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June 15th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: How I constructed 'The American Bible'

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Over the past year or so, I have been working on a book called "The American Bible." The hardest part was the table of contents.

“The American Bible” isn’t a new translation of the Christian Bible. It’s my term for the texts that function like scripture in American public life, the voices to which we are forever returning as we reflect together on what America is all about.

In some cases, we refer explicitly to these texts as “sacred” or “immortal.” At a campaign stop in Mesa, Arizona, in February, Mitt Romney implied that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution might be “inspired by God.”

In all cases, however, we treat them like scripture, returning to their words as we ponder the meanings and ends of our country, and invoking their authority in debates over gay marriage and taxes. In other words, these are the speeches and songs, letters and novels that continue to stir commentary and controversy, the voices that bring us together into the collective conversation that I see as the rite of our republic.

But which voices to include in my book? Which texts have “we the people” embraced as scripture? And what are the key commentaries upon them? As I struggled to answer these questions, I knew I'd be criticized for the choices I made.

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When "Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know" appeared in 1987, author E.D. Hirsch was widely criticized for producing a list of “core knowledge” that was too conservative and too white. His 63-page list of people, places and events neglected knowledge that is central to the experiences of African-Americans, Latinos and women, many argued.

With Hirsch and his critics in mind, I began the quest for my canon by devising some defensible guidelines. I decided right away that the book should be descriptive rather than prescriptive. In other words, I would aim not to create a canon but to report upon one; I would include not the voices that inspire me but those that “we the people” have revered.

I then fixed on two criteria. First, I would look for texts that have generated conversation and controversy, books we value enough to fight about. Second, I would look for texts that speak to the meaning of “America” and “Americans,” telling us where our nation has been and where it should be going.

I also decided that I would include alongside my “biblical" books extensive commentary about each, tracking their "afterlives" over the course of U.S. history. In other words, my “American Bible” would look something like an “American Talmud,” with extensive commentaries tracking the conversations Americans had about the Declaration of Independence during the Civil War and about the Gettysburg Address during the civil rights movement.

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When Nathaniel Philbrick referred to "Moby-Dick" as “our American Bible,” he meant that Melville’s classic is a big book that carries inside it the “genetic code” of American life. In my view, however, "Moby-Dick" has not been as influential as either Harriet Beecher Stowe’s "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" or Mark Twain’s "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," each of which has carried considerable weight in our national conversation about race. So I eliminated "Moby-Dick."

Other cuts were more difficult. I am a big fan of “Leaves of Grass,” Walt Whitman's love letter to democracy. But I thought that “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ran even deeper into the American psyche, so "Leaves of Grass" had to go. Eventually, as the book ballooned beyond its limits, I had to let Longfellow's "Revere" gallop away, too. It just hadn’t provoked enough arguments.

Also slighted in "The American Bible" are more recent voices, since it is harder to generate a vast commentary tradition for a work from the 1990s or 2000s than for one published during the revolution or the Civil War. Still, I admit that most of the voices in this collection are those of dead white men. In fact, the only living author of an "American Bible" book is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial architect Maya Lin.

Nonetheless, women, native Americans, African-Americans and Muslims are among the authors of my “biblical” books, and voices of the commentators — from Frederick Douglass to Rosa Parks and Gloria Steinem to Alan Greenspan — are far more diverse.

"The American Bible" also ranges, in its primary and secondary texts, far and wide across the political spectrum. Radical historian Howard Zinn and consumer activist Ralph Nader are heard here. So are conservative activists and intellectuals such as William F. Buckley Jr., Robert Bork, Rush Limbaugh and Antonin Scalia.

When I finished constructing "The American Bible," I was delighted to see that there are lessons aplenty here concerning both what our forbears have said about our country and how they have said it. In a time when party passions threaten to divide the country, it is gratifying to recall the words our fellow Americans have used to try to unite it.

In his Farewell Address, Washington warns us against the "mischiefs of the spirit of party." In his First Inaugural, Jefferson says, "We are all Republicans; we are all Federalists." "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies," says Lincoln. And closer to our own time, Kennedy reminds us that "civility is not a sign of weakness."

My table of contents appears below. How have I done? What did I miss? What should I have cut? It's your book. Let me know.

Genesis

The Exodus Story

John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity” (1630)

Thomas Paine, "Common Sense" (1776)

The Declaration of Independence (1776)

Noah Webster, "The Blue-Back Speller" (1783)

Law

The Constitution (1787)

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

Roe v. Wade (1973)

Chronicles

Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" (1852)

Mark Twain, "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1884)

Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged" (1957)

Psalms

Francis Scott Key, “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1814)

Irving Berlin, “God Bless America” (1938)

Woody Guthrie, “This Land Is Your Land” (1940)

Proverbs

Benjamin Franklin, “Remember that time is money” (1748)

Benjamin Franklin, “God helps those who help themselves” (1758)

Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death” (1775)

Abigail Adams, “Remember the ladies” (1776)

Sojourner Truth, “Ain’t I a woman?” (1851)

Abraham Lincoln, “With malice toward none, with charity for all” (1865)

Chief Joseph, “I will fight no more forever” (1877)

Calvin Coolidge, “The business of America is business” (1925)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people” (1932)

John F. Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country” (1961)

Ronald Reagan, “Evil empire” (1983)

Prophets

Henry David Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience” (1849)

Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Address (1961)

Martin Luther King Jr., “I Have a Dream” (1963)

Malcolm X, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" (1965)

Lamentations

Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (1863)

Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1982)

Gospels

Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address (1933)

Ronald Reagan, “The Speech” (1964)

Acts

The Pledge of Allegiance (1892, 1954)

Epistles

George Washington, Farewell Address (1796)

Thomas Jefferson, “Letter to the Danbury Baptists” (1802)

Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963)

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Bible • Books • Church and state • Culture wars • History • Leaders • My Take • Opinion • Politics • United States

soundoff (741 Responses)
  1. clasqm

    What, no Apocalypse at the end?

    June 16, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Dec 21, 2012, but you may want to get you asz saved sometime before then as you can imagine how busy god-jesus are going to be; and the clergy will busy trying to pick up as much cash as possible, no, that is not unusual is it?

      June 16, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  2. Mark of the Beets

    When I eat beets, my pee turns red. Will God punish me and curse me – sort of like that whole "women are cursed because they bleed" thingie? And when I eat asparagus, my pee smells like sulphur. Does that mean that that I'm in league with Lucifer, because sulphur is the trademark stench of Hell?

    June 16, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • palintwit

      If I watch " Whose Nailin' Palin " does that make me a teabagger ?

      June 16, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  3. Nyarlathotep

    Props for recognizing Atlas Shrugged as equal in importance to Huckleberry Finn and Uncle Tom's Cabin. I'll take Ayn Rand over Leviticus and Revelations any day.

    June 16, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • maniacmudd

      AYN RAND (whose political ideas have been influential among libertarians and
      conservatives)-

      “Today’s ‘conservatives’ are Futile, Impotent and, Culturally, Dead,” she said.
      “They have NOTHING to Offer and can Achieve Nothing.
      They can only help to Destroy intellectual standards, to Disintegrate thought, to Discredit
      capitalism, and to Accelerate this country’s uncontested Collapse into Despair and
      Dictatorship.”

      June 16, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • palintwit

      If I watch " Whose Nailin' Palin " does that make me a teabagger?

      June 16, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  4. gary

    all ancient myth. God is pretend, Jesus dead. Bible is myth, legend, folklore, BS.

    June 16, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Rick

      Just suppose for one minute, you are wrong? If you die and there is a God and Jesus Christ. You will burn , (theoretically), for ever. If you are right. Then you cease to exist! End of story. Wouldn't you rather live forever? You have nothing to loose by believing, do you?

      June 16, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      @ Rick: Sorry, but that's Pascal's Wager. Why are you assuming only two alternatives? What if there IS a God, but he's going to reward all of the people who use their brains to question God's existence, and punish the sheep who simply accept those old timie Bible stories? That's an equally plausible alternative. So, by believing, you may well be both wasting your life AND condemning yourself to an eternity of torment. Not that I'd ever wish eternal torment on anyone – seems rather harsh.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Matt

      @Canadian Bacon

      We can assume two alternatives because that is what the Scriptures say. Good or evil. Heaven or Hell. God or Satan. There is no evidence in Scripture of God rewarding anyone for questioning His existence, but rather numerous examples of reward for obedience and faith in Him. You're proposition is not an equally plausible alternative because it isn't supported in Scripture. The Bible warns against the wisdom of the world and/or man: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." (Col. 2:8).

      People have questioned God, questioned his motives, questioned why the righteous suffer while the evil prosper. This is most prevalent in some of David's Psalms and the entire book of Job. But Job illustrates how foolish it is to challenge God's wisdom because it is so beyond our understanding and incapable of us to grasp, that is is a waste of time and energy. See chapters 28, 38-41. Rather, we should be faithful in understanding the truth about God, that he blesses those who are righteous. It may seem contradictory or dictatorial of God but it isn't. This is because we must view life with an eternal or heavenly perspective, knowing that while life isn't fair on Earth (a fallen world), God's ultimate promise of blessing and righteous judgment are fulfilled when a person's spirit either enters Heaven or Hell. So does God bless questioning Him? Not really, but He allows it and explains why it is a fruitless effort.

      June 16, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • ChazH

      Justifying the belief that the Bible is the "word of God" simply because it claims itself to be is circular reasoning at its worst.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • ChazH

      God loves us so much that he's sending everyone to Hell who doesn't get the Jesus thing exactly right.

      June 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  5. heywatchthis

    hahahahahahahahahah and i will slam the doors to heaven shut when i see u coming

    June 16, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • maniacmudd

      HOW SO VERY (C)HRISTIAN OF YOU!

      June 16, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  6. Canadian Bacon

    I would add Joseph Heller's classic "Catch-22" to Prothero's list: the insanity of war; the idiocy of bureaucracy; the tying of war to profiteering; the use of religion by leaders to further their own personal agendas. Sound familiar? People can crow about the supposed prophecies in the Bible: read Catch-22. Heller must have had a direct line to the future.

    June 16, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • Nyarlathotep

      Good points, but I'll take Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five in the same categories.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      @ Ny – excellent choice as well. Slaughterhouse and Catch-22 – both very worthy additions

      June 16, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Tom Wolfe wrote Bonfire of the Vanities before the meltdown created by Wall Streets, Masters of the Universe.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  7. zometimer

    john the guy not the baptist

    thats awesome, im going to have to steal your line, good stuff!

    "Insanity is not healthy for children or other living things.
    Medication changes things."

    Thank you

    June 16, 2012 at 7:13 am |
  8. zometimer

    Nothing fail like prayer. Proven ask those at Auschwitz, WTC... the list is to long to continue

    June 16, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • NClaw441

      Prayer is not always answered as we want it to be. And how do you know what the prayers of those in Auschwitz were? And how do you know they were not answered? Does the fact that there is evil and suffering in this world prove to you that there is no God? I would disagree. I would argue that evil and suffering are necessary ingredients to the best of man's qualities. How can there be courage if there is no threat of harm? Compassion without suffering? Healing without illness? Forgiveness without an offense to be forgiven?

      June 16, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • UncleM

      Keep deluding yourself, NClaw441.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • stupid followed to it's logical conclusion

      ends at atheism

      June 16, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      @ NClaw441 – the existence of evil and suffering in the world does not prove there is no god – that is true. But, it does not prove there IS a god. All that can be taken from that is that there is evil and suffering in the world. And as for prayers, one could argue – based on the result – that on 9/11 God did answer the prayers of some people. In that case, the prayers of the 9/11 terrorists. I am sure they were praying that their mission would be successful, and the last 10 years has shown that they were staggeringly successful in harming the United States.

      June 16, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  9. jp

    All religion is an unhelathy belief in the unbelievable; in fantasy, mysticism, fairy tales, myth and just plain hogwash. It is for the weak of mind, the incurious, the sheep.

    Science and rigorous investigation are the only tools necessary for a sharp mind. Stop believing garbage and sleep in on Sundays

    June 16, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • chaz8181

      What is hard to believe is that people will spend their good earned money or credit card to buy this guy's book..How many times will Jesus be re-invented??
      the Answer: Anytime it suits our needs .
      Can you imagine what Jesus would think and say if he returned today. ??

      June 16, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • maniacmudd

      yeah, chaz, I know what he would say....
      Man, these republicans have gone INSANE!!

      June 16, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  10. Agnostic Dyslexic Insomniac

    Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when sleep is so elusive, I toss and turn, pondering the question, "Is there really a doG?"

    June 16, 2012 at 6:55 am |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Clever. Try buying a act that will repose on your face and help prevent the toss and turn. Of course you could pray, but that doesn't change anything.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • jp

      Religion is big business and is subsidized by the US governent to keep people anesthetized about the rotten state of affairs we allow in this country.
      All relgion is phony and when people wake up to this fact (and yes , it is a fact) we will shut down religion and spend the time effort and money on something worthwhile

      June 16, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • Agnostic Dyslexic Insomniac

      @john-non-bap: I had my good lady wife assume that position of repose, thusly upon my face, and while she commenced as a staunch atheist, after a while she became most vocal about her conversion: "Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" Add then, apparently, she found Jesus, and announced that she would soon be with Him: "Oh, Jesus! I'm coming! I'm coming."

      A most interesting conversion, I must say.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Been there, done that, without the same results; speaking in tongues is not my strong suit or I couldn't hit the stop, Ah, post, Ah, spot, Ah, tops......

      June 16, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • Agnostic Dyslexic Insomniac

      Well, I have a facility for different languages. in fact, I've had people describe me as a cunning linguist.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Nothing beats breakfast in bed for Fathers Day, enjoy. Thanks for the laugh.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:50 am |
  11. Daniel

    Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

    2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and

    June 16, 2012 at 6:13 am |
    • zometimer

      lord jesus christ,= joke of the day

      June 16, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Rick

      "On the day you forget who I am, I shall return". That day is coming sooner than most people think. I think we are living in Revelation right now. It's not so hard to read it now when you see and hear the news from around the world. I certainly hope everyone is prepared when he arrives. It's amazing how many people don't want to believe in something they can't see. You can't see the air but it's there. You can see the wind though. You can't see what a person is without looking inside them but you can see what they do. Keep you mind open when you read the Bible.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 16, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • john the guy not the baptist

      Hey A

      Insanity is not healthy for children or other living things.
      Medication changes things.

      Keep trying different meds, one may eventually work. Peace and love to you and yours, hope you get right soon.

      June 16, 2012 at 6:36 am |
    • Jim

      I have seen how prayer works. I saw my daughter fight and suffer from breast cancer for 2 1/2 years and prayed every day for her recovery. Churches in 4 states also prayed. She died last week at the age of 48. Please don't tell me to prayer works because I now know prayer is just a means to make people think they are helping when in fact it is a huge waste of time.

      June 16, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven

      June 16, 2012 at 6:44 am |
    • Tallulah

      Empirical proof, please.

      June 16, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • zometimer

      Im an atheist, my grown children were given the opportunity to explore religion as a choice. They choose not to believe after many questions and searching. My youngest daughter is being introduced to belief as a choice, its up to her what she wants to do. I find the biggest problem with people of faith is that they want to impose their version of their religion on others through indirect means such as your spam statement, and direct means such as laws that that interfere with decisions and choices people make. a strong example of this is abortion. If YOU are against abortion, dont have one. The silly argument that its murder is no different than the death penalty, killing in self defense, or war. About 155,000 people a day die on this planet (per CIA fact book). Other examples are simple statues like blue laws where you cant purchase alcohol before a certain time or on a certain days because your should be worshiping your make believe master. Do your self a favor, get some good counseling, review your facts regarding the USA is NOT a christian nation and get on with you day.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • gary

      Atheism is myth understood.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • NClaw441

      Jim, my sympathy and yes, prayers, for your loss and pain. I cannot agree with you about prayer not having value. True, we don't always get the answers we want, but I have seen too many good and sometimes unexplainable results coming from prayer. None of us want anyone to die (I hope) but to pray for no more death or suffering on earth is to ask for something outside of the very nature of creation. I wonder how much good came out of your sister's struggles? I know that my own problems make me stronger and better and even closer to God. If you were truly praying for your sister, then you were talking to God. Would you have been praying even if your sister were not sick?

      Again, I am sorry for your loss and pray for comfort as you move forward.

      June 16, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Canadian Bacon

      @ NClaw441 – you said, " . . . but I have seen too many good and sometimes unexplainable results coming from prayer." If these results are unexplainable, then they are unexplainable. You seem to explain these results by attributing the results to the result of prayer. What you appear to be suggesting is what is referred to as an "argument from ignorance": Simply put, I cannot explain this, so therefore I attribute it to God. There is no logical necessity to attribute it to "God" any more than attributing it to "Santa Claus", or "Vishnu". Even the term "unexplainable" isn't necessarily true – it may well be explainable, but you simply do not know what the explanation is. Can a 1 day old child explain how it is that his father, who is thousands of miles away, can talk with his mother, over Skype? No – to that 1 day old child, such communication is unexplainable. In no way does that mean that there isn't an explanation, or that, some day, with sufficient knowledge, that explanation may become known. The fact that YOU find something inexplicable means nothing other than YOU can't explain it.

      June 16, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  13. Jitway

    Is CNN ever going to dig into Islam's beliefs? Keeping it safe are we?

    June 16, 2012 at 5:55 am |
    • Welled

      I'm just lookin for clues at the scene of the crime. Write one about how they assembled that bible at the Vatican with fact and I'll buy it. Constantine this family that one. I estimate it was thrown together in about 700. Right around the time of the Koran. Nuns dress like Saudis or is it Saudis dress a lot like nuns. Interesting how a country can get behind a religion and make it work. Same thing for America. Never occurs to these people that churchs have to be financed. Everyone assumes the congregation has enough to pay it off. Life doesn't work like that there would be uh no profit in it for the lender. No coincidence that nuns dress like Saudis or muslim women. Ponder that.

      June 16, 2012 at 6:05 am |
    • zometimer

      islam is just as nutty as the rest, that infection is just more recently here and is already causing a rift in the christian communities in other countries and it will here too. The more allah and his fake stories are pushed the more christians and jews will fight back and with that we will see a decline in religious strength in politics and favor. Look i drew a picture of allah :o

      June 16, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • gary

      All myths, religions are BS, whacky legends and folklore. No god, no Allah, no jesus, no Ra or Thor ... all BS.

      June 16, 2012 at 7:41 am |
  14. Bootyfunk

    prothero really seems to like himself.

    June 16, 2012 at 5:42 am |
  15. lvanlaer

    what did you miss? You missed Leaves of Grass, the greatest piece of literature ever produced by an American. This invalidates the whole effort; go back and start over.

    June 16, 2012 at 4:55 am |
  16. Sirecho

    Words formed in my mind that asked a question, "messenger What about the fourteenth commandment?" I looked to my right, no-one was there, and when I turned back to my left, the words repeated, "messenger What about the fourteenth commandment?"

    June 16, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  17. AdmrlAckbar

    Until there is solid empirical proof one way or another we all have to take our belief on faith... then again this being the internet.. and most of the users being from the US I guess we all have to supply our polarized opinions we try and push off as facts and sacrifice them to the evangelical web traffic higher power... THIS IS CNN! .. I mean heck who doubts that James Earl Jones (AKA THUSLA DOOM) voice....

    June 16, 2012 at 3:34 am |
  18. Reality

    And once again, we ask JUST WHAT DOES STEPHEN P HIMSELF BELIEVE ABOUT GOD OR THE GODS which brings us to that famous (maybe infamous) prayer supplied free of charge and vitiating most of Stephen P's new book.

    The Apostles' aka Agnostoics' aka Apollo's Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    (references used are available upon request)

    June 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Good job, Reality!

      June 16, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Sunny

      Brilliant! Thanks for sharing. :)

      June 16, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  19. Bootyfunk

    anything written by Prothero is not worth reading. his opinions are subtly biased as he blandly defends christianity while claiming to be impartial. Prothero fancies himself wittier than he actually is.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Agreed. But he does make a fair point or two here and there. He doesn't have the courage to eliminate his preconceptions and bias, but I am very grateful for his watering down of the christian message, and I commend him for it.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • FoobyBunk

      @Your post grants the same demerit.

      June 16, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • FoobyBunk

      That was *@Bootyfunk*

      June 16, 2012 at 6:20 am |
  20. Goddidit

    Case closed!

    June 15, 2012 at 10:28 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.