Gilbert

      Amen, Matt. I believe that I was made with purpose and not just some cosmic accident amid an infinite sea of nothing.
      Everyone is missing one main point about this article that God has nothing to do with their meal blessings. It is to thank everyone that made this possible. To stay aware that the steak on the barbecue didn't butcher and crawl there all by itself. To remember that we cannot exist alone, that we depend on our brothers, neighbors and even athiests 😉 to help bring our needs to survive and enjoy life. May God Bless everyone who posts on this topic.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Gilbert "To stay aware that the steak on the barbecue didn't butcher and crawl there all by itself." Now how am I supposed to sleep with this image CRAWLING through my mind????????

      June 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  5. TheyNotHim

    Been saying grace at the table when the family gets together since I was a child. I know god does not exist, that he was created by Man, and that by force of arms many millions have been forced to "believe" in him. That being said, it's been the same blessing every time for decades now, we all hold hands, and there is plenty of time to thank the chef, the guys that built the roads, the farmers, etc, while we are digging in to the wonderful meal put before us. It binds us all together and my family members, many of whom buy this stuff wholesale at church, seem to really enjoy that I join in. It makes me happy to see a smile on their faces because I love them very much. When I am feeling especially rebellious I just keep my mouth shut. They notice or don't and never call me out, for which I am thankful, because they know I hold my truths as close to my heart as they do.

    One thing though. We never EVER open a bible. That book is twisted and vile. Put it down and walk away. This message I bring to you...

    June 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  6. weluvyew

    😀
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPIZARnti1A&w=640&h=390]

    June 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  7. Jim P.

    "I am always amazed that Atheists comment on this blog! Really, Atheists, you are wasting your time."

    There's always a chance we can spark the fire of rational thought in someone. And since religious folk have no compunction about "sharing" their beliefs with us, sometimes against our will, we like to return the favor.

    I note that no doubt everyone thinks it is cute and heartwarming to have a little three year old girl proposing "blessings" but I wonder just how rational a three year old is about such things. How much does she really understand?

    None of you would hesitate to praise her if she said "I love Jesus" and all would marvel at the "wisdom of a child" but all of you would wonder if she said "I don't beleive there is a god." as to whether she needed therapy or forced attendance at "sunday school" until she learned better.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • ScottK

      ""sharing" their beliefs with us, sometimes against our will, we like to return the favor."

      Yes, I would like to thank "No God" for not interupting my Saturday morning breakfast with knocks on my door and messages from invisible beings. You won't find an atheist giving up his weekend to go wander around your neighborhood sharing his message.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Peacemaker

    I am always amazed that Atheists comment on this blog! Really, Atheists, you are wasting your time.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • JohnR

      Hey guys, "Peace"maker is here to pick fights over who should even be here! Cool, huh?

      June 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Meh

      To quote you from a few responses down:

      "No one is perfect. Unless you are perfect stop throwing rocks."

      Suck on that, you hapless, techno-weenie.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Its an opinion blog. Why be surprised that people with differing opinions to your own wouldn't also post?

      June 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • ScottK

      That is what most atheists are trying to tell you, except minus the "A"

      – "Really, theists, you are wasting your time."

      June 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      I know where he's coming from, and it's not about trying to keep people out, but about not wasting one's time on fruitless efforts. Those who have chosen to be religiously inclined, are not worth wasting our breath upon. They don't want to hear it, they 'KNOW' their truth, facts and reality be damned...
      And this is actually a SECULAR blessing....so I'm not sure of the point, since it does not involve god at all.

      Still not my cup of tea, but if it makes YOU happy....(and note how happily and willfully the young children went along, kids seem to WANT to follow...problem is WHAT they follow)

      June 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      Not picking a "fight" John......... just wondering why you would waster your time on a belied blog.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I have occasionally changed the mind of someone I'm debating and the reverse is also known to have occurred. But the real target audience of one's debating points are third parties who may be reading. Conversely, I learn a lot from reading posts I may or may not have reason to respond to. There are lots of posters around here and it is obvious that more than just one's direct interlocutor is reading from later messages that some of these third party readers post. And for everyone who posts, who knows how many lurk.

      June 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  9. Peacemaker

    We have said grace for years and have found it to be a wonderful way to begin a meal with our children, friends, even on our own.

    Having a grateful heart is always a good thing! Peace.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Adam

      Absolutely. And more importantly it does not require in the least the propositional belief in the existence of supernatural agents. Being grateful IS a good thing. One does not need to believe anything upon insufficient evidence to see that this is True.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      Perhaps you ought to take time out of every meeting with a STRANGER, and show THEM your appreciation, instead of simply saving it for your family. Be grateful to your bank teller, a clerk at a convenience store....appreciate others, and perhaps the world won't feel so angry all the time.
      (and when was the last time any of them had an actual heart-felt THANKS directed at them? usually it's just resentment and grief)

      June 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  10. Artist

    Many a people have been sacrificed for "god". Christians even burned live people at the stake, drown them etc for their "jesus".

    June 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      That's right, Christians have done terrible, evil things. But SO have ........ atheists! No one is perfect. Unless you are perfect stop throwing rocks.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Sean

      @Peacemaker
      If you followed your own advice, you would not have posted a reply.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Peacemakers – when was the last time that anyone committed mass murder in the name of atheism? That's the difference. Naturally, all sorts of people do evil things, but religion is the reason for why some of those evil things have been done.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      @Stevie7, I did say that Christians have done evil things. How do we know that Atheists have not? Everyone is flawed there is good and bad in all of us.

      What's amazing is that Atheists are throwing stones at Christians. And yes, I still wonder why y'all would waste your time on a Belief Blog? I suppose you are attempting to "convert" some Christians to your point of view.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • AndyB

      @Artist: Irrelevant comment is irrelevant.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  11. Frogist

    For secular or non-religious people the ritual that religious people have that signify the start of a meal is somewhat missing. Whether that's a bad thing is up for debate. The Ja-panese say 'iitadekimasu' (forgive my spelling) signifying it's time to eat. That's not necessarily a blessing or thanks but it is a little ritual to compel people to think of that time as dinner time and separate from other times. I think it would be nice to have certain traditions that promote appreciation for the things we have. That doesn't necessarily have to be in the language of religion as the article suggests. But it would be nice to remind ourselves of the good things we have before us.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  12. Russell

    "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:21

    June 13, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • NOo..oON

      And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
      Matt 5:22

      June 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      Russell – You are exactly right. The people of this world seek to pacify their own pains in this way, since there is no God in their lives. Any good act will create in them an assertion that all is well in their souls and will relieve them for a time. However, those who don't humble themselves before the Lord and accept Christ work will never receive true relief and joy. And that's so heart-wrenching.

      NOo..oON – You are taking Matt 5:22 way out of context. Here Jesus is talking someone having anger toward someone. The harboring anger in your heart is equivalent to murder. Just as lusting is equivalent to adultery (Matt 5:28). Yet, I don't see you running around quoting this one!
      In Romans 1:21, the term "foolishness" means without understanding, not name-calling.
      There is no hatred or anger in these words, except from the Lord, and I don't know if you can say that the Lord is in danger of the fires of Hell. And neither is Paul who wrote it, because to say that would mean all of the Bible is worthy of Hell, which would include your precious Matt 5:22 quote.
      So NOo..oON... I hope for you to receive more understanding of scripture one day and so that you don't act so "foolishly" (without understanding).

      June 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Meh

      "which would include your precious Matt 5:22 quote.
      So NOo..oON... I hope for you to receive more understanding of scripture one day and so that you don't act so "foolishly" (without understanding)."

      Is there anything in the bible about being overly snarky? How about something about passing judgment? I know jebus said something about not passing judgment.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      @andrew.peter,
      "...(Matt 5:28). Yet, I don't see you running around quoting this one!"
      Russell didn't call anyone an adulterer, did he?

      "There is no hatred or anger in these words, except from the Lord, and I don't know if you can say that the Lord is in danger of the fires of Hell. And neither is Paul who wrote it, because to say that would mean all of the Bible is worthy of Hell, which would include your precious Matt 5:22 quote."
      Initially, I was just pointing out to Russell, who was implying that Atheists/Agnostic readers of this blog are fools, that calling people fools, apparently, isn't good for you in the afterlife.
      However, since you brought it up, why isn't God in danger of going to hell? He kills quite often and in large numbers, he can't really honor his mother and father can he, if the Bible is really his word then he has lied, etc. Perhaps he should burn?

      June 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      Meh – I mean no disrespect, but only to be concise and poignant. Many people are very frippant towards Christianity and religion in general, yet it is the essence of our existance. The vast majority of these readers will not agree with me, but my desire is to state these truths as clearly and accurately as I know how for those same readers. My desire is for the "foolish" of the world to be awakened and find the true God and Savior. I hate no one because Jesus said to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:43-48).

      June 13, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      "Many people are very frippant towards Christianity and religion in general, yet it is the essence of our existance"
      It may be the essence of YOUR existence, I prefer to dwell in the real world, with truth and facts at my side. No religion can compare!

      June 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      NOo..oON – If you want to talk about God's anger and how He killed people, you have to first consider His character. He is omnipresent, omniscient & omnipotent.
      Also: He is loving:
      (Micah 7:8) – Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love.

      Yet He is also Jealous:
      (Deu 32:21) 'They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation...

      Also, He is Judge:
      (Eze 24:14) "I, the LORD, have spoken; it is coming and I will act. I will not relent, and I will not pity and I will not be sorry; according to your ways and according to your deeds I will judge you," declares the Lord GOD.'"

      God is Creator and Sustainer of all things, and He is ALWAYS Good! Only don't be confuse about why there's evil in this world. The creation has been corrupted and He is at work to redeem people for His glory. If He knows all why did He create a world knowing it would be corrupt? Though lacking in nothing, He wanted to show His glory to a creation and have it returned to Him in their joy and contentment in Him. Sounds very self-centered? He's God. Nothing else exists outside of Himself, so I think He very much deserves it. And also, for Him to exalt anything more than Himself would be idolatry.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      Fred Evil – There are absolutes in this world... whether you accept them or not. Please consider that.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      NOo..oON – Sorry I didn't address all your concerns, but I got tired.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      @andrew.peter,
      Actually, I was talking about God's responsibility and accountability. Is God allowed to break his own rules? Do as I say not as I do. Is he allowed to murder the entire human race, except Noah & co? Ah, you say it's not murder, because we are all sinners and God is the judge. So, why are we not allowed to kill indescriminately, if everyone is a sinner. In fact all are complicit in the original sin that caused the "fall", which was in fact a form of blasphamy, and the punishment for blasphamy is death, according to Leviticus, I think. So in fact murder, unlawful killing, is impossible for us, isn't it. If not, then why does God get away with it?
      But I'm sure you have some interpretation scripture (which, if God really wrote it, is bearing false witness, by the way) that makes this okay.

      On the character of God though, how can a being be "omnipresent, omniscient & omnipotent", "loving", "ALWAYS Good", and yet "Jealous" and "provoked... to anger" too?
      This goes back to Epicurus and the problem of evil, I think:

      God exists.
      God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good.
      A perfectly good being would want to prevent all evils.
      An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence.
      An omnipotent being, who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence.
      A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, who is able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, and who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil.
      If there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good being, then no evil exists.
      Evil exists (logical contradiction).
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicurean_paradox)

      I think one could formulate a similar argument for a good ent.ity being jealous and angry, but evil is more fundamental (ontological?).

      Now I'm tired... later.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      @NOo..oON for once, I'll be brief.
      Issue 1 – God's rules... He operates at all times within His character. He cannot operate outside because it would make Him unfaithful. As a separate issue is the laws and "rules" He has given to man. On killing: God brings life and He brings death. Nothing happens apart from Him permitting it... so He kills people everyday. The very nature of death is by His will, since sin is present. So that leads into Issue 2.

      Issue 2 – The existance of evil. Again, there is nothing that happens that surprises God. Good or bad. The story of Job. According to His divine plan He permits all things (Good and Bad) to happen. Is He weak because evil is in the world? Not by this "interpretation". If you want to see what a world is like without evil, wait until heaven. Like I said before, this world has been corrupted, and we are in the midst of a large plan of His to redeem a portion of creation back for Himself. And that shows His power. He will one day destroy all things and create anew, but only after He completes what He has set out to complete. He is Sovereign and Almighty.

      Ok. I tried to be brief.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      I meant to say: "He will one day destroy all " Evil.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      @andrew.peter,
      "He cannot operate outside [His character] because it would make Him unfaithful."
      So, where does His character come from? If God is defined/bound by His character then it must be greater than, or at least not dependent on, Himself; something outside of God? If not, and God defines His own character, then he can redefine it at will and we are essentially at the whim of a tyrant; God is good therefore whatever he says is good, even if that contradicts himself.

      If, "according to His divine plan He permits all things (Good and Bad) to happen," then there can be no sin, for there is nothing that we can do that is not according to his divine plan and therefore part of the overall good of His plan. If I go out and kill a random child, then it must have been for ultimate good contain in the Divine plan, so how can that be wrong.

      I suspect that omnipotent beings are ultmately untenable in any existence, but proving that may also be ultimately untenable.

      June 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      You're arguments are as old as time. Just a few scriptures for you. There are many more, if you cared to search for them and not wallow in your rebellion (with all due respect):
      (Heb 13:8) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

      (2Tim 2:13) if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

      (Malachi 3:5-7, speaking to Israel) 5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.

      Hebrews 6:13-20 (this is too long to put here, so google it)

      And the last, which having no regard for God means nothing to you.

      (Rom 9:19-21) You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

      The Romans passage is not mentioned much because it makes many Christians uneasy, but though you will say it's more proof that God "will do whatever He wants, and is evil", I say as Creator, Sustainer, and Judge, He has all rights to do with us as He wills. We are all His and for a ceation to rebel against its Creator deserves destruction. It is only by His goodness and grace that we are here today.
      But this is very likely all foolishness to you, but I didn't want to veil anything from you.

      June 14, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • LinCA

      @andrew.peter

      You said: "You're [sic] arguments are as old as time.
      That is probably because they are reasonable and logical, in contrast to your argument (and I'm paraphrasing here): "It's in the bible, therefor it's true".

      You also said: "Just a few scriptures for you. There are many more, if you cared to search for them and not wallow in your rebellion"

      You choose to believe a book of fairy tales and myths, that was compiled for political reasons to control the population.
      Some people choose to apply logic and reason with an open mind, and have come to the inevitable conclusion that your god is a fantasy.

      For a quote to be of any value, you will have to convince your opponent of the value of the source. Quoting from a book that is demonstrably false won't convince anyone.

      Also, since it is illogical to argue with or fight against a non-existing being, there is no rebellion.

      Oh, and I can quote, too. In the words of Albus Dumbledore: "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999.

      You have a choice. You can either choose to open your mind, or stay ignorant for ever.

      June 14, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • andrew.peter

      @LinCA – You're right. Man's reason and wisdom will never prove the existence of the Lord. But you're not correct about the Bible. It was being compiled, and manuscripts exist, well before Constantine made it the official religion of the Roman Empire. It began as a "grassroots campaign" and not a top-down government involvement. But your mind is set on overthrowing all of its work, so my logic and reason is by default egregious. So we can have no debate here. I'm ignorant and you're enlightened. But I'll rejoice in my "ignorance" for it is the wealth of God.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • LinCA

      @andrew.peter

      The bible may very well have started in a grassroots campaign. But how can you trust it to hold any truth, let alone The Truth, if you look at it's history?

      It wasn't written until decades and centuries after the alledged events took place. It's been edited, redacted, rewritten, recompiled and translated ever since to make it fit for the purposes for which it was being modified. For most of it's contents, it is the only source. No credible reference is made anywhere else for it's main character or his alledged actions and miracles. On top of that there are multiple instance where different authors, while writing about the same events, have conflicting accounts. Even Jesus' own prediction of his return did not come to pass.

      The bible only holds the "truth" if you accept that from the onset "on faith". You will still have to reconcile the bible with actual historical facts. Highlighting the parts that you like, while suppressing or completely ignoring the parts that you don't. By some accounts, this has been done over 38,000 times already.

      If this book was written as inspired by your god to tell his story, he did a piss poor job of picking his agents.

      But I guess, ignorance is bliss.

      Cheers.

      June 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      @LinCA
      Here are a few sites you can go to and read about the history of New Testament Manuscripts, and what has been discovered and their progression. I'd appreciate if you took the time to read them.

      http://debate.org.uk/topics/history/bib-qur/bibmanu.htm
      http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/texts/manuscripts.html

      In regards to your comment about the lack of secular historians noting the occurance of Jesus in history. The only one if Josephus, but he was himself jewish, and the only jewish source we have from the time. The other historians from around the world were all pagan like you, and didn't care who this Jesus was.

      Ignorance is bliss, until you die and experience the judgment of God. I believe. And my own effort, or someone else's, can't effectively prove the existence of the invisible God. "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." John 20:29.
      Again, I am willing to be made to look like a fool for Christ's sake, because He was made a fool for me.
      Your reasoning will fail you LinCA. Please don't put your faith in it.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • LinCA

      @andrew.peter.

      Thank you for the links. I read the pages. They detract nothing from my statement about truth, or the lack thereof, found in the bible.

      Where did you get the idea that I was pagan? I'm not.

      Also, Pascal's wager is bunk.

      Cheers

      June 15, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • andrew.peter

      @LinCA – well I don't agree with Pascal's Wager either. That's why I never used the argument in our discussion, "Well if you don't believe, what happens if you're wrong?" The result of someone having doubt in their unbelief doesn't produce a genuine belief, but only ... doubt in unbelief. And someone who believes only because they don't want to end up on the wrong side... I'd question the sincerity of their faith. Kind of like saying I believe in God because I don't want to go to hell. That's the wrong reason – to escape punishment? I believe because I do. I was once a hard-rocking philosophizing pagan (unbeliever, self-worshipper), until I read the bible for the first time at 21. It all made sense. I found no errors or contradictions, but I'm confident I had help. The Lord opened my eyes and my mind to understand His Word. And He is willing to do the same for anyone who asks. "Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you" Matt 7:7 (The words of Jesus Himself).

      June 15, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • LinCA

      @andrew.peter

      You said: "well I don't agree with Pascal's Wager either. That's why I never used the argument in our discussion", while in the previous post you said: "Ignorance is bliss, until you die and experience the judgment of God.". The latter quote is a veiled way of saying: "Well if you don't believe, what happens if you're wrong?" (your words), ergo Pascal's wager.

      Cheers.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • NOo..oON

      @andrew.peter,
      Sorry for the slow response.
      "You're arguments are as old as time." And yet, they still aren't answered.

      While on some questions, we may have to agree to disagree. For example, the unchanging nature of God, I would suggest looking at Abraham's haggling about Sodom, Jacob's wrestling with God, the book of Job in general, the 'rainbow' promise to Noah, and the greatest example, Jesus, and a whole "new" covenant. But that would just be semantic sophistry(?) around Bible verses, in which the assumed premise is that the Bible is more than just philosphy and morality tales. A Big Endian debate to end all debates.

      I believe you were essentially saying the same thing with, "...a few scriptures for you ... which having no regard for God means nothing to you."

      However, you raise an interesting point when you say, "... as Creator... He has all rights to do with us as He wills." First, I would say that the potter/clay example is a weak analogy fallacy, in that clay is an inanimate object. Of course, "the thing molded will not" question the molder, because objects cannot object. Another, but still not perfect, analogy would be the parent/child relationship, in which few would agree that the parent has the right to do with the child as they will, or, in modern culture, parents do not own there children. And yet, one could argue that reproduction is not entirely the same as creation.

      At this point I would propose an ethical, and possibly philisophical, maxim to the effect of, "No being can own or possess another sentient, sapient, self-aware being." This is based on the idea that humans owning other humans is wrong, a subject on which the Bible isn't entirely clear, but nevertheless seems settled in our society. This however brings up the very real possibility that we may soon be faced with a real world scenario of the creator/created situation above in artificial intelligence. Regardless of whether you believe it possible to create a truely intelligent artificial being, the concept brings with it a question. would a computer or robot that feels, thinks, and is aware of itself and others be a person or a thing? Would the creator of such an being/thing own it or would it have certain inalianable rights due to its personhood?

      I think it would be a person and as such it would have rights, one of which would be autonomy, not ruled or owned by any one or any thing else. Therefore, I think the same concept should apply the God. Essentially, the creator of something loses ownership of the creation at the moment the creation begins to think of itself as itself.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  13. The Jackdaw

    your life changed because you started eating cold dinners. Religion. What a joke.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Grace

      The author has no "religion"... as she stated many a time. She wouldn't want to offend anyone by admitting there might be something greater than herself. Political correctness. What a joke.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Humanity is the joke for fearing everything from their fellow man to the things that their fellow man has imagined.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Don't be a hater just because they have something worthwhile to pause and pray about.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Thankfulness is fine. Delusions are a disease.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Sounds like the author was being fine.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      Putting it in the "belief" blog is not convincing and i'm not buying it.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Putting it in the "belief" blog is not convincing and i'm not buying it."

      No one on here requires you to.

      June 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  14. Meh

    After looking at the author's picture, I'm surprised she's managed to breed.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • bustarhymes

      How rude. First of all, she is pretty. Secondly, there are terrific online resources and books available on the subject of self esteem. Tony Robbins comes to mind. So if you may feel that you suffer from a low self-esteem, you may find great value in doing some research on the subject. It will surely add a new dimension to your life, and other people will enjoy your company more if you are no longer putting other people down to compensate for what may be an inferiority complex. I wish you the best. Cheers.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      @Meh,
      For the last time, try not to confuse your monitor with the mirror, okay?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Meh

      She looks like a bottle nosed dolphin's DNA reconstituted in Janeane Garofalo. Also, since you just went to a much greater length to insult me, perhaps you suffer from an inferiority complex.

      In other words: NO U.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      @Meh,
      Meh

      June 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • John

      Ok Nazi, not everyone has the looks of Mrs.America.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • NOo..oON

      Nazi? W.T.F.?

      June 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  15. CW

    @ Reality,

    Let me add another to your list....let me change it up for you since you post the same thing.

    I don't believe in God...b/c I "choose" not too.
    I don't care if there is a h-ell so I don't fear God.

    No amen required...since that is apart of a christian prayer.

    You know I don't want to confuse you.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Nonimus

      @CW,
      "No amen required...since that is apart of a christian prayer."
      Didn't amen start with Judaism, "Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Greek amēn, from Hebrew āmēn" (Merriam-webster.com)? And isn't it also used by Muslims?

      And Christians complain that they are disproportionately persecuted by secularists/atheists/etc. Perhaps, if Christians didn't claim Christianity to be the origin of all things, Amen, Logic, Science, Morality, etc. they wouldn't be disagreed with so often.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Randy

      @Nominus –

      I'd be surprised to find anyone who thinks Christianity is the beginning of all things. Christianity, as in the following of Christ Jesus, is only 2,000 years old.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Randy,
      Perhaps I misspoke.
      'There would be no Science without Christianity."
      'Atheism is illogical because, without Jesus you can't have logic.'
      'How can you have morality without an absolute good and bad? Christianity is the only religion with valid absolutes.'

      These paraphrases are all things I've heard from various Christian Apologists or amateur Apologists. How would phrase it?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Nonimus

      <- How would *you* phrase it?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Randy

      @Nominus –

      'There would be no Science without Christianity."
      'Atheism is illogical because, without Jesus you can't have logic.'
      'How can you have morality without an absolute good and bad? Christianity is the only religion with valid absolutes.'

      These statements seem narrow to begin with. Please consider the source next time.

      That being said, I believe there is some truth in what the posters were trying to convey, they just didn't know how to verbalize it, perhaps. I'll give you my thoughs on it. Both believers and non-believers make compelling arguments for why they are 'right.' I can find logic in Christianity as well as secularism, but neither side has the trump card. If there was absolute proof, there would be no debate, and therefore no need to exchange thoughts in the marketplace of ideas.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Randy,
      I'm not sure I understand.

      "Please consider the source next time."
      Are you talking about Christian Apologists in general, or someone else?

      "These statements seem narrow to begin with." And yet, "I believe there is some truth in what the posters were trying to convey..."
      so it's too narrow but contains some truth? ...Okay?

      "If there was absolute proof, there would be no debate..."
      Actually, I would disagree. Both sides would have to understand and agree that there is "absolute proof", which is unlikely to happen no matter what evidence is discovered. Many Christian Apologist/Creationist would quickly apply the logic of, 'the Bible is God's word and God's word is true, therefore anything not in agreement with the Bible is by definition false.' This kind of "logic" is obviously not debatable as anything falsifying said logic would itself be viewed as false, by definition.

      In addition, science, and usually life in general, doesn't deal in absolute proof, but in evidence and inductive logic. We don't know that being hit by a car will always be harmful, we might be protected by angels, inertia might suddenly be cancelled due to quatum fluctuations, or there might be a physical law which we don't understand yet. However, we don't normally step in front of moving cars on the chance that one of these might be true; no, we avoid getting hit. My point is that when you say that, "Both believers and non-believers make compelling arguments," I have to ask, first, since when does a lack of absolute proof for one side mean that both side are equal? And second, which argument better answers the questions, has more evidence (or any), and which one is testable? Admittedly, that is a somewhat scientific method, but at least it is usable. How does one ever determine the truth of a faith argument?

      June 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  16. Matt

    @Reality
    Could you repost your blog about what words and combinations of letters that will not be posted here. Thanks!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Reality

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "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 like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "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". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      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. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

      And said moderators still have not solved the chronological placement of comments once the number of comments gets above about 100. They recently have taken to dividing the comments in batches of 50 or so, for some strange reason. Maybe they did this to solve the chronology problem only to make comment reviews beyond the tedious.
      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      --–
      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.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  17. The Almighty

    Please stop sending me your prayers at mealtime. I'm trying to eat.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  18. Reality

    From a "flocking agnostic" as a suggestion for another prayer before meals:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus

    Amen-++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    ------------------------------------------–

    June 13, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Evangeline

      Excuse me "Reality" flocking agnositc – but what does your "prayer" have to do with this author's blessing of food?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • my6cents

      you need to do a little more research to get the truth.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Evan

      Reality, I notice you say this alot. However, I am wondering if you have evidence for this view? The "evidence" I've heard from the so-called Biblical scholars who support this view has failed to prove vey convincing.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      @ "Reality" ......... why do you bother to blog on a "Belief" blog? You make absolutely no sense. You can't prove there is no God........ any more than I can prove there is, to you. A closed mind will never experience God.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • gozer

      @ "Peacemaker", a properly functioning mind will comprehend that the Christian god stories are no better and no better supported than the previous god supersti-tions that they borrow most of their stories from, including the essentials of the Jesus scapegoat stuff. Just silly (and often harmful and spiteful), fiction from ancient peoples before more was learnt about the world, nothing more.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Peacemaker

      You said: "[...] You can't prove there is no God........ any more than I can prove there is, to you. A closed mind will never experience God."

      Considering the stunning lack of any evidence in support of any god, the sensible thing is to not believe there is one. When you open your mind, you might see that. A closed mind is required to experience god(s).

      June 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Reality

      Evan,

      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!!!!

      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,

      June 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Evan

      Reality:
      The things you say top the "ridicu-list"! Your suggestions are so counter to what legitimate scholars proclaim to be true that it is beyond laughable. I've seen your other postings, and with all due respect, you may want to consider seeking psychological help (if you aren't already), as I suspect that the twisted viewpoints you have created or adopted may be signs of some underlying condition that could possibly manifest as hallucinations or irrational behavior. For the safety of you and all those with whom you come in contact with, you may want to seriously consider a psychological examination.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Evan2

      sorry – i'm a different 'Evan' from above, by the way.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Reality

      (from Professor Crossan's book, "Who is Jesus" co-authored with Richard Watts)

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

      "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."

      June 13, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  19. welovepagans

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

    June 13, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  20. Peace2All

    I think it is a good mental and emotional ritual for one to focus on what they are 'grateful' for in their lives.

    Peace...

    June 13, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • The Jackdaw

      If you are greatful, thank a farmer and your employer, not a fairy tale.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Curious

      @ The Jackdaw

      What if you are a farmer and grow your own food? Whom, then, do you thank?

      June 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      You thank your parents for raising you to be self reliant, smart a$$.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @The Jackdaw

      You Said: "If you are greatful, thank a farmer and your employer, not a fairy tale."

      I think we are in agreement here. Maybe I should have been more specific. I believe in general... as a good mental and emotional practice to 'focus' and 'think' about the 'good' that you have in your life, thereby creating an emotional state of mind that tends toward happiness, yes...?

      I think you must have seen enough of my posts to know that I 'do not' believe in 'any' 'fairy tale.'

      In other words... I should have said "no god required" to have a mental atti-tude of 'grati-tude.'

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Tallywhacker

      @Peace2All
      You said, "mental atti-tude of 'grati-tude."
      Careful, bro, you don't want to be a rapper do you? 😯
      (just kidding)

      June 13, 2011 at 11:11 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.