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November 1st, 2012
07:41 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, November 01

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

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

From the Blog:

CNN: Anti-Obama mail piece: ‘We are no longer a Christian nation’
Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based social conservative organization founded by evangelical author and radio host James Dobson, is targeting Iowa voters with a mailing that quotes President Obama as saying “we are no longer a Christian nation.”

CNN: Sistine Chapel ceiling turns 500 years old
Michelangelo's fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, one of the world's most iconic pieces of art, will celebrate its 500th anniversary on Wednesday in Vatican City. Pope Benedict XVI is set to mark the occasion with the celebration of Vespers in the chapel on Wednesday evening.

Tweet of the Day:

Enlightening Reads:

Huffington Post: Mayans Protest 'Twisting Of Truth' Over 2012 Doomsday Predictions
As the so-called "Mayan doomsday" approaches, the Mayans of Guatemala are speaking out against what some are calling a government- and tour business-led effort to profit off misinterpretations of their traditions. Doomsday and catastrophic predictions related to the Mayan calendar, which hits a symbolic turning point on Dec. 21, 2012, aren't new. They already permeate pop culture through films, songs and hundreds of books. But as the new year approaches, interest has spiked.

Religion News Service: Library of Congress exhibit celebrates Jewish history, artifacts
A 19th century copy of the U.S. Constitution in Yiddish and Hebrew. A 15th century Hebrew book from Italy open to a page of passages that had been censored by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition. A 20th century “Curious George” children’s book translated into Yiddish. Spanning across the centuries and the globe, they’re all part of a new exhibit, “Words Like Sapphires," which celebrates 100 years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress.

Catholic News Agency: Denver bishops organize prayer campaign ahead of elections
The Catholic bishops of Denver have called on Catholics across the U.S. to pray for the country ahead of the Nov. 6 elections, encouraging parishes in their archdiocese to organize rosaries and holy hours. “As Americans we have a civic responsibility to vote and to participate in the political process,” Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver said Oct. 30. “As Catholics, we have a moral duty to vote with an informed conscience, and to pray for wisdom and guidance as we head to the voting booth.”

Reuters: German Catholics wary about major Luther festivities planned for 2017
German Protestants are planning jubilee celebrations in 2017 to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s launching of the Reformation, a major event in the history of Christianity, of Europe and of the German nation, language and culture. The Protestants have invited the Catholics to join in, a gesture in harmony with the good relations the two halves of German Christianity enjoy and the closeness many believers feel across the denominational divide.

Religion News Service: Sultans of Satire aims to bridge gaps with Muslims, Arabs through comedy
Produced by the Levantine Cultural Center, which is dedicated to highlighting Middle Eastern and Arab culture, the Sultans of Satire stand-up show aims to challenge stereotypes and sensitivities while bringing people together with a few laughs. While only about 50 people came to the Westwood Hills fundraising event, it would only take the right person in this town to see the act and put it on television. And "that'd carry along the entire cultural center," said Jordan Elgrably, the Levantine's co-founder.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN: My Faith: Reclaiming Halloween's religious roots
Christine Hoff Kraemer, managing editor of the Patheos.com Pagan Channel and instructor in Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary, describes the religious history of Halloween.

Join the conversation…

My Take: When evangelicals were pro-choice
Jonathan Dudley, author of "Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics," explains why Missouri Rep. Todd Atkin’s comments about what he termed legitimate rape have “reinforced a false assumption, shared by liberals and conservatives alike: that uncompromising opposition to abortion is a timeless feature of evangelical Christianity.”

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Polka Bob, Accordian King of Northwest Saskatchewan

    So the point of all this is simple:

    There is absolutely no evidence anywhere in the known univers, from the tiniest subatomic particle to the structure of the universe as a whole, that even remotely implies the faintest possibility thata deity exists. Everything found has proven to have natural explanations, even if some are not fully understood yet. There is nothing supernatural.

    So in the observable universe, there is no god. That means the ONLY evidence that religious people can provide is their scripture. I used the Bible, but all scriptures have the same failings.

    But the Bible is clearly wrong in many many places. God behaves at times stupidly, at many times incredibly cruelly, at times quite hatefully, and all too many of the stories just don't make any sense for a superintelligent being to do, not at all. The Noah story is clearly impossible on just about every level imaginable. The beloved Resurrection story is actually four totally different stories that are incompatible and cannot be put together into a single narrative without proving that at least three of the supposedly true Gospels are totally untrue.

    So religion has utterly no evidence, and scriptures like the Bible totally fall apart under even the slightest scrutiny. That means there is absolutely no support for the existence of any deity. Nothing.

    November 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  2. Athiest Hunter

    I have found athiests, my job is done.

    November 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Athiest Hunter

      I make no sense. I must be a Christian.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • niknak

      Ah, you spelled "atheist" wrong.
      Maybe you should find a dictionary first.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • niknak

      Opps, did not see that you jacked that fools screen name.
      Yes, xtians are fools.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Athiest Hunter II

      No, only the second one is jacked. The furst iz thu reel deel.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  3. Polka Bob, Accordian King of Northwest Saskatchewan and a Bit of the Nort West Territories Where His Only Competi.tion was a Drunken Moose . . . Who Almost Won

    Here is my favorite of the Bible boo-boos: The Rssurection!

    The Romans make their special Jesus-On-A-Stick on a Friday. Jesus is dead three days, and comes back to life on a Sunday. Which is not three days.

    In Mark, three women go to the tomb to annoint th body. They find the rock rolled away, and a young man in white inside, who tells them Jesus is risen. They run away and tell no one. They do not run into Jesus.

    In Matthew, It's only two women, and they are only coming to look at the tomb, not to annoint. There are soldiers there who are not htere in any other gopel. Earthquake happens (which does not happen in the other gospels), an angel who does not show up in the other gospels pops by and rolls away the stone, and says Jesus has risen. They go happily off to tell everyone, but meet Jesus. They tell disciples to go to Galillee, where they meet Jesus.

    In Luke we get yet another totally different story. At least 5 women go to the tomb to annoint, and find the stone moved and the tomb empty. Suddenly two men who are not in any other gospel are beside them, and they say Jesus is arisen. THe women tell the disciples, who in this gospel anole do not believe them except Peter. Jesus appears to two followers (in this Gospel alone) who initially do not recognize him, and then Jesus appears to all the disciples, and they have a nice din-din.

    In John, ONLY Mary Madelene goes to the tomb, and only finds the tomb empty. She tells Peter, they go find grave clothes, then split up. Mary later sees two angels and Jesus, who she now doesn't recognize. He appears later to the disciples and gives them powers he does not give them in any other gospel. Jesus later appears to Thomas, in this gospel alone, of course.

    Get the idea? The four gospels are totally incompatible. Any attempt to say what happened also says that three of the gospels were WRONG. How many peole went to the tomb? At least three are wrong. What did they find? At least three are wrong. Whatdid they do them? At least three are wrong.

    This is how you really know the resurrection is a lie told by early Christians to cover up the fact that the Son of God blew it and got his butt executed. Their stories sound exactly like the stories a bunch of criminals tell the police when they are separated – the stories don't match; they aren't even close.

    But the Christians will still ignore the obvious and believe that it actually makes sense in some magical way.

    November 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Polka Bob,
      Now you are on to something Bob. You are now the resurrection detective, super sleuth double naught spy investigator. Ok detective you have the four witnesses and they gave their written statement about Jesus aka Jesus Christ, aka the savior, aka messiah, aka the truth, aka the life, aka the lamb of God, etc et al, and you have pointed out the differences in the accounts. Would a good detective lend some credibility to the things that are consistent in the four statements? For example, they all four stated that Jesus was the son of God, was crucified, buried, and rose again. By Bob I think you have cracked the case, you have uncovered the gospel, the good news. Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again, so that anyone who believes can be forgiven of their sin and reconciled to God. Thanks Bob. Hallelujah and Amen.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Polka Bob, Accordian King of Northwest Saskatchewan and a Bit of the Nort West Territories Where His Only Competi.tion was a Drunken Moose . . . Who Almost Won

      Any dectective worth his salt would look at these four different stories and say "They're lying."

      November 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • niknak

      No Robert Brown Streak, he has demonstrated, yet again, that the babble is a worthles pile of cr_ap.
      Only the most ignorant still cling to it.
      Them and the religious scammers who love that book as it brings them the BLING.
      Religion is the longest, largest and most lucrative ponzi scheme ever invented.......

      November 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  4. Polka Bob, Accordian King of Northwest Saskatchewan and a Bit of the Nort West Territories Where His Only Competi.tion was a Drunken Moose . . . Who Almost Won

    Okay, so God creates man, and man instanty does something wrong. That's a manufacturing defect – the manufacturer is to blame.

    The manufacturer gets angry, even though he is the one who designed and made the defective item, and he already knew it would happen and thus had no reason to be surprised at all.

    The manufacturer made the sneaky talking snake and put it where Adam and Eve would run across it. He built Adam and Eve with the characteristics that ensure they will be tempted. Then he gets mad at them for doing what he designed them to do.

    Let's say Ford builds a bad car. If Ford says "that car is bad! I will punish it," isn't it obvious Ford is denying their responsibility and wrongly blaming the product for the failure of the creator? Isn't it bizarre and cruel and stupid to punish the creation for the faults of the creator? That's what God does to Adam and Eve. Heck, God even punishes every human ever to live! Talk about guilt by association!

    And what ever happened to the talking snake that God created?

    Let's face it: Christian tales do not bear much scrutiny before their credibility collapses.

    Religion: the less you think about it, the more sense it makes.

    November 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • to answer your question

      The talking snake is now the Republican candidate for president.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Someday you get so smart you create your own little universe and beings and such. You put it all in order so that it works just right. You make the beings similar to yourself in that they are intelligent, self conscious, and so on. You gave them some fairly simple rules to follow so they would all get along and everything would be just great. Then they rebel, they refuse to follow your instructions. They start hurting each other and themselves. It is like a contagious disease with no known cure, but alas there is one who isn’t infected. His family isn’t either. The only way to stop it is to kill all the ones who have it and preserve the ones who don’t. What would you do?

      November 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Robert Brown

      I would imagine a god powerful enough to create such an environment would be able to think of a solution other than the one you offer. Most atheists just can't believe in a god as stupid as the one described by the bible.

      November 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Robert Brown' is an instance of the Begging The Question fallacy and contains a False Dichotomy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      November 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  5. niknak

    Happy Nov first.
    It happens to be a real beautiful day here, without god(s).

    November 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Polka Bob, Accordian King of Northwest Saskatchewan and a Bit of the Nort West Territories Where His Only Competi.tion was a Drunken Moose . . . Who Almost Won

      And happy" Plan Your Epitaph Day" to you!

      It actually is Plan Your Epitaph Day, no doubt brought to you by whack Christians trying to terrorize you into obedience or greedy morticians out to get your death money early.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Polka Bob

      LOL ! :D

      Peace...

      November 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  6. Which God?

    As always

    Actually that is evidence for my as.sertion. I am. If I decided to waste my time and pray I would be the only person to hear me. Thus prayer is talking to yourself. Thanks for helping me prove it.

    Opps, 's always' played the game, and lost... as always

    November 1, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  7. Robert Brown

    “How did Noah build a 440' boat out of wood when ships over 300-350 feet were spectacularly unsuccessful, even with steel reinforcement?”
    I don’t know and neither does anyone else. God gave Noah the plans for the ark. Look at the universe or the complexity of life itself, a being capable of creating and sustaining these things might be a shade better boat designer than us.
    “How did Noah go all around the world, to lands distant and unknown, collecting two of each of the 3,000,000 land species, and bring them back, with food and appropriate climate?”
    No one knows this either, but we are not told all the specifics. Genesis 7 says that the animals came unto Noah two by two, so it doesn’t sound like he rounded them up, God sent them.
    “How did Noah get 6,000,000 animals into a 1,500,000 cubic foot vessel?”
    The bible doesn’t say how many animals and birds were aboard. God preserved what he chose to preserve.
    “Since all humans descended from Noah, how did some become many forms of black and end up in Africa, and some become many forms of aborigines and end up in Australasia, and how did some become many forms of Asian and end up in Asia, and how did all those Native American variations get to an unknown continent in yet other forms?”
    There are those who say that there are gaps in the genealogies recorded in the bible and that the years from Adam to Noah and from Noah forward are unknowable. For example, Adam was not only what God named the first man it is also the name he gave to the human race.
    You have asked some hard questions about Noah and the ark. We can all speculate but we can’t answer them with knowledge that we do not possess. What do you think about the creation and preservation of the universe and life? Why are there sea shells on mountains? Why do so many cultures around the world have an ancient flood story?
    The same God who created this universe, life, and humans, saved Noah’s family and the animals, brought his people out of slavery in Egypt, parted the red sea, fed them for 40 years in the wilderness, gave them the land he promised, and made them a great people. The same God sent his son to save all who will believe. Jesus is our Ark, get on board.

    November 1, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • ...

      Disproven by science over and over and over again.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Huebert

      Robert

      A much more parsimonious explanation would be that Noah's ark is a legend and never actually happened.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • nope

      @. ...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • nope

      @hu...
      nope

      November 1, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Huebert

      @Nope

      I know that the word parsimonious is beyond your vocabulary, but you are on the internet so copy and paste it to the Google search bar and read the definition. If you do you will realize that what I said is absolutely true.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • and as always

      huebert is totally wrong

      November 1, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Huebert

      As always

      How so? What did I say that is untrue? What word did I misuse? Did you find out what parsimonious means yet?

      November 1, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Such spectacular ignorance. The Adam and Noah stories are myths. Just like Homer's Odyssey or the epic of Gilgamesh.
      People from all over the world throughout history have lived primarily in fertile flood plains and valleys...at some point they inevitably experienced floods...that's why there are commonalities to the flood story told in the Bible.
      As to why there are fossil sea shells atop mountains..well I guess you missed class duriing the period where they taught plate tectonics. Those uplifted limestone peaks were at one time in the far distant past sea bottom. Both the Rockies and the Himalayas are still being thrust up. One by the subducting pacific plate and the other by India colliding with the Asian plate at measuarable rates. It must really burn your britches when science has actual answrs to questions that your fables fail miserably at describing.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Lots of ancient cultures have flood stories because human settlements had to be close to sources of fresh water.
      The are of the middle east known as the cradle of civilization was entirely dependent on the Nile, for example.
      According to Genesis, Noah was 600 years old when the flood happened. People do not now, nor have they ever, lived that long.
      Furthermore, simple Mendelien genetics tells us that there were not enough unrelated breeding pairs of humans for our species to have survived.
      3 breeding pairs where all the males are 1st degree relatives would have resulted in extinction within a handful of generations thanks to genetic drift and the reinforcement of negative genotypes.
      When plates collid, there is sometime a process called uplift that takes place wherein land is pushed up due to tectonic pressure. Over millions of years, what once was low-lying land become a mountain range. Where sea-fossils are found on such mountains they are generally found deep in the rock layers – not on the top. This indicates that the fossils were laid down before the uplift occurred.
      Fossils get buried after they deposit. Uplift brings them to ground level, or close, and then erosion exposes them to discovery. That's one reason fossils are so often found on cliff-sides.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      Did you hear the one about the Canadian that minded its own F'n business?

      November 1, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      You won't the ass hole can't help themselves from pretending to be Americans, they don't realize that the bull sh it they spew is not wanted in their own country and twice as useless here.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Did you hear the one about the dipshit Dodney who counldn't form a coherent argument? You won't because all it can do is spout ignorant hate speech. Debate is entirely outside it's skill set and even if it tried the utter illogic and stupidity would be revealed for all to see.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Awe, is Dodney pretending to own CNN again? Poor delusional child...someone needs to medicate him.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • WASP

      @D.R.: did you hear the joke about the american that wasn't an ass? yeah me neither.
      you folks wonder why most countries hate you; it's because of people like you always butting in with no solution, only more problems.
      we sell you goods and services produced better and made cheaper than you spoiled, greedy,self centered children.
      so please continue to send us your jobs and money, eventually you americans will have to move to our countries for employment, i know sweden is in dire need of toilet scrubbers. lmfao :p

      November 1, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Dodney Rangerfield

      No need to "debate " ass holes that don't keep their business in their own county we just dismiss them as the butt in slugs that they are. No real American needs or wants your bull sh it opinions.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Now that's a laugh. If you represent "real Americans" then there isn't any hope for you. The rest of the world will leave you and your ilk wallow in your ignorance as we move ahead of you in every way imaginable. Luckily you "do not" represent the majority of Americans and time will see you and yours go inevitably to extinction.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Anytime you explain away a scientific process with "God did it", it sets a dangerous precedent for believers. So a non-believer says that the story of the ark cannot have happened because it violated scientific law. The believer says that God decided to break said scientific laws to make the event happen. Well, fine, but by doing that believers effectively nulify all scientific support for thier beliefs. You can't claim science supports some aspect of Christianity if the results of scientific expirementation cannot be trusted. If God can manipulate scientific laws at will, there is no way to tell the difference between actual science and God's will. So if you still want to stick to "God did it", fine, but if you do so, please stop trying to use science to prove your beliefs as well.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Oh troll of a thousand names:
      Speaking of ass holes who don't keep their busines in their own country:
      What do China, Italy, Greece, the Philippines, South Korea, Albania, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Indonesia, Vietnam, Guyana, Cambodia, Zaire, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Chile, East Timor, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, Libya, El Salvador and Haiti have in common?

      I'll give you a hint: They've all sufferred from America's inability to mind it's own business since WWII.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Primewonk

      Your flood story is ruled false by so many different areas of science it isn't even funny.

      We know the rate of growth of mountains because of plate tectonics. Covering Everest 4,000 years ago would require the addition of 1,000,000,000 cubic miles of water. Where did the water come from, and where did it go?

      Certain families, like felines, are obligate carnivores. If they don't eat meat, they die. These animals were on the boat for 9 months. You then have to reestablish vegetation and then herbivores in order to build a supply of "meat" for the carnivores to eat. This would have taken hundreds and hundreds of years. So what did the obligate carnivores eat?

      We know from the science of population genetics how many breeding pairs of a species are necessary in order to supply enough genetic diversity for a population to survive. Reducing a breeding population to 1 pair, or 4 pair, or 7 pair, of any known species would result in that species going extinct in just a few generations.

      I'm sorry Robert, but this whole flood story s just one more thing, in a long list of things, that your scientifically ignorant god got completely wrong.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Noah's Ark
      Question from Doreen Zilligen on 3/6/2002:

      Did Noah's Ark really happen the way the Bible says? Where can I find more information on this? Has there been searches done? Any information would be helpful. I believe it happened the way it says in the Bible but my husband does not.
      Answer by Fr. John Echert on 3/12/2002:

      Though it has been popular in some circles to doubt the historicity of the account of the Flood in the time of Noah, I personally accept this as an historical reality. One argument which has been attempted against its historicity has been that there are ancient accounts of floods to be found among other peoples; however, rather than discounting the reality of the Flood I view this as corroborative. In other words, the presence of multiple accounts of some incredible flood in ancient times would argue in favor of such an occurrence, rather than assume they all borrow upon each other.

      One thing I look to in affirming the historical existence of figures of the ancient past is to look to the New Testament wherein many of the ancient figures and episodes are affirmed by Jesus and various sacred writers. This, in itself, lends great credibility to the historicity of the matter. For instance, regarding Noah, I note eight references in the NT, such as follows:

      Matt 24:37 As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Matt 24:38 marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the Luke 3:36 Noah, the son of Lamech, Luke 17:26 As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Luke 17:27 the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, 1Pet 3:20 Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight 2Pet 2:5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of If Jesus believed in Noah and the ark, that is good enough for me.

      As to whether or not we must affirm that the flood encompassed the entire orb of the earth, the text would seem to teach this and subsequent texts would tend to corroborate this, but there is some flexibility with regards to the first eleven chapters of the Book of Genesis, as expressed in the encyclical “Humani Generis” of Pope Pius XII:

      “..the first eleven chapter of Genesis...nevertheless come under the heading of history; in what exact sense, it is for the further study of the exegete to determine. These chapters have a naïve, symbolic way of speaking, well suited to the understanding of primitive people. But they do disclose to us certain important truths, upon which the attainment of our eternal salvation depends, and they do also give a popular description of the origin of the human race and of the chosen people. It may be true that the ancient authors of sacred history drew some of their material from current popular stories. So much may be granted. But it must be remembered that they did so under the impulse of divine inspiration which preserved them from all error in selecting and assessing the material they used….“these excerpts from current stories, which are found in the sacred books, must not be put on a level with mere myths, or with legend in general…In the OT a love of truth and a cult of simplicity shine out in such a way as to put these writers on a distinctly different level from their profane contemporaries.”

      Even while acknowledging some lat.itude in these early chapters, it appears that science is increasingly able to corroborate what we have held in faith based upon biblical texts, including bases for such matters as an ancient deluge, genetic linking back to one mother and possible on father, and the possibility of extended life-spans prior to the deluge. ©

      Thanks, Doreen, and at present I do not have a particular work to recommend.

      Father Echert

      COPYRIGHT 2012

      http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=313829&Pg=&Pgnu=1&recnu=

      November 1, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Primewonk

      Why is this fucking troll so xenophobic? Does he really think there is magical barrier at the border that stops the interwebz?

      November 1, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Primewonk

      " In other words, the presence of multiple accounts of some incredible flood in ancient times would argue in favor of such an occurrence, rather than assume they all borrow upon each other."

      Actually, the existence of these other myths shows that your myth is wrong. Your god said that he killed everyone and everything not on tne boat. So it other people in other areas survived your flood, it means that either your god was wrong, and he couldn't kill everyone, or he lied and he didn't kill every one. Either way, it means your god really isn't worth worshipping.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • tallulah13

      Robert, you are a shining star of ignorance. I can't imagine how you reached adulthood without achieving even the most tenuous grasp of the science that has long since explained away the need for - if not the very existence - of gods.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • WASP

      @chick: there is one major flaw in your thought is you are taking all your information and making assumputions based off of one book, that can't even be trusted to be totally true due to the number of years it has been in the hands of tyrants.
      if you had more than one source to base your idea off of then it may be more credibile, but being as it is science trumpts your belief in how "god" interceded and attempted to wipe out humanity.
      here is a question for you to ponder; if god is so powerful that he thought the universe into exsistance, why does he need to cause natural events just to deal with a few medelsome humans; why not just blink those he doesn't like out of exsistance? think on that for a while.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Topher

      "... there is one major flaw in your thought is you are taking all your information and making assumputions based off of one book, that can't even be trusted to be totally true due to the number of years it has been in the hands of tyrants."

      Where did you get your information? You know we have early copies of the Bible so we know it is unchanged, right?

      November 1, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      Unless you can read ancient hebrew and greek, you're not reading the original.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ WASP:

      Please read the post. It was published a decade ago and I included the authors of both the question and the answer. I posted the exchange in response to Robert Brown's question at the top of this thread.

      Rather than make assumptions about what my personal understanding of this old testament story might be, why don't you ask what it is. Thus far, I haven't provided any information on which you could base your comments. There is really no reason for you to be antagonistic. After all, if you don't believe any of it you have no skin in the game.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Beth

      Robert, I think if you keep asking yourself those "hard questions" and honestly consider the plausible answers, you'll eventually leave Christianity behind. I did.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Topher

      I'm reading the English translation of the original.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Topher

      Beth

      What questions did you have that made you change your mind?

      November 1, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • niknak

      Wow, just wow Robert Brown Streak, the religious scammers must love you.
      Not even the fundies I work with would go so far as to claim the Noah's Ark tale is real. They will say it is allegory at most.
      You seem to have bought the fairy tale hook line sinker AND rod and reel too.
      But I guess when you believe in magic, anything is possible.....

      November 1, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Topher

      No. Us "fundies" all believe the Bible is true. All of it. Every word.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Robert Brown

      AtheistSteve,
      Do you believe that water covered the entire earth at any time in it’s history?

      November 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Lunchbreaker,
      I went back and read what I posted. I don’t see where I made any scientific claims.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Primewonk,
      I follow what you are saying about the animals starving to death. God fed the children of Israel manna from heaven. He could probably handle feeding a few critters.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Joseph

      Nothing is impossible, unless you believe God is impossible.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,
      Wouldn’t a whole lot of cultures having a flood story tend to support that something happened.
      People who have dated Noah by the genealogies in the bible say 4-8 thousand years ago. What if it was 40 – 80 thousand years ago?

      November 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Robert.
      Do you believe that water covered the entire earth at any time in it’s history?

      Not since humans evolved (or in fact for miilions of years before).

      November 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Polka Bob, Accordian King of Northwest Saskatchewan and a Bit of the Nort West Territories Where His Only Competi.tion was a Drunken Moose . . . Who Almost Won

      Thank you for having the courage to try to answer the unanswerable. Topher was repeatedly asked and he fled like a coward. A few points.

      Actually, Genesis 6 DOES say all the animals: " You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” There are 3,000,000 non-bacterial land species.

      Let's face it: Noah's Ark is totally impossible – the ship is way too big to be made of wood but WAY too small for the number of animals taken. There is no way he could have even built the thing in less than a few hundres years with only three sons to help. even getting all the wood cut and milled ad transported would have taken them centuries. There is no way they could have gone all over the world and collected ever species, then brought them home alive with enough food. There is no way 8 people could tend 6,000,000 animals. There is no way he could have gotten them home. There is no way two of each species could survive afterwards because other animals survive by eating most of those species.

      It's obviously impossible.

      And if you go for the "God magicked it" solution, then why would he bother with such a bizarre and complicated and labor-intensive form of slaughter? A god with a brain would say "Hey Noah! I am sending a plague that will kill everyone but you and your family. Kick back and have a cold one, there's no need doing something really stupid like building a boat for every fricking animal on the planet, because a god would never be stupid enough to go for a totally unworkable thing like a boat in a flood with every animal on board. No, I will just massacre the humans and leave the ecosystem alone, much easier that way. Otherwise, I have to do all this bizarre magic to make this totally unworkable plan work."

      Get it? God picked about the dumbest solution imaginable.

      But thanks for actually having the courage, which Topher didn't.

      November 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Robert.
      Wouldn’t a whole lot of cultures having a flood story tend to support that something happened.

      Probably, but the scale would be local not global and most likely has been exagerated over time (as legends do).

      November 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " Us "fundies" all believe the Bible is true. All of it. Every word."

      And this means that rabbits do chew their cud (even though they don't).

      It means grasshoppers really do have 4 instead of 6 legs (even though they don't).

      It means that if you breed cattle in front of stripped branches that the offspring will be spotted, speckled, or streaked (even though they won't be).

      It means that pi really is 3.0 (even though it isn't).

      It means that Judas literally killed himself 2 totally different ways (which he didn't).

      It really is a miracle that you fundiot nutters have enough functioning brain cells to remember to breath in and out.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Polka Bob,
      Ok Bob, now that we have that all out of the way, let’s talk about some of the reasons that Noah’s ark is in the bible. The bible is more the reconciliation of man to God than anything else. So, here is Noah telling the folks, hey you guys need to quit sinning and repent. Get your stuff together and get on the ark. They didn’t believe him and you know the rest of the story.
      Today, the word of God is going out to the people, you guys need to repent and accept Jesus as your savior. He is coming back.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Pete

      Topher doesn't believe a single thing he has posted. Nobody can go from Atheist to believing that everything in the bible is 100% true. I have decided that he acts like an idiot to make Christians look dumb, and he is doing a darn good job.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Pete

      Coming back? He was most likely never here in the first place.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Lamb of dog

      Jesus is full of holes and leaky. Abandon ship.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Robert Brown", but the writings commonly known as the Old Testament are merely ancient fable and are completely without foundation. Therefore, the truth value score for the story of the great flood contained in those writings is 0.0%.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Itsallaloadofbollocks,
      How old are we saying humans are these days? You ever notice how the earth, humans, and the universe get a lot older every few years what with the new discoveries and all? I wonder how old everything will be in another 50 years.
      There are those that say the flood was local instead of global, that isn’t what the bible says but folks can believe what they want. I will agree that for the most part the people included in the bible are in the lineage of David, then Jesus. So, you see a line of people who became a nation then, when they are no longer involved with Davidic line they are never mentioned again.
      Creation takes up .0008 of the bible and causes more controversy than anything else. Speculation abounds. God created men and women male and female he created them. The sons of god got with the daughters of men. There was never a global flood and yet scientists say that at some time in earth’s history it was entirely covered in water. Could it have dried a little exposing land then cover with water again?

      November 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Pete,
      Now you are getting into a little more recent history. I think it is well established that Jesus was here. Years ago people began to question his deity. There wasn’t any question that a man named Jesus lived, was crucified, and rose again. Now folks have went from saying yeah he was a preacher or teacher but he wasn’t God’s son, to, there never was a guy named Jesus, he was made up.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Topher

      Pete

      What ridiculous comments.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Pete

      Sorry, let me rephrase my post. Jesus, as presented in the bible, never existed.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Robert, my post was more generic in nature. I realize that you made no scientific claim, but you are claiming that events have happened that do appear to violate scientific laws. But the implication of my post remians, if only for future reference. Which is that if you are ok with God being able to violate physical laws, you have no business using science to validate ANY aspect of Christianity. Not saying you have done that, Mr. Brown.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Damocles

      The Flood: Fact or Fake?

      I'm not sure if all ancient cultures have a flood story, but if they do, does the timing of all the stories coincide?

      Quoting a book does not prove the truthfulness of the story in that book. If it did then all stories would be true because you can quote the book they are written in.

      I am unaware of science saying that the earth was completely covered with water. In regards to the question of why there are shells on mountaintops.... mountains are formed over time, if they push up from the seabed or other places of standing water, it stands to reason that a few shells would be on the mountain.

      I agree with Polka... why would an all powerful deity go through the rigamarole of a flood? So much easier to just make them disappear.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      This is why it's uselss to try and refute parts of biblical claims. All that comes out of the theists are "god can do it, god done it, context context translation blah blah". The major issue is that the very authority of the bible is not accepted by non-christians, and in order for any discussion on the bible to be valid, the authority would need to be demonstrated. Doing this would necessarily entail a demonstration on the existence of the god of the bible.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Polka Bob, Accordian King of Northwest Saskatchewan and a Bit of the Nort West Territories Where His Only Competi.tion was a Drunken Moose . . . Who Almost Won

      Out of the way? So we agree that Noah's Ark is not only ridiculously impossible but alsoa truly stupid choice if there is a deity? Okay, then that's out of the way.

      Not much more to say, really. Another Bible story is poven absolutely impossible, and yet still the deluded say it is true.

      Hey Topher – at least Robert had the courage to try. You fled like a coward.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • ME II

      @Robert Brown,
      "...scientists say that at some time in earth’s history it was entirely covered in water."
      I don't think this is accurate. Do you have a source?

      I think most, if not all, places on the planet were covered with water at some point, however, there wasn't a single point in time when all places were covered with water at the same time. More importantly a relatively fast global flood as described in Genesis would have left fairly unmistakable indicators in the geologic records, e.g. a single layer of a massive world-wide die-off of the entire land-base plant and animal life in existence followed by a common period of re-expansion of land-based life from a single location.

      @Topher,
      "You know we have early copies of the Bible so we know it is unchanged, right?"
      First, I don't believe there is a single complete 'original' copy to compare with current version, even for the NT. The earliest NT docu.ments are mostly just fragments, correct?

      Second, even those early NT fragments are not 100% the same as later version, correct?

      Third, I think the discussion was centered around Genesis, or the OT, which is not known to be "unchanged" by any streatch of the imagination. What is your opinion of this article? http://news.yahoo.com/jerusalem-scholars-trace-bibles-evolution-092932128.html

      November 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Polka Bob,
      No, I meant out of the way like, we disagree. I noticed you ignored the rest, how convenient for you.

      November 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ME II,
      You mean geological records like the layers we get our fossil fuels out of?
      Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
      Noah’s flood may not have been the first catastrophe to affect the earth.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Pete

      We know it wasn't the first catastrophe to to happen on the Earth because Noah's Flood never happened.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Polka Bob, Accordian King of Northwest Saskatchewan and a Bit of the Nort West Territories Where His Only Competi.tion was a Drunken Moose . . . Who Almost Won

      Robert, what is the point in discussing the rest when the story is so insanely impossible?

      November 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      If the earth had no form, how can it be labeled, or how could it have a face for darkness to be upon it? Or how about this, why should we think the bible is talking about anything relevant at all?

      November 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • ME II

      @Robert Brown,
      "You mean geological records like the layers we get our fossil fuels out of?"

      No, I mean, "a single layer of a massive world-wide die-off of the entire land-base plant and animal life in existence followed by a common period of re-expansion of land-based life from a single location."

      The difference being that fossil fuels are deposits resulting from events across many different time periods, not a single global event. There is a consistent progression of time evidenced in the geologic record of which the Bible is apparently ignorant.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,
      It is all connected, but not only the authority of the word, but the power of God. If God has the power to create the universe and life, a global flood would be no problem. So, yes nonbelievers deny not only the authority but the power. I don’t think we need to demonstrate the authority of God, he can take care of himself. Think about what holds this universe together, or our planet in orbit. God not only made it, he sustains it.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      My comment was mean for Robert Brown.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      Why is it so hard for people like you to actually answer the damn question? You completely dismiss that others don't believe as you do, and continue with your blind ass assertions as if nothing happened! Do you not see how condescending that is? DO you not see that you're not answering anything, and merely restating an opinion with absolutely no backing whatsoever? Existence does not = god exists, that's just a fallacy.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ME II,
      If we flooded an area and killed all the plants some of them could come back from seed or root couldn’t they? So, the re-expansion may not have to be from a single location. The animals would have to migrate, so I can see how this would take a while.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,
      I read some good bible commentary on Genesis one time. The author studied Hebrew and made a lot of good points. In that second verse where it says the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, he says the Hebrew translates brooded, or that God was angry and disturbed, something terrible had happened. Anyway to make a long story short he went on to say that he thought Verse 1 was creation 1 and verse 3 was creation 2. This universe and earth may have an even longer history than we now think.

      November 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,
      It is obvious that there are those who do not believe. I ask a lot of questions because I don’t know plenty of things. I will have to admit that what you call condescending is really my faith. It is not my intention to offend by sharing it. At worst, I hope to write things that would make someone want to know just a little more about God. I have to run, but I might sign on again a little later. You all have fun.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • ME II

      @Robert Brown
      "If we flooded an area and killed all the plants some of them could come back from seed or root couldn't they?"
      Sure, that might happen, I don't know which plants, or their seeds, could survive a global flood, but...

      "The animals would have to migrate, so I can see how this would take a while."
      Not just "a while", but how would you explain any land animals? A few can swim, there might have some on natural rafts, but that can't explain the diversity of life found in the Americas, Australia, the Arctic and the Antarctic.
      How did Polar Bears and Penguins survive the multi-year trek from (I assume) somewhere in the middle east to the poles?
      How did Marsupials back get to Australia and the Americas, without leaving any trace of themselves in Asia or Africa?

      How did any animals survive a genetic bottleneck of one breeding pair?

      November 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    November 1, 2012 at 7:44 am |

    • Disproven

      November 1, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • another repentant sinner

      Prayer changes my life. Very much proven.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Huebert

      Prayer is talking to yourself. Proven.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • and as always

      huebert remains wrong

      November 1, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Huebert

      as always

      What evidence do you have for that as.sertion?

      November 1, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • and as always

      You are therefore you are wrong.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Huebert

      As always

      Actually that is evidence for my as.sertion. I am. If I decided to waste my time and pray I would be the only person to hear me. Thus prayer is talking to yourself. Thanks for helping me prove it. :)

      November 1, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 1, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      November 1, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

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

      November 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      November 2, 2012 at 9:03 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.