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My Faith: Raising religious (but not too religious) children
Laurel Synder is raising her two sons Jewish, but not kosher.
April 13th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Faith: Raising religious (but not too religious) children

Editor's noteLaurel Snyder is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a poet and author of many books for children. Follow her on Twitter at @laurelsnyder.

By Laurel Snyder, Special to CNN

(CNN) – A few years ago I was invited to my local Jewish Community Center to do a reading of my picture book “Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher.” It was going to be a child-friendly event, so I took my kids along.

Now, “Baxter” isn’t really a book about being kosher. It’s about wanting to be accepted into a community. But I always like to make sure my listeners know what the word kosher means before I read it, since the joke at the center of the book depends on that. So as usual I asked the Jewish Community Center crowd if they could define the word.

Before anyone else could answer, my own son Mose, who was 5 at the time, jumped up and shouted out, “I know! I know! Kosher is us! We’re kosher!” Then he sat back down again, beaming proudly.

And I might have been proud too. Only, you see, we’re not kosher.

On the drive home I tried to figure out what to say to Mose about his mix-up. I wanted him to know what it means to be kosher, to live by a rigid religious dietary code, day in and day out. But I also needed him to understand that we’re not.

How could I show respect for this part of our Jewish tradition while also suggesting that it doesn’t seem relevant in our own household? Should I just blame it on my own parents, who didn’t raise me that way?

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

It’s not easy to explain something to a kid when you haven’t yet figured it out for yourself. One of the most helpful/terrible things about having children is that they require us to think things out explicitly. That often means they make us face the very things we’ve been avoiding.

Sometimes, as a result, kids challenge us to become more mindful or observant. I hadn’t been a member of a synagogue for years when I became a mom. I hadn’t hosted a Passover Seder or found the time to light Shabbat candles.

Even though I worked for a Jewish agency and wrote about religion professionally, when it came to my home life I was almost completely unobservant. Judaism was something I thought about more intellectually than personally. Religion was an interesting idea more than a belief system.

Now I light candles each week and say the blessings. I belong to a havurah – a cohort of local Jewish friends who get together for monthly potluck dinners – and also a synagogue.

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Because there’s something about having kids that makes me want to be a better version of my Jewish self. I want something special to pass on to them. Something more than “You’re Jewish because I’m Jewish.”

But sometimes the opposite is true. Sometimes my kids help me recognize the limits of my faith.

In truth, I do not keep kosher and I don’t really want to. My husband is not Jewish, though we’re raising our family to be. So, yeah, we eat tacos for Shabbat dinner most weeks and usually skip Friday night services.

This is the truth and I have to own it. I can only shift my life around so much without feeling inauthentic. Lying to my kids about my religious life is no way to model the value of faith.

So when, after the “Baxter”/kosher fiasco, I set out to write my new picture book, “Good night, laila tov” (laila tov means “good night” in Hebrew), I wanted to paint an honest portrait of my largely secular household.

I wanted my kids to recognize the family in my story as Jewish, but also as, well, like us. Which is to say, not exactly kosher.

On some level I was reacting to the fact that most of the Jewish picture books in my home feel like they’re about someone else. They’re usually set in a Polish village a century ago, or on the Lower East Side of New York City, where mothers cook and fathers pray.

I wanted “Good night, laila tov” to be a sort of lowest common denominator. Contemporary and universal. It’s not about Jewish history, and it doesn’t have a single rabbi in it. It won’t teach you new Hebrew words or show you how to say a certain prayer.

It’s just a story about a Jewish American family going camping, experiencing nature, love, work and rest. In writing it I hoped to capture something typical, something natural, something simple.

And it does present, to my mind, Jewish values: Nature is spiritual, and takes us beyond ourselves. Time spent with family is sacred.

The family in the book plants trees and picks up their campsite, because caring for the earth is part of Judaism, I think. Along with caring for each other.

But as I wrote, I found myself a little afraid that, in attempting to write a picture book for everyone, I was letting the Jewish particularity go. Aren’t family nature, and environmentalism tenets of faith beyond the Jewish world, in every religion?

What did it say about me, my choices, my household, that the Jewish life I was choosing to depict looked like it could be any household at all?

Then I come back around to that moment with Mose, that moment of realizing I’d somehow misled him. Because whatever I’m unsure of, whatever I don’t know about faith, I do know this: if it isn’t honest, it doesn’t count.

The purpose of faith, as I understand it, is to infuse life with greater meaning. To make it more real. Not to dress it up. Not to pretend.

My kids and I are on a journey together. We’re setting out for parts unknown.

And while we may find ourselves changing as we trek along, there is a sacred quality in simply being who we are today. Of stopping on the trail and taking a deep breath. It’s enough, I think, to be exactly who we are, kosher or not.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Laurel Snyder.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Judaism

soundoff (3,114 Responses)
  1. Pipe-Dreamer

    Atheists are vindicative fools and mongeringly foolish and their foolishness ways of perverse animosities does ever abound upon generalites of supposed freedoms to antagonize the proverbial enemies of relative generalisms regarding the all mighty sciences foundations in high and even higher minded placements! Just who the hell's bells are they profoundly ringing?

    Truth be told, in orders for us humanists to "carry on" without social anarchists spreading ever so across all lands, the scales of bigotry and religiocity must be balanced with weights of infidelities' ambiguities and finalities'.responsibilities! Religions and the religious must always be ever mindful of those social perversions that tend towards sidelining the heavenly built hosts of Humanists from ever undulating calamatousness thru unseen forces in the workings of the allness whole and holes in and of Life!

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

      By chance, do you write sci-fi novels?

      April 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • edwardo

      Your handle explains who you are, explicitly. No typing on my part needed.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "mongerly" isn't a word, you retarded POS.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Neither is "mongeringly".

      April 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Commenter

      Tom, Tom,

      In all fairness, "word" didn't used to be a word either. @Pipe-dreamer is safe here with us. He falls under the pop connotation of "special".

      April 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  2. MashaSobaka

    I don't see any problem with dropping the dogmatic, pointless-in-the-modern-day parts of religion. They're what gives religion its enormous potential for danger, division, oppression, and all things bad. Teaching love and respect for one another is the important part, and the bonding rituals (holidays) aren't bad either. Dietary and dress codes? Not so much. Of course, secular humanism teaches love and respect just as well. Which is why religions cling to their dogma: It's the only way they can justify their existence.

    April 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Gloria

      Masha, you started your comment with "I don't see".... Well, what we should be more interested in is what God says.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      God says whatever your misfiring mind wishes for him to say.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  3. lastofall

    The carnal mind id enmity against God, it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Likewise, whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • edwardo

      Consider me his enemy then. He stands convicted of drowning babies in floods. He stands convicted of condoning slavery. I sentence him to a state of non-existence. Oops... guess he was already there.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  4. Keith

    I just came here to steal the furniture, don't pay any attention to me.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  5. Religion Vs. Relationship with God

    If these adults can't differentiate between rituals and sprituality how can they teach children about a relationship with the sovereign God.???

    April 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • momoya

      If you can't prove that you have a relationship with your god, why shouldn't you be in a mental facility?

      April 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Feltman C

      Until such time you have NIMH's convinced that belief in God is a disorder you can continue to proudly display your 'momoya is a fool' title

      April 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • edwardo

      @Feltman – I work in a mental health center. When someone hears voices, we commit them. It's called the Baker Act. If you hear the voice of God, you do need help.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Feltman C

      ed..You might want to commit yourself before it is too late for ya. See you after recovery and good luck!

      April 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      It's only a mental illness if it's a minority belief. Besides most people don't really believe it, they're just hedging their bets.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • momoya

      Feltman,

      If Betty claims to have a relationship with a guy named John, and yet Betty cannot prove John exists, should Betty go submit to psychiatric counseling?. Why or why not?

      April 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Feltman C

      Momoy-any luck with NIMH's? Why did you come back with a retort when you can't get NIMH's to admit that belief in God is a disorder? Your title stays with you!

      On another note Betty is my neighbor and John is a co-worker.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  6. reason

    Idiocy, the reason everything is "just right" for us is because we EVOLVED on this planet. If the planet was hotter or colder or had a different make up of atmospheric gases then we, along with the rest of life on Earth, woudl have evolved differently.

    I do not understand how a 1 in 5 chance that worked out is any proof of a god. Your friend was one of the lucky 20%. Unfortunately many people, who also have prayer vigils and many people praying for them, are not so lucky. There are also people who are given a 20% chance and make it without any belief in a god.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • john

      And those people who were given a 20% chance yet make it, a lot end up becoming more religious. God works in mysterious ways and we all do not get what we want in life. If we did, we'd never truly appreciate the time we do have on this earth before the good lord calls us home.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • reason

      I wonder about the religious folks who are given an 80% chance of survival but do not make it. That must be accepted as proof positive that there is no god using the same logic.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • mchofman

      Why do you have to put everyone down who doesn't agree with your "beliefs" or lack of them. Can't you just leave everyone else alone? I think your comments are very intolerant of others.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      mchofman ... sometimes the truth seems intolerant, especially to those who don't want to hear truth.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • reason

      mchofman, non-religious people here are trying to help others realize that it is not rational to believe in religion. They are doing this to try to make the world a better place. It is not easy to do this in any way that religious people will not be offended.

      Organized religion is as delusional as believing the Earth is flat. I have no idea how to state that without offending someone who holds religious beliefs.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • edwardo

      There are starving babies today, by the thousands who have a zero percent chance. A true miracle would be, to see your god feed them (he could since he is omnipotent). But, sadly, I know he won't. Too hard to do when you don't exist.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • reason

      By the way in the original comment I was addressing someone with the screen name Idiocy, that word was not an attack.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  7. Voice of Reason

    @Idiocy abound

    You have proved nothing. You asked me questions and provided no proof of anything except what you believe. You say there is a god and you have the burden of proof.

    "How did the universe come to be? How did life start? How did the earth become the exact planet for us, in just the right point away from the sun, having our sun be the right kind of star and the right six, with the right position in the Milky Way?"

    Someone with so many prestigious degrees, one would imagine that you would have considered science as a possible answer to those questions. Have you educated yourself on evolution?

    April 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Idiocy abound

      I see that I have made a mistake trying to get people to see another point of view. I understand that people have their faith, or lack of faith, but what continues to amaze me is how unwilling people are to see other points or view. There are many many people that have their hearts hardened to God's love and feel the need to take it out in those who follow God. To be honest with myself, it was stupid of me to think that I could prove it to y'all otherwise through this medium. So, I am going to stop wasting my energy trying to do so.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • momoya

      Idiocy, I see your viewpoint, and I have believed your viewpoint.. You want people to come over to your way of thinking without persuading us with evidence and argument, and then you want to blame the folks who want some good reasons to see it your way..

      April 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • reason

      Idiocy, it is not a matter of hardened hearts. Non-religious folks here are trying to help YOU to see that you have deluded yourself into believing something that has no rational basis. They are doing this not out of hate or anger but out of love for their fellow man and a desire to make the world a better more rational place.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Idiocy ... all you need is proof or even one rational logical point and you won't look like a fool, you've provided absolutely nothing, not even an attempt to do so. At least try making one reasonable argument in your favor, that's all we ask.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  8. john

    This is what people want now a days. To be religious but only as far as they'd like so they can still do what they want in their lives. That's really missing the point. People want to do what they want in this life until the day god calls them home....then they become 100% religious.......If you do not believe in religion, that's ok, that's your choice.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • momoya

      john, belief is not a choice; it is a compulsion.. You can't choose to disbelieve gravity.. If god wanted people to think a certain way about him he would have made himself and his message absolutely clear–as obvious as math or chemistry.. God's willingness to be so misunderstood implies he is devious and untrustworthy or simply nonexistent.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • john

      God wants people to find him and believe in him and what he did for us. The belief in god is way beyond anything in this physical realm. If you do not agree with me, that's fine and your choice. God gave us free will. But do not bash me for my beliefs just because you have a different take on it. To believe in god is something more than just something you can physically see or physically touch. I do not expect everyone to get that.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • momoya

      @john

      John, if god wanted people to find him and believe in him then he would be obvious to everybody.. To claim that your god wants to do something and just isn't able is a bit stupid on your part, anyway.. You can't say its fine to disagree with you and then say that to disagree with you is to reject god and earn his punishment.. What kind of irrational idiot uses such obvious contradictions?. To believe in god is to be so arrogant as to assume your understanding of some undefined, unproven, untested being is right while billions and billions of people who've thought the same exact thing about their belief are wrong by default..

      April 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  9. bill constantine

    Let this apply for those that miss use religions and enslave people"The Sooner the Cancer of religion is eradicated, the sooner mankind will be able to progress beyond certain levels". Jews are gong to visit a Cgrrek ortodox church once in a while and they find many prayers in the church that is in te snagoge. some thing s have changed like also different orthodox ideas coming u. it is man kind tat has miss used religion. Like Luthern who left the Catholic church for a change. I read the ladys article and she presents the good feeling about a famil and her religion. Bill the Greek from Sin city Las Vegas..

    April 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • edwardo

      You lost me after the first sentence. The first sentence made sense. The rest seems chaotic.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  10. Jesus Loves You

    As a Christian I believe in the gods of all organized religions along with lephrechauns and the tooth fairy because, as ridiculous as they all may seem, technically nobody can prove they do not exist.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      But you have the burden of proof.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Jesus Loves You

      No, blind faith allows me to say whatever I want. Your trying to use rational arguments on me is just the devil testing me. I must not and will not accept logic and science as a basis to understand the world around me. If God says the Earth is flat, then the Earth is flat.

      Faith is just like being a child again.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Russ

      Jane & Jim walk into a room.
      Jim sees 50 people.
      Jane sees another 25 that Jim does not see.

      Jane thinks Jim is blind.
      Jim thinks Jane is crazy.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Russ, if the 50 also cannot see Janes additional 25 the answer is simple ...

      April 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Russ

      @ horses:
      a) glad you're engaging the analogy.

      b) the point: you believe me to be crazy. i believe you to be blind. how do we proceed honestly in light of that? to be direct to your extension of the analogy: others claim to have the sight that Jane has. how do you intend to engage them in discussion?

      c) the fallacy of your handle – it assumes a greater intelligence would never reveal him/her/itself. it assumes a closed system. that's not a scientific assertion but a faith-based one.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Russ ..
      a.) you're welcome. I'm here to engage in discussion like you posted.
      b.) That woud require the asistance of an outside psychological professional as I would have no choice but to believe I'm crazy too.
      c.) First it's based on historical fact that human religions overwhelmingly anthropomorphize their Gods .. and it is a quote from Xenophanes, an ancient Greek philosopher.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Russ

      @ horses:
      worthy of note: Ludwig Feuerbach famously made the same critique much more recently. "all theology is really just anthropology" or 'all talk about God is really just self-projection.'

      Karl Barth famously responded to that: noting that all religion then is either just sophisticated self-projection (i.e., Feuerbach is right) or "we can only speak of God where he speaks of himself."

      the latter option is what I find lacking in your handle. it does not allow for the possibility that the Infinite might reveal itself to the finite (or assumes that the finite is all there is – a closed system).

      April 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Russ .. Thanks for your additional comments, I'll have to look that up.
      I personally feel that, rather than anthropology, it is psychology .. specifically evolutionary psychology. As such, I feel it is a natural side effect of our ability for abstract thought answering questions we don't yet understand but not reality in the sense presented by religions. My handle my very well be lacking, but it's a simple point I'm trying to make.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  11. Pipe-Dreamer

    Pipe-Dreamer's Philosophied Revelations
    (Updated with regularity)
    Phosphorus wrote,"Religion states something is a fact and that there can be no argument because it is the word of gawd. Seriously, we no longer live in the Dark Ages of religious indoctrination. The world has moved on and grown up."
    If what you say is a truth then why is it written in scripture to rightly divide the "word of truth" or the word of the Gospel(s)?
    2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    It seems to me that you among unbelieving others have a concepualization that dictates toward pastors and preachers and the likes to make such claims as you have so written and in so saying, you are True to your words! While I, on the otherhand do earnestly believe that the Gospels ought to be seen with a more clearer and deeper understanding than just believe it or leave it analogies. There are many Truths in the Gospels and there are many untruths. Sorting them out should be of utmost importance to one and all if we are to come to agreements and aspiring rationalities.
    April 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I was born into a family setting where religion was not a practicing Art. My parent's names were Joseph and Mary! I was their 1st born son! Between mother Mary's two births were 5 misscarriages. All 5 were said to be females. In God's Will did God not allow for any other births except my brother and I to be born by Mary and Joseph! There was almost 10 years difference in age between brother and I.
    As I grew up in my tender years, I did so cherish Mother Mary's awe so comforting ways! Being but an only child for nearly 10 years, I was left in childhood loneliness, not having a playmate to share growing up with. Still, I was content in Mother Mary's tenderness ways! I did little care for Father Joseph's innabilities to share himself with me back then. We, Father and I were back then, ever distant from each other's thoughts.
    My father Joseph did only but once tell me that he believed in a "supreme bieng". Call me a "dead-head" if you must! I would rather call a supreme being as being a God of supremeness ond omnisciencies beyond compare of us mere mortal humanists who can't even keep fire-ants from engulfing all one's yards and their raisnung hell by biting the beegeezums out of people and their unwary pet animalisms!
    When brother was finally born, I was almost 10 years his elder and I found little patience with his baby-ish ways that Mother Mary swooned over! At birth, my brother needed 2 blood transfusions for he was born yellowish looking and had what I think they called, yellow jaundice". Still, I did put up with my brothers baby-ish antics.
    For you see, My solitary early years of growing up was without any Godly reformations nor even any teachings of Christ. I did not come to truly know of Christ until I turned 33. Funny thing, my Life. In being fathered by 2 people named Mary and Joseph and not finding Christ till age 33 and now 57, I have found an ever moving and continually reshaping faith in God anf God's Sons and Daughters of which the King of all God's sons and Daughters if our Redeemer the Lord of Hosts, Christ Jesus!
    April 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm
    They tell us there is no God and in so doing they rent with little pittances their stolen words! God does care not for anyone in their mindly ways! God is above the resoluted natures of humanisms candor! We are symbiotically nurtured renagades who stole the cart away from its' owner! Spitting upon God and He will not be moved! Cursing God and He will not rise up! Show God your ways and truths and God will open wide His heavenly gates! To Love God and Fear His Wraths are as it ought be!
    Answers to one's Acts are argumentably positioned! Questioning "actions" become lessened and irrelevent as time progresses! Life will be mostly a thing of nature and Godly selectiveness in the timely trials and errors of the humanists' conditionings!
    April 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm
    Of Rockiness are the sterilzed wants and ravings of bittered people's fruits! Young is their trees and loftless their idiocies' repentedness!
    Were not people born from their parents' lusts after fleshly things? Does one not tender to one' s lustlessness ideals? Good heavens No! It seems way too easy to wantonly do things of immoral values then to create and establish one their ownliness Acts in righteousness accords! Humanisms are mankinds' creations, not Gods! The jungled gymnasiums most humanists take high flying rationalisms do openly abort their oneness with God! For as humanists flock together en mass, their individual cunning becomes alikened to hypnotic suggestives from braggerville central!
    April 15, 2012 at 11:19 am
    Ashrakay wrote to me on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 11:32 pm stating,"@Pipe-Dreamer, Yes, I've seen your off-handed comparison remark comparing atheists and "GBLT'ers" It was nonsensical then and nonsensical now. You still do not have proof or evidence of the invisible being you have conversations in your head with. Also, you disregard the fact that many of us, including myself were once just as delusional as you. We believed the same nonsense you believed in, professed it, preached, witnessed about it, and depended on it. If you want to know TRUE grace and TRUE freedom, it will come when you finally know yourself. You never can as long as you continue to look outside of yourself to the typical illusory stories you tell yourself to make yourself feel better. Freedom awaits you.
    God needs not humanisms nor humanists for him to be! Who do you think is in charge of conceptualisms? The energizer bunny? The quarks and gluons? Perhaps the electrons and protons? I stand in awe in front of those who know and yet don't know the whole of Truth!!!!
    Here's a weenie of science for ya! Long ago in the ancient timeperiods of Greek and Roman civilizations, there were these Theological Philosophers who made stories as to just exactly what was the smallest things and their roles in the meanings of Life. In their still known to us writings they did write that the smallest things known were the "elemental gods". Todays scientists do scoff at such an idea and they have renamed an old fling to call these "elemental gods as being atoms putting to bed the ancient Theological philosophers' understandings. So much for pragmatisms' lamentations!
    Another tid-bit to ponder upon is the exact size of this "Celestial Cosmos we find ourselves living within. Just how big is it really? Do you agree with our sciences' rather mundane stand that the universe is all there is out there? If you do then you get the booby prize! This Celestial Cosmos is riddled with way more than just our knowable to us universe! The actual size and immensity of the Celestial Cosmos is beyond thye perceptions of many science ladled folks!
    Another diddy to feast upon is called "Fractal Cosmology" Ever heard about it? Probably not so here is the main jist of it! Fractal Cosmology deals with the very real possibiliy that there are places where there are universes within universes. These places where there are "inner-universes" must and I dare say again, must be sheltered from the outward universes blasts of stellar radiation. What a better place to hide Micro-universes than within all forms of living bodies! Here's the clincher! All Life Forms and Life Formations are all made up of cellularized universes that are living places for the elemental gods' ever so smalled living generations of inward living life forms and life formations! Many verses of the KJVB does back up this diddy of thoughts!
    Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is INSIDE you.
    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building
    Though they have eyes they cannot hear what's written! And though they have teeth they cannot bite into the revelations!
    April 15, 2012 at 12:09 am

    April 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • ANDERSON P00PER 360

      Dude nobodys gonna read that. Shorten it to one nice bigoted statement to get the attention of all the ldiots on the comments section.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      That was a rather long novel you were beginning to write. I found some insanity within the first sentences of your second paragraph, "I was born into a family setting where religion was not a practicing Art. My parent's names were Joseph and Mary! I was their 1st born son! Between mother Mary's two births were 5 misscarriages. All 5 were said to be females. In God's Will did God not allow for any other births except my brother and I to be born by Mary and Joseph!"

      So, your mother's miscarriages had nothing to do with any natural built-in reproductive safety mechanisms in a woman's body to make sure that the developing fetus was healthy...interesting. You seriously believe that a sky fairy was responsible for whether or not your mother bore children? You draw parallels between you and the Christian sky fairy. You were both born to May and Joseph, and you were born again at the age of 33. You really are a pipe-dreamer. It's absolutely remarkable...people as delusional as you really do exist. You've made a believer out of me in that religious indoctrination is a very tragic gateway to delusion and insanity. I'm sorry for your loss.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      AC 360,,,,,,

      People will read it all I have little doubt but ONLY those who thirts for Revelations to be considered then disputed or held in thoughts' contmplatives!

      April 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      You provide even further evidence for your insanity. Again, I'm sorry for your loss...the loss of your mind.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Phosphorus,,,,,,,,,,"Christian sky fairy" just what the Sam Hell why are you making slander of Christendom by profusely admonishing maniacal tribulations of filthiness11111? And as far as conceiving of children goes, Who the Hell do you think is at the helm whenever a Life is in concepualization works? Like I asked before, do you think gluons or quarks or neutrons or electrons or positrons are the driving means of conceptualism or childbirthing? Most assuredly I can say that there is more than meets the ey regarding conceptualisms birthings! God won, nature zero!

      April 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      Right...apparently gawd is at the helm if I thrust my penis into a woman enough times. He's making my sperm penetrate her egg, and he's making sure that only one of the little guys is successful, because we all know how much fun triploidy can be. He's in control of mitosis and tissue differentiation. He's in control whether or not the little guy is healthy, because proper nutrition and refraining from alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs is of no consequence since the sky fairy is in control. Environmental influences can't possibly affect whether or not a child develops properly because that would mean that the sky fairy is not in control, and we all know how jealous and wrathful this celestial butterfly can be when he doesn't get his way!

      April 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Phosphorous,,,,,

      You are for the most part correct-oh-mundo! Here's a little verse to ponder upon,,,,

      3:9 For we are labourers together with God

      WE ALL do labour together with God! He and His Kind in their cellular universes and us Humanists' embodied buildings created by God in our ever so much bigger universe!

      Don't you know that "Good things come in ever so small packages!"?

      April 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      So, you use more Biblical bronze-aged wisdom to support your thesis because the Bible says that what it says is true...disturbing.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Phosphorus

      Must be nice your' living ina tree with the rest of your family swinging from the vines! What an ape you truly are! You would rather say we swung from trees then to compare us with the Gods? Give me Green Lantern? Give me Superman? Give me Wonder woman? What has happened to us humanists? What is happening to our wholesomeness and sympathetic dignities? Where does one draw the line in the sandy shorelines of Godly recociliations? Who does really run the shows of the wholeness? Why are children weilding guns and knives in the "public" schools? Who is to blame? God?

      April 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      You seem to make the some grievous error that most other creationists make. We shared a similar ancestor with the great apes at some point in our evolutionary past, and we have a beautiful set of hominin and hominid fossils to show morphological transitions going back several million years. We have been able to date these fossils and our understanding of evolution has predicted where we should be able to find some of the previous transitions we were looking for. Also, transitional fossil is a silly argument for creationists to cling to. Since evolution is both a gradual and punctuated process, every fossil is a transition between an ancestor and a derived species. You should really take some Physical Anthropology classes. That would cure you of your misconceptions, and I'd also recommend actually studying college level Evolution and comparative Plant & Animal Form & Function. You might actually print some educated material as a result. Not that what you write isn't educated, it's just that it's...well, inaccurate and lacks precision.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • SOSOLONG

      Why so long? I'm sorry. I couldn't read it. It is too long.

      April 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Phosphorus,,,,,, ,,,,,, ,.

      I have never once said I condemn evolution! I stand up for it! Your falling into one your chasms of seeing others' perceptualisms as being an alottment of sameness regarding one's stances is sheer lunacies on your part!

      God, being the Universe in physicalities did 1stly and in dueness of Time, create the very 1st celled organism ever to be upon this earth and God called this 1st one-celled organism "Man". It, Life upon this celestial shoreline of Cosmological divinities within the framed workings of the ever so Grand Cosmos of all relative Dimensionalisms is ever to be a Godly discompensated revelry of quantumn configurations within the vorticees of algabraic fundements' constraining relatives!

      April 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @Pipe-Dreamer, A piece of advice... You probably shouldn't re-quote me in your posts. It's actually not helping your argument. While I appreciate the promotion of my philosophy, if my words are the only things people can understand in your posts, then you're not getting your point across—you're getting mine across.

      April 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  12. Idiocy abound

    Bustes, voice is not going to get "pwned"( which I don't know what that is, but can assume that it is meant to actually say owned) I respect his/her opinion because they have every right to that opinion.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  13. akarmenia1

    I feel like CNN wants me to applaud this lady, as if being true to herself instead of her God is a great accomplishment. Truth be told, I have little respect for those who want to claim to be a part of a religion or community, but refuse to live by its tenants.They want the best of both worlds, and to get it they try to paint others who are more religious than them as "rigid," intolerant, of fake. This is unfortunate.

    April 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  14. Voice of Reason

    irrational |iˈraSHənl|
    adjective
    not logical or reasonable.
    • not endowed with the power of reason.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  15. PumpNDump

    The whole "god" and "jesus" think? Total mythology.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • NJBob

      Absolutely! Pernicious mythology.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • What

      What?

      April 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  16. reason

    The gods of all organized religions, if true, would all be horribly unjust and evil deities to send billions of people to eternal suffering for choosing the wrong one or being born in the wrong place. Looking at organized religion objectively, they are myths from iron age societies that were trying to explain the world, and there is virtually no chance any one is truth.

    Rationally speaking if there is a just god and an afterlife, you will be judged on how you live your life. Rejecting reason and deluding yourself in blind faith does not help your case.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  17. Jesus Loves You

    If you want to be burning in a lake of fire and acid like Gandhi is right now, ignore Christianity and just live life being a good person. God will punish you accordingly.

    If you want to be sipping margaritas pool-side with Jesus like Hitler is right now, become a Christian. God will reward you accordingly.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • martog

      Love the satire!

      April 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Drew

      quality trolling

      April 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      Hitler was an atheist. God bless

      April 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  18. NJBob

    I am a proud atheist. The morality of my actions is determined by their consequences. I do my best to treat others the way I would like to be treated myself. Nothing in my life was more liberating than coming to the realization that religion was all a man-made crock. Throwing it all overboard made me a better person.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • The Situation

      Dude Jersey Shore!!! What a quality show. In all seriousness though, do you now why we call new jersey the armpit of the united states?

      April 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Good for you! It feels like a new life doesn't it?

      April 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • reason

      R'amen!

      April 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • NJBob

      @ The Situation - When the alternative is being an @$$H0LE, it's not so bad in the armpit.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • The Situation

      So you think the only two choices are living in NJ or being an @sshole? Dude you dont have a clue do u?

      April 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Gloria

      To NJBob, I actually agree with u about the "religion" thing but once you reaize that there really is a God, then it will all come together for you. Keep on living and thank God for your life and to be able to eat and enjoy your meal. Thank god for your taste buds :)

      April 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  19. Not too religious?

    While I can agree with being careful about being overly "legalistic", in other words, following the letter rather than the spirit of "the law".

    On the other hand, if one truly believes in their religion, how can they ever think that being "not too religious" is ok? It's like one member of a basketball team saying "I like offense, but defense rubs me the wrong way. I don't want to play defense." Is that really a team member? Would you want that half-hearted and half-devoted member on your team?

    April 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  20. Voice of Reason

    @Idiocy abound

    Do you really want to get into a debate on reality and your delusional world? You will lose.

    April 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Idiocy abound

      Lets debate. I will start with my credentials. PhD in astrophysics and chemistry, Masters in psychology and divinity. What are your credentials?

      April 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      A rational human being.

      April 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Lol VOR is busted

      Hahahaha Voice of Reason is about to get pwned. Lets get it on!!!

      April 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Idiocy abound

      What make me irrational? That I believe in God? Why is that irrational? It is only because of Him that I am what I am.

      April 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Lol VOR is busted

      Hahaha VORs response was a rational human being. Hahahaha what a baffoon. Atheists love to claim logic and intelligence and scream that every believer in delusional. The truth is that normally the opposite is true and VOR just proved it, he's got no chance at this debate and will probably stop responding since his tail is tucked between his legs.

      April 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      irrational |iˈraSHənl|
      adjective
      1 not logical or reasonable.
      • not endowed with the power of reason.

      Prove there is a god.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jesus Loves You

      As a Christian I believe in lephrechauns because, as ridiculous as it may seem, technically nobody can prove they do not exist. I am rational! ha ha.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      LOL .. yup this blog is filled with people who have a PhD in astrophysics and chemistry, Masters in psychology and divinity and go by the name Idiocy abound and hang around CNN blogs! Yup, your Mom is calling, your grilled cheese ready!

      April 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Idiocy abound

      How did the universe come to be? How did life start? How did the earth become the exact planet for us, in just the right point away from the sun, having our sun be the right kind of star and the right six, with the right position in the Milky Way? One, there are too many things that want right for us to have this all be one big coincidence. Second, He has done some amazing things in my personal life. My friend's wife had been diagnosed stage 4 breast cancer. They caught it very late and have her a 20% chaff of survival. The week after, our church h had a prayer vigil, and her next appointment the cancer had starters to regress. In a months time, she was completely cancer free. She has been cancer free for 25 years. Can you explain that? Only God can...

      April 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Idiocy abound

      Is that your proof of god?

      April 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Idiocy abound

      Horses, you have a great defense. When you have nothing to say, you start trying to deflect and attack. Why don't you look at your own reasons for not believing before you start with the attacks.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Idiocy abound

      That is my personal proof that God has touched my life. Can you explain these things otherwise?

      April 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      idiocy .. any PhD would know the earth did not "become" the planet for us, we evolved to conditions on this planet at it's distance from this type of sun. As for the cancer, 25 years and one month ago I ate a cherry ice cream cone at the same time your church prayed so that means my cone eating stopped the cancer as much as your prayer .. prove otherwise.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      It's remarkable how so many people who survive cancer say it was a miracle of gawd. You know, when a person doesn't survive cancer, the religious family and church justifies it as gawd calling that person home. To the religious, a person with cancer surviving is proof of gawd, and a person dying of cancer is proof of gawd. For the religious, if only 1 out of dozens of prayers seem to manifest in a reality change to their favor, that is supernatural evidence as well. It hurts my brain to see how the outcomes of probability either way are argued as evidence for divine manipulation of reality.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Idiocy abound

      You have proved nothing. You asked me questions and provided no proof of anything except what you believe. You say there is a god and you have the burden of proof.

      "How did the universe come to be? How did life start? How did the earth become the exact planet for us, in just the right point away from the sun, having our sun be the right kind of star and the right six, with the right position in the Milky Way?"

      Someone with so many prestigious degrees, one would imagine that you would have considered science as a possible answer to those questions. Have you educated yourself on evolution?

      April 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Idiocy .. funny you should claim I'm deflecting as that is exactly what you just did in your response to me. I didn't think this would be so easy against a person with multiple PhD's and Masters. You do realize no one believes your .. ahem .. credentials?!

      April 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • reason

      Idiocy, the reason everything is "just right" for us is because we EVOLVED on this planet. If the planet was hotter or colder or had a different make up of atmospheric gases then we, along with the rest of life on Earth, woudl have evolved differently.

      I do not understand how a 1 in 5 chance that worked out is any proof of a god. Your friend was one of the lucky 20%. Unfortunately many people, who also have prayer vigils and many people praying for them, are not so lucky. There are also people who are given a 20% chance and make it without any belief in a god.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Idiocy abound

      Horses, do you know how the earth came to be? If you don't, then we are done talking.

      Phosphorus, I will agree with you on all of what you said about the church, because for the most part it is true of the modern church. However, it is not what christianity should be. So many people have this vision of christianity that is all flowers and bunnies. Real christianity is though, its hard, and folowing God is the only thing that I would ever want to do. I don't pray for people to get better, I pray for God's will to be done. I don't understand why God kept her here. She should be dead right now. But God wanted her here, so I will rejoice in that.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      20% survival means 20%, whether prayers surround that person or not. 20% survival works the same for a non-believer as it does for a believer. 1 in 5 does not discriminate according to preferences on how we think the universe came to be.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • momoya

      Idiocy, you're one arrogant azzhole for your god, aren't you?

      Why don't you explain how your god came to be, and then back your claim up with some evidence that can be tested and verified?? Until you give the nonbeliever a reason to believe, you're just blowing smoke up people's behinds..

      April 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • reason

      Idiocy, you promised proof of a god, but your two points were immediately routed with the most elementary of logic.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      I know how the earth came into existence just like you know how God(s) came to exist. So yes we're done, and apparently everyone else is done too since no one "knows" how the earth came to exist. You'd think a person with a PhD in astrophysics would have an answer to even ONE question anyone has posted here yet. I called you out and you chose to hide. You're quite the intellect.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Commenter

      Idiocy, "I pray for God's will to be done."

      "Oh please, Lord, do what you are going to do anyway... please, please, please, please, please. Amen."

      April 15, 2012 at 3:46 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.