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July 13th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

In Queens, carver tells religious stories through wood

By Effie Nidam, CNN

New York (CNN) - The sounds of hammers and saws fill the air in the small workshop of the Byzantion Woodworking Company in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria. The smell of sawdust and wood polish is thick.

At the center of it all, woodworker Konstantinos Pilarinos lovingly chisels elaborate carvings destined for Greek Orthodox churches across the country.

“The pieces I make by hand, that people pray upon in church, are like my children,” he says.

A series of tragedies brought Pilarinos to this city and this profession.

He learned woodcarving at an orphanage in Greece, where his mother deposited him when he was a teenager.

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

His father had died when he was 3, and when he was 14, his mother found six children too much to deal with, he says.

“It was just too many kids for her to take care of,” he says. She sent him to the orphanage.

There, he discovered his love of woodworking, and his talent for the craft. He sees it as a calling.

Konstantinos Pilarinos stands with one of his creations.

"This talent comes from religion. So you need to know your religion well, in order to become a master of woodcarving.

“Religion and woodcarving come hand in hand, because I tell religious stories through my work," Pilarinos says in Greek, translated by his daughter Penny.

In 1974, he came to the United States, drawn by the knowledge that his late father had once lived and worked there.

He and his wife and settled in Astoria, Queens, a heavily Greek neighborhood just outside of Manhattan.

"At first, it was difficult to find work in my field. I worked as a construction worker and had other various jobs - and I wasn't paid very much," he recalls.

But the area has many Greek churches, and a disaster at one of them gave Pilarinos the opportunity to make his living at his craft.

A fire struck St. Demetrios Cathedral, a Greek Orthodox house of worship in Astoria, and damaged a major part of the cathedral's icon screen.

Icon screens, the most important pieces an Orthodox church, are large decorative panels, up to 70 feet long, that separate the sanctuary from the congregation.

Pilarinos asked the priests of St. Demetrios if he could restore the burned icon screen. They hesitated at first, but he was finally able to convince them. The priests were impressed with his work.

“I was able to restore the icon screen for them, like it was before the fire," he says.

Now, along with his apprentices and daughter, Pilarinos works tirelessly to create Greek Orthodox ornamental church furnishings.

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Pilarinos is actively handing down his business, sharing his knowledge and talents with his apprentices and Penny.

But the work is harder for him than it once was. Today, he speaks a bit slower and does most of his work with the help of his apprentices. Sometimes his hands shake as he pushes down on his chisels. It’s all because of a stroke he suffered last year. But he says it will not keep him from the work he loves.

"Having the stroke only made me stronger, because I just want to continue what I do," he insists.

"I feel like I am doing something very good for the world every time I make these pieces,” he says. “When I make a piece for the church, I want to impress people, and I want everyone to say bravo."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Greek Orthodox Church

soundoff (375 Responses)
  1. SoldierOfConscience

    The comments here prove that atheists are the bull in the china shop. They cant appreciate any of what they see and (inadvertently?) destroy lots of things around them.

    July 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things

    July 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!; '

      July 16, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  3. Jesus is the most powerful figure known to mankind (Fact)

    Belief is based off of opinion, it can either be true or false. Atheist and some scientist believe there is no Creator (God), but creation created itself. Christians know that there is a God due to the evidence all around us. There is a difference between believing and knowing. Scientist cannot give solid physical evidence proving that love exists. Yet doesnt pretty much everyone know it exist? There is less evidence that love exist then there is evidence that God exist. There are physical things all around us proving God's existence. What evidence can anyone prove that love exist? Scientist have never seen black holes nor can they prove that they exist yet they say they know it exist. Is this not faith? They say gravity exist as well as wind is this not faith? So who is really blind Christians or atheist? The answer is crystal clear. Just a reminder John 8:47-"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." John 15:19-"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

    July 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • kateslate

      There IS evidence love exists, in that when children are deprived of it, they fail to thrive. That is scientific.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • D

      There is evidence. It's call chemical reactions in the brain. That's all that love is; a chemical reaction of hormones and brain receptors. http://whatislovedrcookerly.com/122/what-about-a-scientific-definition-of-love/

      July 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • cevugadamudamu

      good read...

      July 16, 2012 at 7:51 am |
  4. Axes

    CT : Anything you put on Internet can and will be read by anyone if your email address remains the same even if you use different user names. So, now they know that I know that they know.
    HA HA HA!

    July 15, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  5. CT

    CNN is switching over to require you to link your gmail, facebook, or twitter accounts to be able to post comments.

    Each one of those track everything you ever say.... Think about it.

    July 14, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Get Real

      That's on the CNN main article sections, and it always has been that way. The Belief Blogs have a different program (WordPress). I have not heard about a change here. Where did you hear about it?

      July 14, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • SoldierOfConscience

      So create a fake 'commenter' profie on FB, gmail or other forum of choice. Its not as if it costs $$$

      July 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  6. Jehsea

    Phone messed up – sooo clearly evoke a memory that I travel back in time and *actually* re-experience the occasion! Great art, my artist daughter once said, as she struggled with the choice of being great – or just walking away from it – is the most wonderful, incredible joy, and simultaneously the most horrible, difficult thing, because you are always HAUNTED that each piece could be "more perfect". ALWAYS. My heart is heavy, with love, despair devoution and indescribable JOY! GO GET THEM, MY BELOVED DAUGHTER! YOU *ARE* PERFECT! God does not make garbage. Eve

    July 14, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  7. Linda Hill

    Your beautiful talent is to be admired. It is wonderful to find someone who knows what they want to do in life, pursue it until proven and accepted.

    Your works of art exhibit not only your skill and devotion but your beautiful love of the wood you use. I'm glad you are teaching your skills to apprentices.

    I can only say BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!

    July 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  8. Reality

    Konstantinos can carve all he wants, he won't change the following:

    Only for new members of this blog:

    • There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    July 13, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Lily Chase

      Wouldn't you rather live for something rather than spend your life raging against something?
      This man is doing just that. He is using his art to bring joy and beauty into the world, and in the end that has an effect far beyond his own religion. Even if the whole belief system turns out to be a farce, he will have lived in joy and hope knowing that he did good work.

      July 14, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Reality

      Pointing out the facts about religion is not a form of rage. It is simply being honest. Said wood shaper should find other subjects to carve. Mother Nature provides many non-religious subjects.

      July 14, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • What's a brony?

      Atheists get off on knowing the "flaws" of what others believe but when its turned on them and people find the flaws,they act in rage.

      July 14, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Reality

      American Heritage Dictionary:

      rage

      (rāj)
      n. 1. a. Violent, explosive anger. See synonyms at anger.
      b. A fit of anger.

      2. Furious intensity, as of a storm or disease.
      3. A burning desire; a passion.
      4. A current, eagerly adopted fashion; a fad or craze: when torn jeans were all the rage.
      intr.v., raged, rag·ing, rag·es. 1. To speak or act in violent anger: raged at the mindless bureaucracy.
      2. To move with great violence or intensity: A storm raged through the mountains.
      3. To spread or prevail forcefully: The plague raged for months.

      Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/rage#ixzz20c9TIf8J

      Again, stating the facts about religion is not rage.

      Some added facts:/

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
      prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      July 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • .....

      Bull Sh it ALERT AVOID REALITY REPEAT POSTS

      July 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  9. Pull My Finger

    If churches are ever outlawed this talented wood carver will have to develop a new skill set carving police clubs.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      What a stupid line of reasoning.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  10. mary

    Bravo to you, your wonderful talent and your beautiful faith. Thank you for sharing with us all.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  11. Answer

    Keep going.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin™

    Is anyone actually bored enough to keep track of all the handles HS uses? Just wondering... She's even crazier than usual today.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  13. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @brony,

    you started this thread with the assertion that atheists online are cyberbullies yet here you are making assertions like:

    "No logic,just lies."
    "Control freak..you are."

    Well, I'm not lying to you and I'm not a control freak – you can do and believe anything you want to.

    If there's a cogent point you'd like to make, please feel free.

    July 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – posted in the wrong spot.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  14. Answer

    Canadian haters..

    Post your drivel beneath here.

    July 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      The only Canadians useless enough to butt into other peoples business are of no value to Canada, so do not try to make your inadequacy a national thing. It is about you being an ass hole by yourself not the country.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      LOL
      Cappie calling someone else an as.shole. Oh that is just hilarious.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Answer

      Go on dearie Dodney.. you have got to have more than that single comment.

      I know you haven't spent you daily of allowance of hate up. Please given us another 1000. You love to hate, it's your life.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Dodney

      Yes please continue. Work is killer today I need more comedy from you.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      What's the deal with so-called "Canadians"?

      I get the xenophobia angle, but why should being called a Canadian be insulting? It's a lovely country, very pretty scenery, with polite hard-working people and good health care.

      What am I missing?

      July 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      answer shows itself to be an ass hole everywhere it goes and thought since it was out of its neighborhood no one would notice? Guess again loser. It goes everywhere you do. Proven by "hawaii" who apparently will kiss any ass that will give it a nod. Prideless, gutless ass hole itself.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      LOL
      Do more do more, oh the entertainment value could be endless.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Answer

      *wrong place.
      -corrected-

      Keep going Dodney..

      July 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  15. What's a brony?

    Many atheists that come here are cyberbullies.Adult cyberbullies.When they name call its cyberbullying."Losers" etc are the sort of name calling they use.

    They lie and claim logic and reason makes people a "better person" but clearly their actions show its a lie.

    July 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • sam

      Sigh.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yes and condemning people who don't agree with their religion to eternal torture is such a nice, happy thing. Besides, when someone like you trolls around with random assertions, and ignoring criticism and corrections, then you should expect people to call you names, because let's face it you've earned it.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      This is the internet genius.People can claim anything they desire just like you.You think you can find people who want to debate you just so you can prove them wrong?

      Most atheists struggle with their own ego.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @brony

      I have never made it a secret what I'm here for. If someone thinks that they have a lock on a claim of god, and thinks that I should believe it to, then they need to provide that evidence. Making wild assertions like you do, merely shows that you have nothing of substance to type. Why you bother to be here, I don't know.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      So you follow a delusion?

      No can "make" you believe on the internet,that's all on you.

      No logic,no brains,just lies and delusions.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      If you don't want to believe don't but you coming here shows something a bit different than what you said.

      No one is "making" you believe.Stop lying and saying you have logic and reason.

      You proved you don't.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @brony

      Who said anything about making me believe? Is your reading comprehension that bad?
      I said that if they have evidence, then bring it out.
      If something really is true, then it shouldn't fear scrutiny.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      THIS is the internet.You can claim anything you desire.

      You are just a control freak who cannot grasp that fact.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Answer

      The cyberbully label? LOL

      So hilarious because your religion can't secure you into anything. Can't take the abuse of logic because it is so prevalent and threatening. Threatens the religious to the core of their utmost insecurity that they must do all they can to deflect the logic.

      So you have to defend and call that logic as illogical. You twits are all the same, shallow and hateful for being shown that your crap is indeed crap but you like to keep your charade because it offers just that thin veneer of security. And we laugh because it is just too easy to see through your insecurity.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @brony

      And anything claimed can be researched just as easily. Your continued fallacious assertions on my character merely give the impression that you have nothing of substance.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Answer

      "Help me mommy they are picking on me through the internet."

      July 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      you just showed hatred.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Actually he showed satire and mockery.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      awww you have no control..aww poor little atheist!

      July 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      As did you just now, although it was at best a half-assed fail attempt at satire.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @brony,

      yes, namecalling using terms like 'loser' is wrong. But why do you pick fights like this?

      July 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      Why do you atheists respond?

      July 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Answer

      Little religious tools always want attention. They need others to follow along in their insipid little games of "please help me verify my god or I will hate you for not believing my bs."

      July 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @brony

      Some days seeing stupidity like yours is more entertaining than others.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @brony,

      you know that atheists hang out here, spoiling for an argument on faith. It doesn't matter why they do – you know it to be true.

      So why are you surprised that they respond when you say things like "atheists lie and claim logic and reason makes them a better person"?

      You reap what you sow.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      No logic,just lies.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Answer

      When you religious freaks quit making up claims and start offering evidence.. then you will be respected.

      Like here I'll make this claim: "One gay person is worth more than one billion living religious person."
      You see it is the claims you have to justify. It is inherent to question the claim.

      Religious people is so blinded by all the claims they put out in the past. They don't see the fault of those claims.
      We are telling you flat out – "you are fvcktards for making those claims."

      July 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      This is the internet,what part of that don't you understand?

      I can claim to be rich.Same thing.

      Control freak..you are.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      Did you hear the one about the bull sh it Canadian that minded its own business?

      July 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @brony

      Yes, continue with the same claims that have been addressed. Continue to show how worthless your posts are. Either way I win. Keep going, and I get to laugh, stop, and that's one less person making stupid claims.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Answer

      Off another path are we? Typical freaks and losers as always.

      Try putting a bullet in your head and be done with it.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      You won't the ass holes can't help themselves from thinking someone needs or wants to hear their crap.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      If you want to understand why atheists behave the way they do online, it is because we live in a country with the precious freedom to exercise (or *not* exercise) religious beliefs.

      Yet religionists are the majority – a vocal, bullying majority in public.

      Atheists are a small but growing minority. Somehow this threatens the religionists. Religion and politics are no topic for the workplace, and religious friends and relations don't want to hear about atheism either. So atheists hang out here where free (mostly anonymous) speech is welcome. There aren't many places where people can raise the topic of non-belief.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      oooo want me to kill myself?!

      Wow.Such hate coming from the "logical" bunch.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh look Dodney's back in all his worthless glory. Yes, continue to spout your idiocy, for it is amusing.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Answer

      @GOP

      I love the fact that every day we are threatening the religious. XD

      It brings a smile upon my face.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @brony, (reposted in the right place)

      you started this thread with the assertion that atheists online are cyberbullies yet here you are making assertions like:

      "No logic,just lies."
      "Control freak..you are."

      Well, I'm not lying to you and I'm not a control freak – you can do and believe anything you want to.

      If there's a cogent point you'd like to make, please feel free.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Answer,

      one wouldn't think that anyone who is secure in their faith would care what an atheist says, (except those with a virulent case of missionary fever who think they can convert people with words like "accept Jesus as your personal lord and saviour .... or burn for eternity") yet somehow they do.

      Hence all the pointless circular bickering that goes on here.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      Wanting me to kill myself is a crime.

      Looks like NO morals for atheists.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Since when has wanting someone to commit suicide been a crime? Besides, that's another stupid fallacy you're using. All Christians must be Nazi's then. All angels are going to rebel against god since Lucifer did it. Your faulty "logic" won't fly here brony.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @brony,

      hello, you're back.

      Is there something cogent you'd like to say?

      July 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • What's a brony?

      Read the law loser.

      July 13, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    July 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!:

      July 15, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  17. ma & pa

    There is so much doctrine or religious whiz being thrown toward the image of God that it's hard to find Him anywhere near here. The carvings are wonderful.

    July 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • just sayin

      Whiz? ? I think you mean giz

      July 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • just sayin

      To God be thr Glory great things He has done. God bless

      July 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Satan is waitin!

      All hail the dark lot Lucifer, sell your soul for all its worth. All be damned!

      July 14, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  18. UK Dave & my fellow scientists

    We're putting a very tasty ending to Friday the 13th at midnight tonight!
    We're starting the end of Friday the 13th with a very tasty drink!
    We've even got very tasty cigars lined up for tonight!

    July 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • mafia don

      You've just put a very tasty slant on Friday the 13th UK Dave!
      Keep it tasty, tasty, very tasty UK Dave! 🙂

      July 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Satan is waitin!

      You should both celebrate by drinking a gallon of Drano...

      July 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  19. tallulah13

    If HS wasn't such a nasty, hateful piece of work, I'd really feel sorry for her.

    July 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Whoops. Posted in the wrong place.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      If anyone is hateful, it's you atheists. You don't even love yourselves.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • midwest rail

      The contemporary American faux Christian – leading the world in turning people off from Christianity.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      HS is a she?

      July 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Satan is waitin!

      I love myself a few times a week....skeet skeet skeet!

      July 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @HeavenSent – you seem to be cross with us and a bit hateful towards us in a faux-pious way.
      You'be made assumptions on my upbringing and are screwing up what you're attempting to uphold. Eat some food, and take a nap

      July 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      HS is Adelina's evil twin

      July 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  20. Reality

    Konstantinos can carve all he wants, he won't change the following:

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    p.4

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    July 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, forget finding the bones. All you talmud thumpers just want to desecrate them as you do everything else.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Reality,

      what is your purpose in pasting all these tracts that are so long no one will bother to read them.

      Is your purpose to undermine the faith of others?
      Is this merely a self-indulgence to demonstrate your opinion of your own intellect?

      I hope you realize, it's kind of annoying.

      July 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • .....

      BULL SH IT ALERT DO NOT READ

      July 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Reality

      As a good student, you have read the reiterations of the "fems" (flaws, errors, muck and stench) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as Rational Thinking makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!!

      And there is always the scroll bar for those who do not want to spread the Good Word!!!!

      July 13, 2012 at 11:08 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.