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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. rjp34652

    Jesus said, 'blessed be the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God.' What shall we say then of opportunistic black clerics whose mission in life is to fan the flames of racism and hatred instead of understanding? They are indeed sons of Satan, not God. Race War is their goal, not peace not justice and certainly not equality.

    If there is guilt to be laid at the feet of white churches it is that they do not address ANY issue of the day be it war, national economic insolvency, usurpation of power by the Federal government or the growing hatred of anything pertaining to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    April 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Infallibillibibbibal Biblical Authority

      No, Jesus was misquoted. It's "blessed are the cheesemakers", and unlike most religioous people, I can actually provide evidence:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xLUEMj6cwA&w=640&h=360]

      April 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  2. just sayin

    Black people have only themselves to blame. God Bless

    April 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • blake

      Afican Americans..need to realize whites are no better then them but they are no better than whites either.....ask Asians or other minorities how 'unprejudiced' african americans are. They get get up on thier soap box either...stay humble....given the same opportunities good or bad...'we' are 'all' the same. Blacks are just as racist as whites

      April 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  3. Brampt

    If they were real christians on first place, the whites would never killed the black just because they were black, nor the black Christians would kill whites or form there own churches creating segregation from the white... Non of these called "Christians" follow the foot steps of Christ, rather there interest is fully political, and material...

    April 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Bibletruth

      You are biblically correct. Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, Palestine, etc. and never railed against the Roman occupation. Jesus mission was to save the lost, and political activity (partisan hatred for the most part) had no place in such an endeavor. Political activity (tribalism, us vs. them, etc.) will never meet the needs of sinful humanity. Where are the James Cones of the world, cowards all of them, standing with the Lord Jesus in his word to all-stop sinning. Where is James Cone regarding the law of God? Where is James Cone regarding the ten commandments? All ten, not nine!

      April 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Angus MacDonnaugh, Not A True Scotsman

      I'm thinking there is some kind of fallacy there. I wonder what it is?

      April 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  4. Raksha

    @A frayed knot

    You're right that was intended as a reply & for some reason it didn't take. You're soooooooo smart.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Clues to the clueless

      There is this thing called a reply button. It's down to the right. It keeps your comment with the one you are commenting on..

      April 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Raksha

      Oh, I forgot to add that I'm using an IPAD and it didn't sense it when I touched reply. Sooooooo sorry.

      April 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  5. Raksha

    In a moment someone will be here to explain to you why you are a racist .......

    April 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Raksha,

      Your posts make no sense when we don't know who you are talking to...

      April 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • cwalkrun

      Are you not capable? I think it is racist to say "we are equal regardless of race". Then we invoke affirmative action. Explain that to me

      April 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  6. cwalkrun

    I see how white people treated blacks in the past and it sickens me. How could a woman or child cut the ears off of a lynched black man? repulsive to say the least. But lets be honest, Blacks as a race have underperformed the rest of society for a long time. At what point are they responsible for their own actions? At what point do we stop pushing down on one side of the scale to balance what happened in the past? I see many people who were once persecuted in their own country. who didnt have a house or a pot to p*** in. They come here and after 1 to2 generations they are succeeding. I have to think it is about a strong family core that blacks do not seem to have. Honestly, it is time for blacks to step up to the plate and succeed or quit complaining about the past.

    April 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      First, not ALL white people did anything to another. Certain people did certain things to others regardless of their race or gender. Secondly, if your family was systematically ripped apart for generations, how well would you and yours survive? While analyzing anything in life, tis better to see the overall picture with the many pieces.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Lupino

      The immigrants who came to this country had advantages. Number one they were white and more accepted by their white peers. Sure they had to take menial jobs, but they were afforded an education and blacks were not. When you look at whites you don't know whether they're Jewish, Italian, Sicilian, etc. You can't say that about blacks. Blacks are a product of their 400 years enslavement. Violence and poor education. Whites that come here from other places even discriminate. Yeah, Blacks could and should do better, but you don't fix discrimination in 30 years after 400 years of abuse snd neglect.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"You can't say that about blacks. Blacks are a product of their 400 years enslavement."

      Ok, then the challenge to your view is to question the percentage of Blacks that immigrated to America. How many were here and were not slaves and never had slave ancestors. Remember there were Black slave holders as well and free blacks that lived in the South as well as the North throughout American history.

      April 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  7. William Demuth

    I find these African American preachers so amusing!

    Most American blacks have descended at least partialy from Muslims slaves, stolen and brought here by force.

    They were beaten, tourtured, forcibly inseminated and abused for generations, and when they finally achieve some form of freedom, they choose to continue to worship the slave masters God.

    It seems with enough abuse, you can force people to worship whomever you want.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      So William are you saying that you can be broken as well? 🙂

      April 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • J.W

      So if we wanna make William a Christian one of us must just make him our slave.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Yodelling Bob

      Christianity has a long history of enslaving people to force their religion on them. Look at South America.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      William, turn off the history channel OFF and talk with the individual sources that are still living.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Habbo

      Anyone can be broken. Humans have weak minds and cannot control them or their nerves or anything at the cellular level.

      It's very easy. Yes, we can torture William into believing anything, but that would still not make any of it true.
      That's why indoctrination of false and sociopathic ideologies should be banned.
      It's child abuse when done to kids. It's psychological abuse no matter how old the victim is.

      But you would justify it using your religion. A vicious circle of madness. Religion is insanity with a rulebook.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  8. Silent Majority

    To CNN: STOP WITH THE PROMOTION OF RACIST PEOPLE OF ANY COLOR AND THIER RACIST IDEAS!!! WHERE IS THE EDITOR AT???? WE ARE SICK OF IT!!!

    April 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      The advertisers love it though.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Caps lock stuck again?

      April 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Silent Majority

      No. I'm just having a nice scream. It helps when I run out of meds.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Silent Majority, I agree with you that CNN plays too many games today. They used to be an informative site, but, they sold themselves to the devil years ago.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  9. Silent Majority

    nice weather..

    April 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  10. Raksha

    @ Really
    Read what I said again. You missed the point.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  11. Brampt

    Apostol Peter came to a conclusion in Acts 10:34,35: For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him. But I have to condems not only white so called "Christians" but the black ones as well. There interest was never to follow God, but political and material interests... The white christians wanted there stereo type of a white america, and the black christians today have only there own churches, were u see no white people in it... So the whites didn't do good but the black Christians don't give a good example as well.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • GodPot

      " There interest was never to follow God, but political and material interests... "

      Right, why would they need a vote if they have God? Why would they need equal access to education and jobs when all they will do with it is buy material goods like food and clothing for their children. Such selfish blacks...

      April 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  12. Buddha

    It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or heII.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Gabba Gabba Hey

      Angels, demons, heaven and hell are not Buddhist concepts.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      Gabba, that was a quote form Buddha.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Gabba Gabba Hey

      Be careful of pulling quotes like that on a 2,500 year old person. Let me give you another example attributed to Buddha: "The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups. A good principle was never found solitary in any breast." See the problem? I'll give you a moment to figure out why Buddha could not possibly have said it.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • J.W

      I think Buddha said that.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  13. Buddha

    The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  14. electricdubb

    Freeman how about this, tell me some of the flaws that you believe the typical black person has. Now name some positives that I can expect to see from the typical black man. I see 16 year old gangsters walking up and down the street with their kids dressed just like them in little gang-banger outfits I hear them curse in front of their children and wave around wads of cash when I know for a fact they don't have a job. What impression does that give someone who sees it every day? I think that the idolization of rap music and it's message is negatively affecting you and yours. And if you say that this is not how it is in the urban setting you have no buisiness speaking for your people.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Raksha

      Hey, lay off Freeman. If you read what he's been saying.......he sounds like a nice guy.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      I see plenty of white kids doing the same thing in my neighborhood. It's a culture. It has nothing to do with race.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Freeman

      dude your so out of touch you have no idea what your saying, thats no different than the klansman and skin heads that walk around listening to death metal and worshipping hitler for his ideals, there are bad people in every race, most of your comments explain exactly why there is such a race issue in the country because you generalize instead of researching. what about the neighborhood that hold successfull hard working blacks that dont ask for anything, those neighborhoods are still randomly vandalized and terrorized, my entire point is you shouldnt comment on things you dont know, at all

      April 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  15. Raksha

    CNN..... Okay, okay....I got it ...white people are horrible to black people. Yes, there are groups that I can't stand, like the Tea Party, but as long as they don't start with Obama is Hitler, I'll leave them alone. (I'm talking about face to face encounters). I'm not interested in hating the Tea Party, but I do need to know their MO, so I watch the news. But hate is something else. This blog is just filled with hate........just like CNN likes it. I don't watch CNN anymore (used to be a daily sometimes all day thing).....too much time stirring up racial hatred.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Really?

      So you hate the Tea Party, and you hate CNN for stirring up haterd?

      April 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Its a election year for a African American president. CNN will be bringing out more and more of these stories to keep those in the African American who are Democrats in line and to make sure there is enough White guilt to put Obama over the top.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Gabba Gabba Hey

      So Mark, why would CNN feel any need to try to sway Obama's sure-thing voters to vote for Obama? Why would they use the title "America's 'Angriest' Theologian"?

      The old "media bias" conspiracy theory is still running hard on the right.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>".....African American who are Democrats in line "

      Remember G.W. pulled a noticable amount of the African American vote. I have noticed a re-newed sence of urgency in the in the Dems that they will not be able to get the same voter turn out in the African American community that they did before.

      So, they will keep putting stories like this out to scare those in the minority community.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Gabba Gabba Hey

      You really believe that black voters are going to flock to Mitt Romeny? Really? Been into the vodka this morning, have we?

      If you actually look at statistics, W got slightly less black voters than is normal for a Republican, and much less than Dole and daddy before him.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"You really believe that black voters are going to flock to Mitt Romeny? Really?"

      Hi Gabba, did you read and fully understand when I said:

      "that they will not be able to get the same voter turn out in the African American community that they did before. "

      I did not say they would switch to vote for Romney... decline in voter turnout means what it means ...as a "decline" in turnout. The fear in many Democrat circles is that the African American voters that voted for Obama first term will just not go to the polls in the same numbers to vote for Obama's attempt at a second term. On some of the Black talk radio shows that were very pro Obama years ago do not have that same spirit and few militant ones have actually stated that "the brother has let us down".

      I feel CNN sees this as well and they will be putting up more and more stories such as this between now and November.

      It sounds like you have been in the Whiskey and the Vodka my friend 🙂

      April 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  16. electricdubb

    Obviously you don't go to the hood to often.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Freeman

      now your just reaching man... stop while you still have your dignity

      April 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  17. WASP

    history has proven one main thing about the human psychi.......if it's different from us, we view it as a threat and fear it; then the fear changes to hate and hate leads to violence. there have been countless attrocities carried out on all sides. humans continue even to this day to state that the dark ages are through, no we still haven't seen the light yet to understand how dark it has been in our history. no one group were slaves or treated badly, all groupings of humans have been treated as sub-human, all people bare the weight of the hate passed down generation to generation. it's the media spinning white guy shot black guy or black guy shots white guy just to sell papers and light this power keg we call america. i am truly terrified that if the media keeps lighting that fuse and people allow themselves to get caught up in it, my child will be stuck watching the greatest country in history burn to the ground. humans are the most vicious, violent destructive creatures to ever walk this planet.......but we also have compassion and ability to heal and work together. it is up to use to choose, continue to fight and eventually fade into oblivion or work together and reach for the stars.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Truth

      Logic Alert! Logic Alert!! Everyone Stay Away!

      Don't expect responses when your post is well thought out and makes sense.

      Logic Alert! Logic Alert!

      April 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      So true. People as a whole will always find a reason to hate others.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • WASP

      @truth: LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      April 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Truth

      @WASP,

      Glad you found it funny, I had a few chuckles myself. Your post was very truthful and to my post, it's sad but true. The most ignorant people who post get the responses, half of the time it's probably just an absolute moron and the other half it's someone just posting ridiculous opinions to get people riled (sp?) up. Cheers.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • 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 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  19. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

    Why should I feel guilt? I'm not Christian. My family never showed any prejudice towards other races. My great-grandparents were immigrants so they have only been here since the beginning of the 1900's. Please explain why I should feel guilt. Is it because I'm white?

    April 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Freeman

      no one asked you to feel guilt, but you should definitely keep your comments to yourself

      April 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      No, there have been plenty of comments on her about how we should all feel some sort of guilt for what people in this country did years ago. I wasn't involved in any of it. Neither was my family. Yeah, the discrimination that people faced was horrible and it is a sorry thing that it happened but when people insinuate that I feel guilty about it, they are essentially saying that I'm a part of the group of people who are at fault.

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

      so you have been personally approached and asked to feel guilty about it?

      April 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  20. Freeman

    LMAOOOOOO just caught the tail end of your comment....no it wont and you know it just as well as i do. no one is gonna kill you over your T shirt color keep the conversation civilized. and what do you mean "you people" nah im just joking

    April 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.