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My Take: 113th Congress looks like old America
November 16th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

My Take: 113th Congress looks like old America

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The 2012 election has been widely hailed as a diversity moment — a coming out party for an American electorate no longer dominated by white men. And it was a triumph as well for religious diversity, thanks especially to Hawaii, which is sending the first Hindu to the House and the first Buddhist to the Senate.

But is this religious change more symbolic than real? In “Faith on the Hill,” a study on religion in the 113th Congress released Friday by the Pew Forum, the story seems to be static rather than change.

For all the talk of the election of 2012 inaugurating a new era in American politics, Protestants will continue to be overrepresented on Capitol Hill, where they will account for 56% of our representatives versus only 48% of American adults.

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Moreover, the religiously unaffiliated will continue to be scandalously underrepresented in the 113th Congress. Though 20% of American adults are “nones,” there is only one “none” (Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema) in the new congressional delegation.

That said, there are striking differences between Democrats and Republicans in the incoming 113th Congress.

The GOP delegation will be 69% Protestant, while Protestants will account for only 43% of the Democrats. Mormons also lean heavily Republican, with three Democrats versus 12 members of the GOP.

Catholics, by contrast, lean Democratic, accounting for 36% congressional Democrats and 25% of congressional Republicans. Moreover, all the Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists in the incoming Congress are Democrats. And all but one of the 32 Jewish members (Virginia Republican Eric Cantor) are, too.

The bottom line? I see two takeaways.

First, this data provides evidence for the now common wisdom that Republicans represent old-fashioned America while Democrats reflect new demographic realities. In the 113th Congress, Republicans will be disproportionately male and disproportionately Protestant. Democrats, by contrast, have a higher portion of women and minority religions.

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

Second, this data shows that the much heralded “new America” is still years away. Yes, the Senate will be 20% female, but women are more than 50% of the population. And the U.S. Congress will still be far more Christian (87%) than U.S. adults as a whole (70%).

At least when it comes to religion, the U.S. Congress doesn't yet look like the voters who are sending them to Washington.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Catholic Church • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Judaism • My Take • Politics • Polls • United States

soundoff (1,540 Responses)
  1. MG

    Dear Matt Damon,

    Please stop. Your posts are stupid.

    Signed,
    All races.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Matt Damon

      My god, you represent ALL races? Being white I suddenly feel the need to own you and exploit you.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Doh

      Love the huge amount of derping on the CNN religion blog.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  2. Matt Damon

    Dear Mexicans: People from hundreds of different backgrounds and cultures have come here for a better life. One of the steps in achieving this better life is learning our national language of English which they have all done and use in all professional and social settings. So if you don't want us calling you lazy, please stop forcing me to press 1 for English and get your learn on.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • sam

      We don't have an official national language.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Matt Damon

      ...said you just now in English.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Matt Damon

      I just checked and EVERYBODY on this thread is apparently typing English words. Weird.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Akira

      Dear Matt Damon:
      What number do I press for you to go away? 666? Bigot.
      Sam's right. America doesn't HAVE an official language. Now go fvck yourself.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Matt

      ikulong awitin.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • mjr

      I'm amazed (or, given your displayed level of intellect, maybe I'm not) that you fail to see the irony in denouncing Mexicans as lazy, while in the same sentence lamenting having to "press 1 for English".

      November 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Matt Damon

      I don't see where I wrote "Official" in my post. Or do you need more lessons? Learning and using English gets you ahead in this country.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • ME II

      @hawaiiguest,
      Well said! lol

      @mjr,
      You too!

      November 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  3. Corner Cafe

    Bloody Mary's are on the house for the next two hours. Don't miss out!

    Clam and Horseradish blended with robust tomato juice, spicy and delicious. Salt and Pepper rim garnished with green olives, cocktail onions, lemon and celery. It's an eye opener!

    November 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Do you serve shirely temple drinks? I've been on the wagon for years and wouldn't want to fall off now! Clams? No thanks, I'll pass on them TYVM anyways. Got any pickled pigs feet or cow tongues or rocky mountain oysters?

      November 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Corner Cafe

      Mr. Lamb, we have a variety of non-alcoholic drinks. I am afraid we do not have those appetizers, but you might try our Fried Pickles!

      November 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  4. Corner Cafe

    Doc Vestibule Victuals – This wonderful dish is the most tender fillet cooked Medium-Rare and wrapped with succulent bacon. Served with Potato Soup, vegetable of your choice and Sour Dough bread. $21.99

    November 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  5. Vic

    I am a born again Christian Protestant, and I believe "Individual Freedom" is the core of "Freedom!"

    November 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Corner Cafe

      Try Vic's "Born Again" Martini. We shake it once, pour over ice and then shake again to make it more nice! Try it dirty with your choice of Top Shelf vodka or gin! $10.99

      November 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      One must also consider the freeing of such trades like,,,

      1. The drug trades

      2. The s e x trades

      3. The gambling trades

      Three of the oldest trades throughout history and we have put ourselves back into the stone ages without a rock to crawl out from under!

      November 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Veritas

      Does that make you pro-choice?

      November 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • mark

      Yes I agree with s e x trades

      November 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  6. Belief Blog Bistro

    Happy Hour at the Belief Blog Bistro!

    Drink specials include:

    Tom Tom Collins (Gin)
    Apple Bush Martini (Gin or Vodka with Apple Liqueur)
    Lionly Libation (Scotch and Water)
    Hindu Hefeweizen (Beer)
    Sam Sazerac (Absinthe)
    Hawaii Paradise (Brandy)
    Soldier Singapore Sling (Gin)
    Akira Orange (Vodka)

    See you here!

    November 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Akira

      Yay! Let the libations begin!
      (Absinthe? Ya might lose your liquor license...)

      November 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Belief Blog Bistro

      @Akira

      (Shhh, that is sam's fave drink.)

      What can I get for you today?

      November 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • just wondering

      Why is there just one bottle ?

      November 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  7. Matt Damon

    The congress is too white! Well guess what, the Prez is attending basketball games with Jay Z so it balances out.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  8. the_dude

    What is the point of this opinion piece?

    November 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Peter G

      Like most of the "spiritual" postings I've sampled at CNN (especially here) - absolutely nothing. Sadly Vacant, borderline Transliteration of "Phaulos" in the NT Greek of the day, (Strongs G5337) in my opinion (and obviously many others commenting here).) I've stopped by every now and then, thinking "surely he's got to get better after the election". Nope; just a paid CNN Troll it would appear. As the cops would say "...Move along, nothing more to see here....." Yale at it's finest; Neon neo-heterodoxy. Sadly, Dust off my shoes at this point ...

      November 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  9. mark

    today I woke up and did my daily ritual of worshipping who saved my life and the lives of many more. He is not from this world and appears before me as I close my eyes, somewhat hovering off in the distance, his name, superman.
    ahhhhh......religion,their stories are as good as the story of Superman, if only jesus, allah and buhdah wore tights and had a cape with X-ray vision, hey the 3 amigos.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • lalala

      Buddha definitely had super powers.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  10. krussell

    If the majority are religious, and the candidate who wind te majority of the votes get the office – why wouldn't almost all of Congress profess a mainstream faith?

    November 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • KJC

      Because they are elected by districts, and not all districts have the same religious, ethnic, and political make-up. If every single person voted for every single candidate in every single state, it would be as you say. But that's not how we do it.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  11. Matthew

    We need old fashion America back because we were POWERFUL when we had old fashion America. Europe too should go back to their old culture because Europe was AMAZING and POWERFUL from 1500-1900. LIBERALISM and SECULARISM has destroyed the West which was once the SUPERPOWER of the WORLD. May future generations years from now when the West is in ashes read history about the result of our cultural change and vow to never let liberals in power again.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Matthew

      Please one liberal counter my point. Counter the fact that the British were MOST POWERFUL and at their HEIGHT when they were Christian and had moral values under Queen Victoria. Please tell me that America is improving now that we have destroyed God because I don't see it. History is History and YOU CANNOT ARGUE WITH IT. Stop your stupidity and turn back to the beliefs of our ancestors. They are the group that put us at the top, not athiest and liberalism.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I'm not a liberal, but you're a freaking simplistic moron.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • meemee

      You are wrong in the typical way conservatives are wrong on the historical causes of the West's greatness. it wasn't Christianity, it was philosophy and its support of critical inquiry. This led to advances in technology and science that Christianity fought against until it figured out it could use it to its own advantage by allying with it. But overall, Christianity and all religion represses intellectual progress. Even so, I DISAGREE WITH THIS EDITORIAL. If better qualified lawmakers can be elected then, they will. Calling for any sort of compulsive adherence to a proscribed quota per some political notion of who deserves to be able to serve is NOT democracy in action, it is socialist totalitarianism, which is to be resisted as much drives toward a theocratic state.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • lalala

      America is in a decline because we have become stupid and lazy, as most superpowers do once they reach their peak, and we are having difficulty taking advantage of other nations in this new world (one of the main sources of our growth after the world wars). Social programs and our safety net were establish right at the start of America's rise to power. It really has nothing to do with your red and blue mindset, despite what fox news and msnbc tell you.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • sam

      Nah, I just like the WAY you make your POINTS by randomly capitalizing WORDS.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • infinitetruth

      Sure, lets go back to oppressing the weak, declaring wars over who has the right religion, destroy science for its evils and return back to a time where one could own another if they owed you money. Where working conditions were so poor, you were more likely to die from an accident than old age. Where the poor and disenfranchised were exploited with no end... really 1500-1900?

      We had revolutions for a reason, and you sir are not making any

      November 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Dom

      "We need old fashion America back because we were POWERFUL when we had old fashion America. Europe too should go back to their old culture because Europe was AMAZING and POWERFUL from 1500-1900."

      And full of despots and tyrants who wouldn't hesitate to behead you when it fancied them.... Napoleon, Henry VIII, George III, the Tsars... The list goes on.

      America in the 1800's had no labor laws, children were forced to work in sweatshops, women and blacks couldn't vote. No paved roads, no public schools, half the American population couldn't read... the list goes on...

      But hey, if you want to reminisce about the joys of being a feudal serf then by all means tell us how that would be a much better system... you know... one run by autocratic tyrants instead of godless liberals.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Doh

      Bravo, you just associated Christianity with the violence and conquest that dominated that era.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Veritas

      The British Empire created vast wealth (as did other European countries) by colonizing countries and exploiting the resources of those countries as its own.
      A lot of the original wealth of the US was created on land taken from the natives using slave labor stolen from Africa.
      Not a lot of incentive for the rest of the world to go back to those days.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  12. DawgPride

    "For all the talk of the election of 2012 inaugurating a new era in American politics, Protestants will continue to be overrepresented on Capitol Hill, where they will account for 56% of our representatives versus only 48% of American adults."

    What the hell are you talking about??? These people were ELECTED by their peers. Who are YOU to say how many of each faith (or non-faith) should be in office? The amount of fail in this article is mind numbing.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Robert Dennis

      Amen!

      November 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • An agnostic

      They are indeed voted in, but the districts are drawn in such a way as to water down the minority vote.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  13. massms

    Granderson, Martin, Garcia, etc., are some of CNN's most biased contributors, but Prothero wins the prize for being the most assine AND bigoted. This latest nutcake idea of his suggests we should elect people to Congress based on their religion...except Christians, of course. I am appalled CNN would consider publishing this insulting article. Prothero is a fool; he should be lobotomized.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • sam

      It's an opinion piece...on an opinion blog...so it doesn't matter.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • ME II

      Not sure he was advocating that, just stating that:
      "At least when it comes to religion, the U.S. Congress doesn't yet look like the voters who are sending them to Washington."

      November 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • cbtx67

      The point was, we should be voting on the candidates qualities to perform the job, not their faith and whether it is the same as ours. I could be Yoda, but if I told you I was Santaria or a Thetan worshiper I would not have a rat's arrrse chance of getting voted in. That is where the disconnect is. I personally don't care that your a Christian, if your a good candidate I will vote for you...Course I am a non Christian so....

      November 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  14. lionlylamb

    My Words Upon Truth's Doors

    Mathew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God

    Luke 17:21, "the kingdom of God is inside you."

    1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building."

    Godless and the ungodly, for these are the choices from which commonwealth atheists do make felt upon their habitual senses denying the goodly of Godly intent. Many young-bucks of godlessness and the ungodly tender to avail themselves with the nailed doldrums' sciatica and do abound with much societal unpleasantries toward the abaters of wanton deniabilities against them, those ungodly and godless beings of smirked vials of randomized intention-abilities. Their deniabilities are not without compromising or so they do entail and also do weave upon the where-with-alls laments.

    The mockeries of these godless and ungodly against the goodly who do themselves believe upon Godly importance may well live on past all and onto every garden's Aged endings. How else could Life Truly End and Real Living thusly Begin? To believe or not believe for these are Life's choices. Still yet are found mercies, for the mercifilled are one of Life's greatest treasures and livings' sweetest unending rewards.

    What was first made can never again become that which was made first for only in varying differential constructs can another thing be made to be outdone against that which was firstly made. The pillars of one's DNA, the spirals of all celestial life forms and formations is where God's Sons and their given wives are taken in as residents there abouts.

    The Kingdoms of God lay where the inner structures of celestial Life do share in the abundancies of Living Fractals in Cosmological Paradigms. As mankinds' hunting for the Codifying of Life's laws in Cellularized Confinements continues onwards, many will ever become non-complacent in our societal grandeurs for wanting sakes trying never to be outdone by those who tend to be in simplifications' adjuring. May we be merciful upon those who deservidely aspire to be merciful toward others.

    A scattering is upon us in these trying days and Age. Leave your wantings behind and never take wind of one's longings for the weightiness of one's longings will smite even the most influential. Carry away nothing and leave. Head to the places inside one's being and do not keep ajar your door for many will want to enter in and should not. Your loving this Life is for the world to have needs of and you should not heed the rumors from others as to just what is truly right. It is therefore best for mankind to simmer in their yet unfinished juvenile pottages never rationalizingly 'assaying' one's diffuse detriments, the very smallest of life's grains. As smitten breeds, our splendors reveal one's characters to be traitorous to one's analogous fold. Where then does True Life end and Real Living begin?

    Who before this day's Age is found worthy of Goodly praises? Who after us will find peace set before them? Who in today;s timeline is this "son of man" that many should fear him for his worthiness stance? Who above can see the below? Who that is below can see what be above? From the very smallest crevice to the most high chasms, the Sea of Nothingness is the Holy Spirit. May the elemental Gods find favor in this found son of man that he may not be afflicted with this world's power but rather he should carry upon him the angst from his manhood till his natural death.

    What I spiritually believe in is that the Families of God including God Himself lives upon the very first created Cosmos which is the inner Cosmos. Our being but upon this celestial cosmos is due our being cast out of the Inner Cosmos for many reasons. Some were cast out of this Inner Cosmos for faultering and some for continuing to do the Lord's Will here upon this celestial realm of gigantic life forms whereupon their insides are living many families of God's members. We live upon this realm doing what we want while many of us unify ourselves in the communal. My way is not your way and yet when we cross paths we receive each other and after a spell do walk on and are parted.Therefore, walk placidly amid the noise and waste ever being mindful of the peace one finds in finding peace there about.

    Is God to be made a mockery by those who tend to instill anti-leveraged pragmatisms? Are we to believe in the godless and the ungodly who care little about the piecemeal subjectives' ordinates?

    Jesus, was the very first of many immeasurable 'elemental beings' and was in the Beginning an elemental king of all the elemental Gods. Jesus, in His cunning, did thru Chaos' manueverings, established the gravimetrical waves for the elementals to gather in broods thusly was formed the beginnings of celestial nebulas.

    As time did force the nebulas to progressively surround the gravimetric oscillations where from did come about galactic formations of the elementals' soundness. As systems of photonic elementals, the infinitesimal finite elemental Gods did shower the solarized systems with their embodied beings. And in the Now, we are but made from the photonic elementals' stillnesses, the stardusts of the Ages.

    My "Physicist" knows very well the quantum physicalities of natured atomic stimulations. I call this "Physicist" God. He has strewn His Sea of Nothingness with 'photogenitisms' or the stillness of the photons creating all manner of the first materials needed to become thru timeliness all the elementals' members of our declared Periodic Table of Materialized Photogenitis.

    Sciences are but the dreams dreamt and are atheists' treasure troves of good books they hardly ever do read, for many atheists aren't too bright yet they stand by these scientists without one iota of deniability to question science books that even the commoner seldom reads nor truly understands. Who among us knows about the 'Self-Similar Cosmological Paradigm'? Who among us truly understands that energy equals mass times light squared and its' true potential? What is the point in adoring scientific reasoning when one's IQ level can be counted on ten fingers?

    What I believe is; "The Cosmos is immeasurably full of ever unkowable to us universes." The 'analogous' variabilities of moving universes is so slow in their plights that trillions upon trillions times triliions of our years will pass by before any other universe will gain entrances onto any other universe. As our Ages of tenureships figuratively coalesce in the extemities ponderances, the forlorn and the 'un-abled' will ever need others to carry them along and alongside the tapestries of Life and its garnered adaptabilities. Love therefore and do never 'not' love for one would be wasting away their love for living and the need for loving is tantamount and above reproach.

    I feel a compelling want to tell you about some verses in Gospel scripture. Is it not written to above all things to seek firstly the "Kingdom of God". This said, have you ascribed to doing so? Where does one look to or towards in order to find that which we are told to seek as scripture does declare one to do?

    Mathew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God."

    I've searched the Gospel writings and have found a single verse telling all who have found it as to the true and literal location of God's Kingdomly Domains!

    Luk 17:21 "The kingdom of God is inside you."

    I take Luke 17:21 quite literally and so should all who believe in One God and His One Son of perhaps oodles upon oodles of otherly Sons and Daughters too numerous to really expound upon! Christ is special because he was born to take upon his being the sins of those who were and then were also and of times yet to come! God's Kingdoms being inside us and within our ownliness bodies can also be associated with another verse of scripture ,,,,

    ,
    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    The just above verse does tell much more than just glimpsing over it could proclude! Our being labourers with God may well seem to give us all an equal footing with God and his aspirations for our betterment's sakes! His being our husbandry may well regard God as having a firm footing in our conceptions of childbirthing beyond mere genetic understandings!

    But in the aboveness verse, the very understanding that we or our bodies are God's buildings may well inspire one to disavow such a claim due one's foresightedness sakes and lacking of rationalisms' of credible resources. Yet, as I see things, we, our bodies are not only God established and God created buildings for the benefits of the Godly who reside inside of us, but are for our benefits for learning and understanding the precepts of "Fractal Cosmologies"!

    We have seen that which our bodies are made up of and they are of cellularized structures not "unlike" nebula structures in outer space places! These celestial nebula structures are yet a work-in-progress and our body-like buildings are a progress in the works!

    These words are revelations of my Faith as to my Godly understandings regarding the Kingdom Domains of God, his Sons and his Daughters-in-law and all forms and mannerisms of Life-ever-lasting principles and principalities of ever living progressives!

    Written by God's Oldest Dreamer
    (I am a fuddy duddy man of means)

    November 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      This was outstanding. Not.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Akira

      You have an undeniable talent for using very long sentences to say nothing at all.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • lalala

      Akira, Im pretty sure that defines most Abrahamic anti-speak.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Hiram

      "Written by God's Oldest Dreamer
      (I am a fuddy duddy man of means)"

      *LOL* You're also a goofball Fundy!

      November 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  15. ThermalJockey

    I suspect there are more "nones" in Congress than we all are told. It is political suicide in most of the US to admit to being a "None". And if you are one, typically, you are already used to just keeping a low-profile. Easy to just be generic Christian, or some non-ideological denomination.

    I've been avoiding religious discussions with friends and family for years because it just isn't worth the agravation. And I deliberately keep it away from work. I've seen the results of not doing so. And it is far worse if you want to get elected. Except in a very few, very rare districts, it makes you a non-starter.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Atheists is governing agendaships ? Why would one want another "know nothing" running for an office when we have many folks declaring themselves to be from Christiandumb Central? Either way one looks nothing but the same 'ol same 'ol. :-(

      If I were to run for a /public\ office, I would run on a platform based upon the following verses of scripture,,,

      Mathew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God

      Luke 17:21, "the kingdom of God is inside you."

      1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building."

      I would bring about a law of governing where people would know that our world is not Christ's worldly kingdom for He and all his family brethren live upon our bodies' insides. Now since Christ does have no claims upon our world, I would abolish the no taxation of all religious conglumerations and tax them for the public organizations that they really are.

      I also would bring about the trades that our governments here in the U.S.A. choose to be outlawed. They are the 'drug trades' and the s e x trades. I would abolish all ggambling regulations and legalize all manner of gambling.

      Vote for me and I'll set trades free!

      God's Oldest Dreamer

      November 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The troll formerly known as dreamer

      You will be running on an unconstitutional platform, not to mention impractical, divisive, and moronic.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  16. David

    The story of salvation: Omnipotent God chooses not to use his power simply to forgive humankind, but instead implements a solution which requires that he impregnate a teen girl in order to give birth to himself so he can have himself slaughtered to save human beings from the Hell that he created. He then decides to communicate his scheme through conflicting accounts penned decades later by anonymous authors and subjectively handed down by flawed translators who can't even agree on the interpretation of "virgin." Think about it...

    November 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Brad

      I have...sounds a lot like a sci-fi, Stephen King novel doesn't it.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • sam

      Except if it was King, it would have been set in Maine. Otherwise, not much difference.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • adh1729

      The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

      Since you are smarter than God, use some of your infinite power to show him up. Why don't you start by bringing an end to terrorism and finding a cure for cancer. Maybe you can create a few dinosaurs.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • sam

      @adh1729 YUK YUK I GUESS YOU SHOWED US

      Listen, god hasn't/won't do those things either, so....whatever.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • ME II

      "Since you are smarter than God, use some of your infinite power to show him up."
      Wait, do smarts equal power now?

      November 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • adh1729

      "Listen, god hasn't/won't do those things either, so....whatever": and this, you KNOW? How do you know? Do you understand how short your life is, and how small you are in this universe? You are a pip-squeak.

      "Wait, do smarts equal power now?"; not exactly, but you atheists and scoffers sure act all-knowing. You know how the universe has gone and how it will go, from your tiny vantage point on earth. Surely you could convert some of your infinite knowledge into stupendous power, the way science has converted matter into energy.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "sure act all-knowing. You know how the universe has gone and how it will go, from your tiny vantage point on earth."

      You must be blind, deaf, and stupid. Atheists aren't the ones who act as though they "know everything." They're not the ones who state categorically that 'gawd did it' when they come up against the unknown, you azz.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • adh1729

      "You must be blind, deaf, and stupid. Atheists aren't the ones who act as though they 'know everything." You give lectures to God, who is infinitely greater than you. It is a lot worse than me giving a lecture to Einstein about relativity. When you conclude that God hasn't satisfied your whims about how the universe should go, then you deduce that he must not exist.

      If I were to teach Einstein about relativity, and Schrodinger about quantum theory, then I would be the greatest physicist that ever lived. I fail to understand why you don't get it.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • adh1729

      Regarding David's caricature of God: the Christian church defeated the Roman empire. Jesus won; Caesar lost. The early Christians knew the facts of Jesus' life rather well, and defied death and torture to follow his footsteps. Pretty good, considering the fact that most of you can hardly get out of the couch to change the TV channel. You think a man would be tortured to death for something he knew to be a fairy tale? "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it", turned out to be true. The gospel will triumph again over the decadent, ignorant culture in the world today. And no, we don't need any help from the worthless windbags called politicians.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, you brain-dead azzhole: How would I "give lectures" to a being that doesn't exist?

      Could you BE any dumber?

      November 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And adh, you fail to comprehend how to tie shoelaces. You're a moron.

      November 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @David, As long as you just assume omnipotence and not any high moral standards or particular intelligence for your god that story should work OK.

      November 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Davidian Davey,,,

      1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"

      If one labours together does that not insinuate an equality of sorts?

      November 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • adh1729

      "Hey, you brain-dead azzhole: How would I "give lectures" to a being that doesn't exist? Could you BE any dumber?
      And adh, you fail to comprehend how to tie shoelaces. You're a moron."

      You folks think that you are smarter than any God that could exist. I have heard your stuff ad nauseum.

      I actually am a surgeon, and do know how to tie shoelaces. I have very few complications, and have never been sued for malpractice. I was the valedictorian of my medical school class, among a diverse collection of other academic awards.

      You folks are the ones who think that you came from monkeys, and ultimately by blind chance out of primordial slime. No wonder your thought processes are messed up. I wouldn't think that primordial slime would be able to think clearly, if at all.

      You know for a fact that your creator does not exist. Hence you don't exist either, neither do your arguments. I guess I will quit arguing against them, in that case.

      I will note that you started the name calling. I will clue you in to a fact from the legal profession, that the person who employs ad hominem attacks HAS NO CASE. I will gratefully acknowledge your white flag.

      November 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "ad nauseam," fvckwit. You might want to make a note of that, you dimwitted troll.

      The rest of your post is equally worthless. As are you.

      November 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  17. Byoung

    When politicians are asked about their religion the odds are 8 to 5 they lie. You cannot trust anything those people say, especially when they think the truth may cost them a vote.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  18. Matt Damon

    White culture is the only culture in history which can be described as smart, tough, and cool. Every other culture falls short. Blacks: tough, cool. Asians: smart. Jews: (not sure). Mexicans: tough. Indians: smart (occasionally cool). Keep trying!

    November 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • sam

      Does your mom know you're on the computer before you've finished your chores?

      November 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • lalala

      Yes, if Matt Damon is the only white representative (assuming that is not YOUR name)

      November 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  19. Apple Bush

    If you consult the dictionary, here is the first definition of God that you will find:

    "A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.

    Most believers would agree with this definition because they share a remarkably clear and consistent view of God. Yes, there are thousands of minor (and some major) quibbles about religion. Believers express those quibbles in dozens of denominations - Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists and all faiths. But at the heart of it all, the belief in God aligns on a set of core ideas that everyone accepts.

    What if you were to simply think about what it would mean if there were a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe? Is it possible for such a being to exist?

    Epicures thought about it in 300 BCE, and he came up with this:

    "The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so, cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are both able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can, but will not, than they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, then they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist?"

    In other words, if you sit and think about who God is supposed to be, you realize that such a being is impossible. Ridiculous, in fact.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Doh

      Great quote! I'm going to use that one next time I run into a Bible-thumper.

      November 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • KJC

      This quote assumes that if we as humans can't think of a reason for God to do or not to do something, then the reason doesn't exist. In other words, it's like saying, "If I personally cannot conceive of a good reason why God would allow difficult things to happen, there must not be a reason, so He must be bad or incapable of doing something different." This is the same way a typical child views adults, really. Yet just because the three-year-old cannot conceive of the goodness of an adult reality that says "no, you can't have that toy, no, don't play in the street, yes, eat broccoli" doesn't make the adult reality less true or good. It just means the child is incapable of understanding life at the adult level. So let's assume the difference between God's mind and the human mind is even greater than the difference between a three-year-old mind and an adult mind. That means our logic and thinking and sense of goodness is not the end-all be-all of what can be conceived and understood. Then the logic of the argument about God being either bad or not omnipotent just doesn't hold.

      November 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • KJC

      p.s. I highly recommend watching the "authors at Google" series video where Tim Keller talks to Google employees about his book, "The Reason for God." Just go to YouTube and search for Tim Keller at Google, "Reason for God."

      November 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • adh1729

      "Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist?" Your logic presumes that if evil hasn't been annihilated yet, then it never will be. Guess what, 5+5 does not equal 3. Your whole edifice topples. Try again.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      KJC, youe argument does not hold water. You cannot not compare loving parents to God.

      You can compare hateful, violent, child abusing parents to God though. That is exactly how he treats humans.

      @adh1729
      1. I didn't say it so it is not my edifice.
      2. Your arguemnt does not make sense. If not now when? God can't be bothered to annihilate evil? Better things to do? More importantly, why did he create it in the first place.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @KJC

      "Difficult things" have nothing to do with the Euthiphro dilemma. In the only practicle sense, it's about unnecessary suffering in the world. Natural disasters, disease, cancer, mutating infections like MRSA. These things aren't evil, but they are natural occurences that do nothing but cause massive amounts of suffering in the world and kill millions of people.

      November 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • adh1729

      "1. I didn't say it so it is not my edifice. 2. Your arguemnt does not make sense. If not now when? God can't be bothered to annihilate evil? Better things to do? More importantly, why did he create it in the first place."

      You assume that God made evil. That is not the teaching of Scripture, at all. God's adversary made evil.

      You assume that nothing good can come out of this rotten planet called Earth. God can bring good out of evil, and that is what he is doing. Scripture implies that the world only has a few hundred years left (see the book of Daniel).

      You can choose to believe whatever you want. I am just telling you what the Bible says. I have never found a better standard by which to live my life. I know science, logic, and reason plenty well. They have their place, and they have their limits.

      November 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @adh

      And why should anyone other than those who already believe care what the bible says? Are you one of those that just pick the few good things in the bible and either ignore or rationalize away the atrocities?

      November 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  20. Belief Blog Bistro

    Try the HeavenSent Deep Dish Pizza! I thick layer of anchovies, cheese and tomato sauce. Add $2.00 for delivery.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
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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.