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January 26th, 2012
04:26 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, January 26

By Dan Merica, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: My Take: Reclaiming Jesus’ sense of humor
Here’s a serious question about levity: The Bible clearly paints a picture of Jesus of Nazareth as a clever guy, but he never seems to laugh, much less crack a smile. Did Jesus really have no sense of humor; didn't he ever laugh?

Tweet of the Day:

From @BaptistPress: 2012 could be make or break year for future of gay 'marriage' (7 states will consider it) ow.ly/8GuoR

Enlightening Reads:

US Catholic: New questions, challenges confront Eposcopal-turned-Catholic leader
Father Jeffrey N. Steenson is finding that there are a lot of new roads to travel and new questions to resolve since his Jan. 1 appointment as head of the Houston-based Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter for former Anglicans who want to become Catholics.

Jewish Journal: Israeli women’s rights moving to front of bus
Anat Hoffman, the progressive Israeli activist who made headlines two summers ago when she was arrested for carrying a Torah at the Western Wall, comes to California next week with a clear message for American Jews: What’s happening in Beit Shemesh is as big a threat to Israel as what’s happening in Tehran.

The Catholic Sun: HHS delays, but does not change, rule on contraceptive coverage
Although Catholic leaders vowed to fight on, the Obama administration has turned down repeated requests from Catholic bishops, hospitals, schools and charitable organizations to revise its religious exemption to the requirement that all health plans cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge.

Huffington Post: Modern Day Exorcisms Performed in Mexico City
The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia describes an exorcism as "the act of driving out, or warding off, demons, or evil spirits, from persons, places, or things, which are believed to be possessed or infested by them." To many, exorcisms are most familiar as the plot line in the Hollywood 1973 classic “The Exorcist” and more recently “The Ride”. However, many of the faithful take exorcisms very seriously and the Catholic Church held a conference about exorcisms as recently as 2010. However, rarely do people get to see what an exorcism actually looks like. In these photos, pastors at the Church of the Divine Saviour on the outskirts of Mexico City perform exorcism rituals on afflicted church-goers.

Quote of the Day:

My reasoning was, if they put that card on the plate, they must be worried that something bad was going to happen. If they're worried, I'm worried.

Alaska Airlines has decided to end a their 30-year tradition of handing out prayer cards to passengers. According to Gordon Bowker, a co-founder of Starbucks, the prayer cards didn’t make him feel better about the flight. In fact, they made him worry more.

Today’s Feature:

Religion News Service: Why Mitt Romney can’t be the Mormon JFK
Mitt Romney's sudden downgrade from Republican frontrunner to potential also-ran coincided with a massive shift of conservative Christians voters in South Carolina to Newt Gingrich's camp. Why? Many observers trace it to lingering suspicion among evangelicals - a key Republican constituency - about Romney's Mormon faith.

Join the conversation…

Like all observant Mormons, Mitt Romney gives 10% of his earnings to his church.

CNN: Romney tax returns shine light on Mormon tithing
Although many Americans may have wondered just how much money Mitt Romney makes and how much taxes he pays in the lead-up to the release Tuesday of his tax documents, there was little suspense around how much he gives to his church.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. creepycoolpriest

    Hi, I'm a Catholic priest, my job is completely irrelevant. So I like to travel around telling people that Jesus actually DID have a sense of humor, i know you were all wondering, and yes, it's true. He was just like you and me, see how human I just made him? See how relatable his now, he was a hip cool dude (Psst, do kids still use the word cool? they do? ok good) He's the kind of guy you could just hang out with, ya know. You can talk about your day, your frustrations, and just kind of have a good laugh about it. Almost like this really hip cool imaginary friend. Except he's totally watching us right now, and he reads your mind, and he's omniscient. So he's like a friend you will never win a poker game with. Also, he was born without genitalia, I know, it's weird, but no where in the New Testament did it mention his junk. So I can only assume there was nothing there. This would explain why he was unmarried at an age where that's preposterous. Sorry, I'm rambling, how old are you? 6? ok, join me in the rectory.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things

    January 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why doesn't it change you into a mushroom?

      January 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  3. ....

    Kettle met wettle, pot meet bot.

    January 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

    Fun with Solipsism

    The Universe ceases to exist at the moment of your death. Likewise, the Universe springs into existence at the moment of comprehension. “Reality” is personal. It is not universal. What I believe, is true. What I perceive, is real.

    Therefore, there is an infinite number of realities (call them universes) both coming and going at all times for infinity. The reason physics breaks down as we get close to that frightening doom is because we realize at that point that WE are the God we seek. We create our reality only to destroy it and start again for all of eternity.

    Nothing can be proven beyond the existence of the self. No perception felt by the mind can be regarded as truly verifiable, and so its existence is not certain. Hence, nothing outside the mind of the observer can be rationally confirmed.

    Carry on all of you illusions. You complete me.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • hippypoet

      very well put!
      and i am sadly out of the glenfiddich – that is until tonight when i get more... so then and only then can i p@ss you anything, however, will I is the question. 🙂

      January 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      You see! I knew you were a bogartin' bas.tard. Well, enjoy your whiskey friend. I am stuck with Tequila, and I know you don't want any of that!

      January 26, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Common Sense, Which You Clearly Don't Have

      Here's two of the 5 losers right here. Sad and pathetic hahaha.

      January 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • .....

      "Here's two of the 5 losers right here. Sad and pathetic hahaha."

      Again you brought absolutely nothing to the table, you're the brick wall.

      January 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Common Sense, Which You Clearly Don't Have

      @....

      and what exactly do you bring by saying the same garbage about me brining nothing? pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.

      fookin clown.

      January 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • hippypoet

      yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no , yes, no, yes! SHUT UP! GRANDMA IS TRYING TO SLEEP!
      yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no , yes.........ha i win...um no! OMG, I'M GUNNA FU.CKING KILL BOTH OF YOU!

      January 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • .....

      "and what exactly do you bring by saying the same garbage about me brining nothing? pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot."

      Nah, I didn't make the stupid accusation, you did. The faults you find in other people are the faults you have within yourself. 😉

      January 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Common Sense, Which You Clearly Don't Have

      @hippy – bring it sonny! Bet you're scared tho. You are a pathetic wimppyyy wimppyyyyyyyy, awww does your grandma scaree you? awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

      January 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  5. Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

    hippypoet, don't go changin' to try and please me. You never have to work that hard.

    Pass the Glen Fiddich you bogarting bas.tard and lather up with the SPF fiddy. It is time to worship the Almighty SUN my friend!

    January 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Clothes are optional. You know my policy on that.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  6. Kensington Biltworth

    To everyone,

    l'lI give $10K to the first person to guess my beliefs. Please leave your name & telephone number and if you guess correct you can win

    January 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • I'LLPLAY

      You believe in being a asshole.

      My Name – Eat Shit
      Phone – 1 800 EAT CRAP

      January 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      If you can't do better than 10k I can't be bothered with you.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • I_get_it

      You believe that you are clever.

      I win!

      Please donate my prize to Doctors Without Borders or to The Red Cross.
      Thank you.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Nonimus

      antidisestablishmentarianism
      John Smith, 1-800-555-1212

      January 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • J.W

      poopheadism,
      Jenny 867-5309

      January 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Bo

      I know the answer to your question, but how do we know that you would really be honest to your offer?

      January 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Douglas Adams

      You believe is based on the number forty-two.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Bo

      Your beliefs are what you consider to be truth until proven wrong. Can yoy dipute this?

      January 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      @Douglas Adams
      Great Name!

      January 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Douglas Adams is afrood who really knows where his towel is.

      January 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • And Now, the Amazing Brane Stuff of Herman Ziffle !!

      I, Herman Ziffle, will now do my AMAZING brane wave mind reeding thingee stuff I do, me, Herman Ziffle. Itz amazing!

      Let me get in my brane trance – ummmmmmmmmmmmm uga ugga oop ack ack! There we go. I sea your brane cleerly now!

      You believe in the sado-masochistic sport of sodomizing porcupines while wearing Mickey Mouse ears!

      You believe that you actually DO have $527,947,000,000,000 in a bank account in Nigeria! And you may have ALREADY WON the Publishers clearinghouse sweepstakes! You also believe that the $10k you promised is also in a bank account in Nigeria

      You believe that zombie squirrels have already eaten your nuts!

      You believe that Fox News actually is fair and balanced! You also believe that Sarah Palin are a rokit siantist!

      You believe that if you just blow enough hydrogen onto your poodle, you will get a really cool-looking zeppelin!

      Yes, ladees and gendelmen, I, Herman Ziffle, have done my amazing brane stuff and answered this riddle. Pleese wire my money to my Nigerian bank account, to code HermanZifflezBrane@nigerianbankplacethingee

      January 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • J.W

      I have a feeling that one of us has guessed right and this guy just doesnt want to give up his money.

      January 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Kensington Biltworth

      Nonimus won! I noticed however that you posted a 1-800 number. I tried and that number leads to nowhere. Please post your real number and name, geographic location, interests, political affiliations, and biggest pet peeve.

      You will then have your claim to $10 worth of letter Ks!!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • J.W

      So Kensington are you gonna write a whole bunch of letter Ks on a piece of paper and cut them out? 10 dollars can buy quite a bit of paper. You better get started.

      January 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Common Sense, Which You Clearly Don't Have

    This board is getting old fast. It's the same 5 losers on here everyday and they bring absolutely nothing to the table. I have more intelligent conversations with a brick wall.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • CNN Moderator

      Thank you for your insightful contribution to these boards. We're all better off with your meaningful and poignant comments.

      Loser.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • .....

      "This board is getting old fast. It's the same 5 losers on here everyday"

      And yet you keep coming back and adding to it by making another stupid comment so you're the brick wall.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Common Sense, Which You Clearly Don't Have

      Thanks for proving my point both of you.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Hypocrite detector

      @Common Sense, Which You Clearly Don't Have – pot, or kettle?

      January 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • I'LLPLAY

      "Thanks for proving my point both of you."

      And yet you too continue to comment proving you're the loser on here everyday and you bring absolutely nothing to the table.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  8. Kensington Biltworth at your service

    To everyone,

    I'lI give $10K to the first person to guess my beliefs. Please leave your name & telephone number and if you guess correct you can win!

    January 26, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  9. Hippypoet's Grandmother

    Hippypoet – I've told you before and I'll tell you again, I got mad bc you're a LITTLE SHlT who doesn't respect anybody. You think you are all knowing and you mock others while you yourself are quite ignorant. I really wish you didn't drop out of school because your spelling is atrocious poor dear.

    Hope you're coming over for my lovely pot roast later 🙂

    January 26, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • .....

      Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Ironicus

      I'm a Nancy.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Hippypoet's Grandmother

      @.....

      Why do you always post that? That means absolutely nothing when you post it to basically everybody. Post your name and adress if ya wanna brawl sonny!!! I'll take ya down with one swift kick to ya gonads. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Bo

      You don't convince me that you are Hippypoet's Grandmother.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Get Over It

      Bo,

      Ah, a skeptic are you? Now apply that to all of the folks in your Bible who *said* that they were spoken to by supernatural beings...

      January 26, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • hippypoet

      lol, oh is that right grams? i respect those worthy of respect. i never dropped out. i freely admitt to knowing what i know and not knowing where i do not. yes, my spelling is atrocious, thats because i have no care if the message is conveyd to spell with perfection in mind.....perfection is an unneeded tool and makes all others feel less by proxy, the result is you are alone in your perfection – and so are because of your perfection imperfect! no worries grams, i am totally coming over for pot roast – if its free its for me! 🙂

      January 26, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  10. Bucky Ball

    Totally. 😈

    January 26, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      dang. another misplaced post

      January 26, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  11. I'm The Best!

    I have a question for today
    Since the bible has been proven false in a lot of what it says (age of the universe/earth, great flood, # of people needed to propagate a civilization) and since we don't know the authors, can it still be used as a reference when having a scientific discussion?

    I had this problem last night with a creationist.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • hippypoet

      only in certain historical events and as a tool for understanding the soical workings of some ancient people. traditions and the like.

      so your answer is no, there is no scientificly sound information in the bible and so having a scientific convo using the bible as a referrence is, in my opinion, not an option

      January 26, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Bo

      becayse you are disillusioned with the lies of Satan, who can make false things appear true and people like you will believe them. Evolution has not been proven true, it is just a clever illusion created by Satan who is a lot more intelligent than you or I. Which, BTW does not make you the "Best", he is the 'best' at making a fool of those who believe his delusions. He can make things appear true when indeed they are not. It is your choice to believe what you wish.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • YeahRight

      "Satan, who can make false things appear true and people like you will believe them"

      You mean like there is absolutely no proof your God exists. It's been centuries and still NO proof, now that's delusional.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • hippypoet

      @BO, you realize that satan is a creation of your god and so in reality its really just god fuc.king with you but thru the arm of satan...unless of course you are willing to say that your god isn't all powerful and satan is its own enity separate from god but equal to or else why hasn't god destoryed him yet..... OR THEY ARE ALL PART OF YOUR DELUSIONS! either way, you look like a fool yourself, perpahs its just satan playing with your easily played mind!

      January 26, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Bo

      @YeahRight: I’ll grant you that there is no proof that there is a living God, but you have no proof that God does not exist, nor do you have any proof that evolution is anything more than a theory. There is evidence for both sides and you have a choice to believe what you wish.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • YeahRight

      "There is evidence for both sides and you have a choice to believe what you wish."

      What's your evidence your God exists? We have the evidence to prove evolution. There is NO evidence of your God.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • hippypoet

      @bo, you really are a moron... yes there is evidence to say evolution is real, but there is NO evidence to even suggest that god is anything but an idea.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Brad

      I'd say not, and for the same reason I never need or want to reference The Origin of the Species in my work on molecular biology – the authors of the Bible did not not have enough background information when they wrote for their work to be scientifically relevant today, at least in detail. How so with Darwin? He had no idea what a gene might be – not even a hypothesis that could lead to the modern concept of a gene. I think it should be obvious. Work with the best reference material available.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Brad

      Hmmm, what a long thread. I'm responding to the original question.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • *facepalm*

      " nor do you have any proof that evolution is anything more than a theory."

      That's because evolution isn't anything more than a theory. Just like gravity, electromagnetism, and nuclear physics. They are all just incomplete models to explain the workings of this universe as we know it.

      And you can't, by definition, disprove something that has a non-falsifiable hypothesis (e.g. god exists) so stating as such is stating the obvious, not a flaw in anyone's reasoning.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      I'm with you brad. Darwin shouldn't be used either. He had a great basic idea, but its been built upon and improved greatly since then.

      @bo
      There is tons of evidence for evolution. And as my op states, there is ZERO evidence for creation or ID. There is not one single fact to back up your idea. I don't say theory, because scientific theories all have massive amounts of fact to back them.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ *facepalm*
      Physicists working on gravity wish they had 1/10 the amount of evidence that evolution has. Evolution is one of the most well docu.mented theories in science. Looking at evidence alone, one would believe in evolution before they believed in gravity

      January 26, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Bucky Ball, insufferable know-it-all

      "Since the bible has been proven false in a lot of what it says"
      --Yes and no. Bucky takes a more philosophical approach. One must take the context and historical intent of each separate text, and in many cases, separate parts of each text. For example, Genesis was written, and re-written, and edited, and compiled a number of times, by more than one editor, MANY years apart. One of the editors used as source material, obviously, the Gilgmesh Epic, (for the flood story), and the Marduk, Slaying the Dragon of Chaos myth (for the garden story). If you read the garden myth, in the historical context of the editor attempting to creat a "national story" in a time of crisis, (the Babylonian Exile), (which is the last time it was edited), then to say the myth is "false", is somewhat missing the point. The myth is trying to give a simple little example to simple early people about the impossibility of "encompassing opposites". One cannot BOTH eat the apple, and NOT eat the apple, (the editors way of dealing with "chaos"). (See Martin Buber, Jewish philosopher's "Good and Evil"). That's IT. The fact that it has been "literalized", and taken so far out of context by so many is seriously stupid. It's not "false". It's just a myth. Do we wonder if Illiad and the Odessy are "true" ? I think it's remarkably insightful for 3,000 years ago. 😈

      January 26, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Here's one of my problems with evolution (and for the record, I am speaking about macro-evolution) that I can't get over.

      The idea that in a theory, the information constantly changes. By definition, a scientific theory has to leave room to be altered, changed or gotten rid of entirely. I looked up on About.com, in the chemistry section, regarding the differences between hypothesis, theory and law. The two sentences that stuck out at me regarding theories were: "A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. Therefore, theories can be disproven." For reference: http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/a/lawtheory.htm

      Therefore, if evolution is considered a theory, it cannot be a fact. Because a fact is immutable and unchanging.

      I am not going to get into a debate about "prove God exists" because it's a tired, boring discussion. I am merely stating my problem with the theory of evolution.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Bo

      @Hippy, God will destroy Satan. But, God waiting until there are is no longer anyone left who will choose to accept His plan of salvation. This earth is the proving ground to the whole universe the results of good and evil. God's righteouness will be vindicated. If God had destroyed Satan when he first rebelled, then the rest of His creatures throughout the universe would be inclined to only serve Him through fear and not love. When you look about and see all the hate, wickness, diseases, death, destruction, and catastrophies. these are the works of Satan that God has allowed so that Satan's wickeness might be revealed to the whole universe. But God, loving us through His son, Jesus wants to save us. We have the choice to accept or deny that love and salvation. The cup of iniquity has not yet been filled. You may agree with me: How can things get any worse? But, they can and will get worse.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • YeahRight

      “His creatures throughout the universe would be inclined to only serve Him through fear and not love. When you look about and see all the hate, wickness, diseases, death, destruction, and catastrophies. these are the works of Satan that God has allowed so that Satan's wickeness might be revealed to the whole universe.”

      Wow do you have it WRONG. Your God created Satan as a tool to instill fear of hell so that people will believe in your God. Your God is a sick twisted tyrant, because if you don’t believe in it then you burn for all eternity. The disease, death and natural disasters, your God also created further proving what a monster it is because it get’s pleasure from watching human being suffer.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      "Therefore, if evolution is considered a theory, it cannot be a fact. Because a fact is immutable and unchanging."

      This is, of course, true. And if this is the reason that you have a problem with evolution, then you must also necessarily have a problem with gravity and electromagnetism. Yes you're not floating away from your chair and your computer still works.

      Theories are models that are based on evidence. Evolution has much more consensus than modern theories of gravity, which tend to be all over the place and are often largely mathematically based, not observation based.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • hippypoet

      @yeahright, dude you took the words right out of my mouth....must have been while you were kissing me.... next time, less tongue... but yeah, i completely agree with you on your rant at Bo... i was thinking the very same thing!

      January 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Bo

      @yeahRight: I will try one more time to post a story I just recently heard, which is evidence of the work of God; I've tried several times, but for some reason it doesn't want to post. Watch for it.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Bo, "but for some reason it doesn't want to post."

      Have you checked the forbidden word fragment list?

      January 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Face,

      "Theories are models that are based on evidence. Evolution has much more consensus than modern theories of gravity, which tend to be all over the place and are often largely mathematically based, not observation based."

      Here is my problem with that. I can't see that we evolved from apes and those apes came from a single-celled organism. That conclusive data has not been found (yet.) There's nothing I can personally experience that can show this (obviously because it occurred over millions of years!) but I am being told it's a fact (which, based on my prior post, is incorrect and it is, at best, a generally accepted, substantiated theory.)

      But I can pick my pen up off my desk and let go of it and watch it hit the floor. That pretty much proves gravity at least exists.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • J.W

      I don't think the Bible is reliable as a science book. But that is not the Bible's purpose. If the writers of the Bible had set out to make a journal of scientific discoveries, it may very well be considered useless. But I believe the Bible was trying to doc.ument peoples relationship with God.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @Damian,

      Do you equally dismiss quantum mechanics because you cannot personally experience quantum teleportation? Do you equally dismiss cosmology because you can't see stars form?

      January 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      "Do you equally dismiss quantum mechanics because you cannot personally experience quantum teleportation? Do you equally dismiss cosmology because you can't see stars form?"

      I didn't say I "dismissed" evolution; I said I had a problem with it being stated as a fact.

      Has anyone successfully teleported? I am legitimately asking this because my knowledge of quantum mechanics is pretty remote. If no one has successfully teleported, then it is a theory and subject to being changed or completely gotten rid of. Therefore, I cannot say it is truth until someone actually does it because by science's own rules, it is not a law, it's a theory.

      That's all I'm saying. That a scientific theory cannot be considered as "fact" as much as people want it to be. Another quote I love from the aforementioned article is this:

      "As you can see, there is no 'proof' or absolute 'truth' in science. The closest we get are facts, which are indisputable observations. Note, however, if you define proof as arriving at a logical conclusion, based on the evidence, then there is 'proof' in science. I work under the definition that to prove something implies it can never be wrong, which is different."

      January 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  12. hippypoet

    ok so how are we all doing today? i can't stand how every time i get something good in my life some pious @sshole shows up and says "thanks be to god" or "how can you see this and not believe in god" – these were all said in a time span of about 2 minutes by the same person – ok heres my real issue... after such statements, which wasn't asked for, i replied with "please keep your delusions to yourself" now i have other people on my @ss for being disrespectful... if i am not a believer and this pri.ck knows it, then isn't it them who said god actually being disrespectful of me first and i am simple saying what i would ask of anyone who is delusional, to please keep them to themselves..... i understand if you truly are completely off your rocker but my grandmother is not – well not yet... and now i have sh!tstorm of uncles and aunts telling me "i was wrong to say that...its my place to just accept ones love and thanks and to be thankful i even have one to be so kind and caring towards me." ok thats bs – if she can say something that i don't adhere to in anyway why then is it wrong for me to also express my feelings to her? call this a rant all you want – it is – but i would love some feedback on this..... please.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Rev. Parson

      THANKS BE TO GOD !!!! How can anyone not see the splendor of God in creation this fine morning. Everything on the earth and in the heavens above and beneath the earth and in and under the seas declares the Glory of God !

      January 26, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • hippypoet

      just to add to this, i am getting the most crap from my father and step mother for things on top of old issues from christmas – when i brought my kids over there house to open gifts my stepmother asked my daughter what santa brought her – i instead of my daughter answered first "sorry, we don't lie to our kids, in our house we KNOW santa isn't real...please respect that."
      well from that i got the nastiest look and was treated like a friggin leper! I was under the impression that being honest is always the best – as i grow i learn thats just another lie!

      January 26, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • onehippypoet

      Lay off the drugs
      And enjoy the hugs
      There is great relief
      In Holy belief
      Find the peace that passes understanding
      Right where you are standing
      In Jesus Christ today
      Open that Bible and
      Find your eternal survival
      In Gods salvation

      January 26, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • jimtanker

      HP,

      Lying is quite often the best policy. Those people who say that they want honesty are usually the ones that can handle it the least. Besides, it’s not like lying is a sin or anything. 😉

      January 26, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • hippypoet

      ok so we are clearly having fun today – lets make this simple – if its only an idea whether shared by many or not its still an idea. while other ideas can been proved this one can't be. the perpetuation of such things is only ceased with truth. And truth is something that one can prove to be real...not just an act of having "faith" which is complete trust in something....thats exactly what a cult is, only cults are with leaders are better because the leader of a cult is a tangible something -whether it be a person or object...god isn't anything but an idea! – like unicorns and fairys....but why use the head for things when other people can just tell you things, and you just like a tool accept them as fact – perhaps all thats missing is the definition of what a fact or truth really is!

      i think if i was to mail my entire family a letter expressing my inner feelings towards such moronic actions and then end it with a list of definitions i would most likely end up family-less....not sure if thats a bad thing yet or not.
      I just feel its wrong to be able to express yourself at the same time as not letting the other do the same! Actually its kinda funny now when i think about it, cause thats is exactly what the church is like, saying one thing to you, then doing a completely different action all together! my family is sheep!

      January 26, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Brad

      I respond to Al-Hamdu Lillah or Allahu Akbar with a smile and a nod. Maybe "yes" is appropriate too. When someone Ja*panese bows I bow. Basically when you are at the interface of two cultures send the appropriate signals and move on. It's harmless.

      January 26, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @hippypoet: I would suggest you could learn some tact. Unless your grandmother is a public official legislating from her pulpit, let her be as delusional as she wants. I wouldn't say, "Yes, you're right, all good comes from god," but I probably wouldn't use the phrasing you did either.

      As for your daughter at Christmas, why not give the kid the chance to answer for herself? That just sounded like you making every attempt to feel superior to the rest of your family.

      We might agree philospophically on stuff, but I have to admit I don't know that I like you very much.

      Yes, this is me feeling superior to you.

      January 26, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Truth

      @hippy,

      Yea dude it's your grandma, no need to just call her out and try to act better. It's fine if you don't share her belief, but relax bro. Also the thing with your daughter, why not allow her to answer herself or why can't you give her the joy of celebrating santa while she's young? I know atheists like to compare believing in Jesus to santa (even though that comparison isn't valid imo), but I can promise you she won't grow old and still believe in santa. If you'd prefer to never let her have some childhood joy w santa, then just let her answer herself.

      As sean correctly said (whom I disagree w most times), your reaction comes across as you acting superior and condescending to your relatives. Although I'm obviously a Christian, those are my opinions, and I definitely think there are better ways of handling it without having to p!ss everyone off.

      It's life, you're going to disagree with many people on a vast array of topics, but coming across as smug and having a belittling tone with people you disagree with will surely not win you any favors from anyone. Hope your situation gets better.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • hippypoet

      lol, sean, i thank you for your honesty – i am not after being liked and if i was i do have tact... i am blatant about many things and i am so because i feel that there is no need for shame. In my eyes shame is something someone has and feels for doing something wrong. If being honest is wrong then shoot me now. i will have you know that i spent – hold on, i am 25 and i starting telling only truth around 17, i've spent the last 8 years of my life seeing the merits of being totally honest and i have to say the return value on honesty is worthless. I haven't met another like me who truly yerns for the truth no matter how hurtful... and yes sean your right sometimes i come off as extremely superior and for that i have always said that i am sorry, i don't mean to. I blame society for making the truth appear so demonized and those who speak it so readily even more so.

      brad – i think you have the right idea, i was not understanding of her believing that she was showing me respect and i inturn shown her nothing but comtempt for her beliefs....that was wrong. But i stand firm in my idea that if she has the abillty to speak her mind then so should i. I have been told even by my wife that i could word things differently but then i am less true to myself.. i pick the words i use very carefully and i feel they are the best words one could use to convey the meaning i wish. perhaps i am just a dic.k in the way i come off to people....i will work on that.

      truth, because she is my grandmother to me only means i should be able to be more honest then with others....but i guess i am wrong again – which i have no issue addmitting i only wish to understand my faults.

      and to all that said i answered for my daughter – i didn't, i was simply telling my stepmother that in our house we don't do santa – and so by bringing that up makes for hard truths for me to tell my daughter about that facts the other people lie to there kids and they think its ok while teaching them to not lie. In my eyes i was avoiding another long convo with my 6 yr old whom has the intellect of a friggin 30 yr old – she scares me with her ability to understand things i would never thought of.

      idk, thanks for the vent thou....seriously!

      January 26, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • J.W

      I think I may agree with Sean hippy. The person who said those things probably did not mean any disrespect to you they were just expressed what they believed. You could have perhaps expressed what you believed and at the same time been less respectful, or you could have said "thanks be to the almighty sun" or something like that.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • John Johnny Johnson

      @hippy – So you had a child when you were only 19?? thats crazy.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • leeroyjenkins

      @hippy- So you had kids when you were only 19? Whoa.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • hippypoet

      lol, J.W – i have done the whole sun thing before... it comes off as a mockery of her beliefs instead of just having no respect for them... i'm not sure wich is more or less insulting....so again, idk.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • hippypoet

      @john and leeroyjenkins – no, my daughter is an adopted child.... my wife's first. I took them both in. her biological father is a women beating child touching perv. who is lucky to be alive.... when i say he is lucky i mean it – i had my hand on a gun and was ready to kill that @sshole – it was only for the love of my daughter and her mother that i didn't, jail time is not a good way to raise a kid. since then we have gotten married and had a son. not that you really needed to know any of that, i am just, as seen above, blatantly honest...i carry no shame.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Hippy
      I've told my daughter that a gift from Santa is a gift from someone who wants to do something nice without looking for thanks. She can give gifts from Santa too!
      We also give gifts from Mrs. Claus and our pet elf Stewart who comes out at xmas time.
      That way everybody is in on the "scam"...

      January 26, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • hippypoet

      i like that doc... i will try that if the whole santa thing persists into next year. which i hope it doesn't, but i have no control over such things.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Hippy,

      I admire your decision to speak only the truth. Honesty is a very important characteristic in a person. However, like others have said, you can be honest without hurting other people's feelings.

      Here is the problem with being forthright without regards to others feelings (and I have struggled with this myself). Humans tend to be emotional. Therefore, they are going to look FAR more at HOW you say something as opposed to WHAT you say. If someone is offended by the way you say something, your message gets lost because they are focusing on how hurt, upset or angry they are on your message.

      Let's look at the example of Westboro Baptist Church. If they were just quietly preaching that ho.mose.xuality was bad (regardless of your view point), you'd have far less problem with them than what they are doing. I mean, let's compare most people's viewpoints on Michelle Bachmann's husband compared to WBC. They are both stating emphatically they believe being gay is wrong. But the difference is in the method of the message. Michelle Bachmann's husband has some kind of clinic to "re-educate" LGBT members of society. WBC is out protesting funerals and screaming their message at a mourning family.

      The main issue with WBC is not what they are saying (ho.mo.se.xuality is wrong), but how they are saying it (protesting funerals with vial epithets).

      Another example is on one of the Tool (the band) tracks, he is yelling something in German to the sound of roaring applause from a crowd. Many people were offended by this because it is reminiscent of Adolf Hitler speaking to the German public about Nazi propaganda. If you actually translated the German, it's a recipe for brownies with no eggs. Nothing offensive at all, but just the way it was presented upset people.

      So as we can see, how you state something is as important, if not moreso, than what you say.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • hippypoet

      @DamianKnight, i have been told such before but with your examples it does have a bit more sinking in effect – which only proves your point, its how its said that makes the difference... this has been an issue for me for as long as i can remember, i think that its what is said – the message – and not how its delivered...my example – the saying "don't shoot the messager" not nearly as good as your Tool (the band) in german, that was rather good, and sadly comical! But doesn't this only really prove that we no longer listen to whats being said as we once did...i imagine if we all spoke three different languages in every sentence ever spoken then we would be forced to pay close attention... i was not always like this – when i was 11 i was being taught martial arts and my teacher was a thick spoken ja.panese master with no liking to repeat himself... i saw that as beautiful...to believe that since we are the only species to have such abilities why then should we take it for granted while showing others a lack of respect thru a lack of listening skills.... i have much growing to do still and mistakes are needed for growth.. but i wish at times things could be as they once were.

      the word more comes to mind, people had more mentally even thou they had less physically. (materials and the like) You can see my love and loathe in the way i speak... its bit old world for a reason.

      i will take to heart much of this conversation and see it does me good. thank you.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Hippy,

      I am preaching to myself as much, if not more-so, than I am to you. It's why I try to communicate on this blog without hostility towards anyone. Believe me it is difficult at times, especially when my intelligence is attacked, simply for being a believer. \

      We have become a nation deadset on political correctness and being sensitive. Look at most news reports when someone says their beliefs, and it offends someone, people are calling for an apology because they "hurt someone's feelings." As a society, we need to grow up and understand that we don't have a right to not be offended. That said, I firmly believe we have a responsibility to not be purposefully offensive. As loathe as I am to quote him, Al Sharpton said something I take to heart. "Be profound, not profane."

      But if you are speaking the truth and you make an effort not to be offensive, and someone else is offended, well, that is their problem.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • hippypoet

      DAMIAN, i completely agree... i have, too often, said that if its true yet it hurts then its your problem. In my mind, the truth shouldn't hurt unless you have not yet accepted it was truth....like when someone calls a fat guy fat – yes thats mean, but still true and the fat guy shouldn't take offense but rather simply point out that it was a bit rude to say such in (if you find yourself in others company) others company...or perhaps even state that one can say the one is over weight and not say fat – but to me thats picking thru peas and means the same damn thing – but now with kids i can say with full understanding that saying certain things certain ways is infact a needed skill to learn. I am afterall only 25, i hopefully have plenty of time to learn and with my kids – we learn together -rather i find she teaches me more often then i teach her....even at 6! i fear him already at 10 months! lol no joke...

      January 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Hippy,

      Agreed. I think, in your example, calling a person "fat" depends on the intention and the way it is said.

      If you are at a doctor who says, "You are overweight and that can carry several health risks, such as, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc..." then that's not (or shouldn't be) offensive. It may be hard to hear, but it's important. Because the intention of the doctor is to make you healthy.

      A child on the playground calling another kid fat is simply a means of bullying and to put down the other kid. So the "victim" (I use the term as loosely as possible) has a right to be offended.

      If your grandmother is anything like my grandparents were, it's best not to argue with them. Just smile and nod. They're set in their ways. I remember my grandfather was diabetic and so always had candy lying about to increase his blood sugar should he need to. Anyway, I was five and my grandfather just pushes this whole bowl of chocolate to me. Well what does any five year old do when given THAT much candy?

      I dug in.

      My dad looks at my grandfather in astonishment and says, "Dad! You're going to ruin his dinner!"

      My grandfather just looked back at my father and said, "Damnit, he's my grandson and I'll ruin his dinner if I want to!"

      And that was the end of the discussion, because there really was no arguing with him about it. So that's my advice with your grandmother. Thank her for her opinion, but say nothing more about it, and if you do, stay away from comments like "sky-fairy" and "delusions" or anything like that. It's just condescending, rude and will anger everyone else around you. 🙂

      January 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Well

      ""sky-fairy" and "delusions" "

      But that is a truth and if it hurts you then maybe you need to look at that truth.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • I_get_it

      hippypoet,

      It sounds like you are getting the picture that you were harsh and rude to your stepmother. Good deal.

      There are many ways that you could have been honest with her about not using the Santa story with your family without being nasty. You are pretty intelligent - I'm sure you can think of a few non-hostile sentences. Perhaps your parents are accustomed to this behavior from you and understand it, but I think that you owe them an apology.

      January 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • hippypoet

      ha! that creature (my stepmother) is worth no more then a wolf eating her face while she takes her last breath! i have no respect for that thing in any way – if you only knew her like i did this sentence wouldn't seem so outta place....but take it as you will! Now my grandmother on the other hand, sure...she deserves more then that but so do i. I believe a conversation rather then an open apology is in order. We both should have respect for each other and show it rather then be ignorant of the others views and act as if we see eye to eye without full understanding...granted this could go badly, i have to try or i am only lieing to myself. And to Damian's point of sometimes you need to just let it ride, i agree, but with her there is an amount of understanding and lee-way so i will first try before i bend!

      January 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Ironicus

      With personal and family relationships there are boundaries you should respect because they protect you as well.
      These are "reciprocal" relationships, and with all reciprocity there are "unwritten" boundaries that form and grow as the relationships progress.
      Like your relationships with your children and your wife, you "know" there are things that have almost nothing but negative consequences for both or either parties and in a larger context – with extended relationships as well and you avoid crossing those boundaries at an almost sub-conscious level. It is instinctual but most of the particular boundaries are learned and not inherently known.

      My relationships with family members tread very lightly when it comes to religion or politics for many good reasons.
      We respect each other and try to be supportive even if we do not agree on some things. We shrug and move on, or turn a blind eye, or "cope" in some other way in order to "keep the peace" and not engender any situations where negative emotions and feedback create a hostile living situation.
      It usually works.

      I do not get told I'm going to burn in hell and I don't make fun of their religion. I save that stuff for posting here because I am being realistic in my expectations and am not making a big deal about it in my personal relationships with other people.

      This anonymous blog is not geared towards personal relationships.
      I feel more free to be rude to total strangers here, like you and fred, because the anonymity subtracts much of the "personal" from the equation.
      When I am talking in respect to someone's anonymous words, I am reacting without a percieved need to respect certain boundaries that do not exist in a forum like this.
      Thus I vent, others react, and we all have a very cathartic time of it. Good times for all.
      They can say whatever without worrying that I will lock them out of the house or shoot them, and I can say whatever I want as well without worrying that these personal and anonymous differences will affect my real-world relationships with anyone in particular. Very cathartic.

      But dissing your grandma's beliefs would be fine if you did it in a way that reflects the loving nature of your relationship with her – I can diss a relative's beliefs as long as I do it in a kindly and gentle way that does not cross the line into hostile personal rudeness.

      It is called "diplomacy" and I suggest you learn to practice it more often in your face-to-face dealings with other people or you're going to be in a world of hurt.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  13. Alfred E Neuman

    Anyone want an Ummmm job?

    January 26, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Ummmm

      Alfred you doing a great job at being an idiot on this blog.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      And you give great Ummmm

      January 26, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Ummmm

      See Alfred you are proving me right with your continued idiotic posts. Keep going now.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Thanks for the Ummmmer
      where do i mail the two bits?

      January 26, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Ummmmm

      Alfred please continue proving me right, next.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  14. Ummmm

    Oz doesn't exist just like your God.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    January 26, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      No it doesn't

      January 26, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • just sayin

      yes it does

      January 26, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Nope

      We've been praying you would stop posting this crap, yet it continues, proving prayer doesn't work.

      Oh, and how about all those prayers for world peace that go unanswered.

      Oh and then there's the prayers of starving people around the world whose prayers go unanswered, dying by the millions.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • just wondering

      Is Nope an obstructionist Republican?

      January 26, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • just sayin

      No Nope is a Dope

      January 26, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Ummmm

      If "just sayin" only had a brain.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • just helping out

      Go to OZ Ummmm

      January 26, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Ummmm

      Can't Oz doesn't exist just like your God.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Prayer DOES change things. It changes the levels of circulating beta-endorphins in your blood stream, (just like jogging, playing tennis, weight lifting, chanting, singing, humming, reading poetry, or meditating, does). It's like a "natural" shot/jolt of Morphine. It can be addicting.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      That is what is called an Ummmm job

      January 26, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Ummmm

      Oh, Alfred you doing a great job at being an idiot on this blog.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      And you are doing great with your Ummmmers

      January 26, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Ummmmm

      Alfred please continue proving me right, next......

      January 26, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      for a two bit Ummmmer read Ummmm posts

      January 26, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Ummmmm

      Alfred continues to prove his job of idiot on this blog, stay tuned for more stupidity....next

      January 26, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      My neighbors drive an Ummmer. 😈

      January 26, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Ummmm

      Bucky have you ever noticed that it's usually middle-age men driving those beasts wishing they were younger, I think they're compensating for something. 😉

      January 26, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      Totally 😈

      January 26, 2012 at 10:51 am |
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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.