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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. Mel

    The great thing about free press and America is just that...we're free. Free to express our thoughts, beliefs and opinions. Personally, I feel that everyone has a right to their opinion whether I agree with it or not. Those of us that are Christians, if you truly believe in a loving, forgiving God and what is written in the bible (even if you don't agree with it all) then you know how you should behave. Do not let those who do not believe upset you. And for those who are not believers, I ask why you are concerned at all about the bible or what it says on any subject. This has always puzzled me. A very wise pastor told me once that we can hate the sin without hating the sinner. I think we can all take a lesson from that quote. Whether believer or no, we are all in this world together and its up to us to make it or break it. I'd prefer the former.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • jimtanker

      You have a loving and forgiving god? Except that he will torture you forever for the simple act of not believing in it even though there is no evidence whatsoever that it exists.

      This is the oposite of justice, this is pure evil. If you cant see that then you are very sad person indeed.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Because leaders like Santorum and Romney will use your bible to imprison people and spread fear and hate toward women, gays, non-believers...anything that your bible SAYS they can. I think that's reason enough to speak out AGAINST your bible. It's not a book of love.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • adk522

      Before you comment on the Bible, READ it, and READ it the right way. Understand who wrote what chapter and verse, understand who he was writing too and why, before you place your personal interpretations to it. And read it in its original Greek and Hebrew text if possible so as to avoid the translator’s interpretations.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Joe T.

      I am concerned about what it says because many Christians want to make laws out of what stuff in the Bible says.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • adk522

      Mortalc01-
      Yes there are things that science has shown us, but there are also many many things that are just theories and have never been proven either way.

      Be careful what you claim has been factually proven. Science has not factually proven the Age of the Earth, it is a theory and as recently as last year NASA came out and advised that they don’t think the Moon/Earth is as old as originally thought. Hmmm so that is not a definitive fact. Also, Dinosaurs and Man, theory’s not Definitive facts. Evolution is just a theory, E=MC2 is a theory, (Einstein believed God exists)

      February 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • fintastic

      You don't understand the word "theory" as it relates to evolution..

      February 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The existence of any god and the associated cults are merely theories. Theories that if subjected to the scientific method would be totally discredited for a complete lack of objective, verifiable, independent or factual evidence.

      Einstein did not believe in any god, certainly not a personal god that believers would like him to have. Your chery picking, or shallow investigation, of Einstein's religious beliefs does nothing for your credibility.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Joe T.

    Some people are claiming that atheists who were once Christian, weren't really Christian to begin with. I know this to be false for a couple of reasons. First, you need to look up "No True Scotsman". Second, I am a prime example. I was a believer. I was all about God. I knew he existed. I was all about Jesus. I studied about him extensively. I recognized him as my Lord and Savior. I would argue with people who didn't believe.

    Then something happened. I actually read the Bible. I read it four times. Every time I read it, I would have more and more inconsistencies and bizarre things that would make me say, "Hmmmm, that doesn't seem right." Over the course of several years I piled up a lot of things about the Bible that just didn't seem to make sense. I put it all together and after serious thought and consideration, I realized there was no more reason to believe in the Judeo-Christian God than there was a God like Zeus.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      You might find it helpful to reread the parable of the sower.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Joe T.

      So, I guess you are saying it was sown upon the rocks... or maybe that the birds ate up the seed?

      You should look up the origin of the God Yahweh... yeah the one you worship. It's very eye-opening. Did you know the Canaanites worshipped him? Bet you didn't know that. That was how the Jews started worshipping the war God Yahweh. He has no more credibility than Ba'al.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  3. Dawn Medina

    Excellent...Awesome....Truth!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • pastmorm

      What Dawn, that christians are crazy, violent people?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  4. Leeanne

    You all believe there is "air" even though I can't see it; "faith" is believing what you can't see. I would rather live as though there is a God and die and find none, than live believing there isn't a God and find there is one.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Joe T.

      Actually you can see molecules underneath powerful microscopes. So you can actually see the air. It is tangible.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Using the invisibility (under some conditions) of air as an excuse for some god indicates you are an idiot. Air has many properties that can be measured – your god has none. Air exists – your god does not.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And you should investigate Pascal's Wager. Not only is your base belief delusional, you are deluding yourself into believing you are grovelling to the right god.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Mortalc01l

      Your argument proves that you don't understand ANYTHING! We can factually PROVE that air exists; we can see it's molecules under a microscope, we can do numerous experiments that prove things like air, electricity and gravity exist, even though they are invisible to our eyes and the spectrum they operate in. We cannot see infra-red, or ultra-violet, but cameras can and so we can use cameras to show us things that are "invisible".

      Absolute lack of education is responsible for most people's religious beliefs. If you were more educated and had some actual factual knowledge of science and the FACTS that science brings, then you would have a FAR bigger problem believing in a God.

      We can FACTUALLY prove that the Earth is NOT 6000 years old; we can FACTUALLY prove that the dinosaurs and Man never co-existed, we can factually prove that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the other way around like the Bible says.

      The Bible is full of errors, lies and make-believe. One question to ask yourself is this: If the Bible is the word of God and God is infallible, all-knowing and all-powerful, why did he not make sure the Bible was written in such a way that there is NO CHANCE of it being misunderstood, misinterpreted, twisted or questioned?

      Surely God would make sure that his word would be unimpeachable, unmistakably perfect and correct? Instead, we have every single person that reads the Bible with their OWN PERSONAL interpretation of it's contents. What his means is that there is NO word of God, only individual interpretation of the supposed word of God (really, it's the word of King James of Scotland and England, since the Bible was written to appease King James' personal interpretation of the Bible).

      When every single person has a different agenda and opinion and the Bible mysteriously always supports their own personal opinion and agenda, then it is obvious that the Bible cannot be the word of an infallible God.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • MarcTTF

      Faith as you know it would more aptly be defined as “Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” with the emphasis being on the ‘rather than proof’ part.

      February 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  5. yikesboy

    just sayin
    Children are a gift from God. A newborn knows more about God than you do.

    Really? Children are not aware of any gods or supernatural beings until we force it into their poor heads. As Dawkins correctly maintains, foisting such beliefs upon children should be considered a form of child abuse – they hardly have developed enough to begin to comprehend or question yet until past their teenage years and should not be so exposed to such intrinsically intolerant teachings so young. By the way, I do mean intolerant as at the very heart of all religion lies the "this is the only true way to God" clause. This at the very heart of all belief is very human: we cannot stand rivals and transfer this upon our omnipotent beings. Sad.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • lk

      totally agree. I encourage my children to investigate themselves, and not rely on my experience to base their relationship with Jesus on. Naturally, if they truly do investigate, they will find out the Jesus is the truth. That's why the word of God has persisted for so long, and why people are being born again all over the world, because they are touched by the power of God, and not by cultural or otherwise coerced philosophy.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  6. Mary Beth

    Utter nonsense. This kind of delusional drivel could be easily ignored if not for the increasing theocratic intrusion into our lives.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  7. Biz

    Anymore, I click on the stories about faith just to see how fired up all the Christian haters get themselves. Pretty entertaining.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Oddly enough, us christian-haters do the same thing Biz! It's fun to get you christians all sweaty and shaky when we make you realize how crazy your beliefs are. ROFL!!!

      February 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  8. jj

    Uh, WHICH bible? From WHICH god? No bible on earth was written by god, or jesus. It was written by common MEN, full of stories, conjecture and parables to sell their ideas of religion, mostly stolen from previous religiions.
    And it worked. What did Twain say – religion started when the first con man met the first sucker!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • David Claytor

      What would your world look like without faith? Have you checked the headlines today? Take God out of the mind youth and they shall become "...as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;" 2 Peter 2:12. Shootings like the one in Ohio will be commonplace. Jesus taught us to love one another and even our enemy. He told us to do good unto all men Gal. 6:10. He also warns us of what will come when we deny him: "...iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matt. 24:12 Don't speak evil of that which you don't understand you could be speaking damnation upon your own soul.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • GodPot

      "What matter Ug?"
      "Ug sad. Ug wife eaten by big teeth, now Ug all alone, no one to share Ug big kill, lots of meat"
      "Well Ug, what if I were to tell you that I could promise Ug Wife not dead but can't be seen, and I can help Ug wife that cannot be seen be very happy, but Ug must give Derg meat, okay?"
      "Ug wife not dead?"
      "Right, Ug wife not dead, but Ug wife not happy eaither, not till Ug give Derg some meat"
      "Ug wife not happy?"
      "Right, Ug wife not happy because part that cannot be seen is still in Big teeths tummy, but Derg will do dance and song and prayer and save her"
      "You sure Ug wife not dead?"
      "No, Ug wife not dead, in danger still, quickly Ug, give Derg meat so he can save Ug wife!"
      "Uh, Okay..."

      And religion was born, true social and economic evolution at work...

      February 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  9. ChrisL

    @Kayann “for the atheists out there… What are you living for? What's the purpose of your life? …I don't get why you even bother to go on if you believe that there's no life after this one.”
    I will answer you… I believe the purpose of my life is to live it and live it to the best I can. I am living for my family, for my sons, for my country that I have put my life on the line for… I do not believe there is a life after this one; but that gives me all the more reason to live each day as if it were my last; to leave my mark on the world... if your reason for living/purpose of your life is not the same, I pity you

    February 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Horus

      In a natural state the purpose of life is survival. Period. Anything beyond that is born of human desire for there to be more. Like you I have a need to purpose, so I view my purpose as providing for, and educating my children, as well as enjoying just "being".

      February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Takeit

      Your beliefs are somewhat tainted and out of date. Every sensible people, like most eastern world religions do believe in reincarnation...and there are ample proof of this.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  10. hippypoet

    does anyone else find this ironic that the majority of the people in the bible are shepards and people use the bible as a scapeGOAT! lol perhaps we are using an incorrect term or at the very least an inproper one!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Takeit

      I often wonder: why did Jesus abandon his disciples and allowed himself to be crucified? Couldn't he save himself, since he was the son of God? Why do people "eat his flesh and drink his blood"? How relevant are these ancient books, from every religion, to today's world – all of them talks about wars, killings, stoning to death, etc, etc.

      It is no wonder that kids now a days do not want to hear these stories. I wonder myself...

      February 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  11. Christianity is not healthy for children and other living things

    Christians molest your children so keep them away from them....

    February 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • adk522

      your an idiot who does not even know what true Christianity is...

      February 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      The most dangerous place for child abuse is in the home and by trusted family members or neighbors. Should children be kept away from their homes?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  12. James

    Nice Article! I am a Christian-I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior.The Old and New Testaments are incredible to read! I have been studying them just for a few years and have found the more I read,the more I want to get to know GOD! Yes, there are some incredible stories in the Holy Bible that are quite shocking,but it is only depicting the truth about mankind. Christianity is a relationship not a religion. I find it 's usually the people who have not really read the Holy Bible, that complain about it's validity and even poke fun at it and anyone who reads it. That's sad,but at one point or another we will face our Creator. Are you ready?
    HE loved us so much that HE gave HIS Only Begotten Son(John 3:16), to suffer and pay for our sins. For me,Isaiah 53 is one of the most pivotal chapters in the Old Testament( but there are many). You must ask yourself who Isaiah is speaking about, and consider the fact that it was written atleast 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Thank you Mr.James, for writing this article!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Praise the lord! Now go take your meds James...

      February 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Ummmm

      "HE loved us so much that HE gave HIS Only Begotten Son(John 3:16), to suffer and pay for our sins."

      The god of the bible is an evil god. The existence of such large quantities of suffering, despair, pain, of natural disasters such as earthquakes, of the death of the unborn and the immense suffering of lovers & kind-hearted people means that god is evil and intentionally creates life in order to create suffering. That all life exists in a food chain means that life is completely tied to death, and such a barbaric biological cycle could only have been made by an evil god. Also, that such a god appears not to exist, or actively hides itself, is a source of confusion, conflict, war and stress and is again more likely the antics of an evil god. Given the state of the natural world, it is impossible that a good god exists.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Joe T.

      Actually I've read the Bible.. several times. It was doing that very thing that made me not believe in the Judeo Christian God.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  13. Dee

    What I find interesting is that people find this book so much more interesting and important than any other book. And many of them have never read it. Never mind that no one seems to understand it.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • GodPot

      It's because they spend all their time debating the detail, the finery, the embroidery and lace that adorns their Emperors new clothes... They do not need to know how to sew to claim this as the most magnificent garment the world has never seen...

      February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  14. Brian

    What I can't believe is that anyone with half a brain can believe in such a fairytale. Wake up people!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • sealchan

      How many times do atheistic literalists need to be reminded that faith isn't about proof and that reality doesn't reduce to rationality?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  15. Ni

    People do not use the garbage in the bible to show how far we have fallen, they use it to justify continuing to do that same garbage today. Yeah, lets nasty it back up and send us right back in to the dark ages. Shame. Religion kills. Education is our only salvation.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  16. brian

    Atheists are so concerned about seeing the hypocracy in other people that they miss the point. You can have a personal releationship with Jesus. We are humans and we fall short of the glory of God. Christians are called to be "Christ Like" . Meaning we can never be exactly like Jesus, just try to model are selves after him. You will see hypocracy from time to time because we still have sin in our lives. Our goal is to try to be more like Christ and when we fail, admit it we fail, repent and keep trying.

    Quit worrying about who the hypocrites are and have a personal relationship with a Savior who loves you.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Can you have a personal relationship with someone on facebook that you've never met in person or spoken with on the phone? How on earth can you have a personal relationship with some god that threatens you that if you don't "like" him then you're going to h e l l???

      February 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      If so many people have such a close and personal relationship with the creator of the universe, how come their views of that creator and of what the creator's views are differ so radically?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Get Real

      brian
      "...have a personal releationship with Jesus"

      Pop religio-psychology from the late 20th century - hooey and phooey! You are talking to yourself.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      Brian: They cannot have a relationship with a being in which they do not believe.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • GodPot

      " how come their views of that creator and of what the creator's views are differ so radically?"

      This is because prayer is mental masturbation, you only think about the God that turns YOU on while your "doing it".

      February 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Laurie

      Atheist . . . . A Theist! Strange isn't it?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Get Real

      Godpot, "prayer is mental masturbation"

      Yep. I often cringe when they lead off these articles with pictures of folks having their godgasms in public.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Headstrong

      I haven't had a relationship with an imaginary friend since I was 4-years-old and I don't intend to do so again until I'm at least 84. If and when I do, it will be with someone significantly less egotistical and insecure than the Biblical god, thank you very much!

      February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • brian

      To all that replied:

      I have seen lives changed because of people having a personal revelation and relationship with Jesus. Jesus has transformed the lives of many people. It's funny how people can have relationships with money or a car or other inanimate objects but a relationship with a living God is not possible. Jesus reveals himself within the Bible.

      The major issue I see with most commentators is, they cannot handle that God is in control and they are not. You are God' s child, whether you believe it or not, and he loves you. He loves you enough that he died for you. All he asks is to accept his gift of salvation.

      No one likes to see their children run off and not acknowledge them, that's how God feels about us. The bible says he knew you while still in your mothers womb and he knows the number hairs on your head. God care more about you than you'll ever know. Don't worry about other messages of "turn or burn". Just come to know Jesus and he'll take care of the rest.

      God Bless

      February 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • fintastic

      How can you have a "personal relationship" with someone/something that doesn't exsist?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  17. Butters

    Calling Christianity a religion would be like calling America a free country , looks are deceiving .

    February 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  18. JoJo

    THOU SHALT NOT SUFFER A WITCH TO LIVE. BURN THEM! BURN THEM!

    February 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Thou shalt love they neighbor. Thou shalt turn the other cheek.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  19. vel

    Ah the bible, The book that glorifies genocide, makign women marry their rapists, God slaughtering all of teh "bad" people and then allowing Satan to corrupt those that are left for no reason than he "must" (Revelation 19-20) The bible where it says that anyone who refuses Christ as king be brought before him and slaughtered (Luke 19). What a vile, primitive god that is no different than Ares, or Ishtar, Osiris or Odin. We have a god that has no problem with lying to its worshippers (2 thessalonians 2), that only "saves" those it picks on a whim (Romans 9) and intentionally makes some people not be capable of "accepting" him (Matthew 13). So much for the author's claim that this god wants some kind of "homecoming celebration". Not so fun if you know you've been excluded intentionally. It's sad to see people worshipping something so abhorrent.

    February 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Sabrina

      Wow, you have a really strange version of the "Bible" – does your version of Luke 19 also say that the donkey He rode in on pooped Skittles and rainbows? Just FYI, the Bible makes a lot more sense if you actually *read* it instead of just making stuff up. But your post is the perfect proof that you have no interest in reality or truth. If anyone is "intentionally excluding" it is you, intentionally excluding yourself from something that you've condemned without having a clue what you've condemned or why.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    February 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • JoJo

      Indoctrinating children at a young age is brainwashing. They don't understand God or Jesus. You tell them and they believe. Brainwashing. Essentially, you take all their choice away and make them do it your way. You may not realize you've done this, but it's exactly what you've done. I know we can't fix stupid... yet, but ask yourself, does God want sheep? Or does God want people to search and come to Him on their own terms. Stop brainwashing children to do it YOUR way.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Mw

      Try praying away a fire.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      Children are a gift from God. A newborn knows more about God than you do.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Keith

      that's nonsense.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Nope

      ~~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • yikesboy

      Where does this notion of unhealthy disbelief come from? This is ignorance dressed up by the believer crowd who want all of us to join them in their delusion. I personally believe that the notion of an omnipotent being who is always watching and expecting ridiculous ritual and belief with no evidence of being (short of ravings and outright plagiarism by barely more than stone-aged men a couple of thousand years ago) is far less healthy than a naturalistic worldview. Please imagine a world where as far as everyone is aware, this one precious life is all we have – no virgins, swimming pools, endless parties or harps on cloud tops – and I feel confident that such a world would be much more pleasant to live in. And life would be more highly valued.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • think for yourself

      If children are a "gift from God", then why do they share so many traits with their parents?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Prayer can stop a fire
      Prayer can end a drought
      Prayer can calm the storm
      Prayer can bring about
      Salvation

      February 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • nope

      nope.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Huh?

      just sayin,
      " A newborn knows more about God than you do."

      So, why ruin it???

      February 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • just sayin

      We are all made in the image of God, we all share traits.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.