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Ryan as VP pick continues election year focus on Catholicism
Paul Ryan is better known for his outspoken fiscal conservatism than for leading on conservative Catholic social causes.
August 11th, 2012
09:20 AM ET

Ryan as VP pick continues election year focus on Catholicism

By Dan Gilgoff and Dan Merica

Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate promises to cast a spotlight on American Catholicism in an election year when the tradition has already been a major focus.

Ryan, a Catholic who chairs the House Budget Committee, is better known for his outspoken fiscal conservatism than for leading on conservative Catholic social causes like opposing abortion and gay marriage.

But Romney called attention to Ryan's religion Saturday in introducing him as his running mate: "A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life," Romney said.

And socially conservative groups were quick to praise Ryan's selection, with the president of National Right to Life saying that "Ryan has a deep, abiding respect for all human life, including unborn children and their mothers, the disabled and the elderly."

Ryan’s advocacy for cutting taxes and trimming the deficit — he is the architect of the GOP’s proposed federal budget — married with his willingness to talk about fiscal belt-tightening in moral terms and his low-key social conservatism speak to a political moment in which the economic concerns of the Tea Party and the social focus of the Christian right have merged into a relatively cohesive anti-Obama movement.

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

Ryan’s presence on the ticket also could increase Romney’s appeal among the millions of middle-of-the-road Catholic voters who populate key swing states, like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Catholics are considered the quintessential swing vote, and no presidential candidate has won the White House without winning Catholics since at least the early 1990s.

With Romney, a Mormon, selecting a Catholic, Obama is the only Protestant in the 2012 presidential race (Vice President Joe Biden is also Catholic).

"As a conservative Catholic, Ryan is likely to appeal to a number of Catholics in the Midwest,” said John Green, a professor of religion and politics at the University of Akron in Ohio. “Catholics who are concerned about religious liberty, he is certainly a positive there."

The Catholic Church has helped frame this year’s election by strenuously opposing a rule in President Obama’s health care law that requires insurance companies to provide free contraception coverage to nearly all American employees, including those at Catholic colleges and hospitals. The Democrats have said that Romney’s and the GOP’s support for the Church’s position constitutes a “war on women,” while Romney and his party say Obama’s rule represents a “war on religion.”

In an interview with CNN, former GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich, who is Catholic, said that Ryan would shore up support in a Catholic community that feels it is “under siege.”

Romney released an ad Thursday repeating the war on religion charge. Next week, Sandra Fluke — a Georgetown University law student who was thrust into the national spotlight after radio show host Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” for her role in supporting Obama’s contraception rule — will introduce the president at a stop in Denver.

Ryan’s own Catholicism became a major issue this year, with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops criticizing his proposed federal budget for what the bishops said would be its adverse impact on the poor.

The bishops cautioned against overreaching budget cuts that endanger “poor and vulnerable people.” The bishops’ message called on “Congress and the administration to protect essential help for poor families and vulnerable children and to put the poor first in budget priorities.”

This split between politically conservative and liberal Catholics has existed for decades in the Catholic Church. But with Ryan running for vice president, some experts expect this divide to be sharpened.

"What Ryan will highlight is a division within the Catholic community,” Green said. “More politically liberal Catholics are very critical of the Republican approach and the Ryan budget, but Ryan has taken them head on.”

In an April speech at Georgetown, a Catholic school, Ryan defended his budget in religious terms.

“The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it,” Ryan said. “What I have to say about the social doctrine of the Church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding of the problems of the day.”

Ryan’s $3.53 trillion budget doubles down on past proposals to overhaul Medicare and other government programs that are seen as politically sensitive. While the budget has little chance to become law, it draws a distinct contrast with Democratic views on spending.

That speech, along with other statements that put his budget into religious terms, led liberal Catholic groups to openly protest Ryan’s budget.

In particular, NETWORK, a group founded by 47 Catholic nuns that speaks out on social justice issues, went on a bus tour around the country to protest the Ryan budget.

In an interview with CNN, Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, said Ryan has co-opted sacred Catholic teachings and twisted their meanings.

This line of attack will intensify in the coming months because of Ryan’s nomination, says Deal Hudson, a religion and politics expert who ran President George. W. Bush’s Catholic outreach in 2000 and 2004.

“I think the Catholic left will make this the drumbeat about Congressman Ryan,” Hudson said. “That is why it is so important for the campaign to effectively get out in front of this argument.”

According to Hudson, it is possible to defend the Ryan budget from Catholic attacks, it will just take a campaign that “realizes this is what they face."

- CNN

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (1,690 Responses)
  1. lick me

    I have a big mexican sausage

    August 11, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chorrizo? You should fry it with some eggs.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • JM

      . . . . . "I'll have the tea..."

      August 11, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Erich

      Flies too!

      August 11, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • bspurloc

      so that means your Mayan ancestors LEARNED what happens when Christians come and declare u heretics....
      your ancestors bowed to them and were able to LIVE aka were SAVED, where the others who were declared heretics got massacred with peace and love.

      August 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  2. Prayer changed my oil. Alleluia, amen.

    Great choice. Romney is now doomed for defeat. This guy wants 500 billion removed from Medicare. Seniors will come out in droves, and vote against him. Great job, Romney. You just shot yourself in the foot.

    August 11, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • maverick131080

      I'm sure any choice of VP he had , you would of given it a negative spin. BTW, what would of been your choice for a Romney VP? Please give a logical reason, unless you're just trolling.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • bspurloc

      mitt the twitt was doomed regardless....
      his only other option to mend the WAR ON WOMEN was bachman and um well she is a loon too

      August 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  3. matt

    Hooray, another election about religion. America needs to keep religion out of its politics

    August 11, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Dany

      Why? you left wind radical idiot?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dany, you as sume that anyone who is not a believer is automatically a left-wing radical? That anyone who knows that there is or should be a separation between church and state is a left-wing radical?

      How old are you?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, my mistake. I see you meant "left wind radical". Is that someone who only lifts the left cheek when he farts?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  4. bock

    My Johnson is very big

    August 11, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Erich

      Stop looking at it through the Hubble telescope!

      August 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  5. indiawilkes

    Paul Ryan is a major devotee of, and states that he got into politics because of, Ayn Rand - a militant atheist who was utterly opposed to Christ's teachings... who thought Christians were weak and worthless. Who believed the rich are rich because they are superior and the poor are to be scorned and unloved. That nullifies his Catholicism IMO.

    August 11, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Sam

      Anyone who was inspired by Ayn Rand, L. Ron Hubbard, or Joseph Smith is a nutcase and should not be involved in politics.

      August 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  6. jackie5275

    The work I do, as a Catholic holding office, conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it,” Ryan said. “What I have to say about the social doctrine of the Church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding of the problems of the day.”
    Obviously, this guy was sleeping during religion class & during Mass.

    August 11, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • malaka

      don't we all?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Prayer changed my oil. Alleluia, amen.

      As well as Civics class : ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL

      August 11, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • maverick131080

      I slept through all classes equally.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • bspurloc

      no christian reads this bible cuz Mr Jesus NEVER told u to go forth and hate, never told u marriage was man women... man did

      August 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  7. malaka

    Ron paul and Bruno 2012

    August 11, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • bspurloc

      Ross Perots Charts 2012

      August 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  8. Norman G. Kirkendall

    Saying it nice, candidate Romney already has a behind and really didn't need a second one.
    t

    August 11, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  9. JoJo

    Anyone right-wing bigot. No thanks. I don't like Obama either, but come on people. Enough of these religious crazies.

    August 11, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • malaka

      you know that boobama is a muslim, right?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Huebert

      @Mal

      You do know that you are lying right?

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/27/my-take-obama-is-not-a-muslim-and-romney-is-a-mormon/

      August 11, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • maverick131080

      Because Atheist crazies are so much better....

      There are sheep on both sides. Being non religious will not make a person any less of a tool.
      Idiot agnostics =Idiot atheist=Idiot religious.
      summary: same IQs just different vocabulary.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  10. Greg

    Amazing choice for a man with a purpose and a plan. Driven by a moral compass that will stop the current cynics from believing this Country can't be great. America has a bright future. It is not about spend spend spend on obviously inefficient programs. Let's be Americans and believe again! let's get back to the l;and of opportunity and a belief that you can be anything you want to be

    August 11, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Dany

      well said

      August 11, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Paul

      I agree Greg. But his problem is that he has a plan. Don't you know Democrats hate budgets 'cause you can't spend blindly if you've got one! Have we heard the current crew come up with a plan- other than tax the 'rich' which raises enough to cover the budget for...hold on now...8 days! It's a spending problem and it hasn't begun to turn this mess around. Pushing towards 6 trillion in spending and unemployment stays over 8%- what kind of plan is that. Didn't Obama state that if he couldn't get it done in four years then boot him out. Well, thank you!

      August 11, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      The problem is the plan that he has. Well, that's his main problem. He also is trying to pass his budget off as morally right for a Catholic or other christian when in fact, Catholic leadership has been vocal in its criticism of it and that is another problem on perhaps a much greater, spiritual level.

      @ Greg: The "belief that you can be anything you want to be" is problematic all on its own. What YOU want to be is not important. What God calls you to be and commands you to do is important. Very often, these things are mutually exclusive.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      “The Catholic bishops of the United States recognize the serious deficits our country faces, and we acknowledge that Congress must make difficult decisions about how to allocate burdens and sacrifices and balance resources and needs,...However, deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility efforts must protect and not undermine the needs of poor and vulnerable people. The proposed cuts to programs in the budget reconciliation fail this basic moral test.”

      A complete copy of this letter is included as a .pdf hyperlink embedded in the following URL.

      Bishops Reiterate Priorities To Protect Poor, Promote The Common Good In Letter To House
      May 8, 2012
      WASHINGTON

      http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-076.cfm

      August 12, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • evan

      he wants to cut spending across the board, and as a moderate i would be ok with this except for the fact that Military spending will remain the same. Cmon people, we spend 700+ trillion a year thats more than the next 18 countries budgets combined... Stop wasteful spending

      August 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • bspurloc

      anything u want to be as long as u r christian and like loopholes...
      show those tax returns mittens.... lets see how much $$$ u made off Iranian oil 08 07

      August 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  11. Sharon from Florida

    The only way the current administration can win, is with all those dead voters that voted in the last election. And, any illegal immigrants that get ahold of a way to vote. It will not be a legal campaign on the Democratic side, just like last time. After all, the current POTUS has not even been properly vetted YET! And the mainstream media continues to turn their heads and blind their eyes, with their hypocrisy and INTOLERANCE. Yes, they are the ones who are intolerant, and I dare them to actually look into the facts on the opposing viewpoints.

    August 11, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Norman G. Kirkendall

      Sharon: You must be in the top 1% to make those statements.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • SensibleJoe

      Time to return to reality, Sharon.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Dany

      Came to this country 30 years ago, worked my behinf off to get to where I am, I consider myself to be a blue collar working class, and I totaly agree with this statement, so saying you must be from the 1%, you are dead wrong!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 11, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • David

      girl, your need to compensate for the unpopularity of mittens with the american people by using illegality on the democratic side is pathetic.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Paul

      Agreed Dany and Sharon. There is no plan to rein in spending and balance the budget. We actually know what that looks like- Greece, Spain, France, etc. And it's not pretty and they have partners to try and help them! Who would help us out of our mess? We have to do it ourselves and that starts with a group that will put a budget on paper and get it done!

      August 11, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • wootdude

      Say what you want, Fox News is part of the main stream media, so enough of the complaints about the main stream media already. There were cases of voter registration fraud, not voter fraud. Big difference. Please join the "elite" of this great country and educate yourself a little more about what is going on.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • FLIndpendent

      Wrong Sharon – Florida will go blue this year! Seniors don't want their Medicare touched and people in their 40's-54 who have worked most of their lives and paid into Medicare want that benefit when they are eligible. No vouchers for us!!

      August 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Sam

      In terms of intelligence, Dany and Sharon are definitely in the bottom 1%.

      August 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • bspurloc

      the only Voter Fraud is Mittens lying about where he lived during his Massachusetts debacle

      August 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  12. Concerned Cizizen

    Great... Another religious nut job...

    August 11, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • malaka

      I must have missed that in the article I read above. you must get a different version

      August 11, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Dany

      Every time someone with great family values comes to the spot light, all radical left wing liberal idiots start screaming religious this religiuos that. Get a life you bunch on uneducated morons

      August 11, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Says the bozo who can't figure out the difference between "lose" and "loose".

      August 11, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Sam

      Anytime some religious nut job starts talking about "family values", uneducated right wing dolts like Dany start their trash talking.

      August 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  13. Sam

    As a recovering catholic, this just made my decision! OBAMA!!!

    August 11, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Sharon from Florida

      Recovering Catholic....are you saying you were an abuse victim. Did all Catholics do that to you? No. A person, just like anyone else, a sinner. I do not minimize your hurt, but it is not the church that has the problem, the church has the solution. A real relationship with the Father Son and Holy Spirit.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • malaka

      Let me know how that works out for you

      August 11, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • SensibleJoe

      Sharon, given all the financial and moral scandals Roman Catholicism is having these days, it needs to take an honest look at its problems and review just how healthy its relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • liz48

      Sharon from Florida, the church DOES NOT have the solution. G-d of the Bible does, and He has told us to call NO MAN father or teacher (Rabbi) except for G-d. Read Matthew 23:8-10

      August 11, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • junior

      Call no man father. Except Abraham was called father.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • bspurloc

      get used to it imbeciles...
      U can not stop science. Faerie tales are for kids not adults.

      August 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • A Different Sam

      I'm a practicing Catholic and I'm voting for Obama as well. I've had enough of Catholic politicians who are in politics for the sole purpose of forcing their dogma on the rest of us. Paul Ryan is just another charlatan.

      August 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  14. Colin

    There are some pretty fundamental objections to Catholicism that are hard to get around. Now before some believer rants back at me that I am evil, an “angry atheist”, or going to burn for all eternity in hell, please take the time to actually read and cogitate the objections. If you have a disagreement with a point I make, post it. However, if you only object to the fact that I said it, please understand that I do not buy into the whole “it is immoral to be skeptical of the Catholic religion” argument.

    1. At its most fundamental level, Catholicism requires a belief that an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal being created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies 13,700,000,000 years ago (the age of the Universe) sat back and waited 10,000,000,000 years for the Earth to form, then waited another 3,700,000,000 years for h.o.mo sapiens to gradually evolve, then, at some point gave them eternal life and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.

    While here, this divine visitor exhibits no knowledge of ANYTHING outside of the Iron Age Middle East, including the other continents, 99% of the human race, and the aforementioned galaxies.

    Either that, or it all started 6,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. Either way “oh come on” just doesn’t quite capture it.

    2. This ‘all loving’ god spends his time running the Universe and spying on the approximately 7 billion human beings on planet Earth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He even reads their minds (or “hears their prayers”, if you see any difference) using some kind of magic telepathic powers. He also keeps his telepathic eye on them when they are not praying, so as to know if they think bad thoughts (such as desiring their beautiful neighbor) so he knows whether to reward or punish them after they die.

    3. Having withheld any evidence of his existence, this god will then punish those who doubt him with an eternity burning in hell. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is have an honest, reasonable and rational disbelief in the Christian god and he will inflict a grotesque penalty on me a billion times worse than the death penalty – and he loves me.

    4. The above beliefs are based on nothing more than a collection of Bronze and Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology, much of it discredited, that was cobbled together into a book called the “Bible” by people we know virtually nothing about, before the Dark Ages. For example, we know that at least three of the letters of St. Paul are forgeries and at least three more are highly questionable. Further we know that the myth of Jesus saying “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone” is a complete fabrication, added to the Gospel of “John” about a century later and Matthew and Luke are totally inconsistent of the story of Jesus’ birth. Those stories that comprise Catholic creed and that are not in the Bible, were completely fabricated by early Catholic theologians. For example, the doctrine of the Trinity was completely made up by Augustine in the Fifth Century. It does not even appear in the Bible.

    5. The stories of Christianity are not even original. They are borrowed directly from earlier mythology from the Middle East. Genesis and Exodus, for example, are clearly based on earlier Babylonian myths such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Jesus story itself is straight from the stories about Apollonius of Tyana, Horus and Dionysus (including the virgin birth, the three wise men, the star in the East, birth at the Winter solstice, a baptism by another prophet, turning water into wine, crucifixion and rising from the dead).

    6. The Bible is also literally infested with contradictions, outdated morality, and open support for the most barbarous acts of cruelty – including genocide, murder, slavery, r.ape and the complete subjugation of women. All of this is due to when and where it was written, the morality of the times and the motives of its authors and compilers. While this may be exculpatory from a literary point of view, it also screams out the fact that it is a pure product of man, bereft of any divine inspiration.

    7. A rejection of the supernatural elements of Catholicism does not require a rejection of its morality. Most atheists and secular humanists share a large amount of the morality taught today by mainstream Christianity. To the extent we reject Catholic morality, it is where it is outdated or mean spirited – such as in the way it seeks to curtail freedoms or oppose the rights of $exual minorities. In most other respects, our basic moral outlook is indistinguishable from that of the liberal Christian – we just don’t need the mother of all carrots and sticks hanging over our head in order to act in a manner that we consider moral.

    Falsely linking morality to a belief in the supernatural is a time-tested “three card trick” religion uses to stop its adherents from asking the hard questions. So is telling them it is “wrong to doubt.” This is probably why there is not one pa.ssage in the Bible in support of intelligence and healthy skepticism, but literally hundreds in support of blind acceptance and blatant gullibility.

    8. We have no idea of who wrote the four Gospels, how credible or trustworthy they were, what ulterior motives they had (other than to promote their religion) or what they based their views on. We know that the traditional story of it being Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is almost certainly wrong. For example, the Gospel of Matthew includes a scene in which Jesus meets Matthew, recounted entirely in the third person!! Nevertheless, we are called upon to accept the most extraordinary claims by these unknown people, who wrote between 35 to 65 years after Christ died and do not even claim to have been witnesses. It is like taking the word of an unknown Branch Davidian about what happened to David Koresh at Waco – who wrote 35 years after the fact and wasn’t there.

    9. The Catholic belief of saints and sainthood borders on lunacy. Dead people reading minds (or “hearing prayers” as they call it) from people on Earth and convincing God to perform miracles. The “miracles” are almost always medical recoveries in circu.mstances where the recovery is perfectly explicable by natural events and where there is social pressure on the church to declare the particular corpse a “saint.” Why is it that God will never cure amputees, or people who have lost eyes, or who have bad scars from burns, or diseases we cannot cure? If we were to draw two lists, those of the ailments God will cure and those he will not, it would coincide perfectly with those diseases medical science or the human body itself can cure and those it cannot. Don’t believe me? Try it.

    10. When backed into a corner, Catholicism admits it requires a “leap of faith” to believe it. However, once one accepts that pure faith is a legitimate reason to believe in something (which it most certainly is not, any more than “faith” that Bigfoot exists is) one has to accept all other gods based on exactly the same reasoning. One cannot be a Catholic based on the “leap of faith” – and then turn around and say those who believe in, for example, the Hindu gods, based on the same leap, got it wrong. In a dark room without features, any gro.ping guess by a blind man at the direction of the door is as valid as the other 359 degrees.

    Geography and birthplace dictates what god(s) one believes in. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own gods and they all seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams, and prejudices. Do you think they all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Catholic “faith” is not belief in God. It is a mere hope for a god, a wish for a god, no more tangible than the hope for a good future and no more universal than the language you speak or the baseball team you support.

    August 11, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Daggmar

      Well said, Colin. You bring up some valid arguments.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • OkayMan

      Funny how I agree with everything you said but in the end you will need something to sustain you through the worse of times. You are saved by your beliefs and if that is baseball scores so be it.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Colin

      OKay Man – not sure I agree with you. I accept that religion is a great crutch, especially for the disenfranchised or the less mentally gifted, but I sometimes think that reality is to be preferred over myth, no matter how comforting the latter may be. Perhaps Sagan had too much of an influence on me.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • malaka

      next time cut your schpiell to 2 sentences. thanks

      August 11, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • John

      I have never understood why atheists get so riled up at another person's belief in God. If you don't believe, then what do you care if someone "wastes their time"? Seems to me you're upset that your life has no meaning. Maybe YOU should "cogitate" on that.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Paul

      And I'm supposed to believe that life 'just happened', formed from the inorganic to organic magically when even 21st century man can't come close to making a 'simple' life form. Reveal Himself? Look around at all that is alive on this planet- the one and only with life. Give it up Curiosity! The other choice? I guess matter was always there and then one day it decided to explode and it 'created' all the planets, stars, etc. Somehow Earth got picked to be the only one in a perfect location for life to spring up. Now consider that once man evolved there were no half-men, no super-men. We're all genetically equal. Hmmm, how did that happen? Where's the millions of half-men on the way to man?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • NJCatholic

      I'm just curious...did you post (or share with anyone in any way) your anti-Catholic thoughts when the President nominated a practicing Catholic to be Vice President or when the current Vice President, a Catholic, was elected? If not, then why now?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • John Ferguson

      Faith is not based on proof, emperical or otherwise; its what is your heart and hopefully guided by your mind with some thought and use of intellect. This allows you to realize that there is imperfection in the whole of creation, thus making Catholicism an expression of faith that helps a lot of people come to a relationship with God. Colin goes to lenght in trying to "prove" that Catholicism is out of style, silly, useless, but the fact that the takes so long and looks so hard to "prove" his point, points to the fact to the denial of existence of something that exists: Fatih and Catholicism, and faith in different ways to manifest it.

      The bottom line is to respect people and their beliefs, and by trying to prove negatively about something, goes to the point of showing disrespect to people. Colin, let go and let live.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Thomas

      Wow, leave it to a non Catholic to tell all the Catholics what their faith is all about. You are framing your argument based on your impression of what the Catholic religion is all about. You build a "straw man" (fallacy) and then tear it down, therefore your argument is not sound.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • marj

      Hit the nail on the head Colin. Thanks for taking the time.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Sawmills

      There are MANY flaws in your argument, but if you have questions and want to try to prove someone wrong, go to an actual church and ask people who know what they are talking about and what they believe in. You have obviously not read the Bible before, or you have only skimmed over it, because even I could argue against everything that you said. I don't want to be harsh, but try to know what you're arguing about, before posting a rant.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Colin

      Paul, you said "And I'm supposed to believe that life 'just happened', formed from the inorganic to organic magically when even 21st century man can't come close to making a 'simple' life form."

      Yes that is silly, isn't it. The only book I know that makes that ridiculous claim is the Bible.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Colin

      Thomas, Sawmills, care to point out something I got wrong?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Sawmills

      I definately agree with "Paul" though, finally someone who says a counter-argument when evolution and life forming on it's own is actually if you think about it, a completely stupid and impossible theory!

      August 11, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • liz48

      Colin, I hope you will try to understand that we are not to judge G-d by people. This is idolatry. We are making a god for ourselves based on human reasoning and understanding. I challenge you to open your mouth and sincerely call out to G-d. He can be challenged to prove Himself to you personally. This may sound blasphemous, but is not, if the person calling out has a sincere and willing heart to do the Truth. "Doing the Truth" means you have a conviction that is unshakeable that something is True and you decide to act on it. Jesus, who should be are ONLY role model, said, "the Truth will set you free." He also said that you will do his commands if you truly love Him. The choice is ours...read the book of John 8:31-32. In the book of Matthew Jesus specifically told us to call no man our father or teacher. Only G-d was to be identified as our Father and Teacher. This is in line with all the promises of G-d and His expressed desire to love us and fellowship with us as G-d and Father with unlimited, unending love, freedom and joy...

      August 11, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Sawmills

      See look!!!!!!! You don't know your Bible! You can't say things like this without realizing that you're fighting a battle that you can't win!

      August 11, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Colin

      Sawmills, you said "I definately agree with "Paul" though, finally someone who says a counter-argument when evolution and life forming on it's own is actually if you think about it, a completely stupid and impossible theory!"

      Not quite.

      The theory most scientists currently favor for the origins of life is called “abiogenesis,” the gradual emergence of life on Earth from non-living matter. To understand why it is thought that life arose on Earth from non-living matter, one has to understand some basic biochemistry. This is where you “talking snake crowd” have such a problem. You have to actually understand some very basic science, you can’t just rely on what you were taught at Sunday school as an eight year-old.

      All life is comprised of complex arrangements of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, all orchestrated by DNA and/or RNA. DNA/RNA and proteins are by far the most important components of a living organism, carrying out virtually every function in a cell. Fats and carbohydrates are generally simpler molecules and play critical, but subordinate roles in cells.

      DNA and RNA are made of five nucleotides – adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine and uracil. They act as the cell’s “mission control,” orchestrating the cell’s activities. Proteins are made of 20 amino acids. They are the workhorse of the cell – the nails, wood, steel beams and machinery that make the cell run. It is the order of amino acids in a protein that determine its shape and, therefore what it does. This order and shape of proteins is itself dictated by the DNA through RNA.

      So, in short, life is made up of complex arrangements of:

      The five nucleotides – adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine and uracil – arranged into DNA and/or RNA
      The twenty amino acids – that form all proteins, including enzymes and the other 100,000 or so proteins in a complex organism’s body.
      Carbohydrates – literally “water-carbon,” which include sugars and starches. These are much simpler elements than proteins or DNA/RNA and act as an energy source.
      Fats – also called lipids, these are important in constructing cell membranes.

      The simplest cells are prokaryotic cells. They exist today principally as bacteria. Stromatolites and other fossils from all over the planet suggest that, for the first billion years of life on earth, all life was simple, prokaryotic life. These cells consisted of a fatty cell membrane, like a balloon skin, with DNA/RNA, proteins, fats and carbohydrates on the inside. They had no nucleus. Cells with nuclei, called eukaryotic cells (which make up virtually all multi-cellular organisms) are much larger and more complex that prokaryotic cells and likely resulted from the early combining of prokaryotic cells.

      So, can a simple prokaryotic cell come into existence without the intervention of God, Allah, Shiva, Vishnu, Yahweh or any other divine/magic being?

      Beginning in the 1950s, scientists started trying to mimic the conditions on the early Earth to see whether some kind of “life-fairy” was necessary to get things started. In the most famous experiment of this era, the Miller-Urey experiment of 1952, Stanley Miller demonstrated that heating and running an electric spark through an atmosphere of water vapor, ammonia, methane and hydrogen for a few weeks resulted in these very simple molecules self-assembling into all 20 of the amino acids upon which life on Earth is based. This is a startling result. All 20 building blocks of proteins, which comprise over 99% of the cell’s functional structures, self-assembling without a magic wand from God, Shiva, Vishnu, Allah etc!

      The experiment was groundbreaking because it suggested that, under the perfectly natural conditions of early Earth, the building blocks of life can and will self-assemble. Indeed, it now seems that major volcanic eruptions 4 billion years ago would have created an even more diverse atmosphere than Miller used, including carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). When these were added to the mix in subsequent experiments, they have resulted in the creation of all 5 nucleotides, all 20 amino acids and basic fatty membranes and various carbohydrates. That is to say, with no magic/divine intervention, all life’s building blocks WILL self-assemble.

      But nails, wood, wiring and bricks a house do not make. Even the simplest life requires these building blocks to be arranged in very, very complex ways. In various experiments with various conditions, scientists have been able to create a wide range of cell-like structures of increasing complexity on the road toward a simple self-replicating organism. These creations are called protobionts or coacervates and if you “you tube” or google these terms, you will see many examples.

      This is till a far cry from a cell, but the important thing is that the experiments uniformly demonstrate that organic molecules have a natural tendency to clump together in increasingly complex ways under early Earth-like conditions. They are not being pushed into doing something “against their will”.

      Where it gets really suggestive is that scientists have been able to isolate what they believe to be some of the most primitive genes of Earth, by comparing the DNA of two organisms whose last common ancestor lived soon after the formation of the Earth. For such genes to be common to both such organisms, they must be very, very old. When these ancient genes produce amino acids, they are rich in the amino acids most common in the Miller-Urey and similar experiments! This suggests that these experiments do indeed reflect early Earth conditions and that life itself did arise under such conditions.

      The other important factor is that these impressive results have been achieved in laboratories over small periods of time. Imagine the whole Earth as the “Petri dish” and hundreds of millions of years as the timescale. Simple life gradually emerging from such a “soup” does not seem at all incredible, certainly not incredible enough that we in the USA have to give up and call the remaining gap in knowledge “God,” while our Indian colleagues do the same and attribute it all to the Lord Shiva.

      Scientist are also approaching it from the other side too, gradually stripping away at prokaryotic cells to see how stripped down they have to become for life to “stop,” while others continue to build up from coacervates and protobionts. The gap is narrowing as our knowledge continues its inexorable march.

      The Christian sky-fairy is being pinched out! There’s not a lot of room left for him now. The pincers of science are closing in from both sides, squeezing out the phantom of religion and ignorance. Soon, the two sides of the pincer will meet and this unnecessary holdover will have to flutter off and find another dark corner to settle in, where the penetrating light of science and knowledge has not yet shone. Fortunately, the weak, forgiving mind of the believer will always be there for him, acting as an eternal refuge from enlightenment and advancement.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Dany

      Didnt waste my time to read more than the first line of your ridiculous statement, which shows you must not have a life. Second, if you are so agaisnt religions, than shut the f.....k up and keep those comments to yourself you miserable waste of a human life. I love it how you left wing liberals are getting so desperate knowing that the tea party movement is taking US back from you atheist. Love it, keep up the comments, because the more you express yourself, the more I know you are suffering.............

      August 11, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Colin

      Liz48. Thanks for the response. The quantum leap from logic and reason is just a little too big for me, Liz, comforting and all as the result might have been.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Paul

      Colin, actually the Bible claims God did it, not man. You confuse God or Christ with man. Science has yet to explain how what is inorganic (or was there something always organic? Not in the 'Big Bang'.) could become organic and life begin. We've searched the sky in vain for life forms somewhere else. Our little blue marble is by far the most unique planet around- and why?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, you didn't read what Colin wrote, but you're so threatened by it you were compelled to respond with vitriol.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • PistolShrimp

      I believe that Jesus Christ is God. I totally understand your argument. I was there too. I can't explain my conversion. I was frustrated and I prayed. I now believe. I can't make other believe. Still frustrated.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Paul, what evidence do you have that this is the only planet in the entire cosmos that has intelligent life? Why does our not knowing what set off the Big Bang mean that it "must have been god"?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Mr. Cable

      Nicely put Colin.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Colin

      Good morning Tom, Tom. Nice morning in (Texas I believe)?

      Paul, there are about 400,000,000,000 galaxies we know of, of which our galaxy is one. Our galaxy has 100,000,000,000 stars, most with planetary systems like our own solar system. We have no idea about any of them. We do not know how abundant life is in the Universe. Its relative rapid (by cosmic standards) rise here and the existence of organic molecules in outer space suggests it may be quite common. We just don't know.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Paul

      Sorry Colin, but Stanley Miller never created life- not even close. Not even those that picked up those 'building blocks". And if it's that easy, why haven't we found any form of life elsewhere? Just a bunch of 'building blocks'- maybe. Inorganic has never lead to life, that's the point.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Paul

      Colin, you state "We just don't know." yet you believe? And you think I live on faith?

      August 11, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Colin

      Paul, because, out of the 400,000,000,000,000,000,000 likely stars with planets in the universe, we have only just started to explore.....1.

      Look, if you don't accpet the big bang and abiogenesis as the sources, respectively, of the universe and life on Earth, fine. I have to ask you though, what evidence do you have that the Biblical account is correct? By evidence, I do not mean pointing out what you see as weaknesses in other arguments, I mean evidence for YOUR argument.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hi, Colin! No, not Texas-I'm in the mid-Atlantic area of the country.

      @ Paul: why does not knowing the cause bother you so much?

      August 11, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Colin

      Paul, how is me not knowing if there is life on other planets an expression of "faith"? I have no view one way or the other on the matter. I am happy to stop at "I don't know if there is life elsewhere in the Universe".

      August 11, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Blake Helgoth

      Wow, where to start. Let's just say that faith is not opposed to reason. It does go beyond reason, as in we put trust in the things someone tells us for wich we have no empirical evidence, i.e. we trust them (or put faith in them). However, the fact that God exists does not take an act of faith, it is provable by reason alone. That being said, it is more reasonable to trust His revelation than not. I think, if you put in the time, you would find that there are not contradiction in scripture. Many of your arguments sound plausible on the surface, but once you dig in to study them you will find they are not really that sound. You seem to have a bone to pick with Christianity and therefor take any argument that claims to debunk it at face value without doing the hard work of rational critique.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Colin

      Blake, you said "Let's just say that faith is not opposed to reason. It does go beyond reason, as in we put trust in the things someone tells us for wich we have no empirical evidence, i.e. we trust them (or put faith in them)."

      That is exactly my point. You just believe them because it makes you feel good. If only life (and death) were that easy.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • maverick131080

      Colin said
      "
      Paul, how is me not knowing if there is life on other planets an expression of "faith"? I have no view one way or the other on the matter. I am happy to stop at "I don't know if there is life elsewhere in the Universe".
      "

      funny you mentioned the big bang since it was a Belgian Priest who created that theory based on his theological teachings. Also worth noting that the Catholic Church is the biggest and oldest charitable organization in the world. Creating schools, universities, hospitals, orphanages, food and home shelters by the thousands. All this inspired by their faith in God. There has been traitors within their ranks (abuse,hiding abuse...) but through out the history, it is the Church doctrine that stood the test of time even when some of those following it had failed. I will not change your mind, just as much as you won't change mine, but I will tell you this: insulting people under the guise of enlightening people is wrong. It's wrong for the religious and just as wrong to the non religious. Besides that, hope you guys have a good weekend!

      August 11, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Colin

      Maverick:

      George Lemaître is the Belgian you are referring to and he did not come up with the theory based on his faith. He studied physics and mathematics and did graduate work at Cambridge University.

      His seminal work, "Un Univers ho.mogène de masse constante et de rayon croissant rendant compte de la vitesse radiale des nébuleuses extragalactiques." was based purely in physics, not theology. His religion was about as relevant to his work as his star sign was

      August 11, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Dashawn

      Gee all this focus on dismissing the views of millions of people whose own views disappoint or offend you. Imagine how enlightened you'd become if you took that effort and put it towards your own faith and belief.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • me

      You had me at:

      "...and sent its son to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East"

      August 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • me

      Colin the problem I have with atheists is they leave no room for a smidgen of divine intervention whatsoever. No one has all the answers and those that think they do on either side of the fence will probably find out someday how completely wrong they were.

      August 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Colin

      Dashawn, these beliefs neither offend nor disappoint me, they are just ridiculous. Silly superst.itions.

      August 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Sawmills

      See, Colin! All of these people have argued with you, and you don't accept reason! Look to a professional for guidance! (Oh, and by the way, did you ever go to Sunday school? You would have to to start somewhere as you seem to know so much!)

      August 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Chad

      colin never seems to learn....

      Criticism of Abiogenesis and Panspermia

      While the experiments carried out by Stanley Miller and others who have built upon his work show that life may have arisen from a primordial soup, that possibility remains theoretical. There is no evidence for pre-cellular life on Earth; what's more, critics of the RNA world hypothesis point out that the experiments that support the concepts were conducted with biologically created RNA. RNA can act as both a template for self-replication and an enzyme for carrying out that process, but these findings have been carried out in controlled laboratory experiments. This doesn't necessarily prove such delicate actions could happen in the seas of the ancient Earth.
      For reasons like these, the RNA world hypothesis has been largely abandoned by proponents of abiogenesis in favor of other hypotheses, like the simultaneous development of both proteins and genetic templates or the development of life around undersea vents similar to those currently inhabited by today's extremophiles. But there is one criticism that any abiogenesis hypothesis has difficulty overcoming: time. DNA-based life is thought to have developed on Earth beginning around 3.8 billion years ago, giving pre-cellular life forms about 1 billion years to carry out random processes of encoding useful proteins and assembling them into the precursors of cellular life . Critics of abiogenesis say that simply isn't enough time for inorganic matter to become the theorized precellular life. One estimate suggests it would take 10^450 (10 to the 450th power) years for one useful protein to be randomly created .

      August 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Colin

      Really Chad? You still think it all started with a magic act by a Bronze Age Palestinian sky-god? You will understand if I am persuaded by your logic.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "You still think it all started with a magic act by a Bronze Age Palestinian sky-god? "

      @Chad "Magic? no, something external to our universe, yes.

      in any case, what you should learn from this thread, is that repeatedly cutting and pasting nonsense as if abiogenesis is a fact when it has been demonstrated as impossible, should cease...

      common atheist mistake #5: "until we have an explanation as to how the creation occurred without requiring an entity external to our universe, we'll continue to treat debunked theories as fact."

      August 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Colin

      Chad- first, nothing I post is cut and past. Don't believe me, Google any post I make, you will get zero hits. If I copy something, I acknowledge it. A disagreement over content is no basis for accusing somebody of plaigerism, wouldn'
      t you agree?

      Second, abiogenesis and panspermia are legitimate, if yet unproven theories. "The Judeo-Christian god did it" is not. It is classic god of the gaps mentality.

      Thirdly, get some of your religious friends on this blog, will you? It is becoming far too atheistic. Too many professors and not enough students.....

      August 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @Colin "abiogenesis and panspermia are legitimate, if yet unproven theories"

      @Chad "Whoa... swing and a miss there.. in case you missed it the first time (I know you didnt, you just blocked it out...)

      In order for the principles of mutation and natural selection in the theory of evolution to work, there have to be living things for them to work on. Life must exist before it can to start diversifying. Life had to come from somewhere, and the theory of evolution proposes that it arose spontaneously out of the inert chemicals of planet Earth perhaps 4 billion years ago.

      Could life arise spontaneously? If you read How Cells Work, you can see that even a primitive cell like an E. coli bacteria - one of the simplest life forms in existence today - is amazingly complex. Following the E. coli model, a cell would have to contain at an absolute minimum:
      – A cell wall of some sort to contain the cell
      – A genetic blueprint for the cell (in the form of DNA)
      – An enzyme capable of copying information out of the genetic blueprint to manufacture new proteins and enzymes
      – An enzyme capable of manufacturing new enzymes, along with all of the building blocks for those enzymes
      – An enzyme that can build cell walls
      – An enzyme able to copy the genetic material in preparation for cell splitting (reproduction)
      – An enzyme or enzymes able to take care of all of the other operations of splitting one cell into two to implement reproduction (For example, something has to get the second copy of the genetic material separated from the first, and then the cell wall has to split and seal over in the two new cells.)
      – Enzymes able to manufacture energy molecules to power all of the previously mentioned enzymes
      Obviously, the E. coli cell itself is the product of billions of years of evolution, so it is complex and intricate - much more complex than the first living cells. Even so, the first living cells had to possess:
      – A cell wall
      – The ability to maintain and expand the cell wall (grow)
      – The ability to process "food" (other molecules floating outside the cell) to create energy
      – The ability to split itself to reproduce
      Otherwise, it is not really a cell and it is not really alive. To try to imagine a primordial cell with these capabilities spontaneously creating itself, it is helpful to consider some simplifying assumptions. For example:

      Perhaps the original energy molecule was very different from the mechanism found in living cells today, and the energy molecules happened to be abundant and free-floating in the environment. Therefore, the original cell would not have had to manufacture them.

      Perhaps the chemical composition of the Earth was conducive to the spontaneous production of protein chains, so the oceans were filled with unimaginable numbers of random chains and enzymes.

      Perhaps the first cell walls were naturally forming lipid spheres, and these spheres randomly entrapped different combinations of chemicals.

      Perhaps the first genetic blueprint was something other than DNA.

      These examples do simplify the requirements for the "original cell," but it is still a long way to spontaneous generation of life. Perhaps the first living cells were completely different from what we see today, and no one has yet imagined what they might have been like.

      Speaking in general terms, life can only have come from one of two possible places:
      1. Spontaneous creation – Random chemical processes created the first living cell.
      2. Supernatural creation – God or some other supernatural power created the first living cell.

      And it doesn't really matter if aliens or meteorites brought the first living cell to earth, because the aliens would have come into existence through either spontaneous creation or supernatural creation at some point - something had to create the first alien cells.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Chad

      Criticism of Abiogenesis

      While the experiments carried out by Stanley Miller and others who have built upon his work show that life may have arisen from a primordial soup, that possibility remains theoretical. There is no evidence for pre-cellular life on Earth; what's more, critics of the RNA world hypothesis point out that the experiments that support the concepts were conducted with biologically created RNA. RNA can act as both a template for self-replication and an enzyme for carrying out that process, but these findings have been carried out in controlled laboratory experiments. This doesn't necessarily prove such delicate actions could happen in the seas of the ancient Earth.
      For reasons like these, the RNA world hypothesis has been largely abandoned by proponents of abiogenesis in favor of other hypotheses, like the simultaneous development of both proteins and genetic templates or the development of life around undersea vents similar to those currently inhabited by today's extremophiles. But there is one criticism that any abiogenesis hypothesis has difficulty overcoming: time. DNA-based life is thought to have developed on Earth beginning around 3.8 billion years ago, giving pre-cellular life forms about 1 billion years to carry out random processes of encoding useful proteins and assembling them into the precursors of cellular life . Critics of abiogenesis say that simply isn't enough time for inorganic matter to become the theorized precellular life. One estimate suggests it would take 10^450 (10 to the 450th power) years for one useful protein to be randomly created .

      August 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Chad

      and.. forgot to say that I'm definitely NOT accusing you of plagiarism.. just accusing you of saying the same thing, over and over, over and over, same nonsense, demonstrated incorrect

      now, before you accuse me of the same behavior, I will point out that time after time I ask people to show exactly where something I have said was "refuted", and the response is typically "you're just to stupid to understand".. which means, "we dont like what you say, we've told you that, so that means it's "refuted"...

      on the other hand, if you would like me to dissect precisely where what you have claimed has been demonstrated to be incorrect, you know I am more than happy to give you that.. 🙂

      August 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • M D

      So if I was walking in a forest and saw computer sitting on the trail, it is possible that it could of just appeared from the components gradually coming together over time to create this machine. This machine that is not even close to the human brain when it comes to complexity. Sounds like it's possible since your brain isn't even on par with a computer.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • bspurloc

      "John
      I have never understood why atheists get so riled up at another person's belief in God."
      because u faerie tale tellers feel it is your god given right to SAVE all non believers. U feel the need to force your faerie tales onto others. U r not satisfied until u SAVE everyone. when will Christians EVER apologize to ALL of South/Central/North America and all the surrounding Islands. These lands are not predominantly christian because 'god' willed them, it was because BULLETS were more powerful than their spears.

      August 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  15. Michael

    This must be a joke! A bad joke on the American people! The American people deserve better than the "Amos and Andy" hour of power! Repuglicans are the liars! They cry for 4 years where are the jobs Mr President! But, voted against or fillibusterd or cried against every jobs bill President Obama presented them! These repuglicans extemist obstructionist, who are king of the fillibuster and "DOING NOTHING," for 4 years, but trying to make sure President Obama is a one term President! This despite of our countries woes economically, joblessness, housing, long and short term fiscal deficits! If this is "patriotism and love of country give me socialism!" Repuglicans are like a terror extremist group who goes after the weak, defenseless, using religion as a incendiary prop for its platform justification and ideology!

    August 11, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Sharon from Florida

      You're an idiot, to blindly follow the hypnotized and muslim funded, un-American, fake American, flag hating administration into oblivion...

      August 11, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • jdl1491

      Sharon from Florida,
      You're a typical bigot who hides behind religion.
      People like you are a pox on what I call America.
      Pathetic.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Hawkeye321

      Sharon, you can change your ID. Your posts are enough to show, clearly, you're from Florida.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Dany

      Question Michael, are you afraid you will have to get a real job once Obama looses?

      August 11, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why do all you fundy nuts have so much difficulty with "loses' and "looses", Dany? Is it genetic?

      August 11, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  16. alien

    I'm sorry but I lost all respect for the catholics when they turned and still continue to turn a blind eye to alterboy abuse

    August 11, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Sharon from Florida

      The Catholics handle the abuse problems in private, and the rest of the planet, that is filled with pedophiles and abusers, prefers to put it all out there, and do nothing about it. Yes, there have been problems in the Church; and the bible says 'judgement begins in the house of the Lord." Not everyone is an abusers or a pedophile. All people (Catholic and non-Catholic alike) are human beings, and sinners, just like everyone else.

      August 11, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • malaka

      it's altar boy, illitirate a–holle

      August 11, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Jen

      Do you mean 'illiterate' malaka? You illiterate a – hole (only one l).....!

      August 11, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • liz48

      Sharon from Florida, all people are NOT sinners. If you are washed in the Blood of Jesus and accept His sacrifice for your sins, you are in right standing with G-d. G-d has bound Himself to see you through the Blood of Jesus. Your sins are paid for in full – past, present and future, so how could you be a sinner. If G-d does not see you that way, and you decide that you will see yourself that way, that is idolatry – you have made yourself a god that satisfies your image of yourself...

      August 11, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  17. Jeff Edgmon

    So let me get this straight, no Republican has won the WH without winning Florida since Eisenhowser, and that was back before the parties changed ideology, and Ro money picks Ryan, a guy who has publically stated he want's to privatize Medicare and Social Security...Bwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

    August 11, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  18. fideauxdon

    I'm a practicing Catholic, and I have been for my entire life. Paul Ryan should be the Poster Child for everything that is wrong with the Catholic Church. If there ever was a reason to vote for iron-clad rules for the separation of Church and State, Paul Ryan is it.

    August 11, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • karina

      Obama 2012! Romney just cinched the deal!

      August 11, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Maria

      This is the most hilarious post I've read here. Practicing Catholic hahahaha...I think you meant self-styled Cafeteria Catholic, you know the kind that makes up it's own rules and keeps confusing others as to what being a real faithful Catholic is. Sad, very sad. Paul Ryan is a great pick, solid Catholic, and doesn't need a teleprompter. Romney-Ryan 2012!!!!

      August 11, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • psst's understudy

      "It's" = "it is"

      "Its" = belonging to it; a possessive

      August 11, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Sam

      Maria, yours is about the most ignorant post I've read on this forum. I also am a practicing Catholic and Ryan does represent everything wrong with the church...especially its obsession with mandating women's reproductive decisions. Arrogant, self-righteous eople like you should stop using pejorative tems like "cafeteria Catholic" and spend a little more time reading about the life of Jesus Christ, particularly his works of social justice.

      August 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  19. Reality

    Time for prayer and meditation:

    The Apostles' 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)

    August 11, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • malaka

      I am requesting references. Send ASAP

      August 11, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • wrylyfox

      Modern English Version

      I believe in God, the Father almighty,
      creator of heaven and earth.

      I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
      who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
      born of the Virgin Mary,
      suffered under Pontius Pilate,
      was crucified, died, and was buried;
      he descended to the dead.
      On the third day he rose again;
      he ascended into heaven,
      he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
      and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

      I believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the holy catholic church,
      the communion of saints,
      the forgiveness of sins,
      the resurrection of the body,
      and the life everlasting. AMEN.

      Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
      Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians like Camping from the Big Resurrection Con/Disease:

      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's Gospel records it. The Assumption 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.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

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

      o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,
      o
      p.4
      o "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."

      o 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. "

      o 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, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      August 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Reality

      1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998

      August 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  20. Nobel

    Well done! Ryan is a great pick.

    August 11, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • fideauxdon

      ..for the Democrats! I love it!

      August 11, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • karina

      perfect choice...Romney just guaranteed Obama's re-election!

      August 11, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Janine from TX

      You got it! Us Dems couldn't be happier; good choice, Mittens.....you are done.

      August 11, 2012 at 9:59 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.