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Battlefield chaplain’s war unfolded on many fronts
Army chaplain Darren Turner, left, wound up quitting the Army for a spell after returning home from Iraq.
May 26th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Battlefield chaplain’s war unfolded on many fronts

Editor’s note: CNN.com writer Moni Basu is author of “Chaplain Turner's War,” published by Agate Digital.

By Moni Basu, CNN

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) - Darren Turner insisted on going to war, even though the Army usually reserves desk jobs at home for new chaplains like him.

Turner was young and green, enthusiastic about taking God to the battlefield. The Army captain had learned that people in pain are often wide-open to inviting God into their lives.

Jesus always ran to crises. Turner was going to do the same.

He’d enrolled in seminary in 2004 at Regent University in Virginia, founded by evangelist Pat Robertson. And early in his spiritual journey, he was inspired by Christian writer John Eldredge, who suggests that American men have abandoned the stuff of heroic dreams, aided by a Christianity that tells them to be "nice guys."

God, says Eldredge, designed men to be daring, even dangerous.

Turner arrived in Iraq in May 2007 with the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment amid a raging insurgency. His soldiers faced an invisible but lethal enemy in booby-trapped houses and roads laced with massive bombs.

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

Chaplain Turner’s war would unfold on many fronts. He would be a soldier on the battlefield. A counselor behind closed doors. He was a friend, even a father, to his men.

And when his 15-month tour was over, Turner returned home to face all the problems he had counseled his soldiers about: anger, depression, stress and – most important for him – preserving relationships with loved ones.

Nearly 4,500 American troops died in the Iraq war. More than 30,000 more were physically wounded. Countless others live with scars that can't be seen, like post-traumatic stress syndrome and traumatic brain injury. Many have struggled with regaining their lives at home.

Darren Turner counsels a soldier inside a sleeping container at Patrol Base Hawkes, southeast of Baghdad.

Turner had recognized the needs his soldiers would have after witnessing the horrors of combat, after losing friends.

In Iraq, he had comforted and advised soldiers at Forward Operating Base Falcon, in southeastern Baghdad, and in the combat outposts around the villages of Arab Jabour.

Preparing clergy for war: How chaplains train for combat

At Falcon, the Army provided a morale phone that allowed soldiers to make free 15-minute calls home. But Turner knew it wasn't enough. He carried a cell phone in the left shoulder pocket of his uniform and whipped it out whenever a soldier signaled domestic distress at home.

"Call her," he would say. "Call her now and tell her you love her."

When they returned to Georgia in the summer of 2008, Turner told his soldiers that their families would be their cushion. He knew his men were suffering; that the ghosts of Iraq would haunt them, maybe for the rest of their lives.

What he did not know then was that he would not himself be immune to the same threats. He neglected to heed his own advice and his life floundered.

I’d spent many weeks with Turner in Iraq for a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but I didn't know about his troubles until I drove up to meet him and his wife, Heather, earlier this year at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

An exhausted Darren Turner catches a nap at his desk inside his tent at Forward Operating Base Falcon near Baghdad.

On that rainy February day, Turner told me that he’d come back from Iraq and felt like the bomb defuser in the movie "The Hurt Locker," who goes into a grocery store and is overwhelmed by the mesmerizing variety of cereals.

Remembering the fallen: Learn about casualties

It was a lot to process after having few choices in Iraq. Reverse culture shock.

"I wanted everything in there but I wasn't sure what to buy," Turner said.

He also detected a lack of public concern for the men and women fighting overseas. Off post, people went about their lives without a real understanding of the sacrifices made by American service members.

At first the anger boiled inside. But then it began to surface. He took it out on Heather. It was a release so that he could keep his work as normal as possible.

Little things like arranging the dishwasher became big fights with Heather. Big things like Heather’s life plans became small issues that Turner mocked or discounted because they did not fit his own plans.

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"I came home angry," Turner told me. "Even my attitude, which I thought I was in control of, was walling me in. I didn't realize it until my wife told me, 'You're no longer welcome in our house.'"

During the deployment in Iraq, Turner had pined for Heather and his three young children, Elie, Sam and Meribeth. Now, he was losing them.

"The thing I was angry at was the very thing I was longing for during my deployment - my family," he said.

Heather said her husband was disengaged, impatient. She wanted them to seek counseling but Turner refused, insisting that she was the one who had issues.

Just a few months after his return from Iraq, Darren and Heather Turner separated.

“I was very selfish and tried to control my surroundings, which crushed those closest to me,” Turner said.

Turner eventually realized how much he had hurt his wife, he said. How he had stepped away from God's calling by failing those he cared about most.

After finishing Airborne School, he quit the Army in August 2009, believing the military would demand too much time away from his family at a critical juncture in their lives.

He took a job in sales at a Home Depot not far from his house in Dacula, Georgia. He struggled to mend his marriage and reconnect with his faith.

Four months later, Turner and his wife reconciled. He chose to return to the Army as a chaplain, he said, "a renewed man both in marriage and profession."

He and Heather found their calling. God, he said, gave them a special connection with soldiers and their families. They know they will stay busy for a while.

The U.S. mission in Iraq ended on December 18, 2011, as the last American soldiers climbed into hulking trucks and armored vehicles at Camp Adder, the southernmost base in Iraq.

The war, however, is sure to continue on a second front - in America's cities and homes. And in the offices of counselors and chaplains like Darren Turner.

Turner reminisces about Iraq often, and when I saw him at Fort Campbell, he told me he wrestled with mixed feelings on the day America's military presence ended. He hopes that, in the end, the war will have been worth the blood that was spilled.

Another war, the one in Afghanistan, is far from over, with casualties mounting every month. Today, Turner counsels soldiers serving there. His words, honed from experience, are more specific now.

Get Skype, he says.

Perhaps it's not what a soldier expects to hear from a man of God. It’s certainly not the stuff of Sunday sermons.

But it's practical advice that Turner knows will go a long way toward filling the emotional vacuum. He believes distance from one’s own family can trigger a breakdown, especially when a soldier is coping with injuries and combat stress.

"Being away from your family for that long is way more difficult than I anticipated," Turner said.

Skype, he discovered, is the next best thing to being at home. You can't feel someone or smell them but you can see and hear.

"That's two of the senses," he said. "That's exponential."

Turner’s pastoral passion is still driven by the force that first drew him to the chaplaincy: Jesus.

Everyone has faith in something, Turner said. His own conviction is that Jesus answers longings in the human heart and provides perspective. Beyond immediate emergencies, the larger story is one of hope.

“He's been there on the other side, and came back to tell us,” Turner said. “That's the biggest event in human history, something that maintains hope, even in battle. When soldiers get that, it changes everything.”

Turner said he may not have been God’s perfect messenger, but that his selfish choices do not negate God’s love.

Turner is thankful for that. And that he can carry on with his calling.

- CNN Wire editor

Filed under: Christianity • Military

soundoff (2,230 Responses)
  1. RLM

    Prayer is synonymous with wishful thinking.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  2. Worship Poseidon

    Tim Tebow and Kirk Cameron are in a dark basement somewhere right now just punishing each other's back doors. Jesus was a cross dressing hippie. Islam....now that's the bee's knees son!

    May 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      You are obviously gay. Do you need some help ?

      May 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  3. TG

    Had Mr Darren Turner more seriously examined the Bible and life of Jesus Christ, he could have seen what Jesus really taught. For example, after Peter had cut off the right ear of the high priest slave Malchus, Jesus immediately responded and told Peter: "Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword."(Matt 26:52)

    For Peter to use force was wrong, and Jesus stated a principle that true Christians are to follow – that true Christians are to refrain from any involvement in the military. These are to "beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore."(Isa 2:4)

    Had Darren Turner examined the history of the 1st century C.E., just a few years after Jesus death, this is what he would have found, that early Christians refused to serve in the Roman army, in both the legions and auxilia, considering such service as wholly incompatible with the teachings of Christianity. E. W. Barnes, in his book The Rise of Christianity, said: "A careful review of all the information available goes to show that, until the time of Marcus Aurelius [121-180 C.E.], no Christian became a soldier; and no soldier, after becoming a Christian, remained in military service."(1947, p. 333)

    C. J. Cadoux, in his book The Early Church and the World, said: "It will be seen presently that the evidence for the existence of a single Christian soldier between 60 and about 165 A.D. is exceedingly slight; . . . up to the reign of Marcus Aurelius at least, no Christian would become a soldier after his baptism."(1955, pp. 275, 276)

    However, over 100 years after Jesus death in 33 C.E., the teachings of Jesus Christ were starting to be corrupted and individuals began to join the military, for the clear line of demarcation that is between a true Christian and "the world", was no longer existing.(John 15:19, 17:16)

    Jesus had forewarned that this would happen, that his genuine teachings would be defiled, watered-down, altered to fit personal taste, becoming like counterfeit money that looks authentic but is not, by giving an illustration of "the wheat and the weeds" at Matthew 13:24-30. His true Christian teachings were now distorted, and the Christian congregation that he established was now apostate.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  4. Worship Poseidon

    Jesus was more like an occupy protestor than the uptight group of xenophobes that claim to respresent him now.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  5. IslandAtheist

    Sky Pilot http://youtu.be/iiA809jv8Dw

    May 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  6. Felicia King

    The American Soldier fights for his God and country. If you can't respect that, leave your ignorant comments to yourself please.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Worship Poseidon

      I want to tinker with your stinker.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Speaking of "his", .... why is it that women do not have to sign up for the Selective Service System when THEY are 18, or loose their Federal Benefits, and student loans. Equal rights = Equal Responsibilities ? Bunk.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • sybaris

      Obviously you've never served Felicia and subscribe to some fanciful notions.

      We fight more for each other than anything else.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Tom Leykis

      Please leave the whole "god" ignorance out of this. It's a certainty the Nazi's fought for "god", the Roman empire fought for their "gods", etc. etc etc. Facepalm. Lol

      May 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • ron

      i understand what you are saying Felicia, but you don't speak for all American soldiers

      May 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Ann

      Bucky – you're absolutely right. Women should register, too.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  7. A Serpent's Thought

    Wars and the rumors thereof. Todays are such ways. Sodom was and the times are now of. Sodomites of old times now are of the new times! In upcoming years the days will impart their lackings and frothings never as once was. Love therefor all who one meets as if they were your brother or sister! Let one's conscience not disway you on your living journey thru the many who do impart failures after failure! Keep safe your Godly aspiratons and transpire not unto the abyss of darkness and despairing virtues. Make clemencies and regularities your commonalities. Languish not in bad conscience throngings! Walk placidly amid life's waste and turmoils yet ever remember to find the pieces of peace there abouts! Blessed are the peacemakers for theirs are for righteousness sakes!

    May 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Christianity gives you the disease and then offers the cure.

      Lot screw.ed his daughters.....

      May 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Hitchens

      Best reread the story. Your predisposed prejudice and hatred is showing. Lot was an innocent victim.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      http://twitpic.com/5qef6q

      May 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  8. ja-coffalotte

    What a nut job, he believes in fairy tales and wants Jesus on the battlefield, cookoo for cocoa puffs.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Ted M.

    Bucky Ball (how strange to see your name right side up!)

    The Garden story was about God being a vo.y.eur and then getting outrageously angry when Adam and Eve became smart and acquired morals.
    Just think about it for a moment.
    He told them to not even touch the tree or the fruit – yet they did not know that disobeying was "bad" so they did nothing wrong – PLUS once they knew what was good and bad, God gets angry. Why? Now they could obey him intelligently, but he did not want that and banished them for being intelligent and having a moral sense.

    Whoever wrote Genesis must have been so messed up in the head – they clearly envied the apes of the forest for being stupid and unthinking or wanted their followers to be stupid and unthinking, for that is the whole message of the Garden story.
    If you are stupid and immoral, God loves you and you please him by running around stupid and na..k.ed.
    But if you can see the difference between good and bad, you make God angry! Yet he did not give them the ability to know that eating the fruit was evil – mainly because it wasn't. It's all a lie designed to confuse people.

    So "original sin" is nothing more than intelligence and morality two things required for wisdom, which God apparently approves of later even while requiring blood sacrifices for people being smarter than animals.

    Being smarter than an animal does not appear to me to be wrong in any way. For this to be "original sin" is ridiculous.
    How you get this "chaos vs order" thing out of it is beyond me.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Nii

      The funny thing is that u think u do understand the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve knew right from wrong they just didn't have to judge between God and the Devil. The Tree is most appropriately translated as the Tree of Judgement between Good and Evil. Judgement as in legal judgement by a judge.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Nii

      Hebrew ancient as it is uses several words to describe things by using them to form new words. When translated context can be lost. Man was just as he is now but without a tendency to justify wrong in a legalistic manner. You can read Romans- a further explanation of the Garden.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Ted M.

      Wow, Nii, that is the most baldfaced lie I have ever seen in my years of commenting here.
      It is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not the tree of judgment of good and evil.

      You are a bald-faced liar and now your lies are here for everyone to see. How do you like that?

      May 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Felicia King

      Dude, you need not sleep on your side because your brain will fall out. It is simple, God gave Adam everything he needed in the Garden, including his wife, Eve. God told Adam to dress and keep the Garden (i.e., work, protect, cultivate). God told Adam he can eat from every tree and plant in the Garden except the ONE tree in the middle, that he must not touch or eat of. Just like a kid he goes after something he knows he is not supposed to have, and just like a female she entices a male. Satan had to deceive Eve in order to tempt her to take and eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, then Eve offered her husband Adam to eat of the fruit. Eve did not have to listen to Satan, just as Adam did not have to accept the apple from Eve, but both of them did. They knew they were not suppose to, but yet they chose to do it anyways (called Free Will given by God). Technically it was Eve that disobeyed first, but she did not shove it down Adam's throat, he did so willingly. Because in the end Adam put the blame on Eve, and then God for giving her to him. And that is why God expelled both of them from the Garden. But after Cain killed his brother Abel, later God have Eve another son, Seth. Seth would later have Enoch, and Enoch was a Godly man that did not die, but walked with God. And among his later descendants there was eventually Noah, and so on.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Ted M.

      Without the knowledge of good and evil, why would anyone follow anyone's rules?
      Your answer is as stupid as Nii's is ridiculous.

      God banished them for having the knowledge and for nothing else. They were dumb and gained knowledge, which God did not want them to have. He was quite satisfied watching them walk around in the nude.

      Sorry, but you need to read Genesis again, sweety.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Hi Ted..
      As I said, as I see it, it is the mythological Tree of the Knowledge of Good AND Evil, ( ie an attempt to "know" ....biblical "know"....BOTH good AND evil, (experience something which IS ("promotes") one's "authentic self", AND, (or along with) it's opposite...that which does NOT promote one's authentic self. ...It's the ESSENCE of "morality". (See famous Jewish Philosopher/scholar, Martin Buber, "Good and Evil". Scholars think they got it from Marduk/Tiamet myth. It really is rather insightful for ancient nomads. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiamat :twisted:

      May 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      You have to choose. You can't have BOTH. Both is chaos.

      And BTW Nii, Romans has NOTHING to do with it. THAT is much later "salvation" overlay, which Saul grafted onto the growing cult, to justify his NEW 'salvation" paradigm. It came from the GREEK Mystery cults. Until Paul (Saul) added it, it was NOT a part of the cult. Mark, (the ONLY thing written before Paul... does not mention it).

      May 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      They did not "have knowledge". They ATTEMPTED to have knowledge, ( of BOTH ), which is impossible. AND anyway, the penalty for "eating of the Tree" was DEATH ... "He who eats from the Tree ...shall surely die". They DIDN"T die. The "death" is allegorical "death", (of "authentic self"). No ? Thoughts? So nice to have intelligent discussion !

      May 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Nii is full of crap. The "merism", (literary figure), "good and evil", is a figure of speech whereby a pair of opposites are used together to create the meaning all or everything (as in the English phrase, "they searched high and low", meaning that they looked "everywhere".

      In Jewish tradition, the Tree of Knowledge and the eating of its fruit represents the beginning of the mixture of good and evil together. Before that time, the two were separate, and evil had only a nebulous existence "in potentia".

      May 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • TedM

      Bucky, I will maintain that, according to the story, God did not want them to be moral, to know morals or how to perceive moral things and that being dumb animals without any empathy or sympathy (some of the basis for morality) were what he desired in us as a species.
      He wanted us without clothes, without morals, without compassion, and without knowledge, yet after being ultra-powerful he could not find the power to keep us from evolving and becoming intelligent, moral, and compassionate as well as s.3xually inhibited.

      Given how primitive people might have viewed primates, there is the clear case for "jungle-envy" where we have plenty of food, no clothes, no apparent morals or compassion, and cannot act differently than how we were grown to act.

      This "gotcha" thing happening in the Garden just shows the lack of logic in the story. God creates the universe and Adam as well as Eve from a rib, but cannot create us so that we remain stupid, ignorant, and immoral / unclothed.
      And he walked around in the Garden, also without clothes, and grew angry that Adam and Eve covered themselves.

      But here you are blathering on about some Tiamat thing I can't hardly make head or tails out of. If we are to be punished for having morality, then what does that say about God?
      He had no problem looking at junk, but cover it up and he gets mad? This makes sense to you?

      May 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      "Original" sin was introduced by Augustine, (who was almost psychotic with guilt over his past). It is VERY sick.

      May 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      You are looking at it ALL from YOUR worldview. That is a HUGE mistake. They had no "jungle envy". You may have a point about the "clothes tho .. have never thought about that..but it' fit's with "moral innocence", which was lost with attempt to "eat" BOTH. Sorry, but most Jewish scholars agree with Buber. Must think about your interpretation ..

      May 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      The god DID want them to be "moral". The "wisdom" was that the "command" was to not attempt the "knowledge" of BOTH. You are looking at it from a negative reversed, MODERN post Christian view. Let it be, as it actually is. Don't put "bad motives" where there are none.

      May 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • ןןɐq ʎʞɔnq

      The word used in the text, Nii, is for "knowledge",

      the Hebrew word for judgement is : פסק דין

      the Hebrew word for knowledge is :
      ידע

      May 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  10. cd

    It is a "SAD DAY IN THIS NATION" when the so called poor can get free cell-phones and service,House,food,cloths,education on these brave men. 0bama wants to strip more Health Care money from them ONLY if he is re-elected to give to the "so called poor bl@cks". !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • vulpecula

      does your Psychiatrist let you out of the rubber room often?

      May 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  11. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you fat, pale, and sedentary.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer causes long term damage to your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  12. HeavenSent

    Heaven sent us tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and famines, plus cancers, typhoid, meningitis, lupus, and other horrible diseases that cause horrid suffering and death to millions of people worldwide. The bible also has detail instructions from god for waging war along with various human rights abuses that violate UN rules.

    And then he wants to torture you in hell forever if you suspect that he doesn't exist, even given that there is no specific evidence for his existence and that he apparently hasn't shown his face for at least 2000 years if ever.

    Wow, god must be quite the cruel, evil jerk. To be polite.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Nii

      Atheist blogname parasite

      u do need help! Your self-esteem issues are not any god's fault most especially not YHWH's. Try to love people as yourself. You will not die but live

      May 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • ja-coffalotte

      Nice picture of a voodoo ritual?

      May 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent continuously finds herself with the sinful urge to steal my handle to post her nonsense because of frustration received by never winning a debate while posting under other phony handles she utilizes. She doesn't know 2 Thessalonians 2:11.

      May 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  13. achepotlex

    How can these religious kooks not see they are the cause of all the problems in the world?...when they disappear, so will war and greed.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Nii

      NEWSFLASH!!!
      There r atheist religious kooks in Colombia, Venezuela, India and Nepal fighting aimless insurgencies against their governments.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Ted M.

      If they are fighting against their governments then they can hardly be called "aimless" you dolt.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Nii

      TED M
      Refrain from insults. What is the aim? Oh to establish an atheist state where paradise is on earth. In the long run "four legs good two legs bad" becomes "all are equal but some more equal". Read that script over 10 times now. Read wide.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • David Melvin

      Because Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were motivated by religious zeal? Seriously, open a history book. I get that a lot of violence has been done in the name of religion, but absurd statements like yours just make you sound like an idiot.

      Evil is caused by people, whether religious or not. When all of the people disappear, so will evil.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Ted M.

      So, Nii, you admit they have an aim? Then I was correct and you are a dolt.
      It's not an insult in your case, dolt. It's giving you more credit than you deserve.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  14. TC Smythe

    "The Army captain had learned that people in pain are often wide-open to inviting God into their lives."

    So when pain hit this guy, god was suddenly absent. Typical.

    May 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Tom Leykis

      Take your lips from the crack pipe.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you fat, pale, weak, and sedentary.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer causes long term damage to your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
      Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
      Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
      Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
      Prayer dulls your senses.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Christianity gives you the disease and then offers the cure.

      Proven!

      May 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things. Need proof? Check out the replies above. Loser central

      May 27, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Christianity gives you the disease and then offers the cure.

      Don't listen to her, she has the disease.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • martog

      Prayer changes things eh....please provide proof.
      Name calling does not help you look smart

      May 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • just sayin

      @martog
      You are here. Proof positive prayer changes things. God bless

      May 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven conclusively

      May 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  16. jettle

    Not to be disrespectful, but the fact that soldiers on the battlefield are more willing to allow Jesus into their lives isn't surprising and has nothing to do with true faith. Its the same reason why almost 100 percent of death row inmates magically find god while they wait. They are scared. Scared enough to believe anything to make their current situation seem bearable. If there was a belief structure around an alien god who would transform him/her into a unicorn, inmates would suddenly start rolling up paper and holding them to their foreheads. Same deal with soldiers. I can only imagine the kind of stress they are under. Luckily what is being passed on is hope and some kind of light, but in a way, isnt it like preying on the week? I could go to the poorest village in the world with a truck of bread or money and get whomever to listen to me because I have what they need. Thats not faith. Its a drowning man grabbing for anything to save them.

    May 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Felicia King

      It is faith if it is in their hearts. For someone who hasn't heard the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and is now being told, it helps them because it gives them comfort that they didn't have before. Just knowing you have someone to cry to is often comfort enough. Not every soldier has family to cry to, so letting them know they have a Heavenly Father to cry to that loves and cares for them is the biggest and best comfort of all. And it is the truth, and it will never be sad.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • sybaris

      Felicia, you're the typical sort that religion preys upon.

      Religion is a filthy disgusting disease of the mind. Any parent who sends their child to Sunday School, VBS or uses any other perverse method such as guilt to brainwash their child into believing in any god should get a visit from CPS.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Tom Leykis

    I hate to break it to the Chaplain, but the whole "god" and "jesus" thing.........a total myth created by men to control, profit from and manipulate men. Religion and dieties were an invention of man to explain that which he didn't understand. Chaplains are NOT qualified to offer counseling services of any sort and have NO training in effective counseling. Let me clue him in:
    Dinosaurs existed, just not with man. The earth is 4.5 BILLION years old. Evolution is a scientific fact. There is absolutely NO legitimate academically accepted, peer reviewed proof that "jesus" ever existed, period end of story. You'd think that there'd be some academically accepted, peer reviewed proof that "jesus" existed since that's the most important "person" in christianity. Oh, and the whole idea of Noah's Ark and the parting of the Red Sea.........total BS.

    May 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  18. johnfrichardson

    "Taking god to the battlefield" says it all. God doesn't go anywhere unless carried by by in a believer's imagination..

    May 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  19. Poe

    "What right do I have?" should be "What justification do I have?"

    May 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Poe

      Bah, meant to put this in a reply. CNN how about letting someone delete their posts?

      May 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Ted M.

      They cannot hear you over the sound of their sadistic laziness and unethical profits, not to mention their completely overpaid salaries rustling in their ears. They are like old turds with crusty underwear – they do not want their bosses to see their worthlessness even though we shout it at them several times a day.

      May 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  20. Kathleen

    I fail to see the point of this poorly written article about what sounds like a deluded loser who preys on soldiers to peddle his god to them when they are wounded and scared. That is the tactic of a coward and a bully.

    May 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Tom Leykis

      And you would be right.

      May 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Christianity gives you the disease and then offers the cure.

      May 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.