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4 big myths of Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation has terrified and confused readers for centuries. Few agree on its meaning, but many have opinions.
March 31st, 2012
10:00 PM ET

4 big myths of Book of Revelation

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) – The anti-Christ. The Battle of Armageddon. The dreaded Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

You don’t have to be a student of religion to recognize references from the Book of Revelation. The last book in the Bible has fascinated readers for centuries. People who don’t even follow religion are nonetheless familiar with figures and images from Revelation.

And why not? No other New Testament book reads like Revelation. The book virtually drips with blood and reeks of sulfur. At the center of this final battle between good and evil is an action-hero-like Jesus, who is in no mood to turn the other cheek.

Elaine Pagels, one of the world’s leading biblical scholars, first read Revelation as a teenager. She read it again in writing her latest book, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy & Politics in the Book of Revelation.”

Pagels’ book is built around a simple question: What does Revelation mean? Her answers may disturb people who see the book as a prophecy about the end of the world.

But people have clashed over the meaning of Revelation ever since it was virtually forced into the New Testament canon over the protests of some early church leaders, Pagels says.

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“There were always debates about it,” she says. “Some people said a heretic wrote it. Some said a disciple. There were always people who loved and championed it.”

The debate persists. Pagels adds to it by challenging some of the common assumptions about Revelation.

Here are what she says are four big myths about Revelation::

1. It’s about the end of the world

Anyone who has read the popular “Left Behind” novels or listened to pastors preaching about the “rapture” might see Revelation as a blow-by-blow preview of how the world will end.

Pagels, however, says the writer of Revelation was actually describing the way his own world ended.

She says the writer of Revelation may have been called John – the book is sometimes called “Book of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine” but he was not the disciple who accompanied Jesus. He was a devout Jew and mystic exiled on the island of Patmos, off the coast of  present-day Greece.

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“He would have been a very simple man in his clothes and dress,” Pagels says. “He may have gone from church to church preaching his message. He seems more like a traveling preacher or a prophet.”

The author of Revelation had experienced a catastrophe. He wrote his book not long after 60,000 Roman soldiers had stormed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., burned down its great temple and left the city in ruins after putting down an armed Jewish revolt.

For some of the earliest Jewish followers of Jesus, the destruction of Jerusalem was incomprehensible. They had expected Jesus to return “with power” and conquer Rome before inaugurating a new age. But Rome had conquered Jesus’ homeland instead.

The author of Revelation was trying to encourage the followers of Jesus at a time when their world seemed doomed. Think of the Winston Churchill radio broadcasts delivered to the British during the darkest days of World War II.

Revelation was an anti-Roman tract and a piece of war propaganda wrapped in one. The message: God would return and destroy the Romans who had destroyed Jerusalem.

“His primary target is Rome,” Pagels says of the book’s author. “He really is deeply angry and grieved at the Jewish war and what happened to his people.”

2. The numerals 666 stand for the devil

The 1976 horror film “The Omen” scared a lot of folks. It may have scared some theologians, too, who began encountering people whose view of Revelation comes from a Hollywood movie.

The Omen” depicted the birth and rise of the “anti-Christ,” the cunning son of Satan who would be known by “the mark of the beast,” 666, on his body.

Here’s the passage from Revelation that “The Omen” alluded to: “This calls for wisdom: let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six.”

Good movies, though, don’t always make good theology. Most people think 666 stands for an anti-Christ-like figure that will deceive humanity and trigger a final battle between good and evil. Some people think he’s already here.

Pagels, however, says the writer of Revelation didn’t really intend 666 as the devil’s digits. He was describing another incarnation of evil: The Roman emperor, Nero.

The arrogant and demented Nero was particularly despised by the earliest followers of Jesus, including the writer of Revelation. Nero was said to have burned followers of Jesus alive to illuminate his garden.

But the author of Revelation couldn’t safely name Nero, so he used the Jewish numerology system to spell out Nero’s imperial name, Pagels says.

Pagels says that John may have had in mind other meanings for the mark of the beast: the imperial stamp Romans used on official documents, tattoos authorizing people to engage in Roman business, or the images of Roman emperors on stamps and coins.

Since Revelation’s author writes in “the language of dreams and nightmares,” Pagels says it’s easy for outsiders to misconstrue the book’s original meaning.

Still, they take heart from Revelation’s larger message, she writes:

“…Countless people for thousands of years have been able to see their own conflicts, fears, and hopes reflected in his prophecies. And because he speaks from his convictions about divine justice, many readers have found reassurance in his conviction that there is meaning in history – even when he does not say exactly what that meaning is – and that there is hope.”

3. The writer of Revelation was a Christian

The author of Revelation hated Rome, but he also scorned another group – a group of people we would call Christians today, Pagels says.

There’s a common perception that there was a golden age of Christianity, when most Christians agreed on an uncontaminated version of the faith. Yet there was never one agreed-upon Christianity. There were always clashing visions.

Revelation reflects some of those early clashes in the church, Pagels says.

That idea isn’t new territory for Pagels. She won the National Book Award for “The Gnostic Gospels,” a 1979 book that examined a cache of newly discovered “secret” gospels of Jesus. The book, along with other work from Pagels, argues that there were other accounts of Jesus’ life that were suppressed by early church leaders because it didn’t fit with their agenda.

The author of Revelation was like an activist crusading for traditional values. In his case, he was a devout Jew who saw Jesus as the messiah. But he didn’t like the message that the apostle Paul and other followers of Jesus were preaching.

This new message insisted that gentiles could become followers of Jesus without adopting the requirements of the Torah. It accepted women leaders, and intermarriage with gentiles, Pagels says.

The new message was a lot like what we call Christianity today.

That was too much for the author of Revelation. At one point, he calls a woman leader in an early church community a “Jezebel.” He calls one of those gentile-accepting churches a “synagogue of Satan.”

John was defending a form of Christianity that would be eclipsed by the Christians he attacked, Pagels says.

“What John of Patmos preached would have looked old-fashioned – and simply wrong to Paul’s converts…,” she writes.

The author of Revelation was a follower of Jesus, but he wasn’t what some people would call a Christian today, Pagels says.

“There’s no indication that he read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount or that he read the gospels or Paul’s letters,” she says. “….He doesn’t even say Jesus died for your sins.”

4. There is only one Book of Revelation

There’s no other book in the Bible quite like Revelation, but there are plenty of books like Revelation that didn’t make it into the Bible, Pagels says.

Early church leaders suppressed an “astonishing” range of books that claimed to be revelations from apostles such as Peter and James. Many of these books were read and treasured by Christians throughout the Roman Empire, she says.

There was even another “Secret Revelation of John.” In this one, Jesus wasn’t a divine warrior, but someone who first appeared to the apostle Paul as a blazing light, then as a child, an old man and, some scholars say, a woman.

So why did the revelation from John of Patmos make it into the Bible, but not the others?

Pagels traces that decision largely to Bishop Athanasius, a pugnacious church leader who championed Revelation about 360 years after the death of Jesus.

Athanasius was so fiery that during his 46 years as bishop he was deposed and exiled five times. He was primarily responsible for shaping the New Testament while excluding books he labeled as hearsay, Pagels says.

Many church leaders opposed including Revelation in the New Testament. Athanasius’s predecessor said the book was “unintelligible, irrational and false.”

Athanasius, though, saw Revelation as a useful political tool. He transformed it into an attack ad against Christians who questioned him.

Rome was no longer the enemy; those who questioned church authority were the anti-Christs in Athanasius’s reading of Revelation, Pagels says.

“Athanasius interprets Revelation’s cosmic war as a vivid picture of his own crusade against heretics and reads John’s visions as a sharp warning to Christian dissidents,” she writes. “God is about to divide the saved from the damned – which now means dividing the ‘orthodox’ from ‘heretics.’ ’’

Centuries later, Revelation still divides people. Pagels calls it the strangest and most controversial book in the Bible.

Even after writing a book about it, Pagels has hardly mastered its meaning.

“The book is the hardest one in the Bible to understand,” Pagels says. “I don’t think anyone completely understands it.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church • Devil • End times • Faith • History • Jerusalem

soundoff (8,460 Responses)
  1. Atheist Hunter

    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/archeology.htm

    Here's you some archeological facts momoya.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • momoya

      Archeological facts imply that the bible is wrong, not right.. Why are you so desperate to prove your faith by the very same science that you claim is wrong when it doesn't meet your approval?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      the archeological facts on that site don't. explain that????

      April 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • momoya

      AH

      You said> here's an example for you....the bible predicted the restoration of the nation of israel and the return of her people and the nation was retored and the people are returning in droves today... FACT!

      No, sorry.. The only "fact" is that you choose an interpretation that most lines up with your previous faith in the matter.. Prophecies are always va.gue enough to allow for hundreds of interpretations–that's why so many different preachers can disagree with each other when they claim that biblical prophecy applies to so many different events..

      Again, the bible provides no "self-check" mechanism to decidedly determine what interpretation is correct.

      Fact: : All "holy" books have va.gue prophecies that can be interpreted in thousands of different ways because they aren't conclusive enough to provide a single result.

      p.s. I have no idea what you're talking about with your anger comment.. You seem to making up whatever you want to believe again–like most christians do regularly

      April 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • momoya

      No, they don't "explain that.". That site, like other similar sites, only lists the archeology that they think helps their case..

      For example, that site doesn't explain why the bible states a world-wide flood occurred when the archeological facts say that it didn't.. Jesus said that the flood occurred; the bible says that the flood occurred, but it didn't–we can prove that it didn't.. Therefore, the bible is wrong and jesus is wrong.. See how that works?

      April 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • God Isn't

      http://theflatearthsociety.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=62

      There is some "internet evidence" that the world is flat for you AH, which I am sure is as factual as the deformed brain dribble you keep posting.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Your insults in your prior post to me are a reflection of anger... another fact. If I insult you it is because I am letting my anger speak. It's very clear. Only cloudy if you want it to be cloudy to support your cause.

      1. The Jewish people will be regathered in unbelief from the four corners of the earth
      (Isaiah 11:11-12). Fulfillment: 20th Century and continuing.

      2. The state of Israel will be re-established
      (Isaiah 66:7-8 and Ezekiel 37:21-22). Fulfillment: May 14, 1948.

      3. The Jews will once again re-occupy the city of Jerusalem
      (Zechariah 8:4-8). Fulfillment: June 7, 1967.

      4. The land of Israel will be reclaimed from its desolation, becoming once again a land of agricultural abundance
      (Ezekiel 36:34-35). Fulfillment: 20th Century and continuing.

      5. The Hebrew language will be revived from the dead
      (Zephaniah 3:9). Fulfillment: 19th & 20th Centuries.

      6. All the nations of the world will come together against Israel over the issue of the control of Jerusalem
      (Zechariah 12:1-3). Fulfillment: Currently occurring.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • God Isn't

      "from the four corners of the earth"

      Ah, I see you already believe in a flat earth...

      April 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      momoya...
      There is proof. In three ways.
      1) Every culture on earth has stories about a "flood" of some kind, with one man and his family being saved by a boat or raft (even Eskimos). Many are several thousand years old or more, some dating back to the time of the fertile cresent.
      2) In every corner of the planet you can find, scattered here and there, a layer of strata that can only be fine mud or silt (even found under the Antarctica ice sheet). It contains the same types of elements all over the world and it represents the dividing line between the age of the dinosaurs and the age of mammals. Scientists all over the world recognize this layer, but disagree on what caused it. Forty days and nights of standing muddy water?
      3) The earth is crissed crossed with ancient river beds, some over ten miles wide. Where did they come from? Where did they go? Near Vernal Utah you can stand and look at one such ancient river bed. It stands near vertical due to upheavel in the earths crust and contains virtually every species of animal, including dinosaurs and fossilized palm trees and wood, fish, turtles, birds, etc. How did they all die and get deposited together in one huge sand bar? Receeding flood waters?

      April 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Atheists Idio(ma)tic Expression

      "In the corners of your mind"

      I see that you have a flat mind. You must be an atheist.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • God Isn't

      "•If a canopy holding the equivalent to more than 40 feet of water were part of the atmosphere, it would raise the atmospheric pressure accordingly, raising oxygen and nitrogen levels to toxic levels."

      "•Cenozoic sediments are post-Flood according to this model. Yet fossils from Cenozoic sediments alone show a 65-million-year record of evolution, including a great deal of the diversification of mammals and angiosperms."

      "•Why are most sediments on high ground? Most sediments are carried until the water slows down or stops. If the water stopped in the oceans, we should expect more sediments there. Baumgardner's own modeling shows that, during the Flood, currents would be faster over continents than over ocean basins [Baumgardner, 1994], so sediments should, on the whole, be removed from continents and deposited in ocean basins. Yet sediments on the ocean basin average 0.6 km thick, while on continents (including continental shelves), they average 2.6 km thick."

      April 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • momoya

      AH:

      You don't seem to understand what "proof" is.

      1. Cultures have stories about floods because very large floods occur fairly regularly–there is ZERO evidence for a world-wide flood that is also a scientific impossibility.

      2. You are incorrect in your conclusions of certain geology; it appears that you have merely internalized a very poor argument used by christians who utilize a very poor misunderstanding of some science to disagree with 99.9999% of science that implies the opposite of what they believe..

      3. Flood waters create some artifacts you mention, but not all; besides, there have been huge floods, just not world-wide ones like the bible states.

      Research, it's a good thing: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html

      April 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • God Isn't

      "You must be an atheist."

      Couldn't tell from my name eh?

      April 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • God Isn't

      "Ice cores from Greenland have been dated back more than 40,000 years by counting annual layers. [Johnsen et al, 1992,; Alley et al, 1993] A worldwide flood would be expected to leave a layer of sediments, noticeable changes in salinity and oxygen isotope ratios, fractures from buoyancy and thermal stresses, a hiatus in trapped air bubbles, and probably other evidence. Why doesn't such evidence show up?"

      "How are the polar ice caps possible? Such a mass of water as the Flood would have provided sufficient buoyancy to float the polar caps off their beds and break them up. They wouldn't regrow quickly. In fact, the Greenland ice cap would not regrow under modern (last 10k years) climatic conditions."

      "Why is there no evidence of a flood in tree ring dating? Tree ring records go back more than 10,000 years, with no evidence of a catastrophe during that time."

      April 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • just sayin

      You might be looking for the flood in the wrong place. All trees would have been destroyed. Where did all the coat deposits come from? God bless

      April 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Just sayin

      That is hilarious!!! Why don't you research?!? Why??

      April 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • God Isn't

      @js – So, your bible says the world was created between 6,000 – 9,000 years ago and after it was created God wiped all mankind off the face of the earth except for one man and his family and he was to "bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you" which must include Elephants, poisonous snakes, spiders, whales, lions, bears, wolves not to mention the dinosaurs that must have existed right up until the flood event, but you want to claim it's all true because of coal deposits and 10,000 year old trees (which are older than your biblical earth btw)? I would say you were a moron but that might be an insult to morons, I think it's more of a stubborn pyschological blindness where you refuse to open your eyes because you just might see something you don't like.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Primewonk

      just sayin wrote, " You might be looking for the flood in the wrong place. All trees would have been destroyed. Where did all the coat deposits come from? God bless"

      There was no global flood. Your god said he was going to kill everyone and everything not on the boat. Either your god lied, or he was wrong.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • eagle eye

      Glacials and interglacials have been going on for over a million years according to ice core samples. The last Glacial was a long one and ended over 10,000 years ago. The Volga river was a probably impassable due to the melting of the glaciers in Siberia. This would have flooded what is now the Black sea around which many ancient peoples lived. This is most likely the flood that was passed down by the bards thru history.

      April 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  2. Atheist Hunter

    http://www.nuggetnetreview.com/main-news1.htm
    Bible and this website, compare and see truth! Be delivered from eternal torment. God Bless!

    April 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • momoya

      If you attend to that sort of craziness, you're destined to never bag an atheist, hunter.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      It's world news. You guys want facts there they are. I guess all the daily news articles are lies too?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • momoya

      Facts aren't dependent upon spiritual interpretation.. Facts just are.. When you or a website claims that facts must be interpreted in a particular light, it's a stupid move.

      Fact: : Biology is really cool and there's still a lot to discover and learn.

      Stupid, non-fact: : Biology is really cool which means that a really cool mind that works somewhat like ours and is concerned for us made all forms of life by saying a magic incantation.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      momoya... what you consider cool is not a fact. bad example. try again.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      here's an example for you....the bible predicted the restoration of the nation of israel and the return of her people and the nation was retored and the people are returning in droves today... FACT!

      April 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • momoya

      That as.sessment would be relevant only if "cool" was an important factor in my explanation.. If you don't understand the message of that post, then you're too much of an idiot to be using the computer you're on.. Please step away and alert your medical ch.a.perone that your daily meds aren't w.orking pr.operly and perhaps it's time to try a different co.cktail.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      awww....didn't mean to insult you and make you an angry atheist....

      April 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • momoya

      AH:

      You said> here's an example for you....the bible predicted the restoration of the nation of israel and the return of her people and the nation was retored and the people are returning in droves today... FACT!

      No, sorry.. The only "fact" is that you choose an interpretation that most lines up with your previous faith in the matter.. Prophecies are always va.gue enough to allow for hundreds of interpretations–that's why so many different preachers can disagree with each other when they claim that biblical prophecy applies to so many different events..

      Again, the bible provides no "self-check" mechanism to decidedly determine what interpretation is correct.

      Fact: : All "holy" books have va.gue prophecies that can be interpreted in thousands of different ways because they aren't conclusive enough to provide a single result.

      p.s. I have no idea what you're talking about with your anger comment.. You seem to making up whatever you want to believe again–like most christians do regularly

      April 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " ....the bible predicted the restoration of the nation of israel "

      Book, chapter, and verse stating that Israel would be re-formed in 1948 please.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • God Isn't

      Don't forget to include details on those who helped reform the nation of Israel as they should have been impartial players and not invested religious zealots wishing for biblical prophecy to be true if you believe it was the "prophecy" that did the fulfilling.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Al

      AH
      "World News" like the National Enquirer?

      April 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  3. Prayer changes things

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things,

    April 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things"

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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!` . . . .

      April 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  4. Atheist Hunter

    http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=7276

    April 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • momoya

      http://www.jhuger.com/kisshank.php

      April 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  5. wimanf

    She did not reveal anything new about the book of Revelation. For her information, the book of Daniel is co-related to the book of revelation. I am a bit surprise that she did not know that. Beware of whose book you read. They can mislead you.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Al

      That Revelation isn't actually a prophecy about the end of the world has been known for quite some time, yes, but a whole lot of people seem to be unaware of it nonetheless.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  6. LaVonne Chung Author of "The Sign"

    I can't believe my eyes as I read these blogs. I am a follower of Christ, who is, to me, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I have studied to show myself approved, i try to walk the talk. Faith is like my husbands Fuga (bitter mellon). He can tell me it is bitter but, I can only "know" it is bitter if I taste it. Taste and see that the Lord is good. I have tasted, He is good and yes I can testify that He has answered many prayers. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. As for the JW argument, I have some experience with individuals who try to tell me that the Cross of Christ is a torture stake and that I wear a symbol of an Egyptian penis around my neck. The cross IS the sign of the Son of Man and the center of my faith.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  7. beepy

    It's not in opinions because it's someone's blog posting. Idiots. How have people not heard of the author? She's been around forever.

    April 4, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Al

      I heard about her in the early 80's, but I guess her critics don't actually read any of her books, so that may account for their ignorance.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Common Sense

      That's stupid logic because it requires belief in all sorts of magical mechanisms to keep "the word of god" from the innocent while advancing it for those who are not innocent.. The problem with christianity and christians is that it/they don't make any sense.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • momoya

      sorry, wrong thread

      April 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  8. Jim

    @Just Sayin & BoldGeorge

    It is interesting to me that Jesus clearly thought that if you were a good person and helped the sick, poor & needy without expecting anything in return you would be let into heaven (Mat 25 31-46). This is not a parable this is Jesus stating how he is going to judge who gets into heaven (apparently his thought process changed after he rose again).

    Only because Jesus died for our sins these people are now excluded from heaven and sent to hell??? It is sad that all of those poor souls that never heard of Jesus, but, were good people who would be in heaven, but are now in hell, just because Jesus died for our sins!

    Can you imagine that poor soul that was inline to go into heaven the moment Jesus died – "Sorry friend you led a good life treating you neighbors as yourself but Jesus our lord and savior just died and since you did not know him you obviously did not accept him as your lord and savior before you died – So... Um... to hell with you."

    April 4, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • WASP

      @jim: you're the type of believer i can enjoy being friends with. if we are both inline to be judged and god don't let you in, i'll slap him and go to hell with you. you're my kind of people. :)

      April 4, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Robert Brown

      You raise an interesting question. What does happen to someone who has not had the opportunity to know Jesus? I think if someone hasn't had the opportunity to be saved then they would be considered the same as an innocent child in the eyes of God.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • momoya

      @ Robert

      Then why in the world would any believer evangelize?. Telling an innocent soul about christianity would be the equivalent of forcing them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil–according to your position above.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Wayne

      @Robert, then why introduce anyone to jesus at all if not knowing him means certain eternal bliss?

      April 4, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • fred

      Brilliant point momoya.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Jim

      @WASP: Well you better hold on, because I am not taking NO for an answer, and we are going to be pushing our way in! I am not going to let Jesus death stop me from getting in!

      April 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Some of you people; underestimate the knowledge of God. He knows who has the love of truth in their hearts and who doesn't. Those who knew of Him, but in pride of their hearts refused Him, for them there is only one destiny reserved, and justly so!
      But to those who never knew of Him...He would move Heaven and Earth to reveal Himself to them, and bring them to the knowledge of Himself. The whole creation testifies of it's Creator, and those who never heard the Name of Jesus Christ have the knowledge of God imprinted on their conscience, which was given to them so that by following the voice of their conscience they would pursue and seek God. Because He said that " if we seek Him we shall find Him, if we seek Him with the whole heart".
      That's the key to the answer so many say they want to know, but so many really dont't but look for occasion to throw blame on God , and justify themselves!
      But God KNOWS what is in a human heart, and judges accordingly!

      April 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • CommonSense

      Actually Momoya, not so brilliant: in fact, completely ignorant of God. Those who don't know God will be judged according to their lives. The Gospel (Greek word meaning Good News) is shared for those who otherwise would not have gotten into Heaven, that they have the same opportunity to find forgiveness in God's grace.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Common Sense.

      That's stupid logic because it requires belief in all sorts of magical mechanisms to keep "the word of god" from the innocent while advancing it for those who are not innocent.. The problem with christianity and christians is that it/they don't make any sense.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      If you could work your way into Gods favor there would be no need of a savior. Salvation has always been by grace through faith, doing good works is a result of Gods nature expressing itself through the believers in love, not for reward but as an extension of grace. No one is ever "good" enough to be accepted in Gods sight except God (Jesus) Himself. Good works done outside of Gods grace are viewed by God as filthy rags, motivated by the evil in our hearts . God bless

      April 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Good works done outside of Gods grace are viewed by God as filthy rags, motivated by the evil in our hearts "

      LMAO! Good is motivated by evil if you don't believe in a god. LOL! That takes the cake on the most stupid comment on this blog.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • momoya

      @Just sayin

      Well, how can any atheist trust what you say on the matter since so many of your fellow believers explain a completely different doctrine than you do?. The problem you believers have is that there's no way to verify that a certain doctrine is true.. In math or chemistry, we can be assured of the correctness of an answer because the discipline itself provides a method by which to ensure truth has been discovered.. Neither the bible, nor christianity, nor any other religion or belief has such a mechanism, and as such, it comes down to whatever a person's opinions are about his 'faith.'. The believer need do no proving, no testing, no verification because he can't–all he can do is believe because he believes because he believes..

      April 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • William Wilberforce

      Unfortunately the Doctrine if Heaven and Hell it's been inherited to protestantism and pretty much no one questions it, but,it wasn't like that in the beginning,when the first believers had a firm grasp of the doctrine of Resurrection from the dead,I believe that I will resurrect from the dead in this same body here on earth just like Jesus did and so will everybody else and then those who didn't have the chance to hear about Gods ways will decide wether to accept him or reject him. The Bible in Revelation says that a new Jerusalem will come down to Zion which is in Israel down here below in planet Earth. God created in order to achieve a purpose and the Earths materiality is fundamental to achieve that purpose. What's the point in creating a material Earth subject it to millennia of suffering to just burn it up! No my friends, Gods wisdom and love and mercy is not measured in human standards,one day you'll discover it yourselves.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • just sayin

      @momoya
      Look at all creation , the vastness of space, the intricacies and wonders of the smallest molecules and everything in between. Then ask yourself can I do that? Can you be in any way responsible for the force that keeps everything in motion. If your answer is no, then consider what gift could you give a being that created all that, that would be worthy of Him? How could you "work" your way into His favor or good graces? You can't. All you might be able to do is express an emotion to Him, like love, an abstract, but you can't even do that because you do not even know what love is. Then the being sets aside everything to come to you and takes upon itself the penalty for all of your life's failings. All you have to do is accept the gift that is offered. That being was Jesus, the gift is eternal life, peace with God. By grace through faith. God bless

      April 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • just sayin

      When you experience salvation in Jesus you will not have to wonder about the "realness" of it. You will know. God bless

      April 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Jim

      @just sayin

      Perhaps it is "doing good works is a result of Gods nature expressing itself through ALL PEOPLE in love". Are we all not created in the likeness of God? Then wouldn't Gods nature express itself through all people? And, isn't not giving God credit for his work – a SIN?

      Careful, "just sayin", you might just end up in hell and all of the atheists, who do good works, in heaven! As we all know God is a jealous God who likes to get credit for his good works!

      April 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Al

      just sayin
      But aren't all deluded people equally convinced? If we gather all the people who happen to share the same delusion does that make them right simply based on the point that they all have other people who believe the same thing? If that's the case then Voodoo us "true" within voodoo communities, just as paganism must gave been "true" before the advent if Christianity. Clearly just "knowing" something isn't enough, right?

      April 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      just sayin: how do you make the logical leap from a creator (or "intelligent designer") to that of a being that judges human interaction? welcome to the non-sequitor club...."We may not make sense, but we like pizza"

      April 5, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • WASP

      @just sayin': "Look at all creation , the vastness of space, the intricacies and wonders of the smallest molecules and everything in between. Then ask yourself can I do that? Can you be in any way responsible for the force that keeps everything in motion. If your answer is no, then consider what gift could you give a being that created all that, that would be worthy of Him? How could you "work" your way into His favor or good graces? You can't. All you might be able to do is express an emotion to Him, like love, an abstract, but you can't even do that because you do not even know what love is. Then the being sets aside everything to come to you and takes upon itself the penalty for all of your life's failings. All you have to do is accept the gift that is offered. That being was Jesus, the gift is eternal life, peace with God. By grace through faith. God bless"

      ok let me get this correct; "but you can't even do that because you do not even know what love is."
      so momoya and other atheists don't know what love is because we don't buy into your fairy tail? i'm pretty certain i understand love.

      next"Then the being sets aside everything to come to you and takes upon itself the penalty for all of your life's failings." here is my counter point; who is responcible when a child gets ahold of his father's gun and shots someone or himself? would you blame the child or the parent? god placed the tree in the garden is equal to me leaving a gun on the table and telling my kid "don't touch" then walking away.

      next " That being was Jesus, the gift is eternal life, peace with God. By grace through faith. God bless"
      jesus was a figure in the bible that has been contested by multiple religions and isn't even known to any religion outside of the middle eastern religions......so jesus being the son of god, choose to avoid asia, north and south america, australia, new zealand and most of the south pacific......yeah that speaks highly of his power; jesus could walk on water so he wouldn't have even needed a boat to visit these places.

      April 6, 2012 at 7:37 am |
  9. Cardinal Ratzinger

    When I see these arguments posted again,and again ,and again makes me wonder if it is that how it works,just repeating the same stuff over and over so you'll convince yourselves of your doctrine.

    April 4, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • LinCA

      @Cardinal Ratzinger

      You said, "When I see these arguments posted again,and again ,and again makes me wonder if it is that how it works,just repeating the same stuff over and over so you'll convince yourselves of your doctrine."
      Yup, that's pretty much how it works. Not only for religion, though. Advertising and political campaigning work in a very similar way. If you just keep repeating the nonsense over and over again, eventually enough people will believe it to be true.

      Unfortunately, those most easily taken in by such bullshit stories are often least likely to be convinced by a rational counter argument.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  10. BRan

    this entire article was b/s . Claiming her own opinions as facts. Sounds like she's twisting the word of God to make it the word of Elaine

    April 4, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Al

      It's all opinion, my friend, but perhaps you should hold yours until you read her book, and then determine if she has the facts wrong, or not, OK?

      April 4, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  11. Christianity is not healthy for children and other living things

    Christianity takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
    Christianity prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Christianity makes you fat.
    Christianity wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Christianity contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Christianity fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Christianity can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Christianity reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Christianity exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Christianity makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Christianity makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Christianity makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Christianity gives you knobbly knees.
    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Christianity dulls your senses.
    Christianity makes you post really stupid shit.
    Christianity makes you hoard cats.
    Christianity makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Christianity wastes time.

    April 4, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • pmd

      Jesus still loves you!

      April 4, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Yo!

      "Jesus still loves you!"

      Nah, he's dead and buried a long time ago only a delusional person thinks he's still alive.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Mark Hegedus

      We will all find out when we die, and we all will die. Tell your sick evil thoughts to the devil because alot of people are going there. Do you atheists think all these worldly problems are happening for no reason wow WAKE UP! Christianity is healthy for any soul to know they will be in paradise someday. Prayers get answered everyday just not for people like you who don't believe. I hope you wake up because brother your soul is headed for death. It's not to late to let Yahshua in your heart which means Yahweh's salvation sorry Jesus is not our Messiahs name. Yahweh is the creator of the heavens and the earth. I hope nobody goes to hell repent now. There is not much time left.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      "We will all find out when we die..."

      Not necessarily.

      "Tell your sick evil thoughts to the devil because alot of people are going there."

      How F'ing arrogant to purport to speak for god.

      "Do you atheists think all these worldly problems are happening for no reason"

      No, there are plenty of reasons that don't necessarily involve "god"

      "Christianity is healthy for any soul to know they will be in paradise someday."

      Yeah, and I am comforted that the next big lotto will be mine. Doesn't make it so.

      "Prayers get answered everyday just not for people like you who don't believe."

      Why would someone who doesn't believe pray to anything? Do pray to any one of the thousands of other gods man has created?

      "I hope you wake up because brother your soul is headed for death."

      Again, purporting to speak for god. Bad form, and pompous to boot.

      "It's not to late to let Yahshua in your heart which means Yahweh's salvation"

      Free people do not need salvation. Slaves do.

      "I hope nobody goes to hell repent now. There is not much time left."

      How do you expect that people could fear retaliation (or "judgement" to you pious folk) from a being in which they do not believe?

      Do you fear Ra? Odin?

      It is apparent that you fear "god", and your alleged piousness is more a matter of not wanting to pi$$ off the bully you envision "god" to be.

      April 5, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • sam stone

      also, mark, how do you know how much time is left? doesn't your book say no one knows the time IT will happen? perhaps you wanted to ramp up the fear factor. scare people to god.

      April 5, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  12. FreedomFromReligion

    All religions are fake. Completely made up. Imaginary friends galore.

    April 4, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Al

      I think even the religious would agree that religions are man-made. The real question is whether what people worship is real, or also man-made.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  13. Reality

    Putting the final kibosh on religion to include the Book of Revelation:

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:---------->>>>>>>>

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    April 4, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Jason Van Bemmel

      Dear "Reality" –

      "There is no Easter" and thus "Christianity completely fails as a religion" IF the first statement were true, then the second would logically follow. But the reverse is true, too, IF Easter is real and Jesus DID rise from the dead, then Christianity stands as true, despite the failings of so many of its followers (not all, but many). N.T. Wright's book, The Resurrection of the Son of God, and Mike Licona's Book, The Resurrection of Jesus, both thoroughly and conclusively prove that the bodily resurrection of Jesus on the first Easter best fits the available evidence and is the right historical conclusion to draw from all of the available data. Their works are thorough and they interact with all of the theories and scholarship.

      Since no other religion even offers concrete answers to the biggest problems we face: forgiveness for our sins and eternal life beyond death (no other religious figure ever even claimed to die for our sins and rise again from the dead), I would highly recommend a more careful investigation of the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus available in these two excellent books.

      April 4, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • sam stone

      Claims are easy to make

      April 4, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • sam stone

      "Since no other religion even offers concrete answers to the biggest problems we face: forgiveness for our sins and eternal life beyond death"

      On the other hand, not many other religions claim that man needs forgiveness from these supposed "sins".

      April 4, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • myweightinwords

      @Jason Van Bemmel,

      For one to believe we need forgiveness, one must first believe that we have done something the requires forgiveness. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm far from perfect, but there is not one single thought, word or deed that I have thought, said or done that requires the kind of forgiveness your faith attempts to convince me I need.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • sam stone

      jason: are you familiar with osiris?

      April 4, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Al

      Jason
      And you can try Thomas Sheehan's iTunes U podcasts on the Historical Jesus where he illustrates how it wasn't a bodily resurrection.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • CommonSense

      You should check your facts before shooting your mouth off: there's extensive external evidence (outside of the Bible) for Abraham and Moses. "Better to keep your mouth closed and have others think you a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt".

      April 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Common Sense

      Firstly, Abraham and Moses existing is not proof of anything other than their existence–it doesn't mean that the bible, or even sections within it are true.

      Secondly, what external sources are you talking about?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection / Easter Con/

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      April 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Reality

      ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

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

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

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

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      April 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Yo!

      "You should check your facts before shooting your mouth off: there's extensive external evidence (outside of the Bible) for Abraham and Moses"

      There's a lot of evidence that Santa Claus existed doesn't mean the fairy tales about him today are true. Duh! !

      April 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  14. Nii

    WASP
    God kills you for eating the wrong food, not wearing condoms, taking wrong decisions just like a judge who puts people in jail is making them hardened criminals. Or a doctor who does a surgery is making people lose blood and putting people at risk. I guess I shud laugh now. Hahahahahaaah..

    April 4, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • WASP

      @NII: i was unaware that eating the wrong food, or wearing condoms meant we deserved the death penalty, lol thanks for clearing that up. :p

      April 4, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  15. William Wilberforce

    I remember when there was a time when most Christians considered the book of Revelation as too sacred to even try to understand it whereas today there's this proliferation of this so called "scholars" who speculate about doctrine without the proper knowledge of the Bible,literally assaulting the most sacred gift men can have which is faith. This is a direct attack on peoples faith where nothing is considered sacred no more and if you hold some knowledge to be considered as higher than men or divine you could probably face harassment and attack .Why do people wants to have an answer for everything ? We don't need to, that's the beauty of it, and the first step to faith is trusting in something higher than men. America is enslaving people when it doesn't allow people to live their faith a book like this when you dare to call sacred knowledge a MYTH is a direct attack on peoples freedom.

    April 4, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • WASP

      @wilber:"William Wilberforce
      I remember when there was a time when most Christians considered the book of Revelation as too sacred to even try to understand it whereas today there's this proliferation of this so called "scholars" who speculate about doctrine without the proper knowledge of the Bible,literally assaulting the most sacred gift men can have which is faith. This is a direct attack on peoples faith where nothing is considered sacred no more and if you hold some knowledge to be considered as higher than men or divine you could probably face harassment and attack .Why do people wants to have an answer for everything ? We don't need to, that's the beauty of it, and the first step to faith is trusting in something higher than men. America is enslaving people when it doesn't allow people to live their faith a book like this when you dare to call sacred knowledge a MYTH is a direct attack on peoples freedom."

      1) FAITH- "a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
      2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
      3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

      MYTHOLOGY-"a. A body or collection of myths belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes.
      b. A body of myths associated with an event, individual, or inst.itution:
      2. The field of scholarship dealing with the systematic collection and study of myths."

      wilber"
      Why do people wants to have an answer for everything?" your question is that of a hypocrite. you ask something you yourself are doing; you read your bible seeking answers to questions you don't have the answers for. the only difference between your search for answers and those of an atheist are we don't stop searching at just one book. our answers we find can be tested and more often than not seen, your "faith" said you have all the answers you require from a book written 2000 years ago.

      April 4, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Cardinal Ratzinger

      @wasp.. Are you taking sides with this so called leading Biblical scholar ? Because if you are,you just proved my point!

      April 4, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • WASP

      @cardinal: and what point would that be? i see only religious organizations trying to restrict peoples freedoms. women rights, gay rights, medical procedures, contriceptives the list goes on and on. i have yet to see a single atheist restrict anyones faith or choice in life. we merely refuse to be silent observers to this trainwreck you call faith.

      April 4, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Cardinal Ratzinger

      @wasp , Do you live here in the U.S? because I don't see none of that happening here . Women here can kill their babies and go unprosecuted , gay acceptance rates are at highest levels ever,and federal government is very close to force upon us its will , what else do you want, criminalize religion?

      April 4, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • momoya

      Religion spreads lies; what would be wrong with criminalizing it?.

      It's stupid to say that religion does not seek to control national public policy; look at all the whining on providing women with cheap birth control while any man can go get viagra?!?. What about all the b!tching and moaning over stem cell research?. What about all the hiding of child abusers?. What about demanding that the government do what they say on adoptions or they'll just stop helping orphans at all?

      April 4, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • momoya

      Religion spreads lies; what would be wrong with criminalizing it?..

      It's stupid to say that religion does not seek to control national public policy; look at all the whining on providing women with cheap birth control while any man can go get viagra?!?. What about all the b!tching and moaning over stem cell research?. What about all the hiding of child abusers?. What about demanding that the government do what they say on adoptions or they'll just stop helping orphans at all?

      April 4, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • WASP

      @cardinal: the government does what it is suppose to do; try to make this country work while ensuring you still have the freedoms me and my buddies fought for you to keep. appearently you don't watch your nightly news, or read a news paper; christian groups are pushing for same gender marriage to be illegal, they want to revoke women right of choice, they don't want to contribute to contriceptives, they want puedo-science aka intelligent design taught in class beside real science, they have blocked embryonic stem cell research from being federally funded that research would save their lives if they needed it......no i'm not saying outlaw religion, but religion belongs in the place of worship not on the streets, in the classroom or anywhere near the government.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Al

      Are you seriously suggesting that some things ought never be questioned? By what reasoning have you chosen "Belief in God" as that one thing? Just because you feel that it's the one, or because you've never thought about ever testing that belief personally?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Al

      WASP
      You forgot to point out that no society ever labels their own stories "myth"; it's always someone else who passes this judgment on other people's stories based on how ridiculous they are compared to their own stories. Thus you have Christ believing Christians calling the stories of Hercules mere myth without seeing any irony to that claim.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  16. Nii

    The Book of Revelation when I finally overcame the fear instilled by Omen, etc I found that it was a book that was a mystical representation of the Judaeo-Christian message of love and ethical living. It strengthens the life after death doctrine too. I hope most people get to read it.

    April 4, 2012 at 5:56 am |
    • Al

      By "mystical representation" you don't mean prophecy of things that will happen according to any Left Behindesq script, right?

      April 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  17. Prayer changes things

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things .

    April 4, 2012 at 5:51 am |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things"

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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!`

      April 4, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  18. Nii

    The Book of Revelation is seen mostly by non-Christians and Christians who have not read it as an apocalyptic book. Pagels even describes Paul having a libertine Gospel while he forbade women to teach in Corinth and excommunicated and says he was antagonistic with John the Devine. How wrong!

    April 4, 2012 at 5:44 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ..

    April 4, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • Jesus

      ~Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      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!`~

      April 4, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • nope

      nope

      April 4, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Jesus

      Nope is a dope

      April 4, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • nope

      nope.

      April 4, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Jesus

      "nope" continues to be a dope.

      April 4, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • pmd

      of course, one must believe in prayer and that prayer does work, in order for prayer to work.
      believing that prayer does not work will guarantee that any prayer from you will not work.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Jesus

      "of course, one must believe in prayer and that prayer does work, in order for prayer to work."

      That's why Christians who believed prayer would work are rotting in jail because their prayers went unanswered and their children died.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • WASP

      @pmd: "of course, one must believe in prayer and that prayer does work, in order for prayer to work." you do know that is the line of every snake oil salesman, shaman, witch doctor, and faith healer since the dawn of human exsitance........if you believe it will be true. lmao no i can believe i'm a fracking kangaroo but i can't jump any higher. lmfao

      April 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Al

      pmd
      Ah, but prayer has been demonstrated to "work" only infrequently, about as often as random chance, which invItes the question as to how you can be sure that it isn't just random chance, or even better than it?

      April 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  20. Paul

    Been an interesting blog.
    I don't think I have heard so much rubbish in my life, even from "Christians".
    If you just take a step back and have a look at the Bible from the beginning. The Bible calls God Jehovah, Yahweh in Hebrew. As creator he made Adam and Eve perfect. The only terms for dying was disobedience. So the logical conclusion was this, if Adam and Eve had not eaten from the fruit tree they would be still alive today and you and I would be perfect in a global paradise.
    We know that didn’t happen, they sinned by disobedience. We inherit imperfection from them and die as a result, no one would argue that as we see it everyday. Jehovah being governed by his own law provided a ransom (perfect life for perfect life) for us in Jesus Christ his son, so that those who believe in him can once again have everlasting life that Adam lost for us. So in effect Jesus becomes our father and not Adam.
    Jehovah through Christ is able to undo all that Adam has done, even resurrect all those that have died. The restoration is on earth as he intended in the beginning. His intention was not to have humans in heaven as he already has millions of angels why the need for more?
    The only ones going to heaven to be with Christ are those that will make up the heavenly government called ‘God’s Kingdom’. The book of Revelation explains more details about this government of 144,000 who will rule with Christ. This government will restore us back to perfection, which will take 1000 years and of course this will allow time for all those who have died in the past to be educated and given an opportunity for life. I am glad this heavenly government includes humans who were once like us and are in a better position to understand us to judge fairly.
    The Bible is a book that explains all these things, culminating in the book of Revelation, which ties everything together.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Nii

      PAUL
      Thanks for showing why Jehovah Witnesses are not considered "Christians" by the Church. Explain also why Jehovh witnesses commemorate the Lord's Supper by not drinking it cos they r not members of the 144000 Hebrew virgins when all the Disciples of Christ were married men when they drank it.

      April 4, 2012 at 4:44 am |
    • Nii

      Explain why they'll only look at de Lord's Supper like Swedish Atheist "Xtians" n pass on De bread n wine? Is it that their "Bible" doesnt have Jesus saying "Whoever doesnt drink my blood n eat my body isnt worthy to enter the kingdom of heaven"? Jehovah is the Yiddish German spelling of Yahweh.

      April 4, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • Nii

      I have studied the Bible's meaning with JWs before. One tthing I will advise is that Paul wherever u see a quotation by your organisation in any book just go 2 your Bible n read the passage it was taken from. It won't take u long to see that the Bible is frequently taken out of context by JW books.

      April 4, 2012 at 5:04 am |
    • WASP

      @paul: thank you and here i was thinking we died, from disease, accidents, murder, genetic defects, cancer, organ failure, starvation, and hypertension. lmao my how wrong was i; so god kills us, now that makes sence. lol

      April 4, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Paul, you said : "This government will restore us back to perfection, which will take 1000 years and of course this will allow time for all those who have died in the past to be educated and given an opportunity for life". How did you allow yourself to be thought that? If you took the Bible, along with a Topical Bible, Greek -english interlinear New Testament, and few dictionaries and books that put every verse to your disposal at your fingertips, studying it all on your own and asking God to show you the meaning of them, you would never come to this erroneous doctrine which those false prophets of JW organization come up with.
      You have a God given responsibility to YOURSELF and to Him , not go to any man for truth, but ONLY TO HIM. JW organization is a totally amiss, its a cult that doesn't even recognize who Jesus Christ really is. . They go to God the Father, bypassing Him. O, they never admit it, but they don't know Him, because thy hav made up their own christ, out of their own imagination,not knowing the Christ of whom the Spirit of Truth testifies
      And for you to say that "this will allow time for all those who have died in the past to be educated and given an opportunity for life". It tops it all! Where did those bozos from up with?

      April 4, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      correction :From where did those bozos come up with this ?

      April 4, 2012 at 10:23 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.