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September 22nd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Different Takes: Should we abandon idea of hell?

Editor’s note: The new documentary "Hellbound?" explores Americans' ideas about hell. We asked two prominent Christians who featured in the film to give us their very different takes on hell.

My Faith: The dangerous effects of believing in hell

Editor’s note: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is "Crazy For God."

By Frank Schaeffer, Special to CNN

Is it any coincidence that the latest war of religion that started on September 11, 2001, is being fought primarily between the United States and the Islamic world? It just so happens that no subgroups of humanity are more ingrained with the doctrine of hell than conservative Muslims and conservative Christians.

And nowhere on earth have conservative Christians been closer to controlling foreign policy than here in the United States. And nowhere on earth have conservative Muslims been more dominant than in the countries from which the 9/11 extremists originated – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

What a pair George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden made! On the one hand, an American president who was a born-again evangelical with a special "heart" for the state of Israel and its importance to the so-called end times, and on the other hand a terrorist leader who believed that he was serving God by ridding the Arabian Peninsula of an American presence and cleansing the "defiled" land of Palestine of what he believed were “invader Jews.”

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So whether you're an atheist or not, the issue of who's going to hell or not matters because there are a lot of folks on this planet – many of them extraordinarily well-armed - from born-again American military personnel to Muslim fanatics, who seriously believe that God smiles upon them when they send their enemies to hell.

And so my view of "hell" encompasses two things: First, the theological question about whether a land of eternal suffering exists as God's "great plan" for most of humanity.

Second, the question of the political implications of having a huge chunk of humanity believe in damnation for those who disagree with their theology, politics and culture, as if somehow simply killing one's enemies is not enough.

What most people don't know is that there's another thread running through both Christianity and Islam that is far more merciful than the fundamentalists’ take on salvation, judgment and damnation.

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Paradise, which Muslims believe is the final destination of the society of God’s choice, is referred to in the Quran as "the home of peace"

“Our God,” Muslims are asked to recite, “You are peace, and peace is from You.”

Since Christianity is my tradition, I can say more about it. One view of God - the more fundamentalist view - is of a retributive God just itching to punish those who "stray."

The other equally ancient view, going right back into the New Testament era, is of an all-forgiving God who in the person of Jesus Christ ended the era of scapegoat sacrifice, retribution and punishment forever.

As Jesus said on the cross: "Forgive them for they know not what they do."

That redemptive view holds that far from God being a retributive God seeking justice, God is a merciful father who loves all his children equally. This is the less-known view today because fundamentalists - through televangelists and others - have been so loud and dominant in North American culture.

But for all that, this redemptive view is no less real.

Why does our view of hell matter? Because believers in hell believe in revenge. And according to brain chemistry studies, taking revenge and nurturing resentment is a major source of life-destroying stress.

For a profound exploration of the madness caused by embracing the “justice” of “godly” revenge and retribution, watch the film “Hellbound?”

The film shows how the "hell" of revenge thinking, and the resulting unhinging of some people’s brains through their denial of human empathy, leads them to relish the violent future of suffering that they predict awaits the “lost” in hell.

Do we really want to go back to a time of literalistic religion. Wasn’t 9/11 enough of an argument against retributive religion?

We need “hell” like a hole in the head. It’s time for the alternative of empathetic merciful religion to be understood.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Frank Schaeffer.

My Faith: Hell is for real and Jesus is the only way out

Editor's Note: Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

By Mark Driscoll, Special to CNN

As a pastor, my job is to tell the truth. Your job is to make a decision.

When controversies over biblical doctrines arise, it’s a humbling opportunity to answer questions about what the Bible teaches without getting into name-calling and mudslinging. Near the very top of the controversial doctrines is hell.

What happens when we die?

Human beings were created by God with both a physical body and a spiritual soul. When someone dies, their body goes into the grave and their spirit goes into an afterlife to face judgment.

But death is not normal or natural—it’s an enemy and the consequence of sin.

Think of it in this way: God is the source of life. When we choose to live independently of God and rebelliously against God it is akin to unplugging something from its power source. It begins to lose power until it eventually dies.

The Bible is clear that one day there will be a bodily resurrection for everyone, to either eternal salvation in heaven or eternal condemnation in hell.

Christians believe a person’s eternal status depends on their relationship with Jesus and that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Our lives are shaped by the reality that “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

What does Jesus say about hell?

Jesus was emphatically clear on the subject of hell. He alone has risen from death and knows what awaits us on the other side of this life. A day of judgment is coming when all of us — even you — will rise from our graves and stand before him for eternal sentencing to either worshiping in his kingdom or suffering in his hell.

The Bible could not be clearer: “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

These are not just obscure Bible verses. In fact, Jesus talks about hell more than anyone else in Scripture. Amazingly, 13% of his sayings are about hell and judgment, and more than half of his parables relate to the eternal judgment of sinners.

Keep in mind that Jesus’ words come in the context of the rest of Scripture, which says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Furthermore, he “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

God is far more loving, kind and patient with his enemies than we are with our enemies.

What does the rest of the Bible say about hell?

The Bible gives us many descriptions of hell including (1) fire; (2) darkness; (3) punishment; (4) exclusion from God’s presence; (5) restlessness; (6) second death; and (7) weeping and gnashing of teeth in agony.

A common misperception of Satan is that he’s in a red suit, holding a pitchfork at the gates of hell. But Satan will not[j1]  reign there. Hell is a place of punishment that God prepared for the devil and his angels, and it’s where those who live apart from God will, according to Revelation:

. . . drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb [Jesus Christ]. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night.

At the end of the age, the devil will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Hell will be ruled over by Jesus, and everyone present — humans and demons and Satan alike — will be tormented there continually in perfect justice.

Jesus says, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. ... And these will go away into eternal punishment.”

Is there a second chance after death?

The Bible is clear that we die once and are then judged without any second chance at salvation. As one clear example, Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”

We live. We die. We face judgment. Period.

How long does the punishment last?

Some argue that the punishment of sinners is not eternal, a view called annihilationism. This means that after someone dies apart from Jesus, they suffer for a while and then simply cease to exist.

Annihilationism is simply not what the Bible teaches. Daniel 12:2 says, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Jesus speaks of those who “will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Grammatically, there is no difference here between the length of time mentioned for “life” and that for “punishment”; rather, there is simply eternal life and eternal death.

Am I going to hell?

The good news is that the closing verses of the Bible say, “Come!” Everyone is invited to receive the free gift of God’s saving grace in Jesus. Jesus is God become a man to reconcile mankind to God.

He lived the sinless life we have not lived, died a substitutionary death on the cross for our sins. He endured our wrath, rose to conquer our enemies of sin and death, and ascended to heaven where he is ruling as Lord over all today. He did this all in love.

The stark reality is this: either Jesus suffered for your sins to rescue you from hell, or you will suffer for your sins in hell. These are the only two options and you have an eternal decision to make.

My hope and prayer is that you would become a Christian.

Have you confessed your sins to Jesus Christ, seeking forgiveness and salvation?

If not, you are hellbound, and there is no clever scholar who will be of any help when you stand before Jesus Christ for judgment. You’re not required to like hell as much as you need to believe in it, turn from your sin, trust in Jesus, and be saved from an eternal death into an eternal life.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Driscoll.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Devil • My Faith • Opinion

soundoff (7,963 Responses)
  1. Zoeyj

    Without Hell we would never know peace, compassion, love,joy and kindness.
    Hell is real, its death, sickness, unemployment, murder, hate, control, greed, judgement. There is Hell.........

    September 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It was necessary for God to create evil in order for good to prevail?

      September 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  2. Mike in SA

    Sure it's for real...just imagine being at the DNC forever...

    September 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  3. Tom

    How could anyone fail to believe in Hell? We are in the middle of a Presidential campaign. Just turn on the TV if you don't believe in Hell.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  4. threeten2yuma

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXHn7Fn97Ss&w=420&h=315%5D

    September 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • threeten2yuma

      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXHn7Fn97Ss&w=420&h=315%5D

      September 24, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • threeten2yuma

      Ah what the Hell. Why won't this video embed work?!!!

      Well just trust me. It was really cool and perfect for this discussion.

      September 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  5. Mike Hartley

    My comments are for Rev. Driscoll. One of the very unfortunate side effects of absolute thinking is that it limits us as Humanity–it holds us back. When you claim "truth" (your very first statement) from an angle of absolute truth, you limit your ability to create any empathy towards those who see the world differently than you. Simply, those who see things differently are wrong by default if your "truth" is the only right. In your heart, empathy and compassion become replaced by pity and tolerance–and these will never change this world. It will not be until we as a society embrace relativistic thinking that we will, as a whole, know empathy and compassion; each individual's path needs to be "right" for them, even if it's different than the absolute dogma held by the majority–in any religion. I believe that the virtues of empathy and compassion are common to Humanity and not just Christianty. It is these that will finally allow for the societal transformation that we all long for. My sincere hope is that Humanity will continue this long, arduous transformation away from the absolute thinking that divides us. We can be so much more, if only we practice and try.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Ron Hall

      Beautifully put.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  6. truth be trolled

    Rationalism Breeds Atheism

    September 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  7. SODAPOPHEAD

    Heaven and Hell are fake. Science is real.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • JM

      So love and hate are figments of our imagination? Children are merely the chance result of procreation and, therefore, just deserve to be kept alive, no more? What is the basis of emotion? SInce we don't understand much of science, does it too not exist because we have not yet seen/understood it (like God)?

      September 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • End Religion

      JM, can you walk us through your arrival to such conclusions?

      September 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  8. truth be trolled

    "Why are you not a Christian?" (Bertrand Russell)

    September 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  9. Ron

    I have lived in Mesa, AZ and I can say hell is very real.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Malatrope

      LOL! I'm with ya, bro! I spent part of 1st grade in Mesa, and it scarred me for life!

      September 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  10. biobrain

    So, having gotten no response by anyone to my questions so far, I thought I would try one more time. These are specifically for those who follow a particular religion.

    1) As there are many religions in the world, how do you know your religion is the right one and why should I pick yours?
    2) If there had to be something that created us, what was it that created that which created us?
    3) There is a lot of suffering going on in the world. If God sometimes intervenes and eases suffering, why doesn't he stop all suffering? Why does he make animals suffer?
    4) The books of the majority of religions were written long ago. Knowing man's propensity for deception and the fact that religion has been used as a way to control people, how do you know that your religion or any other religion has not been created by a human or group of humans?
    5) If you believe in hell, do you feel forced to love and worship God? It seems to me that if you don't want to spend an eternity in hell you have no choice. It seems similar to having an abusive spouse who won't let you leave and will punish you if you don't love them.
    6) Why is it that all of the miracles that were recorded thousands of years ago no longer happen today? I'm not talking about things that might be explained as coincidence, I'm referring to things like rising from the dead, parting of the seas, etc.
    7) If God is there, why doesn't he just show himself to us?

    I am patiently waiting for your answers. Thank you and have a good day!

    September 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Fact

      That's a lotta questions. If you really want answers look into answers/teaching by Ravi Zacharias, Alistair Begg, Billy Graham, J Vernon McGee ... but pray, first, because if you are serious about knowing God it is written, "you will seek for me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart." I believe He knows when someone is serious.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • jackson

      I don't have to think about it or answer your questions to know right from wrong wher God is concerned. More than 2 billion people believe in Jesus and that should be good enough for anyone. How did you get to be so special that you think you know things about God that nobody else knows? Besides it just makes sense to believe. If you don't believe and your wrong then that might be just to bad for you!

      September 23, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Epica

      I think Hinduism puts it best that all religions are just different paths up the same mountain. You may want to look into Hinduism or Buddhism. Buddhism especially encourages free thought and more of a personal spiritual journey. In the end though I think it doesn't really matter as long as you are a good person and live a morally right life. You may find you like aspects of some and not of others. You could always just combine what you like from each of them and do your own thing...minus forming a cult in California and robbing people blind. Other than that I think you have freedom to explore all the religions and go with what one calls out to you the most regardless of your origin and how you were raised.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Paul

      1) As there are many religions in the world, how do you know your religion is the right one and why should I pick yours?

      Its only holiday involves talking like a pirate.

      2) If there had to be something that created us, what was it that created that which created us?

      That is beyond our understanding but the FSM know all.

      3) There is a lot of suffering going on in the world. If God sometimes intervenes and eases suffering, why doesn't he stop all suffering? Why does he make animals suffer?

      People are self-interested jerks. The FSM gave them free will thinking they would mostly build hammocks and talk like pirates but apparently they would rather be jerks.

      4) The books of the majority of religions were written long ago. Knowing man's propensity for deception and the fact that religion has been used as a way to control people, how do you know that your religion or any other religion has not been created by a human or group of humans?

      Because he created midgets first. You don't have to understand why, just accept the answer.

      5) If you believe in hell, do you feel forced to love and worship God? It seems to me that if you don't want to spend an eternity in hell you have no choice. It seems similar to having an abusive spouse who won't let you leave and will punish you if you don't love them.

      This does not apply since the FSM did not create hell.

      6) Why is it that all of the miracles that were recorded thousands of years ago no longer happen today? I'm not talking about things that might be explained as coincidence, I'm referring to things like rising from the dead, parting of the seas, etc.

      The FSM got tired of people making requests for miracles so he retired from the miracle business.

      7) If God is there, why doesn't he just show himself to us?

      mostly because he keeps getting mistaken for food and people try to eat him.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • CJA

      You attempt t use logic to talk about religion. This is like solving a math problem by voting on the answer. Math hs it's own way of determining truth. It uses proofs and theorems and so on. Science uses observation and logic. But religion is true only because you want to believe it is true. There is no logical argumet you cn every come up withthat will tell some one what they WANT to believe.

      I want to believe that a tree has an invisible spirit inside and that torturing animals will keep me safe from Satin then there is no logical argument you can use to make me change my mind. BUT if maybe to tell me about Cristian beliefs I might decide for no logical reason to change what I want to believe. Not logic has zero effect. It is like voting on the prime factorization theorem.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Reply to biobrain

      1. Don't pick religion. Religion is man-made. Religion is man's attempt to know God or reach God. It's men's guess about God and what they think. Christianity is not religion. It is a faith based on revelation. Unless God reveals himself to you. You can never know God. You can only know God through Jesus Christ.
      2. God is self-existing. He alone is uncreated because he is God. He is outside the realm of any arguments or logical constructions which requires a creator for his own existence.
      3. The problem is not suffering. The real problem is sin. The cause of all suffering is sin. Jesus died to save us from our sins. So, God did intervened to stop all suffering because he died for our sins.
      4. The answer is the same as number 1
      5. God is God, we are not. We must fear him for who he is. At the same time God is love and he is holy. You are comparing going to hell as leaving an abusive spouse who punishes you for leaving him, this is incorrect. God is not an abusive spouse. You are mere creation, he is God. If you defy him, how do you expect to live?
      6. Miracles are still happening in a spirit-filled churches today. Dead are raised to life, diseases are healed in the name of Jesus. It is happening in churches right now. You have to find the right church. Just because you have not seen it or experienced doesn't mean it's not happening.
      7. Show himself? Can an ant say to a human being "Show yourself"? Ant has no capability to know or even see a human being. How much more God? Do you think you can "see" God? Do you think the creator of all things who is beyond the universe is some old guy with a white beard sitting on a cloud? God did show himself to the capability in which we can "see" him. That is Jesus Christ. God became man, God became flesh and made his dwelling among us. That is Jesus,

      September 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • LearnTheTruth

      Below are some general answers to your questions. Seek the truth and you shall find it. I will pray for you.

      So, having gotten no response by anyone to my questions so far, I thought I would try one more time. These are specifically for those who follow a particular religion.
      1) As there are many religions in the world, how do you know your religion is the right one and why should I pick yours?
      Answer: Christianity is the ONLY religion where future events are foretold and all of them have been fulfilled so far.

      2) If there had to be something that created us, what was it that created that which created us?
      Answer: You can ask God that question on your judgment day. The problem with us humans is that we try to explain God and his ways in our human terms. God is beyond our human comprehension and knowledge!

      3) There is a lot of suffering going on in the world. If God sometimes intervenes and eases suffering, why doesn't he stop all suffering? Why does he make animals suffer?
      Answer: This is the world that WE humans have caused and built after disobeying God. If we want to blame someone for what is happening in the world, we all need to blame the person in the mirror. God gave us free will and the ability to tell good from evil. Obviously we don’t use this freedom and ability wisely.

      4) The books of the majority of religions were written long ago. Knowing man's propensity for deception and the fact that religion has been used as a way to control people, how do you know that your religion or any other religion has not been created by a human or group of humans?
      Answer: There is no argument that we humans have used religion for many ungodly things and we will be judged accordingly. God is LOVE. Everything that doesn’t reflect love, comes from the devil.
      5) If you believe in hell, do you feel forced to love and worship God? It seems to me that if you don't want to spend an eternity in hell you have no choice. It seems similar to having an abusive spouse who won't let you leave and will punish you if you don't love them.
      Answer: God like any good parent expects love, respect and obedience from His children (us). However, He doesn’t force anyone to be with him for eternity. We all have another option which is hell.

      6) Why is it that all of the miracles that were recorded thousands of years ago no longer happen today? I'm not talking about things that might be explained as coincidence, I'm referring to things like rising from the dead, parting of the seas, etc.
      Answer: Miracles take place everyday! There are many miraculous healings, conversions and visions happening daily. I recently met two such people. One was cured from cancer and the other was blind and regained her sight in seconds in front of the Blessed Virgin Mary painting. Unfortunately the media is not interested in stories like that’s why we don’t hear about them and continue to be misinformed.
      7) If God is there, why doesn't he just show himself to us?
      Answer: There have been many apparitions throughout the years most of them of the Blessed Virgin Mary , our Mother, who comes to guide and warn us. Just to mention a few more known ones: Guadalupe (1531), Lourdes (1858), Fatima (1917) and Medjugorje (1981-present). There are hundreds of others! God always talks to us but most of the time we don’t listen! The bottom line is that God does exist whether we like it or not.

      I am patiently waiting for your answers. Thank you and have a good day!

      September 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • GamePlan

      1) As there are many religions in the world, how do you know your religion is the right one and why should I pick yours? True religion upholds the Bible’s standard of morality and clean speech. True religion remains "separate from the world" (politics, war, materialism, etc). True religion will be evident for the love their members display.
      2) If there had to be something that created us, what was it that created that which created us? Good question! God does not give a full explanation that humans easily accept. It takes faith. God says he is from "time indefinite to time indefinite".
      3) There is a lot of suffering going on in the world. If God sometimes intervenes and eases suffering, why doesn't he stop all suffering? Why does he make animals suffer? Adam and Eve believed they could make their own decisions themselves by disobeying. Some angels even questioned God's authority. God could have destroyed all the bad people and started over, but other angels were watching. God allows humans to continue on, despite the suffering, to show that his way is and always has been better. He'll step in soon and rid the earth of suffering.
      4) The books of the majority of religions were written long ago. Knowing man's propensity for deception and the fact that religion has been used as a way to control people, how do you know that your religion or any other religion has not been created by a human or group of humans? Look for a religion that doesn't preach it's own initiatives or involve man made customs. For example, God wants exclusive devotion. Many celebrations today are based on worshiping other "gods". The Good Samaritan recognized a man from another ethnicity as "his neighbour". Good Samaritans today have no racial/nationalistic barriers and don't participate in violence and war.
      5) If you believe in hell, do you feel forced to love and worship God? It seems to me that if you don't want to spend an eternity in hell you have no choice. It seems similar to having an abusive spouse who won't let you leave and will punish you if you don't love them. There is no place of eternal torment. Hell (Hades, Sheol, etc) refers to the common grave. People quote "the lake of fire" or "fire and sulphur" but really, fire always symbolizes complete destruction in the Bible. Therefore, these ones who meet this fate, after judgement, have no chance of life again. The Bible says after Jesus death he spent three days and nights in Hell/Hades. If it was a place of torment, God would not send Jesus there.
      6) Why is it that all of the miracles that were recorded thousands of years ago no longer happen today? I'm not talking about things that might be explained as coincidence, I'm referring to things like rising from the dead, parting of the seas, etc. The Bible did not exist back then as it does today. God used miracles to show himself or to prove his servants (Moses, Jesus, etc) had divine backing.
      7) If God is there, why doesn't he just show himself to us? God wants all to be saved and allows time for ones to find truth. Matt 24:14 says "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

      September 23, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Learn a bunch of lies: You have posted nothing but drivel. There's no proof of anything in your post, you nincompoop. Get a clue, dear. All you have is belief. Not fact. Not reality. Not even close to anything real at all.

      September 23, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  11. Bill

    Amazing how misguided and ignorant the atheists have become. Christians controlling the US? Right, that's why when 92% of Americans believe in God, the atheists can force us not to say a prayer, or erect a cross, or profess our faith in public. The tail wagging the dog and wielding far more influence than it deserves. Not believing in God is not enlightened; it is ignorance. Those of us whom have experienced real danger and been protected and guided to safety by forces beyond our human understanding do not need you to convince us otherwise.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Epica

      That is due to a little thing called separation of church and state. Without that, I believe we would be overrun by Christian propaganda. We already are since politicians bring religion into debates and laws that do not need any further pandering, but I can only imagine our world if Christians were allowed to have free reign of polluting the United States further with their two faced teachings.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • old ben

      Even the founders knew it would be a problem and that's why their very first order of business upon ratifying the Const!tution was to ratify the first amendment – separation of church and state.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Fact

      Dear Epica, everyone brings their beliefs, whether they are religious or humanist, into the discussion. Separation of church and state is to protect the rights of both believers and non-believers. Do you think that is unfair; the Founding Fathers didn't.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Epica

      That is true, I freely admit that I bring a general dislike of Christianity to the table in any discussion I take place in, just as people bring their automatic love of it to the table. I can truly say that I am glad for the separation of church and state since it keeps people from being oppressed and allowing them to express their views be it negative or positive towards a religion or non-religion.

      September 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • CJA

      even if 100% of people choose to believe in something that does not make it true. 2,500 years ago "everyone" believed in the Gods who lived on top of Mt. Olympus. Not so long ago most whites living in the South thought savory was justified and a good thing.

      What about 2,000 years ago when Christians were the minority in Rome, by your logic those early christians must have all been wrong. Voting will not solve this.

      Don't try and defend your beliefs with logic or appeal to a local majority. Simply say "I choose to believe in X for no reason other than I choose to believe in X" that is the ONLY reasonable justification and if you say that NO ONE can argue against you.

      BTW you appeal to a local majority can have results you don't like. because say you only include people in Salt Lake City Utah or if you include the entire Earth. The beliefs of the majority depends on the size of the group.

      September 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  12. truth be trolled

    And What If I'm Wrong . . .

    September 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  13. Mike Payne

    Y E S there is a HELL – It is called "Earth"; and I am T R A P P E D on this Gawd Dammed Muthaphuckin' WORTHLESS-AZZED Ball of PHUCKING F E C E S (M E R D E in French – SH I T in English) – with 8.5 Billion P H U C K I N G _ T U R D S.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      i like this world, but there could be less humans

      September 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  14. Al

    The Holy Bible and the New Testament are both a waste of perfectly good trees.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  15. truth be trolled

    Christianity is False and Immoral. (Christopher Hitchens)

    September 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  16. terry

    For any doubters i encourage you to read "Heaven is for Real". It answered a lot of my questions and then some. I've always believed in Jesus but this book only helped clearing up a lot of things.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, and I'll bet you adored the "Chicken Soup for the Whatever" series, too, didn't you, you dip wad?

      September 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  17. truth be trolled

    Richard Dawkins: Creationists know nothing

    September 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  18. Jez

    "Paradise, which Muslims believe is the final destination of the society of God’s choice, is referred to in the Quran as "the home of peace""-----
    Unless you're female. Then you get to be one of 72 concubines to some hairy zealot. YUCK!!!!
    Religion is a bunch of garbage and what a moron one must be to actually believe in hell. Unbelievably idiotic.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • bonjour

      you got those numbers juxtaposed. what awaits you in paradise is one 72 year old virgin ;)

      September 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  19. Portland tony

    Mentally, each of us creates our own version of hell!

    September 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  20. Rosstrex

    To claim that Conservative Christians are in control is yet another CNN lie designed to play Christians against the rest of the world. CNN is constantly making up lies about Christianity and building up Islam... Why? Who knows maybe it sells news?

    September 23, 2012 at 8:21 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.