home
RSS
America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree
A crowd gathers in Marion, Indiana, in 1930 to witness a lynching. This photograph inspired the poem and song “Strange Fruit.”
April 21st, 2012
10:00 PM ET

America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When he was boy growing up in rural Arkansas, James Cone would often stand at his window at night, looking for a sign that his father was still alive.

Cone had reason to worry. He lived in a small, segregated town in the age of Jim Crow. And his father, Charlie Cone, was a marked man.

Charlie Cone wouldn’t answer to any white man who called him “boy.” He only worked for himself, he told his sons, because a black man couldn’t work for a white man and keep his manhood at the same time.

Once, when he was warned that a lynch mob was coming to run him out of his home, he grabbed a shotgun and waited, saying, “Let them come, because some of them will die with me.”

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

James Cone knew the risks his father took. So when his father didn’t come home at his usual time in the evenings, he’d stand sentry, looking for the lights from his father’s pickup truck.

“I had heard too much about white people killing black people,” Cone recalled. “When my father would finally make it home safely, I would run and jump into his arms, happy as I could be.”

Cone takes on a theological giant

Cone left his hometown of Bearden, Arkansas, and became one of the world’s most influential theologians. But the memories of his father and lynch mobs never left him. Those memories shaped his controversial theology, and they saturate his recent memoir, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.”

Cone, who once called himself “the angriest theologian in America,” is still angry. His book is not just a memoir of growing up in the Jim Crow era; it’s a blistering takedown of white churches, and one of America’s greatest theologians, Reinhold Niebuhr - a colossal figure often cited by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, Niebuhr’s importance is acknowledged by both liberal and conservative Christian leaders. President Obama once called him one of his favorite philosophers. Niebuhr, the author of classics such as “The Irony of American History,” died in 1971 after a lifetime of political activism.

Cone, however, said neither Niebuhr nor any other famous white pastor at the time spoke out against the most brutal manifestation of white racism in the 20th century America: lynching.

Between 1880 and 1940, Cone says, an estimated 5,000 black men and women were lynched. Their murders were often treated as festive affairs. Women and children cut off the ears of lynching victims as souvenirs. People mailed postcards of lynchings. One postcard of a charred lynching victim read, “This is the barbeque we had last night.”

But Niebuhr said nothing about lynching, little about segregation, and once turned down King’s request to sign a petition calling on the president to protect black children integrating Southern schools, Cone said.

Niebuhr’s decision not to speak out against lynching encouraged other white theologians and ministers to follow suit, Cone said, because Niebuhr was considered the nation’s greatest theologian.

“White theologians didn’t say anything about lynching,” Cone said from his office at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he teaches a course on Niebuhr. “I tried to find a white theologian who addressed it in a sustained way. No one did it.”

Cone’s criticism of Niebuhr baffles at least one well-known Niebuhr scholar. Charles Lemert, author of “Why Niebuhr Matters,” said King often cited Niebuhr as an inspiration. He said he’d never heard that Niebuhr rejected a petition request from King. “It would be so remote from everything the man was.”

Lemert said Niebuhr had established a long record of speaking out against racism, beginning when he became a pastor in Detroit. Niebuhr may not have spoken out against lynching and other forms of racism later on because of another reason, Lemert said.

“He had a debilitating stroke in 1951,” Lemert said. “By the time the civil rights movement was full blown, he was retired and getting ill.”

Why Cone is angry

Cone has spent much of his career condemning the white church for saying little about slavery or racial justice. Yet his pugnacious reputation doesn’t jibe with his appearance. He is a slight man with a boyish face, cinnamon complexion and dimples. He has a high-pitched voice that drips with the Southern inflections of his native Arkansas.

Cone first gained attention in 1969 with the release of “Black Theology and Black Power,” a book he wrote after urban race riots and King’s assassination.

That book took theology out of academia and placed it on the still-smoldering streets. He became known as the father of “black liberation theology.” He said God was black (he meant it figuratively) because God was closest to those who were oppressed and despised - black people in America.

Cone said his passion for justice comes from growing up in the black church.

Cone blended the racial pride of the black power movement with an emphasis on social justice that had been a part of the black church since enslaved Africans first read the Bible. Jesus' primary message, he said, wasn't about getting people to heaven, but liberating people here and now from oppression - racial, economic and spiritual.

Cone said he was tired of white theologians writing about an otherworldly theology while cities burned and blacks were murdered by racists.

“I felt like I was the angriest black theologian in America,” he once wrote in his book “Risks of Faith.” “I had to speak out.”

Cone inspired some and angered others.

Critics say he developed a divisive, racist theology that describes God as black and whites as evil. They say he’s stuck in the '60s and never abandoned the bitterness of growing up in segregation.

Supporters say Cone exposed the hypocrisy of white churches and gave voice to helpless, poor and oppressed Christians in places as far away as China and Latin America.

The Rev. James Ellis III, an author who has been both critical and supportive of Cone, says before Cone, theology was interpreted through a white male perspective.

Cone has inspired not only blacks but also women and other racial minorities to enter seminaries and the pulpit, he says.

“Whether you agree with Cone or not, he’s definitely someone you need to deal with,” said Ellis, author of “OnThaGrindCuzin: The School Daze of Being ‘Incognegro’ in 1619.”

“He takes the gloves off and gets down to the nitty-gritty.”

Jonathan Walton, an assistant professor of African American Religious Studies at Harvard University, said listening to Cone is like “listening to a Hebrew prophet.”

For many people, Walton says, Cone “exposed that the God that they were worshiping was more consistent with the Pharaoh in Egypt than the Hebrew children.”

Cone said people still misunderstand his theology. He said he does not believe that whites are more sinful than others.

“God made us all as brothers and sisters,” he said. “I’m mad when people don’t treat others as brothers and sisters. I’m concerned about the suffering of all people, not just black people. If anybody is being treated unjustly, I’m with them.”

Singing about the ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’

Cone said his passion for justice comes from growing up in the black church. In his recent memoir, he describes how blacks relied on music and faith to deal with the cruelty of segregation.

On Saturday nights, he said, blacks in his hometown would go to juke joints with names like Sam’s Place to hear blues songs like “Hoochie Coochie Man.” On Sunday mornings, some of the same people would go to church to sing spirituals like “Lord, I Want to be a Christian in My Heart.”

Church comforted Cone, but it also made him ask questions.

“My thing was, if the white churches are Christian, how come they segregate us? And if God is God, why is He letting us suffer?”

The cross, he said, helped him find some answers. He said many white Christians “spiritualize” the cross, seeing it as a penalty Jesus had to pay for mankind’s sins.

But black Christians, starting with the slaves who took up the Bible, also viewed the cross as a way to cope with suffering.

Blacks looking at the images of lynching victims took heart from Jesus’ suffering on the cross and his resurrection, Cone said.

He writes:

“Black Christians believed that just knowing that Jesus went through an experience of suffering in a manner similar to theirs gave them faith that God was with them, even in suffering on lynching trees just as God was present with Jesus in suffering on the cross.”

Cone also talked about his personal suffering in his memoir.

He writes about his wife, Sandra, who died of cancer in 1983. He saw her on the night she died. He said they were joking and laughing as she chided him for not leaving her hospital room to get rest.

He finally did leave, but she died at 3 that morning. Thinking about the cross helped him grieve, he said.

“God talked me through that,” he said, his voice softening. “You look suffering right in you eye and say, ‘You may get me, but you’re not going to have the last word.’ ”

Cone also talks about his parents, Charlie and Lucy, who inspired him and his two brothers. Charlie was a woodcutter who encouraged his wife to return to school, where she eventually earned a college degree.

“I didn’t grow up with a lot of fear,” he said. “I just thought my mother and father would protect me.”

One of Cone’s fears today, though, is that the contemporary black church is losing its distinctive theology. He said there’s less talk about justice and more talk about prosperity.

“You go to almost any black church today, and you don’t hear spirituals anymore,” he said. “What you hear is this happy, ‘I’m prosperous’ kind of stuff. I’m not for that. You don’t come to church to be entertained. You come to wrestle with your spirit.”

Cone may still be angry, but he’s also mellowed. He’s tempered some of the voltage from the language he used in his earlier books. And he’s accepted criticism from some black women theologians who said he didn’t include the perspective of black women in his works.

Yet thoughts of his childhood and his parents never seem far off. In his books and lectures, he returns once again to them, especially when people compliment him for his boldness. In one essay, Cone wrote:

“At most, what I say and do are just dim reflections of what my parents taught and lived.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Bible • Black issues • Books • Christianity • Church • Crime • Culture wars • Persecution • Prejudice • Race

soundoff (2,563 Responses)
  1. marc

    This is Americas past.Ugly isn't it?

    April 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Susie

      The entire human race has an ugly past, That is why we need the forgiveness God offers. We sin against Him.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  2. Milton Wiseblood

    Home Depot has good rope.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • marc

      Ignorant comment.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • DON

      HE WOULD LOOK GOOD HANGING FROM A TREE

      April 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • MOJO

      The internet allows cowards like you to hide, so you can say air all your dirty laundry of a mind without anyone knowing who you are. But these things do catch up with people like you. I hope you feel better after that comment about the rope.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  3. angel611

    CNN has a plan to divide the country by race, so that Romney will win the election.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Pedro

      Why does CNN care if Romney wins an election? CNN is cashing in on web hits with articles on race, religion and any combination therof. We're feeding the CNN troll everytime we click/refresh and comment.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  4. snowdogg

    "While no one would claim that there is not some hostility towards Whites in the Black community, it certainly is not pervasive. On the contrary, forgiveness, tolerance and reconciliation are traits, which are deeply imbedded in Black culture."

    From a website which promotes black education. I don't agree with this statement – you just can't say black racism towards white, latinos and asians in the USA is a thing of the past.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  5. Happy ShockSunday Morning

    Beer is one of man’s greatest inventions, and here is some beer inspired, hopefully tangible writing. Summary: Each person has bad feelings. As easier level of living become available within a society, there is then additional pockets for these bad feelings to be expressed (like the internet), because we do not no longer have to truly have to worry about surviving/scourging for food, or worrying that an animal will attack us as when living in nature thousands of years ago. There is no other resource or action to make this go away. Give up trying. Millions of people cannot be made to feel or act a certain way, the waves of miss-will and underlying dark emotions of niche groups expressing various cultural relative levels of hate, can only be channeled to forms that are borderline accepted by the society at that time in history. Regretfully the hanging /lynching were at one time one of those borderline, while illegal, existing philosophies in this country. No one can dispute other societies have had like forms of evil scenarios. That level of evilness has now been banished, but people will still figure out ways to express/channel their anger. It cannot go away, never will, so we all need to stop trying. We are creatures of nature and nature is cruel. Someday, if we are still around hundreds of years from now, those same dark emotions will band smaller groups of people together, in groups that are good and bad, to survive in packs as societies fall and re-rise. On that note, beer is one of man’s greatest inventions and time for another.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • GAW

      Good insights....And some people actually think that beer kills brain cells.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  6. GAW

    I don't blame Cone for being angry however if he's always angry people may get tired of listening to him. BTW If it were not for this article most people would not know who James Cone is.

    April 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • marc

      I take it you didnt read the whole article?Probably not.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  7. Claudine Chinetti

    I believe CNN has just used Cone for an excuse to use the photo. Who in their right mind would put up a picture of a lynching rope and men being hung at this point in time in the USA. What would be the purpose behind that? What do you think would have happened if Imus had brought out a lynching rope and laid it on his desk for his show this week? What is going on here?

    April 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Sal Papageorgio

      The evidence that Zimmerman reacted in self defense is strong. Since CNN used insane media bias to make him look guilty with no evidence and now are being called out on it with facts. they must now do something... anything to perpetuate the race war they have tried to start

      April 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • marc

      And dont you think ropes are still being hung up somewhere?As intimidation to blacks?Yes there is.Open your eyes.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Claudine Chinetti

      My eyes are open and what I see is hateful, cruel, low and reeking of sewage. Man's greatest need is "self esteem". No one can win in the picture above. It is lose/lose!

      April 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  8. Dialogos

    CNN? WHat is the deal? You stoop so low to seek better ratings. You are nothing but shills for Wall Street in reality.

    So to keep America pre-ocupied while we all get ripped off by banks and military contractors, you fire up racial wounds. In the 80s I recorded with a Motown Band back in it's final days. During that decade there was healing. Everyone used to get along. Our popular culture was not about Black and White, it was about progress and having a good time. Today, from Hollywood to the White House, is all about scorched Earth politics, racial comparisons. Today, you treach us that WHITE PEOPLE are the threat to black society, when in reality popular cultrue is in reality the culprit. Hollywood has spent the last 20 years selling gangsta culture to black youth and teaching them that life is not fair. This is a disease, and it must be overcome without the help of the MSM. The greatest threat to the black community is ignorance and black on black crime. It is so sad.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Pedro

      I have to agree with you. Information is power & the information age is at unprecedented levels right now. The news media is "causing" the news not just reporting it. The problem is that with free market private enterprise a profit can be made off sensationalism ... so where does the real problem lie? With us, those who eat at their trough. Don't consume the product & the product will cease to be produced.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  9. PRISM 1234

    "Between 1880 and 1940, Cone says, an estimated 5,000 black men and women were lynched. Their murders were often treated as festive affairs. Women and children cut off the ears of lynching victims as souvenirs. People mailed postcards of lynchings. One postcard of a charred lynching victim read, “This is the barbeque we had last night.”

    Is that a surprise?

    The Word of God already declares that those things are in the heart of every unregenerate (hu)man. It's not co'nfound to a race or nationality, creed or anything else. The fact is simply, we have it in our hearts to co'mmit the same things, unless Christ by His Spirit makes us anew..... And just because we never have done it, or think we wouldn't, it still doesn't change the fact that every one of us is born with potential and inclination to do them. Only by the grace of God and our acknowledging of His truth we don't do them, whether we give to Him glory for it, or not.... It's still by His grace, and all by His grace.
    It is written "Human heart is desperately wi'cked, and who can know it? " But God knows it, and His description of it is correct. The history of mankind te'stifies to it!
    Is this a negative talk of a pe'ssimist? No, not by a long shot! Pe'ssimist only sees darkness, but Christ Jesus is The Light that overcomes darkness. Those who reject Him, refusing to acknowledge Him, resign themselves to hope-less darkness, making it to be their Destiny!

    But this man has yet to surrender to Christ his anger, which still holds him captive. The writings of Corrie Ten Boom, the holocaust survivor who wrote about her experiences in con'ce'ntration camp, could give this man much help. But he must let go of his OWN theology, before God would deliver him!

    April 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  10. Brian

    "Niebuhr’s decision not to speak out against lynching encouraged other white theologians and ministers to follow suit, Cone said, because Niebuhr was considered the nation’s greatest theologian."...............................

    What was "great" about him? Some theologians say he was mediocre and considered "great" by some simply because he had a Germanic name.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  11. Muqtar

    Looks like the narrative on Trayvon Martin that CNN sold the mindless followers is falling apart, so CNN feels the need to run a story on lynching.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Sal Papageorgio

      Yep. it just shows that they are so far from unbiased news reporting that it is bordering on ridiculous.
      Keep tensions flared CNN. but it wont make Zimmerman guilty no matter how hard you try to create a race war

      April 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  12. jwc

    Get over it already and move on. Religion..such crap anyway.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  13. Liz

    That photo looks like the photo taken last week at the University of Memphis of black students beating a white girl pinata.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Only to a blind idiot.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • 7Pillars

      WHAT are you talking about? This is funny to you!?!

      April 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • fireobama

      I agree, the racist hatred shown by Blacks in this nation....always goes unnoticed though!

      April 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Claudine

      I don't find black males beating a white female pinata (a Hispanic tradition, not black) funny at all. I don't believe the men meant it to be funny.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • GAW

      Just get 20 or more people to report this post as abuse.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Pedro

      Claudine, I saw that on Napoleon Dynamite!

      April 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Claudine Chinetti

      I'm sorry, I have missed this. I live off in the middle of nowhere and have had the TV off for about a year. I need to move back to Houston. And, so I am not sure what this is all about, but I am looking it up on the Internet. This is the second time today, I have had to do that. The last time was on page 3. I had no idea what the people who replied on my posts were talking about, and had to run look it up. I'm learning. I see that the Memphis incident was some young people brought on campus for a Luau. One wonders is this just an excuse, did the adults know what they were doing? I am trying to remember a Luau we had in Southern California/Orange County, we had a pig buried in the ground, being cooked. We had tiki torches lit and plants and fountains and lights all around like they do in Southern California along the coast. We had a make believe volcano erupting with lava pouring out..carved wooden faces..floating candles....muumuus on....students from lots of different countries that would later go to lots of different countries. All kinds of fruits and ham, you know a luau. Pinatas we have out here in South Texas. I'm not familiar with Napoleon Dynamite, but maybe I need to learn. 🙂

      April 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  14. Nation_of_Hypocrits

    There are still people fighting the Civil War in America and declaring to bring back the "old south" with all its trimmings, fixins, and misguided glory. Yet, some of you attack a man who lived, breathed and survive some of the most hideous and heinous acts committed against people who looked like him in recent American times. People who given the green light, such as the Stand Your Ground law, wouldn't hesitate one second to go on another mass killing spree of innocent unarmed Americans. Why? All for the dark complexion of their skin. That's what is so sad about America and Americans. In that, you have men and women of all colors, shades and hues dying side by side fighting in wars (regardless of who is responsible for starting them) -for the freedoms of ALL Americans, yet American still can't tear itself away from hate. What does that say about America? A nation that claims to be so heaped in Christian religious beliefs and tolerancea? What does that say about America's hypocristy and double standards, when it make claims that we send out men and women to die, not for just the "freedoms" Americans enjoy, but so others can get a taste of "America's" freedoms?

    April 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Please don't assume, I would be presumptuous, when you read the following.

      There would be a way to overcome hypocrisy.

      The churches must preach again that baptism is a call for discipleship.

      Too many "Christians" see baptism or Christ's atonement as a free ticket for heaven (they once will face a rude awakening), which dispenses them from love and righteousness in daily life.

      Baptism is not a free ticket for heaven, nor Christ's atonement is that, but baptism is a divine call for discipleship.

      Baptism is the gateway to a Christian life (by baptism and Christ's death and resurrection we get enabled to live the Christian life). Only the one, who keeps the faith, will finally enter heaven.

      The object of baptism is Christ's death and resurrection (it is more than an atonement). We receive not merely forgiveness, but also die for the sin and get Christ's nature of love. Through Christi's nature of love we overcome the lust of our body (hate, anger, greed, etc.).

      April 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • jwc

      I'm pretty sure there are blacks out there ready to go on a killing spree just because the other person's skin is white.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • fireobama

      The picture shown above was not in the south, it was in Indiana.

      And in regards to this guy....he is simply a racist. He is continuing his campaing of attacks on White people for his own personal gain, he is just another racist.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Happy ShockSunday Morning

      I’m conservative and agree with you the USA is a nation of hypocrites. This hatred for each other will regretfully always be there. The issue is it is not directed towards ethnicity groups, who have what, who doesn’t have what, and who is/who is not willing/not willing to work for whatever “IT” is. Man is an animal that at one time figured out it was easier to survive by living in packs, but by nature we are all cruel. There is no answer for all this, nor possibility for acceptance. When nations end, it is this pack mentality that makes people, when pushed to the limit, to finally join together to survive. But until an event happens that causes a great calamity in societies, the members of the society regretfully miss-direct the ill-will feelings we have my nature, to other groups that the individual believes represents the problem with the world.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  15. Liz

    Next week, Facing The Gas Chambers, followed by Facing They Lynching Tree, followed by Facing The Gas Chambers, followed by Facing The Lynching Tree............

    April 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  16. Big Bob

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    April 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Big Bob

      I iz big Bob and I schlob da knob..I polish dat tool till I be full of drool! I luv dem fat ol jig-abooo schlongs, I know dey smelly, but dey got big dongs!!

      April 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Truthteller

      The eloquence of a six-grade education.... so sad.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  17. trollin trollin trollin

    We be trollin trollin trollin....put a fist in his face... smash a 2 by 4 over his head...pound dat cooon with dem boots....its our gang....we be da KKK! We down with violence and we burn down there slums...oh yeah!! We iz da white sheeted racists!! Come join our posse and we'll have some fun. Let's start a lynch mob and chase some jig-abooos!! Yeah. What up??

    April 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • 7Pillars

      Sad, IMPOTENT little drama queen...

      April 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Sensible

      I really feel bad for you.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    There are also conflicts between different religions beside tensions of color, for example there is a tension between Islam and Christianity.

    Of course, the doctrines of Islam and Christianity are contradictory. Yet, nevertheless a true Christian should love his Muslim neighbour (workmate, classmate, next-door neighbour, etc.) independent from his Muslim belief, just because he is a human being.

    There is something in us, an ugly germ, which always seeks to stress the distinctions, in oder to have a reason to despise the neighbour: black/white; German/Jewish, Christian/Muslim; rich/poor; etc.. The same bad germ, which takes different religion as reason for hate, takes a different color, race, nationality or social status as reason for hate.

    Hence, the problem are not the distinctions between us, but our hateful nature, which is not ready to love the neighbour with his own personality.

    Why should we love our neighbour at all?

    God is love (regard the sweet animals, which he created). We are happy, if God's love flows through us. We can promote each others life by the gifts, which God has given us. If someone uses his gifts, in order to promote the health of his neighbour, God's love flows through him and he becomes happy. Our different characters are actually a big chance for us. We can complement each other.

    The problem is only that, even if we understand that love is good, we are slaves of our bad angry, hateful nature, which is connected with our body.

    Hence, we need deliverance. By sacramental baptism and faith we can receive Christ's nature of love, which overcomes our natural nature of hate. Get baptized or remember infant baptism.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • wrong side of the bed

      Yes,God's love flowed through these people and yes,they seem quite happy.RB, you need to go and give some newspapers a deliverance..Nothing personal.I did take the time to read your post and try to make sense of it.Just run of the mill ,religious rambling to me!Anyhow..Peace!

      April 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  19. Michael

    The nature of humans is self justification. The nature of conforming to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ is a death, burial, resurrected life. Only one of these natures has a correct ending. Hope and pray we choose correctly.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      "The nature of humans is self justification."

      That is true, indeed.

      How to solve this problem?

      God wants to give as a second good nature, which is stronger than our bad natural nature, which dwells in our limbs.

      This is the nature of Christ or the Holy Spirit. This nature of love, which overcomes our nature of death and hate, we receive at sacramental baptism, which relates to Christ's death and resurrection for us.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  20. gretchen

    I would be content to allow myself to be called a European -American if that was in the interest of my nation. But it's not. I am an American. Period.

    And btw, since BO and wife don't impress me as that interested in our nation , in a genuine way, I will have to vote for Romney. He seems to get it about economics better than BO. I have studied mormonism and am very sad it has the past trappings of racism and polygamy but I have no other voting choice who I feel can give BO a challenge at the polls.

    April 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • J

      Fortunately, Obama seems to be one of the few in recent generations who is interested in our nation. Unfortunately, Republicans don't feel that we should invest in the nation and would rather hold tightly to their money to the detriment of the future of the nation as a whole.

      If we don't invest (in education, in infrastructure, in job creation), we have no future.

      Love Obama.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      Anyone voting can write in their choice! I am writing in either God or Jesus,,,,,, Still undecided am I,,,, In Time I may choose the wiser one!

      April 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • fireobama

      I agree.... it is unfortunate that our current President does not believe in America. FIRE OBAMA 2012!!!!

      April 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Nah

      j: "Unfortunately, Republicans don't feel that we should invest in the nation and would rather hold tightly to their money to the detriment of the future of the nation as a whole."

      *yawn* Your partisan simple mindedness is cute, really.

      Hate Republicans all you want but ignoring the reasons why they hold the beliefs they do is dishonest. It's precisely *because* they believe lower government debt, spending, taxes, etc. is *good* for the U.S. that they believe *gasp* that the U.S. should lower debt, spending, etc.

      Creating an ad hominem, by concluding something about their secret motivations and desires, shows more that you're a dogmatic imbecile than anything else.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Nah

      gret: "And btw, since BO and wife don't impress me as that interested in our nation , in a genuine way"

      The criticism of J applies to you too.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • lee

      If Willard Romney is elected president I hope that he shows his true color. He is a liar and a trickster. This man blood is green and that is all that is on his mind. He is so rich he doesn't know how to sit at the table and have a everday conversation with ordinary people. If he wins which I doubt he will line his cronies pockets just as the rest of the big boys who have the power of the stoke of the pen. I don't trust him at all neither do I trust the policies he will enact if he becomes president.

      President Obama has my vote for the second term because George Bush left this country in such a mess it will take who knows how long to fix it. Willard Romney is a business man and he will look out for businesses and not the average person. President Obama and the first lady has represented this country well and I am willing to give them a second term to turn this gigantic ship around meaning this country.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
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 44 45
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.