home
RSS
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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. md2205

    Actually, keeping kosher is a very important lesson for humanity, a lesson that is so important that governments rise and fall on them.

    What is one of the basics of keeping kosher? It is not mixing meat and milk. The basic law is that the calf should not be cooked with the mother's milk. What does this signify? Milk is supposed to nourish the calf; if you cook the calf in its mother's milk, you are in effect taunting the calf, being cruel to the calf, that what was supposed to aid him is now used to promote and enhance his death.

    There is a statement: If you are kind to a cruel person, you are being cruel to a kind person. What does this mean? I will give an overly simplistic example, but it makes the point: If there is a criminal who murdered someone, and he is imprisoned but due to a judge's leniency, the criminal is not put in jail but is let back onto the streets, the chance of him murdering again is high, and if he does so, the judge has been, in effect, cruel to that second person who was murdered.

    An effective government has to make sure that it will not be kind to the cruel people, so that the innocent people can live without being afraid for their lives. If a government fails in this, it may not last. It would be wise to remember this lesson from the kosher laws: Do not be so cruel as to cook a calf in its mother's milk. Be clear about the boundaries of dealing with the cruel and the innocent.

    There are other laws about keeping kosher which speak to kindness to animals, and by extension, to man as well. In order to eat an animal or bird it must be slaughtered according to Jewish law. This involves cutting the animal’s trachea and esophagus (the carotid artery and jugular veins are also severed in this operation, as are most arteries and veins leading to and from the brain) with a surgically sharp knife that has been thoroughly checked for nicks beforehand. The cut must be quick, without pause, tearing or vertical pressure so as to be painless, and must be only done by an expert. This method of slaughter reduces the blood pressure in the brain to zero immediately so that the animal loses consciousness in a few seconds and dies in less than a minute.

    Predatory animals and birds are not allowed to be eaten, so as not to absorb that trait within oneself. These laws were given to mankind as a concession after the Great Flood, to Noah, because Adam and Eve and their descendants were to be only vegetarian. However, after the flood, the quality of the vegetation degraded, and G-d allowed Noah to use animals for food, with these and other restrictions.

    An animal that is allowed to be eaten must chew its cud and have split hooves. Chewing the cud reminds us that we must always think into what we are doing to make sure we do the right thing. Split hooves reminds us to split our thinking to remember that there is heaven above and what G-d wants from us, and not just the earthly below. The reason why the pig gets the bad rap in Judaism is that the pig doesn't chew its cud, but has split feet. It shows everyone that it has a split hoof, as if to say that it is kosher, but in fact, it is not. One of the lessons is that we should not present ourselves as something we are not.

    Of course, what I wrote is very simplistic and should be studied more in depth.

    Just as you see there are profound ideas behind keeping kosher, and I didn't go into all of them, there are profound ideas in all of Judaism and it is important to know what they are. Otherwise, when you make major life decisions, you are missing so much information needed to make those decisions.

    April 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • momoya

      I find your rationale for Kosher foods very interesting, but I prefer to consider meat according to its nutritional values and ease of procurement.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • md2205

      Kosher meat and kosher foods in general are just as healthy and nutritional as non-kosher meat and easy to obtain.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  2. md2205

    It is a shame, but true, that people who are well-educated in secular subjects and have an adult understanding of many areas have a very limited education about Judaism, as most Jews who are not Orthodox stop going to any form of Hebrew school sometime in the elementary years.

    This causes them to view Judaism and the Torah as childish and not worth their time. However, it is important to have at least as much education in Jewish topics so that one can actually know what the Torah viewpoint really is on all topics of life.

    That is why I strongly encourage parents to give their children a strong Jewish education, and if the children ask a question the parent cannot answer, please refer to an Orthodox rabbi who can answer the question.

    There are some excellent websites that discuss topics in Judaism of all sorts, such as chabad.org and AskMoses.com.

    April 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  3. Josh

    Faith is a belief that you are less significant than your ego suggests. Faith is banishing the hate that lots of the people in this world want to display, because if you point a finger, you've got the rest of your fingers pointing back at you. The article, simply, suggests a path of learning, and the author open the door to allow her children to help guide the learning. Very good article. Of course, why kosher defines Judaism is beyond me. How about making the most important parts of Judaism be how you treat other components of Creation, including ALL the parts of creation?

    April 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • momoya

      Faith, as a mechanism for believing in a god, EXALTS the ego because it as.sumes a relationship or dynamic with the most powerful being that works within our universe.. The person's god agrees with the person because it is the person's ego (trained by religious history) who is really acting in the believers world view.

      You won't find any god believers who claim a god exists but it doesn't care about the earth or humans..

      April 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • md2205

      To Momoya:

      There is no room for ego in faith. G-d created the world and the person. G-d is the place of everything that is created. Everything a person is or owns or uses has been given to him by G-d. The person didn't give himself good looks, a working body, a functional intellect – G-d gave him everything. Therefore, there is no room for ego and no room for arrogance.

      Does a person recognize this and realize that the above obligates him in doing what G-d wants of him, and that no matter how much he does, more can be done the next day, and hope that he fulfills his obligation properly? Or does the person say "I was created to eat and drink and that is enough for me." Does the person thank G-d and feel humility, or aggrandize himself that he can have a relationship with G-d? There is no room for self-aggrandizement.

      April 17, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Faith is poorly understood in this article. Faith as is spoken of in scripture has to do with hope in being saved from our sins. It isn't about human rituals but about believing the Holy Messiah, Jesus Christ by name to the Christian community did bear the sufferings for our sins, so that we, by repentance (turning away from our sins) and following in the teachings of the Messiah to become the "new man in him" can be forgiven, and given the great mercy and grace that we all need, in order to be saved, and not destroyed with all that is evil. There is no way to compromise Faith. Either you acknowledge the Messiah which we do so by confession and obedience to Love God with ALL of our hearts, souls, and minds, and to Love each other, and in which all the other commandments are obeyed, or we reject the Messiah, his teachings and any right to his grace, mercy, and salvation. God and his son, the Holy Messiah, Jesus Christ, is not a "belief". God is Reality. And you either accept the truth or believe a "Lie". Those who refuse to turn from their sins and accept his love will be given over to delusion and to believe "The Lie" which is Satan and will be destroyed because a Kingdom of Peace and Harmony, a Kingdom free from peril, must be free from disharmony, deception, hurt and pain, death, and all that opposes the love and peace of God.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Prove your assertion that your god is real. Otherwise your just spouting off opinions.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Blue

      I'm afraid that G-d has no living relatives on earth, no body, and no semblance of a body.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      HawaiiGuest

      Prove this is not a bad dream you are having where your required to Prove every assertion ever and that everything you believe in right now and what you are currently living for has been proven out already. Otherwise your just spouting off opinions.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • momoya

      It is not necessary to prove or disprove all possibilities when taking an existential stance.. If you are making a claim that is not obvious, then you must provide proof for the claim you put forth.. It is not up to your opponent to prove that your stance is not accurate..

      Also, not all opinions or viewpoints are equal.. If your opinion lists invisible and unprovable beings/things, then that opinion is more outlandish than an opinion that does not list invisible and unprovable beings/things..

      April 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Mike

      What assertions am I making? Shifting the burden of proof merely shows that you have nothing to offer. Anonymous has made a claim, and those making the claim need to provide evidence to back up that claim. Try not being intentionally idiotic Mike, you might have a bit more credibility if you do.

      April 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • fred

      momoya
      Then your opinion that the after life is eternal nothingness is the most outlandish of them all. Just one person like myself that has experienced the living God out of the millions that have had conversion experiences far outweighs nothing and nothingness.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • momoya

      fred

      I don't say that the afterlife is "eternal nothingness.". I claim that there is no afterlife at all, and that there is no such thing as nothingness..

      If you believe in a god that's fine for you, but you can't show that your belief is logical-as you have demonstrated with your many posts.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • fred

      momoya
      Then we are in the same boat, only I have a lot more company ?

      April 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • AGuest9

      fred, Truth isn't a majority-rule situation. It simply means that the majority of people will be wrong. Their beliefs don't make the situation so.

      April 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • just sayin

      God is Truth. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • fred

      AGuest9
      Please read the flood story again. You will notice only one man Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. All the rest were doing what ever they wanted in a godless society. Moral the story only the chosen few made it on the boat. The rest came running on judgment day but God closed the door to the ark (very important). So agrees with your ad populum fallacy but, none the less is always right. You cannot say he did not warn you.

      April 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  5. ARG

    This is a wonderful article and well written! Thank you for expressing the thoughts and ideals of people who want to share a religion with their children, but who want to walk the thin line of moderation which, when it come to religion and politics, seems to be getting ever thinner.

    April 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  6. Saywhatyoumean

    To me, being close to God is a personal experience. I've discovered that when humans get together in groups bigger than a few individuals they must then make up "rules" for dealing with things. That's how organizations get started and in the case of faith, then "religion" is born. Then it snowballs into a big mess of imposing rule after rule on it's members according to how the leaders see fit at the time. Freedom becomes muffled in the name of forced unity. I'm ok with disagreement, if we all agreed on everything, how could we learn ? But to force others to believe what I say and moreover to state that you must or you're not a "good" follower of God is simply another form of control.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  7. Pipe-Dreamer

    What really are people? Cellular structures perhaps? What are cellular structures? Are they not made up of atoms? What are atoms? Are not atoms made up of neutrons, protons and electrons?What are these 3 things made up of? Are these 3 things made up of quarks and gluons and ? Such is Life! Such are the living organisms of ladled movements going here and dithering there! My being but one quark away from knowing that which was and things that are and there is forever a myriad of possibilities in immeasurable amounts! The "weening" process toward the perfection of "wisdomnomics" is timed by the Godly in the everness that abounds practically everywhere known and yet unknown by us frugal folks!

    April 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  8. Scott

    Just like the brothels of Nevada, now that catholic universities and hospitals are legitimate businesses they must follow all the rules for legitimate businesses. Before Nevada brothels where legitimized they could set any working conditions and treat their employees and patrons any way they wanted, just like the historical catholic universities were free to screw over their employees and patrons with impunity. Now that they are both legal Catholic businesses must at least meet the employment standards of legal brothels.
    But don’t feel too bad, the actual church (because if the first amendment) is allowed to continue scerwing over its employees and patrons (though perhaps, not so much, little boys)

    April 17, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things. .

    April 17, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. 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 17, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Science heals

      Jesus kills

      April 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • just sayin

      Science is a gift God gave mankind. No Jesus = no science. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @just sayin, Yeah, I forgot about the part of the bible where jesus performed the miracle of relativity and preached his message of quantum mechanics while healing the deformed differential equations. I also missed the part of the bible where god gave science as a gift to man. Maybe you can point me to that.

      April 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      At the very beginning, first in creation then in the work He gave Adam. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @just sayin, Chapter and verse please...

      April 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • just sayin

      Read the entire book of Genesis it will do you good. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Read it many times, no science in there, just a bunch of myths.

      April 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • just sayin

      I have no basis in what I say. God Bless

      April 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • just sayin

      The only basis I have is the love of God and the absolute Truth of His word the Holy Bible. Praise God. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • blastoff

      @just sayin,
      You need to put 2 God Bless's at the end of your comments. 1 is not enough.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • fred

      HawaiiGuest
      At a minimum the Bible contains basic truths to live by which have stood for thousands of years. At a minimum the Bible shows a way to live a holy life to the Glory of God. It it turns out there is no God a holy life produces great blessings.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      God's Truth is defined by men. The words of men are the Truth. Praise Jesus! God Bless.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      It is written it is impossible for God to lie. All men are liars but God lives in the unapproachable light of perpetual Truth. Praise God . God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Sorry, but that in no way addresses the assertion that just sayin made, which is that science is a gift from god according to genesis. I read genesis often when I was a Catholic, and have not seen anything to corroborate the book as being anything other than a story.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      Hinduism trumps Christianity and has survived longer.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • just sayin

      What I state and provide for th ebasis of my belief is subjective. It is not based on fact or proof. God Bless!

      April 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @just sayin, As I've stated on many occasions, I grew up in a christian home and spent 13 years in a christian school. I've read the KJV and NIV bible from cover to cover many times and have most of it memorized. Claiming god is the origin of science is nothing more than religion's last gasp to remain relevant in a world that is quickly outpacing fairy tales. Making unsubstantiated claims may work in your bible study class, but don't expect to get away with it at the adult table.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • just sayin

      Truth is found in salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and under none other. There is one God in three persons, blessed trinity. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob revealed to us as Jesus of Nazareth. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • just sayin

      I cannot be responsible for your lack of comprehension. You asked I replied. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @just sayin

      The fact that no matter how often people ask you to provide evidence for your claims, and you just brush it off everytime and go on with your unfounded assertions of idiocy shows how truly useless you are, even to your own cause.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      When God made man in His image is what most consider to be that unique attribute of man that allows man to create. Science comes from this desire to know and solve.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • just sayin

      Your lack of understanding that I have no evidence and my only basis is a book written by men that does not explain nor address science. You clearly do not understand the basis of faith. Out of the absence of evidence and fact, one must have faith. God Bless.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • just sayin

      Dip stick I gave the source that was asked for. Try reading what was recommended before passing your hate filled judgments.God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      That is merely an extrapolation and interpretation of a text. To give it any real credence creationism needs to be proved first, then you must prove that it was a god, then that it was the god who inspired people to write the bible, and then finally prove that that was what was meant in the text. There are steps to having an assertion accepted as being reasonably thought of as true. Extrapolating from a book that many do not find reliable in the least is not a way to backup what you are saying.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @fred, The bible is full of mu.rder, corruption and immorality and this is just the stuff commanded by god to do. If you want a guide book to living a good life, you might want to try the Dhammapada. It's got more morality and none of the hatred and killing your find god's people doing.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @just sayin

      And I told you that I have read genesis. Get your head out of your ass and actually read what people respond to you with.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Ashrakay

      At this point morality is outside the scope of the discussion. We are not talking about the moral implications of the bible, merely the interpretations that would lead someone to believe that science is a gift from the god of the bible.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • fred

      Ashrakay
      The Bible includes the good and the bad because it is a story of God redeeming a people for himself. God redeems the good and the bad. I would be the first to toss the Bible in the trash if it only showed Christians the way they want to look or the way they think they look. Man is bad news simply check out what the did to Jesus. You do not need to believe the Bible to know the accounts of the nature of man are real indeed.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • fred

      HawaiiGuest
      The Bible is not a science book but, it answers the questions science cannot answer. Your problem is with the first 4 words of the Bible. In the beginning God created. If you read the Bible like a science book then you probably noticed there are 5 words not 4 which is why you cannot find the God of Abraham in the beginning. God said he will confuse the wise with the things of the foolish and that seems to be the tread on most posts for this site (atheist smart Bible dumb).
      The Bible states In the beginning God. Science is still looking for the first cause and there it is the bigest question of science of all time solved. It answers why we exist, why there is a universe, why there is no chance in hell you will find another earth hung just right amoung the stars with man on it.
      Science hates that so science says who made God in order to puff up the atheist pride. You cannot ask that question if you do not have a heart that is inclined towards God. Right of the get go you are antaganistic and arrogant towards God. God does not answer you and will not because he already did. God is not your codependent mommy he said "In the beginning God". In Exodus we see God telling Moses tell them "I am" sent you. Jesus said "I AM the way the truth and the life". God states he always was in the beginning and "I AM" gives you the fullness of Gods time and space.
      Now, it says God created. Science is digging into what God has created. God made man (notice the Bible does not say God created man) from the dust of the earth. Science went to a lot of trouble to finally conclude that for the theory of evolution to apply to man; man was made from dust (organic and inorganic matter that was created by the big bang). Science is catching up to God..........................what God did in 6 days man spent 500 years to come up with a theory that cannot create squat.

      April 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      First off, the bible does not provide any proofs for what it states. Saying something is so and demonstrating it are two completely different things. I will skip over the prostelethizing because it is pretty useless to the discussion. You have no evidence of god, or creation theory as it applies to god. You seem to be under the impression that evolution tries to explain the origins of life, and this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what evolution actually states. When you talk about the origins of life it is abiogenesis, and the beginnings of the universe is in the realm of cosmology. There are a few theories that are being tossed around in terms of explanations for abiogenesis and cosmology. It has been shown (Miller-Urey experiment) that non-living matter, under the right conditions, can result in a spontaneous creation of life. I'm not saying that experiment is exactly how it happened on this planet, but the fact that it has been proven possible gives us an avenue to study. For cosmology, the big bang is the most likely explanation for how this universe formed, and is also the best explanation for the things that we have observed. I also find your assertion that there is no other planet that is orbiting a sun at the right distance to support life highly unlikely given the size of the universe and the age. As I said earlier, life from non-life has been demonstrated to be possible, and really given the nature of gravity, planetary orbits, and the commonality of the base elements for (at least carbon based, who knows there could be other elemental bases) life, I would say it's probable that there is life somewhere in the universe besides us.

      April 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • fred

      HawaiiGuest
      Whow ! I like it.
      Wish I could explain the Gospel as well as you just explained your position. Although I sometimes wish we had the kind of evidence Science demands of the Bible but, that would remove the faith part. God for his own reason is not impressed with our scientific knowledge but our faith "for without faith we cannot please God". The entire Bible is built around not being able to prove God by the ways of man. Worse yet, the Bible states it is with foolish things that man blinds the proud. In our weakness is His strength and even Jesus did not lift a finger or present a case to convince Pilate. The heros of the Bible are exposed for being and doing typical dumb guy things with even the Apostles unable to see God in Jesus until after the Cross. A science book it is not but it does a good job in contrasting the things of God vs the things of this world.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Well I hope that you know I'm not trying to tell you not to have faith in what you want, merely giving my opinion on the matter, so here goes. I have a huge problem with the way your god is portrayed in the bible. The reasons for this, is because not only are there many laws and actions condoned by the bible (which if taken from a perspective of christianity) that god is okay with, which seems completely immoral to me. Stoning of people, the destruction of cities, and the murder of entire tribes. There is also this whole thing about hell, and those who do not believe will be sent there for eternity. This is a direct contradiction with the assertion that god wants all people to be saved, and is supposedly the foremost authority of love, understanding and forgiveness. Wouldn't that kind of being not care about what they believe, or not believe in as long as their heart is true? Even if blemishes are there, isn't the core of a persons heart the most important thing? Even I, as a human, cannot concieve of sending anyone to hell (if it exists) for eternity. For a time, perhaps, but eternity? No, not at all. I'll probably get flack for saying this, but I don't think even the most evil people that have ever lived would deserve torment for all eternity, maybe for a total of years equal to the years left of the people that they killed, or something like that. The god of the bible is portrayed as all-knowing, this means that as soon as the universe was created, he would have known how many people would be sent to hell, adam and eve and all those things. The thought that he would (supposedly) know all these things and continue on that same path anyway is inconcievable, and indeed reprehensible.
      I'll remind you again though that this is merely how I see things, and if, when i die, you turn out to be right, I will vehemently reject a god that would make these rules and demand that he be worshipped in such an authoritarian way.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest

      I do not believe any of us know the mind of God. This is not a dodge but, we only see what is revealed. If the pattern of God was as you suggest then I would agree with you and move back into the agnostic camp. This is not the pattern I see. I see a loving God filled with mercy crying out to man showing us we do not know how to love one another. Christ keyed in on that and allowed man to fully demonstrate exactly what man is really like. What the chosen race in unity with Rome did to a perfect innocent man there can be no doubt. What you have chosen to cherry pick out of the Bible is contrary to the nature of God as expressed from the beginning. The issue with you is why did you cherry pick the worst possible view and condemn God with it? You put Christ on trial just as the Sanhedrin did and on your slanted illegal basis just as the Sanhedrin did. You may not have pierced his hand and feet with a nail but the thoughts you express do not come from love. Unresolved hurt may respond as you did but not a heart of love. In Jesus example he went as a sheep to slaughter (quiet resolved) and said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. How does that compute with your rejection of God and your charges against Christ? If we cannot agree you have the story wrong or a wrong disposition there is no sense talking about scientific evidence for or against God.
      I am not being a buggar here but at a minimum lets at least agree on the God we love or hate.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      The thing is, the main "criteria" is still there. Worship me, or burn. That's it. You could be the nicest person in the world. But according to the bible, if you don't ask forgiveness from jesus, then you burn. That is the root, that is what the entire bible centers around. A god that demands worship, or will send you to burn, no matter the actions you take in life.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      Perspective is the root of the Bible. Your perspective is that of the world that of man not God. The root of the Bible is that without God you are lost. The Bible begins “In the beginning God” and ends with the end of days where God gathers his people. The Bible is a story of God redeeming a people. God does not want people to worship him out of fear of punishment. That is something that was once a cornerstone for the Catholics. As with most religions fear and intimidation is used because of lack of faith by the respective church.
      Step back to the Garden. God created man and a perfect environment in perfect relationship with God. God did this because of who God is not to control or harm man. Note it was man that rejected God. How did God feel about that? Look no further than Jesus on the Cross to see what man did and does to God (nailed, humiliated, mocked etc). God did not overcomplicate the story. It was written so that anyone that wanted to hear the truth would hear it. All key books of the Bible reflect God saving man. Not to harm but to prosper man. The flood was about Gods protection and security for Noah ending with Christ’s love and willingness to die for man.
      Burning in hell is one extreme position by some religions but not from the word of God. Satan wants to be there it is home. Do not second guess the exact nature of hell or heaven other than one is good / Gods home and one is bad /Satan’s home. The criminal that mocked Jesus to his last on the cross did not receive a reply from Christ. The criminal that had compassion on Christ was addressed with simply “today you will be with me in paradise”. Certainly you can observe the difference between these two and take special note of what was not said.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Sorry fred, but at this point you've stopped having a point by point discussion and gone into the realm of preaching. The main point even remains then though. Whatever version of hell YOU believe in, your religion still states either believe and worship or bad things happen, especially after death.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      If Jesus was the radiant Glory of God in a way that Moses radiated the Glory of God when he came down the mountain there is a strong sense of wonder present in what is called the Glory of God. I am not preaching simply debating your position that the Bible is about punishment, hell and worship. It is not. The theme of the Bible is the Kingdom of God and the story of the Bible is God redeeming (gathering) people into that Kingdom. Threats of “hell” may simply be people of the respective times making crazy statements as much of the Bible is people simply being themselves. Take a look at this web site and note the posts about atheists going to hell. That is not God talking just people spouting off. The Bible doc-uments these responses from people from people of that time so we always need to be aware of it.
      God does not demand or command us to worship. Christians are called to believe in Christ and Jews of old are to believe in God. Parading around Mecca all day long chanting does not impress God. God looks at the heart is that a thankful heart that is filled with love or worship of a golden calf? When you believe that God has done all this for you then out of that thankfulness flows a deep love. This is why believe and love are tied together and the result may look like worship and be called worship but it is more akin to an awe of a God that loved us so much. This is not something that can be demanded or commanded it is a gift to us and we accept it or reject it.

      April 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      God does not command us to worship him?
      At the thrid temptation of Jesus by satan in Matthew, Jesus says ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve."'"
      Matthew 4: 9-10

      The second commandment
      You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments

      The most important thing to note in this is:
      "you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God"

      In the first example jesus (supposedly the earthly incarnation of god) says that it is written that you will worship god only. The second example is supposedly god himself telling you to worship him because he's a jealous god. Isn't the whole point of the deaths and destruction of cities, tribes, and even the world at one point because people turned away from god and didn't worship him anymore?

      April 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      Thanks, those are important verses packed with meaning. The purpose of the Matthew verse is to show belivers how to resist temptation from Satan by staying firm in Scripture. In this case it was Satan who offered Jesus the world if Jesus would bow and worship Satan. Contrast was between the offer of Satan which was worldly possessions and Jesus reply which was a loving relationship with God. Once again the worship of God is not like that which Satan demanded. You think God wants the worship Satan wants and that can never be and it is not. This verse from Matthew Jesus takes Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:13 which begins with instruction to never forget all the God has done for them. Here it is clear that by remembering the great things God has done in thanks we approach God in awe. Fear the Lord is a word used which does not mean be afraid but to be in awe and reverent.
      I need to run but, hope to pick up your other points latter.

      April 20, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest

      “The second example is supposedly god himself telling you to worship him because he's a jealous god. Isn't the whole point of the deaths and destruction of cities, tribes, and even the world at one point because people turned away from god and didn't worship him anymore?”
      =>No, it was because when people turn away they follow their own ways (desires) which can only be towards something that is not of God. The cities, tribes and world became increasingly wicked (according to the Bible)when they turned from God (a good example would be Baal worship that included putting live children into the red hot arms of a bronze Baal statue). The pattern in the Bible for God is that God allows people to reach the fullness of their moral degradation before stepping in.
      The word jealous that is used is not a negative jealous it is more of a response out of love such as one that looses a child. In this case the child has fallen into the arms of wickedness.

      April 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Isn't the destruction of that which is percieved to be wickedness a rejection of the choices made from the free will that god supposedly gave us? I was also not aware that jealous took on a positive notation depending on who the jealous person is (doesn't really make any type of sense to me).

      April 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      Yeah, I always thought a jealous God sounded too much of a human characteristic when I was corrected that I did not understand the word as used in Exodus. When I get jealous it usually negative about something I don’t have. Whether you believe in God or not God created you with purpose and has a special place for you. When you go out on God and run with the world (evil, Satan, whatever that is the opposite of God, tree of knowledge) God is jealous. God loves you and you have chosen another that God knows will not have your best interests at heart.
      Yes, Gods goodness and sin do not mix and God patiently waits for us to use our free will to elect what is best so that our free will is in line with Gods will for our lives. In the garden they were told if you eat of it or even touch it you will surly die. This death was separation from God and that theme carries through to Jesus who restores unity. I assume you are suggesting God should never have given us that option. As you read the Bible only Jesus of the entire human race was pure and perfect. The Bible is a closed loop as when Adam ate the apple death came (a spiritual death, death of the unity with God) and the first animal was killed (God made cloths for them) blood had to be shed. This is the Old Testament symbolism which became reality when Christ shed his blood to return unity between God and man. So, God had made a plan and provision for man knowing man would always eat the apple. It is a closed system no way out of the loop. Like a parent who loves his child will go to all ends to give them the best (regardless of the Childs choices)

      April 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • I wonder

      fred, "Like a parent who loves his child will go to all ends to give them the best (regardless of the Childs choices)"

      What loving parent would hide in the attic for the child's entire life... leave confetti-sized paper scraps of hints all over the city as to how that child is supposed to behave, and then throw the child into the barbecue for eternity if the kid doesn't put all the right pieces together correctly?!

      April 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Sorry fred, but those assertions are merely one of many interpretations of the bible over the many years since it has been written. Jealousy is not, and cannot be a positive thing. Worry can be a positive thing, because it can foster compassion. Jealousy only leads to more negative emotions and actions. If the word was meant in a different way, why not just use a different word? The kinds of things that you are bringing up are the very things that made me an atheist. The thought that a supposed loving being could act so petty is beyond me. For the sake of the discussion, let us assume that there is no question of whether god, heaven, and some form of hell (whether seperation from god or eternal torment does not matter). Personally, I could not imagine even myself (imperfect human that I am) consigning any human being to hell for all eternity. Especially not for believing in me. Wouldn't one think that my compassion (because forgiveness is a form of compassion) should be dwarfed by a gods? You say that god cannot abide sin and evil, yet he continued along the path to create lucifer, and indeed the very nature that humans have that leads to evil.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      I do not recall anything that would claim God created Evil. Lucifer was once the brightest of all the angels and Eve seemed to be just fine until a decision was made to reject the goodness of God and perfect unity in a perfect garden. I guess we could argue God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden then put a do not touch sign on it. On the other hand how can you test or refine a soul. How can you be given the fullest of opportunity to prepare yourself or discover if you really desire an eternity in the Promised Land? This is the eternal life not a vacation. Evolution of spirit reaches its pinnacle of unity with God at the end of the process. A lot of good Neanderthal bit the dust before Abraham received the blessing.
      Ignoring idle speculation of why there is evil we could default to the Bible or other explanations. The Bible gives us a simple story of good and evil with a bottom line that God has made a way for us if we choose to follow it. God lets us make that choice. Those who made the wrong choice Jesus nailed to the Cross said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Is your compassion dwarfed by the gods or by God?

      I agree the words in the Bible lend themselves to various interpretations. You see a jealous God as a negative I see Jesus when he referred to the church as the bride of Christ. All of it is God’s creation and the creator is assumed to create something God wanted to create. I think the Bible does a good job with words and thoughts that are thousands of years old. We are the problem. How can we not agree on what was said. God said if you worship those Idols there will be consequences. I assert there are consequences because God loves his creation and you seem to be saying there are consequences because God wants to be worshiped. The Bible generally says Gods ways are good and God wants goodness and blessings for you.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • fred

      I Wonder
      God actually gave his children everything they need to complete their purpose under heaven. This is one miracleous creation and we are one great race. God put in place a tight family structure to protect and nurture children. The Bible records the specific instructions that leave no doubt as to how Gods children can be all they were destined to be. The Bible also docu-ments the failures of parents and governments over the years. What more do you want? Even those children that cannot get their act together have been saved by Christ.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      I guess I got a little ahead of myself. Do you define god as the bible does? Omnipotent and all that stuff? If so, then god would no the outcome of every action that will be taken, and would therefore know the result of the creation of lucifer. God would then make the choice to go ahead with it anyway, despite the fact that if he creates lucifer, that would lead to rebellion by him, and the subsequent fall of mankind. You cannot say that god created everything, but give a pass on evil.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      You are suggesting that man has a better plan than God (God of Abraham, Isaac….includes Christ in the Holy Trinity) which is not possible unless man was greater than God in some aspect. Even on the level of man your argument breaks down because you limit God to operating in our time line which is contrary to Biblical representations. Once you change the nature of God outside of what we are given anything goes. God could simply short circuit the whole process of life and put the chosen ones in heaven for eternity with the exact characteristics and “soul” desired. In short rather than play the game of Monopoly I will just give HawiiGuest all the properties and all the money.
      So, the Hebrew Bible is the revelation of God and by that revelation God created the heavens and the earth. God spoke the creation into being is how God did it. God said let there be light and separated the light from the darkness. God put two trees in the Garden. One was the tree of life and the other the tree of Good and Evil. Lucifer was the most beautiful of all the angelic creation but wanted to be like God due to pride/desire and was cast out of the heavenly. Man wanted to be like God because of pride/ desire and was cast out of the Garden. In the end God will separate the goats (darkness, Satan and his demons,) from the sheep (those God sees fit to bless because of mercy and grace that is reflected in Gods love through Christ who is the light of the world). That’s the plan which is a new heaven and earth filled with the glory of God.
      I suppose the 100 years you will be alive represents such a small fraction of eternal life it will not take much for God to wipe away every tear that you ever shed in this lifetime.

      April 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Now you are just putting all kinds of things in the realm of characterizations of god. Biblically, there would be precedent that god knows all things that will happen, but I don't remember any characterisation of god being in all time lines.

      April 23, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” from T-itus 1:2
      Eternal life was promised before the beginning of time. Note, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth now we have a promise before the beginning of time.
      We have “a day for the Lord is as a thousand years”
      Anyway, gotta catch a ride ........bye

      April 23, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      I don't really see how that would excuse the creation of evil things. If god is in all times (which it doesnt actually say, it just says that god made a promise before time started, which is not the same as being omnipresent), then he would be able to see the result of every choice he would make. If god cannot abide evil, why allow it to exist in the first place in any form?

      April 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      I will give that some more thought as I am running late. Off the top of my head I am reminded of Jesus when he told Peter “Satan as asked that he sift you as wheat” (which he did). In Job you know that story which included loss of family and great physical pain to boot. Jesus himself was tempted in the flesh, pride and true love God. My thought is akin to when I lose a race; sometimes my heart was not in it, sometimes I slacked off in training. Winners have true commitment. I think evil around us builds character. Bible says we are refined by fire and trials. The Apostle Paul thought it joy when he was beaten for Christ. If we did not have two trees in the garden our choice would never be evident.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      Engineers must test a design under stress to in order to determine the actual breaking point verses the theorized break point. You are suggesting mans true heart should never be tested. Even to the atheist this goes against the process of evolution as species are under constant stress or testing. I suspect an expert in evolution would say there needs to be a control or limiting factor on any form of organic expansion. Without God (good) or without evil (negative force) exactly what does the dominate species look like? We do not see that in our physical world so how would we know. It is nice to say God should remove all evil (which is the plan) but, without evil everything changes. This brings us to the god HawiiGuest demands where there is no evil and creation is a state of bliss and has always been a state of bliss and god is not needed because everything is known in perfect harmony and unity where goodness cannot be improved upon. It seems that without evil and only the presence of perfect goodness god is not needed.
      Our reality assuming there is no God paints a very different picture. Forces working against one another produced the world we live. Good and evil exist similar to positive and negative charges that achieve some equilibrium. Atheist tend to be materialists and know the positive charge is a necessary force that cannot be removed yet think the forces of good or evil can be removed by man. This is the natural conflict within a godless mindset that should be obvious. The Bible fixes the conflict right off the bat “God said let there be light’ separating the darkness from the light. Note that the tree of knowledge was the tree of knowledge of good and evil (both exist and are not separate on one tree together). Note that Adam, Eve and God exist in your state of imagined perfect bliss outside of that tree. Note that when they touched that tree and ate of it they were separated from God. The time clock of man does not run in reverse. When man in the image of God touched that tree it cannot be untouched anymore than you can remove negative thoughts from your mind. The Bible continues to explain the fix for the problem of man being restored with God. Good or evil is not removed in the Bible or in the physical reality for the godless. In the Bible good and evil will again be separated as it was in the beginning yet both continue to exist for eternity.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      If your god needs to test our hearts to find out what our true selves are like, then your god is not all knowing. You're also misrepresenting naturalism. We cannot wipe out evil, and anyone that thinks it would be possible is idealogically blind. But we as humans can strive beyond the evils we are all capable of in the hopes of bettering the species as a whole. I don't see where you get that a blissful existence is the only that would require a god, since a god would need to be there to constantly keep only the good in existence. I really don't see how the current reality we live in would need a god at all. You need to admit to yourself that something that is pure good cannot (by its very description) create anything that is evil. Something that is all-knowing would know if a creation he would make would eventually become evil. And a benevolent being would not require our worship, or "testing" to give us an everlasting life.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      “If your god needs to test our hearts to find out what our true selves are like, then your god is not all knowing. “
      =>Actually the testing is not proof to God (who already knows) rather the benefit of the person being tested develops deeper faith, understanding and strength. The process seems necessary for our growth otherwise I agree if God is all knowing, it would not be necessary.

      “I don't see where you get that a blissful existence is the only that would require a god,”
      =>I was thinking only God / the perfection of Christ likeness cannot be achieved by man. Only God could do that or bring that about.

      “I really don't see how the current reality we live in would need a god at all.”
      =>assumption is we need to saved from ourselves

      “Something that is all-knowing would know if a creation he would make would eventually become evil.”
      =>and also know the outcome resulting from evil which is why the Bible is a closed circle. Good and evil are again separated for eternity.

      “ And a benevolent being would not require our worship,”
      =>worship is not the best expression for love of God. It is not required rather it flows from a heart that is filled with the joy of God. Even people may worship the ground you walk on so to speak but they cannot be forced to worship in a way that would be real or out of love.

      “ or "testing" to give us an everlasting life.”
      God did not test Peter to give him everlasting life rather Peters testing strengthened his resolve to carry out Peters purpose. Judas was tested but, Jesus said “do as you must” and prior to that said one of the 12 would betray. God knew and allowed it. It is often referred to being refined like gold because under heat impurities are burned away leaving pure gold. You can argue God should use another method but, that would imply you know a better way to produce the best radiant glory in a person. Since this is all about God demonstrating His love for us shouldn’t God be allowed to do it His way?

      April 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @fred

      Sorry, but I don't think the conversation is going to get any further than this. We need to be tested to be made into better beings? Then why wouldn't god create us as we are apparently meant to be? Why create us so that we would "need" to be tested and put through the fire? It's sadistic. It's not loving. And this is where we will both come back to. You view your god as a benevolent being, and I view him as a mad scientist turned tyrant, who will give an eternal punishment for a very very finite "crime"

      April 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • fred

      HawiiGuest
      “ We need to be tested to be made into better beings?”
      =>testing develops you and changes you. Job did not need to be tested to be made into a better being he was tested which for Job resulted in Job having a greater resolve. You can take a test at school to get in and if you fail you may just decide to study more or give up either way you have changed. If I am the alpha dog but never tested am I alpha. I can say I trust God but, when asked to sell all I own and give it to the poor I will walk away or experience Jesus as the apostles did (this was the opportunity the rich man had). Better or worse testing produces results.

      “why wouldn't god create us as we are apparently meant to be?”
      =>according to the Bible this is the process God uses. In reality truth is revealed because you cannot know God or understand what God has for you until you follow those specific guidelines. Millions of observable conversions each year point to a process that brings a desired result. Why God does not use some other method is beyond me, I cannot think of a better way to produce faith in another human being.

      “ Why create us so that we would "need" to be tested and put through the fire?”
      =>we were created in order that Gods Glory could radiate. In other words it is the nature of God to give the best blessings and this world is what was created for that purpose. The fact we chose to reject what God had given is not Gods doing it is ours. That does not change the nature of God who continues to pour out love and blessings because that is Gods basic nature. The apostle Paul, Peter and James all said it is a joy to suffer for Christ. Christ himself was nailed to a cross, mocked, humiliated. Christ was tested in the desert by Satan and was tested by being forsaken by His Father at death “my God my God why hast thou forsaken me”. Did Jesus need testing as you like to define it?

      “ It's sadistic. It's not loving.”
      =>you don’t even know it is real or what. You do not know if our physical existence is “material” as you would claim (99%+ of what we stand on is not solid and we have developed a body of physics to explain density and such). Our concept of time is just our concept from a specific set of reference points and falls apart if those reference points change. We divided time into nanoseconds based upon certain consistent movements and as long as we remain within the same construct it appears reliable. If the symbolism of Christ on the Cross is considered a sign of Gods love what is that? It is not sadistic on Gods part it is the worst thing evil could conceive done to a man a perfect man a soft gentle man of peace or as some say Christ. All that Satan could muster up dumped on Christ. Who is being tested, Satan or Christ and what is revealed. When Jesus said it is finished he meant it is finished. God said I will wipe away every tear. We are no position to figure out how that is done but it is a promise. Unless you see God coming through on promises time after time generation after generation you cannot believe it nor should you. God has no problem showing His Glory to those that truly want to see it and are willing to follow the simple path.
      “I view him as a mad scientist turned tyrant, who will give an eternal punishment for a very very finite "crime"”
      =>Much of religion but, very little of Scripture says such a thing. This is why Jesus spent so many words blasting the religious leaders of his day because of their twisting of Scripture “you who burden men with things you yourself cannot bear up under”. Jesus was the physical representation so that we could better grasp God. That example is far from a mad scientist or tyrant. Jesus was a loving servant who would do anything to bring man into unity with God.
      Eternal punishment for a finite crime? We only know for sure that good and evil will be separated. Let the theologians argue over what is eternal.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  10. ohmylorelei

    Hi!

    I'm Laurel Snyder, the author of this article, and I've been reading these comments with amazement. I want to thank all of you for engaging, and reading, even if we don't see eye to eye.

    It's interesting to me that people are upset by what I consider to be a "moderate" viewpoint. There's something in the dialogue surrounding faith that makes us want to polarize, pushes us to extremes. I wish I could understand that. I'm not sure if it's just that so many are taught that faith (or the argument against it) MUST be so extreme.

    As an author for children I think I approach all the things I can't prove in much the same way. Unicorns? Fairies? Time travel? I don't KNOW that they exist, but I'd like to think that all things are possible. For me the belief in G-d is a lot like that. I really really want to think it's out there. I don't have that certainty so many of you seem to have. But I find that the search, the reach, the attempt to keep believing makes my life better and more meaningful.

    No doubt some of you will now think less of me, for my desire to believe in unicorns and time travel, or my lack of certainty in G-d. I realized yesterday that the nice thing about the middle-of-the-road is that people can spit on you from both sides of the street. But that's okay. We're all just searching...

    And to those of you who've sent supportive, generous emails, thank you!

    April 17, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • blastoff

      Laurel,
      "you would like to think rhat all things are possible"
      Inside, don't you know that this is not a sound way to aproach the world? I could make up 10 more things for you right now that would have to fall in your bucket of "things you would like to believe are true". You then would have to teach these things to your children in the same manner.

      Better stick with what we do know and with what we are trying to discover.
      I tought my children that we are all decended from a single human ancestor hundreds of thousands of years ago. That the recent invention of race and ethnicity is all a ruse used to unite and divide peoples. That customs and traditions are out there for you to learn and enjoy, but they change over time and are not set in stone like most religions would like to enforce.

      April 17, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • KRussell

      Seriously? You didn't think that people would be upset by your views of religion?
      Any view of religion is going to upset insecre people with different views, and there are a lot of insecure people posting here who do not want thier beliefs challenged/questioned.

      You just lost credibility in my opinion. You don't understand people at all.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • HanzJager

      There is almost nothing worse than moderate religious types.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      "There is almost nothing worse than moderate religious types"

      Other than fanatical religious types, that is

      April 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • FajitaBob

      Laurel: why is it you can properly spell "unicorn," but not God?

      April 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Riley

      I read your article with much interest because I teeter with how to approach religion with my own children. I struggle with it because I have no religion but yet it is so intertwined with my Greek culture. My not taking my children to church I deny them a part of their rich historic culture but yet I have no interest in the trappings of church. What has naturally come about very similar to your approach with your family. The world needs more moderation in all things.

      April 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      It may feel good to believe there's a refrigerator full of gold in our backyard, or that our loved one is not dying of cancer, etc. We may want to believe in the possibility of something, but it will have no bearing on the reality of that something. I want to believe that you are really the author of this article, but before I would accept it as fact and teach it to my child, I'm going to require something a little more substantial than my "want" for it to be true or the "possibility" of it being true. While it's good that you treat the fantasy of god with equal weight as the fantasy as unicorns (both have an equal amount of evidence to support their existence), why then go that extra step and believe that they are possibly true? This means that anything, no matter how absurd could be possibly true. Why not just wait for the truth to prove itself. After all, you don't believe in the possibility of the sun, gravity or electricity. Personally, I love science fiction and all kinds of fantasy and mythological books. I can enjoy them without ever once believing the possibility that they might be true.

      April 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  11. Reality

    An update on Judaism:

    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 17, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Mike from CT

      from the same nytimes

      1. origin: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/11/16/science/house-of-david-inscription-clues-to-a-dark-age.html

      PHOTOGRAPHS and transcriptions of a stone fragment bearing the first known reference outside the Bible to the House of David, a ruling dynasty presumably founded by King David in the 10th century B.C., have been published in Israel.

      Discovery of the inscription in the ruins of Tel Dan, in northern Israel, was reported last summer by Dr. Avraham Biran, an archaeologist at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Inst.itute of Religion in Jerusalem. Scholars said this could be an important contribution to understanding the ninth century B.C., a dark age in biblical history, and also is strong independent evidence for the existence and influence of the House of David.

      But pictures were not released because the discoverers were still analyzing the writing. Dr. Biran and Dr. Joseph Naveh, a specialist in ancient Semitic languages at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, have now provided a full, illustrated report in The Israel Exploration Journal.

      They said the complete stone monument, a local basalt, was probably three feet high. The preserved fragment is 12 1/2 inches high, with the words separated by dots. The language is Early Aramaic.

      Since each line is missing letters and words, Dr. Biran said in an interview that the reconstruction of the text was tentative. From some of the words and their context it appears that the monument is celebrating a victory in battle, possibly by a king of Aram in Damascus over a king of Israel. The words "my king" in the sixth line seem to indicate that the writer of the inscription was a dependent of the victorious king.

      The letters in the ninth line clearly spell out the phrase "House of David," and the "most logical reconstruction," Dr. Biran and Dr. Naveh said, is that the victorious king is claiming he slew troops belonging to the king of the House of David, who was thus a descendant of David ruling Judah in southern Israel.

      One initial interpretation was that the king of Israel of the inscription may be Baasha, and the king of the House of David was Asa, an ally of Ben-Hadad, king of Aram. "The nature of the biblical sources on the one hand and the fragmentary state of the Dan inscription on the other, do not allow us to draw definite conclusions," Dr. Biran and Dr. Naveh wrote.

      But other interpretations will likely be offered when Dr. Biran describes the results at meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Schools of Oriental Research this week in Washington.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Reality

      "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. "

      House of David = just like any other common house with someone's name in front of it

      April 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Reality

      "In general, it is possible for anyone to claim as a descendant from King David because most of the tracings were lost."

      Getting back to the historical David and the biblical David. Apparently the only "proof" that David even existed other than the highly fictionalized OT, is one piece of broken pottery with some inscriptions with a variety of translations of said inscriptions.

      The "powerfull" biblical King David should have left much archeological evidence/proof but none has been found. e.g. jewels, weapons, homes, grave, religious artifacts, non-Jewish attestations. None have been found.

      And what is really odd is for the scripture writers to show that Jesus came from the family of David. This however would require that Joseph was the father of Jesus. So which is it? Joseph was the father or did the Holy Ghost do the deed? If it were the HG, then Jesus was not a descendent of David.

      “Why this association was important in first century Palestine was addressed by "Stories circulated to the effect that Alexander of Macedonia was not only the son of Philip II, but also of the god Zeus-Ammon (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "Alexander" 2.1-3.2); Plato was the son of Ariston and the god Apollo (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers 3.1-2), and Augustus was the son of Octavius as well as the god Apollo (Suetonius, Lives o f the Caesars 2.4.1-7). The extraordinary character of these elites reputedly stemmed from both their divine origins and their kingroups. Their kin-groups provided one form of legitimation-political right to the throne and/or social status (thus the importance of Joseph in Matthew's genealogy). Their divine procreation provided another: their honor was divinely ascribed, and their greatness as leaders derived from divine paternity."

      From: K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998. p.55”

      See also: http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=368_Genealogy_of_Jesus

      April 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 17, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • False

      You have no proof. There are countless instances of prayer not working and no scientifically proven cases of prayer working. All cases you may cite are no more than coincidences. Atheism promotes an outlook on the world from a realist's perspective in which they are not concerned with a god whose jealously is such that should they violate any laws supposedly given by god to man, they are supposed to be killed (according to OT law). Even in NT law, Jesus states that those who doubt the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven, and, therefore will spend eternity in hell.
      Setting aside the fact that there is no more evidence for a god, heaven, or hell than there is for extraterrestrial life, unicorns, or a race of mole people who seek to destroy the surface world, you have to recognize that religions, at a fundamental level, punish those who deny their faith, be it in this life or the next.
      By contrast, Atheists do not seek to punish people for their ideas on how the world works, but rather to let people know that their belief system is flawed; that the burden of proof is not on their side. Therefore, atheism could be argued to be healthier for children than religion, as it does not promote violence or discrimination. As for other living things, I'm not sure if squirrels believe in jesus, but if they did i'm sure those atheist chipmunks would have something to say about it.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  13. cccp21

    Hello fellow free thinkers and unbeleivers, we need your help defeating the Republicans and keeping Religion and other nonsense out of schools and Govevernment. Please go to http://www.cpusa.org/ and see what you can do to help us this fall. Your help is needed, never has the situation been so dire as it is now. Thank you.

    April 17, 2012 at 6:09 am |
  14. Jeb Manchum Trolfort

    Frank T. Mudd

    I messed up a long time go, killed a man in anger, been 29 years now. If I do what you said and accept that Christ did die for me too, and promise to do all that praying and church stuff,can I get saved too? please,thanks
    April 17, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse | Reply

    Ting

    No problem. Kill as many people as you like. There's plenty of room for killers in heaven. It's the peaceful non believers that will be burning in hell for eternity.
    April 17, 2012 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |

    Pipe-Dreamer

    Seek ye the mind's eye! Find ye then the eye's mind! Once there, stay a while! Bleeding hearts do throb for heavily weighted undulations of ever to inwardly revolve with not much whimpered bitterness and they will even and always proclaim them not their deadenedness sarcasms. Search your vents of one's vintage-aged rationale! Hunt down the lying shames and rid one's self of zealotism! Corner ye the markets before others have their will to blindingly stake a claim via their shallowed integrations! Ride high amidst the banyon tree's branches! Ever careful and ever mindful and ever conceited ye be while ever in denial are the unbelievers' eyeing minds!
    April 16, 2012 at 9:50 am
    Even the disbelievers have honor and creedences and they so much do abound in their rather rancid indivisiblities! They clamour about with much regularisms upon the backs of the religiously rational and even still, the unwaiverable commodities proclaim the yet unleavened in their bread-baskets of Blemished Faith! Those who dare challenge the otherly will never ever right that which is in Self wronged and of faithlessness! To do so does one to only vent their own bitternedness and is never ever truly worth one's efforts! Therefore, die, ever to try, while never knowing why, yet always buy in the good bye!
    April 16, 2012 at 10:16 am
    Clarity in truth's "Visionarialisms" are a clairvoyent's visionary's only mechanisms' of needfulness! To Be and to not be are the determinations of one's indelibilities! Though the mind is weak their hearts are strong! Give therefore their jsuted fruits and may God show mercies and kindness upon the Allness with no specialities recognized nor claimed! God is like that does one not know?
    April 16, 2012 at 10:59 am
    YeahRight wrote, "Nah, we have more intellect than you have and don’t need to make up bogus words so that our ego can feel justified in its own stupidity. People like you have to come up with lies of bitterness so that you don’t have to look yourself in the mirror and acknowledge your delusional state."
    April 16, 2012 at 10:56 am
    Even the "boogeymen" makes up their ownliness vocals and "vocabularianalisms"! No one person nor any social organisms have cornered the markets on words or words' phraseologies! You (YeahRight) are as a disgruntled amulet of despocisms' rather perturbing mundaness but regularly are you to be appeased for your charming witticisms! Tally Ho!
    April 16, 2012 at 11:10 am
    Justified are the delusionalists in their crooning "ventaged" soothsayings against the eye minded rather than the eyes' minds! Commonalities venture forth and are righted "forthward" always in the lights lime-of-bittered sweetness from the peanuts' galleries of nutiness! The declarings of selfish & decidedly fruitiness of clamoured ventrilquists who amke mockeries their daily ambitions are of the fools' fooleries of fool-heartiness! Mock ye then God and God will not be moved! Spit upon God and God will never sway! Challenge your God and He will not bet! Let God Let Go of God's Will for Christ's sakes!
    April 16, 2012 at 11:26 am
    Disgruntledness becoming the unrighteousness renditionings of verboseness and in rancidities' lamentations do the dogs waggle and waddle upon dribblings of their ownliness fruits! Tiz a shame really it is! Anguish that is,,,, mixed with the beings of disgruntalisms makes the heart bitter and as such does age, the tempests' tea pots will most enduringly boil over until it is either moved off the burner or it remains there to be boiled down to where there is no more issues left to boil upon leaving the tea pot dry to the bones!
    April 16, 2012 at 11:44 am
    The main jist of living one's Life is to ponder Lfe's living ways! Whether one is religiously devoted or atheistically inclined, the road to death's gates are ever to be! The settlements of living is an arrangement not to be made void of Life's abundancies! Humanists will ever linger "awhiles" in their humanisms of concernments! Our physicalities ever condones one to the fleshly desires! While the eyes of the mind do wrestle and jostle about with physicalities, the heart throbbings of soulfulness' desires shall always be strewn! Upon one's decisiveness should be wagered one's momentums ever so slowly and never thrusted about!
    April 16, 2012 at 11:58 am
    Crying eyes do sometimes reveal the most tenderness of felt ways and issues' bereavements beckonings. Teras of joy are healthy and tears of embittern' unpleasentries cannot be fathomed nor should they be outrightly repulsed. God may so love the silence of whisperings more than the unpleasentries of "demandasionalisms"! Anguish and sullentries are a heart's most repulsive to otherly humanists but to God, they are of his most rooted foundations! We need to find revolutions against heartlessness and seek the heart-felt people who ever do cherish Godliness and their Godly ambitions! Let Go Let God!
    April 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    The "man-made church'd structures" do not make the Kingdom of God! It is of one's body where the buildings of God can be found out and in all truth made said, our bodies are the Kingdoms of the Gods' buildings! I say this becuase I have seen the writings of attainable knowledge to all regarding the innerness of our bodies! Inside our body-buildings are innumerable cellular structures not unlike or no different than the stellarized structures in outward regions of the Great Celestial Cosmos! God's outter-most garment may well be the allness of "celestiality" but God's inner domains are the stomping grounds of Godly Beings we will never ever truly know of in our presnet days timeline(s)! I say this because; for us to "carry on" we need to turn our eyes away from devotionalisms of religious singularisms and make ways to centralize our combined interests for the well-being of all humanists and their humanisms potentials!
    April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm
    The "practicalities of nominalisms" are of a retreatists' renderings whereby and from they do the most clamourings either for or even against the liberties' bells!
    April 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    "Pre-determinations are indicative resolutes and not withstanding are the depths' "resonations!" What once was will ever so be! What one sees outwardly is it not seen inwardly? Where is this place at where visions of Life become our body's end-game for visions? The "brain yards" of quraks and gluons and positrons and electrons and all likenesses that science does dictate about are all parts of the human body are they not? Again I do ask, "Where is this place at where visions of Life become our body's end-game for visions?" Are we but not a singularism of mini-nuclearized particles flailing about in random fundamentals of physics' practicalities? Let Go! Let God alone! He is so very busy keeping all things apart and parted from each other's particalized practicalities!
    April 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm
    Phosphorus
    It's okay, Pipe-Dreamer. Can you show us on this bunny exactly where gawd has been toughing you?
    April 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm
    Pipe-Dreamer
    Phosphorus,,,, ,,,, ,,,, ,.,
    Such beligerencies from a disgruntled "ambiguist" of wanton godlessness only resorts to anonimities' clearing the house! Your gestations are but slurpiness's vomit so don't forget the napkins when you tender to spit!
    April 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    The "aged" yet childhood memories are that whcih many elder people tend to discover as they grow older.
    April 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    Don't ya just hate the religious "devotees" being ever led blindingly down the road? Such faiths of singularisms bewailings are just what the preacher s do all hope and pray for,,, Singled minds that is,,,, never to rise up in unity except when the preachers do beckon them! Although I try as I do to be a "moralist" of rightful means and mechanisms, I stumble about in my words as if I were a drunkard does so do! I hav'nt touched the "spirits" since sept of 09! Now if I can only keep my own spirit from sinking every day into the depths of vanities, I would be a good little ol' man!
    My Bad!
    April 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm
    Darwin
    has written, "Is there something to settle? I don't think the strife exists between people of faith and agnostics/athiests; I think the problem is between extremists of all types who refuse to respect the beliefs of others."
    April 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm
    By "extremists", are you referring to people within the elivated branches of the most popularized of many socialisms? Just asking! :-) :-( :-)
    Darwin has written "Pipe – Hahaha, no Sir, I am referring to religious fundamentalists and religion haters."
    April 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm
    Matt wrote, "You sound neither hot nor cold. Just lukewarm."
    On Monday, April 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm
    Not All Docs Play Golf responded stating "Matt"...."Luke" warm. Now we just need to hit the "Mark" on the "John".
    On, Monday, April 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm
    "LOL,,,, RAOTFL"
    What really are people? Cellular structures? What are cellular structures? Are they not made up of atoms? What are atoms? Are not atoms made up of neutrons protons and electrons? What are these 3 things made up of? Are these 3 things made up of quarks and gluons and ? Such is Life! Such are the living organisms of ladled movements going here and dithering there! Our being but one quark away from knowing that which was and Creationed and things that are in everness of creations and there is forever a myriad of unending possibilities in immeasurable amounts! The "weening" process toward the perfection of "wisdomnomics" is Timed by the Godly in the everness that abounds practically everywhere known and yet unknown and perhaps never to be known!!
    April 17, 2012 at 12:19 am
    April 17, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse | Reply

    Mab

    Sorry to hear of your serious brain damage. That's what happens when you don't know what the hell you're doing with all those different drugs.
    Did it hurt? Did you have to go to the hospital? Or did you just wake up one morning and puke blood and laugh?
    Sad to see your worthless postings. What a total waste of time. Why don't you go find some more good stuff and save some electricity? Blabbering like that is pathetic.
    April 17, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    Phosphorus

    Attempting to read beyond the first paragraph gave me quite the headache. Do you write sci-fi novels, by chance?
    April 17, 2012 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
    Phosphorus

    This guy is just taking up precious blog feed by posting a bunch of worthless drivel that took place earlier. This guy would make a fascinating case study for a psychiatrist post-doctorate.
    April 17, 2012 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |

    Pipe-Dreamer

    What really are people? Cellular structures? What are cellular structures? Are they not made up of atoms? What are atoms? Are not atoms made up of neutrons protons and electrons? What are these 3 things made up of? Are these 3 things made up of quarks and gluons and ? Such is Life! Such are the living organisms of ladled movements going here and dithering there! My being but one quark away from knowing that which was and things that are and there is forever a myriad of possibilities in immeasurable amounts! The "weening" process toward the perfection of wisdomnomics is Timed! by the Godly in the everness that abounds practically everywhere known and yet unknown!
    April 17, 2012 at 12:19 am | Report abuse | Reply

    Ashrakay

    Wow... So somehow you can't be satisfied with the splendor and glory of the magnificent origin of nature you describe in the first half of your paragraph. You need to have magical fairies that planned all of it on top of that. Some people are never satisfied.
    April 17, 2012 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |

    Mab

    Who cares? Did your kids give their fully informed consent for you to teach them anything? No.
    April 17, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
    ADL SimpleFee Account Manager Irving

    Laurel, you are clearly a stuck-up racist hypocrite. You want the racist advantages without being too loud in your racism.
    People like you disgust me. You are no different than any Nazi supporter who enjoys the colorful banners, the great food, the warm cameraderie of the other Nazis, who blithely goes along with everything to fit in yet cherry-picks what they like about the ideology.....and never, ever question any of the premises of the ideology itself because you are enjoying your "comfort zone" and could care less about those helpless innocent people who were murdered and tortured horribly when Moses gave the word.
    Ancient Jews committed genocide. Not once, not twice, but many times. Genocide. Just as bad as any Nazi.
    And like Nazis, you think your precious bloodline is pure, is holy, is blessed and just better than anyone else's bloodline.
    Yet, like the Germans, your DNA is just as much of a mishmash as any other person's. You aren't a pure-blood anything. Nobody is. Yet you cling to your "people", your "people's" racist culture, racist religion, and think it is okay because so many Christians "love" Jews and can be used shamelessly to protect your racist "people" and their racist country along with your racist culture and all the rest of it.

    You're not a Jew. You're a racist. What you call yourself is just a convenient label. When you'd like to join the rest of the human race, you'll have to get rid of that racist religion, racist world-view, racist culture, and call yourself a person instead of a "Jew".
    I feel sorry for your children. They will be brainwashed to think their racist culture is okay. You might as well be a Muslim, Nazi, or any one of the hundreds of racist religious / cultural groups throughout the world. From within the racist culture all seems sweetness and light, but to those outside your racist group you are clearly just another group of racists.
    But here you are proclaiming your mother-approved cherry-picked cultural referents as being what you want regardless of history, logic, reason, common sense,
    April 17, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse | Reply

    April 17, 2012 at 3:35 am |
    • Jr.

      Please you hypocrite I saw you cross the road the other day when that black guy was walking down the side walk twoard you. You shouldnt throw stones if you live in a glass house.

      April 17, 2012 at 6:05 am |
  15. Frank Bund

    Children should not be subjected to this filth and garbage.

    April 17, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Rick

      And who are you to tell us what we should teach our kids? Are you some kind of Fascist?

      April 17, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • Frank James Bund

      No, jerk-off. I'm telling you that children should not be forced to believe in shit that doesn't exist. Let them make up their own minds when they're old enough to work for a living.

      Stop being such an obtuse fucking moron.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:26 am |
    • Frank James Bund

      By the way, Ricky, I'd also like to add that I find a small bit of irony in your retarded questions. After all, it's closet manchowder chuggers like you that demand science be removed from the classroom to make room for teachings of creationism. Society sucks because religion exists.

      Man, I'd pay a dollar to see your kind packed into a giant ship in space and get thrown into the sun.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:32 am |
    • Rick

      So you are supporting the murder of people with whom you do not agree, Sounds fascist.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • sam stone

      Which "filth and garbage", Frankie?

      April 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • G.

      Wow Frank, I am a non believer but atleast I accept everyone for what they believe in. Although I will never be a woman of God, I have read the Bible and filled myself with as much information as possible in order to make the most knowledgeable decisions for myself. I disagree with the people that take the book literally, as it wasn't meant to be. I do not think Jesus was divine. I also don't think Mary got pregnant by some guy in the sky. The Bible is meant to be a guideline to keep us disgusting humans in check. I think that when we die we go back to the earth. Have you ever read the Proverbs? They are amazing and I often refer to them when I run into life problems. The teachings are very important and they help to keep our society unified and in ORDER. Or else we would be crazy wild monkeys killing each other all the time. I support gay marriage and pro-choice for abortion, however, I disagree with the advertising of abortion. It's horrible. The problems I come across when it comes to things like that is, where do we draw the line? Religion can be a very positive thing, depending on how you look at it. It draws lines like these for you. There are those people that take it to the extreme and cannot think for themselves. They NEED someone to tell them what to do. So my best advice is to stay as open minded as can be, and that will make you a better person.
      To wish death upon people just because they do not believe in the same thing as you do is bad...and in the words of James Brown: THAT AINT RIGHT!

      April 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  16. Frank T. Mudd

    I messed up a long time go, killed a man in anger, been 29 years now. If I do what you said and accept that Christ did die for me too, and promise to do all that praying and church stuff,can I get saved too? please,thanks

    April 17, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Ting

      No problem. Kill as many people as you like. There's plenty of room for killers in heaven. It's the peaceful non believers that will be burning in hell for eternity.

      April 17, 2012 at 2:03 am |
  17. Pipe-Dreamer

    Seek ye the mind's eye! Find ye then the eye's mind! Once there, stay a while! Bleeding hearts do throb for heavily weighted undulations of ever to inwardly revolve with not much whimpered bitterness and they will even and always proclaim them not their deadenedness sarcasms. Search your vents of one's vintage-aged rationale! Hunt down the lying shames and rid one's self of zealotism! Corner ye the markets before others have their will to blindingly stake a claim via their shallowed integrations! Ride high amidst the banyon tree's branches! Ever careful and ever mindful and ever conceited ye be while ever in denial are the unbelievers' eyeing minds!
    April 16, 2012 at 9:50 am
    Even the disbelievers have honor and creedences and they so much do abound in their rather rancid indivisiblities! They clamour about with much regularisms upon the backs of the religiously rational and even still, the unwaiverable commodities proclaim the yet unleavened in their bread-baskets of Blemished Faith! Those who dare challenge the otherly will never ever right that which is in Self wronged and of faithlessness! To do so does one to only vent their own bitternedness and is never ever truly worth one's efforts! Therefore, die, ever to try, while never knowing why, yet always buy in the good bye!
    April 16, 2012 at 10:16 am
    Clarity in truth's "Visionarialisms" are a clairvoyent's visionary's only mechanisms' of needfulness! To Be and to not be are the determinations of one's indelibilities! Though the mind is weak their hearts are strong! Give therefore their jsuted fruits and may God show mercies and kindness upon the Allness with no specialities recognized nor claimed! God is like that does one not know?
    April 16, 2012 at 10:59 am
    YeahRight wrote, "Nah, we have more intellect than you have and don’t need to make up bogus words so that our ego can feel justified in its own stupidity. People like you have to come up with lies of bitterness so that you don’t have to look yourself in the mirror and acknowledge your delusional state."
    April 16, 2012 at 10:56 am
    Even the "boogeymen" makes up their ownliness vocals and "vocabularianalisms"! No one person nor any social organisms have cornered the markets on words or words' phraseologies! You (YeahRight) are as a disgruntled amulet of despocisms' rather perturbing mundaness but regularly are you to be appeased for your charming witticisms! Tally Ho!
    April 16, 2012 at 11:10 am
    Justified are the delusionalists in their crooning "ventaged" soothsayings against the eye minded rather than the eyes' minds! Commonalities venture forth and are righted "forthward" always in the lights lime-of-bittered sweetness from the peanuts' galleries of nutiness! The declarings of selfish & decidedly fruitiness of clamoured ventrilquists who amke mockeries their daily ambitions are of the fools' fooleries of fool-heartiness! Mock ye then God and God will not be moved! Spit upon God and God will never sway! Challenge your God and He will not bet! Let God Let Go of God's Will for Christ's sakes!
    April 16, 2012 at 11:26 am
    Disgruntledness becoming the unrighteousness renditionings of verboseness and in rancidities' lamentations do the dogs waggle and waddle upon dribblings of their ownliness fruits! Tiz a shame really it is! Anguish that is,,,, mixed with the beings of disgruntalisms makes the heart bitter and as such does age, the tempests' tea pots will most enduringly boil over until it is either moved off the burner or it remains there to be boiled down to where there is no more issues left to boil upon leaving the tea pot dry to the bones!
    April 16, 2012 at 11:44 am
    The main jist of living one's Life is to ponder Lfe's living ways! Whether one is religiously devoted or atheistically inclined, the road to death's gates are ever to be! The settlements of living is an arrangement not to be made void of Life's abundancies! Humanists will ever linger "awhiles" in their humanisms of concernments! Our physicalities ever condones one to the fleshly desires! While the eyes of the mind do wrestle and jostle about with physicalities, the heart throbbings of soulfulness' desires shall always be strewn! Upon one's decisiveness should be wagered one's momentums ever so slowly and never thrusted about!
    April 16, 2012 at 11:58 am
    Crying eyes do sometimes reveal the most tenderness of felt ways and issues' bereavements beckonings. Teras of joy are healthy and tears of embittern' unpleasentries cannot be fathomed nor should they be outrightly repulsed. God may so love the silence of whisperings more than the unpleasentries of "demandasionalisms"! Anguish and sullentries are a heart's most repulsive to otherly humanists but to God, they are of his most rooted foundations! We need to find revolutions against heartlessness and seek the heart-felt people who ever do cherish Godliness and their Godly ambitions! Let Go Let God!
    April 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    The "man-made church'd structures" do not make the Kingdom of God! It is of one's body where the buildings of God can be found out and in all truth made said, our bodies are the Kingdoms of the Gods' buildings! I say this becuase I have seen the writings of attainable knowledge to all regarding the innerness of our bodies! Inside our body-buildings are innumerable cellular structures not unlike or no different than the stellarized structures in outward regions of the Great Celestial Cosmos! God's outter-most garment may well be the allness of "celestiality" but God's inner domains are the stomping grounds of Godly Beings we will never ever truly know of in our presnet days timeline(s)! I say this because; for us to "carry on" we need to turn our eyes away from devotionalisms of religious singularisms and make ways to centralize our combined interests for the well-being of all humanists and their humanisms potentials!
    April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm
    The "practicalities of nominalisms" are of a retreatists' renderings whereby and from they do the most clamourings either for or even against the liberties' bells!
    April 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    "Pre-determinations are indicative resolutes and not withstanding are the depths' "resonations!" What once was will ever so be! What one sees outwardly is it not seen inwardly? Where is this place at where visions of Life become our body's end-game for visions? The "brain yards" of quraks and gluons and positrons and electrons and all likenesses that science does dictate about are all parts of the human body are they not? Again I do ask, "Where is this place at where visions of Life become our body's end-game for visions?" Are we but not a singularism of mini-nuclearized particles flailing about in random fundamentals of physics' practicalities? Let Go! Let God alone! He is so very busy keeping all things apart and parted from each other's particalized practicalities!
    April 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm
    Phosphorus
    It's okay, Pipe-Dreamer. Can you show us on this bunny exactly where gawd has been toughing you?
    April 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm
    Pipe-Dreamer
    Phosphorus,,,, ,,,, ,,,, ,.,
    Such beligerencies from a disgruntled "ambiguist" of wanton godlessness only resorts to anonimities' clearing the house! Your gestations are but slurpiness's vomit so don't forget the napkins when you tender to spit!
    April 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    The "aged" yet childhood memories are that whcih many elder people tend to discover as they grow older.
    April 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    Don't ya just hate the religious "devotees" being ever led blindingly down the road? Such faiths of singularisms bewailings are just what the preacher s do all hope and pray for,,, Singled minds that is,,,, never to rise up in unity except when the preachers do beckon them! Although I try as I do to be a "moralist" of rightful means and mechanisms, I stumble about in my words as if I were a drunkard does so do! I hav'nt touched the "spirits" since sept of 09! Now if I can only keep my own spirit from sinking every day into the depths of vanities, I would be a good little ol' man!
    My Bad!
    April 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm
    Darwin
    has written, "Is there something to settle? I don't think the strife exists between people of faith and agnostics/athiests; I think the problem is between extremists of all types who refuse to respect the beliefs of others."
    April 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm
    By "extremists", are you referring to people within the elivated branches of the most popularized of many socialisms? Just asking! :-) :-( :-)
    Darwin has written "Pipe – Hahaha, no Sir, I am referring to religious fundamentalists and religion haters."
    April 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm
    Matt wrote, "You sound neither hot nor cold. Just lukewarm."
    On Monday, April 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm
    Not All Docs Play Golf responded stating "Matt"...."Luke" warm. Now we just need to hit the "Mark" on the "John".
    On, Monday, April 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm
    "LOL,,,, RAOTFL"
    What really are people? Cellular structures? What are cellular structures? Are they not made up of atoms? What are atoms? Are not atoms made up of neutrons protons and electrons? What are these 3 things made up of? Are these 3 things made up of quarks and gluons and ? Such is Life! Such are the living organisms of ladled movements going here and dithering there! Our being but one quark away from knowing that which was and Creationed and things that are in everness of creations and there is forever a myriad of unending possibilities in immeasurable amounts! The "weening" process toward the perfection of "wisdomnomics" is Timed by the Godly in the everness that abounds practically everywhere known and yet unknown and perhaps never to be known!!
    April 17, 2012 at 12:19 am

    April 17, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Mab

      Sorry to hear of your serious brain damage. That's what happens when you don't know what the hell you're doing with all those different drugs.
      Did it hurt? Did you have to go to the hospital? Or did you just wake up one morning and puke blood and laugh?
      Sad to see your worthless postings. What a total waste of time. Why don't you go find some more good stuff and save some electricity? Blabbering like that is pathetic.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Phosphorus

      Attempting to read beyond the first paragraph gave me quite the headache. Do you write sci-fi novels, by chance?

      April 17, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Phosphorus

      This guy is just taking up precious blog feed by posting a bunch of worthless drivel that took place earlier. This guy would make a fascinating case study for a psychiatrist post-doctorate.

      April 17, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • Ashrakay

      Jesus dude... I have to know, is it straight up lsd or are you doing ketamine and opium too?

      April 17, 2012 at 3:37 am |
    • Ashrakay

      In either case, allow me to recommend some movies:
      Tommy
      Listomania
      Baraka
      Doom Generation
      2001 A Space Odyssey
      A Clockwork Orange
      Koyaanisqatsi
      Waking Dreams
      The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

      April 17, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • momoya

      Powaqqatsi, or whatever it's called is good, too.

      April 17, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  18. Pipe-Dreamer

    What really are people? Cellular structures? What are cellular structures? Are they not made up of atoms? What are atoms? Are not atoms made up of neutrons protons and electrons? What are these 3 things made up of? Are these 3 things made up of quarks and gluons and ? Such is Life! Such are the living organisms of ladled movements going here and dithering there! My being but one quark away from knowing that which was and things that are and there is forever a myriad of possibilities in immeasurable amounts! The "weening" process toward the perfection of wisdomnomics is Timed! by the Godly in the everness that abounds practically everywhere known and yet unknown!

    April 17, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Ashrakay

      Wow... So somehow you can't be satisfied with the splendor and glory of the magnificent origin of nature you describe in the first half of your paragraph. You need to have magical fairies that planned all of it on top of that. Some people are never satisfied.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:34 am |
  19. Mab

    Who cares? Did your kids give their fully informed consent for you to teach them anything? No.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  20. ADL SimpleFee Account Manager Irving

    Laurel, you are clearly a stuck-up racist hypocrite. You want the racist advantages without being too loud in your racism.
    People like you disgust me. You are no different than any Nazi supporter who enjoys the colorful banners, the great food, the warm cameraderie of the other Nazis, who blithely goes along with everything to fit in yet cherry-picks what they like about the ideology.....and never, ever question any of the premises of the ideology itself because you are enjoying your "comfort zone" and could care less about those helpless innocent people who were murdered and tortured horribly when Moses gave the word.
    Ancient Jews committed genocide. Not once, not twice, but many times. Genocide. Just as bad as any Nazi.
    And like Nazis, you think your precious bloodline is pure, is holy, is blessed and just better than anyone else's bloodline.
    Yet, like the Germans, your DNA is just as much of a mishmash as any other person's. You aren't a pure-blood anything. Nobody is. Yet you cling to your "people", your "people's" racist culture, racist religion, and think it is okay because so many Christians "love" Jews and can be used shamelessly to protect your racist "people" and their racist country along with your racist culture and all the rest of it.

    You're not a Jew. You're a racist. What you call yourself is just a convenient label. When you'd like to join the rest of the human race, you'll have to get rid of that racist religion, racist world-view, racist culture, and call yourself a person instead of a "Jew".
    I feel sorry for your children. They will be brainwashed to think their racist culture is okay. You might as well be a Muslim, Nazi, or any one of the hundreds of racist religious / cultural groups throughout the world. From within the racist culture all seems sweetness and light, but to those outside your racist group you are clearly just another group of racists.
    But here you are proclaiming your mother-approved cherry-picked cultural referents as being what you want regardless of history, logic, reason, common sense,

    April 17, 2012 at 12:12 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
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.