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January 17th, 2012
11:48 PM ET

Lawsuit demands Christian black woman be exhumed from Jewish cemetery

By Rose Marie Arce and Susan Candiotti, CNN

Colchester, Connecticut (CNN) – Juliet Steer was dying of lymphoma when she told her brother Paul she wanted to be buried just like Jesus, following Jewish customs. Even though she’s a black Christian, she chose a plot in the secluded interfaith section of this quiet town's Jewish Ahvath Achim Cemetery.

“She felt like it was a nice and peaceful place,” Paul Steer said. Juliet liked the quiet. When she died, Paul had her buried in the plot, hopeful that she’d finally rest in peace.

But this Jewish cemetery in Colchester, Connecticut, has been anything but peaceful since one of its board members sued Paul Steer.  It’s now the center of a legal fight tinged with allegations of racial and religious prejudices.

Maria Balaban, a cemetery board member who has relatives buried there, is demanding Paul remove Juliet’s remains from the cemetery because she is not Jewish and has no ties to anyone in the Jewish section. Paul Steer believes part of the reason Balaban wants his sister's remains removed is because she was African-American.

FULL STORY
- Dan Merica

Filed under: Christianity • Judaism • United States

soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. md2205

    Second reply to Albert (the first is under his blog):
    The Creator created a world. A real world, which means a place where our actions make a difference. He decided this place would really exist - it wouldn't just be an illusion of our minds.

    How this jives with His Absolute Oneness is a paradox. So He created a paradox. That's what creating a world out of nothing is all about - doing the impossible. Creating a world means creating a second reality: The first reality is that there is nothing else but Him. The second reality is that there is a world here that He is sustaining. Both realities are true.

    In Chabad Chassidut, these two realities are called Daat Elyon and Daat Tachton, literally, the Higher Consciousness and the Lower Consciousness.

    One clue to grasping this paradox is provided in the classic work of Rabbi Meir Gabbai, Avodat HaKodesh:

    "Just as He has the power of infinitude, so He has the power of finitude. For if you will say that He does not have this power of finitude, you have thereby detracted from His perfection."

    The capacity of this Oneness to express itself in finite forms and pluralities is no more than the ultimate expression of perfect Oneness. Cheap Oneness is impotent. G-d's ultimate Oneness is expressed in His creating us with our capacity for free choice.

    There is an analogy given to understand this: A wise and enlightened teacher has attained a great truth. But is he able to express this truth in such terms that a simple student can grasp it? Even if he will distinguish the elements of this truth that his student can relate to from those far beyond him, even if he will reduce the intensity of his revelation a hundred times over, the idea will still remain outside of the students' world. To relate his experience to the student, he must dress it up within parables and examples borrowed from the students world, using terms, objects and characters entirely foreign - even diametrically opposite to the essential thought he wishes to communicate.

    If he cannot accomplish this task, then no matter how great and brilliant his revelation, it turns out to be limited in scope. It exists in his world, but not in the world of his students. If, on the other hand, he is successful, he will have revealed the true boundlessness of his truth.

    If Oneness excludes the possibility of anything other than simple, infinite oneness, then that itself is a limitation. True Oneness is expressed in the capacity to bear its opposite: The autonomy of a created being. When these two poles co-exist, neither diminishing from the other in any way, Oneness is expressed in its ultimate form.

    Like the movements of an oriental martial artist, fusing stillness and motion, gentleness and force, the Torah dances between the singularity of G-d and our multifarious reality. Grasp one of these truths alone, and you have no truth at all. Grasp both at once, and you have G-d.

    January 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  2. ALBERT

    Albert Einstein: God is a Product of Human Weakness
    The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

    if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?

    January 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      Is this the same Einstein who was stated he was a pacifist but was also the same person who helped in the founding steps of Americas nuclear weapons program. Also co-writing a letter to then President Roosevelt pressuring him in the development if the atomic bomb?  

      I guess you gotta love death and war, it can even get a pacifist to imagine something as death incarnate as the atom bomb. 

      But, I did find an Einstein quote you might like: 

      "Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly." Einstein, Time Magazine. 

      January 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • md2205

      Of course, answering a question like this takes hours upon hours and focus and rethinking. However, we can attempt to approach it...

      In the Creator's mind, there is only a single whole. True, He is conscious of all things. His consciousness is their very existence. All things are nothing more than a manifestation of His consciousness of them. But in His knowledge, the terms cause and effect are irrelevant - because these terms imply that there is more than one thing. But how could one thing cause another when there is no other? How could His consciousness be the cause of something, when there is nothing but His consciousness?

      It may help to try to imagine one essential aspect of the creation, that is time from the perspective of its Creator. In His consciousness, time exists - because He desires it to exist. But does it exist as a unidirectional sequence of events? Does He have to wait for things to happen? Obviously not. Rather, as the Zohar describes, "He sees all things from beginning to end in a single glance." From that view, what meaning does cause and effect have?

      In summary, for Him there is no such thing as an event becoming, since all is there before Him. Neither is there a multiplicity of things. Not even a duality of Him, the Cause, and us, the effect. Rather, there is nothing but a single oneness, in which the terms cause and effect have no relevance.

      In the language of Kabbalah, this is called the Encompassing Light. In the Tanya, Rabbi Schneur Zalman unlocks the true meaning of this term, asserting that it cannot mean encompassing in the sense of surrounding from the outside - because everything is contained within and pervaded with the encompassing light. Rather, it is saying that the Higher Consciousness encompasses all knowledge as a single whole, wherein all things lie at once, without this being higher and this lower, this before and this after.

      This Higher Consciousness acts as the source of everything that exists within the realm of the Lower Consciousness - which includes our subjective world. But just as there is no cause and effect within the realm of the Higher Consciousness, so too the created worlds do not extend from it in a way of cause and effect.

      Why is it that the Encompassing Light cannot be called a primal cause to Creation? Because when we say something is a cause to an effect, we mean that the effect is crouching there within its cause in potential, waiting to happen. But, in the encompassing light there is no potential for anything to be at all. The question is then: If so, how does anything at all come to be?

      In fact, this is just another route to the puzzle that perplexed so many philosophers and Kabbalists: How, from simple oneness, do we arrive at this fragmented, multifarious world?

      It was the Ari, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, who provided a solution. He taught that, yes, from the Infinite Light it is impossible to arrive at a finite world. So G-d just put that reality aside and made room for another one. Only once that void was established did He then draw a trickle of the first reality into the second, and from there created a world. He called this process tzimtzum, roughly meaning contraction.

      When you boil it down, the Ari's answer comes to this: G-d just did it.

      Creation occurs not as a logical process of cause and effect. What exists now is not just an inevitable emanation of what existed before. Rather, it is a deliberate act, originating from a place that is entirely unpredictable, beyond Cause. As Rabbi Schneur Zalman writes,

      "He who is not the effect of any cause, Whose existence is only of His own Being, He alone can bring something out of the absolute absence of anything, without any cause preceding it." (Tanya, Iggeret HaKodesh, chapter 20)

      What made G-d? Nothing. He just is. What made G-d create a world? Nothing. He just did it.

      In 1905, long before the uncertainty principle lay the axiom of causality on the execution block, Rabbi Sholom Ber of Lubavitch wrote a description spanning the gamut of the cosmic creative process. Applying metaphor from creativity within the human psyche, he illustrated how each step along the route from the primal thought of being to the mundane activity of this world is an artificial leap from what came before. Each step is entirely unpredictable, even impossible, within the realm that is before and beyond that step. Even where there appears to be a causal order, it is only superficial. Looking deeper, each step must be understood as a deliberate act, without precedent, originating with a primal consciousness that stands far beyond cause and effect.

      Indeed, this so closely matches the human experience. We are constantly surprising ourselves, with no clue, where did that idea come from? why did I react that way? who spoke those words that came out of my mouth? Psychologists have demonstrated that we are better at predicting the behavior of others than at predicting our own. In the realm of creativity, including scientific discovery, the phenomena is even more pronounced. As Robert Pollack writes,

      "Moments of insight in science are not reproducible, neither is their occurrence modeled by any hypothesis of its own. As scientific insight cannot be harnessed to the engine of experimental testing, each occurrence may as well be a gift from an unknowable source. Good ideas emerge in the mind of a scientist as gifts of the unknowable. They are not, as data are, simply trophies of a struggle with the unknown" (Pollack, Robert, 2000, The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith, Columbia Press, page 15).

      It turns out the human psyche is in the image of G-d, after all. In other words, as so many of the commentaries explain, in the image He used to create heaven and earth: A paradigm of unprecedented leaps and untraceable bounds, originating from that which can only be described as The Unknowable. That Unknowable is the essence of what the Jew worships as G-d.

      The Unknowable breathes within each of us the breath of life and with the power of that breath we choose life.

      Have I answered all the questions? I hope not. It would be a rather dull world if I could. In fact, if you've read this with any mental focus at all, you should have a hundred times as many questions as when you started.

      If there's any one point to gain from all this, it is the most practical: That we each have ownership of our destiny.

      "As you can see, I have placed before you today life and good, death and evil... therefore, choose life!" (Deuteronomy 30).

      January 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  3. RightTurnClyde

    A *restrictive covenant* (???) At one time the WASPS were categorized as bigot and Nazis and fascists because they had restrictive covenants (not to sell to Jews .. and others). The Jews gave billions to the ACLU to fight RC's .. so here they have an RC of their own. It's no surprise. They think they are better than everyone else too - . it all depends on the neighborhood.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  4. Jews are nig ger lovers anyway so the bytch stays

    HEAR HEAR!!

    January 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Janet

      It's obvious from your ignorant, trailer trash, low IQ post that you are a real gem of humanity. Why don't you drag yourself by your knuckles back under your rock. It would be nice if the next time you are smoking crack, you die.

      January 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Eddies

      Ink should not have been wasted on such a malicious vulgar boorish comment. This does not deserve rcegonition. The spelling" bytch" also shows educationally deprived.. T in a comment column.This person needs pity..

      January 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  5. ReligionIs4Dolts

    ===========================================================
    OK, so I got curious and decided to compile a list of wars, genocides, and other violence that is predominantly motivated by religion, or at least spearheaded by a leader that claims to be religious. This is far from a comprehensive list and does not even begin to account for all the genocide at the hands of Christian conquests of Europe, etc., Muslim conquests of India (which is easily in the many millions), etc., etc., etc., since records were not always kept. This also does not account for other recent wars such as WWII, WWI, Vietnam, Korea, U.S. Civil War, etc., though arguably religion played a significant role in affecting people’s opinions about going to war. NOTE: Iraq war (Dubya) was marked as 2003-etc. because I have seen at least 3 acclamations on national news over the past couple of years that the “war was officially over”. HA! The 2nd column is minimum death toll, the 3rd column is maximum death toll. Source: Wikipedia.

    European Colonization of Americas (1492-1900) 2,000,000 100,000,000
    Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) 20,000,000 100,000,000
    Dungan Revolt (1862-1877) 8,000,000 12,000,000
    Napoleonic Wars (1804-1815) 3,500,000 7,000,000
    Thirty Years War (1618-1648) 3,000,000 11,500,000
    Yellow Turban Rebellion (184-205) 3,000,000 7,000,000
    Deluge (Polish-Lithuanian) (1655-1660) 3,000,000 4,000,000
    French Wars of Religion (1562-1598) 2,000,000 4,000,000
    Second Sudanese War (1955-1972) 1,000,000 2,000,000
    Crusades (1095-1291) 1,000,000 3,000,000
    Mexican Revolution (1911-1920) 500,000 2,000,000
    Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) 500,000 2,000,000
    Armenian Genocide (by Turkey) (1915-1923) 300,000 1,500,000
    A-ssyrian Genocide (by Turkey) (1915-1918) 275,000 750,000
    Greek Genocide (by Turkey) (1915-1918) 200,000 1,000,000
    Parti-tion of India (1947) 300,000 300,000
    Iranian Revolution (1979) 3,000 60,000
    Spanish Inquisition (1480-etc.) 3,000 5,000
    Iraq War (Dubya) (2003-etc.) 103,536 1,033,000
    9/11 (2001) 2,996 2,996
    Afghanistan War (2001-present) 57,774 77,774
    Lynchings by KKK, etc. (Since 1882) 4,733 4,733
    Siege of Jerusalem (70) 1,100,000 1,100,000
    Serbian War (1992-1995) 96,667 96,667
    Arab-Israeli Wars (1945-1995) 92,000 92,000
    Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) 130,000 250,000

    TOTALS 50,168,706 260,772,170

    SO, WHAT WERE THE RELIGIOUS FREAKS SAYING ABOUT “ATHEIST” DEATH TOLLS?!?!
    =============================================================

    January 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      YIKES...the columns did not appear so well....

      European Colonization of Americas (1492-1900)....2,000,000.....100,000,000
      Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864)...............................20,000,000....100,000,000
      Dungan Revolt (1862-1877)...................................8,000,000......12,000,000
      Napoleonic Wars (1804-1815)...............................3,500,000...... 7,000,000
      Thirty Years War (1618-1648)...............................3,000,000.......11,500,000
      Yellow Turban Rebellion (184-205).........................3,000,000.......7,000,000
      Deluge (Polish-Lithuanian) (1655-1660).................3,000,000.......4,000,000
      French Wars of Religion (1562-1598)....................2,000,000.......4,000,000
      Second Sudanese War (1955-1972).....................1,000,000........2,000,000
      Crusades (1095-1291).........................................1,000,000........3,000,000
      Mexican Revolution (1911-1920)............................500,000..........2,000,000
      Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)....................................500,000..........2,000,000
      Armenian Genocide (by Turkey) (1915-1923).........300,000..........1,500,000
      A-ssyrian Genocide (by Turkey) (1915-1918).........275,000..........750,000
      Greek Genocide (by Turkey) (1915-1918)...............200,000..........1,000,000
      Parti-tion of India (1947)........................................300,000..........300,000
      Iranian Revolution (1979).......................................3,000..............60,000
      Spanish Inquisition (1480-etc.)...............................3,000..............5,000
      Iraq War (Dubya) (2003-etc.)................................103,536..........1,033,000
      9/11 (2001)...........................................................2,996.............2,996
      Afghanistan War (2001-present).............................57,774...........77,774
      Lynchings by KKK, etc. (Since 1882)......................4,733.............4,733
      Siege of Jerusalem (70).........................................1,100,000.......1,100,000
      Serbian War (1992-1995).......................................96,667...........96,667
      Arab-Israeli Wars (1945-1995)................................92,000...........92,000
      Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990).............................130,000..........250,000

      TOTALS.................................................................50,168,706.....260,772,170

      January 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      January 19, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      But you have to count all the religious feelings invoked by people going to war (like "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" in the US during WWII), even if the war didn't start with "religion vs. religion" in mind. And you have to count things like the Euro colonization of Americas because much of that was done with "spreading Christianity to the sava-ges" in mind. All the conflicts I listed had religion in the mix somewhere.

      In contrast I did not include Genghis Khan because Wikipedia lists him as "religiously tolerant" so I figured his conquests didn't have a whole lot to do with religion.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Dolt,

      The problem with your list is that if we take examples such as your first one, “European Colonization of Americas”, it can viewed as a religious cause but with the growing trade battles at that time between European states we can say that it was a trade war that the native Americans got caught in the middle of. Remember, what was Columbus searching for, a way to get to the Far East. In others “trade”. I know, your little heart wants to close its eyes, ears and mind to it, but look at where the battles happened. Trade post that are now major cities, lands that have and are still being mined or cut down. All for money Dolt, all for money and power.

      Interesting you put the Klan lynchings... I heard of stretching, but again I guess it is what a person brings to his or her interpretation of findings.

      I will not go into all of yours, but let's take the second one. Taiping Rebellion.

      >>”Taiping Rebellion 1850-64, revolt against the Ch'ing (Manchu) dynasty of China. Perhaps the most important event in 19th-century China, it was led by Hung Hsiu-ch'üan, a visionary from Guangdong who evolved a political creed influenced by elements of Christianity. His object was to found a new dynasty, the Taiping [great peace]. Strong discontent with the Chinese government brought him many adherents, especially among the poorer classes, and the movement spread with great violence through the eastern valley of the Chang River. The rebels captured Nanjing in 1853 and made it their capital. The Western powers, who at first sympathized with the movement, soon realized that the Ch'ing dynasty might collapse and with it foreign trade. Source: http://www.encyclopedia.com. "

      Now, notice....there is that word again ... "trade". So, according to this source, those deaths have more to do with people hating their government and general class warfare. How he got to power, maybe a Religious angle, but according to history.... folks were already upset enough to rebel on grounds of power and money.

      You see Dolt, I fired enough holes in your first two examples to try to get through to you something that folks have known for almost forever..... humans, you, me, ... we are at the top of the food chain for a reason. We are at times, the badest, meanest and most cruel things that God has ever created. I am almost going to go DeCaretes and stress that mankinds needs or desire will override all, when the time comes. We do not need that much of an excuse to go and burn down a village, kill and pilage. Some use Religion some use just Ethnic hatred, some... such as your Taiping:

      >>>"Among the serious problems in the area at the time was the prevalence of female infanticide, creating massive imbalances with shortages of women."

      If it helps you sleep better to believe that Religion is the cause of all, then by all means go ahead. But, when you set as an example “Iraq War (Dubya) (2003-etc.)” , when you have folks blaming that it was everything from a war for control of the oil too a revenge on Saddam for trying to have his father killed, ….what makes your reasons more valid then all of the others theories out there?

      January 20, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Mark (STUPID @$$h0le):
      Of course there could have been other motives tied into these events, you can't get away from that aspect with human nature.... which is why I said "or at least spearheaded by a leader that claims to be religious." If the leader of a war is religiously motivated (even if he's an apostate), then the whole event is religiously motivated to some degree. Hence, Dubya's phony Iraq war. Don't you remember when George W. Dolt said that "'god' told him to strike at al-Qaeda and Saddam"? That's his quote, and because he said that, that's good enough to make that a religiously motivated war.

      KKK is a "christian" organization, however much they stray from the message that "most christians" want the world to believe that they believe in. You know that some people interpret the bible to mean that slavery is justified. And it certainly provides plenty of examples of hatred to follow, especially in the OT.

      European colonization was undeniably, heavily influenced by religion, though it would be difficult to break down the percentages of how much each motive (religion, trade, greed for "free gold") influenced the event. You're just a mindless drone trying to defend your "god" or some BS. Open YOUR eyes and see the truth.

      Also, notice how I left out numerous wars because religion had very little or nothing to do with them (Vietnam, for instance). Therefore you have not poked any holes in my argument.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Dolt. Wow, swearing at me... interesting way to start a reply. Time to let that type of thinking go my friend, folks can disagree but why be the only person in the room name calling and swearing at folks who just disagree with your views? Are you views that shakey in your world that you find the need to attempt to incite blog flame post wars? State your point and let it go, we as a society have slowly grown past folks who can not stand up to a view and must resort to name calling.

      Ok, here we go.

      You posted last night:

      >>>”OK, so I got curious and decided to compile a list of wars, genocides, and other violence that is predominantly motivated by religion, or at least spearheaded by a leader that claims to be religious. “

      But, now when shown the facts you now have seen your error and added ...”then the whole event is religiously motivated to some degree.”

      So, then it refocuses on why in the great many factors that caused the wars that you mentioned, do you feel that Religion is the cause that you wish to spray paint on a sign and blame for the deaths?

      >>>”Hence, Dubya's phony Iraq war. Don't you remember when George W. Dolt said that "'god' told him to strike at al-Qaeda and Saddam"? That's his quote, and because he said that, that's good enough to make that a religiously motivated war.”

      I take it, you are speaking of what the Palestinian leader Abbas claims him to say. You are going to base this on a leader that does not like the West and its support for Israel? Wow, then stand with the Palestinians I guess and believe everything they say.

      You see Dolt, the way most look at it is that they have GW Bush saying why we went to war and we also have others that their reasons are the “real reason” we went to war.

      Personally, I try to be grown up about the Iraq and Afghanistan war. Someone came and killed a bunch of our folks here in the states.... They knocked down two of our buildings, smashed into another and wanted to smash into the Capital..... We as Americans wanted blood. The last ones that did simular to us.... we nuked them and their women and children. We wanted revenge. The world knew we wanted revenge. So, it was playground rules and someone just threw a rock at the biggest kid on the playground...and someone had to pay. Those who wanted oil, those who wanted power, even those that wanted to destabilize the entire area … all they had to do was point and say, “Americans... they did it!!” And away we all went. Mostly both sides of the political spectrum. We even saw little Berkley Coeds drop their “give peace a chance” signs and shout launch the missiles.

      Like I said, I am not going to attempt to take away or deny your reasoning... even though now I know that the source of your quote came from the Palestinian Authority..... funny, a Atheist using a Muslim governments allegations.... it is to laugh. :) All I want to do is show you that, for wars as such, how can any reason put forth be taken higher than another.

      Try this, there was a website that claimed that the “REAL” reason we went to war in Iraq was because a spy plane flew over a mountain in Northern Iraq and found Noah's actual Ark resting on its side. Saddam found out at the same Turkey, whose boarder is close by. That all the Iraq war was to race to get to that site. Again, just another speculation....just like yours.

      I gotta go, so I will try to write on the Klan part later but for the colonization..

      >>>”European colonization was undeniably, heavily influenced by religion, though it would be difficult to break down the percentages of how much each motive (religion, trade, greed for "free gold") influenced the event. “

      If you admit that it is “difficult to break down the percentages” , then how can you in the same sentence say that it was “ undeniably, heavily influenced by religion”? You choose to state two conflicting opinions in the same breath. That is like saying a house burned down and it was without doubt “undeniable”the electrical system.... but we are not sure what caused the fire. Which is it my friend? Is it “undeniable” or “difficult to know”... it is hard to be both. :)

      Take care my friend.

      January 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Well, Mark, it was reported by Haaretz (Israeli):
      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/road-map-is-a-life-saver-for-us-pm-abbas-tells-hamas-1.92200

      Regardless of whether we can believe Haaretz or Abbas, Bush was undeniably a god freak (or at least he pretended to be one on TV, which is virtually required of all politicians in the US). Therefore, we have only to assume that Bush was religious. And because of this, his decisions were inextricably influenced by religion. End of story.

      January 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Reality

      Is not Obama a Christian and just as much a Christian as George Bush?

      January 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Marcus

      @Mark from Middle River

      "The problem with your list is that if we take examples such as your first one, “European Colonization of Americas”, it can viewed as a religious cause but with the growing trade battles at that time between European states we can say that it was a trade war that the native Americans got caught in the middle of. Remember, what was Columbus searching for, a way to get to the Far East. In others “trade”. I know, your little heart wants to close its eyes, ears and mind to it, but look at where the battles happened. Trade post that are now major cities, lands that have and are still being mined or cut down. All for money Dolt, all for money and power."

      The Native Americans got caught in the middle of a trade war? Put the Jesus Juice down. The Europeans came here for their land only. This was crystallized by Monroe's declaration of "Manifest Destiny" which says essentially "what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine". If that was the case, there'd be 60 million more people on the continent. They weren't thinking trade during King Philip's War or during the Trail of Tears (not to defend them too much because a lot of those southern NAs kept slaves, so they got what was coming to them).

      Trade war? That's like calling slavery a "reduced compensation labor program".

      January 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well actually this entire post and all the comments are wrong. Wars are not really about religion or politics or national honor - they are always about MONEY (economics). Who gets to dominate the world's wealth. From tribal wars among plains Indians to WWII and Vietnam it is always about resources (things and their economic value). Also since there are 7,000,000,000 people on earth (and will be 9,000,000,000 by 2050) and VERY FEW of them cam live >80 THEN more than 8,750,000 will expire every year regardless of cause. What's more if the bird flu has a 50% mortality rate and spreads all over the world (they said it could)... then more than 3 billion will expire as a result. ANY NUMBER of diseases could do that kind of thing (small pox, bird flu, Ebola .. ) .. and they be spread by mosquitoes, birds, rats or even bed bugs. Nothing more complicated than a virus and a vector.

      January 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Therefore, we have only to assume that Bush was religious. And because of this, his decisions were inextricably influenced by religion. End of story.”

      Hi Dolt. G.W.Bush was also a Caucasian, he was over 50 years of age when he took office. He is a sibling. He is a father and husband. He was born in Connecticut. Being serious, he was also in the Military. He was the Commander in Chief when two iconic building fell and a plane was flown into the headquaters of the most powerful military on the planet.

      So many things that made up G.W., that you feel that only his Religion influenced his decisions? Just like all of us on this planet our decisions are based on many things. Its not the “end of the story” because the “story” of all of us are many chapters.

      >>>”The Native Americans got caught in the middle of a trade war? Put the Jesus Juice down. The Europeans came here for their land only.”

      Hi Marcus. Now according to Dolt you are wrong... he has his wagon hitched to a religious only reason... then again there was his “undeniable” while at the same time being “difficult to break down”. :)

      >>>”....during the Trail of Tears “

      Good example the “He made his discussion, now let him enforce it”. Like I said, the Native Americans in that part of Georgia were fine ...until they found Gold in their lands. When you look at it on an emotional level it was a tragic act upon the Native Americans. When you boil it all down to why, they were removed it goes down into a simple issue of trade or as Clyde stated....money.

      >>>”Trade war? That's like calling slavery a "reduced compensation labor program".”

      When you take the humanity out of the reasoning, thats all slavery was.... a reduced compensation labor program” :(

      Marcus, did you ever see the movie 1776?

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9xV1LA6EHU&w=640&h=390]

      ...hmm, there is that word again … trade.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:38 am |
  6. bobcat

    Ignorance and racism know no religion, no race, state or language for proof see exibit #1: the article above

    January 19, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • Sarah

      This story is so sad. Leave her to rest in peace. what difference does it make?

      January 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  7. Reality

    For all the bodies living and dead:

    Please post a copy on your church, temple, mosque or synagogue doors,

    From a PowerPoint slide:

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

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

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

    Added details upon request.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • john

      try picking up a bible and reading it its got the truth in it but you rather just ignore the true and spread lies

      January 19, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      January 19, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  8. joh

    i beleive in this

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY&w=640&h=390]

    January 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Noah Webster

      Learn to capitalize, spell, and punctuate. You don't want to look like an ignorant dingbat, do you?

      January 18, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • john

      leave it to an aitheist to ignore the content of the message and pay atention only to the cover of the book figures

      January 19, 2012 at 12:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Leave it to a moronic zealot to pretend that the poster has the slightest clue and has anything worthwhile to say if it can't write a sentence.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  9. john

    aitheists are far more responsible for war and killings if you were to pay atention to history stalin hitler and a whole bunch of aitheists killed hundreds of millions and probably billions of billions of christians because they are aitheists

    January 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • O.S. Bird

      Hitler an atheist? Read a history book. He was Catholic and promoted CHristianity with a Nazi slant.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Read the previous page (2) Tard!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • john

      i did read page 2 and i know what im talking about you obiosly dont because you all think hitler was a christian and he wasnt because im a christian and i know for a fact christians dont act like that you can claim it all youd like but you should of read more up on history and if you think hitler was a christian your wrong because even if he said he was a christian then he wasnt a real one

      January 19, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • tallulah13

      john, you don't get to decide who is or isn't a christian. Sorry.

      Hitler was raised a catholic, though he probably was more a pagan at the end. It doesn't alter the fact that the German people who gave Hitler his power, were overwhelmingly catholic or lutheran. Also, you seem happy to forget the millions who were killed in the name of the christian god. Do try to get an education before you start hurling out false accusations, because false accusations are lies and your bible states very plainly that "thou shalt not bear false witness."

      January 19, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      You are actually arguing for a savior. You claim christians were the killers and we know Stalin,Mao, Poll Pot killed upwards to 285 million worshipers and they were clearly not christian. Thus man is basically sinful and needs redemption. To see God one must first realize they are a sinner and need saving.
      Tallulah13 you will be a great addittion to team born again ! I bet you have been saving your voice for just the right Hymn

      January 19, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      For pete's sake, fred. No one needs a "savior" to be a good person. That's just the weak response of people who don't want to be responsible for their own actions. Grow up. Learn empathy. Be content with the life you have, and treat others as you would be treated. That is really all you need to be a decent human being.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      For all the RETARDS claiming atheism has led to more deaths than religion:

      Estimated deaths by belief/non-belief (source Wikipedia, using upper estimates):
      Atheist
      Stalin: 60 million
      Pol Pot: 4 million
      Total: 64 million

      Religious:
      European colonization of Americas (IN THE NAME OF JEEEEEZUS!!!!):100 million
      Crusades: 3 million
      Total: 103 million

      I would include World Wars I & II and a hige list of other conflicts, but there would be difficulty separating out which side killed how many (and for what reasons; e.g. the debate over Hitler's "beliefs"). One could spend hours tallying all the deaths, but I have already shown evidence that religious violence far outweighs atheist. Of course, one can't blame atheist leaders, however misguided, for wanting to eliminate annoying religious freaks!

      January 19, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • fred

      ReligousIs4Dolts
      Thank you for making the point God has been trying to get a Cross to you. It is men not the things of God that are the problem. Sin is the problem. God said do not kill and we do, over and over generation after generation. When you do not realize this simple key you can never get past blaming God and everyone besides yourself for the problem associated with a godless existence. Your thoughts are a big smoke screen that keeps you in denial that sin in you is the bondage that ties you down with a materialistic world view. No different than Egyptians who had golden gods and put men into slavery.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • fred

      tallulah13
      You are much closer to Jesus than you think. Your comments; "be responsible for their own actions. Grow up. Learn empathy. Be content with the life you have, and treat others as you would be treated. That is really all you need to be a decent human being." are exactly what Jesus was trying to get a cross! Looks like we have some common ground to bring peace.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Fred: "God said do not kill and we do, over and over generation"
      ..and blah blah PUKE!

      Here is evidence that your fake @$$ "god", who allegedly tells people to NOT KILL, ALSO tells them to KILL. Make up your mind, which is it?! And btw, these are not taken out of context, these are DIRECT COMMANDMENTS from "god" to Israel!

      Numbers 31:17-18
      Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      1 Samuel 15:3
      Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.

      January 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      John 8:7-11

      3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

      4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

      5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

      6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

      7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

      8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

      9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

      10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

      11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

      Sorry Dolt, us Christians got our last marching orders from Christ. You might need to correct yourself and address the Jewish on this blog when dealing with the Old Testament questions.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • fred

      Religeous4Dolts
      You do not believe in God or the truth of the Bible now you suddenly wish to claim it as a source for your argument? It is best to first understand the things Jesus said as God came to us in the form of man so that we could see by his example and life the full attributes of God. Such great love that Jesus was willing to take the consequence of our sin so you and I could experience life and the purpose we were designed.
      Since I was not around 3,000 some years ago in a desert land we can only imagine what these verses were all about. You plucked them out of time, context and purpose. Was it simply a historical account and if so did God say that or was the writer assuming God must have said that? Did they kill the boys because the boys would die a terrible death in the dessert unprotected subject to the elements and roving hateful cruel gangs / tribes? Did they kill the women and boys because of the known $exual immorality and associated disease that riddled these tribes that offered their children as human sacrifice and $ex toys? These were not nice people they worshiped a fertility God by placing children into red hot bronze arms of their god and cheered as the children would die in those arms. The Amalekites further attacked the Hebrews on a regular basis and also had strange human sacrifice and $exual deviance. Was it an overblown story to keep the Hebrews in line and teach them the importance of obey God no matter what or simply the importance of remaining a people separate onto God?
      If you want to dig into theology then first your att-itude must allow for at least a neutral position towards God and the Bible. The theology will make zero sense otherwise so why bother. The theology must begin with the foundation of justification and righteousness of God relative to sin. The theology of a holy God not just a man made god as the other people worshiped. Once you have that down you can approach the theology contained in the verses you pulled out.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      That's about the kind of ignorant response I would expect from a brainwashed fool! You didn't even read my pre-emptive claim that these were not OUT OF CONTEXT. They ARE DIRECT COMMANDMENTS FROM "GOD". Can you read Fred?
      1. Can you read my post?
      2. Can you read the bible and determine the context on your own?
      Obviously the answer is NO to both.

      The allegations that Jesus came along later and was preaching love is commendable (out of context, of course), but is completely unconvincing coming from a "god" that was previously crazy about killing people. Not only that, but why would "god" need Israel to do "his" killing for "him"? If "god" were all that powerful, why didn't "god" just do the killing "himself"?

      January 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • fred

      ReligionIs4Dolts
      You said” these are not taken out of context, these are DIRECT COMMANDMENTS from "god" to Israel!
      Numbers 31:17-18
      Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
      1 Samuel 15:3
      Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys."

      =>>YEAH you pulled them both out of context. The theme of Numbers is Gods faithfulness and mans unbelievable sin. You skipped the sentence right before that addressed the plague brought about by these infested people. You further skipped the entire purpose for this pulled passage. In short you missed the whole thing.
      Theme of 1 Samuel those who trust God will find comfort in Him against the backdrop of war and the rise and fall of kings. War is hell and caused by sin. You plucked this verse out yet forgot about who the Amalekites are and what they did to Gods children.
      These two verses you plucked from thousands of verses without understanding how they fit into the Bible and the history of God setting up a people separate from the corrupt world.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Fred, you are SUCH A F-ING RETARD! You cannot claim that since some alleged "god" ordained Israeli wars that they were magically "not war" and thereby "OK".

      January 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • fred

      4Dolts
      Ouch that is not even close to what I said. War is the result of sin not God.
      You refuse to hear the truth about the two verses you pulled out of context. You can believe God is a killer but that is not who God is . Remember whenever you pull out a verse and try to use it ask yourself. Does that reflect the God as shown best is Jesus. If not it is probably wrong. Wishing you a blessed evening !

      January 19, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • yes, run away!

      run away, you vile cockroach!

      January 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      Wars are irrefutable and observable FACT.

      "god" and "sin" are make-believe...at best, merely HEARSAY, and are therefore inadmissible as evidence.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Once you start swearing and name calling, you pretty much have told everyone your argument can not stand up.

      January 20, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  10. The Frequency is Nine!

    Every knee will bow to Nine.
    Every tongue will confess the frequency of Nine.
    The frequency........is Nine!

    January 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine

      Will there be nine wailings and the gnashing of nine teeth for the Infidels Who Wrongly Blaspheme About Eight? Will there be eternal torment in the Nine Levels Of Hell for the pagans who believe in the twice-insufficient Magnificent Seven? Will Muslims roast like nine hot dogs for only having five pillars? Will Buddhists realize too late that there is no nirvana in the Noble Eightfold Path, because they forgot the last fold?

      Will the Knights Who Say Nee every remember that they were originally the Knights Who Say Nine, guardians of the Nine Holy Grails?

      January 18, 2012 at 11:19 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.