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My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’
The author argues that there are many meanings of the adjective 'biblical.'
November 17th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’

Editor's Note: Rachel Held Evans is a popular blogger from Dayton, Tennessee, and author of “A Year of Biblical Womanhood.”

By Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

On "The Daily Show" recently, Jon Stewart grilled Mike Huckabee about a TV ad in which Huckabee urged voters to support “biblical values” at the voting box.

When Huckabee said that he supported the “biblical model of marriage,” Stewart shot back that “the biblical model of marriage is polygamy.”

And there’s a big problem, Stewart went on, with reducing “biblical values” to one or two social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, while ignoring issues such as poverty and immigration reform.

It may come as some surprise that as an evangelical Christian, I cheered Stewart on from my living room couch.

As someone who loves the Bible and believes it to be the inspired word of God, I hate seeing it reduced to an adjective like Huckabee did. I hate seeing my sacred text flattened out, edited down and used as a prop to support a select few political positions and platforms.

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And yet evangelicals have grown so accustomed to talking about the Bible this way that we hardly realize we’re doing it anymore. We talk about “biblical families,” “biblical marriage,” “biblical economics,” “biblical politics,” “biblical values,” “biblical stewardship,” “biblical voting,” “biblical manhood,” “biblical womanhood,” even “biblical dating” to create the impression that the Bible has just one thing to say on each of these topics - that it offers a single prescriptive formula for how people of faith ought to respond to them.

But the Bible is not a position paper. The Bible is an ancient collection of letters, laws, poetry, proverbs, histories, prophecies, philosophy and stories spanning multiple genres and assembled over thousands of years in cultures very different from our own.

When we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded word, we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don’t quite fit our preferences and presuppositions. In an attempt to simplify, we force the Bible’s cacophony of voices into a single tone and turn a complicated, beautiful, and diverse holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says.

Nowhere is this more evident than in conversations surrounding “biblical womanhood.”

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Growing up in the Bible Belt, I received a lot of mixed messages about the appropriate roles of women in the home, the church and society, each punctuated with the claim that this or that lifestyle represented true “biblical womanhood.”

In my faith community, popular women pastors such as Joyce Meyer were considered unbiblical for preaching from the pulpit in violation of the apostle Paul's restriction in 1 Timothy 2:12 ("I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent"), while Amish women were considered legalistic for covering their heads in compliance with his instructions in 1 Corinthians 11:5 ("Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head").

Pastors told wives to submit to their husbands as the apostle Peter instructed in 1 Peter 3:1, but rarely told them to avoid wearing nice jewelry as the apostle instructs them just one sentence later in 1 Peter 3:3. Despite the fact that being single was praised by both Jesus and Paul, I learned early on that marriage and motherhood were my highest callings, and that Proverbs 31 required I keep a home as tidy as June Cleaver's.

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This didn’t really trouble me until adulthood, when I found myself in a childless egalitarian marriage with a blossoming career and an interest in church leadership and biblical studies. As I wrestled with what it meant to be a woman of faith, I realized that, despite insistent claims that we don’t “pick and choose” from the Bible, any claim to a “biblical” lifestyle requires some serious selectivity.

After all, technically speaking, it is “biblical” for a woman to be sold by her father to pay off debt, “biblical” for a woman to be required to marry her rapist, “biblical” for her to be one of many wives.

So why are some Bible passages lifted out and declared “biblical,” while others are explained away or simply ignored? Does the Bible really present a single prescriptive lifestyle for all women?

These were the questions that inspired me to take a page from A.J. Jacobs, author of "The Year of Living Biblically", and try true biblical womanhood on for size—literally, no “picking and choosing."

This meant, among other things, growing out my hair, making my own clothes, covering my head whenever I prayed, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church (unless I was “prophesying,” of course), calling my husband "master,” even camping out in my front yard during my period to observe the Levitical purity laws that rendered me unclean.

During my yearlong experiment, I interviewed a variety of women practicing biblical womanhood in different ways — an Orthodox Jew, an Amish housewife, even a polygamist family - and I combed through every commentary I could find, reexamining the stories of biblical women such as Deborah, Ruth, Hagar, Tamar, Mary Magdalene, Priscilla and Junia.

My goal was to playfully challenge this idea that the Bible prescribes a single lifestyle for how to be a woman of faith, and in so doing, playfully challenge our overuse of the term “biblical.” I did this not out of disdain for Scripture, but out of love for it, out of respect for the fact that interpreting and applying the Bible is a messy, imperfect and - at times - frustrating process that requires humility and grace as we wrestle the text together.

The fact of the matter is, we all pick and choose. We’re all selective in our interpretation and application of the biblical text. The better question to ask one another is why we pick and choose the way that we do, why we emphasis some passages and not others. This, I believe, will elevate the conversation so that we’re using the Bible, not as a blunt weapon, but as a starting point for dialogue.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (4,657 Responses)
  1. jomamaxx

    It is fair to take aim at calling things 'biblical' – however – Jon Stewart is a bigot, and should not be taking up the cause.

    Also – it's Jon's Jewish Bible that has polygamy. In the Christian Bible – it's 'peace and love' there is very little dogma and no 'fire and brimstone'. Perhaps Jon can take it up with his Rabbi.

    November 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • One one

      No fire and brimstone in the NT ? What do you call this?

      2 Thessalonians, 8-9:"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power."

      Besides, OT, NT, it's still the same god isn't it ?

      November 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Ray

      No fire and brimstone in the NT? I think you prove the authors point with regards to selective reading.
      The gospels inspire hope and provide some good examples for living in a diverse world. The contributions by Paul, formerly named Saul, are examples of Taliban-like hatred for everything in the world. That's where Christian fanaticism comes from, and it's a shame the Romans never finished the job they started with the lions and all.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  2. Apple Bush

    A 31-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison this morning for repeatedly sexually assaulting his infant child and videotaping the crimes.

    The crimes came to light when a videotape was found at a bus stop and turned over to police.

    To this day, it is not known who left the videotape at the bus stop

    November 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Elliot Carlin

      He obviously hasn't evolved enough. Remember, only the strong survive and all that stuff..

      November 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Akira

      "If a man ever needed killing, he did..."

      November 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hi Akira!

      November 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Akira

      Hi, Apple Bush!

      November 18, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Care to meet me at Sushi Kanji Akira? It's on me?

      November 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Akira

      Apple, you're on!

      November 18, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Akira, cool. You like to sit at bar or Teppan grill?

      November 18, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      P.S. I am so hungry. I am thinking some Fillet Mignon and tuna Sashimi...I know the chef, so anything you want ;)

      November 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Akira

      How about start at the bar and end up at the grill? And the filet mignon and tuna sashimi sounds DIVINE!

      November 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Sweet! Is this...a date? ;)

      November 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  3. Kling

    It sounds like Mrs. Evans has a high view of the Bible.

    However, wherever this is true, a submission to it's authority, proper and accurate interpretation of it's contents, and an uncontested exaltation for it's central message – salvation in Jesus Christ – is found. God's Word provides a beautiful clarity for the creature (including the will of the Lord for biblical womanhood). Moreover, it is more than just an "ancient collection" of different literary genres; it is God's potent revelation of redemption. Rather than seeking to discover what the text can do for her and her wants, Evans would do well to strive to shape her life to the glory of Scriptural truth.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Elliot Carlin

      well put.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Take your book of fairy tales and put it where a pedophile priest would have his way with you, if you were 8 years old.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Elliot Carlin

      i see bill maher is posting again.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • One one

      Salvation from what ? Oh, I forgot, from the eternal curse god put on all mankind, because in the beginning two people wanted knowledge.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Dippy

      Its, not it's. Three places

      November 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  4. Jim

    I've asked this question since I was 4 years old: If your god is all powerful AND all merciful, explain childhood cancer. Childhood cancer proves that your god cannot exist as you describe it. It's one or the other – either not very powerful, or doesn't care.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      he works in mysterious ways...

      like a comic book villain planing world domination

      so if god wants to subjugate and eventually destroy the world; doe that not make me [ehem] Lucifer the super hero

      history is written by the winner, heroes become villains and villains gods

      November 18, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • One one

      The usual answer to why god lets bad things happen to good people is "free will". But in your example, it doesn't work. Same for other diseases and natural disasters.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Yeah... bullcrap. He works in mysterious ways? "He" doesn't work at all. Your god and everyone elses does not and never did exist. Are you that afraid that when you die you'll burn for all eternity if you don't properly kiss the rear end of your "savior"? I bet you are. Pathetic scared little boy in a mans body. Grow up and grow a pair.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Kling

      God is both ominpotent (all-powerful) and omnibenevolent (all-good – mercy falls under this quality). However, there are some things God cannot do, though He is all-powerful. He cannot lie, sin, ride a bike, take a bath, etc (He is Spirit). Also, He cannot formulate contradictions. He cannot make a square circle, for example. God cannot both remove evil without significantly altering the world as we know it. For example, human freedom would be gone, desire would vanish, etc.

      Take heart, though, my friend. He is in absolute control of all childhood cancer in the world. One of your errors is that He doesn't care (this doesn't follow from either of your premises ... perhaps you meant He isn't merciful or He is masochistic?). He cares deeply and more intimately than any human can. Perhaps there are some examples in the world you can recall where it appears as though a God does care. With the human freedom He allows you to maintain, you should seek Him rather than spurn Him.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  5. Elliot Carlin

    The author, a self-identified 'woman of faith' apparently forgot to follow her own admonitions regarding Biblical interpretation (oops, sorry, there's that word again). She'd know polygamy and fathers selling their own daughters isn't a NT precept, command or any of the sort. She'd do well to evangelize Africa where it is still in existence.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • tallulah13

      And christians are still accusing people (often children) of witchcraft in Africa, and torturing and/or killing them. Sure would be nice if christians could figure out between them if they are supposed to follow the old testament or not.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Elliot Carlin

      Tallulah, Do you have any sources that: A. are credible, and B. actual Christians (not in name only) are commiting these things? I mean, posters on here are accusing Christians of all kinds of things–but thanks for being open-minded

      November 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • tallulah13

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/18/african-children-denounce_n_324943.html

      November 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Elliot Carlin

      that's why i asked if you had any credible sources. LOL. Again, please prove these are Christians, not in name only. YOu'll have to read the Sciptures to know what a true Christian is. and that might mean missing Dancing with the Stars.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Elliot, you don't get to choose who is christian or not. Grow up. Denying reality is just the same as lying.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Also, the cheap shot about Dancing with the Stars? You don't know me at all, and your childish jabs expose even further your immaturity.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Elliot Carlin

      Don't be a hater LuLu. I could claim to be an atheist and shoot someone-it doesn't make me an atheist and shouldn't give all atheists bad names–but you are willing to believe the opposite.

      I think richard dawkins is dancing this week. LOL. Don't be so bitter.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So in other words, Elliot, I answered your question, you don't like the truth, therefore all you can do is call me names.

      I don't hate you, Elliot. I save my hatred for those that inspire hate. You merely inspire indifference.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • sean

      had to reply to your simplistic view of things...remember we are only human yet GOD is perfect, all powerful, all knowing and as humans we will never be able to see things from an omnipotent viewpoint such as GOD's...so remember bad things happen daily and it is GOD's will but who are we to question GOD allmighty when we only think in mindset of humans.....dont let ur foolish pride put a spotlight on ur ignorance.....

      November 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Kling

      I agree, Elliot. Her interpretation of the OT is quite poor.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Funny how there are all these different interpretations of the buybull. You'd think if the "one true god" actually had anything to do with it, there would be no room for interpretation. The fact that there are so many divisions of belief based on your holy book proves your god is man made..

      November 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It cracks me up when christians talk about the pride and arrogance of non believers.

      Because there's nothing arrogant about believing that a being powerful enough to create the universe is watching you and reading your mind 24/7 to make sure that you obey a set of arbitrary laws set down by a specific group of middle-eastern men thousands of years ago, and listening to your prayers so that he can fulfill your requests if he feels like it.

      And certainly nothing arrogant about believing that this all-powerful "god" has created a special paradise for you, where you can live forever (after you die), if only you say you like him best.

      And nothing proud about the way you claim you're belief is the one true belief, despite the utter lack of evidence.

      No sirree. Christians aren't arrogant and proud. Just ask them.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Oh yeah, forgot to mention: I didn't interpret the old testament. Don't you christians ever get tired of lying?

      November 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Sorry, Kling. My bad. I didn't realize until after I posted that you were discussing the original post, not my comments. The "she" you used threw me off. I'm sorry I called you a liar.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  6. Jim

    It's Middle Eastern myths, nothing more, nothing less. Every story in the Bible has a precursor in other civilizations and cultures of that time. Just compare the story of Jesus to the story of Osiris. There is plenty of evidence that Jesus did not die on the cross, as Muslims believe. There is strong evidence he visited Kashmir, and may be buried there. All Abramamic faiths treat women and 'the other' poorly. That's why we've had nothing but strife and conflict. All artificial. Mohammed, Jesus, Moses all were supposed to be about peace and love. Bullshyte.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  7. Apple Bush

    A three month old infant had to have half of her skull removed resulting from injuries of torture and abuse by her father. The infant had bruises all over her body, a blood clot in the brain, a fractured skull, many fractured ribs, a fractured wrist which has left her with brain damage. Her doctors believed the baby wouldn’t survive, but she did, although her quality of life will be anybody’s guess.

    Where is your God now?

    November 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Elliot Carlin

      Why did anyone let this happen? Perhaps the man wasn't fully evolved. We can't hold him responsible. the Child was obviously not one who was part of the fittest to survive. Man is good. God bad. Can't you see it?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • joe

      He's the reason your are upset. WIthout him, who cares becasue we are just animated pieces of meat. This tragedy will impact many people in many ways over time, God loves this child, but he allows us free will. If he controlled everthing we did, then we would not be human.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      In other words, christians are willing to make any excuse for their god.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • sean

      GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US....and there will be a price to pay for those who dont stand on the side of GOD....

      November 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, obviously dad didn't read the Bible, because then he would have known the prescribed form of punishment for disobedient children is stoning them...

      November 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I don't believe you Sean.

      November 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  8. Jim

    What spiritual authority CNN is thinking it is ?

    November 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Spriritual? I believe the article is about religion.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Soul means desire and spirit means truth, source of existence. soul desire is way of hindu atheist, filthy self centered, not of spiritual.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Doomed

      CNN is just a Troll to creates more fighting. They love doing that, and they're good at it.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  9. Edweird69

    Jesus is quoted many times in the Bible saying that a believer can ask for anything through prayer and receive it. He even goes so far as to say that mountains and trees can be thrown into the sea simply by praying for it. This is clearly a lie, and can be proven to be a lie by any believer. Simply pray for me to be converted to Christianity right away. Or better yet ask God to move the mountains behind my house. He could make a lot of converts that way. If I’m converted today, I’ll post a public apology on this site and devote my life to kissing God’s azz. If I’m not converted it would only be fair for you to apologize and devote your life to kissing my butt.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I have decided to convert from atheism to Solipsism. The ceremony is going to be a blast, I will be having all my friends and family over and un-validating their existence. Then it will just be a free-for-all. I will also be getting a tattoo of my own face on my ass.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Learn to make connection with truth absolute God, hindu, ignorant, every thing is possible with right connection with truth absolute by way of truth absolute God.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Edweird69

      @Apple – now that would make for an interesting tattoo. Especially if you had your ass tattooed on your face.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • End Religion

      apple, would you charge a royalty or anything like that if I were to get a tattoo of your ass on my face?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Get Real

      What the bible says about prayer ...ask and ye shall receive – and then testing that is proof that the bible is false and god is imaginary.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      His hind is already on his face, hind, stink of his post is witness to it.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Chad

      @Edweird69 "Jesus is quoted many times in the Bible saying that a believer can ask for anything through prayer and receive it. He even goes so far as to say that mountains and trees can be thrown into the sea simply by praying for it."

      =>you left out a very important caveat in what Jesus says...

      as I'm sure you have no idea what that caveat is (since you never read the bible and just got this concept from infidels.org or something similar), it will be a good homework assignment for you to find the verses in the bible, and post the entirety of same here..

      you want your disbelief based on fact right? So, I'm sure you are eager to understand what Jesus actually said?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Those "mountains and trees" to be thrown into the sea are,

      1.) Mountains are the governing bodies

      2.) Trees are the societal communities

      Any uestions?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      End Religion, you may tattoo whatever you wish on your face. I do not exist!

      November 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Tom

      lets get real here,,,,,,if all you can use is ten percent of your brain power and understand .......that feeling in your heart that tells you that theres more to life then what you know now,,,or dont know,,,,,and still cant even figure out the truth behind your own soul
      then maybe theres a reason for your blindnees,,,,,try using more then just 2%

      November 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Prayers or praying about things gives one time to be reflective upon the things prayed upon. Many times a prayer can be thought thru and found to be in no need of a being we take as one's god. 1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!" Our labouring together with God imparts upon the mind's eyes that we have been given an equal footing with God and are left to our own means to live out our life no matter what befalls one. Death befalls all things living. Even within the Kingdom Domains of God where does reside God's Sons and His Daughters-in-Law.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Juanito

      Ed, I'm not sure what you expect from Him, but God isn't in the carnival business. He's not about running sideshows trying to convince you of anything.

      Faith doesn't do that. In a loving relationship, it's both parties coming together in agreement and an unprovable expectation to be faithful to one another.

      We will fail Him time and again as we are living here, in a broken world, and surrounded by things that seperate us from Him(sin). As being human, anger, hate, jealousy, pride, lust, envy, you name it, are all capable of entering us. Without prayer, we don't have a chance of escaping it.

      But He won't fail us. Never once in the Bible did He promise Easy Street to anyone. Quite the contrary, Jesus said that following Him can and will kill many of us. It's actually easier to NOT follow Him(ever try forgiving someone who hit you or spit in your face? it's not easy even being Believer, impossible for those who don't. Prove me wrong on that.).

      What He will do is answer your prayers. He'll say 'yes' to some and 'no' to others. Even if its something you really want, it may not be the best thing for us or Him.

      I hope you open your heart to the real living God, Ed. He's waiting for you. All you have to do is open your heart and let Him in, accept Jesus as your personal Savior, and turn away(repent) from the garbage(sin) that keeps you away from Him.

      In His Love, Juanito

      November 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Juanito et al,

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

      Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is inside you!"

      John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world!"

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

      The troubles with unfaithful trinitarians, those who belly-up to one god times three is, they read but only into it and get very little out of what they make 'go-spellingly' in amplifications of unblessed pleasings. Their preaching in devilish tongues beatifies only the dumb-hearted relics of their christiandumbness's idiosyncratic marmoset-like redundancies. Their godly moralisms are but self-centered and self-censored upon redundant principles that are remorsefully archaic in cultured relics being those old fuddy duddies who fumble ever for their next glass worth of wine! Drunk and in temperamental stupors are the emotionally fallen in christiandumbs folds becoming sciatic pragmatisms unworthy of even one toasting for, but rather against!

      November 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Hawk in wind

      Are you sure you that you have the measure of faith that Jesus was saying was needed to move a mountain?
      I mean after all, its not enough to believe in the existence of God to move a mountain; even the devils believe in the
      existence of God; is he going to move a mountain for them?
      Have you a better relationship with God then fallen angels do? Have you reached union with God?
      Obviously God would have to move that mountain for anyone asking. So God’s got to be game to do it.
      So, if you don’t have the relationship with God, then why would you possibly believe he would do this for you?
      God has done some very miraculous things for holy people; research it for yourself read about the lives of the saints.
      Also, very importantly, God does things when he wants to, not when a human demands him to.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  10. Get Real

    Of course both are imaginary beings, but the true story is Satan is GOOD and God is EVIL. Satan tapped God on the shoulder and asked God please don't flood the earth and kill all those innocent children. God answered and said "Bra ha ha ha! I am allmighty god and can do what I want. It would please me to see those babies drown in agony! Bra ha ha ha!". Satan said "that's wack, dude! You are one cruel, sick, evil monster". So Satan left heaven and promised to help mankind against the evil imaginary God. Then one day all the people grew up and realized God and Satan are both imaginary so they went away hand in hand as boyfriends forever. That is after God asked Satan's forgiveness for all of the mean spiteful things he did. The End.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Yin and Yang
      Shadow and Light
      Day and Night
      Good and Evil
      etc etc etc

      All of these describe ourselves. So simple. So obvious.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • RazMor

      Children will be in heaven.

      Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @RazMor

      Why does God have such a hard on for making children suffer? Sick fuck, just like his preists.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Get Real

      Heaven is imaginary. Death is death and murder is murder. The bile describes a god that can only be described as an evil murdering monster.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Edweird69

      @Raz – so, what is his cut-off age for children? 11? 15? 19? Just exactly who are "children"?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • End Religion

      well let's at least hope his cutoff for children is at least 11 since he did the horizontal bop with mary when she was 12. God, setting a good example for his pedophile priests to follow....

      November 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  11. Apple Bush

    The 5-month-old was dropped off at his parents’ house on Feb. 4, strapped into his car seat. Eight days later, he was found in the same position, said Peoria County State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons during a bond hearing for the parents.

    “He died from starvation due to neglect from these two defendants, his parents,” Lyons said.

    Where is your God now.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  12. Doomed

    If atheism is such a peaceful cult, because it is in fact a cult, then why doesn't Bill Gates who have billions of dollars don't shares it with the poor and the needy ones instead of using the so called giving money to charities which he do to avoid over taxes and then reclaim his donations on his next income tax form. Why don't your so beloved Bill Maher do the same thing. No because you atheists are arrogant and don't know what compassion is. All you love is, drugs, h o m o s e x u a l i t y and every disgusting lifestyle there is out there. No wonder prisons across the world are filled with atheists. Wearing saggy pants and acting like a wigger doesn't make you to have all the answers to this world problem. We believers are not fighting you because every time there is an article about religion you just pop in and insult everyone who believes in God. You're the arrogant and destructive ones. Nothing from atheism have shown me about their compassion and love for others. Prove me wrong if you can, and i will show you tons of posting made from atheists across the internet showing you poking your nose on every religion sites to insult people.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Doomed, I read your first sentence and then stopped because the rest of your post is disqualified. Atheism is not a cult. That is just dumb.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Doomed

      It is a cult.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Elliot Carlin

      Perhaps not a cult in the theological sense, but they do worship one another (man) and they don't approach large questions (such as why are we here?) w/any humility. Dawkins is exhibit #1

      November 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Please provide definition of a cult. Then you will see your error.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • OTOH

      Elliot Carlin,
      " they [atheists] don't approach large questions (such as why are we here?) w/any humility."

      Well, "we don't know (yet, if ever)" sounds a lot more humble to me than "The Almighty Creator of the Universe loves ME and ardently desires to spend eternity with ME!"

      November 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      Classic religious redefinition of words. You guys know lying is a sin, right?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Lee

      HA. The Gates Foundation is actually the sponsor of "The Giving Pledge," which has billionaires pledge to give away at least half of their fortunes before they die. Obviously Bill Gates is a member and has accordingly pledged to do so. And just as a matter of fact, prisoners are disproportionately religious...like, WAY more than the general population.

      I mean, it's not as if there aren't plenty of examples of atheists who don't give all their money away...why would you choose to pick on the one who is possibly the most philanthropically oriented executive on the contemporary landscape? And say something about prisoners being atheists? I mean, that's a rhetorical question. It's obvious that you're an idiot. But still really, really funny stuff. Good job, sir.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Doomed

      I see no difference between any other cults and atheism. Atheists are in adoration in front of science,and in adoration for people like Stephen Hawking just like any other groups of people in adoration in front a a God or a statue or else.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Doomed

      @Lee

      You're the idiot one, find me one famous atheists who is rich and have him sending me 1 million dollars in my bank account. Why not?. You atheists would like to end religions because you supposedly have all the answers. and supposedly you can prevent children from being killed, because every time one kids dies you keep asking where was our God to stop that from happening. Where is your kindness? Where is your compassion to proves us all that you deserve more attention than religions? Find me one rich famous atheist to send me 1 million of people and i will give you credits for what you're saying. Do we have a deal here?

      November 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • OTOH

      Doomed,

      - How about you send me one million dollars for my bank account?

      - Actually, the James Randi Foundation will give a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. - http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html Go get 'em, kid!

      November 18, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Doomed

      @ Otho
      What are trying to prove? And now you atheists have put on it's feet a foundation giving millions of dollars to anyone who prove in supernatural and all. I thought you didn't believe in those thing? You say one thing and then another one that discredits the first thing you proclaimed to be. That's why atheism is a cult, we just can't trust you.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • End Religion

      I just sorta figured Doomed was a typical deluded nutter until this thread. I realize now he is of barely human intelligence. For shame. Perhaps we should ask, Doomed are you legally retarded? I wouldn't want to go on pointing out your feeble-mindedness if that were the case.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • OTOH

      Doomed,

      The James Randi Foundation's mission statement:

      "Our mission is to promote critical thinking by reaching out to the public and media with reliable information about paranormal and supernatural ideas so widespread in our society today."

      "The James Randi Educational Foundation was founded in 1996 to help people defend themselves from paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. The JREF offers a still-unclaimed million-dollar reward for anyone who can produce evidence of paranormal abilities under controlled conditions. Through scholarships, workshops, and innovative resources for educators, the JREF works to inspire this investigative spirit in a new generation of critical thinkers." –http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/about-the-foundation.html

      p.s. I am not affiliated with this Foundation, fyi, but I do support their ideas.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Doomed

      @EndReligion

      Thanks for proving us that you atheists have nothing else that comes out of your mouths other than insults and name calling. Your so beloved Bill Maher have proven himself many times being arrogant and insulting people all the time. I have not yet seen him even one time talking like an educated person other than spitting garbage at religious people. You're not any different from him, as a matter of fact all atheists are like that. And it's a proven fact.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Doomed

      @Otho

      Oh that is so very intelligent of you guys, insulting something you don't believe into and laughing at others and on the other hand are pending millions of dollars on research for something you atheists don't believe in. Wow and i thought i have heard it all.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Lee

      Why would any philanthropist, rich or not, atheist or not, give you money? Why don't you send me a million dollars? Why don't you auction off all of your Earthly possessions, like the computer you're writing your grammatically atrocious responses from, and give all the proceeds to charity? After all, you seem to think that half of Bill Gates' fortune going to charity isn't enough...so apparently you think he should donate it all?

      That said, I didn't say I whether I was was secular or not. In reality, you don't have to be secular to judge someone who thinks prisoners are mostly atheists and holds Bill Gates up as a paragon of greed as an idiot.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Doomed

      @Lee

      Have i asked you for money? I don't think i did. But of course you atheists are always turning the question around to avoid answering.It's the same thing for us believers, you keep asking proof of the existence of God. We asked nothing of you, we have nothing to proves to you , we just believe in him that's all. You are the ones who have to carry the burden of proof to prove us otherwise. We don't ask God to prove anything to us. If you don't believe in something then find your own proof and leave others alone. I bet you atheists can't leave people alone because it's not the existence of God you're out to prove, it's creating fighting that you are after. Drama queens would be a right description for Atheism.

      November 18, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Lee

      Why are you trolling for a debate on the merits of religion? Again, I never told you I was an atheist. I don't have to be an atheist to call you an idiot for criticizing Bill Gates and the prison population as greedy and disproportionately secular, respectively, when you seem to lack what's common knowledge about both topics.

      Again, why should Bill Gates send you a million dollars? And since you apparently think Bill Gates should give his whole fortune (and not just half of it) to charitable causes, why don't you give every penny you have to charity?

      November 18, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  13. Alan

    The  god theory of both Christianity and Islam are lies, there is no such thing in evolution. In order to control people these two little books were possibly fabricated from Indian text "bhagwadgita" which existed thousand of years prior to these two man made religions. In those days it was not uncommon to have magical powers in India.

    Both of  these books have a lot of loopholes like the earth being made in 6 years, and from Islam everyone else are infidels and should go to hell. Hello, I mean what "kind" of religions are these. 

    November 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Only by your hinduism, ignorance. Truth absolute GOD is physical part of life.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  14. Jim

    CNN is not going to tell Christians how to handle the Bible.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Since most of them have never read it, somebody has to.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Why should they , it is none of their business.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  15. Apple Bush

    A woman who punished a 9 year old boy by making him sit in a bathtub while she poured boiling water on him, to the point where he will require physical therapy and skin grafts and a host of reconstructive surgery, also making the boy clean the kitchen after she burned him. The youngster said his feet were too blistered to clean, and then she threatened to beat him if he didn’t clean.

    Where is your God now?

    November 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • GetRealBeLearnSpiritualTruth

      Yes, the human ego is incredible when not kept in check.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Bill

      The events that the apple bush refers to are in no way, shape or form acceptable on any level, whatsoever.

      The repeated question of 'where is your god now' is rather odd – there is a staggering disconnect in the logic of torturing a child and questioning the existence of a creator.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Juanito

      In a broken world, things, good and bad, happen. You obviously left out when people are rescued from a pending danger, you don't ask where is God now. When a guy I graduated with caught a young child who jumped from a window to escape fire, I have yet to hear 'Where is God now?'.

      In a nazi concentration camp, a young boy was stangled to death on the gallows because he was too light for the rope to break his neck when the chair was kicked out from underneath him. A fellow inmatewho was watching this muttered "Where is God now?". Simon Weisenthal thought to himself "He is there in the noose".

      You have no idea where God is because you refuse to look for Him. But He has been waiting for you, talking and communicating to you through more means than you have senses.

      I pray that you open the door to Him. He is still waiting.

      Should you decide(yes, it is your freedom to choose) not accept Him, remember that when we are judged(we will ALL be judged), none will be able to say that we never knew we had this choice.

      In His Love, Juanito

      November 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @Juanito

      You make my agrument for me. There can be no God because events are random. You just pointed that out quite well.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Juanito

      @ Apple:

      As we are born, so must we die. If i'm following your logic correctly, you sound as though if all our deaths were peaceful and in old age, then there must be a God.

      Or could it be a justice thing with you? Perhaps if those who are innocent(children, people who do good things, the elderly) will have good things happen to them and will die peacefully, while those who are criminals(murderers, rapists, molesters, thieves,etc) have really bad things happen to them and die tortuous deaths: would this make more sense to you?

      The truth is that one person's sin is no more or less than another's. How many lies does one have to make to be a liar? While I never murdered anyone, I have hated, and Jesus says in Scripture that hating is killing my brother.

      So the randomness you profess to base your belief is well accounted for in the supposed 'random' deaths of the innocents.

      No one is innocent, Ed. We are born into a broken world, and the world teaches us only more brokenness.

      It's why Jesus had to come. Not to make our world a happy place, or right the wrongs of the oppressed. Even you will agre that our lives here are but a vapor compared to time.

      To God, our salvation means more than that, and anything else. So He loaded the sin upon His Son to pay for it all.

      The only thing you have to do to get that Eternal salvation is to accept God's sacrifice.

      It won't spare you from tragedies or happiness, irratations or love. It will give you peace.

      Take the invitation, Ed. He promises you won't regret it.

      In His Love, Juanito

      November 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  16. ridiculous

    This lady has been pushing this everywhere for her own purposes for a year now.
    Bottom line is her whole premise was stupid – She was living the rules of ancient Judaism not Christianity, The whole thing is stupid and self promotional. One of the key premises of Christianity is that the old law was supplanted by Christ's teachings.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • GetRealBeLearnSpiritualTruth

      Actually, the OT gave us the law and the understanding of God. The NT enhances the understanding of God as Jesus came to earth to walk among us to die for our sins and defeat death. Both book are to be incorporated into a followers life. You can't soar with eagles until you learn how to fly. Step by step, book by book.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Get Real

      Still, god still has a track record of murdering innocent children. Like the flood story for example and how about all those first born sons in Egypt? Did not this "all loving" creator order Abraham to kill his son? Sounds like god behaves like a ruthless sadist.

      What about Jesus? There are many examples in the bible of him behaving like a total jerk. Like killing the fig tree for not having fruit when he was hungry. And when he says he came to turn brother against brother. Not the kind of guy I like to hang with.

      Human kind is very fortunate that god is imaginary and the bible is nothing more than a book of fairy tales.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  17. RazMor

    Just like the old times when Jesus came to preach. A lot of them does not believe Him.

    Psalms 14:1 The FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works,

    there is none that doeth good.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      did god capitalize "fool" or is that you judging us?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • RazMor

      I did it to make sure you can read what it said in the Bible. Not me.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Razmore

      Just like old time you be uneducated and don't talk right like stupid follower of Jesus.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • RazMor

      I did not say that to you. I just copy and paste what it said in the Bible for those does not believe in God. I did not do anything but just let you read it.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Edweird69

      There's also a scripture that says calling someone a fool puts one in danger of hell's fire. So, does the bible go against its own teachings by calling others a fool?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      All I say you is that you no can talk right just like those does believe in God.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • RazMor

      That is true, if you call your Brother in Christ. But for those does not believe in God....it's different.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Fred Bloggs

      Anyone who does not believe this statement is wrong.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Correct your elf hindu, lair, Jesus is not mentioned as HE, but he, keep your hinduism, absurdity for your self.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • GetRealBeLearnSpiritualTruth

      End Religion, take your choice, if the letters fit.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Edweird69

      @Raz – since I'm not a part of the body of Christ, then let me take this very special moment, to call you a FOOL !

      November 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • RazMor

      Sorry, I did not say this fool to you. I just want to make sure that you know what the Bible said about those people saying there is no God. I did not tell you this fool to you.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Raz,
      "Psalms 14:1 The FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works,"

      A quite old and sometimes effective tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools'. Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

      Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

      The ancient, primitive Hebrews who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

      -------------------
      "Just look, Your Majesty, what colors! What a design!" They pointed to the empty looms, each supposing that the others could see the stuff.

      "What's this?" thought the Emperor. "I can't see anything. This is terrible!

      Am I a fool? Am I unfit to be the Emperor? What a thing to happen to me of all people! – Oh! It's very pretty," he said. "It has my highest approval." And he nodded approbation at the empty loom. Nothing could make him say that he couldn't see anything." – The Emperor's New Clothes

      November 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  18. Apple Bush

    Doctors found chemical burns on the toddler’s face, hands and eyes. The burns on the girl’s eyes caused severe corneal damage that could result in her losing her vision.

    The girl also suffered hemorrhages in both eyes and at least 50 cuts on her hands. Doctors discovered seven broken bones in her left hand and five in her right, which they believe were caused by “violent squeezing or blows directly to the hands."

    Patches of her hair were missing as were two teeth, injuries which doctors’ said were consistent with blunt force trauma.

    Where is your God now?

    November 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Peaking thru keyholes to see if 2 guys or 2 gals were getting it on together.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Or busy talking to Pat Robertson...preoccupied, none the less.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • GetRealBeLearnSpiritualTruth

      Apple, what part of that mother standing before Jesus when she departs from this world, do you not comprehend?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @GetRealBeLearnSpiritualTruth

      I don't comprehend any of it. Thanks for asking.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Handle Wrangler

      @GetRealBeLearnSpiritualTruth

      I don't comprehend your new handle.

      Is it:
      GetReal Be LearnSpiritual Truth?
      Get RealBe Learn SpiritualTruth?
      GetReal BeLearn Spiritual Truth?
      Get Real Be Learn Spiritual Truth?
      or what?

      *no wonder you stuck with your original simpleton one for such a long time...
      or maybe you have sprung another cog?

      November 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  19. LouAz

    The use of supernaturalism to manipulate and control people is the world's oldest confidence scheme, it relies on the ritual abuse of children at their most impressionable stage by adults who have themselves been made childish for life by artifacts of the primitive mind.- Your Mom on a CNN comment.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • GetRealBeLearnSpiritualTruth

      LouAz, what part of you haven't a clue to what Jesus teaches, do you not comprehend?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  20. David Scott

    The Biblical model of marriage is not polygamy. That's as ignorant as saying that God condoned slavery. Just because that is what people were doing in biblical times does not mean God condones it. God's model of marriage is Adam and Eve.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Harry

      Try the book of Leviticus and then get back to us.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      The Biblical model of marriage is polygamy. That's as correct as saying that God condoned slavery. Just because that is what people were doing in biblical times does not mean God did not condone it. God's model of marriage is not Adam and Eve.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • LouAz

      Oh, he gave me special instructions back of the pulpit Christmas Eve. He got to howlin' "Repent! Repent!" and I got to moanin' "Save me! Save me!" and the first thing I know he rammed the fear of God into me so fast I never heard my old man's footsteps! – Lulu Bains in Elmer Gantry

      November 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Andy

      The Biblical model for marriage was polygamy for time periods covered by the Old and New Testaments. It is only in the NT that we start to see decrees regarding polygamy and only for certain types of people such as bishops.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Andy

      Interesting that it is often atheists that have to teach the Bible to believers, lol.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Adam and Eve were never married. Also, In the following parable, Jesus clearly approves of beating slaves even if they didn't know they were doing anything wrong.–
      The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

      November 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Edweird69

      @Raz – oh good, since I'm not a body of Christ, I can call you a fool... FOOL !

      November 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • GetRealBeLearnSpiritualTruth

      Yes, the atheists on this site would rather the reality of what was happening at that time of life would occur. Women were tossed into the garbage heap because a man refused to take care of her and her children. Since women outnumbered men at that time because Pharoah killed the male children of the Hebrews (remember Moses was slotted for this demise as a newborn infant), polygamy was a way to ensure women survived. Oh, too much reality for atheists that don't ever think anything through to a logical conclusion.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • jrargueta

      The story of Adam and Eve is very questionable. First, when they were expelled from paradise, there were already other people living even in cities. Second, their story is not original but a copy from Sumerian mythology.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:58 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.