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Obama delivers very Christian message at Christmas tree lighting
President Obama and his family at the Thursday night tree lighting.
December 1st, 2011
10:12 PM ET

Obama delivers very Christian message at Christmas tree lighting

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - President Barack Obama delivered an unusually stark Christian message at the White House Christmas tree lighting Thursday night, saying Christ's message "lies at the heart of my Christian faith and that of millions of Americans."

"More than 2,000 years ago, a child was born to two faithful travelers who could find rest only in a stable, among the cattle and the sheep," Obama said at the tree lighting ceremony, a longstanding White House tradition.


"But this was not just any child," Obama continued. "Christ’s birth made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar. He was a manifestation of God’s love for us."

Obama has been more public and specific about his religious beliefs since polls last year showed that only a minority of Americans know he is Christian. Last Easter, Obama got unusually specific about his beliefs on Christ's resurrection at a White House prayer breakfast.

Some conservative Christian leaders have questioned Obama's Christian faith, even though Obama got his start in politics through church-based political organizing and has written about accepting Jesus in his 20s.

Last month, South Carolina Christian conservative leader Bob Jones III told a reporter “I’ve no reason to think (Obama is) Christian."

“Some people will say whatever they think the politically helpful thing would be,” Jones said. “I say, ‘Where is the evidence that he is a Christian?’ ”

In his remarks at Thursday's tree lighting, Obama said that Jesus "grew up to become a leader with a servant’s heart who taught us a message as simple as it is powerful: that we should love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves."

"So long as the gifts and the parties are happening, it’s important for us to keep in mind the central message of this season," he said, "and keep Christ’s words not only in our thoughts, but also in our deeds."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Christmas

soundoff (2,184 Responses)
  1. Bootyfunk

    people tend to think of jesus as this being of complete love and compassion. if he existed (and there is no proof that he did), then he was just a nutty cult leader. they all speak of love, but really they're just egotistical freak-jobs telling everyone they are 2nd only to God and should be worshiped. if jesus did exist, then he was not really divine being, just a megalomaniac cult leader. the only way to get a being of love and compassion out of jesus is to be selective with what he said.

    here's some lovely words straight from the mouth of the savior himself:

    • Jesus says you must hate your family to be worthy of him.
    Luke 14:26 (King James Version)
    26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    • Jesus doesn’t let a man bury his father or another man say goodbye to his family, but says that preaching the gospel is more important - follow me now or go to hell.
    Luke 9:59-62 (King James Version)
    59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
    60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
    61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
    62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

    • Jesus approves of slavery. In some bible versions, “slaves” has been replaced with “servants”.
    Luke 12:37-38 (New American Standard Bible)
    37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
    38 "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

    • Jesus tells us straight out his 2nd coming is about violence, not peace. Oh, and he’s here to make family members hate each other.
    Mathew 10:34-36
    34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
    35 "For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
    36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household."

    December 2, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • NiceTry

      Your a moron. Its pretty obvious that you don't believe in god so of course your not going to understand what these selected quotes mean. Your also an idiot in the sense, just let people believe in what they believe in. I believe in God and you don't. I'm not going to harrass you. Almost all scholars agree that Jesus did in fact exist. I'm sure you believe the Big Bang Theory and Evolution correct? Both of which are just theories and can never truley be proven. Its all about faith, you have faith in science I have faith in God. But we will never truley "know" if jesus existed or if the big bang theory, or evolution are true becuase we weren't there. So believe in what you want but leave everyone else alone!

      December 2, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • Mom of Three

      You don't expect Christians to actually have READ the Bible, do you???? They just let their church leaders tell them what's in it.

      The cause of the Reformation was the fact that the Guttenberg press had been invented and, for the first time in history, Bibles were making their way into the hands of people other than the uber-wealthy who could afford versions written entirely by hand by monks. When they started reading what was in there, they realized they were being taken for a ride. I love your post, though. Very well-researched!

      December 2, 2011 at 3:07 am |
    • Mom of Three

      Hey, Nice Try. Exactly which scholars, and what percentage would you just throw out there as "most?" Most scholars at Bob Jones University or all scholars? Does this include scholars in, say, medicine, or just theology scholars? I know you've got the hard facts there, so why not share with the rest of us?

      December 2, 2011 at 3:08 am |
    • Observer

      NiceTry,

      No rebuttal other than name-calling? After a long list of quotes from the Bible you had NOT ONE WORD to dispute them.

      BAD try.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:10 am |
    • Try Again

      NiceTry
      "Your a moron."

      Oh, how I laugh uproariously at folks who make this pronouncement, all the while not even knowing the difference between "your" and "you're"!

      The rest of your post continues to showcase your muddle-headedness.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:19 am |
    • RC

      1. Jesus is in fact a historical figure. He is referenced in Roman writings at the time as a Jew that stirred some people up but was crucified. The contemporary Jewish historian Josephus, who was no fan of Jesus, wrote about him.

      2. True Christians refuse to be worshipped. "To God alone the glory." Any "Christian" that accepts being worshipped is corrupt or grossly ignorant of scripture.

      3. About "hate", you're taking the examples our of context, and you're quoting a version of English that hasn't been spoken in 400 years. Jesus is speaking in hyperbole, grand exaggerations to make a point. That point is if you want to follow Jesus, you must be willing to give up everything; everything else must be secondary in importance to Jesus (who is also God).

      4. Jesus did not condemn the guy to hell and he did not order anyone to follow him "now". Again, he was making the point that earthly concerns must be secondary to heavenly concerns of following Jesus. To follow Jesus is to obey what Jesus said to do, which we have in the Bible now, as revealed to select men by God.

      The kingdom of God is not some physical place yet to come. The kingdom is on earth right now. It is the body of true believers, worldwide, those that have heard, turned away from their sins, and committed to keeping God's commandments.

      5. Jesus condones slavery, because it was a widely accepted practice. Some translations render it as "servants", which is more accurate to the original Hebrew and Greek words. The slavery of the ancient world is NOT the travesty that was the slavery of blacks in colonial America. There is no resemblance. In the ancient world, people would sell themselves into slavery to pay off debts to their masters, or because they were otherwise too poor to survive; in return, they had a roof to live under and food to eat. By the way, slaves in Hebrew times had it much better than non-Hebrews. Every 7 years, all debts were forgiven. It was a commandment from God.

      6. Once again, the fault is in the interpretation taken out of context. Jesus was all about love. Out of love, he agreed to be the perfect sinless sacrifice God required for humanity's sins, because none of us can be perfect (or else the sacrifice would be for just that person). He did not come, nor did he, to main and kill people. He was a healer. When he says he did not come to bring peace, but a sword, means (in context) that it was the act of his coming to earth in human form, fulfilling the role of the messiah, that would inherently bring strife and set people against each other, according to how each person believed or disbelieved. It's the effect, not the cause.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:38 am |
    • Observer

      RC,

      "Jesus condones slavery, because it was a widely accepted practice"

      So he was all about being politically correct? That's news to most people.
      The "slavery was different" excuse doesn't cut it. The Bible tells how you can beat your slaves (do you prefer "servants"?) as long as you don't kill them.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • Tim

      Actually, most historians agree that Jesus existed and was crucified. The rest, sure, disagree with the claims about what he was and just believe he was a delusional man that tried to do something really cool to make the world a better place (even if he was a crazy man). So, either way, he probably existed (historically) and was probably a better man than most throughout history.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:49 am |
    • LOL

      I can entirely buy that, Tim, it's that whole "Divinity" thing that escapes me.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:58 am |
    • Rico

      Bootyfunk: You really need to work on your Greek.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:13 am |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Speaking of morons.....it's "you're".

      December 2, 2011 at 6:35 am |
  2. CherokeeMonkey

    Be subject to all governing authorities; for all authority is ordained by God. Blessed is the nation who's leader acknowledges the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob; Yahweh. I am quite please to hear him professing a faith and doing so boldly. It is no one'es business to question his sincerity. I can assure you whether Obama has true faith in what he's saying God hears, God sees, and God knows the intent of his heart better than any of us and I can assure you He is a righteous judge and will deal with him as one naturally would. I pray if Obama is not serious about his faith that the Lord puts a spark in his heart and gives him the wisdom to start a course towards economic recovery(without bringing our liberty under threat as his wonderful redneck predecessor managed to do)

    December 2, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • Bob in Pa

      He is so serious about his faith that he forgot to acknowledge God during his Thanksgiving address. The man is a fraud top to bottom.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Observer

      The last guy in the White House talked to God all the time. During those years, we got the worst attack ever on our soil; one of the worst natural disasters in our history; started a war for false reasons; and ended up with the stock market plummeting.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • kimw

      Observer
      You are fully versed in the bible. You know that the devil is the prince of this world. You bet he raised hell under George

      December 2, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • Observer

      kimw,
      "You know that the devil is the prince of this world. You bet he raised hell under George"

      If you are correct, the devil had a great 8-year run under Bush that God was powerless to stop.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ...and Observer... we made it through and the country is still in one piece.

      Also, do not forget everyone from Bin Laden to his seconds in charge to the records of the hijackers stated that they started during Clinton's term.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • kimw

      Observer
      You are the bible man and you know the verses. God lets evil run so the hearts of the wicked are without excuse in the end of days. Just like Cain God let em run till he blotted em all out of existence. The warning goes to all that reject God and hold tight to their Mammon.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Observer

      Mark from Middle River,

      Speaking of bin Laden:

      "I don't know where (bin Laden) is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him to be honest with you." "I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."
      - George W. Bush, President of the United States and reader of "The Pet Goat" while our nation was attacked.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • kimw

      Perfect picture of the golden bull of wall street with the twin towers in flame, the little proton gods of most americans. The God of Abraham is in the hearts but a few these days. Christians pretend but bottom line the golden calf first, real estate and pride is the heart of america. The end times are getting closer.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:00 am |
    • Observer

      "The end times are getting closer."

      Wrong for 2,000 years. Got it right THIS time, I'm sure.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:05 am |
    • kimw

      Observer
      For an agnostic you sure pulled that one out of the Dawkins book on how to twist the bible. Remember the end of days cannot come until evil has drank its fill of blood

      December 2, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • Tim

      Bush lying about being a Christian and even saying God talked to him (not in just a figurative way) sure didn't spark any good in the heart of Bush, so why would he do so if Obama is also lying? I have to admit, Obama wins points for not saying God personally told him something.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:51 am |
    • Tim

      Mark from Middle River, if you're going to say Bin Laden started when Clinton was president, you ought to educate yourself and realize it was Reagan that actually recruited the future terrorists (including Bin Laden, specifically) by arming them to fight the Russians from invading Afghanisttan. The World Trade Center bombing was carried out only a month after Clinton was president, and was planned while Bush Sr. was president, just an extra FYI.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:56 am |
  3. Ewan

    This is the reason I'd love to live in America because Canadians are spineless cowards who don't ever mention God in politics and everyday life in fear of offending people who care less about us.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • Angus

      "captain america" I presume?

      December 2, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • tallulah13

      You do realize that Canada is also part of America?

      December 2, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Observer

      Ewan,

      I can understand why you don't like Canda. They practice the Golden Rule.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:47 am |
    • kimw

      Look out Ewan Observer and tallulha are proud atheists. God must be put down and mocked so they can feel good about their sin and following their false gods ...............that's right every body worships something and you two have you God hate on big time..............

      December 2, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • JDevil1735

      tallulah13 – yeah because we all know when people say America – they think of Canada and Mexico right? Give me a break. the Western Hemisphere was called THE AmericaS and is broken up by North America and South America. When the Middle East is screaming death to America – I don't think too many Canadians are really concerned by it and think they are being included in the crazy rants.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:56 am |
    • Mom of Three

      God doesn't belong in politics and never has. I can't wait until we're MORE like Canada. And, while you're at it, bring on the socialized medicine! Spineless? How about EVOLVED. Tool.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:10 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      We're spineless? You're an idiot!! Nothing spineless about us and you sir are forgetting who your closest neighbor's are...we back your ass in every war; we are your greatest ally. If you don't like us, you are free to stay on your side of the border...we don't need you here to pollute our people with your stupidity and delusions! Very proud to be Canadian and happy to have some rational, open minded friends in my neighbors to the South (Observer, tallulah, Mirosal, Colin). You and kimw...are hypocrites in your beliefs. kimw thinks science is a god...nothing quite as stupid as that but she only says it b/c she failed science, if she's even made it past grade 5 (doubtful considering most people by that time have developed an open mind and see that fairy tales are childish).

      December 2, 2011 at 6:03 am |
  4. Bribarian

    eat a dick obama

    December 2, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • Observer

      Bribarian,

      Grow a brain.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:32 am |
  5. Jay

    Is that an election year we are in next month? Why yes it is. Funny how politicos ramp up the God talk.

    December 2, 2011 at 2:23 am |
  6. MO on MO

    But That's not the big question.

    Christmas trees: real or artificial?

    Hannukah Lights: Wax or electric?

    MO

    December 2, 2011 at 1:48 am |
  7. dudley0415

    Those who can accept it, accept it.

    Merry Christmas, all!

    December 2, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  8. Brett

    Can someone point me to the passage of the Bible where it states how we should observe the birth of Christ? You know, the passage where it tells us to decorate a tree, hang up mistletoe, exchange gifts, wrap our houses in electric light bulbs? I can't seem to find it anywhere...

    December 2, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • dudley0415

      You and Observer just keep posting the same thing.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • Observer

      dudley0415
      "You and Observer just keep posting the same thing."

      True. We can't get any factual rebuttals.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Brandon

      Christmas is just a pagan holiday but the pope at the time decided to add a bit of Jesus to pagan holidays so everyone would be happy. Take easter for example: it happens on a different day every year. I hope no one honestly thinks Jesus rose on several different days...... Excuse me if I was too easy on the papacy they really do deserve more criticism with all of their heresy.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Brett

      Yes, but why do Christian's decorate trees?

      December 2, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • Brett

      Then it's not really an authentic Christian tradition then?? Then why do Christians get so angry when people call it a Holiday Tree??

      December 2, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Elmeaux

      Brett, Wikipedia has an interesting piece on the origin of the tradition. Search for "The History of the Christmas Tree" or just "Christmas Tree."

      I'm not Christian, but I enjoy the lights, decorations, and music typically attributed to the season.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • Brett

      Thanks, but I know the history of the "Christmas" Tree. My questions were purely rhetorical, because I know that many Christians do not.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:07 am |
  9. dudley0415

    I gotta give him credit for not getting all Holiday Tree on us, though.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • Axel Hose

      He's gonna open a can of X-mas on us!

      December 2, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • Brett

      Can someone point me to the passage of the Bible where it states how we should observe the birth of Christ? You know, the passage where it tells us to decorate a tree, hang up mistletoe, exchange gifts, wrap our houses in electric light bulbs?

      December 2, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Sherbert

      That tree is going to make a great bunch of firewood someday.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Vinny

      I gotta give him credit because I love loaning money to millionaires. Kapow!

      December 2, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Observer

      – Jeremiah 10:2-8 "For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.... They are altogether brutish and foolish.”

      December 2, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • dudley0415

      Brett – Christ's birthday was not celebrated as a holiday until much later when Christianity became more than just a few Jews with a new idea to preach. The youngest book of the Bible was written about 90AD.

      He wasn't born on the 25th of Dec, either, but the celebration of His birthday has become to stand for something real for those of The Way.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • Axel Hose

      He should have rapped out a song and shown us some cool moves. I would have watched a recording if he'd done that.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • maine liberal

      "Christmas" is a paegan holiday birth of the unconquered sun

      December 2, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • NiceTry

      @Observer I love how when you quote Jeremiah 10 that you use "..." and don't put in the last sentence of verse 8 so it seems like they are talking about a christmas tree. What is being talked about is an IDOL. Worshiping an idol instead of God. You pride yourself on being an atheist and knowing more about the Bible than Christians, but all you do is take the verses out of context so they support whatever claim you are trying to make. Read the whole chapter or book to be sure of the context of the verse before you start making claims. You pride yourself on your intelligence, but you make yourself look really foolish at times.

      December 2, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  10. dudley0415

    He's weak with Christian voters. It's campaign time for an election year.

    Lots of leaders weak on religion all of a sudden develop a more up-front position on religion. Not saying he's not a Christian, but I am saying he's a politician.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:29 am |
    • FLIndependent

      And the question beckons – why is he not supported overwhelmingly by Christians and "Family Values" party? This President is one of the most family oriented we've seen – great family man, husband and father and he cares about the less fortunate or he would have never given up a chance to make big bucks as a lawyer to become a community organizer. Could it be that all the lies and misinformation the so-called Christians on the GOP side have spread has been absorbed by the narrow minded?

      December 2, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  11. seeker

    Who cares it hes a christian. He got the job and we didn't and what does it matter how he handles whats in his own heart. Hes a human being like the rest of us. Whats he supposed to be? a cookie cutter person of what some people think he should be just because they are christian and they think an american is supposed to be. Give me a break.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:28 am |
    • truindep

      I dont care what Obama's faith is, this is only a PR game anyway

      December 2, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  12. Samuel

    It's rather amusing, this man wants evidence for someone being a christian instead of evidence for his own faith. I'm pretty sure the latter is much more useful than the former.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:23 am |
  13. Brett

    I'm so disappointed. I was hoping the Christians would have been Raptured this year, and now I have to spend another Winter Solstice with them. Ugggh.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • dudley0415

      We were, too.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • US Citizen

      that's not an event you want to be left behind on... it's not a joke, rather, it will be a sad day for millions- but chances are those that are left will just blame it on an "alien abduction" or something ludicrous like that..

      December 2, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • whataworld88

      Oh Brett, you had better hope the Christians don't get raptured. I will let you figure out the rest, you seem capable.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Angus

      lol@stupidrapturist

      December 2, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  14. Kazan

    Religion is man made ,Jesus was a successful political leader, and Obama knows that.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • Mike

      Jesus was either the Sun of God, or a raving lunatic. There can be no middle ground.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Mike

      Son*. Apparently I need to take a grammar class.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • seeker

      No it actually is Sun according to a peice about spiritual leaders born according to astrology and was actually the sun but got misinterpreted. I was impressed when I read it.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  15. Peruna

    I am a conservative, a Republican and a strong opponent of Obama and virtually everything he and his stealth socialist agenda stands for. However, above all that I am a Christian and I have no reason to doubt he is also. I support him for making a bold Christian statement – be it for politics or not. God Bless Mr. President.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • Phil

      You are also a seed, planted to say someone else's words. Who put you up to this? You are even first! Makes me think inside man.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • supreme

      god bless the pres. and may the lord have mercy on his failed economic policies

      December 2, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Miklan

      Why is everything with conservatives about hidden agendas and conspiracy theories? It disturbs me that so many people actually believe there is some sort of mass underground movement by leftists to lead this country astray. This sort of irrational distrust of your fellow man is borderline paranoia and it makes it hard to actually have a civil political discussion if you think everything a democrat says is just lies to cover up their "hidden agenda."

      December 2, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • kimw

      Miklan
      72% of atheists are gay, 98% of gays are liberal democrat, 82% of the jail population is democrat
      Do the math

      December 2, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • maine liberal

      @kimw good fake numbers, makes you appear to know something ... naww

      @supreme failed economic policies : The unemployment rate fell to 8.6% after employers added 120,000 jobs in November

      December 2, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • FLIndependent

      @Supreme – you may want to see today's unemployment numbers – we're definitely heading in the right direction. So, yes, bless President Obama – PERIOD!

      December 2, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Yeshua

      That 120,000 seasonal workers that will be unemployed as soon as the winter soltice celebrations are over.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  16. curt

    A good president knows when to laugh a serious question away and get back to fairy tales.

    December 2, 2011 at 1:03 am |
  17. curt

    Do Obama's speech's really mean anything but another fairy tale story by the first black president to be put in some children's book.

    Realistically It's the things Obama doesn't talk about that people are most concerned about. Like his view on the new world order and the New World Bank

    December 2, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  18. rsjacksonus

    I am a Republican but I believe Obama really is a Christian. When asked which philosopher he believed he said Niebuhr, who was a famous Christian ethicist and philosopher. Niebuhr is best known for the "Social Gospel". So, knowing this I tend to think he is Christian. However, the "Social Gospel" aspect has led to some serious corruption in the U.S. and a slow push to socialism.

    December 2, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  19. k

    Obama sucking up to the idiots in the US

    December 2, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  20. André

    God is imaginary. Remember that.

    December 2, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • dtboy

      Prove it and I'll become an atheist. If you have no proof, let people have faith in what they want to. You're no better than a Christian trying convince an atheist that God exist.

      December 2, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • Observer

      dtboy,

      If you have no proof either, then tell your fellow Christians to stop trying to force their religion on others and deprive people of equal rights.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Seth

      Observer must respond with the absoluetely classic atheist rebuttal which makes no sense.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • Observer

      Seth,

      Do Christians use the Golden Rule when it comes to gays?

      December 2, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • April2010

      You can't prove a negative. Much like you can't prove that there is a tiny orbiting tea pot that goes around and around the Earth. Just because you can't prove that's NOT true, doesn't make it true.

      No one will ever prove there is or isn't a God because people don't play fair with that question. It's apparently outside the realm of evidence. When we are talking about whether or not ANYTHING ELSE exists we are all reasonable and depend on evidence before we believe, apparently that's not the case with religion.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • dudley0415

      Only science require proof. Faith requires only faith.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Observer

      No one can prove nor disprove the existence of God. Atheists and believers could both be wrong. There might be a God, but one who is far more like Jesus in the Bible than the often vain, arrogant, mass-killing God in the Bible. Or many everything came from a committee of zombies.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:33 am |
    • Observer

      "maybe everything". Typo.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • April2010

      Fairy tales also only require faith, the efficacy of snake oil only requires faith. Santa Claus, Zeus, unicorns, leprechauns, mermaids, vampires, wizards, dragons. They all require faith. So why do you not believe in any of these things?

      December 2, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Observer

      Reading fairy tales does not require faith. It only requires the ability to separate fact from fiction. No one has to "believe" to enjoy fiction.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • April2010

      My point is that anyone can tell you anything and the only way we can decipher fact from fiction is to use our reason, knowledge of reality and physics. Correct?

      I can tell you an amplitude of lies and even back them up with ancient texts that claim them all to be true. For example, the Qur'an – what's to stop you from believing that? You don't believe the Qur'an because you were indoctrinated to believe the bible because you happened to be born in a country of people who believe in the bible. Again, that doesn't make it the truth – we need to use our reason and evidence to separate fact from fiction.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Derp

      Observer, if you define a particular "god" with certain attributes, the lack of any evidence to support those attributes proves that particular type of "god" does not exist.
      Define your "god" and let us look for the obvious evidence we would see if that god truly existed.

      Epistemology and Logic, mofo. Do you speak it?

      December 2, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Observer

      Derp,
      "the lack of any evidence to support those attributes proves that particular type of "god" does not exist."

      Centuries ago someone could have proposed that there was an infinite number of gods that each consisted of a particle called a "proton" surrounded by an "electron". By your reasoning then, you could have "proved" that such gods do not exist.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • kimw

      April2010
      April showers bring May flowers. That's the good news. The bad news is you're all wet. How is it you do not know the difference between Santa and Jesus? Talk about nonsense. Scary thing is you really can’t , it would be much better if you were just mocking believers.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • kimw

      Observer
      You god has raised his ugly head all over this country. You are like April, here nonsense is that she cannot tell Santa from Jesus and you are confused because your man made god of materialism is proton based. Silly Observer with your man made gods. You see to have a hang up against Christians. If Christians do the right thing as God commands and left you to your sin and your little gods I doubt you would be happy. The guilt in your heart since you fully know the true God wil be the end of you. Suggest you repent and ask God to free you from your slavery to sin. It is called bondage for a reason and boy are you all tied up.
      By the way your man made god does not need to be fashioned out of wood and such that is just old symbolism. Same $ex could be your man made god. Shake it while you still have life in your bones. Big deal? If it is not bondage then just stop it. Better than an eternity in hell

      December 2, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Derp

      Observer, no you are incorrect and I am amazed how badly you got that wrong. If the attributes are protons, and we know protons exist, then those attributes would be proven to exist. If all those little gods do is exist as protons, how can you say they do not exist when it is clear that protons exist? But they wouldn't really be "gods" then, would they? They'd just be protons.

      Now that's a far cry from any usual "god-like" attributes. Why not try again? You make a false equivalency argument and that's just not going to work. Try using actual descriptions of common "deities" we know most religions like to use.
      A physical attribute argument isn't going to work because there is no proof of any god in our physical universe as described by most religions.
      Your turn.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • whataworld88

      I believe Observer was pointing out that at that time we did not possess that knowledge, possibly meaning what knowledge do we not possess today that would hinder our evaluations of the physical world.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:09 am |
    • Derp

      Yeah, I saw that, but it still doesn't wash. Even limited by goatherder technology, there remains no proof at all.
      Everything follows physical laws, even protons and electrons, even if we don't know all of the details, at the macro level there are no miracles, no patterns showing intent of any sort, and no results for any attempts to communicate with any unknown super-being.
      No words have been written, no wonders have been performed, and no contact has been made with any super-being.

      And regardless of the increased likelyhood of someone believing someone else's lies according to their historical levels of ignorance, there remains a lack of solid proof of any sort throughout known history and at every level of science and technology.
      I mean, how much proof do you need before you'd be willing to admit there's no "god"? We have proof. We have megatons of proof. Just bring out your detailed description of your "deity" and we can all examine that description under the harsh light of logic and epistemology. No gods as described exist. Change the description to fit what we can all see and know and examine and you'll find your god dwindling away to nothing. Poof!

      December 2, 2011 at 3:24 am |
    • whataworld88

      Interesting point about physical laws, and it is these laws that trouble me. You see, science relies on these laws and it seems strange that there are physical laws, or frankly any sort of law at all in the first place, if there is nothing out there to design it so. The very existence of physical laws lends itself more to the idea of a creator than what would be a chance occurrence. How does order come out of chaos? Why are there physical laws, where did these parameters come from and how were they decided?

      December 2, 2011 at 4:08 am |
    • Derp

      Your definitions of "order" and "chaos" are subjective and unusable. What 'order"? Where? Chaos? What is that exactly?
      Maybe you are subject to bias because of the language. "laws" seems to imply that someone made the laws, but there is nothing else to suggest that there is any "someone". These laws dictate essentially random events and show no changes despite billions of people thinking they can change things with prayer or wishful thinking.

      You say "Why are there physical laws, where did these parameters come from and how were they decided?"
      -You cannot use the word "why" because that presupposes that there is not only a "someone" but that they had a "reason" not to mention that it also requires that they have the ability. You are putting the cart squarely before the horse.

      As to "where" these parameters came from, there is nothing to suggest that it would have any bearing in a religious argument when the parameters quite obviously do not change due to anyone's religious beliefs or prayers.

      And your "how were they decided" is, of course, putting the cart squarely before the horse again.
      There is nothing to suggest that any "decision" was made by anyone or anything at any point in history or physics to determine these parameters. There is just nothing at all to suggest such a hypothesis.

      From our postulated quantum strings to the larger "structures" of the universe we can see using technology to map them out, there is a definite and clear lack of any event large or small that suggests the existence of a supernatural being of any sort as described by all the major religions.

      Why not view the lack of patterns indicating any conscious intent at all levels and try to think up a "god" who's attributes and personal characteristics actually fit the universe we can see all around us? Because such a god isn't the one you want.
      Oh, yes. That's really the problem, isn't it? You don't like reality so you prefer a mystical super-parent who is going to tell you what to do and take care of you when its all over. That's what most religions are – a projection of our childish point of view onto random events and event clusters (coincidence).
      If you want to pretend, go ahead. I can't really stop you can I? But I have the right to fight back when your "pretend" games cause you to make "bad" choices that harm others and infringe on their rights under human laws.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:38 am |
    • whataworld88

      You have proved one thing, that science cannot answer these questions. Your scientific answer is to just assume that these things are the way they are, which is unsatisfactory, almost as unsatisfactory as saying god made it. The argument that science does not point to any supernatural being is completely correct, obviously it doesn't because it can't. By saying only the physical world exists we have now placed ourselves in a box. The box in this case is the physical world and we assume that since we cannot see out of this box that there is nothing outside of said box. The problem with this is that in the end we may find out all there is to know inside of this box, however we still have a box on our hands and we don't know how it got here. You surely see this dilemma, because in the end we are left with "something" and we still won't know how it got here.

      There had to be a beginning, a first cause of all this, and I want to know what that is. Science cannot grant me this and there are no signs that it ever will, being so limited. You may choose to only believe what you can see, but what I see leads me to think there is something unseen.

      December 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
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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.