My Take: Searching for God, settling for sex
November 24th, 2012
08:00 PM ET

My Take: Searching for God, settling for sex

Editor's Note: Shannon Ethridge is an advocate for spiritual and sexual integrity. She is a counselor, speaker, author and certified life and relationship coach. Her 19 books include the million-selling Every Woman's Battle book series, "The Sexually Confident Wife" and her latest book, "The Fantasy Fallacy," a response to the "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon, a discussion of the roots and role of sexual fantasies.

By Shannon Ethridge, Special to CNN

(CNN) - When a friend alerted me to the "Fifty Shades" trilogy in April, none of us had any idea it would sell in excess of 40 million copies within months, or that sales of whips, chains and other BDSM paraphernalia would skyrocket as a result, or that a European hotel would replace its Gideon’s Bibles with "Fifty Shades of Grey."

Many legitimate possibilities have been offered for the seeming success of “mommy porn.” Women are more sexually liberated than ever before. Couples are longing for ways to spice up their sex lives. Many women have a deep inner longing to be dominated by a man who’s absolutely obsessed with them.

While there might be some truth to each of these theories, I think the real force behind this "Fifty Shades" phenomenon is that our society is clamoring for closeness. However, in the absence of genuine sexual intimacy (best defined as “in-to-me-see”), we settle for sexual intensity: erotica, pornography, an office romance, an extramarital affair or whatever strokes the ego and provides the sexual high we crave.

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I suggest that sexual intensity (such as that experienced between the lead characters of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy) is simply not the same as intimacy. If it were, then prostitutes and porn stars would be the most emotionally and relationally fulfilled people on the planet. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

Does the entangling of arms and legs and the exchange of bodily fluids scratch the human itch for intimate connection? Or is sex just the closest thing we can imagine to what we’re really craving: a deeper spiritual and emotional connection, both with our Creator and with His creation?

When I explain through my writing, speaking and life coaching that I am an “advocate for healthy sexuality and spirituality,” some assume I’m insane. Why would someone even use the terms “sexuality” and “spirituality” in the same sentence? I do so because I believe they are basically the same thing, or at least two sides of the same coin.

Regardless of gender, age, race, political views, economic status, etc., all humans have two things in common: We are both spiritual and sexual beings. And behind every sexual longing, I believe there’s an even deeper spiritual longing.

So we have much to learn about God through understanding our sexuality, and there is much to learn about our sexuality through a deeper exploration of God.

Looking at sexuality through a spiritual lens, and vice versa, is not a new concept. In the Song of Solomon, a man's and woman’s desires for healthy sexual intimacy are celebrated. In the book of Hosea, God uses the analogy of a husband’s relentless pursuit of a sexually unfaithful bride to illustrate the depth of His own passion and commitment to His people. God obviously knew that “sexual metaphors” would teach us about ourselves and about Him.

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This brings me back around to the "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon. I don’t believe that fantasy is evil, even sexual fantasy. But when we divorce physical pleasure from emotional connection, such as when we selfishly strive for orgasm through pornography, masturbation or illicit sexual encounters rather than cultivating sexual ecstasy with our marriage partner, sexual ecstasy is only “half-baked.” Love and relational intimacy are the “yeast” that allows our sexual ecstasy to rise to its highest level.

My counseling experience shows me that we often seek healing for our deepest wounds via sexual encounters. Our minds and hearts believe we will “get it right” or “find the love I need” via an intensely satisfying sexual relationship.

If deep and spiritual intimacy is what humans seek, then relational or sexual intensity can never satisfy our deepest longings or heal our oldest wounds. Christian and Anastasia (for all the "Fifty Shades" fans) won’t discover heart-deep intimacy in whips, chains, pain and sexual intensity. Their deep wounds will be healed by sacrificial love (of which Christ is the incarnate example) and intimate relationship (both human and divine). Soul-deep intimacy is what we seek, and it’s ultimately found in the God who created human sexuality.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Shannon Ethridge.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Sex

soundoff (1,819 Responses)
  1. I am searching for God

    Romance and romantic love afairs are part of life..life life life life life life.

    Life is wonderful. Romance is wonderful.

    God and religion for me are about death.

    Death death death death death death death.

    This article is not helpful to me at all.

    November 30, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • Joanna

      Politics, religion and debate are all just irrelevant side streets, in the end the bottom line is the same for us all.

      November 30, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • just4liberty

      It seems to me that death is simply a part of our wonderful life. My faith assures me that death is not the end of life. When you don't view death as the polar opposite of life, but understand it to be a part of life (or even as the start of a higher dimension of life), the "death, death, death ..." you write about isn't such a gloomy idea.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • mike hunt

      as a fan of life you should be a fan of relegion. Relegion is about eternal life. Its only about death if your some sort of self centered satanist.

      November 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Eric

      Religion is more about control and manipulation through FEAR and ignorance. What is IS, whether we buy into absurb man made religious doctrine or not. So much of our life energy and possiblity is robbed by the time wasted on religious pursuit. It we were encouraged to discover our true selves from the start guided by the voice within us and encouraged and supported by truly enlightened elders imparted for the right reasons we'd be a lot better off and a lot further along.

      November 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  2. Toni

    I happen to like this article...helps with my own beliefs..but I must pose a question on those who happen to be atheist. If you don't believe in God or Religion, then why does it offend you so much that someone else does? I don't think thats ALL atheist, mind you.Just as it's wrong to say that all Christians are uneducated..it's dismissive,rude, and ignorant say. It just seems like a lot of atheists are more defensive of what they "don't believe" than some people who happen to believe in a higher power. Not that its a good comparison but its like beating up the mall Santa because you don't believe in Santa Claus..that may be your personal opinion but why take it to the extreme? Believe or don't..we won't know who was right until the end. #JustDoYou
    Ps: I happen to like what @Christian said...they know what they believe and stick to it but are not dismissive of people who happen to believe something different. I think thats how it should be.

    November 30, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • sam stone

      Toni: It doesn't bother me that people "believe in god". It bothers me that people use that belief to deny others their civil rights.

      November 30, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • Joanna

      I am agnostic not atheist. But it does not offend me when people believe in God or religion. It intrigues me to no end, I want alot of it to be true very very disperately.. Much like any person who has a set religion I too want to survive. I just am unable to wrap my mind around the concepts entailed in most religions.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • David

      And here again the Conservative Christian has mastered the art of being the bully while pretending to be the victim.

      It does not offend an Atheist if someone else wants to believe in God. It offends them when that person decides to IMPOSE his/her beliefs on the Atheist (Gay marriage, prayer in schools, Creationism taught in Biology classes, etc). The Atheist, on the other hand, does not want to prohibit the Christian from going to church, does not want to force evolution taught in church, does not want to have "there is no God" printed on money, etc. In other words, the Atheist simply wants to live his/her life; unfortunately, the Conservative Christian won't allow it.

      Conservative Christians = our nation's biggest bully group

      November 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Jared

      I understand your sentiments about atheists. I have encountered these angry atheist too. I am atheist, but am not offended by the the concept of a God, or even Gods, or the supernatural. All Gods are simply left in the super-natural in the aspect that no science can ever or will ever demonstrate evidence of a god. Most religions cognitively and/or physically coerce people into their belief system through the threat of torture and death.
      What is frustrating is when people use their religions as a political tool, a way to segregate and kill people, a justification for war or subjugating other peoples(. Religion, or a belief in a perfect absolute(I'm right-you're wrong) mentality allows so many maladies to occur. Though, I also understand that religion is the "opiate of the masses" as in it doesn't take the pain away as much as it lessens the emotional suffering humans experience.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      No atheist I ever heard of has ever threatened a believer with eternal fiery torment for their belief, but believers regularly wish it upon, or predict it for, those who don't follow their particular brand of delusion.

      December 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  3. What you need

    Say what?

    November 30, 2012 at 1:34 am |
  4. Mike LVNV

    If atheism is true then what is the point of life? Why do we obey laws. Who cares about anything we do in our lives as it doesn't make any difference when we die. Why try to be good and help others? In atheism when you die you are dead and that is the end of it. How did we evolve into a non caring atheistic society? BTW, where are the ancient writings on atheism? I find ancient writings on God in all Countries. USA, Asia, China, Africa. India, etc., but none on atheism. Enlighten me so i can study up on it . Thanx.

    November 30, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • carlos

      Check out the Book of Ecclesiastes bro. It's in the bible.

      November 30, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • VoiceOfReason

      I don't think human beings are caring only for the fear of god or for some payback after life or in the next life. Humans are social creatures and regardless of what they believe in, they need to bond and care for each other for survival. We obey the laws so that all of our lives are more fulfilled. People understand that anarchy would not benefit them in the long run, which is why we have formed societies and societies have rules and laws that people must obey or risk being ostracized or their privileges being taken away (modern form of which is prison/punishment by law of the land).

      November 30, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • sam stone

      we do good because it feels good. why is that hard to understand?

      November 30, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • sam stone


      November 30, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • Joanna

      I agree, Mike that there are many educated Christians alot of them in the field of medicine as opposed to physics. I think we need further research all of us on the subject of life after death. Most humans want to survive and will attempt to do so by way of Christianity, yoga, the expectation of reincarnation or the persuit of astral travel if that exists. I dont think mocking one another is getting any of us anywhere. I do agree with atheism's point that religion is not science.

      November 30, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • sam stone

      joanna: how does one research life after death?

      November 30, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      It shouldn't be hard to get a few true believers to volunteer to die and (try to) report back on their experiences. If they're from the right cult, they won't try to take anyone with them.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Mike LVNV

      "If atheism is true then what is the point of life?"

      I understand this tp mean if there is no god, something I don't claim to know. If there isn't, there still are a large number of religious views that don't posit a god yet have a "point", such as evolving through incarnations. But for most non-believers the point is to enjoy life and to enrich the enjoyment of life for others.

      "Why do we obey laws."

      We obey laws because it promotes the greater welfare of society. Most humans are by nature altruistic (those that aren't are sociopaths). More selfishly we obey them to avoid shame and arrest, but that is not the main motivation for most.

      "Who cares about anything we do in our lives as it doesn't make any difference when we die."

      People care because the now matters. IF now doesn't matter, then why would a whole eternity of nows matter?

      "Why try to be good and help others?"

      Same answer as the laws question above. There's a lot of research out there on how people are inherently altruistic. Not only does helping others make us happy, but we will often help others even when it does not. A mother will usually choose a life of misery or death to make her child happy, for example. This is how humans have evolved.

      "In atheism when you die you are dead and that is the end of it. How did we evolve into a non caring atheistic society?"

      Why would you say we are less caring? It is only now i the US that we are working to give healthcare to the poor and extend civil rights to gay couples. People still care. (and the majority are not atheists yet, btw)

      "BTW, where are the ancient writings on atheism? I find ancient writings on God in all Countries. USA, Asia, China, Africa. India, etc., but none on atheism. Enlighten me so i can study up on it . Thanx."

      Most forms of Buddhism and Daoism to not incorporate a god, although some do. Even many forms of Hinduism, often seen as polytheistic, do not conceive of a conscious god or gods, but consider the idea of gods a simplied illusion to aid our understanding. But really in history I don't think it made sense to have an atheistic society, as thinking gods made a much better explanation for the unpredicatable aspects of nature we couldn't understand. Now most of those unpredictable elements are explained, so we question the need for gods who now play a different role.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      The point of life is life, Mike.

      We obey laws so that society works. So that our lives, and others lives, are easier and better.

      If you need the fear of punishment/hope of a prize to be a good person, if you think that ill of yourself and think yourself that evil of a person only kept in check by that fear and hope..,. I don't want to know you. You're not sane.

      I put it that an 'atheistic' society would be far more intrested in the here and now, and the possibilties of good outcomes for all. Not bogged down in 'is it in this holy scripture' or 'oh, this scripture gives me guidlines to be mean to this group of people.'

      ancient writings that are atheistic? You haven't looked to far. Check out some of the greek philosophers. Some of them were avowed atheists. They are some of the oldest writngs we have.

      November 30, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • EnjaySea

      The fact that you've found writings about a deity Mike, in all the countries you listed, is that people live in all the countries you listed. And people are the ones doing the writing.

      The existence of writings about a concept does not substantiate the concept. It's human nature to believe in a deity, so that's why you find books on the topic.

      And, I'm sorry, but you seem to be making the point that only "ancient" books are valid books, and that's pretty ridiculous. People weren't any smarter in ancient times than they are now. I'd say that were exactly as smart as they are now, because they belonged to the same species.

      November 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • VoiceOfReason

      Also, compared to the numbers reported in the surveys I think atheisim, or more precisely, people with doubts (as opposed to unwavering faith) are way more prevelant than one would think.

      Like others have pointed out earlier we needed god to explain a lot of things including something which now seems as simple as lightening. With the advancement of sciences much of these reasons have disappeared.

      There are still unexplained things – there is a theory on original of universe but it relies on the fact that universe existed in a stabe state for eternity before big bang and time itself originated then – still leaves the question how universe existed for eternity. There have been challenges to Darwin's theory as well.

      For me, my mind is too small to understand whether god exists of not.

      I will still do good because that is what my survival instincts tell me. Whether god made met his way or nature did is beyond my simple mind.

      Just like it is unreasonable for people with doubts to assume that religious people are stupid, IMO it is unreasonable for religious people to assume that non-religious people are uncaring and ararchists and that world can't exist without faith. Trust me it already does with possibly a majority of people who have doubts.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Atheists do those moral things because they care about the dignity of life. They don't behave nobly out of fear of some eternal boogeyman.

      December 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  5. Robert Hauck

    This is absolute truth. This is what priests in my church – The Roman Catholic Church – believe when they take their vows of celibacy. Priests who fall do so because of moving away from their intimacy with God.

    November 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  6. Superman

    What do Atheists believe?

    November 29, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Wow

      What do Atheists believe? They do have a belief system. They do 'live" by it. They do believe in total annihilation after death. They do believe that there isn't a god, goddess or greater power...they do have followers that they teach to believe the same things.

      Yes, Atheism is a religion.

      November 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Brimstone

      In truth, not fanciful fairy tales.

      November 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • nope

      "Yes, Atheism is a religion."

      nope, all you are proving is Christians are stupid.

      November 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • BU2B

      "Wow", atheism has no rituals, invisible friends, messiahs, holy days, or holy books.

      November 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Which God?

      Hey stuporman, you can use your super powers to look it up in a real dictionary. Lazy fukk.

      November 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Damocles

      Atheists believe in self-anhilation after death: There is nothing after this life.
      Atheists believe that there are no gods, goddess or higher powers.
      Atheists believe that everyone should believe the same way they do.
      Atheists have groups of people that actively engage in converting people to their way of believing.
      Atheism is a religion, just like any other religion. Atheism is as extreme as christian fundamentalism.
      If you'd like to be your own person, try being Agnostic. You can do as you please, believe as you please and be a good person without having to believe in what other people demand of you.

      November 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Sam Stone

      Superman: Thinking a lot about penises, are you?

      November 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Superman

      Why sam, are you thinking a lot about penises too? Call me!

      November 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Which God?

      Hey stuporman. I never wrote about peni.ses. You did though. Enjoy your fetish to the extreme I bet. Keep chin wipes handy, and remember to use knee pads. Don't want you tired for your next round sukking.

      November 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Christian


      I'm a Christian too (at least by my own standards, many would say otherwise) but I don't necessarily agree that Atheism is a religion. Here's why, take myself for example: I believe everything an atheist believes, and then some. I believe that's how all spiritual people should be. Because it's not a presence of differing beliefs that atheists have, but rather a lack of extra beliefs in things like God, praying, etc that define them as atheists. Atheists believe in science - but everybody should. A belief in science is not like a belief in God. I believe in science for the same reason that atheists do: because true, good science is infallibly correct. But belief in something that transcends, yet coexists with logic is something beautiful and eye opening.

      Kinda got off topic there but hopefully that paragraph is still fun to read lol. 🙂 Have a good day everybody, try not to troll too much.

      November 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      i believe the children are our future...

      November 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Joanna

      Atheists believe there is nothing after death. I assume they believe this because of what we know for sure about death which is mostly nothing. In so far as all of us humans know awareness stops and starts in the brain and the brain does not survive death. I consider myself agnostic, in otherwords I'm betting on the unknown factor. In other words we never know what we don't know.

      November 30, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • EnjaySea

      I don't believe in belief.

      I accept something as true, when I see evidence, and withhold judgement when I don't. Is there some requirement that we all have "beliefs?". What do beliefs do for you that reality doesn't?

      November 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Atheists believe that reality as expressed by evidence is much more comforting than fantastic imaginary beings and worlds that can't be seen.

      December 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Everyone is an atheist of one sort or another. There are thousands of gods that christians don't believe in; atheists just believe in one less god that that.

      December 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

    "Nietzsche predicted that European decadence would produce a miserable “last man” devoid of any purpose beyond making life comfortable and making provision for regular fornication."

    Dinesh D'Souza

    November 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Um... so what? Did you have a point or are we just quoting what other people quote of dead philosophers?

      November 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

      I think the quote is applicable to the current state of the U.S. As we grow more secular I suppose the trend will continue.

      November 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Strange that you provide a quote of an anti-secular politician saying some philospher said something. Why not provide the actual quote or prediction from Nietzsche?

      November 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Quoting 'loser' D'Souza now? How's his love life? Still living a life of "Christian" values – as a married man claiming to be engaged to a married 'other' woman?

      November 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      "Christianity was from the beginning, essentially and fundamentally, life's nausea and disgust with life, merely concealed behind, masked by, dressed up as, faith in 'another' or 'better' life." Nietzsche

      from Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, p.23, Walter Kaufmann transl.

      November 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Dinesh would know about decadence, and his arguments are rather miserable...

      November 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      Please show that being involved with religion leads to less decadence.

      November 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm |

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      Please show that being involved with religion leads to less decadence."

      Well if God does not exist and atheism is the case then obviously you are left with materialism correct? Atheist love to point out and correctly if the statistics regarding secularism are correct that religion seems to be declining here. Is our society not more "decadent" than says 50 years ago? One can easily see the correlation.

      November 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No KRHOADS,

      There is no indication that our society is any more decadent, I think there is a misconception that it is. Even if it is shown that it is more decadent then you would still have to show diect causation that it is from a lack of religion. Question, why do the states that are shown to be the most religious have the highest amounts to teen pregnancy and divorce.... it doesn't seem to be from a lack of religion.

      November 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Oh, and I don't claim no god exists, just that the likely hood that the Christian god is real is the same that Zues is real.

      November 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • think for a change

      Decadence and atheism might have increased in the last fifty years but that's just a correlation, not a causation. Just like the number of pirates has decreased over the past few hundred years while the average temperature has risen. It doesn't mean lack of pirates cause global warming.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Brimstone

      "...making life comfortable and making provision for regular fornication."

      Pretty sure men have been attempting this since the beginning of human existence.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • MR FOCUS

      Misery and comfort are mutually exclusive.

      November 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      "Well if God does not exist and atheism is the case then obviously you are left with materialism correct? "
      I suspect you heard this theory in church. I had another christian friend try it on me (she's now an atheist).

      There are plenty of "isms" left after you are done with godism. There's existentialism, objectivism, realism, altruism (I highly recommend you update your vocabulary with this one)...

      November 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  8. so whut

    A Christmas Joke:
    A man asks his pastor: "Can you find a scriptural passage that reveals something about PMS?"
    Later the pastor provides the sole biblical reference to PMS:
    "And Mary rode Joseph's ass all the way into town..."

    November 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  9. ludicrous lulu

    RE: "We have valid scientific evidence for the expansion of this universe starting just a couple femtoseconds after the expansion started – back to the Planck Epoch. Nowhere in this science, or facts, or evidence, do we see a god or gods."

    What came before the expansion? Hmmm? Even nothing is something. Did nothing make itself? Of course, I'm playing devils advocate here... a god couldn't make itself out of nothing either, could it. Thinking about such things always ends with one thought: we don't know very much and to say we 'know' god exists or that god does not exist is ludicrous.

    November 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • PaulB

      I don't think that the big minds in Big Bang theory, like Hawking, argue that the universe came "out of nothing". Deep within the math and evidence it's suggested that forces were always present and that nothing "external", like a god, was necessary for the universe to unfold. So, in reality, the natural explanation isn't nearly as illogical and convoluted as the divine explanation.

      November 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • erik

      That's correct. Science will never prove nor disprove the existence of God. All we can do is formulate scientific hypotheses based on the best available evidence and determine, from the hypothesis, whether God is required to explain what we can see and measure and quantify. No serious scientist will claim that science has disproven the existence of God.

      However, logical consistency is required, not only of science, but also of religion. This is where many people have a problem with religion. They point out, in many cases, legitimate inconsistencies in the various religions and determine that God cannot be the author of that religion; the underlying assumption being that God is perfect and cannot be associated with logical errors.

      My personal view is that all religion is born from the almost universal feeling among individual humans that they are important. Religion comes from the human ego. That is why it generally presents a God who is obsesively concerned about us. If one is willing to accept the premise that the universe, and everything it contains, is meaningless, then there is no more need for God as an explanation. However, this is too dark of a concept for many people to accept. Therefore, they cling to the intensely personal hope that their religion provides.

      November 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • PaulB

      The entire host of "mythical" creatures, including other gods, monsters, fairies, elves, ghosts, aliens, giants, etc... cannot be "proved" non-existant either, but it's hardly intellectually dishonest to decide not to be agnostic about any of them. Humans are imaginative and we are also easily fooled even by things we witness for ourselves, so we know that the vast majority of such beings could very likely to be just make believe.

      Almost all gods and goddesses are accepted by most people as having always been pure myth, and none out of these thousands has ever been proven to be real. Given that kind of track record isn't it only reasonable not to just take someone's word that their god happens to be real? Honestly, I don't think that we're being unreasonable here, do you?

      November 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • PaulB

      "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.

      "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

      "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

      Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design

      November 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  10. JDM

    Who would win in a fight: S.ex or God?

    November 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Huebert

      Well considering only one of them is real.....

      November 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • PaulB

      There's a sizeable number of people who would rather give up se x than their cell phone, so I wouldn't count my chickens just yet.

      November 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  11. Seriously

    CNN is using S.ex on the Belief Blog to get Page Views. That's funny. What's next in the queue: If Christ was a Kardashian . . .?
    Even worse, we clicked on it!

    November 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • erik


      November 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Ken

      Well, the Kardashians are all overrated, if that's what you mean? 🙂

      November 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  12. erik

    To lol??:

    Matthew 7:14 – "small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (NIV)

    Why do you call me a liar and an antichrist when I say few people are finding God? I'm merely quoting Christ himself. Is it possible that you are the one who is deceived and destined to burn in hell for all eternity?

    November 28, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Reality

      Luke 13:23-24 = Matt 7:13-14– Said passages are considered a single attestation (Luke copied them from Matthew) and therefore historically inauthentic. See http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb163.html and Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years pp. 152-154. ".....these passages are inauthentic and have been formulated by the community or by Matthew himself. "

      November 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • PaulB

      If so few can enter then that means that almost all of the 2 billion or so people in this world calling themselves "Christians", including possibly yourself, are all just wasting their time, right? Isn't this like playing the lottery except, in an actual lottery, there is? Not everyone can win, so how can you judge those of us who feel it's a waste of time and resources to play this game?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  13. donner

    The earth is 350 years old. My whole trailer park thinks so.

    November 28, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Reality

      Good one !!!!

      November 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  14. God's son

    @Primewonk – I do not feel there needs to be a debate between creationism and evolution. The earth is no doubt old. People miss the point with science and God. God created the universe and the earth and everything on it, therefore, He created science. These concepts are not opposites, but are very intertwined. Science does not disprove a God, but proves His existence. All science does is gives us an understanding into the mysteries that God created.

    November 28, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • fintastic

      @gods son.................. "God created the universe and the earth and everything on it,"

      Please provide evidence to back up your claim.

      November 28, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Primewonk

      We have valid scientific evidence for the expansion of this universe starting just a couple femtoseconds after the expansion started – back to the Planck Epoch. Nowhere in this science, or facts, or evidence, do we see a god or gods. Adding a god or gods to the mix adds no increased explanatory power, or facts, or evidence. All it adds is a layer of complexity that is not needed or warranted.

      We have valid scientific theories and hypotheses and facts and evidence for the formation of this solar system and this planet. In none of this do we see the existence of any god or gods. Adding a god or gods does not give us any increased explanatory power. Adding a god or gods only adds an unnecessary layer of complexity that is not needed or war rented.

      We have valid scientific theories, hypotheses, facts and evidence for abiogenesis. In fact, some research groups have already created self replicating RNA that undergoes evolution. No god or gods are needed. Adding a god or gods does not increase the explanatory power. It only adds an unnecessary and unwarranted layer of complexity.

      The theory of evolution is the single most confirmed theory in all science. 150+ years of facts and evidence. And nowhere in any of this do we see the presence of any god or gods. Adding a god or gods to the mix does not add any additional explanatory power to the ToE. It only adds a layer of complexity that is not need or warranted.

      From the reading of your bible, your version of a god was an incredibly scientifically ignorant putz. Grade school children of today are more scientifically advanced than your god. He was so scientifically ignorant that he screwed up the very first verse of the very first chapter of the very first book in your bible. When a god gets the very first thing completely wrong, it does not bode well for the rest.

      November 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Just because you claim your god is the cause of everything does not make it true. We could susti.tute any other god in your post and it would be equally valid....or no god. Inserting a non-provable "proof" into the discussion is meaningless.

      November 28, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • tomek.go

      Energy cannot be created nor destroyed is the basic underlying principle of physics that really cannot be explained. After all if energy/matter cannot be created how did it come to exist? So given that the basic truth about physics cannot be explained how come you are so quick about dismissing the idea that God might indeed exist?

      November 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • PaulB

      If energy cannot be created then how did God supposedly do it?

      November 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • PaulBel

      Please, if you are going to site scientific theorems then at least get the wording correct. In laymen's terms, it would be "Matter or energy is neither created nor destroyed, but rather transformed." This oft-used phrase speaks to the conservation of mass and energy. It also relates to the famous Einstein equation of E=mc^2, which equates matter and energy. Citing the conservation of mass and energy as an argument for the existence of god is, to say the least, ludicrous.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • fintastic


      you didn't answer my question..... "Please provide evidence to back up your claim."

      November 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm |

    LOVE and MERCY of a husband and a wife towards each other is good.


    November 28, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • Rick Warren

      Bob, will you come out with me?

      November 28, 2012 at 7:58 am |

      Jesus Blood / Jesus Water

      Fall Special 50% OFF!

      5 oz or 7 oz gold decorative bottles

      Sale ends 11/30/2012


      November 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  16. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Now for the nitty-gritty of 21st century "love":: Only for those who care about practicing safe s-ex:

    Before embarking on a search for some god and settling for se-x, an important life-saving, disease-elimination message:

    The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute.

    Please see p. 118 for added details.

    November 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  17. Douglas

    HIV infection rates up!!! Celibacy is the answer to Stop the New Plague.

    Recent reports reveal alarming statistics on new HIV infections, with heavy transmission of the virus from
    young gay/bi MSM according to the CDC.

    This heartbreaking news is disturbing because the practice of celibacy can stop the spread of virus from the host
    to the victim.

    Hold an information night forum at your place of worship. Feel free to use the Bible
    to point out the risks and dangers that coital fornication present. Have high risk groups
    at your place of worship sign celibacy pledges and provide recognition and rewards for
    couples who maintain disease free status.

    Hope springs eternal!

    November 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheese makers

      "I gave my word to stop at third"

      November 28, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • End Religion

      New infection rates are not up. Perhaps at your "information night" you can preach about not transgressing the commandment about "bearing false witness"?

      CDC report from 2009/2010:
      – http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/HIVFactSheets/TodaysEpidemic-508.pdf
      – "Yet, despite increasing HIV prevalence and more opportuni-ties for HIV transmission, the number of new infections has been relatively stable since the mid-1990s."

      "the practice of celibacy can stop the spread of virus from the host to the victim."
      The practice of celibacy can also stop the spread of the human race. I think I'll take my chances.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:02 am |
    • PaulB

      Celibacy, or the development of an effective vaccine, which I think would be more effective than just demanding that people stay away from just one of the ways to contract the disease.

      November 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  18. Evangelical

    Anyone who knows the true purpose of s.ex will not fall into the trap the author laid out. It is only when s.ex is divorced from it's true purpose is when sin comes into play.

    November 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And of course, you are an authority on the subject, aren't you? And you know the real purpose of s3x, right? Go ahead. Make my day.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Come on Tom, you know it's to increase the number of brainwashed-from-birth christian-death-cult members! And to subjugate women!!

      November 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • lol??

      Pipe an Eastwood fan. Who'd a thunk it? bully, bully, bullY........bully, bully, bullY. Latino flavor! hot Saucie.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • lol??

      Is subjugate lower than Watergate?

      November 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • lol??

      Wise Latino maMA, wise Latino maMA.....anuther dippy catlik.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • PaulB

      S ex is just for reproduction, right? I find it ironic that the people who typically don't believe in evolution, like evangelicals, are the ones who think that we shouldn't behave any differently than the animals.

      November 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Athy

      Sex is an integral part of evolution. Sexual reproduction (as opposed to asexual reproduction) greatly increases the variabilty in the gene pool thus allowing timely (and successful) responses to environmental changes.

      November 28, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • Sam Stone

      ooooh.......sin.......how pious of you, eva.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:47 am |
    • lol??

      Athy, you brought up pools. The kweers have no complaints for being left out. Just about every community in americult has built a swimmin' hole for em with their sewage treatment plants. It's a Scarab thing, jewelry for the rich.

      November 28, 2012 at 7:18 am |
  19. BLOW ME

    Everyone, please form a single line, and blow me.

    November 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • lol??

      Yup, another bully from americult.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • lol??

      Athena and the educratists are experts at turning out bullies by the zillions.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • lol??

      The story about Sodom and Gomorrah is a story about Hillary's demobocracy.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Missy

      Americult? Educratists? Demobocracy?

      Three posts in a row featuring words from your own personal language, I suppose? Is there a dictionary for Stupidish, or are you going to provide the definitions for us?

      November 27, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • lol??

      Missy, you overlooked Blow. Let me make an educated guess. You are a PUblic Servant and work for the Diverse Beast. You like enslavement of the citizens. So give us the definition of blow. is it "Produce flowers or be in flower."?

      November 28, 2012 at 6:44 am |
    • lol??

      Missy is bloomin'!!! Feels gud, huh?

      November 28, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • fintastic

      lol?? = troll = ignore

      November 28, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  20. dedyasdar

    to those of you who challenge the existence of god, u re obviously wasting your time n energy to prove that god does exist or doesn't. there is only one evidence in this life which can prove that god does exist, it is all human being are going to die and we have no power to escape from it. atheists are pagan of their own mind and logical reason they try to reason and prove in scientific approach and logic but they fail to prove how the world and people bodies are created. all religion share the common values of goodness, compassion, love, respect, serenity, happiness, and concord of all human being. can we imagine if all people on this planet obey and stick in religions'value. obviously. we would live in harmony and peace.

    November 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Wow. You know nothing of religion.

      November 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Athy

      My 11-year-old grandson can write better than you. You've got to be a biblebabbler.

      November 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If all religions share common values of goodness, compassion, love, respect, serenity, happiness, and concord of all human being, how come they spread fear, anger, hate and are so devisive?

      November 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • lol??

      occurs 49 times in 46 verses in the KJV"

      November 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • lol??

      One example: "Luk 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."

      November 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • lol??

      occurs 69 times in 66 verses in the KJV " That's the judgment of demobocracy.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • PaulB

      People stopped believing in 99.999% of all gods without their being "proven" to be unreal. People just realized the obvious, so why should we bother doing anything different with your God?

      November 27, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Sam Stone

      you cannot prove god does not exist any more than you can prove the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist

      November 28, 2012 at 4:51 am |
    • Sam Stone

      "all human being are going to die and we have no power to escape from it"

      all gods die and they have no power to escape from it. man has created many, many gods. most are long forgotten. as christianity, islam, judaism, etc will be some day.

      also, how does knowledge of our own mortality prove the existence of a god? can you support your point or are you just going to post and run?

      November 28, 2012 at 6:44 am |
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About this blog

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