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Nuns' group plans bus trip to protest the Ryan budget
A group of nuns is protesting Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal.
June 6th, 2012
06:56 PM ET

Nuns' group plans bus trip to protest the Ryan budget

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - American nuns are taking their opposition of the proposed Paul Ryan budget to the American people and embarking on a bus tour through some of America’s most politically important states.

NETWORK, a group founded by 47 Catholic sisters that speaks out on social justice issues in particular, will be hitting states like Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia in order to reveal “how federal budget cuts proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-WI), and passed by the House of Representatives will hurt struggling families in these states,” a release by the group reads.

In interviews after unveiling his budget, Ryan said that he applied his view of Catholic social teaching in his budget proposal, a statement that Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, said co-opted sacred Catholic teachings.

“I think he was so direct in draping himself in the mantle of Catholic social teaching,” Campbell said. “He took the words but he took none of the meaning in the forming of the budget.”

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Campbell continued: “It is one thing to have political differences, but to try to hide a budget that will devastate people and claim that it is supported by your faith. It is unacceptable. He is wrong and he needs to be told so.”

Ryan’s $3.53 trillion dollar budget doubles down on past proposals Republicans have made to overhaul Medicare and other government programs that are seen as politically sensitive. While the budget has little chance to become law, it draws a distinct contrast with Democratic views on spending and will loom large in the 2012 race for the presidency.

Ryan was given an opportunity to respond to Catholics who have questioned his budget in a speech at Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic university in the country.

“Of course, there can be differences among faithful Catholics on this. The work I do, as a Catholic holding office, conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it,” said Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican. “What I have to say about the social doctrine of the church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding of the problems of the day.”

The Georgetown speech also gave Catholic opponents an opportunity to confront Ryan with their disapproval. As Ryan delivered the remarks, he came face-to-face with protesters who unveiled a banner that read “Stop the War on the Poor.” Outside the event, Catholics United protested the event. A little over a dozen people stood outside Healy Hall, where the speech took place, and held a sign the read, “WERE YOU THERE WHEN THEY CRUCIFIED THE POOR?”

The nuns' bus trip will go through Wisconsin, Ryan’s home state, and Campbell said the nuns will meet with congressional representatives and their staffs. In particular, Campbell indicated that NETWORK is specifically targeting Catholic representatives who had voted for Ryan’s budget.

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“There are some Catholic representatives who have voted for the House budget that Representative Ryan proposed and we as Catholics believe that we should go talk to them and talk to their staffs,” Campbell said.

The trip comes during a controversial time between American nuns and their leadership in Vatican City. Recently, the Vatican has been critical of the nuns, in particular, charging the nuns of espousing “radical feminism” and straying from church teaching.

The busing nuns referenced this controversy in their announcement of the event, stating that “despite the controversy, Catholic Sisters stand with the Bishops in criticizing the Ryan budget and are committed to staying faithful to their mission to serve those in need.”

“In fact, on this issue, we stand with the bishops,” Campbell said.

And that is true. In an April release from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the bishops call on "Congress and the Administration to protect essential help for poor families and vulnerable children and to put the poor first in budget priorities.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church

soundoff (289 Responses)
  1. Conrad Shull

    Um, I'd think about that tax-exempt status, Sisters.

    June 8, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • chefdugan

      Nuns are irrelevant, just like their religiion. If they put out a little maybe their priest buddies would stop molesting children.

      June 8, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  2. Stalin was an atheist that killed millions

    Case closed!

    June 8, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • No God

      Preist molest children!
      Case closed.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  3. HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

    CASE CLOSED!

    June 8, 2012 at 3:47 am |
  4. notamused

    Paul Ryan is a soulless POS in my opinion. He's also hopelessly stupid.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  5. Rachel

    It is cruel and callous to ignore the less fortunate. Helping the poor is one of the key messages in the Bible.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  6. blessedgeek

    The Vatican is taking action against nuns taking part in these activities.

    June 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  7. ludvig

    Give em hell sisters. As Harry Truman says in his book Plain Speaking "Under Repuglican administrations, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  8. Rev John M. Lagiovane

    Where oh where have these nuns been with regard to innocent unborn human life???
    Would they ever take a bus trip to rally and question politician who are pro- abortion? How many of these nuns every partcipated in the March for LIfe? By there fruits you shall know them. All in the name of Social Justice? Whatever there definition of social justice. What a dissapointment some woman relgious have become- Paul Ryan is a good Catholic man.

    Fr. John M. Lagiovane
    Our Lady of Lourdes High School- Poughkeepsie NY

    June 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Get a life friar tuck, will you. The Catholic Church has been responsible for more deaths than ANY other group in the history of the world. Maybe you need to get your church to worry about the children who ARE born and who are dying of AIDS, or hunger, or homelessness, or abuse. Yeah, let's save all the "fetuses" so they can die a horrible death like they are supposed to.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • c s

      Congratulations, Father you certainly sound more like a Republican than a Christian.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • The_Mick

      The official position of the Catholic Church, which the nuns have officially supported, opposes abortion. What libelous ideas has the devil put in your head to mislead you to make such a statement?

      June 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • JustaNormalPerson

      It is all about the immense amount of additional suffering that the Ryan budget would cause. How do you justify the dismanteling of the social safety net in order to give more money to the rich? Maybe if you had real empathy for the living you would understand the teachings and the empathy of Christ.

      Remember Reverend:

      The way you treat the least of your breatheren is the way you treat me also.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Tom Calabrese

      Amen. Is human life no longer important to this nuns, catholics or christians. The acid test is what would Jeaus say about abortion and the killing of babies? Go ahead sisters and pick an fight with a budget that supports abortion and support a president that supports everthing the catholic church opposes. You remind me why I left the Catholic church.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Nobody is "pro-abortion".
      Do you see planned parenthood handing out buy one get one free coupons?
      As Obama said, abortion should be "safe, legal and rare".
      Perhaps if Catholics stopped harping about "onanism" and preached a more sensible approach to se/xual relations, there would be fewer unwanted pregnancies.

      June 8, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • derp

      "You remind me why I left the Catholic church"

      You and Reverend Fuknut here remind me why I left.

      June 8, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • chefdugan

      The more abortions the better! Too many kids being born to stupid parents. Dictated abortions are the way to go!

      June 8, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • hippie power 69

      because father, until you have children and a family yourself you should mind your own business. i love men who have no bills to pay, have no mortgage to pay, who have women cook and clean and do their laundry try to tell us women who don't have that blessing in their lives how many children they should have. unless its in your womb, mind your own business. try helping the hungry children who are here, the sick the poor and the old are who you should be taking care of, just like these nuns. shame on you sir. have you no decency?? how many children have you adopted lately? how many have you put a roof over? you are the worst kind of hypocrite, a religious one.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • hippie power 69

      if you think paul ryan is such a good catholic man, you try living one year on his budget, i dare u. put your money where you big mouth is. you hypocrite. tax all catholic churches since they are so wrapped up in our politics. pay your taxes, then you can speak politics, until then shut up

      June 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • CC

      You would like to abolish abortions and that's fine but then what's your plan for those babies born into poverty?
      You would have babies live in impoverishment while you are well nourished, well clothed and have a good sheltered. Shame on you for criticizing those who work and speak for the poor.

      Paul Ryan is not a good person, he is not a good Christian, he is not a good Catholic.
      He is, however, very good for wealthy Republicans, which I presume you are.

      Thank God for those who speak for the poor.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  9. charlie stocker

    i am catholic, and these nuns need a guiding hand to get back to their jobs! where is their mother-superior? and where is the bishop for whom they answer to? i think the popoe is right telling these nuns to get back to what they are supposed to do; not economic protesting trying to act like they speak for the catholic voice of the US.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      News Flash – it's not just the nuns who have denounced Ryan's budget.

      But I guess you're more a believer in 1 Tmothy – that women should just shut up and sit in the corner, right?

      June 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Huebert

      I thought that it was a nun's job to aid the poor and repressed; a charge that they are filling admirably by protesting the Ryan budget.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • JustaNormalPerson

      Yes, those pesky women again, thinking for themselves and trying to follow the actual teachings of Christ. Obviously the old fool need to put them in their place again.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Ryan in Texas

      Let's be honest – they are simply liberals who love to spend other people's money. Greece is full of them.
      The Ryan budget doesn't even cut back spending to Clinton levels. Where were these protestors then?
      On of the things taxpayers are paying for is free cellphones with 200 free minutes a month for those already on the dole.
      Look, I'm OK with a safety net, but paying people not to work is a failed experiment. We can say there are no jobs, but illegals still come here and find work. If you are getting welfare, you should have to give your local Gov't 40 hours a week of labor. Sort recycling, clean streets – whatever, but do something. We are paying people to do nothing but watch TV all day.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • JustaNormalPerson

      Majorities of Republicans now say they disagree that the government should guarantee every citizen enough to eat and a place to sleep (36% agree, 63% disagree) and take care of people who can’t take care of themselves (40% agree, 54% disagree). As recently as 2009, Republican opinions on these questions were more evenly divided.

      This includes the elimination of social security, medicare, and medicade.

      It's now ok for the old to starve.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @Ryan, I'm going to guess that you don't really know anyone on welfare, do you? In my experience, while there are certainly people that game the system, they are in the vast minority. And, if you give people welfare and make them work full time jobs, then those with diabilities or child care needs will be screwed – and they certainly aren't going to have time to adequately find jobs on their own.

      Nice to see you have such a lack of faith in humanity, though.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Ryan in Texas

      You want a guarantee that includes never having to work. Who would do any hard job if that were the case?
      If you say they should be guaranteed a home, food, clothing, electricity, running water, sewer, heat/ac, cellphones, tv, medical and some spending money – why would people work?
      SEE GREECE. They tried it in Europe, now they circle the toilet bowl.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Ryan in Texas

      Disabled and can't work? Can't work a computer? Jobs there. Can't work a phone? Jobs there. Not intelligent? You can pick vegetables. We have people on full disability who drive to the store and get their own groceries. You can work then.
      If by disabled you mean you can't do any of those things – fine – that's a sliver of the number who are disabled.
      There was a time when none of these current handouts existed – back then those same people COULD work. Heck, even a wild animal will stop working for food if you hand it to them instead.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      Of course, Ryan, what was I thinking. We have 9% unemployment in this country, but there's more than enough jobs out there that providing a living wage for everyone. Those that are unemployed are obviously too lazy.

      I'm so glad I'm an atheist. At least reading some ancient text hasn't made me entirely devoid of empathy.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      Do you really think Greece failed because of it's welfare system? If you're attempting to use that logic, why do you ignore Germany? That's a country with a very good social welfare system and is pretty much single-handedly keeping the eurozone intact right now. But that would require you to use logic and reasoning...

      June 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Ryan in Texas

      Must be all the military spending in Greece.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • chefdugan

      Maybe they just want to wear fancy dresses like the pope. The entire catholic church is an abomination and those that belong are masters of self-delusion.

      June 8, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  10. Kindness

    For you.
    A thought to consider without a typical ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    June 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • just sayin

      hit report abuse...spamming

      June 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Hey Kindness, here's a though for you. Jesus was a MYTH, not a real person. Do I have proof, sure I do, and I'd be more than happy to share the "good news" with anyone, just ask.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • chefdugan

      Thankk you for your thoughts on stupidity. You are one pathetic individual.

      June 8, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Which God??

      @ Kindness. Why are you pushing your 'cut&paste' crap on everyone? It does not pertain to us, only you buy-bull thumpers. Get real, your pap is pure fabricated BS.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  11. 4peas

    Go sister!

    June 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  12. Bill

    Sounds like these nuns would use their time better by going out to solicit money from the wealthy for a good cause then tell Ryan that he should not make cut backs when the deficit is skyrocketing.

    June 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • hippie power 69

      bill, how come the deficit didn't bother you when bush was president? he spent more money then all the other presidents up to him. never before was the deficit that bush compiled so big. never.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  13. Johnnie

    This election is a real test of Truth and Fairness versus the Untruth and injustice as one Nation under God, we Trust. Greed and injustice has no place before the God we serve and he is the same God of the beginning, of our founding fathers and of today. God's words in the Bible our politicians were sworn-on is the same and never changed. Why are we now drifting from the truth of "Loving thy neighbor as thyself?" Paul Ryan and his partners in this inhumane Budget is ungodly, selfish and greed, engineered to cleanse our nation at a time the country is under economic attack by economic terrorist with influence of the demon who always is determined to destroy God's children. The enemy is a LIAR and would fail always. Gods' children are under attack but the faithful would be saved. Our nation was blessed to be Father of Nations as Abraham and sadly some of the Evangelicals, the Catholics, the Protestants are fiercely being challenged by their faith of Truth versus Untruth, Fairness versus Injustice and strangely timid and rather seduced by the demonic spirit of Greed. Truthfully, the bible prophesized and warned of this period for the love of worldliness, lovers of money, selfishness and the passion to serve the Beast. Brave Nuns as women under God, Esther’s children, children of Joan of Arc, children of Florence Nightingale, and the children of the mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, rise up again to mother and nurse your children under fierce attack, this is the preparation of the final war of all wars to destroy the Enemy of God’s children. Thank you Nun’s Group.

    June 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Crownnoble

      Being compelled by a worldly government with the point of a gun to give to those in need is not tought in New Testement Bible scriptures anywhere. This is tyranny at its absolute definition. Giving with a volentary heart and will is what is tought and desribes heroism at its best.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      Being compelled by a worldly government with the point of a gun to fund weapons production isn't exactly in the bible either. Why is it that Ryan thinks that building unnecessary fighter jets is a better function of government then helping the least fortunate among us?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Crownnoble

      Mr. Squirrel, Jesus paid his taxes just so the Roman gov. could do just that and he complained not!

      June 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Jesus didn't pay taxes. He said to pay Caesars things to Caesar but he didn't have an income so it would stand to reason he didn't pay taxes. Jesus relied on the generosity of others to survive.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • TR6

      @Crownnoble:” Giving with a volentary heart and will is what is tought and desribes heroism at its best.”

      Since America is the richest country in the world and since 80% of Americans are Christian, if the American Christians were half as generous and half charitable as they like to pretend to be, there would be no poor, hungry or homeless persons in America. Why are so many Christians so against the government trying to alleviate the misery that Christians are not apparently not charitable enough to relieve

      June 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Ryan in Texas

      There are no hungry in the US. No one has starved here in decades. (OK, some sick people with holdfood from their kids, starving them deliberately).
      The average "poor" person is obese. Yes, for the first time in the history of man people call fat people "poor".
      By the definition of Jesus, and in his time – there are nearly no poor in the US. Certainly not 99.9% of the 1/3 on the dole who we call "poor". If you are fat, with a home with heat/ac, electricity, running water/sewer, and a tv you ARE NOT POOR OR NEEDY!

      June 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      Yeah, Ryan, good thought. We should only classify people as poor based upon standards of 2,000 years ago.

      Did you ever think that people are fat because they are poor? Have you tried shopping for healthy foods in a poor urban neighborhood lately?

      Very compassionate of you. I'm sure your god is oh-so proud. Why is it that atheists seem to follow Christ's teachings more than his purported followers?

      June 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Ryan in Texas

      No, you are using a relative definition of poor, and I am using an absolute one. By your definition, anyone with less than you is poor, deserving charity.
      I simply point out that no metric ever used to describe "poor" describes our current group on the dole (nearly all).
      I could deliver several billion people who would gladly trade places with our "poor" – in the time of Jesus, to today – our "poor" are very well off. They don't have to work and have all the creature comforts. That describes wealthy people just 50 years ago in the US.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  14. Evangelical

    These nuns need to read Ayn Rand and join a real, bible-believing church.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • sam

      And of course whatever church you belong to would be the ideal.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Apparently Evangelical has the truth. We should all join him.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Huebert

      I am currently reading Atlas Shrugged, and it is about as far removed from Jesus teaching on wealth as you can get.

      Matthew 19, 21-24

      21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

      22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

      23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

      June 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • JustaNormalPerson

      Yes, Ayn Rand is the type of Christian even Jesus would be proud of.

      June 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Drew

      Is this the real evangelical, or someone trolling to make him/her look stupid? Not that evangelical has ever needed help looking stupid

      June 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • c s

      Ayn Rand was an atheists, which is perfectly fine but she was not a Christian. How so many Christian Republicans can worship her views is beyond me. She had the compassion of a stone. She believed in total selfishness. Maybe that is what attracts so many Republicans. I just wish so many Republicans who worship her philosophy would stop trying to use Christianity as a basis for their views. Just be honest and say that being totally selfish is best for society.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  15. Topher

    I've got a couple hours left before work, so if anyone wants to talk about Christianity ...

    June 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      Sure. How about: Please discuss the context in which beating slaves to death and owning sex slaves is moral.

      Bonus points for explaining why murdering a bunch of innocent children in order to (unsuccessfully) make a point to a mortal leader is moral.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Topher

      From which verses specifically are you talking about?

      June 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      Also, since you didn't seem to want to discuss this yesterday, please explain how the following passage puts women on an equal footing with men. An equal in the true sense, not a separate but equal Jim Crow era Animal Farm "equal"

      "But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have authority over the man, but to be in silence."

      June 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      sex slaves: Exodus 21:7-11

      beating slaves: Exodus 21:20-21

      murdering infants – Exodus 11:4-6

      Do you want to discuss the god-approved rape of women, and the command to put rape victims to death as well? That could be fun.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Topher

      Give me a few minutes so I can look up those verses and read exactly what they say, then I'll comment to the best of my ability, ok?

      And while I'm doing this, would you answer me this question? I know you guys hate God, but why is it that you only go through and pick out the things you don't like and never mention the good things He did? After all, He did come to the earth and take the punishment you deserve so you don't have to go to Hell. I mean, greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You never want to bring up the loving parts.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      I can't hate that which I don't think exists. Do you hate Voldemort?

      What I hate is people that use an ancient text to suppress the advancement of learning and to oppress others. See the above reference from Timothy 1.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      To take this a step further:

      I mean, greater love have no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You never want to bring up the loving parts.

      You don't need the bible to be moral. I like what Jefferson did – just cherry pick the moral parts and throw out the hocus pocus and obviously immoral parts. The same can be done with any religious text. My problem with religion is all of the evil and hatred that exists in its name.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • BRC

      Topher,
      We don't mention the loving parts for several reasons. The first (and this is a big one), we don't believe they're true. Atheists don't believe in gods, and we don't believe Jesus is divine, so we don't see the need to comment on the "good things they've done". Though you'll find that a good many of us will admit that the philosophy espoused by Jesus was very down to Earth, and in general represents a perfectly fine way to live, but he's not the only one who's said it, and it had nothing to do with him being the Son of "god"

      Which brings us to reason 2- because the "good" in the Bible, isn't unique to the bible. There are plenty of other religious texts and books of philosophy that convey the same good points, but many of them aren't full of staggering contradictions, unrealistic and impossible stories, and examples of atricities and terrible morals by a tyrant "God". Why would we focus on digging through the bad to find the good of the Bible, when it's readily available somewhere else?

      And 3, "God" made up the sins. Then he threatened to punish us for them. Then he "saved us" from punishments he thought of, for sins he created. Why would we say thank you for that?

      June 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Primewonk

      "He did come to the earth and take the punishment you deserve so you don't have to go to Hell"

      I deserve a punishishment for doing why he created me to do? Your god already knows everything I will do. I can't do something he doesn't know I'll do. I have no freewill to do something to surprise your god.

      Why would he want to punish me for something of his own doing?

      I bet your god invented burning ants with a magnifying glass – and then has the balls to blame the ants for getting in the way.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Topher

      Exodus 21:20-21 ... Punishment of slaves was considered the right of the owner (Prov. 10:13, 13:24) but did not allow for violence. Judges were to decide the appropriate punishment if the slave died (Ex. 21:20) If the slave lived a few days it was evidence that the owner had no intent to kill, and the loss of the slave was punishment enough (v.21). A beating without death immediately ensuing was construed as a disciplinary matter not a homicidal one. Any permanent personal injury brought freedom and loss of a master's investment. The master's power over the slave was thus limited, which made this law unprecedented in the ancient world.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      Why does your god (as.suming you're a catholic) want you to be a cannibal? I mean, I get human flesh is tasty and all, but I'm not sure why your god would require it. Seems a little odd.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      "A beating without death immediately ensuing was construed as a disciplinary matter not a homicidal one. "

      You didn't answer the question. I asked you to provide a context in which this is moral. simply stating that it was actually a decent law in ancient times only makes your god a moral relativist. I thought god was supposed to be absolute. If so, either betaing slaves is moral or it isn't.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Topher

      Primewonk

      "I deserve a punishishment for doing why he created me to do? Your god already knows everything I will do. I can't do something he doesn't know I'll do. I have no freewill to do something to surprise your god."

      Hold on! I can understand if you plain don't believe, but your theology is messed up here. Do you honestly believe you were made to lie, steal, blaspheme His name and commit adultery? Also, you're right in that He knows what you will do, but you have free will to do them. He isn't making you sin. You do that willfully.

      "Why would he want to punish me for something of his own doing?"

      Because you know the laws and you choose to break them anyway. Not His fault, but yours.

      "I bet your god invented burning ants with a magnifying glass – and then has the balls to blame the ants for getting in the way."

      Foolishness. You can do better than this.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Topher

      Hi, Lewis. I'm not Catholic. I'm an independent fundamental Baptist (which some on this board think is worse than a Catholic.) 🙂

      June 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @Topher
      "You know the laws"

      Then why are there tens of thousands of brands of xtianity? Your god isn't exactly clear.

      And with all of the possible religions out there, how do you know you're following the correct one? Why do you think the vast majority of the rest of the world is wrong?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher

      Hi, Lewis. I'm not Catholic. I'm an independent fundamental Baptist (which some on this board think is worse than a Catholic.)
      .
      Not as bad as Catholics but close. I was raised First Southern Baptist. Most ignorant and a$$backwards church there is.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Topher

      Lewis Keseberg

      Are you switching screen names on me? How am I supposed to keep up?

      "You didn't answer the question. I asked you to provide a context in which this is moral. simply stating that it was actually a decent law in ancient times only makes your god a moral relativist. I thought god was supposed to be absolute. If so, either betaing slaves is moral or it isn't."

      Well, then you are going to have to provide different verses. The ones provided isn't God saying it's ok to beat anyone. This is just saying if it happens, here's what should be done according to the law.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • arosebyanyother

      (third time trying to post this question...UGH)
      Topher: I am C hristian and my church (UU) supports g ay marriage. Yours doesn't. So why does yours get to dictate public policy and mine does not?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      Sorry for the switch. I particularly like using this screen name when commenting on the rather odd belief of transubstantiation. Just google the handle and you'll learn why.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @Topher,

      If your god thought it was immoral to beat slaves, why wouldn't he just say 'don't beat slaves'. He went out of his way to complain about mixed textiles and shellfish – I guess the lives of slaves are less important to your god than poly-cotton blends?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • arosebyanyother

      No answer to my questions, or just no B iblicist rolodex response ready to go?
      G od's gift to mankind was free will, that manifests itself in wisdom and rationality. When we ignore the capacity to reason, we ignore the gift that G od gave us.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Topher

      Squirrel

      "Then why are there tens of thousands of brands of xtianity? Your god isn't exactly clear."

      Well, the different brands are the results of minor differences in beliefs, but not the essentials. God is quite clear on the essentials. But there are smaller things that aren't quite as important that it's ok to differ on, like types of Baptism. For instance, Baptists believe you should be immersed when you become born again. Presbyterians, for instance, Baptize babies. Since babies can't be believers, we think they've got it slightly wrong. But Baptism isn't required for salvation, so it's not a big deal.

      "And with all of the possible religions out there, how do you know you're following the correct one? Why do you think the vast majority of the rest of the world is wrong?"

      Good question. Honestly, there's tons of reasons. If someone is seeking God, they should probably look into a lot of religions, find out what they teach and what the doctrines say. Then it's a matter of discovering what is true. Because if one religion is true, the others can't be. They contradict one another. I personally think Christianity answers all the questions I have and it has one thing all other religions don't have. Only Christianity has forgiveness of sins. All others, you have to do something, i.e, good works or hope that God is in a good mood and forgive you.

      Hinduism ... doesn't have an answer for sins. They have only reincarnation.
      Buddhism ... God doesn't exist and even life and death are sort of an illusion.
      Islam ... You have to do good works and hope he shows mercy when you do, but there's no assurance.
      Christianity ... all the work has already been done on the cross. There's nothing you can do yourself to earn Heaven. You have sinned and deserve Hell, but He doesn't want to punish you so He took that punishment on himself.

      Have you read the gospels? Check it out and see just how much punishment He took even before they nailed Him to a cross. He did that for YOU. I know some of those passages in the OT are hard to deal with. But if you only focus on the things you don't like you'll never find out the good that was done for you. I used to be an atheist, so believe me I've heard it all before. In fact, I've said it all before. But no matter how much I wanted to ignore it, deep inside I knew there had to be something more and I knew I'd sinned. So the question is, what is the truth? I know some of you are ready to pounce. Go ahead. I can take it.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Topher

      Hi, arosebyanyother

      My question would be that if your church follows Christ, why does it deny His teachings? It is clear the Bible is against that. I'm not being snarky, I think it is a fair question.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @Topher – does your church preach out against poly-cotton blends? If not, why do you deny the teachings of god. Here's something that might be a shock to your system – not everyone interprets passages the same way you do. Your arrogance is, frankly, astounding.

      And do you really think that, say, Jehovah's Witnesses believe essentially the same way that Mormons do? And if the differences are oh, so minor, why do many denominations think that god will eternally torture adherents of other denominations for believing differently? I think you're VASTLY minimizing the differences between flavors of xtianty.

      I see that you're still ignoring all of the difficult morality questions. About what I expected.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • just sayin

      arosebyanyother

      No answer to my questions, or just no B iblicist rolodex response ready to go?
      G od's gift to mankind was free will, that manifests itself in wisdom and rationality. When we ignore the capacity to reason, we ignore the gift that G od gave us.

      ...

      Did you hear God tell you this? Or did you read this from writings of men?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Topher

      "I guess the lives of slaves are less important to your god than poly-cotton blends?"

      That's silly. The Gospel is good news for everyone, Jew and Gentile. The offer is for all.

      And to be honest, it may well say in there somewhere exactly that. But I don't have all 66 books memorized. I'm not an expert and to suggest you know every verse is foolishness and dishonest. Plus, the Bible isn't a book about how to live your life. The Bible is there to explain why God has done what He has done, which is offer forgiveness for our sins out of love for us.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @Topher, it doesn't. Your god could have said – don't beat slaves. He didn't. Instead, he just said, if you beat your slaves hard enough that they die, that's ok as long as they don't die right away. The fact that you seek to rationalize such immoral teachings is shocking.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      "Plus, the Bible isn't a book about how to live your life."

      Then why does it contain well over 600 instructions on doing exactly that? Your attempt to put lipstick on a pig doesn't make it not a pig.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      And that's really some 'Good' news. Believe in me or suffer for eternity because of the rules that I imposed upon you. That's loving in the same way an abusive father loves his children.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      God's Word is perfect and there is no room for doubt or question. All the different Christian religions is a figment of your imagination.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • the TRUTH - Atheist - Theist

      By 2100 – when all of us in this forum die – we will know if God exists or not so take your side.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Topher

      Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      "@Topher – does your church preach out against poly-cotton blends? If not, why do you deny the teachings of god."

      This shows you don't understand the Bible. There is a difference between God's moral laws and laws given only to those people at that time. Actually, you can break down the "rules" of the OT into 3 categories. Rules for those people at that time; moral laws (Commandments) and priestly laws. Only the moral laws are still in effect with the new covenant.

      "And do you really think that, say, Jehovah's Witnesses believe essentially the same way that Mormons do? And if the differences are oh, so minor, why do many denominations think that god will eternally torture adherents of other denominations for believing differently? I think you're VASTLY minimizing the differences between flavors of xtianty."

      First, mormons and jehovah's witnesses are NOT Christian denominations. They are separate religions unto themselves. These are not minor differences. And God is not sending anyone to Hell because they aren't Christians. That's not how it works. You are sent to Hell because you have sinned and broken His laws. You deserve it. Christians are saved because of the sacrificial work of Christ that takes away our sins. Without Christ, I'd be doomed, too.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • just sayin

      Topher

      "I guess the lives of slaves are less important to your god than poly-cotton blends?"

      That's silly. The Gospel is good news for everyone, Jew and Gentile. The offer is for all.

      And to be honest, it may well say in there somewhere exactly that. But I don't have all 66 books memorized. I'm not an expert and to suggest you know every verse is foolishness and dishonest. Plus, the Bible isn't a book about how to live your life. The Bible is there to explain why God has done what He has done, which is offer forgiveness for our sins out of love for us.

      ---
      It is a little more than that. Sounds like you are sweeping the bad aspects of the Bible under the rug. You need to take an honest look at it all. Remember THIS IS THE WORD OF GOD when reading. You need to really look at the Old Testiment with that in mind. There is more to being a Christian than just reading the Gospels.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      If you claim that god only gave laws to certain people at a certain time, then your god is a moral relativist. That argument, when applies to a benevolent, omnipotent god is amazingly absurd. You have to drink a LOT of kool-aid to swallow that one. A moral relativist isn't worthy of worship. Why would you worship a god that can so easily change his mind (and kill innocent children – I noticed you still haven't tackled that one, or the instruction to women to stay silent).

      Can you please point out where god clearly states that certain laws are only for certain people at a certain time? And how do you differentiate the two. After all, I'm guessing you use Leviticus as a reason to preach your hate of homosexuals – the same book that states poly-cotton blends are evil.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Epic Logic Fail

      "First, mormons and jehovah's witnesses are NOT Christian denominations."

      Please google the no true scottsman fallacy and then stop committing it. Unless god appointed you his personal representative on earth to decide who is a True Christian and who isn't. Fool.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      "and laws given only to those people at that time."
      .
      Well I guess that is one way of getting around being honest with your perspective of a God and the reality that men wrote about the Gods. *rolling eyes*. Perhaps you cannot see the obvious with your eyes closed in your faith.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      "And God is not sending anyone to Hell because they aren't Christians. That's not how it works."
      According to your interpretations. What makes you right and so many other christians wrong?

      " You are sent to Hell because you have sinned and broken His laws. You deserve it."
      Wow. Very loving god you have there. He sets up some contradictory laws – some which only apply to certain people – puts them all into an ancient book, let's a bunch of people in the 3rd century decide what his true laws really are, and then eternally tortures people who guess wrong. All while providing not one shred of evidence that he actually exists.
      The god you describe is an evil, sadistic tyrant with a major inferiority complex.

      I don't think the way you do, therefore I deserve eternal torture. Wow. Just ... wow.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Topher

      "There is more to being a Christian than just reading the Gospels."

      Completely agree.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      "If you claim that god only gave laws to certain people at a certain time, then your god is a moral relativist. That argument, when applies to a benevolent, omnipotent god is amazingly absurd. "
      -
      Agreed

      A God is perfect and "consistant". NO WAIVERING in perfect. Yet the OT to the NT are amazingly inconsistant. The Council of Nicea did there best to create the perfect word of a God deciding on what books to use and what books to throw out. As men/women educate themselves out of the shadows of ignorance...they see Nicea's creation for what it is. A small council of men created the word of a God...not a God.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Topher

      Wow. There's so much wrong with what you all were saying in some of those last posts. I'd love to stay and argue but I've got to get to work now. Have a good day, everyone!

      June 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      No, you wouldn't love to argue as you've skirted every hard question that's been asked of you and offered the typical 'my unchanging omnipotent benevolent perfect god is a moral relativist' absurd argument for others.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Top her – you don't get it. An omnipotent and omniscient god precludes freewill.

      Your god knew, before he created the universe, if you would end up in heaven or hell.

      If your god knows that you are going to hell, how can you surprise him and end up in heaven? You can't. If your god knows you are going to hell, there isn't a dàmn thing you can do to end up in heaven, or else god would have known you were going to heaven. Ergo, your god purposefully created you, just to send you to hell and torture you for all eternity.

      Conversely, if your god knows you are going to heaven, how can you end up in hell? You can't. Otherwise your god would haave known you were going to hell.

      I don't understand why you folks can't understand this. Your god is a sick sadistic putz, who puposefully creates billions of people knowing full well that he plans on sending them to hell to torture them for all eternity. And there isn't a dàmn thing any of these billions of people could have done to prevent it.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Goddog

      Topher,

      Your whole argument for Christianity is based on the presupposition that the bible is a factual description of physical and supernatural events and that everything that has been canonised is valid, while a great many scriptures which were not included were expendable. So we have the OT which was written in the third person by an unknown author and an NT which was written second hand by unknown authors. Then we have the letters from Paul and various other inspirational writings and opinions . I understand that you probably get some satisfaction in your ability to frame your beliefs logically in defense of the many questionable acts and descriptions in the Bible, but logic is not evidence of truth in and of itself... It's only evidence that you might be a good lawyer or a politician. I also understand the other poster's desire to "stump you" with their questions but I they just end up playing "who wants to beg the question" with you. You should not take it as a compliment that you can come up with an answer for everything. Any respect you might think you are gaining exists only on the side of the monitor that is facing you. Food for thought; A greased pig is hard to catch but it's not an athelete. Each are entertaining to watch but one has true skill and the other just ends up in the skillet. Namaste.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  16. gerald

    I don't think these nuns know what a budget is? Spend money that doesn't exist?

    June 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      I guess your bishops don't know what a budget is either, since pretty much all of the RCC is against Ryan's benefit-the-wealthy-and-the-defense-industry budget.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      Ah but your Pope knows what the backside of a small child is.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      just sayin, you act like pedophilia is something new to the RCC. You should read the history of some of the Pope's of the past. Some of the most evil sadistic people who ever lived were crowned Pope.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • just sayin

      I am aware of the disgusting past of the Catholic Church. If one church needs to burn to the ground it is the Catholic Church.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  17. Reality

    Nuns and taxpayers of the USA,

    Time to get to the nitty gritty of paying our bills and one bus trip that is easily traveled-

    How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?: And how many “souls” would be saved?

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

    – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

    – The Mormon empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

    Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign-The Taxpayer Spring akin to the Arab Spring

    BOTTOM LINE: SAID SAVINGS WOULD PAY FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE and would put a big dent in the federal budget deficit.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  18. Gilgameshp

    Nuns taught me fractions, and how to write The Palmer Method. Later as a seminarian, they darned my socks.
    It has been a long journey to here. Now they are fighting for the poor and downtrodden. Read more in my
    book on Nuns, LEAVING: A Memoir by Frank Phelan, Amazon.com. It took me all my life.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  19. Honey Badger Dont Care

    What do people not understand about the Establishment clause in the Const.itution?

    Keep religion out of politics!!

    June 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • gerald

      So what you are saying is that religous people can't participate in politics or protest. They much check any religous influences at the door before engaging in politics. That is a severe twisting of the consti.tution. It's down right dumb.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Topher

      Why do you get to vote based on your worldview and I don't?

      June 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Topher, you can't enact laws that are based solely on the Bible. For instance, the gay marriage ban. The only argument I hear against gay marriage is that the Bible says being gay is wrong. Hence the law is based off of the Bible and the Bible alone. That is a clear violation of the 1st ammendment.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Topher

      We went over all this yesterday, but I realize not everyone read those boards, so I'll go back over some of it. The problem isn't JUST that God says it is wrong, though that should be enough. It goes further than that. It is taking a religious covenant and desecrating it, so it is an as.sault on religion and THAT's against the law. Second, it is infiltrating everything else. In Texas it has become part of elementary school curriculum and parents aren't allowed to take their children out of school during that lesson. At least one parent has been arrested for not wanting his little girl to be taught this stuff. THAT is also laws infringing on my right to raise my children with morals. In Hawaii, the government is suing a wedding photographer because he didn't want work at one of their weddings. It goes on and on and will keep getting worse and worse ... you atheists keep preaching "separation of church and state" ... why aren't you complaining when the state invades my right to religion?

      June 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Juggling Squirrel-Jesus

      @Topher, your god puts the wearing of poly-cotton blends on the same level as homosexuality. If our schools condone wearing polycotton blends are they also descrating your religion?

      And if a school preaches tolerance and compassion for victims of rape, are they similarly desecrating your religion?

      The problem with wanting schools to follow the supposed word of your god is that your god is confusing, contradictory, and immoral. Maybe if you christians could actually get on the same page, you'd get somewhere.

      Don't want your children to be taught by public schools? Easy answer – send them to a private school or home school them. Last I looked, the establishment clause was still part of the Constitution.

      June 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Marriage is a government contract. It doesn't matter if the church recognizes it or not.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  20. JustaNormalPerson

    How long will it be before the pope criticizes the nuns for this? It appears the nuns have more integrity than the pope and all the bishops combined.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Pope will as soon as he is done with the new batch of kids.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.