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Church welcomes Westboro protests, even though they deeply disagree
Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps says God is punishing the United States for "the sin of homosexuality."
June 17th, 2011
05:58 PM ET

Church welcomes Westboro protests, even though they deeply disagree

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–When Westboro Baptist Church protesters roll into any given town, most places don't exactly put out the welcome mat, until this Sunday.

"This False Prophet and His Blind Lemmings Welcome You to Our Whore House for God's Grace and Free Donuts," Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle announced on his blog this week after learning that Westboro plans to picket one of his churches on Father's Day.

Driscoll is a popular pastor in the Pacific Northwest. He heads a group of multisite churches that regularly draw 10,000 parishioners a week across 10 locations. He preaches live at one location, and his sermons are sent out by video to the other locations the following week, when the services are held with live music and another onsite pastor.

Driscoll, a popular author and speaker, is "Christian-famous," which appears to have led to the protest.

Driscoll found out about it when someone posted a link on his Facebook wall.

"At first I thought maybe it was a joke," Driscoll said. "A church picketing a church seems peculiar."

In turns out it was not a joke, so Driscoll said his church plan to roll out the welcome mat.

"They need Jesus too, maybe as bad as anyone on the Earth. As a church, we're called to love people. They're people, so they make the list."

Some towns have gone so far as to create laws barring Westboro Baptist Church from protesting military funerals. Bikers have shown up with huge American flags and revved their engines to drown out their shouts, and counterprotesters have donned giant angel wings to block the protesters from the mourners' view.

"We need to be nice to these people, go out shake their hands, say hi, give them a bite to eat, cup of coffee and just try to be friendly and nice. The last thing I want is for our people to get into a shouting match with a bunch of crazies," Driscoll said.

Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro was started by Fred Phelps in 1955 and is best known for protesting soldiers' funerals carrying signs that say "God Hates Fags," and "Thank God for dead soldiers." It says on its website that it is an "Old School (or, Primitive) Baptist Church," though it has no known ties to any broader national Baptist denomination.

Phelps told CNN in 2006, "You can't preach the Bible without preaching the hatred of God."

The church's membership is small and mainly made of Phelps family members.

They are regularly sued for defamation but often win those cases. Last year, one such case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where the justices upheld their right to free speech. One of Phelps' daughters, a Harvard Law-trained attorney, represented the family before the court.

Its website, Godhatesfags.com, says the church will picket the Mars Hill Church site in Auburn, Washington. Mars Hill officials said that probably means their Federal Way campus, where about 600 people come to services each week.

Detective Jeff Kappel, a Seattle Police Department spokesman, said officers know the church is coming Sunday and said their city is more than familiar with protesters of all sorts.

"We're not going to infringe on anyone's First Amendment rights as long as no one is violating the law. If they're protesting peacefully within the bounds of the law, they're more than welcome to express their First Amendment rights."

Westboro Baptist said in the announcement about the protest that it is picketing Mars Hill Church because "they teach the lies that God love (sic) everyone and Jesus died for the sins of all of mankind. You have caused the people to trust in lies to their destruction, and to your damnation."

"For us, we do believe in judgment, but we believe God is the one who judges ultimately," Driscoll said. Some moral judgments along the way notwithstanding, he said, "whether or not people are going to go to heaven or hell, that's God's judgment, not our judgment. Ultimately, heaven is God's house. He gets to determine the guest list."

Driscoll said the sermon this week will be pre-taped, in part so he can attend a baseball tournament his son is playing in. The message, he said, comes from the Gospel of Luke and is about Zacchaeus, a crooked tax collector who found redemption.

"He was a total con man. Jesus became friends with him, and he became a Christian. Then his heart changed, and he paid everyone back he had ripped off and made a public apology," Driscoll explained. The religious leaders of the day weren't thrilled, he said.

"They were all basically protesting that Jesus loved this guy. He didn't deserve to be loved. The point is, no one is. Jesus loves just because he's loving, not because we're lovable."

Therein lies the difference between Mars Hill Church's theology and Westboro.

"It's kind of funny," Driscoll said. "They're showing up on the Sunday where the story is, Jesus loved a really bad guy, and the religious people stood around and protested."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • United States • Washington • Westboro Bapitst Church

soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. atomD21

    There is no person alive today that can claim with absolute certainty whether or not God is real. We need to get past that and get on to working together to fix this world. Spinning our wheels in the same ditch over and over again expecting to get out is crazy. I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but the Jesus I read about wasn't concerned with being right or holier than the next guy. In fact, I would wager to say that if Jesus was around right now, he would be more concerned with doing good and helping people and less about whether or not he could put the "evil" atheists in their place with scripture quotes.

    June 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • danyellethomas

      Well said. I agree with you 100%.
      It's about time we stop asking, "What WOULD Jesus do?" and inventing our own self-serving answers, and begin to ask, "What DID Jesus do?" and live accordingly.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • tw

      I can say for absolute certainty that God exists!

      June 27, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  2. Marie Kidman

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

    June 21, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  3. Tashara

    I commend Pastor Driscoll for welcoming the "members" of Westboro church. My husband is in the military and it would be extremely hard to welcome these people if they protested a funeral where we're stationed. Whether you agree with Pastor Discoll or not, by welcoming these people he showed who Jesus is. http://mrsware92510.blogspot.com

    June 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • JayIV

      I'm so glad that people are finally recognizing that hate is an addiction. The best way to deal with someone who is afflicted is to approach them with compassion and kindness. If you would like to know more ways you can help the Westboro Baptist Church visit http://www.h8guide.com

      June 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  4. Michael

    Hey, Mr. Marrapodi, the church members and attenders to Marc Driscoll's Mars Hill and Acts29 churches are not 'parrishioners'. That may be an older term best applied to more catholic and episcopalian language suggesting that the people that lived in a geographic area were suggested to go to the nearest church. Am I correct blogging world? Not sure, but I definately would not think of my self as a parrishioner of my church of which I am a member. I am a member, part of the Body, part of the Community. What do ya'll think?

    June 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  5. Dave

    Well, DUH.

    The Catholic Church hates gays just as much as Fred Phelps does! They don't go around protesting military funerals over that issue, they just instruct Priests to give sermons railing against gay rights and telling parishioners that God wants them to join political campaigns against gay marriage.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  6. Zelda

    I hope they come. When the come they will get their reqard.

    June 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Real Zelda

      The above Zelda is a fake.

      June 21, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  7. Rev. Rick

    Oh my. Another example of Bible scripture interpretation run-amock. Two different church groups, each claiming to be Christian, and yet each group reaching totally different conclusions as to what it means to love your neighbor, and to treat others as you would have them treat you. I wonder what the Westboro "Church" protesters would do if they suddenly noticed Jesus Christ himself attending the funeral of one of our fallen soldiers? The Westboro "Church" members would not recognize Jesus Christ even if they hit him with a protest sign.

    June 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rev. Rick

      You said: "Oh my. Another example of Bible scripture interpretation run-amock."

      Yes. Another example.
      Notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god.

      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      1. If the Christian god exists, He would want everyone to know His wants, without ambiguity.
      Otherwise, why would He have bothered supplying man with a book of His will?

      2. The bible god provided, is ambiguous.
      This fact is evidenced by there being 34,000 different denominations of Christianity.

      3. Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      June 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Jeff

      The greatest danger facing the world today comes from the deranged kult of the water walker. No group is is more of threat to peaceful society than people who identify as members of that kult.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Junker HQ

      David, speaking strictly to logic, and syllogisms, yours does not make any sense.

      Minimally, premise 1,
      "1. If the Christian god exists, He would want everyone to know His wants, without ambiguity.
      Otherwise, why would He have bothered supplying man with a book of His will?" Is just plain question begging. Not only that it neglects what the bible says about what God wants. Its very plain that minimally, God wants to reconcile men to him through his son Jesus Christ. This is uncontroversial, and something that is inherent in the term 'christian'. Denominations may differ on secondary things, but historically christians have tended to rally around salvation through Jesus Christ. This is not controversial. There are other primary doctrines, but thats not the point of this post.

      You are free to not believe in Jesus, put please do so with objective reasoning rather than quick, poorly through through syllogisms that attempt to debunk chrisianity. You are only doing an injustice to yourself.

      June 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Junker HQ

      And in saying that, please excuse the typo's. I was intending to say "poorly thought through". I apologize!

      June 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Junker HQ

      You said: " Not only that it neglects what the bible says about what God wants. Its very plain that minimally, God wants to reconcile men to him through his son Jesus Christ. This is uncontroversial, and something that is inherent in the term 'christian'. Denominations may differ on secondary things, but historically christians have tended to rally around salvation through Jesus Christ. This is not controversial. There are other primary doctrines, but thats not the point of this post."

      My point was and is, that an all powerful , all knowing , all good god does not appear to be able to produce a bible that is not ambiguous. If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant.

      "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics. On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics.
      The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches. Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error.
      So, from practical observation, it would appear that the Bible is ambiguous. It is not possible to be certain of at least some of its key teachings." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

      John G. Stackhouse, Jr., professor of theology and culture at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada, reflects this conclusion. At the end of his book "Humble Apologetics" he states:
      "We Christians do believe that God has given us the privilege of hearing and embracing the good news, of receiving adoption into his family, and of joining the Church. We do believe that we know some things that other people don't, and those things are good for them to hear. Above all, we believe that we have met Jesus Christ.... For all we know, we might be wrong about any or all of this. And we will honestly own up to that possibility. Thus whatever we do or say, we must do or say it humbly."

      As I concluded, The Christian god, with the advertised attributes, is very unlikely to exist.

      Christians do not believe in Christianity because it is true. To them Christianity is true because they believe it.

      Cheers!

      June 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  8. cb

    This Westboro Baptist Church says they hate the Gay-Community. But, they also hate African Americans, Dr. & Mrs. King, Canada, Sweden, the Fire Department of N.Y., victims of 911, other Christian churches, the pope, Judaism, America, our American troops and the list goes on and on. Many of the groups they despise are specifically named on their hate propaganda, picket signs and their many websites. They not only hate, but wish death on all whom they abhor.
    This so-called “church” spreads its hate through picketing in our streets, provoking attacks, with abusive language and flag desecration, attempting to create a confrontation. This is not about protesting, this is about a life of hate. They are in it for the money and the press. They are not a "church." They go after any thing that can get them in the news. This group will protest anything to get its face on TV or in the news. This group is lost in the darkness of hate, and will put there children in danger to shield themselves.
    These people protest at the funerals of our troops. Do we have a real need to protest at any funeral? Is that a real freedom?
    The city of Topeka, the state of Kansas and the U.S. at large, its citizens and their churches, schools and events are all held hostage by this "hate group."-always at the tax payer's expense.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Gretchen

      How very true. For more interesting reading on the phelps gang of four, google fred phelps.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  9. Frogist

    It's quite a brilliant move actually. Confronting their hate with love.
    Although I am a bit susp-icious why the WBC chose this church specifically... I mean Driscoll is getting some good PR out of it too...
    Hey either way, I'm glad to see peaceful tactics used against these hateful people.

    June 20, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  10. Kebos

    Jesus is an invention of man. Those who take the legend of Jesus and twist it in such perverse ways as the Westboro church are very poor examples of people and how humanity should conduct itself on this planet.

    Fred Phelps should have an unfortunate accident so we can be rid of his disgusting behavior.

    June 20, 2011 at 6:57 am |
  11. Now is the time

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iZDfCTRSm4&w=640&h=390]

    June 20, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Now is the time

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QbkfYk86F0&w=640&h=390]

      June 20, 2011 at 12:27 am |
  12. Becky Quick

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

    June 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  13. Jim

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eqKb5ViN_Q&w=640&h=360]

    June 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  14. Reality

    And yet again more support for the following:

    Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion, abbots or priests needed or desired.

    Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

    June 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Supremeamerican

      Exactly. As a man who believes fully in Jesus Christ. I have a video that atheists might want to watch, it is satirical but has good points none the less. And I'm sure it would infuriate the so called christian westborough baptist church.

      June 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Supremeamerican

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmQJl6SUjUQ&w=640&h=390]

      June 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @supremeamerican Your video is a typical festival of christian arrogance based squarely in ignorance.

      June 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Aezel

      Ah yes, another video of some moron Christian claiming that them and their pastor at church are better at interpreting atomic physics principals than Nobel laureate scientists. What a joke. This video has about as much credibility as a golf cart driver giving someone a lecture on how to pilot the space shuttle.

      June 20, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • Michael

      Ya'll sure do go to extremes in your responses. Maybe take a step back and be a bit humble...I agree the video is not winsome, but perhaps we should not always go to extremes in comments by either saying something is terrible or amazing.

      June 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  15. yanko

    http://www.wpray4u.com

    June 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  16. JayGee

    "They need Jesus too, maybe as bad as anyone on the Earth. As a church, we're called to love people. They're people, so they make the list."

    I am not very religious at all, but I find this quote by Mr. Driscol to be very inspiring. I know nothing of Mr. Driscol so I am not saying I think he is a good guy, but I really like this view he shares in his quotes. If more faiths practiced this kind of tolerance, the world would be a much better, happier place.

    I don't plan on finding Jesus' love or anything like that, but gosh, if someone can be civil about their beliefs, as it seems Mr. Driscol is, then we could all practice our free speech without it harming others.

    I hope this type of mindset grows more among leaders of churches AND individuals who are not religious or spiritual. Open-mindedness is a two-way street... it has to work both ways.

    June 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I agree. I'm not interested in the religion Driscol pushes, but a laudable basic decency does shine through in that quote.

      June 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Kebos

      Different religions will never tolerate each other. They may suggest that they will but this is only a means to buy time while they strengthen their congregation and influence. Once a religion gains prominence, tolerance to other viewpoints decreases. Yes, prominence is inversely proportional to tolerance.

      All religions are bad. Moderates are just as much a problem as extremists because it is from the ranks of the moderates that the extremists are allowed to incubate.

      June 20, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • Michael

      Again, more extremes in comments on here. Sir, your statement on here that all religions are bad is super extreme and claims that you have all knowledge including what is the ultimate best for society. Where do you get that? Your philosophizing on where extremists originate is quite extreme. Perhaps you know you are extreme, then there is great irony in your statements.

      June 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  17. paul

    @ David Johnson,you poor lost soul.just read your post,you intellectualize Gods Holy word,you have obviously never been filled with the Holy Spirit,who in turn would show you Gods mysteries.Reading the Bible turned you to atheism? no dude,Satan turned you to atheism! Hath not the potter the power over the clay,of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor,and another unto dishonor?What if God willing to show his wrath,and to make His power known,endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction: and He might make known the riches of His Glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had beforehand prepared unto glory even us whom He HATH CALLED, MANY ARE CALLED FEW ARE CHOSEN, we do have a choice,you chose not to believe,only believers are chosen. Cheers to you!

    June 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Shut up. Don't EVER presume to tell someone else what "really" turned them away from your evil religion.

      June 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @paul

      You said: "you poor lost soul.just read your post,you intellectualize Gods Holy word,you have obviously never been filled with the Holy Spirit,who in turn would show you Gods mysteries.Reading the Bible turned you to atheism? no dude,Satan turned you to atheism! "

      Reading the book did indeed make me START to question the existence of god. Examining the evidence, convinced me.

      There is no Satan. Consider:

      Satan was invented by men, because they felt "funny" worshipping a god that had just devastated a village of good people via a flood. They didn't want their god to be the one who did evil. So, Beelzebub was born.

      Consider: You believe god is all knowing. Yes?

      You believe god is all powerful. Yes?

      You believe everything written in the bible is true. Yes?

      You believe Satan is at least as intelligent as your average human. Yes?

      You believe Satan can read? Yes?

      Do you think Satan ever read the part, in the King James, where he loses the battle against god? What would be the point in continuing the battle, if the goal (victory?) absolutely was not obtainable?

      Who, more than a fallen angel, would believe/know god was omniscient? Not to mention omnipotent. That would have been a stumbling block to any coup attempt. Right?

      So, rebellion would have been dumb of Satan and his band of angels. God would have said, "You will lose and you will lose your health insurance." End of rebellion, I think.

      These stories are fiction. Do you see that? What ent ity would rebel against an all powerful, all knowing god? You couldn't even sneak up on Him. Sheesh! Use your brain, just a little.

      What's funny, is that Christians bestow upon their god, the attributes of being omnibenevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient.
      Never mind that it is impossible for a god to be all those things at the same time.
      But, Christians never stop to think how these attributes affect their fairy tales. They never consider the ramifications resulting from these superlative qualities that they give to their god.

      Some have told me, that Satan knows he will be defeated. His goal is to take as many humans to hell with him as possible.
      But, Christians also say, their god is all knowing. If god can see the future, if the future can be known, He would know exactly how many souls will be lost and how many saved. He would know this, from the beginning.

      If god can know the future, Satan would be locked into his part. Like Judas and Peter, he would have no choice.

      If the predictions of the bible concerning Satan and the end times are true, then all the events and actions leading up to the fulfillment of these predictions, are predetermined. Predictions, cannot depend on chance.

      “For me, it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
      – Carl Sagan

      Cheers!

      June 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Eddie

      @Paul...that type of condescending talk is why people hate the church. Scripture says that when we are drawn we are drawn by his love...not calling someone a "poor soul"...Bad evangelism my friend..

      June 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Swooning

      @David Johnson, marry me?

      June 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  18. Haime52

    Is is truly sad to see anyone, claiming to be a follower of Christ, spewing such messages of hate. The only sins that cannot be forgiven is the ones we refuse to confess, by grieving away the Holy Spirit. While God may hate the sin, He loves the sinner and wishes that none perish. Mr. Phelps should go back to his Bible and do some more in-depth reading and soul searching. Thankfully God is the judge, not I and certainly not Mr. Phelps.

    June 19, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • John Richardson

      Actually, it's pretty common. The one novelty by tis particular nutjob is the "thank god for dead soldiers" campaign. That understandably rankles everybody with an ounce of decency in them, though it's not terribly unlike Pat Robertson's theory about god being behind 9/11. In any case, underlying the extreme disrespect to soldiers by the Westboro clan is an even more extreme anti-gay hatred, an THAT part of the whole package is the norm amongst conservative Christians.

      June 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • atomD21

      The culture of hatred in the church has been around since the beginning. That's nothing new. There are always groups and religions that are looked down on or outright hated by the church. Since we're not allowed to be racists anymore, the gay community is the flavor of the month. It's a sad state of affairs we've created for ourselves. And the worst part to me, as a Christian, is that the church is so closed off to the rest of the world that they can't see that all they're doing is hurtling headlong into obsolesence. Jesus' example (whether you believe in him or not) of how to live is a good one, and is something the church at large ignores in their pursuit of political power and being "right." The fight we are picking is the wrong one.

      June 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  19. Choco Lateboo Bees! :)

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

    June 19, 2011 at 9:22 am |
  20. Livelystone

    Jesus did die and shed His blood for the sins of the entire world and not just one religion or one part of it as many would like to believe. The way to be cleansed of sin was given so that our sins would not stop Christ from being formed in those who worship in spirit and in truth.

    The commandment is for us to become holy and "sin no more". Lots of persons try that but only Jesus can do it! ....... What Christians as a whole have yet to figure out is how to accomplish getting Jesus to be the one who rules their heart and writes His laws there so they too can overcome sin.

    There is a way to overcome sin but it has not been taught for 1900 years........... but thankfully will soon be taught again

    June 19, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • John Richardson

      Is there an online course for this or do I have to commute?

      June 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • frank

      I liked the part where Jesus started hollering for his dad to come help him but nothing happened, and then a soldier said "stfu!" and shanked him and he died.

      June 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Andrew

      Any way to actually verify this, or are you saying the equivalent of "Shiva is real"? Why should your religion be considered any more correct than any other religion? You can say "I believe blah blah blah", but stating these things as though they are fact is very intellectually dishonest unless you can support them. The bible isn't support any more than harry potter is support for voldemort, or the vedas is support for shiva. You need to establish the book as being non-fictional before you get to cite it.

      June 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Livelystone

      You said: "Jesus did die and shed His blood for the sins of the entire world and not just one religion or one part of it as many would like to believe. "

      Declaring that there is a god and that, that god had a son with a human, who is the redeemer of all mankind, is an extraordinary claim, indeed!

      If this claim is to be believed, should there not be extraordinary evidence to back up the claim?

      Doesn't god strongly desire everyone believe He exists and Jesus is His son?
      The birth, death and resurrection of Christ, if true, is the most important event in human history.
      You would expect an all knowing, all powerful god, would have ensured tons of eyewitness testimony existed to verify this event.

      Instead, all the evidence points to the entire notion of a god and a virgin and a redeemer as being bogus.

      The entire New Testament is propaganda for Jesus being the Messiah and the Son of God. There is no mention of Jesus in any secular writing, that is not suspected of being a later insertion or hearsay.
      There is no eyewitness testimony of Jesus.

      Nothing was written about Jesus until about 25 years after he died (Paul). Many think Paul, not Jesus, was the "father" of most of the Christianity (Pauline Christianity) practiced today. Paul never, ever met Jesus. All that he writes is hearsay.

      The authors of the Gospels, are unknown. There is no evidence that the Apostles, actually wrote them. The first gospel, Mark, was not written until about 65 CE.

      The Gospels were written to "prove" Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God. They strain to show Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies concerning the Messiah.

      The stories in the Gospels, are similar to "gods" that preceded Jesus. Google: Krishna, Mithra, Attis and Horus. You will find similarities that will astound you.

      Read some Greek and Roman mythology. Gods having $ex/offspring with humans, was not unique to the Christian god.

      Love and Prayers!

      June 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Michael

      Mr David, again, be careful in your statements. You have several red herrings here and are making bold statements without having read every history book. Buddy, I do not possess total knowledge and neither to do you. Please read my comment to you above in a higher response you made to a comment. Thanks for your lively discussion, although you may inadvertantly be killing each statement someone is making because it is different from your opinion, causing a lack of good discussion on the comment role. Watch your self-defensive nature welling-up in you at this moment. Perhaps we should seek more discussion and less lists of reasons on this type of forum. This is not the best medium for changing peoples' minds. I do want to encourage you in your desire for discussion and commitment to commenting on this article. Keep it up!

      June 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • tex

      Michael – how did you get to be the comment police?

      June 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Michael

      Hahaha! Thanks tex. When I was little I wanted to be a sheriff or be a warden at a jail, but then I licked a squirrel and my life changed. Maybe the inner desires keep coming out...Just trying to encourage balanced discussion instead of 'ad hominum' arguments...hahaha

      June 21, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Shawn

      "...not taught in 1900 years"??? you need to explain this because my bible says anyone who confesses Jesus as his Lord & believes he died to pay for our sin is indwelt with the Holy Spirit...he is a new creation, saved, redeamed, spending eternity with God.

      June 21, 2011 at 11:32 am |
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About this blog

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.