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My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible
The 17th century painting Judith Beheading Holofernes, by Artemisia Gentileschi, depicts a biblical scene.
February 25th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible

Editor's note: Steven James is the author of more than 30 books, including "Flirting with the Forbidden," which explores forgiveness.

By Steven James, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The Bible is a gritty book. Very raw. Very real. It deals with people just like us, just as needy and screwed up as we are, encountering a God who would rather die than spend eternity without them.

Yet despite that, it seems like Christians are uncomfortable with how earthy the Bible really is. They feel the need to tidy up God.

For example, look in any modern translation of Isaiah 64:6, and you’ll find that, to a holy God, even our most righteous acts are like “filthy rags.” The original language doesn’t say “filthy rags”; it says “menstrual rags.” But that sounds a little too crass, so let’s just call them filthy instead.

And let’s not talk so much about Jesus being naked on the cross, and let’s pretend Paul said that he considered his good deeds “a pile of garbage” in Philippians 3:8 rather than a pile of crap, as the Greek would more accurately be translated.

And let’s definitely not mention the six times in the Old Testament that the Jewish writers referred to Gentile men as those who “pisseth against the wall.” (At least the King James Version got that one right.)

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The point?

God’s message was not meant to be run through some arbitrary, holier-than-thou politeness filter. He intended the Bible to speak to people where they’re at, caught up in the stark reality of life on a fractured planet.

Dozens of Psalms are complaints and heart-wrenching cries of despair to God, not holy-sounding, reverently worded soliloquies. Take Psalm 77:1-3: “I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help” (New Living Translation).

And rather than shy away from difficult and painful topics, the Old Testament includes vivid descriptions of murder, cannibalism, witchcraft, dismemberment, torture, rape, idolatry, erotic sex and animal sacrifice. According to St. Paul, those stories were written as examples and warnings for us (1 Corinthians 10:11). So obviously they were meant to be retold without editing out all the things we don’t consider nice or agreeable.

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I believe that Scripture includes such graphic material to show how far we, as a race, have fallen and how far God was willing to come to rescue us from ourselves.

God is much more interested in honesty than pietism.

And that’s what he gives us throughout Scripture, telling the stories of people who struggled with the same issues, questions and temptations we face today.

Peter struggled with doubt, and we hear all about it.

Elijah dealt with depression; Naomi raged with bitterness against God; Hannah struggled for years under the burden of her unanswered prayers.

David had an affair and then arranged to have his lover’s husband killed. Noah was a drunk, Abraham a liar, Moses a murderer. Job came to a place where he found it necessary to make a covenant with his eyes not to lust after young girls (Job 31:1).

It’s easy to make “Bible heroes” (as Protestants might say) or “saints” (as Catholics might refer to them) out to be bigger than life, immune from the temptations that everyone faces.

I find it encouraging that Jesus never came across as pietistic. In fact, he was never accused of being too religious; instead he partied so much that he was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton (Matthew 11:19).

Jesus never said, “The Kingdom of God is like a church service that goes on and on forever and never ends.” He said the kingdom was like a homecoming celebration, a wedding, a party, a feast to which all are invited.

This idea was too radical for the religious leaders of his day. They were more concerned about etiquette, manners, traditions and religious rituals than about partying with Jesus. And that’s why they missed out.

That’s why we miss out.

According to Jesus, the truly spiritual life is one marked by freedom rather than compulsion (John 8:36), love rather than ritual (Mark 12:30-33) and peace rather than guilt (John 14:27). Jesus saves us from the dry, dusty duties of religion and frees us to cut loose and celebrate.

I don’t believe we’ll ever recognize our need for the light until we’ve seen the depth of the darkness. So God wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty with us about life and temptation and forgiveness. And grace.

Only when the Bible seems relevant to us (which it is), only when the characters seem real to us (which they were), only then will the message of redemption become personal for us (which it was always meant to be).

We don’t need to edit God. We need to let him be the author of our new lives.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Steven James.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (5,744 Responses)
  1. Jonathan

    Funny how the writer points out all these things humans have changed in the bible to make it more palatable. Yet never even questions that maybe every major point in the bible has been not necessarily mis-translated or misinterpreted but actually changed to support someone at the times ambitions. So adamant it is the actual word of god yet there's no possible way the text has been changed in a few substantial ways over the millennia.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "All lies and jest. Still, a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest." —Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, "The Boxer"

      February 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Jim

      1. The writer's point and intent is not what you desire it to be so deal with it. The writer isn't and shouldn't be held to your idea of what he should write about (as though the writer should know what you personally and specifically desire).

      2. The writer doesn't need to address a topic that you like but offer zero evidence for.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Jim

      aaahhh... the words of drug-addled poets...truly the epitome of a lack of reason and logic...

      February 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  2. SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

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    February 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Observer2

      Secure the all caps and your random phrase generator.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Just a piece of advice: You're better off copying and pasting something written by a person with an actual understanding of the English language — even if it IS the same tired screed over and over — than taking a stab at doing something original yourself. It just undermines what little credibility you may have been accorded by default to someone minimally capable of logging onto a web browser.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  3. NVRWRNG

    Do people actually wake up and say to themselves "how can i better myself today so that I have e better chance of getting into heaven.?"

    February 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Observer2

      NVRWRNG: Not exactly, but that is a common misconception.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Jim

      Not too many, except those that think they can earn it. Most of us Xians seek to live in a good relationship with our Father and those around us. And we obviously aren't perfect so we understand (or should understand) that we are works in progress.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      I hate that the extremists ruin the public image for the rest of you.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Jim

      That is true of all groups.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Justice

      NVRWRNG do you actually wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror and say to yourself gee i look pretty good with my black eye liner.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @Justice – Are you okay with yourself? It seems to me that you are highly uneducated. You haven't contributed positively to any of these remarks. Pretty sure I don't need to wear eyeliner, I look damn good without it.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  4. SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

    JESUS2020.COM AMEN WANNA KNOW HOW GET SAVED!!!!!!!!

    COME ON CHRISTRIANS LET PREACH GOSPOEL! AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONFESS ALL KNOWN SINS, BE FILLED WITH HOLY SPIRIT, AND PREACH AWAY AND LET HOLY SPIRIT CONTROL!~ AMEN!

    February 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  5. In Reason I Trust

    How to know your god is made up;
    1) You just happen to have been born in the "right" religion.
    2) You think every other religion and god is wrong, and that there followers are going to hell, but your god is the "real" deal.
    3) Your holy book contradicts itself repeatedly, even thought it was written by an all knowing all powerful being.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Jim

      You know you are not using reason when you post little wannabe-pithy three point conclusions of your own that offer nothing of substance or reason but only of subjective opinion.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • In Reason I Trust

      Let me guess Jim, your god just happens to be the "real" one huh. Not like those silly Greeks that believed in Zeus. Lol

      February 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Jim

      Let me guess, you have nothing but your own personal, subjective and unreasonable opinion to project on others... Your lack of reason and logic is actually pretty sad. Your attempt at sounding serious (at least with your handle) is like the kid down the block who has never studied a subject trying to appear intelligent and grown-up but everyone around him sees the ignorance runneth over.

      When you can actually bring something of substance (or at least not fatally flawed from a basic philosophical standpoint) to the table, we can discuss it. Until then, you're bumping your digital gums like the kid down the street.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Fish Flakes

      I like number one. Interesting. I never thought about that particular point before. I agree with a lot of what you say. It seems to me that spirituality, compassion and integrity are the forest, and religion is the trees. By emphasizing the dogma and ritual of religion, and its need to be "the only one", the true message is unintentionally cast aside.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  6. Ira Radnick

    Hey folks, the reality is nothing magical has ever been proven that comes from the bible, and yes, it is true that man created this thing called god (as opposed to this god thing creating man) in order to both try to make sense of a senseless world, and to allow a small group of scared punks control and exploit the masses. Life after death? Nope, dead is dead. Virgin birth? Same old story told by various pagan religions about the same time the new testament's alleged story was being lived out. It is just that the christian version of the same old story happened to become the more popular version, and now we have a new religion created only to be splintered into many factions with each having The Real Truth.

    Sheep, sheep, sheep... I am so ashamed of how our fellow humans behave when they turn over control of their thoughts to a collection of fables held up by "religious leaders" that are somehow mysteriously endowed with much greater wisdom and understanding than the masses. Well, count me out. I am quite capable and willing to think for myself, and to rake responsibility for my own decision (as opposed to, "The devil made me do it!"). Fools and cowards are the True Believers.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  7. SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

    WANNA KNOW HOW TO GET SAVED! AMEN! GO TO JESUS2020.COM SO YOU CAN READ BIBLE TRACT ON HOW TO GET SAVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  8. Jaime

    I've had dreams.. I've met the prophets, and know that i am not a crazy.. He will come. hope you are prepared.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Jaime..you have had dreams, we all have..It is not proof of any return.....God would be better served using the internet or text I think that getting into your head.......

      February 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      How much for a hit? Sounds like you have some good stuff.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • In Reason I Trust

      No I'm pretty sure your just crazy, but thanks for sharing.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  9. Preach It Bro

    I read this article, and I agree with everything you say. This is really amazing, and hopefully an eye-opener to those parents, teachers and preachers who would indeed sugarcoat the Bible. Great use of scripture, you really know your stuff.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • In Reason I Trust

      There's something brown on your nose.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  10. SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

    amen! God Loves You!

    The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"

    The problem is that . . .

    2 All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.

    The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”

    The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,

    3 God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.

    Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

    Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life – of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

    God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.

    4 If you want to accept Christ as your Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:

    "Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."

    February 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

      then share gospel

      February 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Matthew 28

      18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

      February 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  11. fastball

    How can anything that's been translated and re-written as many times over the centuries as the Bible, have ANY resemblance to the original? Hasn't anyone played "telephone" as a kid? The message at the end of the line rarely is the same as at the start of the line.
    Not to mention that the Church and other religious leaders through the centuries didn't have their own agendas.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      I said this like 45 minutes ago. Perfect! Glad to know we have other intelligent people walking around on this wasteland.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Clarify

      Do you also think that The Odyssey has been copied so many times throughout history that it is garbage, also? The Bible has some copy errors (like any ancient text) but still mirrors the earliest recordings found to exist.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Hahha I know right? Don't even get Muslims started on their Qu'ran. Supposedly unchanged for 1600 plus years. Hahahahahahaha hilarious. You can't even tell one person a story and hope it makes it on to another person the same.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @clairfy – do you believe that we evolved from a single celled organism?

      February 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Robert

      Do a little research into the Dead Sea Scrolls. Yes, there was a time when all we had were translations of translations ad infinitum. However, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the early 20th century contain well over a hundred original texts from the 1st century era. Research into these writings has done two things: 1) Indicated that the translations we have are not as far from the originals as they might have been; 2) showed us where there were problems so many of them could be corrected. So, just because someone believes the Bible could still be accurately translated over 2000 years later doesn't make them automatically un-intelligent, as you seemed to indicate.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Clarify: Well people don't base their entire life, set of beliefs and morals on the Odyssey. They have accepted it is just an ancient story, a good story, but a story non the less. I mean it talks of gods as if they were real. And people of that time believed they were real. I just see it as what makes the Christian god the right god? Out of all tens upon tens of thousands of religions throughout time and existing now what makes you think you picked the right one? It has more to do with your geographic birth place and family than which one is actually valid.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Mrtrdrvr

      You've failed to take into account that there Is a GOD and He is able to protect and preserve His word.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Jonathan

      I happen to find the scientific explanation through biology and cosmology and archeology to explain where we came from. Science isn't afraid to admit it doesn't have all the answers. Probably never will. Doesn't even have most of the answers. But has a good idea and you'll never find out without starting somewhere. Fact is in a hundred years the explanation of origins of life scientifically will have changed drastically. Religion, if it still exists in major fashion will still be subscribing to an "intelligent design" when if you take a simple look around you find that none of this is in my opinion well designed. Our bodies are incredibly inefficient. Read upon the anthropic principle. It gives an example of a puddle examining itself. That to the puddle the universe may appear to fit it perfectly when in fact it is the puddle that fits into the universe perfectly. It's absolute fact that the universe is constantly changing in the course of eons. If the sun just slightly changes it's spectrum then life isn't possible in this manner. Some say this finely tuning shows an intelligent design when I believe it's more reasonable to assume if it wasn't find tuned like it is we wouldn't be observing it to begin with. The universe would simply exist and we wouldn't.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dumb. Just dumb. As usual, Jonathan, your observations are simply idiotic. The universe wasn't "created" for us. We are here because we evolved in adaptation to the forces of the universe.

      What an idiot you are.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  12. SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

    God Loves You!

    The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"

    The problem is that . . .

    2 All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.

    The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”

    The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,

    3 God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.

    Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

    Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life - of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

    God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.

    4 If you want to accept Christ as your Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:

    "Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."

    February 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

      THEN OBEY GOSPEL

      February 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

      God bless you. Since Christ died for the world, everyone should obey.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      ravings of a cult lunatic. replace God/Jesus with some other god's name. or a made up name. as with all cults, they say they are divinely "right", offering little or no proof/evidence.

      "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan

      To say there is a magical God in the sky that made/controls everything is an extraordinary claim. where's the extraordinary evidence? the bible is so flawed and just plain wrong it counts more as proof of God's nonexistence than his existence.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Henry

      "He lived a sinless life"

      Really? Read Mark. He specifically rejects his family (mother and brothers). Where I come from rejecting your family is a horrible thing to do.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

      HENRY SWEETIE, FEEL YOU HAVE ROOT OF REJECTION IN YOU AND YOU NEED LET GO OF BITTERNESS HUNEY. RECEIVE CHRIST FIRST BEFORE READING AND TRYING TO BE ANGRY AT WHOLE BIBLE HUN BUN

      February 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Ira Radnick

      HelsGod, the reality is folks only care for others if they have something to gain. There is no deity out there in mystery god land that loves you any more than I love you. Get over it folks, we are alone amongst the many, there is no salvation, we all return to carbon cycle end the end. Fools, lead astray by others who are more fearful and unknowing than yourselves.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look, Higgy the hypocrite is here! All hail the moron!

      February 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  13. SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

    http://greatcommission2020.com/ JESUS2020.COM FIND HOW BE SAVED HERE

    February 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  14. SHAIARRA

    Marriage used to be at an earlier age.

    However in Old and New Testament times marriage was likely to be at an earlier age, compared to now, and therefore masturbation would be less of an issue. Because of high rates of mortality, it would be natural for people to marry early.

    Marriage ages in the Ancient Near East: (ANE)

    Ancient Egypt marriage ages: females 12-14, males 14-20
    In Greece: girls 14-20, males (post military) 18+
    In Rome: girls 12, boys 14 (legal ages)
    In OT: For girls, see Vetus Testamentum 22 (1972): 326-48
    Talmud: For girls, puberty age (Yeb. 62b), boys 14-18
    [Cultural aspects of marriage in the ancient world.
    Yamauchi, Edwin M., Bibliotheca sacra 135 Jl-S 1978, p 241-252. ]
    [Note: while the age for marriage for men is recorded as being late between
    say Adam and Isaac, during the time of Moses it would have been much earlier.]

    February 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  15. Henry

    "It seems like Christians are uncomfortable with how earthy the Bible really is. They feel the need to tidy up God."

    How about rational minds feel the need to call out the Bible for what it is: depraved, immoral, illogical, and historically wrong. If the god of the Bible really is how he is described then why would anyone want to worship such a vain, sadistic, genocidal maniac?

    February 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Penny Lane

      The Bible God is indeed a nasty piece of work.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Jaime

      Im christian and I don't tidy up God. christians say fear God.. for he is greater than we are. people don't want to worship a sissy..puss... I have no problem in worshiping a badass... who goes by the name of Jesus Christ.... smokes the weed and drinks the drink..

      February 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  16. Jonathan Michael Brouillette

    The Antichrist
    1 John 2:18: Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that Antichrist is coming, so now many Antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour.

    1 John 2:22: Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

    1 John 4:3: and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of Antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.

    2 John 1:7: For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the Antichrist.

    (**NOTE – The Pope therefore cannot be the antichrist, since no Pope has ever denied that Jesus is God. Also note that the word "antichrist" is NOT found in the Book of Revelation, which refers more to the destruction of Jerusalem, the harlot, than it does to the end of our world.)

    February 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Dude, anyone who isn't inclined to buy your BIG fake sugar daddy in the sky sure isn't going to be persuaded by your hauling out a lot of equally unbelievable LITTLE ones.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  17. SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

    http://greatcommission2020.com/ JESUS2020.COM------WANNA GET SAVED PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!:)!

    February 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Penny Lane

      Yeah, it takes of valuable time doing just about ANY other thing.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Google "God hates amputees" to see just how accurate your naive belief is.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • mike

      Have you told your cats about Jesus then?
      Also, like you, (I'm guessing) I was born in a western democracy. Many organizations from human rights to my government recognize my basic human rights. These include freedom of thought, speech, and if I really care, print. Many religions to not recognize these basic human rights. As a matter of fact they will torture me eternally for exercising them. Why should I lose my rights when I die?

      February 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  19. SOMEONE CARES FOR YOU! AMEN!

    JESUS2020.COM KLOVE.COM

    February 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  20. SHAIARRA

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    This is an old list, but still entertaining nonetheless!

    February 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i'm afraid there is no wiggle room on any of these, Shaiarra. you will have to burn in hell forever as decreed by our ever-loving God, Yahweh. sowwy. wish i could help, but i'll be burning along side you.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Clarify

      I have read this before, too, and it is rather amusing. Thankfully, our nation has its own laws and we do not follow the ancient Hebrew laws. To each nation its own, huh:)

      February 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • breanne

      I always found that list a sad display of ignorance. A read through the Bible clearly shows that the Old Testament Law was a temporary set-up... abolished with the initiation of the New Covenant with Jesus. So, such rules now have no bearing whatsoever.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:35 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.