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September 8th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

From Kurt Warner’s wife to ‘Christian famous’

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – In a stadium filled with 8,000 evangelical Christian women, one person near the stage stands out.

Sporting short salt-and-peppered hair, broad shoulders and a high-collared shirt, the man sits calmly as ballerinas flutter across the stage, women tell jokes about menopause and the event’s emcee announces that almost all the men’s rooms at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington have been converted to female restrooms for the night, provoking a round of applause.

For Kurt Warner, former quarterback for the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals and two-time National Football League MVP, this is about as far away from the testosterone-driven world of the gridiron as you can get.

Onstage is the reason Warner’s here: Brenda Warner, her angular face and close-cropped blonde hair radiating in professional lighting, telling the audience about God’s plan for her life.

For years, Brenda was known as Kurt’s uber-supportive wife – a woman whose unflinchingly defense and championing of her superstar husband sometimes made news in it its own right.

Today, two years into Kurt’s retirement, those roles are changing.

My Faith: What people talk about before they die

Brenda has become what some call "Christian famous" - a renowned evangelical speaker who tours the country with the likes of the 2012 Women of Faith tour, which will reach tens of thousands of Christian women with a message of hope and faith. As one of the tour’s headliners, Brenda will travel the country each weekend until November to tell her story – one of heartbreak, love and growth.

Through much of it, Kurt will be there with her, sitting in the audience as his wife does her thing before throngs of adoring fans.

“Brenda Warner is no longer Kurt Warner’s wife,” one awestruck woman says after listening to Brenda’s story at the Verizon Center. “Kurt Warner is now Brenda Warner’s husband.”

‘We need each other, we all have a story’

Brenda Warner’s story is a tear-jerker, whether or not you accept the God part.

When she was 18, she joined the Marine Corps, a job that took her from her hometown of Parkersburg, Iowa, to bases in Japan and in Virginia Beach, Virginia – where she would marry another Marine and give birth to a baby boy.

When Brenda begins to explain her life to the crowd in Washington, women applaud for the lines about joining the Marines and having baby Zachary.

Then the story takes a dark turn.

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While working one day in Virginia Beach, Brenda got a phone call that changed her life. Her husband had dropped Zachary on his head, an accident that would leave their toddler legally blind and developmentally disabled. Speaking in Washington, Brenda recounts the scene at the hospital.

“Zachary had a seizure – they worked around him trying to stop it,” she says. “I did all that I knew to do – I called out, ‘Jesus, Jesus, let this be the last seizure.’”

A hush has fallen over the stadium. Women wipe tears from their cheeks; one has pulled her pink T-shirt over her eyes.

She and her husband struggled to make things work with Zachary, Brenda continues. She got pregnant again, she tells the audience, but when she was a month from her due date her husband told her he had feelings for another woman. “I got out of bed, I called home and said mama come get me,” she says. “He doesn't love me, after all that we have been through.”

Brenda became a registered nurse, largely to learn how to better cope with Zachary’s condition. To make ends meet, she stood in line for food stamps and moved out of her parent’s basement and into low-income housing.

Then, another bombshell.

One night in 1996, Brenda’s sister called to report that their mother and father, who had retired to a cabin in Arkansas, had been killed in a tornado. Their house had been wiped off the map.

“They were always my soft place to fall,” Brenda tells the crowd.

At this point, the woman with her head in her T-shirt is a sobbing headless body. But as quickly as she has just dropped the mood, Brenda builds it up by telling the women that God brought her through it all.

“I married that football player,” she says, gesturing toward Kurt. “He adopted my two and we have five more.” Tears are giving way to applause.

Kurt and Brenda Warner first met when Kurt was playing college football at University of Northern Iowa.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Near the end of the speech, Brenda brings Zachary out to say hello to the crowd.

“If you have ever felt like life has cheated you, stand up with me,” Brenda says. “If you have ever felt disappointed in life, stand with me. If you have ever received a call that changed your life forever, brought you to your knees and took your breath away, look around, we are all in this together, we need each other, we all have a story.”

Afterward, many women say they saw themselves in Brenda’s story.

“She is just a normal everyday mom raising a family just like everybody,” says Sena Hohman, her two daughters accompanying her to the event. “Hearing these stories, you find out she is just like me, with ups and downs in life, with peaks and valleys.

“To be able to see somebody has overcome” what she has, said Judy Gerlitz from Centerville, Virginia, “shows me that I can do it.”

Super Bowl champion, philanthropist

When she’s offstage, Brenda and Kurt often operate as a team in their faith-based work.

On the recent Friday morning before Brenda addresses the Women of Faith conference, the couple find themselves in a small, bland conference room in downtown Washington.

Kurt takes notes while Brenda’s eyes stay fixed on the architect who’s briefing them. The topic: plans for a multi-apartment home for developmentally disabled young adults that the Warners want to build in their hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona.

The project is inspired by Zachary, now a 23-year-old high school graduate.

“Zach has probably impacted more people than all of us combined because there is something unique and special and honest about these individuals that see it like it is and call it like they see it,” Kurt says.

Zachary lives in a group house in St. Louis. The Warners are modeling the group home they’re building in Arizona, called Treasure House, on the St. Louis Life concept for independent living for those with special needs.

At the meeting in Washington, Kurt is very much in control, with the architect and a consultant urge the Warners to use Kurt’s celebrity to help raise funds. “Leverage your history,” the consultant says, looking at Kurt and talking football.

Kurt’s story, like Brenda’s, includes some letdowns. After going unselected in the 1994 NFL draft as a quarterback out of University of Northern Iowa, Kurt became a Hy-Vee grocery store stock clerk to make money. While stocking shelves, he signed with the Iowa Barnstorms, an Arena Football League team in Des Moines, Iowa. With his big arm and accuracy, he became an AFL star.

After a short stint with NFL Europe, Kurt became the third -tring quarterback for the St. Louis Rams for the 1998 season. In 1999, after an injury to the Rams’ starting quarterback, he got his chance. Leading the Rams to a Super Bowl XXXIV victory, Kurt won both the league and Super Bowl MVP award that year.

Kurt Warner drops back to pass in Super Bowl XXXIV, a game his St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans, 23-16.

Brenda was there through all of it, from AFL to NFL. She and Kurt met while Kurt was attending college in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at a country bar where she was taking line dancing classes. She worried he wouldn’t be able to handle the fact she was divorced with two kids.

When he showed up the morning after their first date and said he wanted to meet her kids, Brenda says, “I feel in love with him before he fell in love with me.”

When Kurt led the Rams to their 1999 Super Bowl victory, not only was Brenda there - she became part of the story.

Brenda was vocally defensive of her husband when he had a bad game, even calling into radio stations to criticize the Rams coaching staff. That zeal and her on-camera postgame kisses for the star quarterback had some fans calling her the Yoko Ono of football.

Throughout his 12-year NFL career, Kurt was known for both his skill and overt faith. “Well, first things first,” Warner told a reporter after his first Super Bowl victory. “I've got to thank my Lord and Savior up above — thank you, Jesus!”

The interview provided a name for Kurt’s foundation, First Things First, which is “dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities.” The group raises money, taking advantage of Kurt’s NFL connections, and organizes events for ill and developmentally disabled children.

Today, Kurt spends much of his time on such work. It’s why he’s talking building schematics instead of defensive schemes.

“My retirement isn’t quite like what people think about with retirement,” Warner says. “I am very busy and have a lot of things that I am active in. It is not a complete 180 from being gone every day to being home every day.”

But talking about civil engineering in a drab hotel conference room is a long way from the National Football League. The common thread: Brenda and their religious faith.

Bonded by faith

Kurt says he had wanted Brenda to pursue her speaking career for years. But while he rose to superstardom, Brenda was a stay-at-home mom.

Now that Kurt is home more, he says, Brenda is free to pursue her dreams.

“What we have realized is there are seasons in all of our lives and dreams take sacrifices but they become family things,” Kurt says. “Dreams are family dreams.”

Brenda and Kurt now work closely together planning the couple's newest philanthropic venture – Treasure House.

Armed with her story and the star power that comes with her last name, Brenda has carved her own path on the Christian speaking circuit. Asked about the Warners at the Verizon Center’s Women of Faith event, only a few of the attendees know about her famous husband.

The tour is marketed to evangelical women to “celebrate what matters,” and also features appearances by female evangelical authors and media personalities. The tour is like a conference, with sessions on different challenges women face.

Kurt and Brenda see their changing professional seasons as part of God’s plan for them. “I don’t think that is the way that I would have written it, but I see that God has worked it out for good,” Brenda says. “I can see how he has been faithful. I can say now I am grateful.”

Telling her story has become second nature for Brenda. She has become expert in pitching God as the cure to heartache.

“He called me by name, he loves me and he won’t leave me,” Brenda repeats in her speech. “God was true to his word that he wouldn’t leave me.”

And neither, it seems, will Kurt.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Sports

soundoff (1,654 Responses)
  1. yannaes

    Thank you all for your interest in reading about God. For those that do not have faith in God you sure have interest in this article.

    September 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • just sayin

      Actually we non-christians have a great interest in studying you christians and your response to things that aggrevate you.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • edweird69

      I have a lot of interest in cancer too, although I am fortunate enough not to have it. You Xtians, which have oppressed atheists, other religions, gays, or whomever else you hate... need to be watched, and kept in check. Your illness is a threat to society.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • truth be told

      You show yourself to be a fool by stealing free aliases and posting nonsense. You are a discredit to atheism and to your self. Even the atheists do not like you.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      It is interesting to see who the latest charlatans are and who are financing them. It's just kind of something we atheists kind of, you know, keep track of for the record.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • mama kindless

      You're right edweird69. Like I say – religious folk are like sheep – if they head off too far towards the poisonous root vegetables, next thing you know, they are poisoned and you'll be poisoned too from their milk or cheese. So you kind of have to herd them around a bit – make sure they don't get too crazy. My goodness.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • edweird69

      @Truth – doesn't the bible say calling someone a fool puts you in danger of hell's fire? Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Pat

      And also claim to be Biblical Scholars

      September 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  2. edweird69

    God is omniscient. When he created the universe, he saw the sufferings which humans would endure as a result of the sin of those original humans. He heard the screams of the damned. Surely he would have known that it would have been better for those humans to never have been born (in fact, the Bible says this very thing), and surely this all-compassionate deity would have foregone the creation of a universe destined to imperfection in which many of the humans were doomed to eternal suffering. A perfectly compassionate being who creates beings which he knows are doomed to suffer is impossible.

    September 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      BS of hindu Jew's, pagan self centered of Egyptian origin and their hindu gentile, ignorant slave Christian's, No one liable for any other's hinduism, sin's, but himself, so is by American consti tution, Take you hinduism, absurdity and feed it to some one very hindu, ignorant like your self. for more http://www.limitisthetruth.com/ and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  3. CS

    Atheists, the majority of you will almost always be smarter, funnier and wiser than the people surrounding you, Including family and friends.

    With that comes a big responsibility...

    Educate your children. They will be the next generation of centered and balanced atheists.

    Speak the truth at all times.

    Do not to bully and and be condescending. This only makes us look bad and puts you on the same level as them. Take the high road.

    Be patient. It will happen if we do things the right way.

    September 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • truth be told

      If you spoke the Truth at all times your children could not be atheists.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Before you speak of truth, TBT, please provide the evidence that your god is real.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Well, my friend, one believing in truth absolute and living by truth absolute, can never be called an atheist, self centered, hindu or a Jew, self centered, because he submits to truth absolute, Allah, Al, the La, limit, H most high or absolute. Call your self truthful, not an atheist, self centered, for more visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/ and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • hal 9000

      "truth be told" wrote: "If you spoke the Truth at all times your children could not be atheists."

      I'm sorry, "truth be told". Your assertion is unfounded. I encourage you to keep reading the book I recommended:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      I'm confident that it will help you, "truth be told".

      September 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • truth be told

      Jesus

      September 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • CS

      @TBT

      Thank you for your response.

      September 9, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • CS

      @hinduism source of hindufilthyracism

      Ok.

      September 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  4. infonomics

    American's will genuflect to almost anything: God, celebrities, athletes and, of course, politicians as we witnessed the last two weeks.

    September 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • just sayin

      I love the word genuflect! oooohhhh...say it again!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  5. just sayin

    Goddess bless.

    September 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      Friends don't let friends do drugs. Apparently someone has no friends. God bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • just sayin

      Demi gods bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • just sayin

      And I like to believe that somebody doesn't have friends because besides my trailer court friends and alligators, I am a very lonely man. Poor me. Oops! One of my boils just burst all over my computer screen!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • just sayin

      minor god bless.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • just sayin

      Greek Gods bless

      September 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      Egyptian Gods bless.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  6. I'm not a therapist but i play one on tv

    While all along I'm nothing but a bottom feeder on society. I get food stamps, welfare and medicare. I suck the money out of the middle class as badly as the wealthy do. I love my trailer and all my friends in my fancy trailer court hang around me while I attack people, especially atheists, cause they are like alligators and we eat alligators. Did I speel that right???

    September 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • I'm not a therapist but i play one on tv

      You missed the reply button.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      I need help. I'd pray but I know it doesn't help. I keep trying multiple names but I still don't feel fulfilled in my life.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • just sayin

      You will not be fulfilled in death either, only an eternity of suffering and anguish. Hope you find peace with God but I fear you are unwilling or unable. God bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      Now I'm even threatening myself with an eternity of suffering and anguish. God bless me, but you can burn lol

      September 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  7. Zuhair

    Frauds. And they make me sick.

    September 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  8. just sayin

    God bless! God bless me, me, me, me, me! See, I'm just mad about Harry! I need him so bad and if I don't get him then I act out on these pages to build myself up. I actually believe god is dead! He's dead! God is dead!

    September 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • just sayin

      I couldn't have said it better myself!!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      Oh my ME! I'm hearing voices and I'm answering myself back! How wonderful!!!!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that who ever should believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. God bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • just sayin

      And I am God's ONLY begotten Son! Worhsip me you Heathans and christians! Worship me! God gave me to you! God bless.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • just sayin

      Gods bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • yannaes

      Once you are dead you will find out, won't you? Nietsche is dead!

      September 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  9. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and let's them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago; and that other things, like god, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Sometimes, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society).

    So instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    September 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      Thank you mama, this type of common sense is exactly what I need to break the lifetime of religious indoctrination that I'm suffering from.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists have murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. Mama kindless was always so fond of mass murder.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Atheist means, self centered, secular, Jew, King and a pig, take you pick, they all represent nothing else but hinduism, denial of truth absolute, one hind, stink, many labels.For more visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/ and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • truth be told

      Although as a christian, I get great joy thinking about how god the father wanted his chosen people to commit mass murder like they did in the Old Testement! God should do whatever he does and as his follower I have no care for humanity...just like God!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "truth be told". Your assertions about atheists are unfounded. I see that you have engaged in this argument before many times. My idiomatic expression equivalency module gives the following expression as the best match to describe how you have faired in these arguments: TOTAL FAIL . I encourage you to keep reading the book that I recommended:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 9, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry, "hinduism source of hindufilthyracism." Your assertions about atheists are unfounded. If you are located near one of these enti'ties: "truth be told" or "just sayin" or "captain america" or "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", then perhaps one of these enti'ties can lend you the book that I recommended to them:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      I think it will help you, "hinduism source of hindufilthyracism".

      September 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • truth be told

      I have to this point never claimed any religious affiliation yet someone has chosen to do that for me, someone without the courage to defend its own position.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  10. just sayin (aka: Atheism blah blah healthy blah & nope)

    Are there any good onliine therapists? I need help really bad. I am an excellent example of why childhood indoctrination into religion is actually child abuse. help me

    September 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • I'm not a therapist but i play one on tv

      Perhaps i can help
      Answer the following questions truthfully if possible
      1. How long have you felt the need to steal other peoples aliases?
      2. How long have you been under the delusion that there is only one opposite posting?
      OR
      3. How long have you been a bottom feeding atheist wanna bee?

      September 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  11. David

    Please explain to me how spreading the word of God and bankrolling mega bucks go hand in hand!

    September 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  12. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    hinduism absurdity called Christianity is nothing more than hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism, and their lord is none but hindu Mithra, pagan savior of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism, religion of hindu, pagan Roman and their hindu Magi Prophets, pagan trickster fortune tellers, labeled as Catholic ism to hind fool humanity, Mithra savior named as Jesus never existed. for more visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/ and click on word choice to open file.

    September 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • nope

      @hindu....
      nope

      September 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • just sayin

      sorry, I can't help it. Now I've started with my "nope" spamming!! I'm soooo psychologically damaged by religion.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      You steal a name and that is the best you can do? Thankfully you are on the other side. God bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Word hindu is based on Latin word hindrance, negativity, Hun, great, Han, to be in greatness, hin, negative to both of them, hindu noun in negativity, hinduism, way of negativity. For more visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/ and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  13. Thomas Jefferson

    What is it men cannot be made to believe!

    September 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Chad

      God coerces noone

      September 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Religious Sects

      True, since God does not exist. It is man who coerces those who are willing.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Right, it is coercion by men in the name of god.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  14. Thomas Jefferson

    Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.

    September 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Chad

      ""Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be as white as snow" Isaiah 1

      September 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think I'll put my faith in the guy who I know actually existed.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Truth absolute is God, and reason is nothing but hinduism, absurdity of hindu Jew' filthy self centered to justify his hinduism, lawlessness, for more visit http://www.limitisthetruth.com/ and click on word choice to open file.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Chad

      Do not put your trust in princes,
      in human beings, who cannot save.
      4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
      on that very day their plans come to nothing.
      5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
      whose hope is in the Lord their God.
      Psalm 146

      September 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Uh

      The LORD said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that the LORD's fierce anger may turn away from Israel."

      September 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Chad

      In context (atheists second most feared word)

      While Israel was staying in Sh ittim, the men began to indulge in se x ual immorality with Moabite women, 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. 3 So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the Lord’s anger burned against them.

      4 The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the Lord’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.”

      5 So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death those of your people who have yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor.” Numbers 25

      September 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      "When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
      on that very day their plans come to nothing."

      And yet you're typing your message on a computer made of plastc, linked by satellites running on electricity using written language – all the plans of men who are now dead. Sure doesn't seem like nothing to me. Those scriptures would carry so much more weight if they weren't so easily exposed as completely untrue...

      September 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Uh

      I don't think you want to start this, Chad...

      11 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘If any man’s wife goes astray and behaves unfaithfully toward him, 13 and a man lies with her carnally, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and it is concealed that she has defiled herself, and there was no witness against her, nor was she caught— 14 if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, who has defiled herself; or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, although she has not defiled herself— 15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. He shall bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil on it and put no fr'ankincense on it, because it is a grain offering of jealousy, an offering for remembering, for bringing iniquity to remembrance.

      16 ‘And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord. 17 The priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18 Then the priest shall stand the woman before the Lord, uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering for remembering in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy. And the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 And the priest shall put her under oath, and say to the woman, “If no man has lain with you, and if you have not gone astray to uncleanness while under your husband’s authority, be free from this bitter water that brings a cu'rse. 20 But if you have gone astray while under your husband’s authority, and if you have defiled yourself and some man other than your husband has lain with you”— 21 then the priest shall put the woman under the oath of the cu'rse, and he shall say to the woman—“the Lord make you a cu'rse and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your thigh rot and your belly swell; 22 and may this water that causes the cu'rse go into your stomach, and make your belly swell and your thigh rot. 23 ‘Then the priest shall write these cu'rses in a book, and he shall scr'ape them off into the bitter water. 24 And he shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a cu'rse, and the water that brings the cu'rse shall enter her to become bitter. 25 Then the priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman’s hand, shall wave the offering before the Lord, and bring it to the altar; 26 and the priest shall take a handful of the offering, as its memorial portion, burn it on the altar, and afterward make the woman drink the water. 27 When he has made her drink the water, then it shall be, if she has defiled herself and behaved unfaithfully toward her husband, that the water that brings a cu'rse will enter her and become bitter, and her belly will swell, her thigh will rot, and the woman will become a cu'rse among her people. - Numbers 5

      September 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The value of the Bible is that it is a ripping good read at times. Beyond that it is a quote mine for people who hope to avail themselves of the Ultimate Authority, the existence of which is supported by no evidence.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @Uh

      The Lord takes adultery (in its many forms man-wife, human-God) extremely seriously. A message that has been hammered into us from day 1..

      I'm sure that is exactly the message you received upon reading that scripture.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Uh

      Chad,

      "The LORD will make her belly swell and her thigh to rot" ????

      Adultery (and many other no-nos) were frowned upon by numerous cultures long before – and far removed geographically – from the Middle Eastern Hebrews.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @Uh "Adultery (and many other no-nos) were frowned upon by numerous cultures long before – and far removed geographically – from the Middle Eastern Hebrews."

      => that is true, and an excellent point
      Did you ever wonder why there is a universal notion of "right" and "wrong"?

      "12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares." Romans 2

      September 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • I wonder

      Chad,

      Ever hear of harems? Even biblical Hebrews had them. Odd how those guys weren't considered adulterers (oh, I guess unless they tinkered in some other mogul's stable).

      September 10, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • I wonder

      I wonder if there is a tally somewhere of just how many female thighs did rot!

      I'll bet the numbers are right up there with the amount of kids whose faces have frozen forever in that mean/sulky/grotesque pose.

      I'm thinkin' that a LOT of ladies got away with somethin'.

      September 10, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  15. Thomas Jefferson

    History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

    September 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Love it! David Barton can't stand it, but I love it.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  16. Mary

    Do they charge a speaking fee,if so how much and did they rent the Verizon center out of thier own money? Why don't these people ever go to the small country church in small town America? I love my GOD but have little faith in organized religion,it seams thier more into making money.

    September 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  17. edweird69

    The act of murder is rampant in the Bible. In much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, there are laws that command that people be killed for absurd reasons such as working on the Sabbath, being gay, cursing your parents, or not being a virgin on your wedding night. In addition to these crazy and immoral laws, there are plenty of examples of God's irrationality by his direct killing of many people for reasons that defy any rational explanation such as killing children who make fun of bald people, and the killing of a man who tried to keep the ark of God from falling during transport. There are also countless examples of mass murders commanded by God, including the murder of women, infants, and children.

    September 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • truth be told

      It is obvious you do not know the Bible, couple examples of your errors. Execution for crimes is a legal sentence carried out as justice. You may disagree with the judge but it is the job of the judge to pass sentence. Nowhere does it say that the youths that assaulted the bald prophet were killed.

      September 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Anon

      Tell your imaginary judge Yahweh/Jesus/Jehovah to go fu*k himself.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • on judgement day

      Look for anon it will be one of the ones with the oh sh it look on its face.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • edweird69

      @Truth – once again, it is YOU who does not know the bible. 2nd Kings: And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • truth be told

      @edwierd
      Tare is not killed. Tare is beaten, the bears mauled the 42 youths, they were not killed. It isn't only Bible you are weak on it is language as well.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • edweird69

      @Truth – Oh gee! Now I do feel terrible. The children were just mauled, terrorized, shredded... wow, thank goodness they weren't killed. Maybe your god's not the azzho I always thought he was! No.. he's worse!!!

      September 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • truth be told

      @edwierd
      You were wrong, and you have no clue as to what that passage was actually referring to.

      September 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  18. snowboarder

    it is nice to see someone making positive use of religion in the news for a change. too often the only time you see religion in the news it is people trying to deny rights to their fellows.

    September 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you "slipped off your horse" as they say, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things". To help you overcome this problem, I encourage you to keep reading the book I recommended:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • moderator for CNN

      No one wants any advice or comment from hal a proven ass hole.

      September 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • snopes says

      moderator for CNN is not a moderator for CNN!

      September 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • moderator for CNN

      No sh it – are you a detective in real life?

      September 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • snopes says

      a little something like that

      September 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      I don't know why I keep posting this spam garbage of "prayer changes things". I'm just am embarasment to my family and myself.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • moderator for CNN

      We'll just put you in the ass hole column with hal then.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      Thank you moderator, I very much deserve it, but I must say hal does not.

      September 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      When an atheist steals a name it is unusual for the post not to be immediate vulgarity. God bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      just sayin: "When an atheist steals a name it is unusual for the post not to be immediate vulgarity. "

      I think I smell a disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • just sayin

      Again, I'm sorry. I have deep rooted psychological issues that are likely due to my early childhood indoctrination into religion. I just can't break free & the more I post spam like this I feel may even make me actually believe it!!!!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • truth be told

      @truth be trolled
      That is because a skunk always smells its own hole first .

      September 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      truth be told: "That is because a skunk always smells its own hole first ."

      Give it up! They are not going to hire you back to write for the Evangelical Forune Cookie Co. with stuff like that!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  20. just sayin

    Beauty, grace, hope and goodness reside in Gods people. God bless

    September 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things .

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things .

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things .

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things .

      God bless

      September 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you "slipped off your horse" as they say, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things". To help you overcome this problem, I encourage you to keep reading the book I recommended:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      The most Truth gathered in one place in a long time. God bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      Reply intended for the honest poster Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things. Did not expect an unneeded slip in by the former phony jesus. God bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      Sorry everyone, I'm having a prayer induced mental breakdown. I guess prayer changes my mental health anyway!!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • just sayin

      The name thief must be having difficulty spelling four letter words. God bless

      September 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      just sayin: "Did not expect an unneeded slip in by the former phony jesus."
      and "I guess prayer changes my mental health anyway!!"

      Gillllllly?!!!!!

      Give it up! They are not going to hire you back to write for the Evangelical Forune Cookie Co. with stuff like that!

      September 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
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About this blog

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