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April 24th, 2012
04:30 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, April 24

By Laura Koran, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: Priest's guilty plea throws wrinkle into Philadelphia sexual abuse trial
Attorneys in the child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial of two Philadelphia priests debated Monday over which potential witnesses jurors would be allowed to hear regarding a third defendant who pleaded guilty to molesting boys just days before opening remarks.

CNN: Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students
Liberty University reacted over the weekend to a brewing controversy over the fact that the evangelical school has selected Mitt Romney, a Mormon, to speak at the school’s graduation. In a statement from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., the school says that the complaints have significantly died down and that many of those complaining “had no affiliation with the university.”

The parietal bone believed to be from the Buddha is shown at the Qixia Temple in Nanjing, China.

CNN: First stop for bone from Buddha skull: Hong Kong
A skull bone believed to be from the original remains of the Buddha will be on display in Hong Kong for six days, the first time the relic will be displayed outside mainland China.

Tweet of the Day:

From: @askmormongirl: i'm sensing a shift in the force: Mormons–pleased for Romney, but starting to pull back in and prepare for coming idiocy. how's your ward?

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: Israel’s Conservative movement OKs gay and lesbian rabbis
In a landmark decision, the Israeli branch of Conservative Judaism announced that its rabbinical school will begin to accept gay and lesbian candidates for ordination. Board members of the Schecter Rabbinical Seminary in Jerusalem voted Thursday (April 19) to enroll gay and lesbian students starting in September.

CNN: Montana governor defends 'polygamy' remarks regarding Romney's heritage
Montana's Democratic governor defended himself from criticism Monday over remarks he made last week that appeared to tie Mitt Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, to the practice of polygamy within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Time: Urban Outfitters Under Fire over ‘Holocaust T-Shirt’
Fashion retailer Urban Outfitters is facing outcry from Jewish groups over a t-shirt critics say is an offensive reference to the Holocaust. The yellow shirt features an embroidered, six-pointed star over the breast pocket, and bears unfortunate overtones of the yellow badge Jewish people were forced to wear under the Nazi regime.

The Sun Sentinel: Prayers to go at Fort Lauderdale church drive-thru
They run a drive-thru service, but they don't want your prescription or your dry cleaning. They won't ask if you want fries with that. And they won't charge a cent. At the Christian Life Center, all they want to do is pray for you.

Religion News Service: Court says non-Jewish man can sue for anti-Semitic remarks
A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a man who alleges he endured anti-Semitic slurs can sue his former supervisors — even though he is not Jewish. Myron Cowher, a former truck driver for Carson & Roberts Site Construction & Engineering Inc., in Lafayette, N.J., sued the company and three supervisors after he allegedly was the target of anti-Semitic remarks for more than a year.

Quote of the Day:

I say this as a President, and I say it as a father. We must tell our children about a crime unique in human history. The one and only Holocaust - six million innocent people - men, women, children, babies - sent to their deaths just for being different, just for being Jewish. We tell them, our children, about the millions of Poles and Catholics and Roma and gay people and so many others who also must never be forgotten. Let us tell our children not only how they died, but also how they lived - as fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters who loved and hoped and dreamed, just like us.

From President Obama’s remarks at the Holocaust Memorial Museum on Monday.

Join the conversation…

Students at Liberty University bow in prayer during commencement in 2007. Current students were angered by the choice of Mitt Romney for the 2012 graduation speaker.

CNN: Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response
Liberty University students and alumni are accusing the Christian school of violating its own teachings by asking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose adherents are called Mormons, to deliver its 2012 commencement address.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 27, 2012 at 1:58 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 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  2. Urafkntool

    So if the Israeli's are allowing g–a–y and l–e–b–o ordination, does that mean they'll be changing the name to the Sphincter Sem–enary?

    April 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  3. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    God is the Father of all things established of Creation! His most grand designed Creation is that called Fractal Cosmology! From within and upon the insides is God and God's Kinds ever to be all creations' Creators! We are the Buildings! Some are as Temples to be adored and adorned! Some are but storehouses! Others Mansions! God knows each cellularized structure by their Godly-given names! Our body-likened buildings are alive and living treasures only to be harvested by the Godly in their Timeliness constraints!

    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/stars2/menu.html

    April 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • momoya

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg&w=640&h=390]

      April 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Nonimus

      If you want to think that a few cherry picked images have significance that's your choice.
      I would, however, remind folks that while electron probability maps are permanent, planetary nebulae are temporary structures that disparate as the thrown off gases expand away from the star.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Plain Ol' Dreamer

      Nonimus,,,,,,,,,,,, ,.,.

      The baseline fundaments wherein cellularized and stellarized are but sized differentialisms is an apearance not of randomness constrainabilities but staged growth parameters!

      April 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Your paroxysms of non-understandabilities not withstanding, the reasonalities of cellular/stellar isomorphisms are based on nonsensicalities of preprogrammed patternistic recognitions.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Nonimus

      We are programmed by nature and evolution to seek patterns... and we find them.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Jeanine

      I'm seeing a pattern here.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • momoya

      Hooray, Evolution, Baby!!!

      April 24, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  4. William Demuth

    Why do so many have so need to worship?

    We must be a weak lot indeed if the best destiny we can find for ourselves is worship.

    As any parent worth his salt will tell you

    1 It's easy to create
    2 An honorable creator does not desire worship
    3 An honorable creators greatest aspiration is that his creations surpass him.

    Any claimant to the throne of God that would even ACCEPT worship, is inherently ungodly.

    Free your minds people. Our destiny lies not in our Gods, but within our own hands.

    April 24, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Robert Brown

      In my opinion, worship of God is an adoring and thankful expression of love and praise.
      As a child grows and realizes how good the parent was, and is, to them the love grows deeper. The parent doesn’t desire adoration but the two way love is really nice. Open your heart and mind to God.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So now God is the father?

      The one who threatens to burn his children for eternity if they don't do as they are told?

      I guess child abuse just goes hand in hand with fundamentalist propoganda

      Free your mind sir, the monsters you fear and the gods you worship were planted in your mind with the purpose on enslaving you.

      You really can evolve, even if you don't believe in evolution.

      Just put the fairy tales and nonesense behind you, and join us in the 21st century!

      April 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Robert

      I really dislike when any believer compares a mans relationship with god like that of father and child for one simple reason, it never includes a point where man can grow up and rise to the same understanding the way a child can with his father. Sure, I will also be a child in my parents eyes, but not an idiot child that needs constant attention. Now, I have a relationship with them where sometimes they infantalize me, but in ways like "did you write a thank you note to your uncle?" or surprise when I eat a food that at age 5 I disliked. In general however they let me out of the nest, make my own decisions without doling out punishment. In your example however, even the wisest person has no hope of achieving insight like god and we're all destined to be idiot children our entire existence of earth.... and furthermore even though we're idiot children that have no hope of reaching the intellectual understanding and sagacity of god, He still has the nerve to punish us for eternity for doing bad things, such as not believing in jesus, or stealing bread to feed our families or just plain being born in asia instead of america. Isn't that crazy to you? I mean, think about it. Parents (well, good parents) will love their children by both giving them what they need or teaching them life lessons the hard way and letting them make mistakes. All of this is so that the child will eventually grow up and be able to be a member of society and understand how to operate within the world around him or her. Any lessons we learn from god however have no bearing on our second lives in heaven or hell. We don't get to learn lessons but instead try to discern the lesson itself and hope we're right so we can live in a new world where everything is perfect and I won't have to actually apply those rules.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Taiping

      Nice one, Chuckles! Now if only you could master the creation of paragraphs.....!

      April 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • jabby

      Actually, God created mankind precisely so that we would worship Him as God. Nevertheless, the God who cannot lie says at Revelation 1:3, Blessed is he that reads and hears the words of this prophecy. Yet, 99.9% of professing Christians have never read these words or the book of Revelation.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Taiping

      Thanks! And paragraphs are for wusses and tramps.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Chuckles,
      Well said.
      And I would add another... The analogy only holds for entirely absent parents! Never seen nor heard from, apparently.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      William Demuth,

      People come to God for all sorts of reasons. Some may fear an eternity of fire and brimstone, others may need help in a difficult situation. So, whether someone is running from consequences or running toward comfort, he is there to receive and show them true love.

      Some kids mind because they have a desire to please, others because they fear punishment. Either way, the parent is just happy if they mind and out of love always has their best interest in mind.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Chuckles,

      William started it, but it is a biblical analogy all the same. For example, Luke 11: 9-13 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

      I would have to disagree with you on how the lessons we learn here on earth from God effect our eternity. Have you ever read the teachings of Jesus? One example, Matthew 5:19, Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Taiping

      Robert, your "god" is giving much worse than rocks or snakes to children throughout the world – except he doesn't exist, so until you figure out why innocent children are tortured to death, I think you'd better just shut the hell up.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Robert

      Your children fear you? How tragic!

      Your beliefs are terrifying to the weak willed, but many including my own children, fear neither me nor your God, and if you can't say the same it is proof from your own words of an illness.

      Cruthces are bad enough, but when they become a weapon used against children, then your "beliefs" have become illness, and need to be supressed.

      Children NEVER benifit from fear.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Robert

      You have given a quote about the type of reception one might get in heaven from lessons learned on earth, but there's nothing in the bible that alludes to how you actually use these lessons when you arrive there, and that is the main difference. In a second "world" that as far as we can glean from the bible, we have no bodies but exist purely in spirit, what is the use of learning things like, don't hit others, or something as simple as becoming self sufficient for you and your family, learning to fish, etc...

      A good father when asked by his son for a fish would turn around with a fish, a rob and some bait so the kid could have the fish but also learn how to get his own fish so that one day he'll stop asking for the fish and just get it himself. God however never gives us the rod. The most we'll get is either a fish will either appear or not, we might as,.sume then that we need to fish, make a rod of our own, go fishing and possibly being unaware that we catching fish that might actually be a sin, or that we weren't even supposed to have fish at all. From all of this we'll never know if we're right or wrong until we bodily die and then either earn a ticket to heaven where our fishing skill, our self-sufficiency is useless or we get a one way ticket to hel.l for breaking a rule.

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

      Parents are tangible and real and provide so much evidence for their existence that it never occurs to the child that the parent might not exist..

      Not so much god.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Taiping,
      I am sorry if I have offended you, that was not my intention. Why bad things happen to innocent people is something we can’t understand. I would only hope that God decided they were better off in heaven with him than to have to endure anymore torture here on earth. Why he allows it in the first place is way beyond me.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Momoya

      I'm going to lead off saying that I agree with you. now, with that being said I never want to necessarily stray into that territory because many believers can say with certainty that god is as tangible as a parent but just walking around on earth. It's a load of sh.it of course, but instead of focusing on the physical attributes of a supposed god, I try to focus on the message itself and show believers that after dissecting it a little how unlike a father/son relationship man and god have together and the reason it's used at all is to make god a paternal benevolent figure instead of other gods who need to be seen as strictly all-powerful, awesome glorious super humans that are unreachable by man.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      William Demuth,

      No, mine are not afraid of me, either. At the same time, if a car was coming and one of them started out in front of it, I would threa.ten them with the spa.nking of their lifetime if they didn’t stop and I would feel no guilt or remo.rse what so ever for having made the threat.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Chuckles,
      We are not transformed to the likeness of our wonderful lord here on earth to learn things to use in heaven. We learn things in this walk to use in this walk. I think we are in spirit until the resurrection and then we will be given a glorified body, one that will never decay. Heaven is the reward for what we learn and do here.

      Through the Holy Spirit, we are lead and there is no doubt when we make mistakes and need to ask forgiveness. No bait and switch or finding out later. We have the promises of God here, now, and forever.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Taiping

      Robert, it's not beyond MY comprehension. I know exactly why it happens.

      And I know exactly why YOU can't comprehend it.

      So when I say you should just shut the hell up, I mean it.
      You don't know a single thing about what you talk about, so wouldn't it be better for you to "be humble" and just stop talking about what you admit you don't know about?

      I've seen how you respond to clear, sane dialogue. You spit out a schizoid response and think you made some sort of victory, but all you did was spout lies.
      Now I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you may not know these lies are lies.
      But when you insist on ignoring what is said to you, repeatedly, then I know you are a schizophrenic know-nothing who talks too much about nothing you really know about but only think you know about.

      I know why children are tortured to death. The answer is simple but you cannot face it.
      You have been programmed to refuse to face it or even consider it.
      Your every post reflects this. Your sincerity, either real or feigned, does not mean that you are correct or that your beliefs are true.
      Your smugness offends me. If you had something to back you up, I might be willing to admit you had cause to be smug.
      But you don't.
      You smugly feel confident that your god, who you don't understand, will act in a way you apparently "know for sure" without any supporting proof whatsoever.
      You claim to have experiences that have "proven" to you that your god exists, yet when people try to point out how you remain unable to draw a clear line of cause and effect as to how this can be so, you will retreat and show you really don't know what you're talking about.
      You speak without knowledge. You have admitted it at least, yet because of your mental illness you will continue to speak without knowledge.
      You are the worst kind of fool – the obstinate, blind, vain and selfish kind who will never accept any fact if it doesn't match up with your schizoid delusional world-view.

      You are not unique by any means. I've seen thousands of posts by people just like you. You are free to speak of course, but if the only things you say are false, stupid, and / or insane, what sort of response would you expect from someone like me?

      Well, if you were realistic and knowledgable, you might guess that insisting that your proven lie of a religion to be true would anger anyone who knew it to be a lie. Like me.
      I just boil over sometimes. Today I just got sick of seeing your gloating ignorance. Ignorance should not be something to gloat over. You really are a piece of work.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Robert

      I think you are still missing the point. You point out that the lessons learned here are for here only and yet we're judged on the lessons we learn even though they don't apply to heaven? Not only does that immediately reverse the point you mention at the beginning of the sentence, it still seems alogical for a god to judge the beings he created on lessons they learned that will have zero bearing on what we are to expect. Wouldn't it make just a little bit of sense for god to judge us on a rubric that pertains to heaven. Does it make sense for me to judge you on being a computer analyst at a big fortune 500 firm because you can paint well? Furthermore, would you ask me forgiveness if after one or two paintings fell flat? Or if you started to sculpt instead?

      April 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Taiping,
      Yes, thank you, I don’t mean to appear to gloat in the way that I share the faith but I am very happy, content, and at peace in my schizoid delusional world-view. You are a little too rough for me. While I do believe in turning the other cheek, please keep in mind, I only have two.

      1 Corinthians 3:18-20, Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

      Your pride in your knowledge is one thing, insults are another, and while some may find them amusing, they are in no way productive. I have also read posts from many similar to yourself who are more interested in winning an argument by verbal assault than communicating ideas, either way, I would prefer if we just agree to disagree and if we never blog again, I do wish you the best.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Fred, What about the statement I said was false? God being all knowing, knew he was going to drown them. And if He did it, being a perfect being, then "it" was the only appropriate course of action.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Chuckles,
      There is some in the bible about heaven but most of it is about our relationship with God and how to get there, the later being so simple that it is hard to believe. No pun intended.

      No, it wouldn’t make sense to judge me on computer analyst skills because I can paint well. A believer is able to communicate with God through the Holy Spirit and he makes it clear when we need to ask for forgiveness. We don’t have to guess.

      Now, if you are looking at it from the nonbelievers point of view then perhaps you are correct. The nonbeliever wouldn’t know what to do, or not to do.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Bob

      Quite the relationship you've got there with god, Robert. You speak to him, and he never talks back. You make requests of him, and he does nothing in response. Maybe you like your "relationships" that way or something.

      Actually, your tooth fairy / god rather obviously doesn't exist. Get over it and grow up.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      April 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Robert,

      I guess that's best I can get from you, an admission that without faith that you are hearing some sort of spirit, that it seems nonsensical. I understand that for you and many others, you have to take it on faith that your actions have further implications and meaning than the direct consequences that happen on earth. I still however have to outright reject the metaphor of mans relationship be that of father/son because it fails on so many levels.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "I guess that's best I can get from you, an admission that without faith that you are hearing some sort of spirit, that it seems nonsensical."

      They are actually really just talking with themselves, then as science has proven they get a chemical reaction in their brain that makes them feel warm and fuzzy about who they are and they believe it to be a religious spirit. The real truth they don't want to hear is it's all in their head. Which is why no one has ever been able to prove their god. Hopefully soon as more facts like the bible not be an historical document come out, this cult will become a myth like all other religions.

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

      @YeahRight

      Fingers crossed, but lets get real, when you hear a voice in your head telling you things do you want to believe that a) it's you and you're crazy or b) it's a divine god giving you orders from on high. I think B gets people to believe you more than A.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Chuckles,

      It is true that you must have faith to communicate with God. But the faith is really easy to get. The bible says that faith comes from hearing the word of God preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. That is the faith that brings about the desire to be saved or converted. Of course, you will at least have to have some interest or faith to go and listen to the preached word in the first place. If you are interested I would encourage you to go to your local church and hear the word of God preached live and in person.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Robert

      Ha! Thanks for the laugh. First and foremost, you say local church, but which one, I mean I think I can count at least 5 different ones around me all preaching the same thing but completely different. Secondly, and in my opinion more importantly, if I were to ever regain any faith, it would be judaism again. They're a lot more inclusive (once you pass the prerequisite of being born a jew and being bar mitvahed) and they share a lot more of the same values as I do than any church I've ever visited or researched.

      The thing that you've pointed out of course is that faith is easy to get, but you have to be in the right mindset... no offense, but duh. Yeah, it is considering as long as you say you have faith, bam! you got it. Sorry Robert, but to tell me that god makes sense only if you believe and you can only believe if you have the right mindset (not, say evidence, or evident miraculous events, etc...) is a little too much of a leap for me.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  5. J.W

    For a god to be worthy of worship, is it a requirement that he be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent? What if a god was not perfect, but yet still better and more powerful than any other beings? Would any imperfection take away the godly status?

    April 24, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • momoya

      That's one of the problems trying to discuss god, JW, isn't it?. In my view, the term "god" is so baggy that it's useless.. Indeed, what SORT of god is being proposed and what SORT of thing is it/her/his goal?

      In my view your limitation makes no difference, but other ideas that you haven't mentioned might.. Perhaps we should agree on what const.itutes a "god," and then continue? hmm.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I would not trust any being that was not omnibenevolent with my eternal soul. In that situation, He could send you to Hell on a whim, even if you followed his rules to a T. Assuming there were a Heaven and Hell and eternal souls of course.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Larry Throckton

      I cannot imagine how any advanced being would even want something so shallow and self-absorbed as worship. I find it totally beyond belief that such a being would make it the decision pint between eternal bliss and eternal torture. I cannot imagine an advanced being would even have such an ugly thing as torture, much less eternal torture.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • J.W

      Momoya yes that is quite complicate. I guess throughout all of the world religions there are many different gods with many different purposes. Some of them were loving gods and some not so loving. I guess we would have to look at each god on an individual basis. As far as the Judeo-Christian god many believe he possesses all of the omni- qualities. I have wondered if those qualities perhaps have some limitations though.
      Well lunchbreaker that is a good point, but I am not omnibenevolent and I would never throw anyone in hell. Well at least not for eternity. lol

      April 24, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • YeahRight

      "I cannot imagine an advanced being would even have such an ugly thing as torture, much less eternal torture.'

      That is what causes people to say you should believe "just in case." It's why this cult gets so many followers cause...just in case...

      April 24, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • momoya

      @JW

      We atheists deal with this sort of thing already, Jw.. Take almost any topic (god's perfection/imperfection) and we find christians on both sides of the issue.. It's all up to the individual believer.. Since believers have such wide views on what god is and wants, to me it makes more sense to say "I don't know" and leave it at that–the atheist position.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Well according to todays statndards, if you want to be worshipped you just need to be in a band, be a pop singer, maybe have a reality tv show. Omni-qualities are so last week.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • J.W

      Most Christian I think believe that God is perfect, but it seems to me that in places in the Bible in which he is not perfect, and is almost losing control on his own creation. But sometimes I think 'I don't know' is the best answer. Many of my fellow Christians would find it heretical for me to even suggest such an idea.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Robert Brown

      We believe that God is all those things and more. Those who say a God with all those attributes would not do X, are making a huge assumption. The assumption being that they know that X was ultimately wrong. When actually the all-knowing God could see 10 steps down the road and X was actually the perfect outcome. Also, since God is all those things and we are not, our idea of good may not be his.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • J.W

      That is very possible as well Robert. Maybe God has a reason for doing or not doing things that we do not understand, and maybe there are things we do not understand about him as well. There was a couple times in the Bible that God seemed to change his mind, but maybe he had planned that.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I suppose drowning 99% of the population was a carefully planned tactic. Obviously that was the only way to achieve His plan for us.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • momoya

      As lunchbreaker points out, JW, the god of the bible does a lot of stupid things that even a child wouldn't do.. It's almost as if primitive man was trying to make sense of his world and attributed local natural disasters to some idea of a "parent" ent.ity that also provided natural resources.. hmmm.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Fun fact: The god of abraham was one of the first gods to ever come on the scene in the history of humankind that actually had some sort of partnership with man instead of pure slaverly/worship or just as an accident (I think it's in hinduism that one of the gods only made man by accident when he was scre.wing another god and some of his sper.m fell to the ground by mistake).

      April 24, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • J.W

      Yes it is possible that God does not exist. Or possibly he does exist and people attribute things to him that really he may have had anything to do with, such as Pat Robertson blaming 9/11 on gay people.

      April 24, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • J.W

      Hey Chuckles wow I did not know any of that. I think Brahma was the creator in Hinduism right? I'm not sure of any goddesses in Hinduism he may have been having relations with. I still have a lot to learn about Hinduism I guess lol

      April 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • momoya

      Don't stop there, JW.. There's almost an infinity of possibilities when it comes to any sort of god that might exist and what his desires are..

      April 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • J.W

      Lol yeah momoya unfortunately I am not sure if I am smart enough to learn about every god. Well I am only 30 I guess so hopefully I have another 80 years to try lol. I learn a lot just by the discussions on the belief blog.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • momoya

      @JW

      The default stance is disbelief.. You understand this the second somebody wants to sell you something expensive sight unseen..

      Me: I have an invisible fire-breathing dragon at my house
      You: Ummm.. ok... but I can't believe you on something that outlandish just because you say so.. I need some proof.

      A person believes in the god-belief that their culture taught them to believe in.. But the default stance is still disbelief because nobody in the society has ever proved the existence of the god they/you believe in.. The proof is lacking.. Without proof for the muslim god–the default stance is disbelief.. Without proof for the Hindu beliefs–the default stance is disbelief.. Without proof for the christian god–the default stance is disbelief..

      None of the believer sects can prove–they only believe.. Default stance applies.. What can be a.sserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Yeah, there is a huge amount of gods in Hinduism, depending on the sect, but pretty much the God of Abraham has a very interesting role as a god that is different that most others. For one, he gives dominion over the earth to man instead of being in complete control over everything. two, he purposefully makes both man and woman instead of by mistake and after making them he just asked them to enjoy the earth he built for them, presumably because unlike every other religion that had gods, demigods and so many other celestial creatures around to enjoy a tiny planet like earth, god was all alone and decided to make little minuscule people to enjoy his creation with him, sort of like toys, but respected toys that deserve to do whatever they want unless its something god doesn't like.... like being smart.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • J.W

      It seems to me that most other religion do not have one God that does everything like most believe of the God of Abraham. Each god has his own function that he does. Chuckles Hindus do believe that Krishna was on earth am I right about that. I think they think he was on earth in like 3500 BC.
      Yes momoya you are right. As of now there is not evidence. But there may very well be evidence some day. I personally believe that God created the universe and that Jesus existed. I think there is a possibility that more evidence of the life of Jesus will be found but I guess that is just an opinion until it happens. Of course I kind of subscribe to the theory that the Romans were trying to stop the spread of Christianity at the time so they got rid of evidence of Jesus, but of course that is just a theory as well.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • momoya

      @JW

      You can look into your questions if you like.. Plenty of people have already been where you are and so have done the research ahead of you.. You believe in your god the way muslims believe in theirs, and you have about the same faith that you are correct.. Why don't you worry about the muslim god and why don't muslims worry about your god?? :-)

      April 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Yeah, I think Krishna or other gods did walk the earth, then again so did the god of abraham in Genesis. In terms of what you said to Momoya, what I find interesting is that you wait for the evidence to be found to support your belief instead of basing your belief off the present evidence.... doesn't that pretty much defeat the point of evidence in general if you've already made it to the conclusion?

      Also, the Romans couldn't have cared less about christianity for a couple hundred years after Jesus, he made some waves in jersusalem, but during and right after his death, he was just another crazy jew trying to incite violence and buck the status quo. Personally, I don't think much else is gong to be found about jesus during his life because there's no way to really verify it. Apart from attempting to verify the story by finding a lost place mentioned in the bible, it seems pretty much impossible to find say.... jesus's old shoes, or his cup, or any normal piece of life and ascribe it to one person.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • J.W

      Actually I believe that the Muslim and Christian God are the same. The are both the God of Abraham. The Muslims believe that Jesus was not the Son of God, but a prophet of God. I do worry about other gods. I consider the possibility that I perhaps am wrong. The problem sometimes with reading about religion is that many times the writer will be biased toward their own position it seems, kind of like politics. I try to read and watch some of CNN and some of Fox News. I think I need to do the same with research on religion as well.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • J.W

      Yeah that is true Chuckles about evidence of Jesus' life. As far as other evidence goes, I think that as far as my knowledge goes there is enough for me to believe. I believe that the universe needed a creator in order to form into what it is today from what it was believed to have originally been. As far as Jesus goes there isn't much as far as concrete evidence, but I think that he existed still, based on what is in the Bible and the events after his life and how the Christian movement spread. People say there were no writings outside of the Bible, but there are other writings not included in the Bible that were written at an earlier date than the canonical gospels.

      April 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • momoya

      you might believe that the god is the same, but you disagree drastically on what that god requires and how he rewards the "faithful.". We don't disagree on math or chemistry, and all god believers agree because there's really no way to disagree with facts.. But god believers do believe anything and everything about a god.. WHY?? Because god is not evident.. If the god thing was solid fact, we'd agree on it and pursue higher knowledge of it–just like math or chemistry..

      April 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      The way the christian movement spread, in a historical context, makes a lot of sense if you think about it. It's hard to say there is divine power in a message when the simple truth is that, like I said above, it's one of the only religions where god and man work in a partnership, there's more equality than ever before. No one liked this jewish god though because it was only for the israelites and those people were protective and rarely allowed or welcomed converts, pauline christianity on the other hand opened up the religion to everyone, telling them that they didn't have to drastically change their lives in any way to become a christian AND once they gave up their gods they would have the "one true god" who would love them and give them what they want vs. the present roman gods who just went around screwing everyone, being jealous of pretty much everything and treating the main populace like sh.it. It's not hard to see how a religion like that could take root in a population of mostly poor ruled over the very wealthy. It doesn't hurt to add that the meek, the poor, the hungry, etc... are going to inherent the earth.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • J.W

      I should have become one of the Christians that just accepts the Bible without question. lol

      April 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Your life would be a whole lot easier.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • J.W

      Yeah that is what I mean Chuckles, but this way is much more fun and interested. Chad and fred just seem to have more energy than me. i should just say I am a Christian because prayer changes things like the one person.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      You could, or.... OR, you take the road that Atheist have no choice to accept by simply saying, "I believe because I believe. There is no evidence base for it but it works for me, makes me happy, helps make me a more productive member of society and I generally believe for my own personal happiness rather than appease others". The problem with fred and chad is that they crave validation from the people who are calling them out on their ridiculousness. You have fred who tries to use the bible to sway everyone who repeatedly disqualify the book early on for lots of reasons. Then there's chad who uses other science to have actually interesting conversations if it was actually between two people who believed in evolution, however chad wants to use one part of science to disqualify another in order to prove it all wrong. Sort of like asking someone to stick their head up their own as.s to suffocate themselves.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Taiping

      Chuckles, I hope this doesn't become a habit – me chiding you for something.
      Anyways, one of the things I've noticed about the spread of the larger religions is conversion by the sword.

      Buddhism – Didn't really take off until one psycho-dictator got brainwashed and decided to spread Buddhism using all the resources at his disposal.

      Judaism – Didn't really take off beyond the boundaries of the racist believers. There were no mass conversions at the sword but rather violent murder and assimilation of survivors who became slaves.

      Christianity – Didn't really take off until Constantine used the massive power of the Roman Empire to spread it using conversion by sword.

      Islam – Didn't really take off beyond the boundaries of the bandit gangs' influence until they started spreading it by the sword.

      Mormonism – Didn't really take off as they couldn't spread it by the sword and most people already had a different religion by the time they came on the scene.

      Scientology – Didn't really take off and spread for the same reasons as for the Mormons.

      Hinduism – Spread by the sword but limited by geography and other factors.

      The more powerful the group, the wider the influence using the sword and any other techniques to spread the religion.
      Your claims of a "partnership" are ridiculous, as it takes two to make a partnership and there are no gods.
      What do you think prayers are but a sort of partnership with whatever god or gods being worshiped?

      So all the religions that pray, that pretend they have the ability to communicate back and forth, have a sort of partnership with their imaginary beings. The humans use rituals and traditions and prayers and the universe is thought to respond.
      But to spread requires people to go out and spread it.

      It's not a bunch of villagers using reason to convert each other, it's usually, if you want a large spread, to have a whole country behind you willing (and of course they are willing) to kill in the name of their god, to kill heathens, unbelievers, heretics, apostates, and anyone that would dare to defy their god, yet the only defiance is to the people. You can't defy what doesn't exist.

      You think just because modern Christians are all touchy-feely that this is how it spread so quickly?

      Yet all the violent history of Christianity shows it was spread by the sword more than it was spread by anything else.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      J.W.,
      “There was a couple times in the Bible that God seemed to change his mind, but maybe he had planned that.”

      You think it is possible that God would say to himself if so and so humbles themselves then I will do this, if not, then I will do that, with either way achieving his ultimate purpose anyway? In a case like this, it would appear that he heard the pet.itions and changed his mind.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Taiping

      Yes and no. First off, I would argue that both Mormonism and Scientology both haven't had the spread yet because they're still in their infancy. Give both religions a couple of hundred years, or maybe just a country with a standing army and you'll see one or both religions spread quicker, because I agree that religion is mostly spread by the sword.

      My "partnership" idea only works insofar as creating a base of people and nurturing an infant religion before becoming something more. For instance, one of the reasons why Mormonsim is appealing to people is because it makes christianity American. It moves everything we know about christianity and allows American to become part of the story instead of a something that came from the middle east and europe. The reason why constatine first converted to christianity wasn't by sword, but because a big enough base of people had been swayed, either through sword or reason and finally caved, spreading christianity far and wide.

      (quick side note, jews never converted by sword and keeping the slaves. Slaves of the jews were purposefully kept outside of judaism so they could do things on the sabbath and high holidays as a way for jews to get around loopholes. They did however still maintain they chosen and arbitrarily kill others because their god told them to).

      As for the partnership aspect. I'm simply pointing out the different relationship that people had with the abrahamic god vs. the others before. I agree that if there is ever such thing as a god, it's incredibly one sided and god will always been master and man will be inferior. However, Judaism is the first religion that has a god who purposefully made them and granted man dominion over the earth. For a god to even give a modicu.m of power to man for any reason was unheard of. That's all I'm pointing out.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • momoya

      @JW

      Yes, blind acceptance may be the path for you.. Only you can answer that question.. Certainly some people need to just blindly accept the faith of their parents and culture because they don't have the courage and/or the intelligence to really consider the various arguments in play.. I don't mean that to sound insulting in any way, but some people just don't handle questions about their culture's a.ssumptions very well.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • J.W

      yeah momoya I think I just argue for the existence of God and Jesus just to try to get people to see that my beliefs are rational. On this blogs I think I am more concerned about the issues themselves, but the problem is no matter what the issue is it always leads back to 'did God exist' or 'did Jesus exist.'
      Robert I think that is a possibility as well, although some would say that God would already know what the person was going to decide so he would already have his mind made up. Or you could say perhaps that God is omniscient as far as everything going on now, but not necessarily the future. There are many possibilities.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Taiping

      Chuckles
      Ah, I see.
      You're a clever lad, I must say.
      I was just looking for an argument and used a blunderbuss to see what would stick.
      Frankly, I'm amazed I got you to agree with me. Darn it.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • J.W

      You will have a hard time in a debate with Chuckles. He is a master debater.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      “The problem with fred and chad is that they crave validation from the people who are calling them out on their ridiculousness.”
      You love to nail Christians to the Cross as your forefathers did yet you claim to be different because you are not doing it for the same reasons your father expressed. Is this not the son of Mary a carpenters son……..can any good come out of Nazareth? Are your reasons not the same?
      God blessed Abraham’s sons Isaac and Ishmael saying they will be great nations. Thousands of years later we still see the two of them doing exactly what the Bible said they would be doing, fighting over the same piece of land for their temple. Both Muslims and Jews claiming the same God with their teeth set on edge. Only the Divine word of God could express such truth over 6,000 years. You watch the prediction unfold yet deny God as the sons of Ishmael arm themselves against the sons of Isaac over Jerusalem.
      Your fathers expected a King like David to save them but, instead the Good Shepherd came to serve and give his life just as your own prophets stated. You demand proof today just as your fathers demanded a sign from Jesus who said “no sign will be given you except the sign of Jonah”. You fathers chose to release a godless man Barabbas and crucify Christ. Today you continue to release the godless and crucify the Christians.
      Let those who have eyes see and those who have ears hear. Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Let those who have eyes see and those who have ears hear. Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God."

      That's why Christians killed more Indians than Hitler killed Jews and they stole their land they really took the word of their god so seriously. LOL! . Then when you add in the fact the bible has been proven not to be an historical document then your god has really done a shity job in getting it's word out. Oh...that's right it's a religion stolen from other pagan religions and none of it is really true.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @JW

      Haha.....master debater that sounds like another master I know.

      @Fred
      Thanks for quoting me and then proving my point. If you truly want validation from me, then I am sorry to say you'll never get it. Blaming anyone but the romans for nailing the guy you believe to be the messiah is sad and short sighted. I can also promise you that jews and muslims aren't the only people fighting over the same plot of land, this one is just well publicized and hard to solve because everyone believes they have the spiritual upper hand....which is pretty sad.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • fred

      lunchbreaker
      “I suppose drowning 99% of the population was a carefully planned tactic. Obviously that was the only way to achieve His plan for us”
      =>The process of evolution that you embrace has been just so much kinder to the extinct species. Your god did it with science yet was limited to that which God created in order to carryout the process of evolution.
      Looks like you were again out to lunch while the story was being read or intentionally omitted the fact this was a wicked population whose wickedness was unstoppable. You missed the fact God was kind and gave them almost 600 years to show signs of turning around. Then most of all the story was about God providing for the chosen ones and taking them through the storms of life that overcome and putting them on solid ground. Did you miss that because you were blinded by the Dawkins bible?

      April 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      This somehow posted in the wrong spot before:

      Fred, What about the statement I said was false? God being all knowing, knew he was going to drown them. And if He did it, being a perfect being, then "it" was the only appropriate course of action.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Robert Brown wrote, " You think it is possible that God would say to himself if so and so humbles themselves then I will do this, if not, then I will do that"

      If? IF? Seriously? Wouldn't an omniscient god already know?

      April 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      Unless you have a better source here is Acts 7:51–53:
      “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircu-mcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

      To say it was the Romans is like blaming the guard that pulls the lever on the electric chair as being guilty of murder. The Sanhedrin set this up with a false trial that was against their own laws. Granted God can and will use our own wickedness to His glory it was the hearts of mankind on full display. What was done to Jesus symbolic or otherwise is what you do to God when you attack and undermine His Word. Pride and arrogance was the heart of Sanhedrin which was on full display as well as the contrast with the Love of God in Christ. Not even your own people were aware that they carried out the sacrifice of the perfect lamb of God.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @fred

      Considering we never persecuted say.... David, Solomon, Moses, etc... you know, those prophets who are cornerstones of our religion thats a pretty ridiculous sentence. Second, you might not blame the hangman..... then again the jews were handed laws down from on high and then a guy comes along saying he's the son of god and that all the laws are fulfilled so everyone can go eat some bacon.... yeah that's not being stiff necked, that's being pragmatic.

      All of this however is besides the point, but again, you get no validation nor are you using a source that is verifiable and warrants being used as a factual source when it's veracity is still in question. Sorry fred, but you may be able to go through life naive as a child and call that virtue, but I think its just sad.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • fred

      Lunchbreaker
      Staying within the Bible you could make that statement. The Bible makes it clear Gods time is not our time. Past, present and future seem to fold into one another in some fashion. God says things like “I knew you before I knit your bones together in the womb”. A believer for example must choose first to believe and then suddenly is predestined from the foundations of the earth to be chosen by God.
      In this context when did God know he was going to blot out the wicked in the flood story?

      April 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Staying within the Bible you could make that statement. The Bible makes it clear Gods time is not our time. Past, present and future seem to fold into one another in some fashion. God says things like “I knew you before I knit your bones together in the womb”. A believer for example must choose first to believe and then suddenly is predestined from the foundations of the earth to be chosen by God.
      In this context when did God know he was going to blot out the wicked in the flood story?"

      LMAO! Don't you just love it that a human has to make up excuses and stories about it's god. Wow the delusional state that you have to keep yourself in to believe the lies and crap you tell people is hysterical. Murder is still murder regardless of all the excuses you try to make up. Oh that's right the Christians that murdered all those millions and millions of Indians were just following their gods lead. LMAO!

      April 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      “Considering we never persecuted say.... David, Solomon, Moses, etc”
      =>not taken as literally; it was the national characteristic. Can also mean messengers were persecuted. I think you know this.

      “all the laws are fulfilled so everyone can go eat some bacon.... yeah that's not being stiff necked,”
      =>Jesus was not talking about eating bacon rather the purpose of the law was fulfilled. The purpose of the law was to show the sin of man and Christ fulfilled the law by paying full atonement once and for all as the lamb of God.

      “using a source that is verifiable and warrants being used as a factual source”
      =>are there any books of the Bible or Tanakh you find to be factual source?

      April 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  6. A Wise Man Once Said........

    A bird in the hand, worth two in the bush!!

    April 24, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Bruce Nolan

      I have no bird, i have no bush. God has taken my bird and my bush!

      April 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  7. Drive-by

    Pow pow!

    (tires screech as I get away)

    April 24, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • Innocent Bystander

      OMG! He got away!

      April 24, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • Mirosal

      Don't worry, I saw the license plate ... it was a vanity plate that said "GOP2012" .. clearly it was a lunatic driving. In my area i have seen a lot of vanity plates that say things like "PRZ HIM" and "BLESSED" and "PRAZ GOD" and things like that. What kind of looks do you think if I got one that said "DVL-666"?

      April 24, 2012 at 6:36 am |
    • Fair Copp

      (pepper sprays and tases Mirosal for being a witness to his buddy's getaway)

      Disperse and go home! If you stay you will be arrested!

      April 24, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • Innocent Bystander

      What are you doi–*cough* *cough* Eeeeaaayaaarrrrrggghhhh!

      (got tased and sprayed)

      April 24, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Fair Copp

      DEPART THE AREA NOW OR WE WILL USE FORCE!

      April 24, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • Little Jenny

      Oh, look! We just ran over some bad policemen, Daddy! Aren't you going to stop?

      April 24, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Jenny's Dad

      Nope! They don't have anything worth stopping for, Jenny. The only thing to do with them is to put them in the landfill with the other garbage.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Little Jenny

      Not even bad cops can survive being run over by the Death Trolley!

      Yay Death Trolley!

      Let's go run over some more idiots, Daddy! Yay! This is fun!

      April 24, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • Mirosal

      Just because I saw it doesn't mean I have to report it!! Who knows... maybe I was the lookout guy to make sure there were no cops around and that the job got done in the first place ;) ... it would also depend on who or what the target is.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer protects you from stray bulle... OWWWWW I've been hit!

      April 24, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Sniper

      Please remain still as I adjust for windage and elevation....

      April 24, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Here, let me help you. Hold my beer.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:26 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.