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Patriotism and the 'God gap'
Surveys suggest a 'God gap' in views on American patriotism.
September 28th, 2011
07:19 PM ET

Patriotism and the 'God gap'

By Dave Schechter, CNN

(CNN)– “And may God bless the United States of America” is a popular closing line in speeches by presidents and presidential hopefuls.

Does a higher power, if one exists, “shed his grace on thee,” as the lyrics of “America the Beautiful” proclaim?

And if so, does this make the United States of America the greatest country in the world?

Christianity Today crunched data from a Pew Research Center poll that asked more than 1,500 Americans for their views of the United States.

“Nearly all Americans think they live in the best country on Earth. While a majority of Americans believe there are other countries just as great, nine in 10 say no nation is better. Within this high view of America, there are differences between different religious groups,” the magazine noted.

To this end, Christianity Today suggested the existence of a “patriotism God-gap in America.”

Among those surveyed, evangelicals were the most likely to think the United States is No. 1.

“Other Christian traditions were less enthusiastic about America's position in the world, but they still saw the U.S. as one of the best on the planet. About 40% of other Christians said the U.S. stands alone as the greatest country; around 55% said it and some other countries were equally great. As with evangelicals, only a few said there were greater countries in the world.”

“Those with no religion, however,” hold a much less favorable view, according to the magazine.

"Only one in five of those without religious beliefs said the U.S. is the best country in the world, an equal percentage agreeing that 'there are other countries that are better than the U.S.' ”

Not everyone is enamored with equating religious conviction and patriotism. Consider these excerpts from the comments that followed the Christianity Today article:

“To call yourself a Christian evangelical and still think that America is the greatest is ironic to say the least. God is not about country. God is about love and everyone is equal in his eyes, including the rest of the world.”

“What's really sad is the widespread perception among evangelicals that there is some kind of link between America's standing and the work and purpose and success of God's kingdom. There is not. Two words: wrong kingdom. I repeat: wrong kingdom. It matters not a whit what America's status in the world is. The kingdom of Jesus Christ does not depend on this in any way and will continue regardless.”

“When our astronauts look down at the Earth it doesn't look like a classroom globe with lines on it. All of those lines are drawn in the minds of human beings. I am grateful to be an American. But sometimes I think that some elements of conservative Christianity really see their religion as patriotism, their scripture the Constitution and God their servant to gain their personal aims. This whole Earth is the object of God's love and concern. And to claim that any one nation in today’s world is more favored than another may be promoting a Christian heresy.”

Flying the flag is among the easiest ways to display patriotism. Is it also an expression of religion?

In an article titled “Flag Desecration, Religion and Patriotism,” Temple University associate law professor Muriel Morisey suggested that for proponents of a constitutional amendment, “the American flag is the equivalent of a sacred religious icon, comparable to Christianity’s crucifix, Judaism’s Torah and the Quran of Islam. No court has designated patriotism as a religion for Establishment Clause purposes, but in every other significant respect it operates as a religion in American culture. Regardless of the religious beliefs we profess, we simultaneously practice patriotism.”

That said, a “God gap” may exist in the flying of Old Glory as well.

A Pew poll taken March 30-April 3 suggested that 78% of religious people display the flag on their clothing, in the office or at home, while 58% of nonreligious do likewise.

Evangelicals were the most likely to say they displayed the flag; those Americans unaffiliated with religion the least likely.

As to the religious identity of the nation, 62% said the United States is a “Christian nation” in a survey of 1,000 adults done a couple of years ago for Newsweek, while 75% of Americans call themselves Christian, according to the American Religious Identification Survey also done in 2009.

And earlier this year, writing for the CNN Belief Blog, Boston University religion scholar Stephen Prothero analyzed the religious affiliations of those elected to serve in the 112th Congress and concluded: “Is this a Christian nation? No way, says the Constitution. But U.S. voters are telling us something else altogether.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Courts

soundoff (2,100 Responses)
  1. Hoovervilles

    All

    Want to learn a new language? Richard S Kaiser has mastered one called religio-babble. Just read his posts. It won't take long to get a handle on this new language. Richard has provided many examples of sentences that are, well, breath taking in their inanity.

    October 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  2. Tom

    God doesn't exist and USA isn't the greatest country on earth.
    'Greatest country in the world' is a childish idea, but, since all humans are equal, China must be the greatest country.
    Or do you think that all humans aren't equally valuable?

    October 3, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Tom, of course all humans are not equal. That is a line of bunk fed to childeren so stupid kids dont feel bad. All asian nations are worth less then 1% of a person, when compaired to an american. Anyone who alows they system to slay its own is evil, that is why we must stop the government from its curent course and take it back. But certanlly, an athiest is worth 10-1000 thiests, no matter there beliefs.

      October 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Eugen

      9 years ago being a fresh immigrant I was staying in front of the hospital thinking where I can find money for my wife to heal. One older rich man stopped by and asked me how I am and how I like America. I answered him that only one country, God’s country is good and what I try to find money to pay for the healing of my wife. She shouted that the America is a heaven on the Earth……….In a few days my friends from Kazakhstan sent me money for my wife. I believe that there is no good country in this world and looking forward of ending in GOD’s Kingdom.
      Flags…… My grandparents were growing in Germany surrounded by flags and patriots…. In 1938 they had to escape from the country and ended in Soviet Union. I was raised surrounded by red flags and patriots…..Now I am in the USA surrounded by flags and patriots….. What is the next?

      October 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  3. Jen

    I grew up in the Lutheran church. There was an American flag present in the sanctuary, but it was at the back of the church. My significant other's ex is a pastor, and when he started at a new church, there was an American flag at the front, near the alter. He moved it to the back, where he thought it "should" be, and started his first big argument with the Church Council. I'm a Buddhist now and just for the record, there's no American flag in the temple. If there was one, though, I think it would be perfectly fine to have it at the back.

    October 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      I dont know much about buddhism, but the fact millions of poor chinese worikers live in misery and are semi slaves while emperors there live in luxury, shows your dogma has allowed the chinese masses to pay for China's elite high status, that is corrupt and unwise.Shame on you.

      December 27, 2011 at 1:58 am |
  4. Jonathan

    I think that the article that they were quoting from in Christianity Today was on the right tract. Perhaps it is instead that it is not God who makes our country great, but that here in America it does not matter how or if you believe in Him. All are meant to be treated equally in this country with mutual respect and dignity.

    September 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      No. dogmatics are becoming too dangerous. Unless they stop interfiering with a strict separation of state powers, they may ruin our democracy, safetiy, medical health, science and system.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:02 am |
  5. JoeProfet

    God bless America!

    September 30, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      You mean curse us? NO THANKS :)))p)

      December 27, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  6. Central Srutinizer

    America worships Bieber and nip slips. That is what makes the U.S.A. welll, wierd.

    September 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  7. MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

    Apperantly they didn't get the memo that the Jews are God's chosen people.

    September 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot,,,,, et al

      The Jews,,,, God's chosen people? Which of the Gods born of GOD are you espousing toward? My embodied God of whom I yet do not know of or even know His name is assuredly my God of choice. When I am deadened to this celestial plain of indifference and am placed upon the seat of judgment within my body/building/temple/kingdom, only then will I be given a chance toward and for a new life and be placed within a new heaven within the firmaments of Gaia this Earth's Heavenly Lady who is our world's Goddess, who, with Christ Jesus' patronage ways did die for our sins in order to see for himself the many so many heavens that lay within Gaia's firmaments/heavens. We are all so lucky to have Christ Jesus to die and see for Himself the all too numerous heavens that Gaia has so established within Her worldly firmaments/fleshliness.

      "May the God who resides within your being/body/building/temple/kingdom grant you the privileges upon this celestial plain of cosmologic orders the means and ways to live your life accordingly and with humbleness and humility."

      September 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Curtis

      Wow, for someone who said that everyone were gods chosen you seem to harbor an awful lot of resentment towards jews. I know it sucks that you can't be part of gods chosen, if it makes you feel any better though, in the real version of hel.l (the jewish version obviously) you don't burn forever or have to deal with some shmuck named satan, you just don't get to go to heaven. What a shame, I'm sure all the jews there would have LOVED to have you, but alas you are a steaming pile of shi.t so no one really wants to let you in.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Clay

      @Curtis & Richard S Kaiser
      Yes, the Jews are God's chosen people. Even after crusifying his Son, God still loves them, his love is unconditional.
      And Curtis, what do you mean by 'The greediest people of the Earth?' They're no more or less greedy then anyone else.

      September 30, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • AGuest9

      I love it. Let's sit back with a bag of popcorn and watch all the various flavors of believers kill each other because THEY are right, and everyone else is wrong.

      September 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Thinker23

      While Jew-haters LOVE to comment about "God's chosen people" they NEVER bother to figure out the meaning of these words. We all chose certain tools for certain tasks. Most of us would chose a drill over a hammer to make a round hole. This, however, does not mean that the drill is somehow "better" than the hammer or that it gets some preferential treatment. According to the Bible, the God chose the Jewish people AS A TOOL for a cpecific task, to bring His teachings and laws to other peoples of the world.

      October 2, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • mickey1313

      Like my statment to tom at the top, that is something that jews tell themselves, so they dont give up a faith that sees there entire peoples spit on by most of the world (except in america home of the largest zionist apologists movement on earth)

      October 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Hoovervilles

      @Richard S Kaiser

      WOW, that sure was a boat load of the religious equivalent of techno-babble.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  8. TIM

    Why don't we just respect each others right to believe or not believe in God and have a tolerant discourse that we are one of the better countries to live and work and raise our children in.

    September 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Constantine idk

      because humanity nowadays suffers from "everyone must think like i do" complex mainly on the religious side they want to share their faith and "save" people via conversion. In their mind it's the right thing to do though to outsiders is viewed as not anything of the like. Atheists etc who share logic or science essentially have the general opinion "how can one accept such false attribuation or pseudo sciencei n place of real science and still call themselves accepting, realistic, logical people." opinions draw the lines in the sand and most people are to comfy in their world to ever admit they are wrong or misguided.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Tom

      Absolutely not. Respect is something you earn. Believing in pure fantasies and imposing those primitive views on individuals and society deserves not respect but opposition.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Well, first, they would have to get rid of all illigal laws (any that suport in any way, including alowing NPO status, the thiests in any way. Second, no, that wouldnt work, becuse respect is earned not given. Anyonw who respect someone who uses faith and not proof to base there openions is a fool, look what bush did to this nation in 8 years becuase of his believed and preceved devine right.

      October 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Not a good idea because dogmatists are becoming aggressive and negative. Even if they seem to "compromise" for a while, later they resort to negativism again. Our economy and survival can no longer take that. /Bohener prommised a year ago that by November, the democratic tax pay cut would be approved. That did not happen until december of this year and only after the democrats dropped extending the bush walker tax cuts for the richest republicans.So any republican comnpromise is a fake. Just as dogma does not exist. Plus adhering to fantasy keeps people crazy and willing to commmit any crimes, or publish outrageous lies. The kind and polite "loyal opposition" of the old gop is gone, gone, gone.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  9. cindie

    If this isn't the greatest country in the world, why are so many people trying to get here, legally as well as illegally? It would sure be better for those of us already here if they'd just stay in their home. What's next? Sharia law? Ask Great Britain how that's working out for them.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Immigration, legal or not, does not imply the US is better, just that the individual's situation was thought to be worse where they came from, big difference.
      What does the non sequitur of Sharia Law have to do with the discussion?
      And why ask Great Britain? They don't have Sharia Law. (Note: some civil cases can be arbitrated under Sharia, if both parties agree. This very similar situation, in a legal sense, to the Arbitration agreement you sign when you apply for a credit card.)

      September 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • derp

      How many swiss citizens do you see sneaking across the border? The only people trying to get here just want to escape that pile of dog manure that is Mexico.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Free

      Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some other places have lots of immigrants too. There are also Americans who emigrate to other countries for a variety of reasons, including better job prospects. So this really isn't something unique are overly telling about us.

      September 30, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Debbie

      Swedes, Danes, Norweigians, Dutch, Fins, and many others are not "all trying to get here." Because they know that, overall, the quality of life is better in their own countries.

      October 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Cindy": simply because third wold nations had tyrannnical regimes, some very conservative, others leftist. So compared to Americia, emigrating to the U.S. seemed much more hopeful.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:23 am |
  10. MomOf3

    Sorry – posted this earlier, but it didn't show up...:(

    Thanks James!

    @Yes1Fan:

    how do you explain, using "statistical odds", how the Big Bang (something from nothing, aka "magic??") occurred? Who or what pushed that button?? – Using an odds ratio isn't an option in this scenario. Probabilities can't be determined when one group doesn't have a set value. What do you propose is used for the control group? You could argue conditional probability, but again, when you don't have an agreed upon set value, the argument isn't logical. Since I'm not into quantum physics, so I'm not familiar with the matter that existed before the Big Bang,so it's not actually a 'something-from-nothing' theory, but if you want to argue magic, by all means, let's discuss religion – the most 'magical' argument there is.

    How do you explain how microbial life, with totally unique DNA found in no other life forms on Earth, has been found in depths of the Earth too deep even for water migration? – I'm also not a microbotanist or microbiologst, but it's more logical to assume that the DNA that you cite was once present on the Earth's surface, and through plate tectonics and shifting environments, made it's way to it's present location. How do you explain the lifeforms that are being discovered everyday in places like the Amazon rain-forest? I guess god is putting them there so we can find them, sort of like a cosmic scavenger hunt? I guess what is necessary here is the knowledge that the Earth is billions of years old, versus the christian belief that it is only a few thousand years old, to allow for transitions to take place.

    How do you explain the Euglena, which has a PROTON MOTOR, and a WHEEL, to propel itself, using "randomness"? – Euglena are unicellular organisms that scientists are still not sure how to classify. I'm not sure where you get the idea that they possess a motor and a wheel; they are flagellates, or use an undulating contracting-expanding motion to propel themselves. I don't think it's random at all that they evolved a locomotion system that best suits the environment they exist in, namely, water or liquids.

    YOU are denying what is obvious. – I'm not denying that you think that the universe was created by your fantasy god, I'm only showing you that, in some cases, science can prove you are wrong.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ MomOf3,,,,

      The hardening of posthumous indifferentiating values is that ridiculing motives do tend to be transfixed and concuerrently profoundly mundane objectives. Huh?

      September 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • BRC

      Richard S. Kaiser, the first human to ever fail the Turing Test

      September 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @BRC,
      ROFLMAO!
      Or the most advanced AI yet?

      September 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • BRC

      Give responses so disjointed that not a even a computer would do it, forcing the conclusion that it's a persom making a concious decision? Devious. Someone either broke or suped up Cleverbot.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ BRC et al,,,,

      We do live upon a celestial plain of indifference.
      We are created from the plains of atomic ponderance.
      We are endowed with knowledge to be hopefully surfaced.
      We are wrongly construed and hardened most of many time.
      We do know pain and yet we carry on in spite of another’s word.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • BRC

      @RIchard,
      Alright, if I get the gist of what you're post is trying to say, I have to admit that my comments were a bit insensitive. Sorry. But you have to recognize that by not mare clear and well formulated statements, and by using excessively complex words in ways that have nothing to do with their definition (you have used and mispelled paroxysm several times and it has never once been close to right) you make it very hard for people to converse with you and take you seriously. So, sorry if my comments were offensive, if it helps I didn't really think you were a robot.

      September 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ BRC wrote on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm, stating, "@RIchard, Alright, if I get the gist of what you're post is trying to say, I have to admit that my comments were a bit insensitive. Sorry. But you have to recognize that by not mare clear and well formulated statements, and by using excessively complex words in ways that have nothing to do with their definition (you have used and mispelled paroxysm several times and it has never once been close to right) you make it very hard for people to converse with you and take you seriously. So, sorry if my comments were offensive, if it helps I didn't really think you were a robot."

      I too do sometimes blurt out comments unbecoming a righteous individual. We are only and mostly humane beings of the celestial kind. How I long for my next existence after I am judged upon the throne of the Gods' seat for humanity's sakedness. Being of celestialness and living upon the celestial plains of cosmological order, we are sometimes indifferent to the wailings of otherly people's knowledge bases. I care little to negatively judge someone's altruisms whatever they may conjure up in my mindful cavity of brainyard "drivenness". I see the positive and revel in its' rewarding feelings!

      Yes, I do sometimes write words without firstly looking them up and getting their spelling correct let alone use them correctly. In my 50's I have a constabulary of wordage formulas that sometimes exceeds the dictionaries' forebodences' declaratives. We all need to vent things and seldom do I seek vengeances upon those who do lowly espouse their "idiocracies".

      I don't know if you came across this poem I wrote so here it is again,,,,,,,

      GOD’s Love

      We should Love GOD because “We are”.
      We are living because of GOD.
      We are learning because of GOD.
      We are seeing our faults because of GOD.
      We are always repentant because of GOD.
      GOD’s Love allows us to be as “We are”.

      You should Love GOD because “You are”.
      You are living because of GOD.
      You are learning because of GOD.
      You are seeing your faults because of GOD.
      You are ever repentant because of GOD.
      GOD’s Love allows you to be what “You are”.

      I should Love GOD because “I am“.
      I am living because of GOD
      I am learning because of GOD
      I am seeing my faults because of GOD
      I am forevermore repentant because of GOD.
      GOD’s Love allows me to be what "I am".

      September 29, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • BRC

      I feel the need to point out that a constabulary is a collection of police officers (most commonly used in the UK).

      September 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ BRC,,, et al,,,,

      I did check "constabulary" before posting and said to myself, "Why not?",,, 🙂 ( Should has said, "Fractilian constabulary,,, LoL)

      September 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Hoovervilles

      @Richard S Kaiser
      From above,
      WOW, that sure was a boat load of the religious equivalent of techno-babble.

      Now,
      More religio-babble.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Actually the origin of the universe is so ancient that scientists are still researching the matter. Nevertheless good theories of how planetary forces slammed together and produced the big bang plus atoms that started life. When helpless and scaredprimitive creatures evolved into subhuman beings they leaned on fantasy theories, but that does not validate holy theories. As attached dogmatists became, they must let go before they destroy our planet and mankind.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:33 am |
  11. Jim

    To "christians" who would say that God favors America over any other country. Please help me find that in the Bible that you hold so dearly.

    "For God so loved the WORLD, that he gave his only Son" John 3:16

    September 29, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Jim,,,, et al,,,,

      "For God so loved the WORLD, that he gave his only Son" John 3:16

      There be a difference between the "world" and that which "festers upon it".

      September 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • someguy

      @Richard S. Kaiser

      And that difference is...

      September 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ someguy who wrote on Thursday,September 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm, stating, "@Richard S. Kaiser, And that difference is..."

      This "world we live upon" is based upon the firmament that are fractal heavens meaning that Gaia, the Earth world has within her flesh/firmament too many fractally manifested universes to be counted let alone be filled with life abundantly. We who are of the celestial plains of cosmological orders are like festering fleas always digging here or drilling there with little to no idea of what it is we are doing to Gaia's embodiments/firmaments.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Free

      Back in the colonial days, lots of European countries attributed their dominance in the world to having a special relationship with God. If God shifted his favor from them to us then what's to say that he wouldn't shift his favor again to the next up-and-rising nation? Unless the EU manages to get it's act together, God may never be credited for any national successes again. It'll be Eastern religion and philosophy's turn.

      September 30, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Hoovervilles

      @Richard S Kaiser

      Behold, the master religio-babbler.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      "so god so loved his son, he gave him...." hhahahahahahaha. Pure b.s.Rather it comes across as he sent a spy to create this huge destructive lie to opress and spread misery across the world.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:37 am |
  12. Richard S Kaiser

    someguy wrote on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 11:44 am, stating, "Richard, what is your point? The poetry is beautiful, but how does it relate to my comments? Your biblical quotes also don't seem to have any connection. I'm perfectly willing to engage you on these issues but please, just say what you mean. I can answer the question of where I was when "Creation" was happening I was here, there, everywhere. You, me, everyone, all made of the stuff of this Universe. But let me ask you this: if God has existed for all eternity, what was he doing before he made our Universe?"

    My "point" someguy is perplexism and how to subvert such perplexities.

    Is it right to avoid knowing of GOD and HIS Sons being Gods?

    Is it not shameful to denunciate godliness perceptives?

    Are we nothing more than our surmounted inwardness needs?

    Does not the God who is made manifest inside one body differ from a God who is made manifest inside another body?

    Do not some of our bodies as being buildings are built as temples while others are Godly Kingdoms?

    September 29, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • someguy

      With apologies to the rest of you, I feel compelled to feed the troll!

      Sooo...perplexism? I asked for plain english and you give me a made-up word (although I do appreciate the effort, ain't english just great that way!) You then proceed to "answer" my questions with more nonsensical questions, which is an obvious trick to avoid answering any questions! I see in another post that you abandon the question marks and merely state your views as such. Better, but still obviously irrelevant and not to the point. Keep trying!

      September 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ someguy wrote, "With apologies to the rest of you, I feel compelled to feed the troll!"

      Why are you throwing around such devilish dribblings and name calling? Did I ever call you anything but your taken namesake? Obfuscation is just a preliminary juncture toward apprehensive journalisms. You "someguy" should be called out as a troll monger, always wanting to be a subversionist in light of objectiveness ordeals.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Brandon

      I'm sorry but your pantheistic views make me feel the need to write this (although it is quite rude). Richard S Kaiser (after the
      Magic mushrooms kick in),"Ooh look! That flower is god and that tree is god and that beetle is god and that grass is god and that unicorn is god and that squirrel is god!"
      Do you see where I'm going with this? It makes more sense to believe in a god you do not see rather than believe you and every single person around you is a god.

      September 30, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Hoovervilles

      @all

      Having a discussion with this most masterful religio-babller is futile.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Tschrny Wolf

      Your Jesus, if he existed at all, was another deluled prophet who fancied himself a semi divine messenger,, but as he exposed his insanity when he said "father, why have you abandoned me?" That meant his fantasy divinity did not deliver, simply because it did not exist. 🙂 So any insistence in a fake divinity shakily maintains the vatican, but it is likely to collapsel sooner, or4 later.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:45 am |
  13. Reality

    What makes this the greatest country with or without a "god gap" in the world? Its hard working, caring, ultra-sacrificing citizens!!

    Some measures of said sacrificing :

    An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression):

    -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

    – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

    – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

    – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

    – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

    – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

    – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

    – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

    – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

    – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

    – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

    The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

    – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

    – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

    September 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • .........

      plz hit report abuse to all reality posts

      September 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Hoovervilles

      @.........

      Common technique when you can't face the facts – try to silence the facts.

      Nice post Reality!

      October 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  14. Curtis

    The difference between me and you- You remain lost and I remain confident.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  15. Richard S Kaiser

    tallulah13 wrote on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 11:09 am, stating, "Richard, humanity is a fairly recent development on earth, and certainly in the universe. Life is finite. I realize that you don't want it to be, but as far as anyone has proven, we're born, we live, we die. That's it.

    We tallulah13 do live upon a celestial plain of indifference.
    We are created from the plains of atomic ponderance.
    We are endowed with knowledge to be hopefully surfaced.
    We are wrongly construed most of many times.
    We tallulah13 know pain and yet we carry on.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Reality

      What else do we know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will probably fry us in about a billion years and then burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 billion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 1-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 billion years?

      September 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Reality et al,,,,

      The ongoing ways of the celestialness plains are atomically sound yet perilously profound.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Reality

      Obviously, RSK has succ-umbed to the "celestial" sounds of the infamous Angel Con:

      To wit:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."
      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."
      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      September 29, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • .........

      plz hit report abuse to multiple reality posts

      September 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's a celestial PLANE, you nincompoop.

      September 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      When you write than in plain english, Dickie, maybe I'll take the time to muddle through. However, I still stand by my original statement: In the grand scheme of things, humanity is a fairly recent development.

      September 30, 2011 at 2:21 am |
  16. AGuest9

    So this poll just shows that if someone is of the mind-set to "believe" in some abstract thought (like religion), they are just as likely to be gung ho about another (ultra-patriotism). This is not a surprising result.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • JoeG

      Now THAT is a logical conclusion!

      September 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Dilbry

      I came to that conclusion as well. Also, Governments throughout history have always employed the usefulness of religion to their political advantage. If a government can produce a link between it and the dominant religion both grow substantially in power and influence, but then they must achieve a wire thin balance to continue their power over the people.

      October 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  17. gregg

    A good percentage of the German population in the 30's and 40's were extremely patriotic and stood behind their political leaders’ right up until they figured out what was really going on.

    Patriotism and religion are both the last refuge of scoundrels because neither concepts need logic, to be proven or even true.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ gregg,,, et al,,,

      My "patriotism" is worldly patriotic and my religion is upon my own beliefs and faiths I share openly. My spiritual accords lays deeply seeded within Fractal and Celestial and Cellular Cosmologies and their floating upon the creeks and streams and rivers and bays and seas and oceans of Nothingness which is GOD's Holy Spirit.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • C'est Moi

      Agreed! The scariest thing in the world is those that think their religion or country can do no wrong! They are all led by power hungry and fault ridden human beings

      September 29, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  18. Curtis

    Ultimately from all this discussion we have two choices:

    1) we can believe that the earth, sun, and moon perfectly aligned together to work in harmony to produce life, and we were evolved from a Primate that had a Super Brain compared to other species as the result of planets and stars colliding with one another.
    2) Or We can believe that their was a Creator with a Purpose who designed the universe to preserve life on it Forever.

    Same choices different idea

    1) We can believe that our Computers were perfectly built to store abudant amounts of information and the internet was able to transfer data across the world but only because all the parts just ran into each other and created itself into a well designed computer and internet. Nobody created it. It just happened
    2) Or we can believe someone had a purpose and a design- Then created it.

    But Option 1 sounds more farfetched and fairytale then Option 2. Well we all have to make choice and I choose the latter.

    September 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • What If

      Curtis,

      Those are NOT the only options.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Curtis

      Please share your other options

      September 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • gregg

      Nice try??
      Dinosaur bones and the bible are not the same kind of evidence.
      The cool thing about religion is that all you need to belong is an imagination (or the ability to suspend reality) and enough money to put in the offering plate. Then you can absolve yourself of all responsibility. Good=god's will; bad=Satan at work. You have “no personal responsibility”.

      That is why so many governments and corrupt leaders over the years have "used" religion to push politics, wars and atrocities, if god is on your side you are fine….

      September 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • someguy

      Curtis, you are proposing a false argument. In the first set of cases, we do not actually know how the Universe was created, we're just trying to figure it out after the fact. If the first solution (no God required) seems imperfect or farfetched, so be it, as long as the facts bear it out. In the second set of cases, however, we ALREADY KNOW how the system came into existence. The fact that it is unbelievably complex and might appear farfetched is irrelevant; its existence and genesis are not in dispute.

      You have used a classic rhetorical trick/logical fallacy called the "straw man", and I'm calling you on it! In this scenario, one constructs a second argument that appears to be analogous to the original (but is in fact NOT analogous), destroys the second argument, and voila!, the first argument is also destroyed. Close, but no cigar. Nice try though!

      September 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • What If

      Curtis,

      If you have not learned *some* of the other options after (at least) reading the many posts on this blog, you are just not paying attention, or you don't care to learn about them.

      A couple of thousand years ago you would have been one of the ones who thought that there was no other explanation for volcanoes erupting than that an angry god was living down in them.

      Even a simple, "We don't know (yet)" is better than your goddidit default answer.

      September 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Curtis,
      You are presenting a 'weak analogy' fallacy. Computers and the Internet are not alive and don't reproduce, which is required for any evolution to occur.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Curtis

      First, I do not share in offerings to a church nor do I believe or accept the fact that money can buy me forgiveness. I rather live with faith and belief than "I don't know" as my main theme in life.

      And my Analogy are revellant. You can either believe or choose not to believe. We are all given the same plate to eat off of. Some will eat, some won't.

      If you would like to continue to have faith in "men" to solve all life's wonder's I do pity you. Men are very incapable obviously. Men give them selves praise when they come up with a medication to cure an illness, oh, but wait! There are side effects! Yes, thats right. Let's try to clone animals- oh wait! there are side effects! Let's do chemo to cure your cancer! Oh, did I mention you will feel like crap for the next couple years of your life and the chemo may kill you...and the list goes on. I rather have faith in Jehovah God than any man. So yes, while you wonder about your day choose to just "not know" with evidence is in front of you, so be it. Dinosaur Bones? Really? Bones vs. the Perfect alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth...you choose Bones? You sound like your mad at religion and not God. Give up on religion because there are many false religions but don't lose your faith in Jehovah your God.

      September 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Curtis

      The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars don't reproduce either. What's your point?

      September 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • President C.

      You keep saying the perfect alignment of the sun, the moon and earth. These things are all constantly rotating and orbiting each other, and as such have no set alignment. It's constantly changing. Do you mean the given alignment of right this second is perfect? Perfect for what? And what about two seconds later, when the alignments have changed? How about three years, two months, fourteen days, twelve hours, ten minutes and 43 seconds from now? Is that alignment going to be perfect? Because it's going to be a lot different than it is now.

      Basically what I'm saying is, school is your friend. Study, then speak. Otherwise you come across looking like a moron. Kinda like now.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Scott - other

      Actually if you look at the progression of computers from WWII until the present it makes a strong argument for evolution. Many small improvements over a period of time

      September 29, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Curtis, the thing is, we are what we are because of of the natural events that formed the earth, not the other way around. Had there been even the slighted difference in atmosphere, life may not even exist on this planet. Your god had nothing to do with anything.

      September 30, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • What If

      Yes, Tallulah13... and other slight differences in planetary position or atmosphere or many other variables may have made us even better than we are, with sturdier bodies, larger brains, longer life spans in which to continue investigating things. That "perfection of the universe" plati.tude is quite an hyperbole. What works, works, and what doesn't work doesn't stay around.

      September 30, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder how people like Curtis will cope if we discover intelligent life on another planet elsewhere in the solar system? Suppose life there has evolved in response to a completely different atmosphere? Suppose the beings there have created a totally different religion but just as adamantly insist that THEIR god is the only god?

      What will you do then, Curt?

      September 30, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Your god is a fossil

      Well then Curt will just have to declare a holy war on them, as his god demands

      October 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  19. someguy

    @J-Ex

    You know what? You're right! There was more than a little sarcasm there, so please excuse the emotion. There is definitely way too much "snarkiness" out there. We'll keep this civil. The fact that the mechanism for heat transfer in the Earth is not fully understood does not automatically invalidate the rest of the science. A lack of understanding of one component of a system is not a prima facie case for dismissal of the entire system. If I were to apply your logic to the question of God, the argument would go something like this:

    We don't understand why some prayers are answered and some are not. Therefore, God is a sham and his religious system is false.

    The solution, for a scientist, is not to shrug and turn away from the problem but to continue to examine the evidence further and try to find an explanation. Same for religion. The solution to a question of faith is not to shrug and turn away from the problem but to examine the problem further.

    September 29, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Where were we when the universes were being created and set floating upon the vast Oceanic realms of Nothingness?

      Where were we when the Firmaments of the Celestial Universes were born out of the Seas of Nothingness?

      Where were we when atomic nebulations began to be cloistered together to form the planets and such as this Earth who was once known as Gaia?

      Where were we when the stars were set aflame and divided the Celestial Heaven into innumerable Universes of too many to count?

      Where were you and others when Life did form and began to be created and ever recreated by the Sons of GOD who gave to HIS Sons the atomic Cosmos to be their playground?

      Rom 8:19 “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

      Rom 8:21 “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

      1Cr 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.”

      September 29, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • tallulah13

      Richard, humanity is a fairly recent development on earth, and certainly in the universe. Life is finite. I realize that you don't want it to be, but as far as anyone has proven, we're born, we live, we die. That's it.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • someguy

      Richard, what is your point? The poetry is beautiful, but how does it relate to my comments? Your biblical quotes also don't seem to have any connection. I'm perfectly willing to engage you on these issues but please, just say what you mean. I can answer the question of where I was when "Creation" was happening I was here, there, everywhere. You, me, everyone, all made of the stuff of this Universe. But let me ask you this: if God has existed for all eternity, what was he doing before he made our Universe?

      September 29, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Richard S. Kaiser Watch

      Richard has paroxisms of paraphenalia. He can't deconvolve his decentralized descendence when he seeks to perpetuate his persistent punctuationalisms.

      September 29, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Scott - other

      @Richard S Kaise: “Where were we when the universes were being created and set floating upon the vast Oceanic realms of Nothingness?” Wasn’t that the answer god gave Job when Job asked god why he had fukced him over so bad just to win a bet with satan?

      September 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  20. question

    How do you embed a video or video link into a comment?????

    September 29, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • answer

      please don't.

      September 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
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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.