home
RSS
July 27th, 2012
04:34 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, July 27

By Laura Koran, CNN

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

From the Blog:

CNN: Evangelist Billy Graham defends Chick-fil-A
Billy Graham, the dean of American evangelists, has once again broken his usual silence on hot-button issues, defending the president of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain for his opposition to same-sex marriage days after issuing a letter decrying what he sees as the nation's moral decay.

CNN: Pew: Many Americans don't know religion of either presidential candidate
Americans have limited knowledge of the presidential candidates’ religious faith, but their concerns about the candidates’ respective religious beliefs are unlikely to play a major role in the 2012 race, according to a Pew survey released Thursday.

CNN: Survey: Among black, Hispanic Americans, complexity reigns on abortion issue
A large majority of black and Hispanic Americans identify as both “pro-life” and “pro-choice” when it comes to abortion, according to a survey released Thursday. The poll finds that both minority groups are more likely than Americans in general to embrace or to reject both labels.

Tweets of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

The Huffington Post: Michele Bachmann's Muslim Brotherhood Claims Condemned By Catholic Bishops, 41 Other Groups
Forty-two religious and secular organizations united on Thursday in condemning conservative lawmakers' allegations that Muslim-American individuals connected to the U.S. government may be trying to spread the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Catholic News Service: Fast vs. facts: Vatican spokesman tries to quickly help media get truth
Throughout history, the Vatican has dealt with so many accusations and scandals, one would expect the Holy See to have a well-oiled PR machine primed to deal with the constant media onslaught. Well, better late than never. Recent changes - some official, some done on-the-fly - demonstrate the Vatican is taking seriously its need to face the media clearly and directly both on offense and defense.

Religion News Service: Obama appoints first Mormon to White House faith-based council
As he competes against a Mormon in the presidential election, President Obama has appointed the first Mormon member of his White House faith-based council. Elder Steven Snow now serves as the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints official historian. He is also a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, a priesthood order of teachers and administrators.

The Boston Herald: Menino says he can’t actively block Chick-fil-A
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino repeated today that he doesn’t want Chick-fil-A in Boston, but he backed away from a threat to actively block the fast-food chain from setting up shop in the city. “I can’t do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there,” Menino said, referring to company president Dan Cathy, who drew the mayor’s wrath by going public with his views against same-sex marriage.

The New York Times: In Sweden, Taking File Sharing to Heart. And to Church.
People almost everywhere are file sharing these days, using computers to download music, films, books or other materials, often ignoring copyrights. In Sweden, however, it is a religion. Really. Even as this Scandinavian country, like other nations across Europe, bows to pressure from big media concerns to stop file sharing, a Swedish government agency this year registered as a bona fide religion a church whose central dogma is that file sharing is sacred.

The Guardian: Manchester uni puts faith in praying booth
A praying booth has been installed at Manchester University as part of a three-year research project on multi-faith spaces in the UK and abroad. The "pray-o-mat" – which was a photo-booth until it was converted by German artist Oliver Sturm – offers over 300 pre-recorded prayers and incantations in 65 languages via a touch screen.

Quote of the Day:

I would say, ‘I forgive you,’ and I would ask him if I could pray for him. Because the truth is, every person on this world deserves forgiveness, and every one of us need to pay for the sins that we’ve committed. But I also pray that he gets life in prison. And I just pray in those 40, 50 years, that somehow, someway, God can find His way into his heart and forgive.

This is the answer that Aurora shooting survivor Pierce O’Farrill gave when asked by CNN’s Randi Kaye, what he would say to the alleged shooter if he had the opportunity to speak with him. O’Farrill believes that God saved him after the gunman opened fire in the crowded movie theater in the early hours of July 20, hitting him three times in the foot and arm.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Take: Obama is not a Muslim (and Romney is a Mormon)!
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," reacts to a recent survey which showed that only 60% of Americans know that presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and 17% or Americans believe that president Obama is a Muslim.

A man pauses at a memorial of crosses near the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the scene of last week's mass shooting.

CNN: My Take: CNN readers' 7 answers to 'Where was God in Aurora?'
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," outlines the different responses that CNN Belief Blog readers submitted to the question, “Where was God in Aurora?”

Join the conversation…

Twelve crosses comprise a makeshift memorial near the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, scene of last week’s mass shooting

CNN: Driven by personal tragedy, man builds crosses for Aurora victims, thousands of others
In a vacant lot across from the site of last week’s movie theater shooting, 12 white crosses stand solemnly, their arms covered in messages of hope and the ground around them full of flowers. For the loved ones of the 12 killed in the Aurora, Colorado, theater, the crosses have become a focal point of remembrance, a place to memorialize victims and pray for their families and friends. But for the man who built the white crosses, each just over 3 feet tall, the crosses are something more: symbols of his own survival since tragedy struck his family 16 years ago.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. icon pack

    Now all became clear, many thanks for the help in this question.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things

    July 29, 2012 at 2:12 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 30, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  3. J.W

    Not praying changes nothing.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Satan

      not changing prayers nothing at saladandchips.com

      July 28, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  4. Believer

    A question for the Atheist:

    Your disbelief is entirely warranted, but what exactly do you call the moment you reach the top of a mountain and look down below at the scenery. Haven't you ever had your breath taken away with beauty, or love?

    I'm not saying that this proves god is real, especially the one from the bible, far from it, but I can't shake the feeling that there's something to be said about an amazing view or when you go somewhere new that just leaves you in awe?

    July 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I think that probably has happened to everyone. That's a completely moot point though. It shows absolutely nothing.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Believer

      @Hawaii

      I beg to differ. I think something the vibrates your very soul, or the very core of your being or whatever you think makes up who you are (probably in your case the cerebellum) it has to show something that have the higher thinking power to recognize universally beautiful things.

      I won't try to argue that there are universal morals, or ethics, but beautiful views are universal and always have been.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      What do you call the moment you reach the top of a mountain and look down below at the scenery? ...Surveying?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Believer

      @Lunchbreaker

      Touche, I guess I should be more specific. Have you ever felt that moment of calm right after you make it to the top and you look down and it's a mix of satisfaction, serenity, elation and good ole fashion adrenalin high. Sure, if you make it up there by driving, or helicopter you lose a bit of that or if you've climbed a specific peak every weekend for the past 5 years it loses some of it's appeal, but can you really tell me that you feel absolutely when you reach the top?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Interesting question. The phenomenon of "awe" is a common human experience. Different people experience it, as a result of different things. I experience it surfing inside a big wave. The point is, it's entirely within your brain. It's a human experience. It does not necessarily lead to god(s). Some people experience it seeing a waterfall, some a view of a mountain or a valley. It may be an evolutionary piece of seeing an empty horizon, (no threat). Atheists experience awe all the time. It does not lead to god(s).

      Google Andy Thompson, (in You Tube), "Why we believe in gods". Believers may be more prone to Gestalt thinking,(than deconstructionist), believers.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Never assume atheists do not have aesthetic experiences.

      July 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Believer

      @Bucky

      Forgive me, I wasn't trying to ins/inuate that atheists don't have aes/thetic experience, I was actually trying to point out that everyone, believer or atheist, has these types of experiences.

      As to your response, thanks for be cord/ial. I also agree that it's a human experience and so far we haven't been able to detect any other creature on earth having a similar experience (not sure how we could but it's probably tied with higher brain function that our big brains allow us to experience that other smaller brained creatures can't).

      Just because it's a scientific phenomenon does not take away from the beauty though right? We believe that a person, their soul or whatever you call the core of a person resides on the cerebellum right? Just because we can point to ourselves on a map (in essence anyway) don't you find it interesting that you can describe your body as a different thing from yourself?

      I know I'm probably sounding a little gar/bled but I find it interesting I can take about my body or my brain as a different ent/ity existing outside of myself. Shouldn't that at least give you pause?

      July 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • What IF

      Believer,

      I don't recall exactly where the 'pleasure center' of the brain is, but I don't think that it is the cerebellum. We are still learning so much about the brain.

      In any event, people with brain damage or brain disease affecting certain areas, or those being treated with sedatives do not experience this awe. Psychoactive chemicals and hallucinogens can heighten it.

      Also, have you ever watched a dog with its head out the window of a moving car?.... pure rapture for their highly developed olfactory senses!

      July 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Believer

      @What if

      I was only pointing to the Cerebllum at the place we've theorized is where the "I" resides in. When you refer to yourself, your personality, it's in that part, theoretically.

      As for damage to the pleasure center or the use of drugs to heighten pleasure is fine, that doesn't really hurt my position, if anything it shows that your soul can be physically damaged or heightened. It's probably also why so many cultures have used drugs in religious rites.

      As for the dog example.... I can admit that they might really enjoy that type of experience, but I still believe not at the level a human can really appreciate the different scenarios Bucky and myself listed. If you want to make the argument that dogs (and by extension all or most animals) have souls, I'd be willing to agree.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Believer

      But it is not universally beautiful. It does not affect everyone the same way, and not everyone will talk about it the same.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Believer

      @Hawaii

      I'm not talking about a specific event that is like that for everyone, I was using an event that I personally have found to five me those emotions. What I was mainly trying to point out is that everyone has specific moments of awing, showstopping beauty that's impossible to capture in a picture. Mine is submitting a mountain. Bucky's is surfing, point is, everyone has a moment that they would call beautiful.

      Plus, I would defy you to find me one person who made it to the top of say, everest and said, "Meh"

      July 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Believer,
      Thank you also, for being so cordial ! !
      I am a not only a jock, ... I am a pianist. I have played all the Beethoven sonatas, which I am working on memorizing, when I have time. I have often wondered why Mozart "resonates" in me, so deeply. Is it because I am a "mathematical" person, and his intervals and melodies are so obviously mathematical, and tha;'s why I think they are so beautiful. If anything would ever turn me into a believer, THAT is what would do it. But I understand the "doing", so I just appreciate the beauty.

      July 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Actually I misstated my deconstructionist argument. I AM a deconstructionist. I over an'aylize things. So do you think the Gestalt view of the world, tends to produce believers, more that in those who deconstruct things ?

      July 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Believer

      @Bucky

      Honestly, you articulated the exact type of experience I was going for better than myself. I think being able to apply a scientific explanation to the feeling in no way diminishes how it feels or the "why".

      Full disclosure, although my handle is "believer" I am only in the most basic sense. If someone asks, "is there a god?" my answer is yes, and if they ask me what religion I am I err towards my birth religion of methodist, but in my heart of hearts I'm more aligned with deism. Sure there's a god and he exists in this universe, but his interest in earth goes only so far as our interest in other planets, or on a more micro level, when we look at ecosystems around the planet.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Really interesting discussion here. Like bucky, for me, listening to and performing music is one of the most transcendent of experiences. It affects me in a very different way than anything else. It is transformative.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Believer

      Work is killer, I'll try to be back later. I like this conversation.

      July 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Believer

      @Hawaii

      I look forward to it.

      @Tom Tom

      So would you be willing to admit that the feeling you get from the music could be some sort of higher power? That the true idea of god is resonating within you when you hit the right chord (and yes, pun intended)

      July 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Believer

      I feel giddy, awed, etc from many things, but there would be no reason for me to attribute those feelings to any kind of higher power. We know that certain things affect people, and we can map these processes. It is an emergent property of higher brain function.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Believer, I don't think so. Music is the creation of human minds. I am in awe of the gifts of these composers, but I don't attribute their talents or their creativity to a divine being.

      I do find sacred music incredibly inspiring and uplifting, but that feeling doesn't influence my rational thinking.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Believer

      @Hawaii

      Does being able to map something as a higher brain function take away from its significance? The "what" of it doesn't necessarily concern me as much as the "why" we find something beautiful, sad, giddy, exciting, etc.... There are some basic emotions that animals come into this world with. Fear is a huge driver, anxiety, possibly joy (we've seen that in dolphins and to a lesser extent dogs). Humans have such a wide array of emotions though that in my personal opinion that means something. We contain something within our big brains that is almost anti-evolutionary. When you think about it, emotion, especially the depth of human emotion, can sometimes be the very thing that ends up killing us right? I'm going to use a dorky analogy so don't make too much fun of me, but think about the Vulcans in Star Trek. This is a species a lot like humans except they suppress emotions because emotions can be huge weaknesses. Usually in the show man will come up with some way or another to prove why thats wrong and we're right to feel, but I found it contrived most of the time, a way for us to rationalize through this medium why we feel the things we feel.

      Sure we can map out where exactly those emotions are found, but that doesn't take away from the feeling itself, or sometimes the insanely irrational decisions we make because of that. Using that I went down the road that we must feel for a purpose greater than basic survival, even if that purpose is to be part of a group of people who enjoy a view of 5 minutes. I'm not granting myself or any human a god complex giving them way more importance than they have, but to a certain extent doesn't our deep emotion give us something greater than say, a dog, or a flea or to go bigger, a star or planet?

      @Tom Tom

      Sorry if I didn't make myself clear. The great music pieces are of course written by man for man. In my opinion they might have had inspiration from god BUT they should take credit for their work, not god. Sort of like a parent or a friend encouraging you to follow a specific sport because you could be good at it and you wind up an olympian.

      To the second sentence you wrote, see the above reply to Hawaii to give this response greater detail. A specific sonata or symphony might not make you think or do something irrational, but I want to go a step further and discussing the deep emotion you might feel to music, or a breathtaking view, or a litter of puppies or whatever that might cause you to do some irrational things.

      July 28, 2012 at 3:46 am |
    • Believer

      Wow, that was way longer than I meant to type.

      Sorry for the novel Y'all

      July 28, 2012 at 3:47 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Believer

      I didn't say it takes away from the feeling itself if we can map it. However, I don't see any reason to attribute any special significance to the depth or range of emotions we humans feel. From what I can tell, it almost seems like there is something like a "template" for what is asthetically pleasing to us, and any sort of focus on specific things, or extra details, are merely a matter of personal preference. It's a very complicated question.

      July 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  5. Robert Brown

    Romans 1:
    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    Matthew Henry's Commentary
    In this last part of the chapter the apostle applies what he had said particularly to the Gentile world, in which we may observe, I. The means and helps they had to come to the knowledge of God. Though they had not such a knowledge of his law as Jacob and Israel had (Ps. 147:20), yet among them he left not himself without witness (Acts 14:17): For that which may be known, etc., Rom. 1:19, 20. Observe, 1. What discoveries they had: That which may be known of God is manifest, en autois—among them; that is, there were some even among them that had the knowledge of God, were convinced of the existence of one supreme Numen. The philosophy of Pythagoras, Plato, and the Stoics, discovered a great deal of the knowledge of God, as appears by abundance of testimonies. That which may be known, which implies that there is a great deal which may not be known. The being of God may be apprehended, but cannot be comprehended. We cannot by searching find him out, Job 11:7-9. Finite understandings cannot perfectly know an infinite being; but, blessed be God, there is that which may be known, enough to lead us to our chief end, the glorifying and enjoying of him; and these things revealed belong to us and to our children, while secret things are not to be pried into, Deut. 29:29. 2. Whence they had these discoveries: God hath shown it to them. Those common natural notions which they had of God were imprinted upon their hearts by the God of nature himself, who is the Father of lights. This sense of a Deity, and a regard to that Deity, are so connate with the human nature that some think we are to distinguish men from brutes by these rather than by reason. 3. By what way and means these discoveries and notices which they had were confirmed and improved, namely, by the work of creation (Rom. 1:20); For the invisible things of God, etc. (1.) Observe what they knew: The invisible things of him, even his eternal power and Godhead. Though God be not the object of sense, yet he hath discovered and made known himself by those things that are sensible. The power and Godhead of God are invisible things, and yet are clearly seen in their products. He works in secret (Job 23:8, 9; Ps. 139:15; Eccl. 11:5), but manifests what he has wrought, and therein makes known his power and Godhead, and others of his attributes which natural light apprehends in the idea of a God. They could not come by natural light to the knowledge of the three persons in the Godhead (though some fancy they have found footsteps of this in Plato’s writings), but they did come to the knowledge of the Godhead, at least so much knowledge as was sufficient to have kept them from idolatry. This was that truth which they held in unrighteousness. (2.) How they knew it: By the things that are made, which could not make themselves, nor fall into such an exact order and harmony by any casual hits; and therefore must have been produced by some first cause or intelligent agent, which first cause could be no other than an eternal powerful God. See Ps. 19:1; Isa. 40:26; Acts 17:24. The workman is known by his work. The variety, multi.tude, order, beauty, harmony, different nature, and excellent contrivance, of the things that are made, the direction of them to certain ends, and the concurrence of all the parts to the good and beauty of the whole, do abundantly prove a Creator and his eternal power and Godhead. Thus did the light shine in the darkness. And this from the creation of the world. Understand it either, [1.] As the topic from which the knowledge of them is drawn. To evince this truth, we have recourse to the great work of creation. And some think this ktisis kosmou, this creature of the world (as it may be read), is to be understood of man, the ktisis kat exochen—the most remarkable creature of the lower world, called ktisis, Mark 16:15. The frame and structure of human bodies, and especially the most excellent powers, faculties, and capacities of human souls, do abundantly prove that there is a Creator, and that he is God. Or, [2.] As the date of the discovery. It as old as the creation of the world. In this sense apo ktiseos is most frequently used in scripture. These notices concerning God are not any modern discoveries, hit upon of late, but ancient truths, which were from the beginning. The way of the acknowledgement of God is a good old way; it was from the beginning. Truth got the start of error.

    July 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven

    July 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Jesus

      You're a proven LIAR. -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 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  7. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    Great news everyone , (as opposed to the "good news..the "euangelion" heh heh) : more evidence for the gradual emergence of Ho'mo sapiens. Of course, if this is true, the claim, that at a specific point in history the myth of "soul" was "infused", is rendered even more ridiculous.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120712162744.htm

    July 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • junior

      discovery as seen through a CT scan, not a conclusion of truth.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because [he eateth] not of faith: for whatsoever [is] not of faith is sin.

      Romans 14:23

      Amen.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Huebert

      How would someone render that which is already completely ridiculous even more ridiculous?

      July 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Sorry kids, it's not a CT scan. It's the genome. (BTW, MRI scans have show various parts of the brain light up, consistently, depending which faith as'sertion is being thought about, or being made). Faith is entirely, 100% a neurological phenomenon.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • sam

      Science is super hard, right HS and junior?

      July 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Foolish sam, I retired from a science field. There goes your lies about Christian not believing in true science or wanting to throw our money after ridiculous theories that will never hold water but, big egos don't retain wisdom.

      July 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Huebert

      HS

      What science field did you retire from?

      July 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Funny thing about CT scans is that the results can be reviewed and reproduced by another observer.

      July 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Which "science field" would THAT be, HeavenSent? Perhaps, "christian science"? LOL!

      July 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Get Real

      HS was in MIS at some kind of AIDS lab. She was no more a "scientist" than an IT person at The Mayo Clinic is a "doctor" or a "medical researcher".

      July 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      AGuest, NOYB.

      Get real, wrong. No cigar for you.

      July 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  8. junior

    First of all, do not Ask God for what is in your capacity to do.

    All prayer is for God, but all prayer is not for simply asking. Some prayer is of thanksgiving, other is for purging the noise.

    Until we understand what good and evil is, what footing do we have on self control?
    The problem is that most of us do not want to change ourselves, because we do not feel we need to be held accountable for our actions. I am not talking about our careers, I am talking about our character.
    Satan encourages us to do evil, he is the voice we would rather listen to because he is not offensive and he tolerates quite a bit.
    On suffering. Pain at times is necessary for growth.
    I do agree that one person can make a difference.

    Fides et Ratio

    July 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Unfortunately all of your cult is based on the "good vs evil", (salvation) paradigm. In fact the myth in Genesis, is really about Chaos, and Order, and the Human Condition, which was appropriated from the ancient Sumerian myth system.

      http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thread-Salvation-Mythic-Origins?highlight=salvation

      July 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • junior

      What you think are the origins of Genesis are not important. What is important is the nature of our existence, our relation to the Lord God, and how we came to know evil. How we fell from that initial Grace that was given us from the Lord.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      We fell from grace by exercising our curiosity – and if there's one thing the Abrahamic God cannot stand it is our quest for knowledge.
      The tribal warfare that has plagued our species since time immemorial is explained in the Bible in the story of the Tower of Babel.
      Once upon a time, all men spoke with same language and worked towards a common goal – but God didn't like that one bit.
      In His wrath, he divided mankind into tribes unable to communicate effectively, thus ensuring misunderstaning and conflict forever after.
      The message of the Bible is clear – don't ask questions. Just obey.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • junior

      interesting. The Bible that I read instructs one to avoid those things which lead to death.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • junior

      On the tower of Babel. Nimrod was a tyrant and in his Zeal to enter Heaven, he abused many. A selfish individual and not the most humble of kings.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      It is important, if what you as'sert to be a "fall" was in fact not a "fall". The Genesis myth was not about eating apples. It was about an attempt to (mythologically) "eat from the Tree of the Knowledge odf Good AND Evil. That is Chaos. (attempting to encompass opposites. Christians love to recommend Martin Buber, ("I and Thou"), butt they forget to read his other book, "Good and Evil".

      July 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  9. lunchbreaker

    So how sick is this?

    Pregnant 16-year-old with cancer banned from having chemo because abortion is illegal in the Dominican Republic
    Doctors refuse to administer treatment over fears they could be prosecuted
    They say chemotherapy would terminate the pregnancy, which is illegal in the Caribbean country
    Girl's mother appeals to health and government authorities to make an exception to save the teenager's life

    July 27, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • William Demuth

      And they wonder why the D.R. is about as close to hell as any real place could be?

      July 27, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Surely we need to balance the well-being of the mother with that of the unborn child.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Woops! Sorry, not my post.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  10. Phyllis G Williams

    A preacher says if you put on a white outfit and go down into a coal-mine you don't expect to look the same when you come out. The Outfit is your Mind ; the Coal-mine is violent movies, etc.
    History shows that Nations and individuals' minds have been warped by feeding minds with wrong food.
    The Holy Spirit convicts them but they ignore Him, and go into Captivity and destruction.

    July 27, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Preachers need to learn about the fallacy of the False Analogy.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • William Demuth

      Preachers also tell little boys they have buggered not to tell anyone what they did or Jesus will put their mothers in hell.

      I suspect preachers are liars, wouldn't you agree?

      July 27, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • JWT

      Broccoli is evel – finally there is proof/

      July 27, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So that explains why the evil, heathen Ja/panese culture with their violent media and vending machines that sell used undergarments is so rife with violence!
      Oh wait a minute – they have 1.1 murders per 100,000 population while America has 8.7. For robbery, they have 1.3 robberies per 100,000 population while America has 233.
      Maybe watching space aliens r/ape women with their tentacles doesn't lead to real life r/ape, nor does watching extraordinarily violent movies like "Ichi the Killer" and "Battle Royale" lead to real life violence.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  11. lunchbreaker

    Hypothetical Question:

    Suppose you were falsely accused of a crime and now stand trial. Your lawyer is selecting the jury.

    Which type of person from the following list would you want on your jury?

    A. Someone who will require concrete evidence to find you guilty.
    B. Someone who only requires circu-mstancial evidence to find you guilty.
    C. Someone who only requires hearsay to find you guilty.
    D. Someone who already thinks you are guilty and nothing will change that.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Speaking of trials. If one accepts the resurrection, on the basis of the evidence there is, then one must also accept that the Salem Mass. witches were really actually witches, if one is honest, and consistent.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xv_Iklb1V4&w=640&h=360]

      July 27, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • William Demuth

      If forced into the situation you describe I suspect my first move would be to take hostages, and I suspect it would go downhill from there.

      But rest assured I would NOT be judged

      July 27, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      BTW, brunchbreaker .. I see what you did there. 👿

      July 27, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Judge not lest.... OK, so let's flip it around, your choosing your hostages. Would you prefer hostages that... Uh.. hmmmm.

      July 27, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      I fully expect most of you smart types to see right through the question.

      July 27, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Very good lunchbreaker, of course we all select a, but allow me to put it in the correct context spiritually. You are guilty and there is no jury, just the righteous judge, and he says trust me and I will pardon you. Will you accept your pardon?

      July 27, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • junior

      What about the road to Emmaus?

      July 27, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • junior

      Is that the best you can do to disprove Jesus Christ's existence? Probability and Statistics. I believe it was Einstein who said "GOD does not play dice"

      What did the early followers of Christ have to benefit from spreading lies? Public persecution. Your powerpoint presentation is a fallacy.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      junior,
      We noticed you forgot to mention exactly how the presentation is in error. Which fallacy is it, exactly, and how ?
      Emmaus is very interesting. It's actually the PROOF that the resurrection was in fact a subjective experience. They never said, in that event that they "saw him", ("were not our hearts buring within us".....a. they were questioning it THEMSELVES, and b. obviously interpreting an experience. ) ...but that they "experienced him. People who are hallucinating also insist they are experiencing what they do. We know subjective experience is unreliable.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Good morning Robert. That, of course is the real point of the matter. Why is it that one should apply a certain line of thinking to one aspect of life (or potential afterlife), and not another? Or for me personally, why being skeptic in the absence of proof could ever be seen as a negative quality in a person. In the case above we applaud the skeptic, but he applies the same logic to spirituality and he's an idiot, or being decieved by the devil, or any of a list of negative statements.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      BTW, Einstein DID say "god doesn't play dice". But, he lost the argument, and admitted it in the years to follow. He also made many other mistakes. Google : Einstein's mistakes.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • junior

      You are assuming that the apostles were corrupt. They were sinners, but the word of God was much greater than what they could contain. The Holy Spirit is a provider of wisdom, of courage, and of understanding.

      St. John the Evangelist was the only apostle at the foot of the cross. He writes in vivid detail. He also wrote the Book of Revelation which supports Christ's triumph over evil.

      Fides et Ratio

      July 27, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Not at all. First of all, the apostles did not write the gospels, every scholar agrees with that. Secondly, the believers could easily be honestly conveying their subjective experiences. The gospels are not "historical", they are "proclamational faith doc'uments", used ONLY in worship services, by ALREADY believing members of the cult. No one sat around reading gospels. They were worship doc. BTW, John the Apostle, is not John of Patmos, every scholar also agrees on that. How can you know so little about your own cult ?

      July 27, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Lunchbreaker,
      You seem to be a reasonable skeptic on the subject of God. I would imagine there are subjects in your life that you are not skeptical of, but rather convinced of. I am a skeptic, yet convinced of God but please don’t misinterpret my statements. I can’t convince you of God and you know that better than I do.
      God calls believers to spread the good news. So, we put the idea out and he does the work. God reveals himself and thereby convinces skeptics in a variety of ways. Will he convince you, and if so, how? I don’t know and you probably don’t know either, but I know he can and hope he does. I have heard testimonies of folks who were converted as if it were an intellectual decision, no emotion, no giant crisis, just a choice. Even if they describe it that way, I still think there is more to it than that.
      We know he rewards those who diligently seek him, so it stands to reason that God will reveal himself to someone who puts forth the effort, before he would reveal himself to someone who proclaims there is no God. God says “come let us reason together.”

      July 27, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX2MlWDmW9E&w=640&h=360]

      July 27, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALCOqBSYLkg&w=640&h=360]

      July 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Interesting perspective Robert. For my own curiosity, when you say you are skeptic of things, what sort of things are at the top of your list? For the sake of argument, we will define skeptic as "I do not have enough information to think something is true."

      July 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • junior

      How can you claim to know so much about my Faith. Youtube seems to be your testament.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      The thing is, junior, I know more about your faith than you do. One does not have to be a believer, to understand, and be educated about it.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Hey pal... sent you an email at your CNN address. Did you get it ?

      Peace...

      July 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      And BTW, junior, You Tube is one of the ways humans communicate these days. You have not refuted ONE point in any of the videos. I hope you will attempt to do so. You seem like a very sincere believer. Some of my very best friends are believers. I love them very deeply, and have great respect for them.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • junior

      Many believe in Jesus but very few are willing to follow him.
      You tube does have some informative media but much hate filled presentations as well. As a medium of communication it is not impeccable
      You assume there were three or more messengers (corrupt cops) that deliver a message will distort or in your case, will take from it and not want to share the rest. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus intentionally reveal himself to test the faith of these two travelers. In the breaking of the bread was when they came to know him. And what did they do next, they RAN back to Jerusalem. What would cause them to want to take another distant trek in the evening/night. Divine gifts tend to multiply themselves. For God there is no finite Love, all are worthy of Grace. Grace is not money, it is something far more beautiful, for it is divine.

      “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” G K Chesterton

      July 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Lunchbreaker,
      Religion, politics, science, philosophy, ideas, and any service or thing offered in exchange for something else.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Well Robert, we have many things in common.

      July 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    July 27, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • William Demuth

      It doesn’t appear to be working.

      Perhaps we need some testing to prove your hypothesis?

      Suppose we put 3,000 people into some towers, have some crazy religious people slam some planes into them and let them pray for rescue, and see if God helps them in their desperate attempt not to be burnt to a crisp.

      What’s that? Oh, that one already been done?

      Ok, perhaps we put a mother and child into a movie theater with a deranged gunmen dressed as a clown from hell, and have the mother pray that God won’t force her to live to see her daughter bleed to death on a bed of stale popcorn?

      What’s that you say? We have been there and done that already?

      OK, suppose we gather a group of fascist extremists bent on genocide and have then create an infrastructure designed to gas people of a different religion. Surely as they rounded up the eight million people they intended to destroy, God would hear those millions screaming out to him, begging not to be gassed?

      What’s that you say?

      Or perhaps>>>>>>

      What’s that you say?

      Or perhaps>>>>>>

      What’s that you say?

      Or perhaps>>>>>>

      What’s that you say?

      Or perhaps>>>>>>

      What’s that you say?

      Or perhaps>>>>>>

      July 27, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • junior

      More importantly Prayer Changes People. It changes your capacity to love, even if you don't get what you want.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      "Praying: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single pet'itioner confessedly unworthy."

      July 27, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • junior

      The fact that you think prayer is solely for asking God to intervene indicates your level of intellect on this matter. Until you understand what prayer is you will perpetually be on the outside looking in.

      July 27, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      When pushed on the issue, many sensible christians will admit that prayer is not for god, or to change anything he was going to do, but for the prayer himself to have peace, come to certain knowledge, and etc. Non-believers call this "meditation" and recognize that it doesn't require any god.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • William Demuth

      junior

      So enlighten us wise sage!

      What is gained from conversing with something that doesn’t exist?

      Is it perhaps that Christians simply have no self-control or insight, and must externalize their aspirations onto a deity fabricated from whole cloth?

      If you want to change yourself, or the world itself, then please mature enough to realized that both individually and collectively, our destinies lie not within our stars, bur within ourselves.

      It is not Satan that spawns evil in our world, it in the men in the mirror.

      The suffering or our fellow men can be eased, but pleading for divine intervention will NOT get the work done.

      It is in fact nothing more than an admission that we as a race are unwilling to make real efforts to change either ourselves of the world we have built.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • 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 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven again

      July 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Jesus

      You've been proven wrong again. -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 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
Advertisement
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.