home
RSS
My Take: Occupy Wall Street looks like church to me
Protest Chaplains Robin Lutjohann, left, and Michael Zahniser take part in an Occupy Boston march September 30.
October 7th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

My Take: Occupy Wall Street looks like church to me

Editor's note: Marisa Egerstrom is a Ph.D. candidate studying American religious history at Harvard University. As a member of the Boston-based group Protest Chaplains, she has been involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and Boston. She is an Episcopalian.

By Marisa Egerstrom, Special to CNN

In the movement that's making campgrounds out of city squares across America, it might seem there's little religion happening. But Occupy Wall Street, and its local offshoots springing up everywhere from Boston to L.A., has described itself more clearly in the language of “soul” than in the language of federal financial regulation policy.

That’s because, at its heart, the Occupy movement is about creating a democratic society in which everyone matters, there is dignity in working together across differences, and there is enough for everyone. Is this vision tantamount to socialism? No. Once upon a time, we called this “American.”

It also sounds pretty Christian to me. What the early Apostles called “The Way” was a vision for peaceful living that built on Christ’s teaching, life, death and resurrection. The Way repudiates the pursuit of individual wealth in favor of building communities that care for the marginalized, the desperate and the powerless. Jesus demonstrated this by healing lepers and dining with prostitutes and tax collectors.

This is not to say that American democracy is synonymous with Christianity, nor to argue that it should be. Understanding what’s happening in these protests, though, requires that we quit impatiently insisting on a list of demands and listen for what the Occupy movement is saying. The US Day of Rage website, one organizational hub for the protests, says we’re “fighting a war for the soul of our nation.” Such language is unmistakably religious and reveals how deeply this popular discontent reaches.

The consistent message emerging from the protests against the concentration of wealth in the hands of 1% of Americans is this: We are the 99%, and we intend to chase the corrupt moneylenders out of a democracy created for the people. It’s a vision of inclusivity and participatory government that confuses pundits and politicians alike, because this movement is more about being for a way of living than it is against anybody or any group. It’s the thing Christianity talks about but often has a hard time doing. It’s a new politics fighting to restore the vision of equality laid out in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the checks and balances so brilliantly constructed in our Constitution.

Critics have derided the protesters with the usual rehearsal of slurs: spoiled kids, lazy hippies and so on. But the occupiers don’t want your money or your stuff. In this entitled era of “Have it Your Way” and overwhelming consumer choice, spend any time listening to people speaking about their grief and hope, and you hear a groan of longing for a different way of living. “I want less,” a friend told me once. “Less of everything.” She wasn’t talking about wanting to be poor. She just wants real life.

Protest Chaplains Heather Pritchard, foreground, Sarah King and Nicholas Hayes in New York on September 17.

Jesus teaches that in return for having less, we get more. More life, not more stuff. The little experiments in community arising in cities across the United States in the Occupy movement are revealing how much there is in “less.” For many, “less” is not a choice. The Boston camp is full of people who have lost homes to foreclosure, whose unemployment applications have gone unprocessed for weeks and whose retirements have been absorbed by the banks.

Yet in the music, conversations, meetings and daily work that come with running a community, there is a profound sense of abundance. A delivery of dry blankets and towels is met with cheers. Trained medics volunteer their skills to treat injuries and illness. The food station is “loaves and fishes” in action: There is always more than enough to eat, and homeless folks eat side by side with lawyers and students off of donated plates. There is always meaningful work to be done. It’s not charity. It’s cooperation. It’s The Way, and it’s happening right now. The Occupation is the church your church wants to be.

I’m with a group called the Protest Chaplains, and we have spent time at the New York and Boston protests, tending to the spiritual needs of protesters. We’ve found no shortage of work to do. Over and over, I hear the chaplains saying they’ve never had such an opportunity to put their faith into action. Coming from a mix of mainline and evangelical backgrounds, we’ve set up an interfaith spirituality tent in Boston where protesters are constantly meditating, leading workshops and holding services in Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist and other traditions. Just as in The Way, it turns out that ideology and theology matter less than what we do. And it’s bringing us all new life.

For Christians, the Occupy movement amounts to an invitation from people outside of the church to join them in prophetic witness to the failure of a hyperindividualistic consumerist society. Will Christians find the humility to accept the welcome and join? Or will we fail to recognize The Way in what’s happening in this movement simply because it doesn’t speak Christianese? Could it be that open-hearted participation in this growing experiment in abundant life is exactly what the church needs to recover its own sense of vitality and mission? As Jesus said, “Come and see.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Opinion • Protest

« Previous entry
soundoff (769 Responses)
  1. LiberalChristian

    Hey Marisa Egerstrom, is this kind of distortion praised at Harvard?

    Now I know why our school system is broke...

    October 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  2. SteveHC

    What the HECK in G-d's name is this BIZARRE "article" doing on CNN.COM??? It's the most moronic thing I've EVER seen on this website. Religion has NOTHING to do with banking, finance or commerce – nor SHOULD it. Religion needs to confine itself to just that – RELIGION, separate and apart from government, business, and just about EVERYTHING else.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • LiberalChristian

      Pretty Obvious, CNN always trying to appear middle ground while actually trashing the crap out of things the majority of Americans hold dear, all in an effort to keep Liberalism alive!

      I'm not for forsaking my God or my Neighbors for Liberalism, may have to rethink what I stand for politically.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • PullenSeeker

      And there were many 150 years ago insisting it had nothing to do with slavery – which was, after all, a "social" issue. Religion is about everything. It doesn't explain everything, but it has to do with everything. To relegate it to some "private" sphere is a recipe for letting our consumerist "values" dominate every moral issue we face.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Peter

      It's called a "Belief Blog"...they're "opinion" columns...make sense?

      October 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • elnyka

      Breathe. Inhale. Exhale.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Jeff

      Actually we'd be better off if religion just went away altogether. What a wonderful world that would be.

      October 7, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  3. MaxNatoma

    It's about time that some are standing up to the right wing's co-opting of Christianity!

    October 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Dunno

      Yea causing havoc and being stupid as possible is a great tactic.

      F the Right, Long Live the Left who squeaked out of the gene pool somehow!

      October 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • PullenSeeker

      Amen to that. I am grateful that the rhetoric of conservative and progressive faith are beginning to yield way to demonstration of what this sort of faith envisions for the "city" in which we live. And I really believe (and locate myself in this stance) that it is a more conservative theological stance that quite adamantly demands this kind of witness of social justice and greater equity. Traditional belief has not asked forcefully enough in recent years (decades?) whether it has been just been coopted and exploited for political purposes.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • PullenSeeker

      My "Amen" was to MaxNatoma, not "dunno."

      October 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • PullenSeeker

      I mean Dunno, whatever! Hate CNN for not letting me edit!

      October 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  4. Proudtobeblack

    As a black man I don't want to criticize President Obama and his administration.

    But WOW DOES HE SUCK!

    I just don't wanna be associated with his hate inducing tactics, we're going back to the 50s with this guy.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  5. Kathy G

    AMEN! I plan to print and give to my pastor. Our little church (110 members) is all inclusive, has a clothing ministry for the poor, feeds 300 homeless every Sunday in down town Phoenix, supports a local women's shelter, etc. etc. We do not do this to 'Convert' people, we do this to bless people.
    More blessing, less bullying people who are gay or whatever.
    Live what Jesus taught. We will all be blessed. kg

    October 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Kenny G

      Yo Kathy G we are going to be blessed by god awright, like those poor folks who got hit by that big nuclear tsunami. Bet they feel real blessed and thankful now. Thannkkk youuuuu gawwwwddd. Not.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  6. petercha

    Deuteronomy 5:21
    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
    This is one of the ten commandments. Anyone who is jealous of the wealthy is breaking this commandment left and right.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • galfridus73

      The wealthy theses folks are protesting are the ones who had massive, taxpayer-funded bailouts and then showed massive profits and gave out bonuses. Ergo, I think the coveting taking place is by the banks, not the protesters. And there was something that supersedes your quotes (if you are a Christian, or a moral person of any sort): Treat people the way you want them to treat you. Or, as Wil Wheaton says: Don't be a d*ck (and the banks were, and are currently, big ones).

      October 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Celeste

      Umm, actually Jesus said: "I have come to break the law." The laws set in Deuteronomy were like shackles that were holding people down. Jesus liberated them from some of the laws. Yes, the commandments are important, but if you ever have a chance to read the Book of Acts, and all of bible in general, you will learn that Christianity is about being cheritable, caring about the poor, sharing the wealth so that "no one will have a lack," being kind and compassionate to others, not being condemnational ("Condemnation is NOT of God!"), taking the log out of your own eye before condemning the spec in someone else's eye, NOT fornicating, not hating, "They will know us from our love," and having and displaying all the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Kenny G

      petercha, especially stop coveting my ass. That's what it read when I went to bible school, anyway.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • steveinmo

      @galfridus73
      You're right about the taxpayer funded bailouts – they were a very bad idea, along with the GM & Chryser bailout (which Chrysler still hasn't learned anything after 3 bailouts in my lifetime). I was never for them and a lot of people I know weren't for them. You're right it was the bankers practices that got us into this mess. But what they did was (by your own president's admission) legal, just unethical. And what they did and were allowed to do for so long without question from anyone, is because of our greed and covetousness.

      Curiously here, and I hate to be political because this is where recent history has gotten perverted and twisted around by the media. If you recall, it was the republicans in Congress who were against the bailouts, even when GW sided with the Dems to give the money to them. So in this case, the idiotic liberal media (esp the losers over at MSNBC) are accusing the Republicans of being in bed with the bankers, yet it was they who rejected and fought against all 3 bailouts while the Democrats fought and voted for them. But it's the Republicans who are "on trial" here and it's supposedly the Democrats and their union money who are behind the OWS and other movements around our cities, while the Republicans?

      And I'll second what was written – Thou Shalt Not Covet, & Thou Shalt Not Steal- who has the right to judge and covet the wealthy and steal what they received. This so-called church and so-called preachers walking around Wall St are from the devil.

      Be very careful what you believe these protests and movements are because it's not what it seems on face value. We're in trouble.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  7. Jake

    It's more Christian that the TEA Party's protests. What were the TEA Party protesting about again? Oh yeah, they didn't like how the government was spending way too much of their hard-earned money on helping the poor. Or in conservative circles "giving handouts to lazy good-for-nothing liberal communists". But the TEA party were also protesting against things like immigration, as in, it wasn't strict enough. Or in conservative circles "we hate Mexicans".

    October 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • William

      It's more Christian that the TEA Party's protests. What were the TEA Party protesting about again? Oh yeah, they didn't like how the government was spending way too much of their hard-earned money on helping the poor. Or in conservative circles "giving handouts to lazy good-for-nothing liberal communists". But the TEA party were also protesting against things like immigration, as in, it wasn't strict enough. Or in conservative circles "we hate Mexicans".

      October 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • William

      You have us Tea Partiers down to a T. We don't like sharing our money with those who don't care to work and we feel that immiigration should be controlled rather than everyone storming the borders. Anything more than that you said is bending the truth, like you liberals do so well.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • steveinmo

      We don't hate Mexicans. But we do hate people who break into our house (the U.S.) unlawfully and steal what is ours, and be told (by the state...) that we don't have the right to defend our own house. That's socialism.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • steveinmo

      And there's nothing Christian about these protests.
      - Thou Shalt Not Covet
      - Thou Shalt Not Steal

      Who among us has the right to judge the wealthy, simply because we covet what they have, and who among us has the right to steal what they earned? Not very Christian, or ethical. Socialism is what it's called and just another example of the perversions being taught in our schools and universities these days. Perversions being taught by union teachers who've been misled by their union bosses – so those union bosses can be multi-millionaires.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  8. Jim

    Breaking news – there is no God and never has been so let's have less of this crap about imaginary deities please

    October 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Craig

      Amen to that, brother!

      October 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • worldbelow

      LIKE

      October 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Celeste

      That's your opinion. Not mine. =) God bless you.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Peter

      Why bother to read it then? An example of how stupid people like you are. Got to mouth off. You have no evidence there is no God, it's just your opinion. So instead you read an article that you know you won't like and then make sure you cast your negative opinion on everyone. I have had an absolute gutful of big mouth atheists like you. Go write an article about there being no God, that way you're comments will be in a forum that's important to you. Otherwise shut you cake hole. I'd love to come face to face with mouths like you.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  9. Jim P.

    How do you have a female chaplain? Paul forbad women to have authority over men. Seems pretty straightforward: "Let the women keep silent in all humility."

    October 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • petercha

      Good point, Jim.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • dudley0418

      The same way you have a h0m0$exua1 one.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Damian

      Ah welcome to 2011.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • damon

      taken out of context. and even men had to cover their heads then. a different time. and Paul was speaking based on Paul, not on Jesus. Jesus's best friend was a woman, and treated her as an equal AT ALL times. don't try to misconstrue his teachings by 2 sentences Paul made about a church service.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Guest

      Jim, where is that in the bible?? The first evangelist was a woman. She said that Jesus lives!

      October 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  10. David Johnson

    WoW! These people are actually speaking the words of Christ!

    The Republican Party is the party of the rich and the Christian Right. The Republicans use the First Ep_istle of Paul to the Thessalonians, to justify their cutting programs for the p_oor and elderly. They ignore Christ's advice to the rich. The Republicans believe they deserve the wealth that they have. Maybe they do. Maybe god is blessing them. So, if the rich follow the words of Jesus, won't god bless the rich all the more?

    Hmm... I think Hell may be full of Republicans and maybe people who vote for the Republicans. I don't think Paul was the Messiah or Son of God. I have to wonder if it is wise to take the words of a man that never actually met Jesus, over the words of Jesus. But, I guess Evangelicals know best.

    Anyone who follows a religion other than Christianity, should register to vote and vote these bigots out. If the Christian Right is able to change the const_itution and declare this nation a Christian nation, all the other religions will be 2nd best. Is Allah subservient to the Christian God? Are the Catholics the right flavor of Christianity? Mormons? How about the Jehovah Witnesses? You should ask yourself that, before you vote for a Republican.

    The Republicans wail and gnash their teeth over abortion. Yet, they APPLAUD the number people executed. Maybe the death penalty is needed. But, how can people who supposedly worship a god of love applaud the killing of human beings?

    Cheers!

    October 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Obama4ever

      I fell asleep right after "WoW", I never even got past the exclamation mark!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Obama4ever

      Dang cant edit my post, I meant to say "Awesome Monolog!"

      October 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • dudley0418

      I could never be considered rich. I am Christian but 'right wing' would be a misstatement. I am a member of the GOP since Carter was president, but a Democrat/Dixiecrat before that. Given even those few, unimportant facts your statement is a false generalization, like many of those whose vision is not broad enough to see everything and consider everyone.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • petercha

      You don't understand the idea of JUSTICE, David? As in protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty? I thank God that He is a JUST God!

      October 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Objective in CA

      David, are you really judging Republicans and classifying all of them as evil? Please... Just because some see the world differently than you do, they are NOT going to hell. Take a deep breath and try again. There is common ground if we all walk away from talking points and extremism.

      Let's be clear: Jesus did not advocate the forced surrender of anyone's wealth. He always advocated the voluntary surrender of one's means to help others. This is what is called, "Charity." He did not say, "Give all that you have to the Government [so they can waste it] and distribute it to the poor. He said, "Give all that you have to the poor and follow me." It is quite a different message than the one being espoused currently by the Left.

      Forced surrender is called "theft." One is not more righteous because they gave up their wealth when forced to do so by government and I'm quite certain it will not help them get into any kind of "heaven" as a result. As for justifying abortion because some believe in the death penalty, I missed where you connected the dots between the taking of innocent life and guilty life (i.e. "justice" as was commented before). Even if you are unwilling to make that distinction, you cannot justify one bad behavior with another. If the Right gives up the death penalty, is the Left willing to give up abortion? Hmmm... I didn't think so. Don't believe me? Ask President Obama, the champion of the Left. Ask Rep. Pelosi, and if you can understand a word of what she says, I worry for you 😉

      October 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  11. Obama4ever

    The quicker we take out the free markets, the fast we can eliminate individual exceptionalism and bring in a new era of Group Mediocrity!

    Look a China, those rice herders are happy as heck!

    October 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Quote – "The quicker we take out the free markets, the fast we can eliminate individual exceptionalism and bring in a new era of Group Mediocrity!"

      Uh, Obama4ever – are you serious about what you just said? If so then you're a socialist pig and a direct threat to this nation.

      You represent EVERYTHING I spent 20yrs in the Air Force standing against and protecting our C o n s t i t u t i o n from. You and your antichrist president. Again, if you're serious...do you not hear or understand the implications of what you're saying? If that's how you want to live, move to Venezuela or North Korea.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  12. dudley0418

    The best way to be Christian is to lead an open life following Christian values. Evangelism is not for everyone. It is a spiritual gift not universally given. It was given to Rev Graham, for example, who did it correctly.

    It can be like trying to be a singer when you have a terrible voice: it just hurts the whole effort.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  13. Reality

    Christianity can go frak off! Trying to aim some sort of commonality between all the protestors is nothing new, that is how media, even CNN, can belittle what is truly going on. The proletariat is tired of carrying the load for the bourgeoisie. This has no religious label, no party label, etc. We the people run this country and will take it back if necessary. We come from all sorts of affiliations, each with his or her individual values or beliefs. Our common thread: we carry with us the determination to end this hypocrisy of Wall Street and Government. Who knows how or when we will get there, but things are looking up.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Peter

      Why your opening sentence? You immediately ticked me off. "we the people run this country" what absolute BS! The people don't run squat! That's the point.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Reality just hates everyone that's not athiest, and just wants to make you angry, to prove their point and feed their insecurities and their hate of Jesus and fear of Him. Add to that list, least AFAIK, Hippypoet, Peace2All, David Johnson, and numerous other non-believing troll bloggers who curiously are on the Belief site. They're just here to pick a fight.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Reality

      The previous comments were not made by the original Reality.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  14. MiddleWay14

    American Evangelical and Fundamentalist 'Christians' are not Christians because they don't follow the words and teachings of Jesus. They tack their selfish, bigoted non-Christian agenda onto the religion. They selectively pick and choose the lines in the Bible they interpret to validate their opinions.

    No, they are actually the anti-christians. It's said that the 'devil' (i.e., evil) will come dressed as and present himself as a savior, grandstanding with moral righteousness. That perfectly describes Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Baptists, 7th-day Adventists, etc. like them.

    Only Catholics, Orthodox, and Mainline Protestants (Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, etc.) qualify as real 'Christians'. The Catholic Church authored the modern-day Bible these Evangelicals and Fundamentalists quote from, after all. The Catholic, Orthodox, and Mainline Protestant sects have the common sense to understand that men authored it. The Evangelicals and Fundamentalists have no say in saying what is what because they didn't author it. They are not even part of the sect that authored it. The Bible is not the word of anything but a group of men. And they are fools for hanging on its words.

    If anything, the story of the compassionate Jesus is what they should be emulating. The world would be a better place if people emulated the Jesus personified in that tale rather than their spun interpretations of some book authored by ordinary men with their own agendas.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • dudley0418

      Your view on The Canon is misdirected, assigning the Bible 'Catholic authorship.' The books in the Bible were written before the Canon. There was a single Christian church at the time, but to say it was "Catholic" as we understand Catholicism today is a misrepresentation. No one was worshipping Mary as a perfect, un-sinning female deity at that time.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  15. wotisit

    The Capitalist are using communist labor to produce goods sold in this country.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • hmungus

      Oh, you mean like Steve Jobs...

      October 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  16. Mindie from India

    This movement doesn't have anything to do with Christians, especially since Jesus' message has been corrupted by the Greed. Unlike the baggers, OCCUPY is all inclusive – everyone is welcome. What you are seeing is a GENUINE grass roots movement with NO CORPORATE money no matter how many lies fake entertainment and the baggers try to tell. This is about CORRUPT GOVERNMENT and how our futures have been stolen by greed. Wake Up People!

    October 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • petercha

      I doubt VERY much that occupy is all inclusive. If went down there and voiced my opinions, they'd beat me to a pulp in 10 seconds flat. On the other hand, the Tea Party loves Herman Cain, who is black.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  17. SurelyUjest

    While I think this movement is very inclusive of a majority of Jesus's words. It is not fully supported by some of the Bible. I say that because most of the Evangelicals today have gotten this message that "Jesus wants them to be rich and will reward you on earth with riches for proslethizing". This to me has been a right wing growth in the "jesus movement" which tends to leave Jesus out and interject much of the Old Testament. So in one way, yes, those claiming to support the Values of Jesus Christ in regards to how society should be run, belong here. In another way absolutely not, too many Christian organizations have usurped the Message of Christ and supported both financially and with their votes for 20 some years values that ignore jesus's teachings. Once Christianity has done some hard introspection then may be but not until. One other perspective I have is that this is a "for the people by the people" movement keep your religion out of our politics and our government!

    October 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  18. AbraCadabra

    whoever they are, they must admit, to themselves and to us, that until we stop wanting the things we want and begin to want better things, all this will be for naught. there can never be "enough for everyone" when everyone wants to be George Clooney.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  19. Reality

    The nitty-gritty of Christianity:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say?

    October 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • STLBroker

      That's a good question. By all rights Jesus should have been forgotten. An obscure carpenter's son that only preached for a few years of his short life and ultimately died a criminal's death. One of thousands that the Roman's put to death by crucifiction. YET, he has not been forgotten! His life and his words are worshipped by billions of people 2000 years later. Billions of people give HIM credit for giving them abundant and fruitful lives. The disciples that you speak of died gruesome and painful deaths when all they had to do was deny what they had witnessed and that Jesus was the Son of God to spare their lives. Don't know about you but in their shoes if I had the least bit of doubt, I would have denied it and saved my own skin. That leads me to conclude that they DID indeed witness these miracles and WERE convinced that Jesus WAS and IS the Son of God and that dying believing that is far better than living without that belief. Because they KNEW their deaths would mean eternity with HIM. I think they made the right choice. Thank you Lord Jesus for dying a criminal's death even though you did nothing wrong so that I and everyone that believes it may live forever with you!

      October 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Reality

      More details using a prayer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Amen

      October 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  20. O.T.

    I think ONN (Obama News Network) published this in an effort to give legitimacy to the protestors, which it sees as a way to benefit the reelection of Obama. Every article about a Democrat or liberalism is positive. Every one about a Republican or conservatism is negative. No exceptions.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      so because Rupert Murdoch and his media out let doesnt' respect this movement there for it is illegitimate?

      October 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • bxgrrl

      Don't you get enough validation from Faux News? You know, "fair and balanced"?

      October 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • petercha

      You have a point there, O.T.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
« Previous entry
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.