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Poll: 52 percent approve of God’s job performance
July 27th, 2011
11:58 AM ET

Poll: 52 percent approve of God’s job performance

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - If you think voters are in cranky mood over politics, a new poll suggests that some of the dissatisfaction may run deeper.

God’s job performance has trouble measuring up to many Americans' expectations, according to a poll by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm based in North Carolina.

Only 52 percent of Americans approve of God’s job performance, the survey found, though just 9 percent disapprove.

The polling question that prompted this curious response was, "If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of its performance?"

"When asked to evaluate God on some of the issues it is responsible for, voters give God its best rating on creating the universe, 71-5," the polling report said. "They also approve of its handling of the animal kingdom 56-11, and even its handling of natural disasters 50-13."

Dino Grandoni cited the poll in a blog for the  Atlantic Wire:

On the bright side for the Almighty's re-election chances, God is still more popular than House Speaker John Boehner and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, all of whom polled at 33 percent in the same poll.

(snip)

Believers or not, it seems ridiculous for the public to categorically grade God like this, until you realize that it's pollsters who asked the questions in the first place

Public Policy Polling used automated telephone interviews to survey 928 American voters from July 15 to 17. The voters were represented by a mix of liberal, moderate and conservative voters. The poll's margin of error  was +/-3.2%.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Faith • God • Polls • Uncategorized

soundoff (2,575 Responses)
  1. jweller

    Throw the bum out. I'm voting for Zeus next time, or maybe Oden.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  2. Barry

    No, my faith is not in man (humankind), as you said. I place my faith solely in God, and I trust him, his word and his ability to work in and through the lives of humans, despite our weaknesses and failings. (Although it's not what I think that matters. I’m just a man, who was made from the dust of the ground.)

    I do trust the testimony of those godly men and woman, many of whom were eyewitnesses. The gospels were in fact written later (after Paul's epistles), and these writings were based on the faith and testimony of those who were witnesses to what they heard and saw Jesus do.

    The message of the Old Testament is the account of a group of people (Israel) struggling to obey and come to terms with one God (versus many).

    Over the course of hundreds of years, God accomplished what he set out to do, to make (remake) humans in his image and in his likeness.

    For those of us who are faithful Christians, we believe that we are being made or remade into the image of God's son, Jesus Christ.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Sybaris

      For those of us who are faithful Christians, we believe that we are being made or remade into the image of God's son, Jesus Christ."

      There's a pill for that

      July 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Fred1

      So if we are made in the immage of god. Does that meen he has parts that are nasty too?

      July 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  3. PaulMcCaffrey1978

    God has nothing to do with this universe.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  4. Shawn

    I hear Santa Claus has an approval rating even higher!!!

    Anyone know how the Easter Bunny is doing???

    July 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  5. Richard S Kaiser

    GOD is ALL Of CREATION and He Lives On in the Minds of Those who Know or do not Know regardless of right or wrong.

    God, the 1st Creation of GOD was Created by GOD Before ALL CREATION Itslef was even Manifested.

    Even the Gods Plural were Created and did so Establish a Coventry for GOD Or Against GOD.

    The Timeline for CREATION is Made Manifest Not By Our Standard of TIME but By GOD's Understanding TIME Itself!

    For in the WORD is Written, "A day is as a Thousnad years and a Thousnad years is but a Day". written in 2Peter 3:8 stated; "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."

    TIME, Time and time are themselves as being Relevancies Interconnected and yet isolated and apart from each other.

    The "Performance of GOD and HIS First Born Gods" is not without Apprehensions and Bewilderments.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Charge Nurse Betty

      That's OK folks. It's almost time for our pills.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Hey rich here's some reality........... you were born an atheist.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Fred1

      That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown
      Genisis 6: 2,4

      July 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  6. Gino

    Religion=drivel

    July 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  7. Barry

    Laughing,

    It is true that the Circus Maximus was a race track. It is also true that the Circus burned during the great fire of Rome, and many believe that Nero set t his fire and then blamed the Christians. This, of course, made the plight of the followers of Jesus even more dire.

    Do you deny that there was a gret fire of Roma, that it began in at the Circus Maximus, and that Nero persecuted the Christians?

    July 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Laughing

      Barry, I truely don't understand what semblence of a point you are trying to make about the Circus Maximus. It being burned down by Nero and blamed on the Christains may well have been true. Nero was a historical figure, and a fascinating one at that, who controlled the most powerful empire in the world, and for a guy who made his horse a high priest, it stands to reason that this guy would get a lot of attention for doing crazy things. As for a fire, there are independent sources to verify it happened, size and scope might be a little exagerated, but I think it was bigger than just a houe getting burnt.

      So what exactly is the point with all your questions? Are you saying because there's verifiable evidence that events happened in Rome during the time of christ by independent and different sources, that that somehow relates to a jesus in israel with only one book to verify his existance? You're examples are wanting at best.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Fred1

      No; but, when you remember Christians fondness for burning people alive during the inquisition, perhaps they did start the fire at Maximus

      July 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  8. Barry

    Civiloutside,

    Are you back-peddling now?

    So you do admit that Jesus existed.

    Do you also admit that Jesus was a Jew and a teacher (rabbi)?

    Or do you believe this was a myth?

    Do you admit that Jesus was crucified by the Romans?

    Or do you hold that this was a myth?

    Do you believe that the Romans crucified their condemned?

    Do you believe that the Roman emperors feared that the Christians posed a danger to them, fearing that they might not be loyal to Rome, and fearing that the gods of Rome would be against them, if they allowed the Christians to exist?

    Do you admit that Jesus’ followers believed (and still believe) that he was and is the son of God?

    Do you admit that Jesus’ followers were executed at Roman public events?

    Do you admit that Christians were thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheaters of Roman cities, such as the Coliseum?

    It is true that the Circus Maximus was a race track. It is also true that the Circus burned during the great fire of Rome, and many believe that Nero set t his fire and then blamed the Christians. This, of course, made the plight of the followers of Jesus even more dire.

    Do you admit these things?

    July 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Do you admit that Christians were thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheaters of Roman cities, such as the Coliseum?
      ------------------
      Yes, shame I missed the show. If your jesus existed he suffered from schizophrenia. Your faith is in man and always has been Barry.

      Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.
      As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
      • False beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions)
      • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)

      July 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      I'm going to answer just for funzies.

      > So you do admit that Jesus existed.

      I have no problem admitting that a man by the name of Jesus could have existed. But I dispute that he had supernatural abilities.

      > Do you also admit that Jesus was a Jew and a teacher (rabbi)?

      According to the bible he was. But then again, the bible claims zombies rose up from their graves.

      > Or do you believe this was a myth?

      I believe it's a little from column a and a little from column b. Sorta like other stories. Phaoahs existed, but I doubt they had any powers. Merlin might have been a person, but I doubt he was a mage.

      > Do you admit that Jesus was crucified by the Romans?

      Yes, why not. Lots of people were and it wasn't that uncommon. Esp for a rabble rouser like Jesus.

      > Or do you hold that this was a myth?

      The crucifiction probably happened. The events that followed probably didn't.

      > Do you believe that the Romans crucified their condemned?

      There's actually evidence that shows they did.

      > Do you believe that the Roman emperors feared that the Christians posed a danger to them, fearing that they might not be loyal to Rome, and fearing that the gods of Rome would be against them, if they allowed the Christians to exist?

      I wouldn't say fear is the right word. Romans could have easily crushed the Christians if they wanted to. So no, I don't believe they feared them.

      > Do you admit that Jesus’ followers believed (and still believe) that he was and is the son of God?

      Yes, just like the hindus believe and still believe in Shiva.

      > Do you admit that Jesus’ followers were executed at Roman public events?

      Yes.

      > Do you admit that Christians were thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheaters of Roman cities, such as the Coliseum?

      Again, yes. The origin of valenties day is associated with those acts.

      > It is true that the Circus Maximus was a race track. It is also true that the Circus burned during the great fire of Rome, and many believe that Nero set t his fire and then blamed the Christians. This, of course, made the plight of the followers of Jesus even more dire.

      So what? Rome could have easily wiped the christians off the map. Just like all the other cultures they crushed.

      > Do you admit these things?

      Not all of them, because some of them are poorly worded. 😀

      July 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Silly questions. I admit that all of those things most likely happened. That's not backpedaling, since I've never claimed otherwise.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  9. Richard S Kaiser

    Myweightinwords wrote; “You put a lot of weight in the belief that people you never met, who lived thousands of years ago in a world you can not begin to comprehend believed and felt what you think they believed and felt.”

    People nowadays are putting a weighty bit of their small verbatim into what is deemed as Atheism brought about by people whom You among Otherly; Have quite possibly never met even though such Atheistically engrained folks might well be alive.

    GOD; A Being who may be considered ALL CREATION was there from the very Beginning of Creativeness in Matrimonial(s) of Matter being United Together to eventually form Intellectuals such as the many in our Life of Today.

    Myweightinwords wrote; “And, that message you feel as done so much to heal and restore? I see a lot of broken and devastated lives BECAUSE of how that message is used. My heart was not restored, healed, until I walked away from that message and all of the people who were using to to destroy, to mangle the hearts of others, to denigrate and demonize those not like them.”

    Your “heart” being restored by Your leaving the messaged and also the people you claim destroyed and mangled Otherly hearts not like Yours; is Calamitous!

    People (like your tortured self) who do leave and/or dismiss “Rational Christendom’s Revelations” are nowadays becoming the Atheists’ Sheep or they are choosing to be of solitary Natures never to claim a Life in social gatherings of Atheisms’ dissention. “Which are you Myweightinwords” a solitary Virtuoso or a Sheep gathered in Atheisms' Dissention?

    July 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Laughing

      Richard

      you are being a little.....what's the word I'm looking for? Verbose, wordy, long-winded, talkative, effusive, garrulous, loquacious, rambling.....

      Secondly, I Don't Think It's Necessary To Capitilize The Beginning Of Every Word You Write, It Takes Away From Any Point You Are Trying To Make As It Shows Your Lack of Knowledge With Grammar Rules

      July 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > People nowadays are putting a weighty bit of their small verbatim into what is deemed as Atheism brought about by people whom You among Otherly; Have quite possibly never met even though such Atheistically engrained folks might well be alive.

      Take note children. This is what stupid people think smart people talk like.

      > GOD; A Being who may be considered ALL CREATION was there from the very Beginning of Creativeness in Matrimonial(s) of Matter being United Together to eventually form Intellectuals such as the many in our Life of Today.

      You need to work on your usage of the english language. You're clearly not able to articulate your ideas.

      > Your “heart” being restored by Your leaving the messaged and also the people you claim destroyed and mangled Otherly hearts not like Yours; is Calamitous!

      You've got to be a troll.

      > People (like your tortured self) who do leave and/or dismiss “Rational Christendom’s Revelations” are nowadays becoming the Atheists’ Sheep or they are choosing to be of solitary Natures never to claim a Life in social gatherings of Atheisms’ dissention. “Which are you Myweightinwords” a solitary Virtuoso or a Sheep gathered in Atheisms' Dissention?

      Finally, some sort of statement that is coherant. Let me fill you in here. Historical accounts are insufficient for proving a supernatural occurance took place. If they are, then you must also accept books written on alchemy and other religious texts. Heck, we don't even believe real live witnesses today of supernatural events.

      There is no such thing as Christian rationalism because to be a christian you have to accept a concept for which you have no evidence. Which is not rational.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  10. hippypoet

    here, the only true way to proove god is here... I say we torture the pope... if this is wrong and there is a god.. how could he let his right-hand man, his rep. on earth to be treated like this... if this was wrong, and he is the dude – then can conclude that god would appear to stop the hate... and the pope is totally in need of torture.. hiding all the pervs, making excuses for the child touch'n priests... they all deserve to be tortured and then killed in a most cathic fashion... by being nailed to a cross! i know thats a more Roman then cathic but St. peter said it was ok.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • o.k.

      Two things: (1) Get a dictionary; and (2) lay of the pot.

      Thanks!

      July 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  11. Jess

    Who do you think you are judging God? God that has died so you can be saved!

    July 28, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Well, looking around here, I'd call that an Epic FAIL!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • gozer

      Jess,

      How come your all-powerful being needed to have a scapegoat killed in order to save anything? Pretty weak excuse for a "god" you've created for yourself there. Think harder about "omnipotent" if you can.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Byrd

      Well, if he's indeed dead as you claim above, then I guess it's high time people started thinking for themselves instead of waiting for some supernatural being to save them...from themselves, don't you think...?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Banks

      Yeah, here's a story that makes sense: God decides that the people he created are not adequately following the rules he made, a result of which is that he would have to do bad things to the people. His solution for this problem was to go to earth in order to sacrifice himself to himself to forgive people he created for breaking the rules that he made up. Of course we all know that unnecessary human sacrifice is always the best solution to problems...

      July 28, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Think man! Sacrifice has been an evolutionary gesture. It was fruit and goats until somebody came up with the perfect formula and even then your Jesus man sacrificed nothing as it returned to its original form.

      Regardless, your creator could only create one offspring?

      John 3:16 is weak.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Sybaris

      Regardless, your creator could only create one offspring?
      --------
      And he needed to molest a human to do it. Pathetic and a sick-o god

      July 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Ru

      You're an IDIOT! God cannot die... jesus did and If im correct that's only 1/3 of God according to you crazies

      July 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  12. Soulsnagger

    The ultimate arrogance to weigh in on God's performance. God exists as is abundantly clear from the natural world. Every cell in your body is so incredibly complex that it is simply not possible for it to have evolved – even those who believe in a very old earth can not find enough time for the evolution of such a complex cell to have evolved in the time period we can account for. Punctuated equilibrium notwithstanding. Every cell has DNA and DNA is so complicated that it took us 2000 years to be able to decode it partially with the help of super computers. Do you really feel qualified to render judgment on a being that is so far above us? Human arrogance is beyond belief.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Sybaris

      You really need to stay away from websites like CARM and please don't visit The Creation Museum but please take some college level biology courses.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • MarkinFL

      2000 years?? Yeah those old computers were SO slow!

      Remember when they came out with the Stonehenge III? We all thought that was soooo fast. Then they invented the abacus 2000. WOW!

      Here we are 2000 years after Jesus discovered DNA and we're just now getting a handle on it. Yep, pretty pathetic.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • hippypoet

      so you don't think that 4.3 billion years is a long time? the universe is 14.2 billion years old...your belief states that the earth was created by god and then he created man right after... keep in mind that i am paraphrasing... now according to your book the earth is less then 5000 years old! have you ever seen a fossil, i suppose that was god too right, he put that there to confuse the non believers! look face facts, there is no proof and never will be. the only arguement for god existing is " its a matter of faith" a.k.a. i have no proof why i think clearly childish things... oh by the way, hows santa?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Joshua

      Really? It didn't really take us 2000 years to figure out what DNA was and how it worked. MOST of that time we weren't even aware of it's existence. Once we figured it out it MAYBE took us 100 years or so to take a look at it and start manipulating. that's only a few generations. Not bad.

      Anyway, this article only seeks to point out something that has been recurrent in every civilization. God did NOT make man. Man made GOD in his image. And like the christian gods and all the other gods that exist today and those that existed before them, he will be judged and at some point in the future, removed from prominence altogether like the thousands of gods that came before them. That's just how it is.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Laughing

      So you're saying that becuase it's really hard for you to understand, it must be only in the realm of god to have created it?
      So god is very complex right? Then what created god? god's god?

      Darn, my brain hurts now, guess I should just stop thinking and let god do that for me too, praise be unto him, allah, creator of everything and one very very smart guy

      July 28, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      MarkinFL

      2000 years?? Yeah those old computers were SO slow!

      Remember when they came out with the Stonehenge III? We all thought that was soooo fast. Then they invented the abacus 2000. WOW!

      Here we are 2000 years after Jesus discovered DNA and we're just now getting a handle on it. Yep, pretty pathetic.

      ----–
      That was funny. lol You forgot the chinese bead computer if I remember correctly. Because somethingis complex and hard to understand does not equal GOD. I see why the bible talks about sheep.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Fred1

      If this is your God, he’s not very impressive. He has so many psychological problems; he’s so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. He’s a pretty poor excuse for a Supreme Being.
      –Gene Roddenberry

      July 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  13. lordshipmayhem

    So let me get this straight: something that doesn't even have the smallest iota of evidence supporting its very existence has an approval rating greater than one in two of all Americans? With voters that lacking in the ability to think rationally, no wonder the country's in the trouble it is.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  14. hippypoet

    if we are evulating gods preformance as god, this kinda makes the assumtion that we can fire him if he sucks at his job! but who would we get to replace him, maybe Aqua-man! heres a truth for ya, people spent time and money doing a survey about a non-existant creature who we can do nothing about. hey i got an idea, lets go waste more stuff!

    July 28, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Free

      Read Karen Armstrong's "History of God"; we've already 'fired' numerous versions of 'God' throughout the ages, replacing the old, unsatisfactory versions with more contemporary ones. Several versions are currently en vogue, ranging from the "God is LOVE" model all the way to "Jesus the Sward-Bearing End-Times Conquerer" popular amongst rapture ready Americans, and there are indications that the younger generation is already rejecting both of these in favor of one of their own creation. 20 years from now it will likely be something else entirely. God evolves!

      July 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  15. Deathstalker

    I believe God exists but If you do not or he does not then we are God because we created him not the other way around. If God does not exists then we can do anything there is no one out there to stop us. Humans as individuals are mortal but as a species we are imortal. Our greatest fear is global exstinction. Our species will survive unless we destroy ourselves. God protects us, loves us and will forgive us in the end. Hold your head up keep love in your heart and if you do no believe in God then belive in humanity because we will survive and possibly in a few thousand years discover time travel and we can save all those who died before. Never give up never give in.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • brad

      Thomas Merton once said that were it not for the grace of God, humanity would have destroyed itself a long time ago.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • huh

      "Our species will survive unless we destroy ourselves. "

      Or our milky-way collides with another and blows us into oblivion.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Free

      Deathstalker
      "I believe God exists but If you do not or he does not then we are God because we created him not the other way around."
      No, it would not mean that we have become all-power, all-knowing, creators of the universe that we imagine God to be. It just means that we have enough imagination to dream up a passably perfect being. Remember that even if God really exists then we've already dreamed up thousands of other beings we've called gods or goddesses. What's so difficult about accepting that God is just another of them?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • JoeK

      " If God does not exists then we can do anything there is no one out there to stop us."

      No, not at all. I do not kill you not because I'm afraid of afterlife consequences, but rather because of the consequences here on earth.
      In normal tribes, I don't kill you so that you brother doesn't kill me, and then my brother kills him, and it becomes a chain. In modern society, I don't kill you because I do not want to spend my life in a cell, or not to get the death penalty.

      If the only thing that holds us back is God, then why do we have police and courts in the first place?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Laughing

      @huh

      Fun fact, we're actually on a collision course with andromeda, but even when we merge there's a better chance that we won't experience anything at all. The vast distances between each star is so great that when a merge happens we'll most likely get a gravitational tug in our solar system by a passing star, but nothing more. You should be more worried about when our star becomes a red giant and engulfs as when it swells up. It's going to sting for a little

      July 28, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Laughing

      " If God does not exists then we can do anything there is no one out there to stop us."

      When has god ever stopped you from doing anything? The thought of god maybe, the threat of hel.l perhaps, but has god ever actually intervened? If that was the case, there wouldn't be any murder anyways because an all powerful god could stop all murders whenever he wants.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > I believe God exists but If you do not or he does not then we are God because we created him not the other way around.

      Harry Potter does not exist, so does that make J.K. Rowling Harry Potter?

      > If God does not exists then we can do anything there is no one out there to stop us.

      That's right. We can. However, society has certain requirements to hold itself together. Such as people not murdering each other endlessly or stealing. Because there are advantages to being in a society, these actions are constrained by the greater good of all of us.

      > Humans as individuals are mortal but as a species we are imortal.

      Unless we die out.

      > Our greatest fear is global exstinction. Our species will survive unless we destroy ourselves.

      Ok, and?

      > God protects us, loves us and will forgive us in the end.

      How do you know this? And which God is it? I mean, Shiva could be looking out for all of us. Or Ba'al. Each of which has just as much evidence as your God.

      > Hold your head up keep love in your heart and if you do no believe in God then belive in humanity because we will survive and possibly in a few thousand years discover time travel and we can save all those who died before. Never give up never give in.

      Rambling moron seems to sum up your position quite well.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  16. brad

    In the fifth chapter of Acts, the reports of Jesus' resurrection were getting out of hand. The Sanhedrin apprehended Peter and others and roughed them up, ordering them never to repeat that Name again. The respected Gamaliel stood up and told the Sanhedrin basically this: " Have nothing to do with these men (Peter, et al). If this thing about Jesus is the work of man, it will destroy itself. If it is of God, you cannot defeat it without fighting God himself." Well, 2000 years later and Christianity has not destroyed itself or been destroyed. Atheism has been fighting God Himself. What an exhausting endeavor.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Slumberjack

      There are still people who conduct pagan ceremonies of worship at the nearly 10,000 year old Stonehenge site. Is this evidence of their god's existence?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Free

      It's not so much a case of atheists fighting against God as it is a case of people losing interest in him, as they have the other gods. Besides, by your argument, the Buddha is even more trustworthy than Christ as he was around for hundreds of years before Jesus.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Sybaris

      Such a christocentric view.

      You are no different than an atheist. You are fighting the existence of other gods as well. We are just fighting one more than you.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > In the fifth chapter of Acts, the reports of Jesus' resurrection were getting out of hand. The Sanhedrin apprehended Peter and others and roughed them up, ordering them never to repeat that Name again. The respected Gamaliel stood up and told the Sanhedrin basically this: " Have nothing to do with these men (Peter, et al). If this thing about Jesus is the work of man, it will destroy itself. If it is of God, you cannot defeat it without fighting God himself." Well, 2000 years later and Christianity has not destroyed itself or been destroyed. Atheism has been fighting God Himself. What an exhausting endeavor.

      You are aware there are other religions that have existed much longer then Christianity and have not been destroyed. Making Sanhedrin's statement wrong. Not only that, if your best arguement is "some guy from the desert centuries ago said" your position is not looking very good.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Atheism, brad; in this Age, is a cornerstone of those wanting to fight; With heathen words' Unfruitabilities and yet the common atheist wonders aimlessly to and fro; Hardly ever considering GOD or God or god, the Triune Antiphony of the King's English Vocabulairium of the Word in Truthfulness.

      July 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Free

      Richard S Kaiser
      Who's wondering? Do you wonder if there may be other gods sharing YHWH's dominion? We don't either!

      July 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Fred1

      Actually it’s a very good time to be an atheist. Christians can’t go around burning us at the stake any more.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Free

      Fred1
      "Actually it’s a very good time to be an atheist. Christians can’t go around burning us at the stake any more."

      Well legally, but I'm not absolutely sure about Texas!

      July 29, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  17. Barry

    Civiloutside,

    Do you also deny the existence of Augustus Caesar?

    Do you deny that he was considered to be a master administrator of Rome?

    And do you deny the Christians were executed in the Circus Maximus, the Coliseum and other places in the Roman empire?
    Do you deny that Nero persecuted Christians?

    Do you deny that Decius and Diocletian persecuted the church?

    Do you deny that Constantine existed?

    Do you deny that Constantine embraced the Christian faith?

    July 28, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Laughing

      Congratulations for proving nothing at all. Who denies these things? No one, because the historical figures you named have many different records alluding to them and have independent sources to verfiy their existance.

      Furthermore, the Cicurs Maximus was a racetrack, no one was persecuted there. The Coliseum was a stadium to watch people fight people, people fight animals, animals to fight animals and even water battles. Enemies of Rome, criminals or slaves were forced to compete. Would you believe me however if I told you the movie gladiator is entirely real? How can you prove me wrong? This movie shows it, there are a couple of historically accurate details as well so prove me wrong, prove that maximus doesn't exist.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Civiloutside

      I didn't say Jesus didn't exist. I'm saying that much of the legendary surrounding him is made up.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  18. Pat

    Whom are we to rate God's work, let rate ourselves first?

    July 28, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Pat,

      Amen.

      CNN proves they have NO shame printing this article.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • MarkinFL

      OK, I rate myself higher than most gods I've read or heard about. They are generally petulant, spoiled, dictators with homicidal tendencies.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Free

      In a way I agree with you. I think we are rating ourselves by still seriously considering that there is a God out there to rate. The fact that God's approval rating is still as high as 52% does not speak well for us at all.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  19. Barry

    Peter, You stated: What proof do we have that Jesus existed?”

    Consider the following:

    Reputable scholars and historians, both secular and religious (including atheist scholars and historians) do not dispute that Jesus existed. They readily acknowledge that there was a man named Jesus, who was a Jew and a teacher (a rabbi), who lived in the first century C.E., who was crucified by the Romans, during the reign of Augustus Caesar.
    These matters are not disputed—at least not be respected scholars and historians.

    Of course we who are Christians believe that he was the son of God and that he rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion and death.

    Remember that many of the early followers of Jesus not only claimed to be eyewitnesses to his life and ministry, but these were reputable and respected members of society, who hated lies, hated falsehood, and hated anything evil.

    These early Christians (for at least the first three centuries) were willing to subject themselves to ostracism, hatred, loss of jobs, expulsion from the military, torture and cruel deaths, because they believed that the story of Jesus was true.

    As if this was not enough, the early Christians were willing to subject not only themselves to persecution, torture and death, but they were also willing to allow their family members and those they loved to this same fate.

    I trust that I don’t need to provide you with a list of some of the martyrs, or the manner in which they were persecuted, tortured and executed.

    We who are Christians believe in Jesus because of the testimony of these trustworthy witnesses.

    Remember some of these early believers were initially skeptical, and some (like the Apostle Paul) initially helped persecute the early Christians.

    Finally we believe the message, because it works. No other message has done more to heal and restore broken lives and to give hope and direction to so many.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • myweightinwords

      You put a lot of weight in the belief that people you never met, who lived thousands of years ago in a world you can not begin to comprehend believed and felt what you think they believed and felt.

      Really, you are imposing your own belief and desire on what you know of them based on a few bits of information left to us and the writings of those who gathered the oral stories into what has become the bible.

      And, that message you feel as done so much to heal and restore? I see a lot of broken and devastated lives BECAUSE of how that message is used. My heart was not restored, healed, until I walked away from that message and all of the people who were using to to destroy, to mangle the hearts of others, to denigrate and demonize those not like them.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • RFBJR

      @myweightinwords: So you're gay

      July 28, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Sybaris

      "Finally we believe the message, because it works. No other message has done more to heal and restore broken lives and to give hope and direction to so many."

      It works so well that even after 2000 years a majority of the worlds population doesn't buy it?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Madtown

      We who are Christians believe in Jesus because of the testimony of these trustworthy witnesses. Finally we believe the message, because it works. No other message has done more to heal and restore broken lives and to give hope and direction to so many.
      ---
      What happens to those who through no fault of their own, have never heard the message? Humans born into primitve tribes, who've never heard of Jesus, or the bible. What happens to them?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Sybaris

      “These early Christians (for at least the first three centuries) were willing to subject themselves to ostracism, hatred, loss of jobs, expulsion from the military, torture and cruel deaths, because they believed that the story of Jesus was true.”

      Followers of other faiths then and now experience the same persecution……..even at the hands of Christians. Regardless, experiencing persecution for ones beliefs doesn’t make it true.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      A few years ago some people killed themselves because they believed it was necessary in order for the alien spacecraft hidden in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet to transport their souls to paradise. And these were people raised in an age steeped in far less supersti-tion than those of Jesus' time. It is quite obvious that a story need not be true, or even particularly plausible, for people to believe it strongly enough to die for it.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Slumberjack

      Most of Jim Jones followers were all willing to drink the Kool-Aid, but it doesn't mean we have to place any stock in anything he had to say on the matter of religion. Suicide bombers professing the Islamic faith appear to have some guarantee of an exciting afterlife frolicking around with virgins; however it doesn't mean we need to take their belief system at face value and sign up for our own explosive vests. Likewise for all of those Christian doomsday cults with their thousands of followers that routinely predict the end of the world, but end up adjusting the timeline when their original date arrives and passes without incident. They can believe these things to their heart's content while selling all of their possessions and turning the cash over for safe keeping to the chap making the making the predictions, but it doesn't mean the rest of us have to take it seriously. As Richard Dawkins points out, everyone is an atheist regarding most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. No one believes in Zeus, Thor, Ra, or any of the countless other inventions of the human mind. Some of us just take it one god further. Gene Roddenberry once stated that "we must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." Sadly for the religious, all questions were answered many centuries ago. They apparently needn’t make further inquiries or search for other possible explanations to life’s mysteries.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Simply put, Barry's faith is in man, not a god. Gods cannot exist without man.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • David Johnson

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay?

      Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) a contemporary Jewish historian, never wrote a word about Jesus. This is odd, since Philo wrote broadly on the politics and theologies around the Mediterranean.

      Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BCE – 65 CE) A.K.A. Seneca the Younger. A contemporary of Jesus wrote extensively on many subjects and people. But he didn't write a word about a Jesus.

      Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – August 25, 79 AD), better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher. Plinius wrote "Naturalis Historia", an encyclopedia into which he collected much of the knowledge of his time. There is no mention of a Jesus.

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus. God incarnate, and we don't even have a Mother's day card signed by Him.

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Twenty-five years was most of the average person's lifespan in the 1st Century.

      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).
      Paul never actually met Jesus.

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:

      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31

      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32

      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus' "miracles".

      This is just an embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction possibly constructed to make it appear that some Old Testament "prediction" was fulfilled.

      Here is some more:

      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."

      Yet not a single secular mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded. 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

      An interesting note:

      "The same phenomena and portents of the sudden darkness at the sixth hour, a strong earthquake, rent stones, a temple entrance broken in two, and the rising of the dead have been reported by multiple ancient writers for the death of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC." – Sources Wikipedia (John T. Ramsey & A. Lewis Licht, The Comet of 44 B.C. and Caesar's Funeral Games, Atlanta 1997, p. 99–107)

      Hmmm...
      If you can't even believe the crucifixion story how likely is the resurrection account to be true? In a book that is a mix of fiction and "fact", how do you know which is which? Especially, since all of bible seems very unlikely and does not fit with the reality we see around us.?

      If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.

      Having gone to the trouble of impregnating a human and being born god incarnate and dying for mankind's sins, why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans.

      You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people, in the world, who are not Christians (67%) than who are (33%). Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people.

      Cheers!

      July 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      33% of the people in the world suffer from some form of mental illness.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Barry

      You said: "Of course we who are Christians believe that he was the son of God and that he rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion and death."

      1 Corinthian 15:14-17 – Paul says Christianity lives or dies on the Resurrection.

      1 Corinthians 15:4 "4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures"

      Matthew 12:40 – Jesus said, that he would be buried three days and three nights as Jonah was in the whale three days and three nights.

      Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning is only 2 days at the most. Or, if you count Friday and Sunday as entire days, then you could get 3 days and 2 nights. This is a gimme though. The Mary's went to the grave at sunrise and it was empty.

      Obviously, the fundies spin this like a pinwheel. I have seen explanations like: Jesus was actually crucified on Wednesday or maybe Thursday; The prophesy actually means 12 hour days, and not 24 hour days; The partial days are counted as full days. This one is true, but still doesn't add up.

      At any rate, the crucifixion day and number of days and nights Jesus spent in the grave, is disputed.
      It looks very much like, that Jesus was not in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights. The prophecy was not fulfilled.

      Cheers!

      July 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Barry

      You said: "I trust that I don’t need to provide you with a list of some of the martyrs, or the manner in which they were persecuted, tortured and executed."

      Josh McDowell popularized this argument, as "proof" that the resurrection happened. The argument states that no one would die for something they knew to be false. So, since the disciples died, the resurrection must have occurred.

      This argument has a problem. People may not die for something they know to be false, but they would and do die for something they believe in. People have often died for things they believed to be true. Muslim extremists, have blown themselves to bits, because they believed in an afterlife overflowing with virgins. Believers are victims of delusion.

      Dying for a thing, doesn't make it true.

      Cheers!

      July 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  20. Andrew Grover

    Seriously, maybe we should sit down and discuss this with the omnipresent being Himself to see if these things are able to be corrected over time so we are more satisfied with the One who created us. What a waste of time involved that we could have been posting other ridiculous stories such as the recent episodes of Jersey Shore or Kim Kardashian and her family's boring and pathetic life. Who funded this research and can we get the moeny back?

    July 28, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Andrew Grover

      Please be quick to mock me because I misspelled the word "money" and spelled it "moeny". I made an error and I am fallible. I guess I could be disappointed in Almighty for "making" me make a mistake.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:57 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.