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Is praying for a lottery win frowned upon? Depends on who you ask
November 28th, 2012
02:51 PM ET

Is praying for a lottery win frowned upon? Depends on who you ask

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – With odds of purchasing the winning Powerball ticket set at 1 in 175,223,510 – longer odds than dying from a bee sting or being struck by lighting – it shouldn’t be shocking that lotto hopefuls are turning to God for some divine intervention in advance of Wednesday night’s drawing for a $550 million jackpot.

One hastily set up website, “Prayer List for Powerball,” even charges people a dollar a piece to be included on a “list of those wishing to pray for each other to win the Powerball lottery.”

“Because WE Are STRONGER When WE Are CONNECTED,” the website says.

Around 20 people have bought in, their names scrawled across the bottom of the site.

But the idea of praying for something so selfish has raised some eyebrows. Many on Twitter are asking the simple question: Is it OK that I ask God to make my lottery ticket a winner?

So, are such prayers really OK?

“Sure, but it is complicated,” said Tanya Luhrmann, a Stanford University anthropology professor who wrote the book “When God Talks Back,” about the use of prayer.

“I think people have parallel registers for thinking about the consequences of prayer,” she said. “For some, there is an invitation to talk to God about everything. At the same time, there is a sense that when you are walking with Jesus, you are becoming a better person, a person who would not want your prayer to prevent someone else to win the lottery.”

In doing research for her book, Luhrmann spoke with hundreds of Christians about why and how they pray. Some conversations centered on what she called prayer for “trivial things” – a good haircut, a parking spot or the answers to an exam. Others, however, derided those prayers as beneath God.

Lurhmann says the latter group of people doesn’t want God to be someone you would “just get coffee with.” Instead, they see a more formal God and are concerned, according to Lurhmann, “about [people] misunderstanding who God is.”

Those who view God more informally would say, according to Lurhmann, “that it is important to pray to God, but it is also important for God to be God. God wants to hear from you about everything, but God is going to make decisions about what he will do.”

For Rabbi Felipe Goodman of Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas, whether it is acceptable to pray for a winning lottery ticket boils down to whether you believe people will do good things with that money.

“Who are we to say that that person won’t change the world with that money,” Goodman said. “Why do we always have to think that people are going to do the wrong thing? I want to think that people are good, and I want to think that if someone comes into that money, they are going to do something good with it.”

Being from Las Vegas, a city that thrives on gambling, people regularly come to Goodman’s synagogue to pray for a bit of gambling luck. Though the Talmud, a Jewish holy book, says that professional gamblers should not be trusted, he says these people come to services because “they clearly think God is going to help them win.”

“Who are we to qualify whether or not this is trivial,” Goodman said.

Like those who have come to the rabbi’s synagogue, many on Twitter have looked to God for a lottery win.

At the Christian Prayer Center, a website that allows people to post prayers publicly, some have mentioned the lottery in a section called “Prayers for Finance.”

“For almost a year now I feel like the LORD is leading me to play the lottery,” reads one anonymous prayer posted recently. “I played the Mega Money Lotto for tomorrow nights drawing and I ask that your prayer warrior will pray for me for the numbers I had played and would hit the jackpot and if GOD's will for me to win I will be a blessing to his kingdom to help the poor and the needy.”

This practice isn’t unheard of. In the past, lottery winners have credited prayer with their financial windfalls.

In 2007, after Gloria Aguda won $9 million from the Colorado Lottery, she told the Denver Post that when her house was about to be foreclosed upon, she prayed for help and bought a lottery ticket.

Earlier this year, when 48 members of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority won the lottery, some credited the win to prayer. Larry Green, a SEPTA employee for more than 30 years, said he prayed for his deceased wife, a woman who had always “talked about us hitting the lottery.”

“I prayed for a lottery win. I prayed to certain saints,” Green told NBC10 in Philadelphia. “And after we won, I kept praying to those saints, and I just wanted to say, never doubt the power of prayer, and that's it.”

Religion and the lottery have long been connected, primarily because religious leaders from many denominations have protested allowing lotteries in their states. For example, when South Carolina voters decided to repeal a constitutional amendment and allow the state to hold a lottery in the year 2000, religious voices from the largely evangelical state voiced disapproval.

“Anti-lottery signs proliferated on church property, clergy signed full-page newspaper advertisements opposing the plan and minister after minister wrote letters to the editor and guest commentaries for the South Carolina press,” recounts James L. Guth, professor at Furman University, in his paper “The Lotto and the Lord.

Earlier this year, Texas Baptists asked the state’s lottery commission to totally abolish the state lottery, arguing that it takes advantage of the poor and caters to impulse buyers.

“Having a deceptive product that is supported by the state is morally wrong,” Suzii Paynter, director of the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, told the Houston Chronicle. “From a Christian perspective, that is wrong. We have a moral aversion to exploiting poor populations.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (455 Responses)
  1. Tim in NY

    There are some downright mean-spirited people posting comments here.

    What's it to you if aomebody prays to hit the lotto? To where you geel above them in a bad way – to put people down for what they secretly pray for is low life.

    November 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Quit putting us down.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Tim in NY –

      "There are some downright mean-spirited people posting comments here."

      You are, unfortunately, very correct on this observation.

      November 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Sure are, Tim. Just peruse the comments from the Rick Warren story to view all the caring commentary from contemporary "loving" Christians.

      November 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  2. Welch

    What kind of BS is this? No wonder the US is going down the tubes.

    November 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  3. Passingby....

    "Gambling is cancer of humanity"

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbCW8xdpy6s&w=640&h=390]

    November 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  4. Akira

    Hey, Apple!
    I see Ninja and Toshi are fighting again.
    Can't we all just get along?

    November 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Akira

      Howdy Akira, Toshi is pissed off because he had to do some actual work today.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, AB, how else am I supposed to get my Akira Katipillar Roll?

      November 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      sorry, I typed your name twice by accident.

      Do you think Mr. Lamb will be back? Hope so.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Sushi Kanji

      We open. You like usual roll?

      November 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  5. HereWeGoAgaain

    Seriously, you people are idiots. Praying to a non-existent super hero is kinda a waste of time. Morons!

    November 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • LOL

      Not everyone goes to heaven. Thanks for making more room for the faithful.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  6. teatbag

    LOL only in America. Maybe in Saudi Arabia too. How faqing stupid can people get?

    November 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Madtown

      Americans set the global standard for stupidity. American exceptionalism!!

      November 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  7. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Monday's Daily Show with Jon Stewart had Jon asking God why he was too busy to solve the problems in his home town.

    The answer (as usual) was hilarious.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-november-26-2012/god-s-priorities?xrs=share_copy

    November 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  8. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    This woould be a good thread for the prayer-bot! ;)

    November 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  9. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    It's time for someone to paste the "God's call handler" post.

    "You are caller number 5,567,235,435, please stay on the line and listen to the angelic choir ... " etc.

    November 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  10. Honey Badger Dont Care

    I don’t think that praying for a lottery ticket should be frowned upon. If you want to waste your time doing that then go ahead. I would rather someone do something useful with their time though.

    At least these xtians have a chance to do something useful with their money with a chance to win instead of giving their money to priests that will use the money to get meth and male ho okers with it like Ted Haggard.

    November 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  11. Meatwad

    I can't win the lottery cuz I aint no damn money for a ticket.

    November 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  12. Berief Brog Ninja

    Man pray very night for 20 years to win the rottery. Finarry God appears to man and says, "Atreast buy rottery ticket!"

    November 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Toshi

      Go back to your shitty wok goddamn mongorien!

      November 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Berief Brog Ninja

      I no smerry mongorien! And I use frying pan rike civirized American.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Toshi

      Goddamn mongorien selling sushi in goddamn shitty wok!

      November 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  13. Apple Bush

    Taking a dollar from a stupid Christian...priceless.

    November 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  14. Rynomite

    Let's pretend for a moment that the Christian Abrahamic concept of God is correct and he actually exists.

    Standard Christian dogma says that God is perfect. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good. The implications of this are many, but one implication in particular is that god would be unchanging. God would never need to change his mind or alter his plan because he knows what is going to happen and he does not make mistakes.

    Considering this, please explain to me how prayer for ANYTHING is necessary or effective? God already has his plan. He is not changing it for your request. If you were destined to win the lottery, you would win it regardless if you prayed for it or not. Therefore if you pray, you have just spent time in a useless endeavor.

    November 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • CCC

      Read the Catechism: Day 46

      Part1:The Profession of Faith (26 – 1065)

      Section2:The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 – 1065)

      Chapter1:I Believe in God the Father (198 – 421)

      Article1:"I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth" (199 – 421)

      Paragraph4:The Creator (279 – 324)

      V. GOD CARRIES OUT HIS PLAN: DIVINE PROVIDENCE

      302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created "in a state of journeying" (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call "divine providence" the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:

      By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, "reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well". For "all are open and laid bare to his eyes", even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.

      303 The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events: "Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases." And so it is with Christ, "who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens". As the book of Proverbs states: "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established."

      304 And so we see the Holy Spirit, the principal author of Sacred Scripture, often attributing actions to God without mentioning any secondary causes. This is not a "primitive mode of speech", but a profound way of recalling God's primacy and absolute Lordship over history and the world, and so of educating his people to trust in him. The prayer of the Psalms is the great school of this trust.

      305 Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takes care of his children's smallest needs: "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?"... Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."

      Providence and secondary causes

      306 God is the sovereign master of his plan. But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures' co-operation. This use is not a sign of weakness, but rather a token of almighty God's greatness and goodness. For God grants his creatures not only their existence, but also the dignity of acting on their own, of being causes and principles for each other, and thus of co-operating in the accomplishment of his plan.

      307 To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of "subduing" the earth and having dominion over it. God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbors. Though often unconscious collaborators with God's will, they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions, their prayers and their sufferings. They then fully become "God's fellow workers" and co-workers for his kingdom.

      308 The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator. God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: "For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Far from diminishing the creature's dignity, this truth enhances it. Drawn from nothingness by God's power, wisdom and goodness, it can do nothing if it is cut off from its origin, for "without a Creator the creature vanishes." Still less can a creature attain its ultimate end without the help of God's grace.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Tripple C,

      What the heII does that have to do with any reasonable person? Just a bunch of garbage. Why not just play Dungeons and Dragons? It's no less real.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • CCC

      @ Honey Badger Dont Care:

      "What...does that have to do with any reasonable person?"

      This is the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the thread subject. It is the answer to Rynomite's question "please explain to me how prayer for ANYTHING is necessary or effective? "

      @ Rynomite: Your answer is in paragraphs 307 & 308. The other paragraphs are included for context to explain the answer.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Maybe you don’t understand Tripple C. If your god is all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere then it would be impossible to change what he has predestined and therefore prayer is useless. Do you understand the word impossible?

      Not to mention that the efficacy of prayer has been debunked time and again. Useless.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • CCC

      @ Honey Badger:
      Darling, I'm the one who admits that I don't understand everything. But I am open to God's revelation and am willing to share whatever insight I have. That's the reason for the longer post. This is not a question that can be answered on a bumper sticker. It does take contemplation. Late light bull sessions discussing life and philosophy are helpful. (Bring matches & Cheetos.)

      God is all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere. Nothing is impossible for God.

      "God is the sovereign master of his plan. But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures' co-operation. This use is not a sign of weakness, but rather a token of almighty God's greatness and goodness. For God grants his creatures not only their existence, but also the dignity of acting on their own, of being causes and principles for each other, and thus of co-operating in the accomplishment of his plan." (This would be the much discussed, little understood 'free will'.)

      God is eternal and infinite. That means that He has ability beyond ours. He knows what His plan is and He freely gives each of us the opportunity to work with Him to make it happen. Sometimes that work means praying for one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it means you have to do the grunt work to make it happen. That's what this part of the quote means: "To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of "subduing" the earth and having dominion over it. God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbors. Though often unconscious collaborators with God's will, they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions, their prayers and their sufferings. They then fully become "God's fellow workers" and co-workers for his kingdom."

      How does He do it? We don't know.

      In my contemplations, I think about how we as people have understood Him in different ways at different stages of our intellectual development as a species. While I never really had a burning interest in physics, I have heard about string theory. If human beings are able to DETECT the eleven or more dimensions that this theory discusses, then how many dimensions actually exist in the universe? What can the almighty, infinite God do with space and time and all the other dimensions that we are just not able to contemplate at this time? Not understanding or 'getting the big picture' is my limitation and doesn't imply that any limits apply to God.

      God has asked us to co-operate with Him. "God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbors. Though often unconscious collaborators with God's will, they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions, their prayers and their sufferings." There's the reason for why we pray. God has given us the opportunity to participate in completing His plan, in co-creating. It's our decision as to whether or not we accept the invitation.

      November 28, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      "God is eternal and infinite."

      No, if that were so, then we, dogs, cats, bugs, everything would be god and know they were god and not be different beings--being all one and the same eternal and infinite. Also, something eternal and infinite can't exist if there are other beings with free will. You can't both have free will and be eternal and infinite or a part of something eternal and infinite, so not only would that mean no free will for anyone, but it would also mean that god is a never-acting, never-speaking, never-moving "block" of "oneness" without any free will, himself.

      "That means that He has ability beyond ours."

      LOL!!! No, "eternal infinite" is not "ability beyond ours," nor is it any sort of "ability," nor could it even have "ability." Eternal infinity is merely an eternal, infinite "blob" of itself and nothing else with nothing ever happening.

      "How does He do it? We don't know."

      And eternal infinity wouldn't "do" anything. It would already be eternal and infinite and to "do" anything would instantly make it less eternal and infinite.

      We can't "detect" any other dimensions, we can only theorize that they probably exist due to the nature of mathematics and how they describe certain physical properties of this universe.

      November 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Remedial Catechism

      Questions and Answers about God and His Providence

      Who is God?

      God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, who made all things and keeps them in existence.

      (a) This universe did not always exist; it came into existence at the beginning of time.

      (b) All things depend on God; they begin and continue to exist by the power of God.

      What do we mean when we say that God is the Supreme Being?

      When we say that God is the Supreme Being we mean that He is above all creatures, the self-existing and infinitely perfect Spirit.

      (a) God is above all created things–the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, men, and angels. Some likeness of God is in every creature, from the highest to the lowest. The highest angel, however, is but a weak reflection of the infinite perfection of God, who is the infinite Creator and Governor of the universe.

      What is a spirit?

      A spirit is a being that has understanding and free will, but no body, and will never die.

      (a) The soul of man is a spirit which does not die because it is simple, having no integral parts, and because it is spiritual, that is, entirely independent of matter in its being and in its own proper acts; it does not depend on creatures for existence and cannot be destroyed by them.

      What do we mean when we say that God is self-existing?

      When we say that God is self-existing we mean that He does not owe His existence to any other being.

      (a) God is the first and completely independent source of all being, Every other being is given existence, God is His own existence; God is His own life, or He who is.

      (b) It is a manifest contradiction to hold that God, who is self-existent, could have been brought into being by anyone else.

      What do we mean when we say that God is infinitely perfect?

      When we say that God is infinitely perfect we mean that He has all perfections without limit.

      (a) God has in Himself, in an eminent degree, the perfections of all things that ever existed or will or can exist. He is the cause of all perfection in creatures. The perfections of created things are in God in an infinitely superior manner.

      (b) Every creature, even the highest angel, is finite for it has the limitation of dependence on the Creator for its existence.

      What are some of the perfections of God?

      Some of the perfections of God are: God is eternal, all-good, all-knowing, all-present, and almighty.

      What do we mean when we say that God is eternal?

      When we say that God is eternal we mean that He always was and always will be, and that He always remains the same.

      (a) If God had a beginning or if He could cease to be, He would be limited and would not be infinitely perfect or self-existing. If God changed the change would be either for the better or for the worse. In either case God would not be infinitely perfect.

      (b) Spirits such as angels and the souls of men are eternal in the sense that they will live forever, but both angels and the souls of men, unlike God, had a beginning and are subject to change.

      What do we mean when we say that God is all-good?

      When we say that God is all-good we mean that He is infinitely lovable in Himself, and that from His fatherly love every good comes to us.

      (a) Things are good and lovable in the degree that they are perfect. Since God is infinitely perfect, He is all-good and infinitely lovable in Himself, and all goodness of creatures must come from Him.

      What do we mean when we say that God is all-knowing?

      When we say that God is all-knowing we mean that He knows all things, past, present, and future, even our most secret thoughts, words, and actions.

      (a) God's knowledge is not gained like ours, by proceeding step by step from things known to those unknown. By knowing Himself perfectly, God knows from eternity all things past, present, and future, and even all things possible. Every creature, in its actions, depends entirely on God, and any goodness in creatures is but an imperfect reflection of God's perfection. Through His infinitely perfect knowledge God knows the extent to which creatures share His perfections.

      (b) God's knowledge of the future does not take away our freedom, but leaves our wills free to act or not to act.

      (c) We are responsible for our free actions, which will be rewarded by God if they are good and punished by Him if they are evil.

      What do we mean when we say that God is all-present?

      When we say that God is all-present we mean that He is everywhere.

      (a) God is everywhere:

      first, by His power, inasmuch as all things are under His dominion;
      second, by His Presence. inasmuch as nothing is hidden from Him;
      third, by His essence, inasmuch as He is in all things as the cause of their being.

      If God is everywhere, why do we not see Him?

      Although God is everywhere, we do not see Him because He is a spirit and cannot be seen with our eyes.

      (a) Although we cannot see God, the splendid order and beauty of creation should constantly remind us of His wisdom, His power, His goodness, and His nearness to us.

      Does God see us?

      God sees us and watches over us with loving care.

      What is God's loving care for us called?

      God's loving care for us is called Divine Providence.

      (a) Divine Providence is God's plan for guiding every creature to its proper end.

      What do we mean when we say that God is almighty?

      When we say that God is almighty we mean that He can do all things.

      (a) God can do anything that is not opposed to His perfection, or that is not self-contradictory. The impossibility of God's doing anything wrong or acting falsely does not limit His divine power, since wrongdoing and falsity in themselves are evil and are manifest defects: they cannot be a.ssociated with an infinitely perfect Being.

      (b) Although God, the first cause of all things, actually does all things, He does not thereby deprive the creature of its power of causality nor of its freedom of action. A creature is never more than a secondary cause, that is, always dependent on God, always a finite being. When this secondary cause is intellectual, it is consti.tuted by Almighty God as a free agent.

      Is God all-wise, all-holy, all-merciful, and all-just?

      Yes, God is all-wise, all-holy, all-merciful, and all-just.

      (a) God, the first cause of all things, in His wisdom knows these things perfectly and disposes them to their ends according to appropriate means.

      (b) If we do not understand why or how God does certain things or permits them to happen, it is because our limited minds cannot understand His secrets nor see the universal plan of creation.

      (c) Because God is all-holy, He is entirely free from all sin and imperfection and is infinitely good and lovable.

      (d) Because God is all-merciful, He gives to each creature even more than is its due. He rewards the good more fully and punishes the wicked less severely than they deserve. He is always ready to help His creatures and to forgive repentant sinners.

      (e) Because God is all-just, He gives to each creature what is due to it. God rewards the good and punishes the wicked partially in this life and more fully in eternity.

      Can we know by our natural reason that there is a God?

      We can know by our natural reason that there is a God, for natural reason tells us that the world we see about us could have been made only by a self-existing Being, all-wise and almighty.

      Can we know God in any other way than by our natural reason?

      Besides knowing God by our natural reason, we can also know Him from supernatural revelation, that is, from the truths found in Sacred Scripture and in Tradition, which God Himself has revealed to us.

      (a) Supernatural revelation is the communication of some truth by God to a creature through means that are beyond the ordinary course of nature. Some revealed truths, for example, the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, are strictly beyond the power of the human mind. We could never know such truths unless God revealed them. Other truths, for example, the immortality of the soul, while not beyond the power of the human mind, are objects of revelation because God has revealed them in a supernatural way. Although these latter truths could be known without revelation, they are grasped with greater ease and certainty once God has revealed them.

      (b) God's public revelation of truths to men began with Adam and Eve and ended at the death of Saint John the Apostle.

      (c) Divine revelation contained in the Old Testament is called pre-Christian. It can be divided into:

      first, Primitive revelation, made to Adam and Eve
      second, Patriarchal revelation, made to the patriarchs, for example, to Abraham and Lot;
      third, Mosaic revelation, made to Moses and the prophets.

      (d) Christian revelation contains the truths revealed to us by Jesus Christ, either directly or through His apostles.

      (e) The Church does not oblige the faithful to believe private revelations given, at certain times, to individuals. For our edification, however, the Church permits the publication of some private revelations. Those to whom private revelations are given are obliged to believe them when they are certain that the revelations are from God.

      (f) Sacred Scripture, or the Bible, is the word of God written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and contained in the books of the Old and the New Testament.

      (g) Inspiration is the act by which God moves and directs the sacred writers faithfully to commit to writing all those things and only those things that He wishes them to write. The sacred writers act as free instruments of God, who is the principal author of Sacred Scripture.

      (h) Tradition is the unwritten word of God–that body of truths revealed by God to the apostles, and not committed by them to writing but handed down by word of mouth. These truths, which were later committed to writing, particularly by the Fathers of the Church, have been preserved and handed down to the present day.

      Is there only one God?

      Yes, there is only one God.

      (a) Reason can prove that there is only one God. The a.ssumption that there could be two infinitely perfect gods or two infinitely supreme beings independent of each other, is an absurdity.

      (b) Revelation confirms our reasoning that there is only one God.

      The Baltimore Catechism, no. 3, Lessons 1-3.

      November 29, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • Rynomite

      I honestly don't know how anyone intelligent can read that and not see the million logic errors inherent inthe dogma.

      I guess why theres fundiots and not just fundoramuses.

      November 29, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  15. Sup

    They should not call this Belief blog, they should call it brainwashing 101 blog

    November 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  16. Roger that

    If people can pray for a job, a companion, or a tochdown then why not winning ticket

    November 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Stupid is as stupid does.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  17. Roger that

    Prayer's effect is consistently random 100% of the time.

    November 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Random? Not at all. Prayer is 100% deterministic. There is never any result.

      If people want to believe that prayers are heard, they can go right ahead. Any 'answered prayers' are fulfilled by other means.

      November 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Roger that

      True. I was thinking in terms of what a Christian would claim as effective.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  18. BOB

    LOL people in disasters areas pray it does nothing, now people thinking praying can help them win the lotto

    Maybe if you light 15 led candles when your at church it will help NOT

    November 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  19. DUMBAtheiStS

    The authors of the site aren't Christians. The site has been made with the intent to ridicule and mock Christianity and religion.

    TYPICAL handiwork of atheists.

    November 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • MonO

      Well any adult that thinks the bible is truth, with talking animals, flat earth, populating the world from 2 people, deserves to be mocked

      November 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • MonO

      Lets not forget the 6 million animals on one boat, now if 8 people fed each animal for one minute how long would that take to feed them all ? ( so long the animals would starve )

      What did they feed the meat eaters ? how did they have animals from different climates, how did they know what animals
      to keep from each other ? well if you say magic helped them, wouldn't their be an easier way then building a boat if magic was at work ? dumb dumb dumb

      Bible is pure moronic nonsense religious people deserve to me made fun of

      November 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Sup

      All the talk about atheist's bashing christians, well i find you religious people insulting to my intelligence

      you cant even talk to a religious person w/o some way out there crap coming up. maybe invent a religion that makes
      sense to people with a brain ? at least that would be better then talking animals and inbreeding

      November 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Sam Stone

      Aww.......little fella is having a hissy fit. How cute. Now, punk, take your bible and a 5 gallon bucket of KY jelly and have a special communion with the hole-y spirit

      November 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • DUMBAtheiStS

      Atheists' craniums are like appendix, will cause extreme troubles when contain something. Would be better-off if remain empty as they were.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      (1) Hallucinations – the person has invisible friends who (s)he insists are real, and to whom (s)he speaks daily, even though nobody can actually see or hear
      these friends.

      (2) Delusions – the patient believes that the invisible friends have magical powers to make them rich, cure cancer, bring about world peace, and will do so eventually if asked.

      (3) Denial/Inability to learn – though the requests for world peace remain unanswered, even after hundreds of years, the patients persist with the praying behaviour, each time expecting different results.

      (4) Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality – the beliefs are contingent upon ancient mythology being accepted as historical fact.

      (5) Paranoia – the belief that anyone who does not share their supernatural concept of reality is "evil," "the devil," "an agent of Satan".

      (6) Emotional abuse – ­ religious concepts such as sin, hell, cause feelings of guilt, shame, fear, and other types of emotional "baggage" which can scar the
      psyche for life.

      (7) Violence – many patients insist that others should share in their delusions, even to the extent of using violence.

      November 29, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  20. Theo

    "Is praying for a lottery win frowned upon?"

    No, but burning people at the stake for saying the world is round is OK!

    November 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Theo

      Amendment: its only ok if you promise to give the winnings to your local magical house.

      you must wear a robe, lets be real now people

      November 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
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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.