home
RSS
9/11 Ceremony won't include clergy or formal prayers
Visitors look over Ground Zero. Some religious leaders are upset there will be no formal prayers during the 10th anniversary ceremony.
August 25th, 2011
07:48 PM ET

9/11 Ceremony won't include clergy or formal prayers

By, Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– As the city of New York prepares to remember the 10th anniversary of 9/11, religious leaders are raising concerns over the lack of clergy participating in the anniversary events.

"Utterly disappointed and surprised," Fernado Cabrera a New York City councilman and the pastor of New Life Outreach International church in the Bronx, said over the decision not to include any clergy in the ceremony.

"There's certain things that government cannot do, and answering questions of meaning of 'Why are we going through this?' and 'Where am I going to get strength from?' - those are existential questions that can only be answered from a spiritual aspect," Cabrera said.

"I'm telling you I saw it first hand, the power of prayer," he added of his time at ground zero on September 11, 2001.

Cabrera said he reached out to the mayor's office and was told there would be no prayer in this year's ceremony.

He has started a petition on Facebook to change that.

"The ceremony was designed in coordination with 9/11 families with a mixture of readings that are spiritual, historical and personal in nature," Evelyn Erskine, a spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said in an e-mail to CNN.

"It has been widely supported for the past 10 years and rather than have disagreements over which religious leaders participate we would like to keep the focus of our commemoration ceremony on the family members of those who died."

The exclusion of clergy was first widely reported by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

Bill Donahue of the Catholic League rejected the mayor's office explanation of potential religious infighting over who would get to pray, saying the issue is sorted out all the time for presidential inaugurations and other major events.

"What [the mayor] did is what he often does, which is to make autocratic decisions," Donahue said. "I don't think this is something that will sit well with New Yorkers and the biggest mistake Bloomberg has made is he's given us three weeks."

On July 29 Bloomberg spoke about the ceremony during his weekly radio show. He announced that President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush would both be attending and participating, as well as other politicians and elected officials.

"This cannot be political," Bloomberg told the radio audience. "That's why there's a poem or a quote or something that each one of the readers will read." He added there would be "no speeches whatsoever."

While he was talking about which officials would attend, he noted, "There's an awful lot of people that would like to participate but you just can't do that, once you open it up. So the argument here is it's elected officials and those who were there at the time and had some influence."

There have been 10 ceremonies at ground zero in New York to pause and remember the events of 9/11, one six months after the attack and on September 11 each following year.

Spirituality and religion have been reserved for the moments of silence in those events.

In past ceremonies, four moments of silence were observed to mark when each tower was struck and when each tower fell.

For this year's ceremony, organizers added two additional moments of silence to recognize the strike on the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

"This year's six moments of silence allow every individual a time for personal and religious introspection," Erskine said.

Throughout the city there will be other prayer events leading up to September 11.

In particular, the New York Police Department will be hosting its own ceremony, which will include prayers, at Lincoln Center on September 8.

The event is scheduled to include Rabbi Alvin Kass, the chief of chaplains for the NYPD; Cardinal Edward Egan, the Archbishop emeritus of New York; and the mayor.

But Donahue and Cabrera said because this is the 10th anniversary, there should be clergy and prayer in the 9/11 ceremony to reflect the contribution faith, religion, and spirituality played in the recovery.

"This is not a message of unity when you begin to exclude people who were crucial in the turnaround moment that we needed," Cabrera said.

Donahue said he hoped the mayor would reconsider and invite clergy to participate.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 9/11 • Belief

soundoff (1,461 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Surah Al-Qadr
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, The Moon Gods
    Lo! We revealed it on the Night of Power. (1) Ah, what will convey unto thee what the Night of Power is! (2) The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. (3) The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. (4) (The night is) Peace until the rising of the dawn. (5)And We allow them to running naked around their idol the black basalt stone and they are scream "Eureka"..i found it..i found it..and Lo! yet they don't understand what they had found. It was stupidity. Lo! Lo! Lo!

    August 26, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Reality

      A sign for Muneef's refrigerator door:

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:

      THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR LIKE 9/11.

      August 27, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  2. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    The more I read these comments, the more convinced I am that religion is the most harmful delusion on Earth.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar

      "Delusion" you say Tommie Tom Tom?

      The religious op.i.ate of the dr.ugged mas.ses may not hold them at bay much longer. What then will be the manner in which to control the malignancies of scattered subdiffusions' benefactors?

      August 27, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  3. Islam Undercover on Malaysian

    Good Night, don't forget http://www.faithfreedom.org/

    August 26, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  4. Robert Sutherland

    This is a true story that I will end with a question and is in no way intended to try and prove or disprove the
    existence of God. I hope everyone reads this.
    A young woman, sitting on the beach one year after the Samoan Tsunami, tears pouring down her face, telling of how she was unable to hold onto her three little children. It was heartbreaking to hear her tell of her lose. Yes, all three died.
    Her simple response. "God gave me three beautiful children, but then he decided he wanted them back. I know one day I'll
    see them again."
    Now my simple question. If you were faced with a tragedy of such immense proportions, where would you turn to find the strength to carry on and find even a small degree of peace in your lives. It's clear this beautiful girl who moved so many to tears has found her strength in God. Unless you can answer with honesty and from the heart no one has the right to criticize people of faith.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • pattic

      The bottom line is I, as an atheist, think you are wrong. You, I assume you are a Christian, think I am wrong. There is, as I have said elsewhere, a difference between thinking someone is wrong and thinking they are evil because they disagree with you. If you read through these posts, it is not the atheists who are wishing for all kinds of havoc to befall the Christians but the other way around. When did tolerance become a bad thing?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • John Richardson

      So, in this face of unspeakable tragedy, you turn to a supposedly omnipotent and all-loving god who either couldn't stop it (and hence is not omnipotent) or chose not to stop it (kinda dims the glow of god's love, no?) and tell yourselves that it's okay, cause in heaven, everything is fine, even though ardent believers in other religions and even certain sects within Christianity think lots of self-designated Christians will be sent to hell by the "all-loving" god they choose to worship. Count me as unimpressed. Christians hold no monopoly on compassion, never have and never will. To suggest that anyone who denies your faith is somehow indifferent to suffering is unspeakably arrogant.

      August 27, 2011 at 5:48 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar

      Here are but a few religious legalisms to ponder,,,,,,,,,

      1. Seek 1st the Kingdom of God

      2. This world is Not, I repeat NOT the Kingdom of GOD!

      3. The kingdom of God is likened to the size of a mustard that when surplanted and nourished such becomes a great tree.

      4. The people will say here is the KIngdom of God while others say not there but here it is!

      5. Behold, the Kingdom of God is inside you!

      6. How can this be you ponder?

      7. Keep up with many scientific fundamentalisms and make such the seeded base from which to affirm Christ Jesus reported "spoken" Word(s).

      August 27, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Robert Sutherland

      I would never wish anyone to endure the loss of their children. Nothing, could be worse.

      A sp_oonful of god(s), helps the bad things go down, is true. Despots have made use of this many times.

      The fact that a belief in a god and an afterlife is comforting, does not prove that the god or the afterlife, actually exist. Have you heard the expression "Pie In The Sky"? "Opiate of the masses"?

      If you can convince me it is god's will, you can take away all the ent_itlements.

      Death isn't nearly as important, when you believe. This makes life of less value. I will see the people lost, again. Death isn't actually real... Let the kids play near water.

      Many Christians believe Christ will return soon. This belief apparently gives them comfort. It also may be a bad belief. If you truly believe Jesus is on his way, why worry about Global Warming? Or destroying mountains to get at the coal?

      If you believe Christ is on the first bus back to earth, you do dumb things, like not worrying about tomorrow.

      There are a number of prophesies about the 2nd coming. Horrible wars etc. Powerful beliefs can create self-fulfilling prophesies. All it takes is to get an insane Teabagger like Bachmann, being elected to a high office.

      There is no evidence to support a god, an afterlife or sanity in the Republican party. Faith without evidence is worthless. Even, if you find some comfort in the lie.

      When I was 5 I loved the idea that Santa would bring gifts to all the world's boys and girls. When I was 6, I put away childish notions. A god, is just Santa for the adults.

      “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!

      August 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  5. Newborn Baby

    My Daddy was squashed so he looked like a giant eggplant parmigiana, but it's all good, yo! Jesus loves me! It's all fair and equitable to me even though I'm an orphan and the seagulls at the dump are eating my Daddy, because Jesus gave people free will! Yay, Jesus!!!

    August 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  6. TheRationale

    Why would you worship an all-powerful God who failed to stop such a tragedy? He clearly doesn't care about people.

    Clearly that's the "power of prayer" these people are talking about. So he loves you enough to intervene -on prayer request- after numerous people have died. What the heck is the goal here?

    Religion is such a disease.

    August 26, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • pattic

      What you said is true, but don't forget that he does intervene in the outcomes of football games and the like, so give God a break. He has a lot of IMPORTANT issues to deal with

      August 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @TheRationale

      I think Pattic is right. It depends on who god loves the most. If your loved one didn't make it, means you sinned. Or your ancestors sinned. Or you didn't donate enough. Or you didn't pray hard enough.

      It is always your fault. God gets a pass, no matter the carnage. Remember, He is a mysterious, hidden god.

      Humans cannot fathom the mind of god. Humans see blood and guts. God sees humans drawing closer to Him. He is reaching out to us...

      Cheers!

      August 27, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  7. Reality

    "I'm telling you I saw it first hand, the power of prayer," – so says Fernado Cabrera a New York City councilman and the pastor of New Life Outreach International church in the Bronx.

    What??? If prayer is so powerful, 3000 human beings would still be alive today!!!

    The gifts of Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

    So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of your religion or any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings

    And Some rationality for posting on your refrigerator doors:

    SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
    THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR LIKE 9/11.

    SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
    THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

    SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
    ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

    Added details upon request.

    August 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Reality: 9/11 was not Koranic-driven. The Koran forbids murder, just as the Bible and the Torah do. The terrorists of 9/11 were no more "Muslims" than the Germans who murdered 6 million Jews in WWII were "Christians". Reality is that the existence of a God cannot be proved or disproved. Still, people post here insisting, one way or the other, that they're right. Ours is an interesting species.

      August 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Alex Most atheists here have openly stated that the existence of a god or gods is logically possible, but the total lack of empirical evidence for any god, let alone the very specific gods of torah, bible, koran, etc, is more than a little suspi-cious.

      August 26, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Karri Ann

      @ John, what you are describing is called Agnosticism, not Atheism. Atheism refutes any logic in the possibility of establishing a deity.

      August 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Reality

      o "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends." (Surah 5:51)

      "Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons...he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home..." (Surah 8:12-)

      "Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God's religion shall reign supreme." (Surah 8:36-)

      "...make war on the leaders of unbelief...Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them..." (Surah 9:12-)

      "Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]...until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (Surah 9:27-)

      "It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it." (Surah 9:31-)

      "If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men." (Surah 9:37-)

      "Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home." (Surah 9:73)

      "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them." (Surah 9:121-)

      "Say: 'Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom..." (Surah 17:111)

      "'How shall I bear a child,' she [Mary] answered, 'when I am a virgin...?' 'Such is the will of the Lord,' he replied. 'That is no difficult thing for Him...God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!...Those who say: 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood..." (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)

      "Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him...He has given you the name of Muslims..." (Surah 22:78-)

      "Blessed are the believers...who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)...These are the heirs of Paradise..." (Surah 23:1-5-)

      "Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (Surah 48:29)

      "Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?...Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents...They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets...Blessed be the name of your Lord..." (Surah 55:52-66-)

      August 27, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • John Richardson

      @Karri Ann No, if you acknowledge that the existence of a deity is logically possible but the empirical facts leads you to conclude that the proposition that god exists is in fact false, you are clearly within the realm of atheism on any reasonable definition. But most self-described atheists in these parts go farther and define atheism not as the belief that there is no god, but as the lack of a belief that there is a god. That surprised me, too. But my point is simply that what Alex says does not in fact hold for the vast majority of the "regular" atheist crowd in here.

      August 27, 2011 at 6:00 am |
  8. Fernado Cabrera

    Hi! I am an ignorant and pompous attention whore!

    August 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  9. cobhead4

    To you who are atheists: You don't have to believe in God. That is your privilege. I do believe in one God and I do believe that Jesus was the one and only son of God. If I have these beliefs and I am wrong in the end what have I lost. If I die and I'm just like Rover, dead all over I won't know that I was wrong. If you don't believe in God and in the end you find that your were wrong look where you will be. You will spend eternity in Hell and I don't think that will be pleasant

    August 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Magic

      This is another tired repeti.tion of Pascal's Wager - thoroughly refuted since the 17th century. Other stuff can happen if you are wrong:

      - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

      - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

      - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

      August 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @Magic: If there is a God, logic and reason will bring humanity closer to God. If there is no God, logic and reason will eventually bring about, on Earth, something like the paradise that many people believe they'll find in an afterlife. Either way, logic and reason are the best hope for mankind's future. Bravo to you and every other rational thinker, whether they be religious or atheist.

      August 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • John Richardson

      And what if the real god is Yahweh and he thinks Christianity is blasphemy? Oh, the possibilities are truly endless!

      August 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  10. John Richardson

    Earth to Christendom: Every religious person and every religious group is free to commemorate Sept 11th with all the prayer and hymns and other forms of outward religiosity the event planners choose. You are NOT free to impose your prayers on a group at the official NYC ceremony.

    August 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  11. pattic

    @HAPPYMEAL: I am an atheist, and I know my place. I am a citizen of the United States of America and enjoy the same rights as you do.

    August 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  12. pattic

    Anybody else notice how many Christians are filled with hate, in their hearts and in their speech? Seems the biblical invocations to "love your enemy" and "judge not lest you be judged" are ignored by many. All the prayers and wishes for horrible things to come to New York, what about the "innocents" there? Oh, never mind, I almost forgot that your god takes pleasure in the destruction of the "guilty" and "innocent" alike. No wonder you are so filled with hate!

    August 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Alex Gessong

      @pattic: if their hearts are filled with hate, they're not actually Christians. Christ's teachings were all about tolerance forgiveness, and peace. Christ said "do good to those who persecute you" and "if someone hits you on the cheek, turn and let him hit the other cheek, too." There is no hate in Christ's teachings, and Christ never shunned unbelievers. He went among them. And the New Testament tells us that we should not make a public display of our prayers. It says prayer should be done in private. People who post angrily here, just don't get what Christ was talking about or what he did on Earth.

      August 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Alex If only Christians did follow Christ's actual example! I wouldn't be one, but I'd sure respect them a WHOLE lot more!

      August 26, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • pattic

      @Alex: It seems we agree on something. I was brought up in a Christian environment and the people I know are kind, decent, God-loving people. I realize that those who spew hate do not embody what "Christians" are supposed to be, and that was the point I was making. It seems to me that many "Christians" (that is "Christians" in quotes as opposed to Christians) pick and choose what they want out of the Bible. These hate-filled people are no better than the hate-filled people who flew into the towers (and let's not forget the Pentagon and Pennsylvania). Radical fundamentalists are the same the world over, spewing hate and intolerance. I have my disagreements with those who believe in God, but they are respectful disagreements. I think they are wrong, they think I am wrong. That is a very different thing from each of us thinking the other is evil.

      August 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Fred1

      @pattic: I grew up in a Christian environment too and it was the deepest, blackest, butt hole of rage, anger and despair I have ever experienced. Christian Taliban to the max. I have seen the rotting, black heart of Christianity.

      August 27, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  13. greggo

    St. Michal Judge, pray for us

    August 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  14. David Johnson

    @Rosemary holvea

    Killing babies is murder. Abortion is not murder. It is birth control. *smile*

    A fetus contains the DNA to become a baby. But a fetus is not a baby. It has the potential to become a baby, just as a carrot seed has the potential to become a carrot.

    "Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a const_itutionally guaranteed unqualified right to abortion in the first trimester of her pregnancy.
    She also has a right to terminate a pregnancy in the second trimester, although the state may limit that right when the procedure poses a health risk to the mother that is greater than the risk of carrying the fetus to term.
    In making its decision, the Court ruled that a FETUS IS NOT A PERSON under the terms of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Const_itution." – Wikipedia

    "However, the Court also maintained that the state has an interest in protecting the life of a fetus after viability—that is, after the point at which the fetus is capable of living outside the womb.
    As a result, states were permitted to outlaw abortion in the third trimester of pregnancy except when the procedure is necessary to preserve the life of the mother. " – Wikipedia

    Hence, states allow abortions anywhere from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. The majority being 24.
    The reason the 24 week max is chosen, is because the fetus in not able to live outside it's mother until 21 to 24 weeks, with 24 being the usual.

    The fetus, less than 24 weeks is not a person. The fetus is not capable of feeling any pain until 24 weeks:
    Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, consists of a review of studies conducted since 1997 on the neuroanatomical and physiological development of the fetus. It concludes that fetuses at the 24-week stage of development do not possess the wiring to transmit pain signals from the body to the brain's cortex. Even after 24 weeks, the fetus likely exists in a state of "continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation," due to the presence of chemicals such as adenosine in the surrounding amniotic fluid.

    The womb belongs to the woman. The fetus, in her womb has no legal rights until it reaches a stage that it is able to live outside it's mothers body.

    "One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives."
    — Ayn Rand ["A Last Survey — Part I", The Ayn Rand Letter Vol. IV, No. 2, 1975.]

    Which brings to this:
    13th Amendment : "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
    Women or any part of their bodies, cannot be owned. Not by the government. Not by religious nuts.

    We can't legally force somebody to donate blood to save somebody else; it thus makes no sense to legally force a woman to continue a pregnancy that she doesn't want.

    Women are not broodmares. They have the right to abort the parasitic fetus, until the fetus is viable.

    This is not a religious debate. It is about a woman's right to do what she will, with her own body.

    Cheers!

    August 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • John

      Yes, but if you were to exsanguinate a person, then you would owe them blood. If you create something and then try to justify killing it – well, that's kind of sad. Nice try at logic though. You're almost there, like a real person! You're kind of like a fetus!

      August 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a stupid post, John.

      August 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • pattic

      @John: "If you create something and then try to justify killing it – well, that's kind of sad." Can you say "flood?"

      August 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You said: "What a stupid post, John."

      Try this one:

      If abortion is illegal, women will seek back alley remedies.

      We, as a society, must take away as many of the reasons women seek abortions as possible.
      We need to make adoption easier and make it financially possible for a woman to keep and care for her baby.

      Obama has a program to do this. More needs to be done, but with the Republicans controlling the House, funds won't be forthcoming. But, there may be money appropriated, to force women to carry a child conceived by ra_pe or incest to term. If the product of incest is born with webbed feet...well, it is all part of god's great plan. Like babies born without brains...

      Most of all, we need to make birth control available free of charge, to all women. The health care bill passed in 2010 (Obamacare) does this. We need to educate the women on these birth control methods. Remember, the best way to prevent an abortion, is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

      Psalm 127:3 – Children are a gift of the LORD

      Hmm... Well, the bible says it, so I believe it. Children are god's gift!

      Notice how god doesn't check to see if a woman is capable of raising a child, before he gives a baby to them?

      Women in p_oor countries bear children, only to have them die, because Mom has no food.

      Women addicted to drugs are given babies, when they are totally incapable of taking care of themselves, much less a child.

      Girls who are babies themselves, are blessed with a baby they don't want. Why are babies given to women who don't want them?

      If god would be more careful with giving out gifts/babies, abortion wouldn't be needed.

      The Christian god is said to be all knowing (Omniscient). If this is true, then god would know the gift (a child), that He is giving, will die.

      And remember, there are a lot of women, who god refuses His gift. They would be overjoyed with god's gift. No abortions in their homes!

      God works in mysterious ways. It's almost as if He doesn't exist... I guess He is just really, really hidden.

      We should start real $ex education in school. Not abstinence only. Real education about the use of birth control. The Religious Right wants only abstinence taught. But then again, the Religious Right wants the kids to learn about talking snakes and trees that impart knowledge and eternal life. *sigh*

      We will never totally eradicate abortions. Only a god could do that, and he either does not care, or does not exist.

      Cheers!

      August 27, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Given that 70+% of all abortions in the USA are had by believers, it is obvious that religion is failing miserably at eliminating the reasons why women seek abortions.

      August 27, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  15. HappyMeal

    If Westerners were smart they would dig a large hole and throw the Atheists in it. Captial punishment for Atheists is fitting.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @HappyMeal
      That's mighty Christian of you.
      KILL THE HERETICS!

      So what if somebody believes in a god other than yours?
      Should Hindus and Wiccans be executed?
      Maybe the gays and the handicapped too, while we're at it.

      I don't think the blueprints for Auschwitz survived the war, but I'm sure you can find an architect to design you a good, high capacity abbatoir.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • HappyMeal

      Only Atheists, they are the most disgusting of all. We can tolerate the others as long as they know their place.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Adelina you are getting worse by the day. Holy cow

      August 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Naomi,

      Remember what Jesus said, "Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do." Indiscriminately executing people isn't really a good way to spread the faith. It kinda puts a negative spin on the whole Jesus loves the world thing.

      August 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  16. David Johnson

    I think Bloomberg is fantastic. Surely he must be a Democrat at heart.

    Cheers!

    August 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  17. David Johnson

    @Mark from Middle River

    The idiot Christians believe in an immaterial soul. They believe this soul is our ident_ity or mind. It is essentially, "who we are". The soul is said to leave the body when we die. God decides if our soul will go to Heaven or Hell. Evidently, our souls are given a physical body, that we might enjoy eternal bliss or torment.

    There is no evidence for a soul. Our obviously material brains contain all that we are. All that we have experienced, all that we have learned, all of our perceptions. When we die, our brains cease to function. We no longer exist. All that we were, is no more.

    Evidence to support this argument, is that disease, drugs, and injuries affect our ability to think. Our personalities to change. Cerebral palsy occurs when babies' brains are deprived of oxygen. If our mind and personality was immaterial and separate from our physical bodies, our thinking and personalities would not be affected.

    Our brains are constantly generating thoughts. Brain chemistry determines our emotions. We can't really tell, that these thoughts and emotions originate in our brains. It's easy for Believers to perceive thoughts and feelings, generated by their brains, as coming from outside themselves. *sigh* Jesus? Is that you? LOL!

    Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.

    If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. He would have had to fashion the tick and the flea. The mosquito and blood flukes. And worms that bore into a child's eye.
    How could an all good god do such a thing? Why would He spend His time creating gruesome things to cause human suffering? Yet, these horrors exist. And if god didn't create them, who did?

    Evolution explains the diversity of the planet's organisms, including the pathogens and the parasites that have caused so much human death and misery.

    If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.

    If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin.
    If there was no original sin, then it cannot be the reason god allows so much suffering in the world. We can dump the guilt trip.

    If there was no original sin, then there was no need for a redeemer.

    If there was no redeemer, then Christianity is a based on a false premise.

    "If we cannot believe in the First Adam, why believe in the Last [Christ]?" 1 Corinthians15:45

    If the Creation story is a myth, then there is no reason to believe any of the bible.

    If we evolved, there is no soul –> no afterlife –> no need of a heaven or hell.

    LOL, which is why the Evangelicals fight so hard against evolution.

    Evolution is the Christian god's Achilles' heel.

    The Christian god is no more likely to exist than unicorns, satyrs, fiery serpents, or talking snakes or Santa. And you don't believe in any of those, Right?

    Cheers!

    August 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wow David.
      Sorry, the mobile version of the Belief Blog does not allow you to go to back pages.
      Should I just go line by line? Well to save time..

      “There is no evidence for a soul. Our obviously material brains contain all that we are. All that we have experienced, all that we have learned, all of our perceptions. When we die, our brains cease to function. We no longer exist. All that we were, is no more.”

      Ok, so your argument is just that there is no evidence that there is a soul. Is this the same back and forth that Atheist and the Faithful get into... with one saying there is or is not and the other just forcing the challenger into the corner of proving that God does or does not exist? Your evidence is that the soul is the mind. I do not believe it to be. If the mind is diseased is the same as if the tires on a Ferrari are bald. Does not mean that the car engine, suspension and electrical systems are damaged. Now if you put the car on a track with bad tires … stomp on the gas of that Ferrari with bad tires ...run a lap …. chances are times would not be that much better than maybe a Ford Focus.
      That is how I look at your evidence. If the mind is diseased then that does not effect the soul of the person. Especially in God's eyes. The same as a blind, or paraplegic.
      >>>”It's easy for Believers to perceive thoughts and feelings, generated by their brains, as coming from outside themselves”
      Please explain a bit further these “thoughts and feelings”

      >>>”Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.”
      I do not know, I have heard the Faithful simply state that what is millions of years of evolution to us mortals is but a blink of an eye to God. I would love to go further into that leap discussion of Hoyles theory if you are a Creationist and Fallacy if you are a evolutionist. I found it very interesting.

      >>>”If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. “
      I think when Cain killed Abel, it showed that much death and misery was to be done by humans killing humans. I could no more question why God created a mosquito than than why we have murdering nuts walking the Earth today. The deference is that the mosquito is doing what it does to eat, to live. Same with the tick and the flea. We have folks killing just for sport. One, if not the most deadly things on this planet that God created is us. You and me.
      >>>”If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.”
      And the Creationist will say it is a fact and that Adam and Eve did exist.
      >>>”Evolution is the Christian god's Achilles' heel.”
      Unless you read the scripture... Let us begin.
      God created
      1. Heaven and Earth (planet) ,
      2. Light and then divided light from dark (spun the planet)
      3. Separated the firmament (land and atmosphere)
      4. Gathered the water (lakes and oceans)
      5. Caused plants to grow on the land (self explanatory)
      6. Made the seasons and years (set the Earth into orbit)
      7. Made a brighter light in the day and a ssmaller light at might (Set the Sun on fire. Made the moon, set it into orbit to reflect the light of the Sun)
      8. Now this is where it gets interesting. “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life”.
      Now does it not have in evolution something about that life began in the seas? Now here is a writer that did not have the knowledge of such but interestingly enough he or she matched something that it would take hundreds of years to confirm.
      9. Then next … “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. “
      Now we have the progression of creatures from the waters moving to land …. sounds ahead of its time David. 🙂
      10. Then God created …. us last.
      So David, what you call the “Achilles' heel” is really some where that Evolutionist and Creationist should be able to find commonality. I know in my “middle river” path I can. Even when the writer of Genesis wrote, “And the earth was without form, and void;” …. does that not scream to you David, the molten substance that was to soon become the earth? Isn't that Evolution 101, in a age before the theory of the formation of the planets? I could see if the text just said pow and the Earth was there, someone got closer to a evolutionist theory than can be imagined. I mean, oceans, then oceans with life then the next step animal life on land. That a Holy Book got the order right …. I do not think it to a Achilles heel, my friend. 🙂
      Now there are other questions in the Bible that are a bit more contradictory.....
      ...Thanks for not hitting me with those David 🙂

      Hope this helps. When you try to open yourself to all sides, it is amazing how things just by the Blessings of God... things can work out for peace. 🙂

      l'Chaim

      August 27, 2011 at 2:48 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark from Middle River

      I said: “There is no evidence for a soul. Our obviously material brains contain all that we are. All that we have experienced, all that we have learned, all of our perceptions. When we die, our brains cease to function. We no longer exist. All that we were, is no more.”

      You responded: "Your evidence is that the soul is the mind. I do not believe it to be. If the mind is diseased then that does not effect the soul of the person. Especially in God's eyes. The same as a blind, or paraplegic."

      No, there is no soul. Christians believe in an immaterial soul. They believe this soul is our ident_ity or mind. It is essentially, "who we are". The soul is said to leave the body when we die... and then to judgement at some time.
      The soul is said to be the essence of the personality. If not, then what?
      Umm... drugs, disease and injury certainly affect the personality... a blow to the head may turn a saint into a sinner or a sinner into a saint.
      Our personality is what makes us who we are. The fact that this can be altered, gives good evidence against a immaterial soul.

      You give no evidence that the immaterial soul actually exists. Simply saying "I don't agree", is not real persuasive.
      Where do you suppose that pesky soul is located?

      As emotionally compelling of an idea as a soul may be, there is absolutely no evidence what-so-ever that a soul exists outside the cognitive functions of the very material human brain.

      It's easy for Believers to perceive thoughts and feelings, generated by their brains, as coming from outside themselves

      We think...constantly. There is really no sensation of doing this. Nothing gives an indication that, "You are generating thought, now" Believers "hear" the voice of god/Jesus and are not able to tell if it is their own brains that have generated this, or if it is really a supernatural occurrence. All part of the delusion.

      It is all about brain chemistry. Or do you have evidence that these people are hearing the voice of god? Remember, extraordinary claims...

      I said:”Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.”

      The earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Not the 6,000 to 10,000 Creationists claim.

      Some Creationists, are "accepting" the universe is billions of years old. They find this necessary, in light of all the evidence. It is an effort to keep the god myth alive. And to stop being the butt of so many jokes... LOL

      Genesis indicates all organisms were created once...in their present form. Why are there transitional fossils? God kept creating until he got it right?

      Evolution shows Adam and Eve did not exist. If Creationists are to claim they did, then they will need evidence greater than faith and an ambiguous holy book. House of cards, dude. House of cards. No Adam and Eve...No baby Jesus savior.

      The Bible actually contains two creation tales, which scribes attempted to combine into a single story. So much for internal consistency.

      Your listing of the biblical creation story, is lame. You can go to this site to see why:

      http://www.humanismbyjoe.com/Science_Classes_and_Creationism.htm

      There is no evidence that there is a soul.

      The biblical creation story is a joke.

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist. Or do you have some actual evidence? LOL

      Cheers!

      August 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  18. CW

    This is wrong.....there should be prayer at the ceremony. We are indeed a christian nation...period.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Just because you choose not to acknowledge facts don't make them any less true. As noted in the treaty of Tripoli, implied in the first amendment, and confirmed by several founding fathers, the US was not in any way founded on the Christian religion. But keep those blinders on if you find them comforting.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • BRC

      @CW,
      Which prayer would you like to see?

      August 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Nonimus

      We are not a Christian nation... period.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      We are a nation of many. Christians do not rate special treatmen above others.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Stevie7

      ... But keep those blinders on if you find them comforting.
      ---–
      The Christian Taliban tend to do that. lol

      August 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      People like CW are the enemy of our freedom and this country.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @CW

      No we aren't. We are a secular nation.

      Actually, there is no a Jesus ever actually existed.

      Cheers!

      August 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @David,

      You talk about Jesus never existed. Number one, Tacitus, a 1st Century Roman wrote about a person named Jesus being crucified for heresy against the Jewish people, executed by Pontias Pilate.

      Second, Flavius Joseph, a first century Jewish writer (remember, the Jews didn't believe Christ was the Messiah, this would have been easier to prove if Christ had never existed) wrote about Jesus.

      Third, and even more importantly, let's look at the logic. Jesus was crucified somewhere between 30 and 33 AD. During the First Century, many Christians were executed due to their belief in Christ. Now, let me ask you something. Why would people be executed for believing in someone who didn't exist at all? We're not even talking about the divinity of Christ. We're talking about, was there an actual man, named Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah, and was executed for that claim.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      DamianKnight

      @David,

      We're talking about, was there an actual man, named Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah, and was executed for that claim.
      ----
      This I accept as probable. If he didn't then there were a lot of people on the wacky weed throwing themselves tot he lions.
      .
      Now the question is what was jesus's state of mind? Dude thought he could walk on water and did magic tricks. He could have been the Criss Angel of his time...has anybody considered this??????

      August 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DamianKnight

      I am going to answer you in two posts. In the second, I will address your "evidence".

      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 the 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!

      August 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DamianKnight

      You said : "You talk about Jesus never existed. Number one, Tacitus, a 1st Century Roman wrote about a person named Jesus being crucified for heresy against the Jewish people, executed by Pontias Pilate.

      Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with Hearsay Accounts.

      You said: "Second, Flavius Joseph, a first century Jewish writer (remember, the Jews didn't believe Christ was the Messiah, this would have been easier to prove if Christ had never existed) wrote about Jesus."

      Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account.
      Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written! Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as HEARSAY.

      You said: "Third, and even more importantly, let's look at the logic. Jesus was crucified somewhere between 30 and 33 AD. During the First Century, many Christians were executed due to their belief in Christ. Now, let me ask you something. Why would people be executed for believing in someone who didn't exist at all? We're not even talking about the divinity of Christ. We're talking about, was there an actual man, named Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah, and was executed for that claim."

      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.

      Believers, are willing (expected?) to endure hardships in exchange for a reward. The greater the perceived reward the greater the hardship they are willing to suffer.
      2 Timothy 2:3
      "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ"

      People have often died for things they believed to be true. Muslim extremists, blow themselves to bits, because they believe in an afterlife overflowing with virgins. Does their willingness to die, make the promise of virgins real?

      Consider Jonestown, Heaven's Gate and the Solar Temple . Do you think these people might have willingly died for a lie?

      Yep, all it takes is faith.

      Believers are victims of delusion. Dying for a belief, doesn't make it true.

      Cheers!

      August 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • J.W

      But since the story of Jesus was actually on earth, if the disciples had never seen him on earth, then it would be clear that he never existed. I could die for God although I do not have proof of his existence. But that is different than say if I died for Jim Jones or someone like that.

      August 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Dude, being concise is important.

      You said, "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."

      You missed my point. I never argued whether the resurrection was true or false (that's a matter of faith and people die for their faiths all of the time), but the fact that he lived was my point. This is without question. There is no logic behind the disciples, almost every one of them, being executed for their beliefs in an imaginary person. You fail to understand human nature. People don't let themselves get killed for things they don't believe in. Name one person who has died for their belief in Santa Claus.

      So, even if you ignore that the disciples honestly believed that Christ was divine, but breaking it down to the rudiments of "did Jesus even live?" it's categorically absurd to believe he didn't.

      Further, look at Paul. Saul of Tarsis was a wealthy, powerful man. Yet due to his beliefs in Christ, he left all of that and was eventually beheaded in Rome. Now, I ask you, why would a man like that, give up everything for a person who he didn't believe even existed? No, Saul absolutely knew who Jesus was because he was active in persecuting those who believed he was the Messiah.

      Next point, remember, Jesus was all over the place and his ministry was only for about three years. It's no real wonder that many things were not written about his time on Earth, it was so brief. Most people who would have encountered him couldn't have written in the first place (most were illiterate.) Further, the Romans did not understand the significance of Jesus at the time. To them, he was some Jewish, carpenter's son who believed to be God and was executed. Why would they write anything specific about it? Executions of criminals weren't exactly rare for the Romans.

      August 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @J.W

      You said: "But since the story of Jesus was actually on earth, if the disciples had never seen him on earth, then it would be clear that he never existed. I could die for God although I do not have proof of his existence. But that is different than say if I died for Jim Jones or someone like that."

      Faith is faith. If you had faith enough that Jim Jones / David Koresh / Ra / Isus / My lawn sprinkler... could get you to a place of outstanding bliss...you would die for them or at their advice. If you just have enough faith... reality takes on a nice fuzzy logic.

      Would it shock me that a man named Jesus once lived? Of course not. What does shock me, is how little evidence the one true god gives, for the most important event in human history. What does shock me is how closely Jesus matches events in other previous god's "lives". Google Sun Gods. Especially, Mithras and Horus .

      What shocks me is this:

      Christians claim their god is Omnipotent ( all powerful), Omniscient (all knowing) and Omnibenevolent (all good).

      1). If god is Omnibenevolent, He would WANT every human to believe in Him.

      The bible says He does:

      2 Peter 3:9
      9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. King James Version (KJV)

      1 Timothy 2:4
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. King James Version (KJV)

      2.) If god is Omniscient, then He would KNOW exactly how to convince anyone and everyone that He exists.

      3.) If god is Omnipotent, then He would be ABLE to convince anybody and everybody that He exists.

      Yet, ~ 67% of the world's population are not Christians.

      Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      August 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, really, CW? Says who? Why do we "need" any such thing?

      God, you're such a moron.

      August 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      A couple of other points.

      One, if Jesus did not exist, and there were a bunch of people running around claiming he existed, then why are there no texts stating these out of control lunatics were talking about someone who didn't exist?

      Second, and this is the big point, Rome was destroyed. It burned. Similar to the Library of Alexandria, there are a lot of texts, tragically, we have no idea what was said. Jerusalem was and still is under constant attack. How many crusades were there? How many rockets have been fired?

      We are lucky to have Tacitus' writings. I don't think he cited his sources, because there was no need to, but we can assume much of this was passed down through oral tradition. I'll give you, that does leave 'reasonable doubt' as to what Jesus actually did (i.e. miracles and the like), but I think it's more than fair to say that the man, Jesus, actually existed. Because if he hadn't, I think someone would have told Tacitus to take out the fictional character.

      August 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • John Richardson

      FWIW, I think it is perfectly reasonable to surmise that there was a person who went by the (Aramaic version of the) name 'Jesus' who had some sort of ministry going for a few years around 30CE and who is in that sense and only that sense the "true" Jesus and therefore the founder of Christianity. But I also suspect that almost everything written about him in the gospels is anywhere from grossly misleading to false. So that's where it becomes tricky to say that Jesus really existed. Even if someone named Jesus with some sort of causal connection to the Jesus in the gospels existed, if you just blandly say that Jesus really existed, you sound like you are confirming the largely fictional being of the gospels rather than someone who stands oin some real but in many ways indirect, even tenuous relationship to this fictional character.

      August 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DamianKnight

      I said, "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."

      You replied: "You missed my point. I never argued whether the resurrection was true or false (that's a matter of faith and people die for their faiths all of the time), but the fact that he lived was my point. This is without question. There is no logic behind the disciples, almost every one of them, being executed for their beliefs in an imaginary person. You fail to understand human nature. People don't let themselves get killed for things they don't believe in. Name one person who has died for their belief in Santa Claus."

      Josh McDowell's argument still applies. In fact, his argument is the only one that works. The disciples may have been deluded. Did anyone suffer martyrdom for just saying Jesus had lived? Worshiping maybe... Proselytizing for sure. Some other law the Romans enacted against Christians...You bet. But not just belief, that Jesus once existed. There are at least a dozen Christians today, that would die a martyr's death before denying Christ. But, their act would be meaningless, as far as evidence of existence. I already cited groups who have died, for their beliefs. You would probably agree that what they died for, was false. As false as Santa.

      I contend, dying for a belief, is not evidence. Unless, you can show me no other group of humans have ever died for a belief, that is false. Simple yes? Yes.

      Only children under the age of 6, should believe in Santa. "Doubt", should be the adult response to all extraordinary claims.

      You said: " So, even if you ignore that the disciples honestly believed that Christ was divine, but breaking it down to the rudiments of "did Jesus even live?" it's categorically absurd to believe he didn't.

      The only "evidence" that you offer is from the New Testament. It is biased. I gave you a number of contemporary historians that wrote nothing of your demigod. You gave me NOTHING BUT HEARSAY.

      There is not even a description of Jesus. We don't even know what He looked like. LOL
      Roman records show executions of several would-be Messiahs, (but not a single record mentions a Jesus).

      You said: "Further, look at Paul. Saul of Tarsis was a wealthy, powerful man. Yet due to his beliefs in Christ, he left all of that and was eventually beheaded in Rome. Now, I ask you, why would a man like that, give up everything for a person who he didn't believe even existed? No, Saul absolutely knew who Jesus was because he was active in persecuting those who believed he was the Messiah."

      No. Paul never met Jesus. Paul, "saw" Jesus in a vision, and was willing to die for that vision.

      This meeting with Jesus, might have been caused by a grand mal seizure.

      "In more recent times, this opinion has found support from the fact that sight impediment-including temporary blindness lasting from several hours to several days-has been observed as being a symptom or result of an epileptic seizure and has been mentioned in many case reports."
      Source: http://www.epilepsiemuseum.de/alt/paulusen.html

      Paul's dying only demonstrates his devotion. A devotion that stemmed from hearsay and epilepsy.

      Cheers!

      August 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DamianKnight

      You said: "One, if Jesus did not exist, and there were a bunch of people running around claiming he existed, then why are there no texts stating these out of control lunatics were talking about someone who didn't exist?

      That is the point! No historians wrote anything about Jesus. I gave you a number that should have. They didn't. Everything written about Jesus is HEARSAY. Myth...Growing in every retelling. This is the way the Greek gods became "real". Hercules didn't exist, but we have descriptions of him. We don't have descriptions of Jesus.

      You said: "Second, and this is the big point, Rome was destroyed. It burned. Similar to the Library of Alexandria, there are a lot of texts, tragically, we have no idea what was said. Jerusalem was and still is under constant attack. How many crusades were there? How many rockets have been fired?"

      Oh, good point. There was probably thousands of writings about Jesus, the Son of God. And pictures of unicorns and satyrs and fiery snakes! There can be anything you want...that was destroyed and can't be seen, now. We could call it the missing texts...except we have no idea, if the texts ever existed. LOL

      Roman records show executions of several would-be Messiahs, (but not a single record mentions a Jesus). I guess everything about the Son of God just got all burned up.

      If this was your "big point", Pfui!

      You said: "We are lucky to have Tacitus' writings. I don't think he cited his sources, because there was no need to, but we can assume much of this was passed down through oral tradition. I'll give you, that does leave 'reasonable doubt' as to what Jesus actually did (i.e. miracles and the like), but I think it's more than fair to say that the man, Jesus, actually existed. Because if he hadn't, I think someone would have told Tacitus to take out the fictional character."

      We are not lucky to have Tacitus' writings. Tacitus was born in 64 CE. Obviously, he never met Jesus. Someone told him about Jesus. He didn't even tell us who that someone(s) was. He didn't write this very brief mention until about 109CE. The Jesus myth was already established. Some think Tacitus did not write it.

      Hearsay is worthless. You have a very low standard, for evidence you are willing to accept.

      My biggest point is that an almighty god left no solid evidence that Jesus ever existed, let alone was the Messiah.

      God went to all the trouble of seducing a human, and begetting a demigod and He doesn't even provide solid evidence that it ever happened.

      You talk about fires etc. destroying evidence for Jesus. But, the Christian God is all knowing, and all powerful. Why didn't He know about the fires etc. and protect the evidence? A little bit of it? tiny...

      Cheers!

      August 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • TheRationale

      To you fellows arguing about the crucifixion/resurrection silliness.

      It doesn't really matter what some old book says because if we are to actually believe the stories of the Bible then we're going to have to just toss out the laws of physics. Ascending to the sky? Coming back from the dead (like dead for 3 days dead)? It's not like we just get to take liberties with science if some religion wants to contradict it. The answer to the question is no, no "miracles" happened.

      This is not a difficult question. This is not a difficult answer.

      August 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Friend

      @TR, Yes it is difficult to those who fail to recognize 'Moral authority and Lordship"

      August 27, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Fred1

      @ DamianKnight
      In 1993 82 Branch Dravidians chose to burn to death because of their faith in their Christ… David Koresh. Perhaps willingness to die for your beliefs isn’t a very good indicator of the truth of those beliefs? Either that or Koresh is a bigger Christ then Jesus because Koresh had 82 apostils die for him and Jesus only had 12. And choosing to stay in a fire and burn to death gets you way more martyr points than just having the Romans kill you.

      Oh and in the last year of WWII 1096 kamikaze pilots gave their lives for their god (the emperor)

      August 27, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  19. Lynn

    This whole politically correct ban by Bloomberg is RIDICULOUS! It's our nation's history in events to pray, give strength to those in need (all of us!) and for him to ban religious thought, speech and clergy is just wrong and he will be remembered for doing the wrong thing in this serious memorial to a horrible tragedy done to our country by terrorists! He has NO right to ban our faith, our prayers, our clergymen.....Wake up and stop trying to be so politically correct that you have your head shoved way up your butt, Mayor Bloomberg!! How dare you do this???

    August 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • BRC

      It has been noted many times, but he didn't ban anyone, or anything. people of all faiths and denominations are welcome to attend the ceremony, and will be given frequent moments of silence for reflection or prayer as they see fit. All that was made official, was that no single religious figure would be brought to the central podium to address teh entire group. Is that really that bad?

      August 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Do you need official acknowledgement of "prayer time" in order for prayer to work?
      You have the freedom to pray at any time and any location you wish, except for trespassing of course, what else do you need? Someone standing at a podium to say, "Okay, God is listening now. Go ahead and pray."

      August 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Laughing

      @nonimus

      I like the idea that god listens to everyone, but he doesn't really listen until a priest (the priest of your religion no less) gets up and hes like "Ok, you're prayers were being heard before, but now they're being heard super duper well, GO"

      August 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Jesus speaking:

      "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." –Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

      "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." –Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

      "Ask and it will be given to you.... For everyone who asks receives." –Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

      "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." –Matthew 18:19 (NIV)

      James 5:15 – And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

      Let's be honest. Don't be afraid to use critical thinking. Jesus said the above, about prayer. Is it true? Can you post back to me and claim what Jesus said is true?

      Why has there never been a doc_umented case of an amputated limb being restored? Do you think an amputee never prayed or had faith?

      Double blind experiments, have all shown that prayer has no effect on illness.

      Because people have believed the promises of the bible, they have withheld medical care for their children. They prayed instead. Evidently, god was not moved by their faith. Their children died. Modern medicine could have saved them. OOoopsie!

      Why aren't Jesus' words true? Can you think of any possibilities? If Jesus' words aren't true about prayer, then how can we depend on anything else Jesus said? Maybe if we could "test" the afterlife claims, they would be no more real than the claims about prayer.

      A fundie once told me, that god always answers prayers in one of three ways:
      1) God says, "yes". You get what you asked for immediately.
      2) God says, "to wait". You will get what you asked for at some future date.
      3) God says, "no". You will not get what you asked for.

      Hmmm.... But I can get the same success from the carton of milk I have sitting on the breakfast table.

      1) If I pray to my magic carton, some things will come true immediately, just by chance and coincidence.
      2) Some things will come true at some future date, for the same reasons.
      3) If I don't get what I want, then my magic carton said, "no".

      I think there is a problem, when there is no difference between praying to a god and praying to a milk carton.

      Having a prayer answered, appears to require only 3 things:
      1. Belief
      2. Faith
      3. And to be totally sure, you need others who agree with what you are asking for, to pray with you.

      Hmm...

      Remember the Gulf oil spill?
      Remember how a ton of people prayed for god to stop the gushing?
      I was spellbound! I watched the real time video of the oil spill. I expected to see it stop. It did not. Human technology eventually capped the well.

      Remember when Rick issued a proclamation, that for 72 hours, the citizens of Texas would all pray for rain. I thought, surely god would hear their prayers and open the windows of Heaven!
      The "days of prayer" ended Sunday, April 24, 2011. Texas is still experiencing exceptional drought.

      Studies have shown prayer does not work. Any miracles or answered prayers are the result of random chance, coincidence, selective observation or fraud. Believers tend to remember the perceived positive outcome of prayers and forget the failed. Because believers rely on faith, they are easily deceived by unscrupulous people.

      Christians MUST contest this. They must rent their clothes and Shout: "Do not put the lord your god to the test!" LOL!

      God, either does not care or does not exist. Personally, I'm checking the second box. LOL.

      Cheers!

      August 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    The 9/11-belief

    We should no longer distinguish between Islam and Islamists. 9/11 is a work of Islam!

    Regretably it is a matter of fact that a model Muslim is an Al-Quaida fighter and an Al-Quaida fighter is a model Muslim, according to Muhammad's doctrine.

    Aggressive war of Muslims against Western states is fully supported and even required by the Koran (there are a lot of war suras).

    Today we make a mistake. We try to adopt the Islam into our societies. That will go wrong. The Islam is not a way to God, but the Anti-faith. Islam is merely about how to exterminate Judaism and Christianity. When we adopt Islam, we a adopt a dangerous virus. Islam is a criminal belief or the belief of the criminals.

    We should no longer conduct everlasting wars in Afghanistan, Irak and elsewhere, but the Islamic doctrine must be condemned by all Western states together. Maybe this will lead to a final attack of the Islamic empire. But this would be better, than everlasting insecurity because of Islamic terrorists. Besides it costs us billions every year to keep the security measures against terrorists.

    Furthermore, we must embrace the real Christianity again, otherwise we will perish anyway. We may overcome Muhammad and the pope, but after that we will get consumed be the godless Beast.

    Let us go under the screen of Kyrios Jesus. Worship Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God!

    August 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Normon

      Fighting fire with fire leaves the world in flames... the irrational should be fought with reason!

      August 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      It's rather like arguing whether a rabbit hole or a looking glass is the best way to Wonderland. If your destination doesn't exist, Arguing about the correct route to get there is a pretty vain exercise.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Normon

      @CivilOutside,
      Love it!

      August 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      .... until we pass away nothing it is only in vain to those who do not have Faith.

      Better hope you are right. 😦

      August 26, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • BRC

      @Mark,
      I feel like the world would be a much better place, if instead of hoping that they had believed in the right afterlife, people hoped that they had lead a good life, and tried to make sure that they did.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      @ Mark

      When it comes right down to it, you'd better hope you are too. It's not as if yours is the only god people have worshipped who promises to take it out on you in the afterlife if you fail/refuse to serve him. Ultimately, everyone's guessing.

      I do hope I'm right. If I am, then none of the quite decent people I've met in my life will have to spent eternity suffering for guessing wrong. If you are, then quite a large number of them will. If the Muslims are right, then you will too, which would suck because you seem pretty decent as well.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Mark from Middle River,
      "Better hope you are right. "
      Actually, I hope we are all wrong, because frankly I don't care for any of the current guesses. Regardless of what I hope for though, I do think the most likely, and perhaps best available, outcome is no afterlife.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Rosemary holvea

      I will not pray for new york ,since Bloomberg will not pray at 911 This is what so called Gov. Coumo gets for gay marriage also . NO prayers for evil. Baby killers enjoy the storm.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Rosemary holvea,
      Awesome! Now you don't have to do anything to get no effect.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Magic

      Rosemary holvea,

      Don't stop at that threat, dear.... get out your voodoo doll and stick some pins into it.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      @Rosemary, technically, the article does not say Bloomberg won't be praying. Just that he won't be compelling any of the attendees to listen to him (or any of the other official speakers) pray.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Rosemary, you should also be outraged that Bloomberg won't be burning any sacrificial animals. Everyone knows that god likes the smell

      August 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rainer Braedlein

      There is no evidence that an actual Jesus ever existed. The Gospels were written to establish Jesus as the Messiah. The rest of the New Testament was written to establish the Christian Religion.

      All gods are false. All believers are victims of delusion.

      Cheers!

      August 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @Rosemary holvea

      You do realize that most (70+%) "baby killers" are belivers, don't you?

      August 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • pattic

      @ HotAirAce: Didn't you know? Christians can do anything they want. They can be hate-filled, mean-spirited people who speak one way and act another. They can do harm to others, to the environment, they can kill, abduct, torture, even "kill babies." They can do this because they can then "claim the blood of Jesus" and go on their merry ways to heaven. Those of us who do the right thing because it is the right thing to do according to our consciences will burn in Hell for eternity. Anyone else see the problem with this line of thought? It's not the thought of dying and going to hell that scares me, it's the crazies who are intent on turning our democracy into a theocracy who scare the living daylights out of me.

      August 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @pattic

      We are 100% in agreement re: the hypocrisy of many believers.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"it's not as if yours is the only god people have worshiped who promises to take it out on you in the afterlife if you fail/refuse to serve him. Ultimately, everyone's guessing."

      Unless you are of the thought that we all might be talking about the same God. I began to wonder, what if. I am often getting into fights with some hard core Christians and Muslims that it is all the same Abrahamic God. When I was a kid, I heard the “And God said, Let us make man in our image” and wondered who it was he was speaking too. Also the “no other God before me”.

      I do not know, but simultaneities in many of the world's Faiths lend me to wonder if it might be the same God. That is why I can speak to other Faiths so easily because I do not go into a great debate of “my God is the only true God and you are wrong”

      Like a Atheist said here a few months ago. There is a difference between saying I am a Christian or a Atheist and saying that another is wrong.

      August 27, 2011 at 2:59 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Advertisement
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.