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My Take: What all those Jesus jokes tell us
The authors note that Jesus jokes have become popular just since the 1970s.
November 10th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: What all those Jesus jokes tell us

Editor’s note: Edward J. Blum is a historian of race and religion at San Diego State University. Paul Harvey is a history professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and runs the blog Religion in AmericanHistory. They co-authored “The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America.”

By Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey, Special to CNN

Did you ever hear the one about Jesus being Mexican? Well, he was bilingual; he was constantly harassed by the government; and his first name was Jesus.

Or, perhaps Jesus was Irish? He loved a good story; he never kept a steady job; and his last request was for a drink.

Or maybe it’s possible that Jesus was Californian? He never cut his hair; he was always walking around barefoot; and he started a new religion.

You may not have heard these Jesus jokes, but you’ve heard others. They represent a comedic trend that has animated the United States since the 1970s. More and more comedy gimmicks hit on Jesus, his ethnicity and his relationship to politics. Laughing with (and at) the Lord is now fodder for major motion pictures, barroom comedy tours, graphic novels, t-shirts and bumper stickers.

How is it that a figure sacred to so many Americans has become the punch line of so many jokes? And why is it acceptable to poke fun at Jesus when other sacred figures are deemed off limits or there is hell to pay for mocking them?

The explanations are as numerous as the laughs.

Immigration shifts from the 1960s changed the ethnic and religious faces of the country so no tradition dominates today. The Christian right made such a moral spectacle of itself that it practically begged to be mocked. The emergence of “spiritual, but not religious” sensibilities left many Americans willing to denounce or laugh about traditional faith. The public rise of agnosticism, atheism, and secularism led to aggressive mockery as a form of persuasion.

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If we pause to consider why we’re laughing, we find that the comic bits delve into some of our thorniest and unresolved problems. The jokes reveal much more about us than they do Jesus. They speak to how our society has changed, how it hasn’t, and what we’re obsessed with.

The first public jokes about Jesus were heard in the 1970s. There had been religious jokes before this, but none about Jesus had become widely popular because organized Christianity held such authority. As the economic recession and problems of urban decay collided with civil rights exhaustion and new immigration, however, some Jesus jokes emerged.

Archie Bunker on “All in the Family” was the white racist and misogynist you loved to hate and hated to love. On one occasion, his son-in-law challenged Bunker’s rampant anti-Semitism with the claim, "Jesus was Jewish." Archie shot back immediately: "Only on his mother's side."

The “All in the Family” spin off “Good Times” featured a black family that lives in an inner-city housing project, probably Chicago's infamous Cabrini Green. On the show's second episode, the oldest son J. J. astounded everyone by painting Jesus as black. The younger son loves it, and says he learned all about Christ’s blackness from the local Nation of Islam.

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As the family debates whether this black Jesus should be hung on the wall in place of their white Jesus, they “miraculously” receive $140 from the Internal Revenue Service. Feeling blessed, the family placed the painting on its living room wall, and the elated J. J. shouted his tagline, "Dyno-mite!”

From the 1980s to the present, the number of prominent Jesus jokes has multiplied like loaves and fishes:

• In “Talladega Nights,” Ricky Bobby and his family debated which Jesus to pray to (“baby Jesus in golden fleece diapers,” “grown-up Jesus,” “ninja Jesus”). Their overall hope is that Jesus will help them continue their extravagant lifestyle.

• “South Park” featured Jesus as a weak-kneed host of a local talk show who boxes the devil.

• “Family Guy” had Jesus perform magic tricks that wowed his ancient audience.

• “The Colbert Report” placed a gun in Christ’s hand and had him defend conservatives against the liberal “War on Easter.”

• “Saturday Night Live” let Jesus chastise Tim Tebow for using the Lord’s name in vain and ended the bit by declaring that the Mormons have it right.

One unforgettable scene in the rather forgettable recent film “21 Jump Street” may explain why Jesus has become such a joke.

Before Jonah Hill’s character returns to high school as an undercover cop, he prays to a small, crucified “Korean Jesus.” Down on his knees, he says: “Hey Korean Jesus, I don’t know if you only cater to Korean Christians or if you even exist, no offense. I’m just really freaked out about going back to high school. It was just so f***ing hard the first time. … I just really don’t want to f*** this up. Sorry for swearing so much. The end? I don’t really know how to end the prayer.”

The hilarity of the moment only makes sense in our time. Hill's character is unchurched and agnostic, but wants spiritual power to guide him. We can laugh at how agnosticism and being “spiritual, but not religious,” leave him uncertain of what to say, how to say it, and even how to end.

We can also laugh at how ethnic factors color his approach. By wondering if Korean Jesus cares only about Korean problems, Hill pokes fun at the issue which was made a media spectacle in 2008, when the Rev. Jeremiah Wright could be heard preaching that “Jesus was a poor black man” as part of his support for Barack Obama. What good is a God who only cares for those who look like him?

The Jesus jokes not only reveal how tangled our religious, racial, economic and political positions have become, but also how many outlets there are for the jokes. In these tense times, when presidential hopefuls point fingers at one another and families unfriend one another over political and cultural differences, laughing may be one way to talk about the problems without killing one another.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Entertainment • Jesus • Opinion

soundoff (5,750 Responses)
  1. Commonsense

    What do Jesus jokes (or jokes poking fun at any religion for that matter) tell us? Maybe, just maybe, that we're starting to wise up and realize that we have nothing at all to fear from the supernatural, because none of it exists.

    November 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  2. Henry

    A must for atheists, misfits, mockers and unbelievers!!!
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRSjzY0s0SM&w=640&h=390]

    November 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow, Henry....very convincing....for those who already believe

      November 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • saroj

      that is the story of how he raised funds to pay his bills... smart man...like all so called religious people

      November 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • End Religion

      We have a pretty good understanding of what happens when the brain goes through the trauma of death's doorway. Yet another gap that god has been pushed out of. But I'm sure you'll prefer the hallucinations defined as "heaven" so what's the use of bothering to point out the info?

      November 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Counter

      All the anti Christian whackos are out in force. Truth is, we will all be shocked on the other side to some degree, and the atheist types will be grinding their teeth, as Jesus described. The enduring resurrection of The Lord is confronting you, but your own egos won't allow acceptance of it.

      November 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  3. llatpoh

    why is it that comedians only make fun of Christianity (and on occasion Judaism)... why aren't they making fun of i s l a m as well??? seems to me hollywood and their comedians are only respectful to one religion...

    November 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      i don't know that it respect. maybe they do not want the potential hassle

      November 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • dinklespiel

      People,
      Bottom line is, after you die believers will never be surprised. They will either wake up in God's arms or they will not be alive. Conversely non believers will either be dead or in for a Unpleasant Surprise.

      November 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      dinkle: the bottom line is that your logic is faulty. you see it as two possible outcomes, either no god or your god. you could believe in one god and have the reality be that another god exists. under that scenario, you could be in for as much an Unpleasant Surprise as you claim those who do not believe in your god wiill be.

      November 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • All4Christ

      @Sam – you got it totally wrong again with your logic (man made) You think that there are other gods. Lets say they are true, what do they say about judgement? Conversely, Jesus said "No one can see my Father in Heaven, except through me" Does any of your man-made gods have the audacity to proclaim such statements? I guess not, because they are made by humans like you :) You fit your god in your own way. And regarding your other comment about sin. You can justify whatever you do and say its alright. But there is only one absolute truth. Sin is anything that is against Gods will or commandments. Hope you have seen or read about The Ten Commandments. If God has to judge just based on 10 laws, we are all guilty. That includes you too. Dont lie to yourself and proclaim that you have no guilt of sin.

      November 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Huh?

      "Does any of your man-made gods have the audacity to proclaim such statements?"

      Yup, All HAIL MITHRA!

      Mithra
      Was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a cave, attended by shepherds
      Was considered a great traveling teacher and master
      Had 12 companions or disciples
      Promised his followers immortality
      Performed miracles
      Sacrificed himself for world peace
      Was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again
      Was celebrated each year at the time of His resurrection (later to become Easter)
      Was called "the Good Shepherd"
      Was identified with both the Lamb and the Lion
      Was considered to be the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
      Celebrated Sunday as His sacred day (also known as the "Lord's Day,")
      Celebrated a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper"

      November 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • All4Christ

      @Huh? You got all the facts right, except for the name. Who the in the world is Mithra??? Get back to the basics, get back to Bible and know Jesus Christ. Dont change his name for your sake, please :)

      November 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      You claim i have it wrong with my man made logic, but then you rush lemming-like to book that was written and edited by man.

      November 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      All4: Your god is as man made as any other.

      November 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "get back to Bible '

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      November 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      Again, All4, i do not have the same concept of sin as did the iron age sheep lovers who wrote the bible. For you to claim to speak for god shows incredible arrogance.

      November 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Huh?

      "Who the in the world is Mithra??? "

      The original son of God, your Christ is the imposter and stole Mithra's story!

      November 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  4. glades2

    Disrespecful jokes about Jesus show us that our modern world has lost it's respect for the One that created it – don't we realize that God the Father could destroy us in a second if it were His desire? How many killer asteriods have safety missed Earth in just the past 2,000 years but could have easily struck this planet, had it not been for God's intervention? Because this not has happened shows God's love and patience, but God today is the same God that parted the Red Sea in mercy and anger 5,000 years ago...

    November 20, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • sam stone

      you have as much disrespect for others' god as you claim others have for yours.

      your proxy warnings/threats are empty and, frankly, dumb.

      November 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      while we are at it, your god is petty, vindictive pr!ck.

      get back on your knees

      November 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • The Truth

      "How many killer asteriods have safety missed Earth in just the past 2,000 years but could have easily struck this planet"

      God had nothing to do with it, it was the magnetic field generated by my enormous fleshy shaft which has kept the planet safe from asteroids as well as prevented any major terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11... On the downside my penis has been causing all kinds of problems with honey bee's navigation and has caused whole colony's to fly off course and die never finding their hive...

      November 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • I wonder

      glades2,
      "God today is the same God that parted the Red Sea in mercy and anger 5,000 years ago..."

      1. Nope, the NT "God" changed his mind about a lot of things.

      2. What is your verified evidence that this "Red Sea parting" ever actually happened?

      November 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • All4Christ

      Dear Sam, I think you have been brain-washed with this – What kind of God would send people to hell? I think you are getting confused with 2 Attributes of God. First is LOVE. God loved you and me so much that He sent His only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and pay for our sins. We see God is LOVE. Second attribute is GOD IS JUST. He has to punish sin. If our sins are not forgiven, we need to pay for it i.e., spending eternity in HELL. But if you accept the price paid by Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven and you are on your way to heaven. I think no one explained to you this message of LOVE and JUSTICE of God before. That is the reason you are going wild mocking God. Hope this will change your perspective :)

      November 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      All4: The only change in my perspective is that I see you more as a parrot. Your god is a vindictive, petty, pr!ck

      November 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      "God loved you and me so much that He sent His only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and pay for our sins"

      a couple points that are undoubtedly lost on you

      1. Not everyone accepts the same definition of "sin" as you do

      2. God sent his son to die, but his son is alive. Probably saying "jesus had a bad weekend for your sins' is not as effective as a marketing technique.

      November 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • All4Christ

      @sam – I love when unbelievers claim that JESUS IS ALIVE. Amen brother. I hope you truly understand the resurrection. Only God has the power to rise up from the dead. And its Jesus Christ. Name anyone else other than Jesus, we can dig up the bones from their grave, but not Jesus. HIS TOMB IS EMPTY. HE IS ALIVE. Keep preaching same :)

      November 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      No, All4: He is not alive. That is the story, though. Typing your insanity in caps does not make it any less insane

      November 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • All4Christ

      STONE heart! Thats all I can say. Hope you will find Jesus someday. Nice meeting you though :) I dont get why its so hard for people to believe in Jesus, WHY?

      November 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Sam Stone

      Why is it so hard for people to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.....WHY?

      November 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Sam Stone

      All4: If you say my logic is faulty, point it out. Use your brain. If you want to be a parrot, have at, but you sound like an imbecile

      November 21, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • sam stone

      Pretty much what I thought. All4 is another mouth breather who cannot support his own statement. Perfect fvcking slave

      November 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  5. USDude

    This post is for the person out there that is struggling with something or trying to find answers to questions about God. Take the Roman road outlined below in order. If you don't own a Bible, google the verses. It will be the most important road you will ever travel.

    1. Romans 3:10
    2. Romans 3:23
    3. Romans 5:8
    4. Romans 5:12
    5. Romans 6:23
    6. Romans 10:9-11
    7. Romans 10:13

    November 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • USDude

      I forgot to mention the path it leads you down will result in sex with animals. I find goats to be the most appealing. You may prefer geese.

      November 20, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • USDude

      I speak for god because it makes me feel all special

      November 20, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • Mark

      You do ill and need to seek help.

      November 20, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Mark

      Jesus USDUDE you may be ill also.

      November 20, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • tallulah13

      Your biblical road has exactly the same value as the "Yellow Brick Road".

      November 20, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Middle_Finger_To_Jesus

      Yes we get it, you love jesus

      November 20, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  6. Matt Steinbach

    It cracks me up how some christians are offended for their jesus and others think their jesus would laugh and enjoy the humor. It's their own personal jesus who sees the world the the way they want him to and each christian has got one in their heart and none of them are the same. The name Jesus has been used more for pleasure, profit and murder rather than for love, forgiveness, and tolerance. I did not hear a single christian leader cry out for the mercy and forgiveness of osama bin ladin, no cries of love thy enemy or to turn the other cheek or to bless those who curse you. We all know what really happened, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Just like eveything in the bible, followers pick and choose the laws and teachings that best fits their convience and gain.

    November 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  7. kokopelli

    1. I truly believe, based on the Gospels, that Jesus has a sense of humor, and would *love* most of the Jesus jokes I've heard.
    2. Notice that, unlike jokes about other religious figures, Jesus jokes rarely if ever ridicule what Jesus taught or stood for. They usually use Jesus to expose the irony of so many aspects of our lives and society.

    November 19, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • All4Christ

      Dear Kokopelli, Watch what you say. You are talking about the Creator of this Universe. He is not a joke. He died for your sins and my sins, so we can be freed from the guilt of sin and have everlasting life. Its this simple – BELIEVE IN CHRIST, HAVE ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN. MOCK CHRIST, AND SPEND ETERNITY IN HELL. God loves you so much that he does not want us to spend eternity in hell. He did His part on the cross. We need to do our part by Believing in Jesus. Hope this message helps you to find truth.

      November 20, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • sam stone

      All4Christ:

      You are a chump, and you could not come up with a rational argument to save your sorry self.

      So, I will try to be brief....F you, and your empty proxy threats

      November 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      i have no "guilt of sin". Apparently, you do.....good for you. Slaves need something to grovel in front of

      November 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Zeus

      all4christ. Don't you know that Kokopelli can kick your butt and he's a better god than you'll ever be.

      November 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      "God loves you so much that he does not want us to spend eternity in hell"

      God is omniscient...
      God knows everything that has happened and will happen forever
      He has created billions of peoople, knowing that they will not accept Jeebus as their savior
      But he created them anyway, knowing that they will be in hell
      Why would your loving god do this?

      November 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • All4Christ

      Dear Sam stone, It looks like you think you are intelligent than the one who created you. The Bible says that unless a man is humbled and brought down to earth, he will not seek God. So, before that happens, could you do me a favor? Please go find a church and ask for a Bible. Dont worry, they wont ask you for money. And start reading it and then find faults by yourself. I will be praying for you that while you try finding faults God will reveal himself to you and show you how sinful our hearts are. And we need a savior to save us. JESUS SAVES.

      November 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @All4Christ

      Your condescending, self-serving, self-righteous pious bullshit is useless. We don't accept your assertion your god even exists, and I'm pretty sure that sam, like me, has read the bible more than once, and find it completely worthless.

      November 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      all4christ: you are a snivelling, begging sycophant.

      November 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • I wonder

      All4,
      "I will be praying for you..."

      Is this a great feat for you? Is it real difficult?

      I remember praying (for many, many years) - you just go all squishy inside and daydream and wish for this and that and pretend that you are really talking to someone besides yourself (the really delusional even hear someone else talk back!).

      November 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • All4Christ

      @sam – The Bible teaches that there will be few who will be adament –
      1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

      22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

      23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

      24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

      November 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @All4

      Ah so you're that kind of poster. One of the ones that have absolutely nothing of substance to say, and no real thoughts of your own, so you need to just spout out useless bible verses to people who don't even believe your immoral book of fiction.

      November 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      "@sam – The Bible teaches that there will be few who will be adament"

      what....what prophecy....."some folks will disagree".....how cutting edge

      f you and f your god

      November 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • All4Christ

      @Hawaiiguest. you claim to be a atheist. Which group do you belong to 1. An atheist says there is no evidence for God? or
      2. An Atheist who says he knows there is no God. Or you are not quite sure where you really belong

      November 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  8. Ztom

    Pastafarianism is the key to a full life.

    All hail FSM.

    RAmen

    November 19, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  9. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    What all those Jesus jokes tell us ???

    For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
    but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    For it is written,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”
    1 Corinthians 1:18-19

    November 19, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • sam stone

      it tells that parrots will continue parroting "scripture", as if it means something

      November 19, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • End Religion

      So it is written, "Men in Texas are idiots."
      So it be done. Ramen.

      November 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Mark

      I think it also may be written in the DSM IV that you have a comorbidity of psychological disorders.

      November 20, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • All4Christ

      Amen brother.

      November 20, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  10. The Word is still relevant

    The greatest gift u can give someone:
    http://bethlehemchurchonline.com/media.php?pageID=20

    Bethlehem Church
    bethlehemchurchonline.com

    We exist so that people far away from God can discover new life in Christ.

    November 18, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      religion is a blight on the world

      November 19, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • sam stone

      it's only relevant to those who accept it's authority

      November 19, 2012 at 5:00 am |
    • fieryserpent

      We can Joke about Jesus, because Jesus is about Love! And those that LOVE won't come and Kill you! But beware of those God's that are about hate! For they know not the true LAW of God, and replace GOOD for EVIL, and EVIL for GOOD!

      November 19, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • sam stone

      i have my own god. i don't care whether it agrees with other people's gods.

      fieryserpent : "gods" does not need an apostrophe

      November 19, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • Athy

      And joke, love and kill are not capitalized!

      November 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  11. Ralph

    They make fun of Jesus because it's cool, edgy, and they know that ultimately they can get away with it. But they won't dare make fun of a real hero like Muhammad because they no what would happen to them.

    November 18, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      ralph: two things to consider

      1: when muslims act in concert to deny others their civil rights, come back and talk to us.

      2. it is "know", not "no"

      November 19, 2012 at 5:05 am |
    • sam stone

      a couple more things, ralphy

      a. if the proxy warnings coming out of the pious are true, those making fun will not "ultimately get away with it"

      b. we are not making fun of jesus, we are making fun of the inbred tvcks who purport to speak or jesus. do you see the difference or are you one of those aforementioned inbred fvcks?

      November 19, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • sam stone

      "or" = "for"

      November 19, 2012 at 5:10 am |
    • All4Christ

      Dear Ralph, You think they might get away by mocking Jesus. The Bible says "One day every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess the JESUS IS LORD" So, it better be on this side of life, because it will be too late to accept Jesus after we die. And oh by the way, they may not say anything about Mohammed because, people are afraid that they will have their head blown away. Its because of fear, not of reverence. Get that???

      November 20, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • sam stone

      "Its because of fear, not of reverence"

      Yet you are the one threatening hell to disbelievers.

      Fvcking slave....go get your shinebox

      November 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • All4Christ

      Dear Sam stone, Like your name suggests, you have a heart of stone. Nothing good can get in unless its been broken. And I am so sorry that you misunderstood warning with threatening. Its just a warning. If a building is caught on fire, warnings and alarms are triggered. You can pay attention to them and leave the building or stay in it till your b u t t catches fire and then jump from it. See what I am trying to say. Its not threatening unbelievers, its warning about HELL, a real place.

      November 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • I wonder

      All4,
      "HELL, a real place."

      Your VERIFIED evidence for this is...?

      November 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • sam stone

      All4: You know nothing about me.

      November 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Its just a warning"

      You are in no position to issue that warning. You are the internet equivalent of a guy on the corner, yelling at people to repent.

      November 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  12. Atheist joke

    Q: Why do atheists always vote pro choice?

    A: They are afraid their kids will grow up to be Christians.

    November 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I do hope you aren't depending on your comedic talents for a livelihood.

      November 19, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • notchristian

      hahaha

      November 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  13. Dick Izinya

    Q: What's the difference between Jesus and a picture of Jesus?
    A: You only need one nail to hang up a picture of Jesus.

    November 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • All4Christ

      Dear Dick,

      Q:Do you know what is the difference between your own life and life with Jesus?
      A: You will not be satisfied with wealth, women in your life, but with Jesus you will be satisfied and will have peace in your life

      November 20, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • sam stone

      All4Christ apparently has a crucifix jammed up some body cavity

      November 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  14. Reyes

    Joke's about Jesus Christ are not right

    this article that CNN posted up is just plain stupidity !!!! I know I'm not perfect just like everybody else i make mistakes, but this article that CNN posted up is just stupidity

    November 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • End Religion

      I didn't hear you, could you repeat that?

      November 19, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • sam stone

      why do you feel it is stupidity?

      November 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Athy

      Why is the article that CNN posted up just plain stupidity?
      But what I really want to know is why is the article that CNN posted up just plain stupidity?

      November 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Sam Stone

      So, tell us, Reyes, how is it stupid?

      Come on, pen-de-jo, speak up

      November 20, 2012 at 3:53 am |
    • Middle_Finger_To_Jesus

      Yes its stupidity because it might suggest that you think about accepting, in its entirety, that there once was a snake that spoke, a senior citizen put two of every animal in one boat and none ate each other, and a 2000 year old carpenter once died and suddenly became alive again.... taaadaaaa

      November 20, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  15. stevensj64

    Jesus jokes tell us that the Christian faith is strong. Those who believe are not going to be swayed by jokes.
    Jesus jokes tell us that 21st Century Christians are tolerant. I'm not aware of any riots or fatwas caused by Jesus jokes.
    Jesus jokes tell us that Christians have a sense of humour.

    November 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      i don't think the point of jesus jokes is to sway believers

      November 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Middle_Finger_To_Jesus

      Jesus jokes are not meant to sway magic believers... there is no way to sway magic believers... in every civilization there is always a portion of the people who are stupid...

      November 20, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  16. blythespirit

    Why did Jesus cross the road? ... He was nailed to a chicken...

    November 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • G8r

      Not true! He would have been trying to save the Chicken . . . maybe for the last supper.

      November 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • rafael the gay

      wouldn't the chicken die? and how strong would the chicken have to be to pull Jesus across a road?

      November 18, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • All4Christ

      Do you know if you can cross the void and make it to heaven or hell? Accept Christ, and your road will lead you to heaven. Deny Christ, our road leads to hell. Its our choice. Choose one.

      November 20, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • sam stone

      All4Christ: you have no authority to speak for god, punk

      November 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • All4Christ

      @ stone – My authority is Jesus Christ, who is the creator of this universe. Who is your authority?

      November 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      Jeebus gives you no such authority.

      November 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • sam stone

      jesus is the creator of the universe?

      why do you believe this?
      because of your translated, edited iron age comic book?

      November 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      All4: if another christian, who feels as fervently about jesus as you do, disagrees with you, who is god's spokesman?

      November 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Sam Stone

      Come on, C word, are you going to answer, or just run like yet another cowardly christian?

      November 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  17. Simran

    @ Todd,

    So Todd, basically, you are putting forth the cosmological argument – saying that there are universal and immaterial laws. Second you state that either of 2 possibilities is correct – that matter is eternal or that there is an eternal being. This is yet another way of same thing that God caused the Universe to happen. Now, we are stating that God is an eternal, abstract, immaterial being, who is the source of all laws. Now he then, cannot be a part of the Universe – he is outside the Universe.
    At this point, we can keep going around in circles, bcoz one will argue that Universe and its laws need a cause, and we accept that this cause is God, who/ what caused God? If you state that the enti.ty of God was its own cause (called special pleading), I can argue – why can’t the ent.ities which const.itute the universe be their own cause? Why shouldn't the Universe or the Big Bang (the most basic, earliest thing we actually know something about) itself be considered the first, necessary cause? Since we cannot begin to comprehend the notion of necessity, we have no reason to as.sume it can belong to God's but not to universes, or even 'bangs.'
    On the surface of it, it may appear simple to say God is the source of it all – the universe and its rules. But unless we can explain why He created the universe, and why He is necessary (something the ontological argument singularly fails to do in its concentration on the psychological), God helps explain nothing.

    An objection against the theist implication of the proposition is that even if one accepts the argument as a proof of a First Cause, it does not identify that First Cause with God. The argument does not go on to ascribe to the First Cause some of the basic attributes commonly associated with, for instance, a theistic God, such as immanence or omnibenevolence. Rather, it simply argues that a First Cause (e.g. the Big Bang, God, or an unarticulated First Cause) must exist.

    Furthermore, even if one chooses to accept God as the First Cause, there is an argument that God's continued interaction with the Universe is not required. This is the foundation for beliefs such as deism that accept that a god created the Universe, but then ceased to have any further interaction with it, and even pandeism, which proposes that the creator of the universe actually became the universe, and so ceased to exist as a separate and conscious ent.ity.

    Like I said before, the Rigvedas seem to have the most logical stand which is very close to that of science.

    Also you state that the empiricist's world view is self defeating. Now, I am assuming here that you believe that rationalism is the better way, that this world view is better. Or may be – philosophical view.

    But then, what is rationale to me is unrationale to you and vice versa. Rationalism is the view "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive". The person who is born in a Bible reading family has been conditioned from birth to believe that God created the earth (with exceptions) and someone born is a Buddhist family has a different belief.

    Also, the philosophical views of different individuals will differ. So whose is the right one? May be everyone is right – maybe it right for you to believe that God exists, and right for me to believe that there is no evidence for God.

    So, how is the rationalistic and philosophical view not self-defeating??? At least the empiricist's view is subject to reverification and revalidation and also can be refuted in light of new evidence. But how will you refute what is rationale or philosophically correct for me?

    The question for me is – should creationism be taught as science? I say NO. There is no evidence. Teach if you will in your church, or temple or mosque or wherever

    November 18, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Todd

      Simran,

      Thanks for the response, I made one and somehow it did not go through. I will get back to that later! Thanks.

      November 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Todd, Check your post for these:

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      crac-ker…
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).


      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      November 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Dissident Fairy

      Simran: God is far from being abstract! He is unique unto himself and did not require a catalyst. That is what sets him apart from All other things, it's what makes him God! He had no beginning, even Jesus Christ had a beginning. He was the First creation of God. (Revelation 3:14).

      God hasn't abandoned his creation in some pandeism sort of way. He has a set time and an order in doing things.

      Why did God bring the universe and man into existence? That would be like asking an artist why he or she paints, or a musician why they play music. God doesn't sit idle! He's far more creative than man. He created us out of love, and it's not his fault that man messed up. He didn't create robots, if he did, we'd all be in agreement.

      To accept the Rigveda philosophy of the origin of the world is to believe in their mythological gods! Not only is it a complete waste of your time but it's very offensive to the One True God who is the maker of all things. If you are going to believe in "gods" you might as well believe in the One True God that can give you eternal life!

      November 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Dissident Fairy:

      There is equal proof for the existence of all gods, even yours: No proof at all. You can't be certain that yours is the one true god without actual evidence. You simply believe that you picked the right god, probably because you were raised in a culture that believes in that god.

      November 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Simran

      Dear Dissident Fairy,
      It is pretty much obvious that you are deeply honey-dipped in the Bible and it is not worth trying to show you what other concepts exist. You outrightly dismiss the Rigveda as a myth when the fact is that it is the oldest religious scripture in the world and has been accepted as much closer to science by many scientists who have analyzed it. The Vedas are the origin of modern-day mathematics, their language Sanskrit is considered the most scientifically correct language.

      And I am not saying this bcoz I am a Hindu, I am not.

      So, please go back to your favorite story book.

      November 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Todd

      Simran,

      My time is short right now, so let me say here that one point I agree with you on. That is, the bible should not be taught in a government (public) school. That is not the place for it. That is not what I would argue. THere are many reasons for that, but here is one point we agree on.

      And second for now, I am not a proponent of the "cosmological argument." THere may be aspects that I agree with, but it is not something I would start with by any means. Along with this, you mentioned (unless I am mistaken) something about why can't something be it's own cause.

      To this I would say, something can not exist, and not exist at the same time and in the same way. This is a contradiction. It either exists or it does not, and it cannot cause itself, that is impossible.

      As I said, time is short. I will come back to more later.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  18. Dave Harris

    Who knew that there was a college in Colorado Springs (besides the Air Force Academy)? I thought they burned heretics there.

    November 18, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  19. Todd

    Veritas,

    If details such as those are correct, then it is not a jump to believe that they got the other things right as well, including the miralces that they write about. In fact, because they have such detail, and stuff that is not going out of their way, it is a great indication that they reported things correctly. As far as the other things you mention – creation, Jonah, etc... these are entirely possible when there is a God who works in this world as the Bible describes. It works within the framework of a world-view that is consistent.

    In a world-view that is materialistic in nature – miracles are precluded not based on logic or reason, but based on an argument from a world-view that says, all there is is the material world and it operates in a certain way. And according to this world-view (the lens through which a person sees and interprets everything) there is going to be a materialistic explanation for anything that happens. This is a circular argument, which many people say is wrong based on a law of reason – which is immaterial in nature.

    My point in the end is this – all people have a world-view. All people have a lens through which they view the world and interpret all that they encounter.

    Mama K,

    If full proof argumentation is the standard for the wars, division and so on – then full proof argumentation should be required for everything before we act on it. Is democracy something that demands "full proof" argumentation for it to be a valid form of government? What about decisions in a home (where division happens because of prefrences)? If something demands full proof argumentation – nothing can be done in society. Republicans will always be able to have an argument against something a Democrat wants and vice versa. People think that we should be a communist society and that it is the best – does one side or the other win because they have "full-proof" argumentation? If this is the standard – no one can reason for anything that matters in life.

    November 18, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Simran

      You talk of a law of reason. What exactly does this law state? And where is this law written or quoted?

      November 18, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Simran

      I find only one reference stating law of reason – at http://www.angelfire.com! Does that count as argument!

      November 18, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  20. doug the slug

    Maybe they tell us that preoccupation with him is a joke.

    November 18, 2012 at 8:35 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.