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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.”

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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. rla

    Religion like guns dont kill people do and that has to do with the values you adopt after a period of maturation. The lynching thing is history so it is interesting that the racial divide has again widened by the hand of a black man?????

    April 22, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • tomnikoly

      Yes....the lynchings are history. A history that should never....ever be forgotten. One should not live in the past, but one should never forget the past.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • JT

      Naziism didn't kill anyone, people did. So, you're comparing an inanimate object with an ideology and belief system?

      April 22, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  2. seamus

    Mr. Cone makes a lot of sense to me. And now those same racist churches are repeating the pattern by ostracizing and encouraging the oppression of gays and women. I may not share Mr. Cone's religious beliefs, but his identification of hypocrisy is dead-on.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Scott

      Its dead-on all right with an emphasis on dead. His theology is born of hate. Nuff said. Jeremiah Wright love this guy.and that's not the company you want to keep as a president so why as a professor?

      April 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  3. phnxrth

    Sometimes I've thought those lynchings happened because whites couldn't stand the thought of recognizing they harbored exactly the same thinking as the people they targeted. Not facing the cause of a thing only perpetuates the problem. Face the cause once and the problem disappears. When I know we're exactly alike I don't have an emotional reaction to your behavior. When you know you're exactly like me you don't have an emotional reaction to me. It's not the weakness we've been afraid of, it's the strength.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    "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.

    Recently I have studied the Epistle to the Romans by St. Paul and figured out the following:

    There is historical and spiritual evidence that man is not able to be tender by nature. The socalled sin is the opposite of love. Once God said to Israel, when he appeared on Sinai: "you shalt not, you shalt not, you shalt not, ... " The people of Israel behaved in a way, which caused God's comment: "you shalt not!" This means they were not in a blissful state of love or state of health. Yet at Sinai the Jews should have admitted their sinfulness or lovelessness and ask for deliverance.

    Yet at oldtestament times it was possible to get saved by faith (see Abraham, Jakob and Isaac and others).

    The point is that man (not only the Jews) is that sinful that he needs the constant support of a divine person, in order to be able to love God and his neighbour, that means not to sin. When Jesus lived visible on earth, he was the person of the Godhead, which strengthened his disciples to do works of righteousness and love, despite their sinful body. Today is it the Holy Spirit, which we can receive by sacramental baptism (we need to get born by Water and Spirit, in order to become able to love God and our neighbour).

    So, this is Jesus' primary message and was yet the message of Jahveh: "Dear weak man, you need a Redeemer, who helps you to love God and your neighbour. You are not able to love by natural power!"

    Gospel: God, the Father, delivered God, the Son, for our sins and raised him from the dead for our justification.

    Believe that and get sacramentally baptized or remember your infant baptism and you will receive the powerful Spirit of Love, which is stronger than your selfish flesh.

    Cosnequences of the gospel:

    – it is an atonement for previous sins

    – it shows God's love to the mankind, because Jesus died for the people, when had not yet believed in him

    – we have died and resurrected with him: we are dead for the sin and in him (this becomes true through baptism, where we get connected with Christ's dead and resurrection)

    When we behave loveable in the power of the Spirit to everybody (even our enemies), we can commend our cases to the Lord, the Almighty, who will create righteousness at any rate. God will liberate us from oppression, no matter if we are black or white.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  5. lolz

    In my opinion, the only thing to take away from this is – as most people do (at least those who can add 1+1 together) is that religious freaks are just that: freaks. Mentally ill freaks. They need to be infirmed and drugged, so the rest of our thinking society can LIVE their lives. Bloody Christian mobs...

    April 22, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  6. unowhoitsme

    Horrific and barbaric...our American society in the time of slavery. To think that one person is "better" than another is the thinking of a fool. We still are surrounded by many fools. We will never be "land of the free" until race is no longer an issue.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Worgen Freeman already solved the problem

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh8mUia75k8&w=640&h=360]

      April 22, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • tomnikoly

      These lynchings occurred in the 20th Century which is even more barbaric.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  7. Rob

    1 is too many, but I wonder how much CNN sought to verify that 5,000 figure for lynchings. I bet the real number is a fraction of that but hyperbole helps stir the pot and who cares about journalistic standards anymore? Like most black leaders, this guy has made racism his stock and trade. Indeed, he would be lost without it.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • tomnikoly

      He'd be lost without it? I think not. Read the story again. Put yourself in his place. Given a choice I doubt Mr. Cone would have preferred that life.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Fred M.

      @Rob: You are a racist, neo-Nazi dick. You accuse CNN of lacking journalistic standards because you didn't like the number of lynchings they reported has having been committed. It doesn't fit in well with your attempts to portray "most black leaders" a crybabies who manufacture and exaggerate tales of white on black racism. Do us all a favor and off yourself.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • babykitty

      Wikipedia puts the amount as 5000 total people lynched (white and black) with around 3500 being black.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  8. Blasphemy

    When fighting a war it would be a good idea to give SOME credit to your allies.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  9. Liligi

    You people are idiots. And what really ticks me off is people who are unable to differentiate the difference between someone attacking you because you are vulnerable, versus someone attacking you simply because of what you look like. People bringing up black on white crimes might as well bring up all the random crimes that happen in the U.S. by anyone. It's someone with a gun versus someone without. MOST of those crimes have absolutely nothing to do with the white person being white. But of course, silly, based-brained white plea-coppers are going to try to make it seem that way without one lick of reason. If this was the other way around you would be yelling and screaming "How come everything is a hate crime with black people?? The guy wasn't racist, he was just a d*ck!"

    Alright, so why does it not work the other way around? Criminals more oft than not could give a crap what you look like as long as you look like you are an easy catch. The same black guy would attack the white guy will go ahead and rob another black guy AND vice versa for a white criminal. This doesn't make all white criminals racists and vice versa.

    Now that that obvious fact is out of the way for some of you simpletons, I'll state here, once again, that these crimes spoken about are those made simply BECAUSE of the color of someone's skin. NOT their ability or inability to defend themselves, even though that was a simple truth for black people in the South, since the very law of the land was against them.

    And for those saying that this racist crimes no longer happen, how oft we forget! Do you not remember the two men who went to prison for life JUST LAST WEEK for running a black man over with their truck repeatedly while calling him racial slurs?? Not only that but before they found him in the first place they said "Let's go mess with some n******!" How oft we forget you silly silly little people.

    You cry about crimes that have never happened to you. And I know many of you are on here making up news without one lick of evidence just so you can bring more hell down on the heads of black people who, quite honestly, could give a d*** about you. And yet you sit in your house in fear, thinking of all the revenge they might want to plot because of YOUR own awful histories. So you go out with your fear and your guns and your projections and reflect it onto black people who quite honestly just want to have the opportunity to live their lives without being harassed.

    NEWSFLASH: Black culture, music, and fashion have always dictated American pop culture and thus world pop culture. We are aware of it. We're aware of the injustice that happens to us everyday... and yet, us getting revenge is the silliest notion that only fearful whites harbor. That's why you lock up in your suburban homes with your guns and gates and fear any melanin that decides to drop by. Because you feel guilty, poor things. When, like I said, no one wants to hurt you because ur white....... BUT... everyone sure is laughing at you and the stupid conclusions that CNN posters as dumb as yourself come to.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Sabina

      NEWSFLASH: Not all of us are idiots.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Bob

      Lillgi, go sell your crap in Philly.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • RhapsodyNblue

      If only we could all be as elevated and above reproach as you believe yourself to be.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Liligi

      NEWFLASH: Sabina, I never SAID all white people were. Stop projecting things onto yourself. That's the whole root of the problem, now, isn't it?

      April 22, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Tom

      I believe you are notonly the id iot, but a rage filled racist.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Liligi

      And, Tom, I believe you're illiterate. Does that make it true?

      April 22, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Dan

      I cannot agree more. We should acknowledge the wrongs of the past and learn from them. I am so sick of this expectation of people to feel guilty for something that we had nothing to do with.As a white person, I feel ZERO guilt for the slavery that happened in this country. I think it was and is absolutely horrible what people will do to each-other but this whole white guilt thing is just fueling the hatred. Most of us like myself have families that immigrated well after it all and none of us should be held accountable for things we did not do. Now this isn't to say there aren't still a bunch of racists idiots in this country of all sizes shapes and colors. I truly feel sorry for those ignorant people who cannot see past history or our differences.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Holy Shiite

      tl-dr

      April 22, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Liligi

      Thank you, Dan!

      April 22, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  10. Woody

    Reality is man is a mammal and if not for laws there would still be hangings . Nothing about man has changed other than the laws that try to keep us safe from angry mobs and religion is a man made and used to hide behind lies and hate that is very much alive within the church walls even today . Nothing has changed we just pretend that it has !

    April 22, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  11. RK

    Segrigation will never end.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  12. Sabina

    It's hard to reconcile this article being on the "beliefnet" website. How can anyone believe in god after reading this is beyond my comprehension.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  13. Jason

    If a story is posted on any other historical subject(WWII, American Revolution, Kitty Hawk, Thomas Edison,etc.), we applaud. But if CNN post anything about slavery and its byproducts then CNN is "keeping anger alive and stirring up race relations".

    Examine yourself.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Sabina

      Thank you Jason; I could not have said it better myself.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • RhapsodyNblue

      That seems to be a fair assessment, Jason. For people who criticise and decry CNN's coverage, some people sure spend a lot of time consuming and responding to it.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  14. LadyOcean

    The author of this article is a hater. He incites it in others too. The only comfort I take is knowing that his hate will eventually kill him........internally. He's on a long slide down to a slow, rotting death. Enjoy. I will.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  15. Joan

    I have lived in Georgia now for 12 years since moving from Florida and Michigan and Ill tell you the civil war is still going on here . I have never heard so much racist hate aganist a president in all my life. Im so glad the North won the civil war, I can't imagine what it would have been like under a racist Jefferson Davis. These people need to get over their hate. They call this place the "Bible Belt" I think thats because its used as a cover. At least Romney is a Yankee if he wins

    April 22, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  16. NorCalMojo

    At some point you have to admit it's not anger anymore. It's hate.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • lilyq

      You are right. Black people hate white people.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  17. Angelica

    For those of you who insist on criticizing him for living in the past, "Would you say the same thing about the Holocaust?" Would you say the same thing about 9-11. Or is it that this one piece of your white american heritage is so shameful that you feel a need to sweep it under the rug?

    April 22, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • LadyOcean

      Yes! We do say that about the holocaust. Yes! You live in the past. Go ahead. But don't penalize the people living now for something that more than likely THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH.

      Move on and live a good solid life.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • NamDebra

      Lol, I have yet to see Jewish ppl on here whining about.the past as much as AfroAmericans(I'm afroamer. Btw) And I fail to see how 9-11 is even relevant to the subject @.hand? Hmmmm... Oh well, you keep on wringing your hands & raging about the past if thats what does it for you. Me, on the other hand, I choose to move on, which is what a healthy, well adjusted adult does. I refuse to keep guilt tripping ppl about what happened in the past. Btw I noticed you nvr mentioned the Native Americans.. Now if there was a group that really deserves to make a big deal about how they were treated, they sure qualify! Technically we are ALL trespassing on what was their land.. 😉

      April 22, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  18. LeRoy Tirebiter

    Damn. Right on, CNN. This is the way it really was, and still is. The evil done by the white man won't be eradicated until the white man has experienced slavery the same as I did – er, we did.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • NamDebra

      Lmfao...bone up on your history.. Pretty much every race/ethnicity on earth has been subjected to some form of enslavement either through the hands of another race or at the hands of member of their own race as well.. Get over the past and move on...

      April 22, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • lolzz

      Bone up on history? You sound like you're either from Arkansasm or one of those neo- nazis that all of America would love to run-over with their car, just to put their front wheels back into alignment. Be a good kid for once & stop trying to redirect public focus on a serious problem that's still alive & well.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Tom

      People like you need to grow up and grow out of the past. I am not white by the way. I used to live among black communities for many years and I have experienced more racism directed at me from blacks and never from any other racial group out there. The more you keep harping on the past and being angry the more you will be destroying yourself. Just look at the Jewish people who lost 6 million to the Nazis in 5 years, compared to the 5000 mentioned here in this article over 60 years. They got over it and they are one of the most successful ethnic group in the world today. May God bless your heart!

      April 22, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • NamDebra

      @Lolzzz.... I'm sorry dear, but it would be quite difficult for me to be party to the neo-nazis...since I am AfroAmerican. Perhaps in your rage you neglected to read my post above where I stated this? For one who

      April 22, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • NamDebra

      @Lolzzz.... I'm sorry dear, but it would be quite difficult for me to be party to the neo-nazis...since I am AfroAmerican. Perhaps in your rage you neglected to read my post above where I stated this? Wow... Run me over with your car to adjust the tire alignment... And I'm the one with a hate problem... Geesh

      April 22, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • pbgodfrey

      LeRoy, You haven't experience anything. Quit whining. Your kind is what give all blacks a bad rap.

      April 22, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  19. Chuck

    Children who cannot grow up become adults always crying that their parents and their environment mistreated them, so you should feel sorry for them. Adults get over it and move on. Not this fellow Cone. I don`t see why anyone would respect his opinion for anything less than White – bashing hatred .

    April 22, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  20. scama

    well this blog has officially come to an end. went from racisim to religion further showing the ignorance for facing the truth. just remember, 'truth prevails'

    April 22, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      What truth lies within religion? That slavery is fine? That ho.mo.phobia is fine? That ma.ss murder is fine? Living in the 21st century and in accordance with the evidence we have is what the truth is. The fact that christards are too lazy to think for themselves is the truth.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Eric

      @ TP

      So, it's simply all religion's fault? What convoluted, hateful, cowardly and simplistic claptrap. You're a wart on the ass of humanity, TP.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      No Eric but religion does not help the matter. People have taken the buybull far too literally and that in turn is what has caused a great many problems. Unlike you and your inherent laziness I understand that humanity will commit atrocities, it is when those atrocities relate to a belief that the buybull says it is okay that it becomes an issue. The fact you accept the buybull as being true and accept that your god is real (when there is not scientific evidence to back it) speaks of your weak-mindedness. I have already concluded based on your 'no evidence is needed' claim that you are a delusional idiot. You need to try living in the 21st century and not in the era of bronze aged sheep herders. It really is time to grow up child!

      April 22, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • JT

      Christianity was used to justify slavery as well as numerous atrocities and genocides throughout history. When morally superior secular society led the way to end slavery and right other wrongs here comes Christianity trailing behind and then taking the credit and white washing their history.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • RhapsodyNblue

      What of the amazing acts of charity that have been done in the name of religion, TP? I see your point and agree, but let's look at the entire picture.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @RhapsodyNblue: I agree with you...religion does do good but there are also plenty of secular charities that do good also (Doctor's Without Borders, UNICEF). The point I was attempting to get across, as we see too often in these blogs, is that people will use their belief in their god as an excuse for committing atrocities. Racism is never going to go away fully until people learn that skin color does not matter and the stories told in the buybull regarding race are outdated and have no place in society today. The world can never expect to live in peace if we allow racism to be kept alive.

      April 22, 2012 at 9:21 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.