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My Take: No pressure, Mr. President
Author Eric Metaxas speaks alongside President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington in February.
December 10th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

My Take: No pressure, Mr. President

Editor's Note: Eric Metaxas is the author of "No Pressure, Mr. President! The Power Of True Belief In A Time Of Crisis: The National Prayer Breakfast Speech."

By Eric Metaxas, Special to CNN

(CNN)–Imagine that the president of the United States had to sit and listen to you for 30 minutes in a public setting. Imagine that he couldn't escape and had to endure whatever you said. If you disagreed with him politically, would you try to embarrass him? What would you say?

Well, this actually happened to me. A year ago I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, an event attended by the president, first lady, vice president, and 3,500 other dignitaries. No one was more shocked at the invitation than I. Previous speakers include Mother Teresa, Tony Blair and Bono. No pressure.

By the way, I disagree with the president in some important ways. But as a Christian, God commands me to love those with whom I disagree, to treat them with civility and respect, as creatures made in God's image. That's a command, not a request or a suggestion. Again, no pressure.

In my speech I spoke about my heroes, William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Wilberforce's faith led him to fight for the Africans being enslaved by the British; Bonhoeffer's faith led him to fight for the Jews being persecuted by the Nazis. I used them as examples of people who passionately lived out their faith by standing up for their fellow human beings when most around them merely gave it lip service.

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I also joked around a lot, because as any of my friends will tell you, one of the ways I show love is by joking and teasing people.  Who said prayer breakfasts had to be boring?  At one point I said that George W. Bush had read my Bonhoeffer book, and then I glanced at President Obama and said "No pressure."  I'm glad he laughed!

Later in my speech, I talked specifically about the idea of loving our enemies. I said this was the test of real faith. Speaking to my fellow pro-lifers, I said that those of us who believe the unborn to be human beings must love those on the other side of that issue. I also said that those of us with a traditionally biblical view of sexuality are sometimes demonized as bigots, but we must love even those who call us bigots. I cited Wilberforce and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as two men who took seriously God's command to love their enemies in the midst of the most serious political battles of their day.  They honored God in how they fought, and he honored them.

At the end of the breakfast the president told me he would read my book on Bonhoeffer, and Vice President Biden took my picture with the president. No kidding. It was an extraordinary day and I'm not telling the half of it.

President Barack Obama holds up a book given to him by author Eric Metaxas

But the reason I'm writing now is that during the past election I was disappointed to see the president's campaign utterly abandoning these ideals of treating your opponents as you yourself would wish to be treated. Good people with principled and profound convictions about when life begins were cynically demonized as "enemies of women."  Americans who had worked hard to build businesses, and who had given millions to charity and to the government, were denounced as fat-cats who weren't "paying their fair share" and whose wealth was ill-gotten gain.

These scorched-earth tactics were not presidential, much less Christian, and because the president openly professes a Christian faith, I feel I must speak about this.

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

Of course many will dismiss campaign hardball rhetoric as "what works." This is to miss the point. What we say matters deeply, and how we say it matters deeply.  All of it has serious long-term consequences.  For all of us.

For one thing, our children are watching and listening. We tell them it's less important who wins or loses than how we play the game. Is there no truth to this at all? Do we not see that this behavior erodes faith in the very political process and in democracy itself? Do we not see that by doing this we encourage our opponents to do the same - and worse - the next time around?  Shouldn't we care about that?

Any victory won in an ugly way is somehow a tainted victory. In this case, the president has "won" a deeply divided nation, one that he - alas - has had a hand in dividing. Now what?

If he is to succeed in the tremendous challenges that lay ahead, he must repent of these tactics and must make amends with his opponents, if it's not too late.  Or else he will face gridlock and more gridlock.  He also must show the door to those who cynically encouraged this "winning is the only thing" behavior.

His legacy and America's future depend upon it. Many will be praying for him.

No pressure.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Eric Metaxas.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Politics

soundoff (2,208 Responses)
  1. Honey Badger Dont Care

    I dont believe for a moment that GWB read ANY book let alone that Bonhoeffer book.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Darknite

      CNN should repent for give this fool a platform. When will the leaders of the idiot nation will stop getting the limelight?

      December 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • politmum

      Did someone actually pay him to write this malarky?

      December 11, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  2. Reality

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)( As does Mextaxas)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  3. ccurlejr

    Jesus also told his disciples to beware of the leaven of Herod. By placing your hope in political policies instead of God, you too are in sin. You've made a golden calf out of the issue of abortion, and are trying to attack the president on how he treated his enemies. Perhaps, as a lay-civilian you should respect the office of president (Romans 13) to not speak to him as if he's is your equal. The office of president is higher than yours and so to speak to him casually as you have in this article, "no pressure" is no laughing matter. We all have been saved by the grace of God not by worsk lest any man should boast. And by understanding that you too will one day be judged you should temper how you speak to others, especially the president. Judge as one who will one day be judged, as James, the half-brother of Jesus told us in the bible.
    God bless.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • jason taylor

      Um, no. The Office of President is not "higher" then the writer. That is why it is called an "office" and not a "crown".

      December 10, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Reality

      Not so fast ! Mark 8: 15 , (Herod's leaven) has been throughly analyzed by many contemporary NT scholars and found to be a single attestation (not found in any other scripture reference) and therefore historically nil. e.g. http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb239.html and Professor Gerd Ludemann's analysis in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 53-54.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • tryingtooverlookselfrighteouschristians

      Well said ccurlejr. I've never seen so many "Christians" condemn a man before in my life. Not very Christian-like. I will pray for the author of this piece for he really believes he's justified in what he's saying, this is sad.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • ccurlejr

      Um, No it is "higher" in authority. Read the bible, it says so.

      December 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • ccurlejr

      Reality, hope you didn't waist too much time on that Google search this morning.... LOL
      There are plenty of commentaries on what Leaven alone means in the bible. Come again?!

      December 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Reality

      For those who want to think outside the NT box:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      o
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication– and reviews of each

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      Added references available upon request-

      December 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  4. myweightinwords

    While I agree that politics in today's world is an ugly, ugly mess of mean spirited fault finding, mud slinging and flat out lies, and yes we need to amend that, I find this author's attitude condescending at best.

    Obama was in no means alone in casting those who disagree with him as "the enemy" and at least from what I could tell he stated facts. The other side used flat out lies along with their demonization of anyone and anything that contradicted them, especially anyone who was not Christian, or didn't fit their definition of Christian.

    As a whole, we need more tolerance in this country. We need understanding and acceptance of the idea that your faith is yours, and not mine or any one else's. You see to yours and I'll see to mine and we can be friends. We need to stop casting anyone who is different as evil or demonic or anything less than human.

    And we need to stop this sneering down our noses and calling others out on this behavior when we ourselves are guilty of it.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Akira

      Very well said, MWIW.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • BeadlesAz

      Myweight – very well stated. Thank you.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Big Al

      If you think for one minute that BO spoke the truth during this campaign cycle you are very mistaken. Both candidates lied and that is the point of this article. Outright lies to influence the millions of imbeciles in this country is how American politics works. Yes, that puts you in that category as well.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:25 am |
      • myweightinwords

        In my fact checking of statements made by both sides during this election cycle, I found outright lies on one side and on the other deceptive use of truth, which is not quite the same. Both are wrong. Both are deceptive. Both are designed to win the election.

        Neither is right. That was my part of my point.

        December 10, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • SWIowa

      Hold on, seriously? The left spoke in facts and the right spoke in flat out lies?
      Get off your high horse. Both sides bent the truths the way that sounded the best. Neither are innocent of this.

      To also say something along the lines of 'well, the other side did it more' is just pathetic. Both sides are in the wrong, during every election.

      I just wait for an actual man of integrity to come out and get to the point of the party's nominee and then change tactics and run on honesty and integrity. Because lets be honest, you can't become the nominee for a party without a few indescretions. It just won't happen.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Hold on, seriously? The left spoke in facts and the right spoke in flat out lies?

        If you see another comment I answered here, both sides were deceptive. However, in my fact checking what I discovered is flat out lies on one side and misuse of truth on the other. I never said one side was right or wrong.

        Get off your high horse.

        I think that was my point. The author is the one on the high horse, pointing his finger at everyone else. You'll notice in my language, I included myself as a part of the problem, and also as part of what the solution needs to be.

        Both sides bent the truths the way that sounded the best. Neither are innocent of this.

        As I said.

        To also say something along the lines of ‘well, the other side did it more’ is just pathetic. Both sides are in the wrong, during every election.

        Did I say differently? Maybe you inferred that as my meaning from the way I phrased it. I do apologize. My indictment of the process includes the whole process, both extremes and the middle, the politicians and the voting (and non voting) public.

        I just wait for an actual man of integrity to come out and get to the point of the party’s nominee and then change tactics and run on honesty and integrity.

        It won't happen. Not until the voting public stands united to demand it.

        Because lets be honest, you can’t become the nominee for a party without a few indescretions. It just won’t happen.

        And again, this is an indictment of us, not the politician.

        December 10, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • pismitr

      I'm conservative, and I didn't vote for Romney (or obama) but even I have to admit this author's intentions may have been well but he's basically guilty of what he accuses. I gather then, that he's saying "it's not okay to call me the enemy, but it IS okay for Romney to call China the enemey".. Or for that matter, Terrorists. You're Right Mr. Metaxas, what we say does mean alot. And you didn't explain your stance on how we love Al Qaeda. You said things that would appear to paint you as two-faced.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • myweightinwords

        This was a big part of my point. This author stands above or to the side of everyone and points a finger, while committing the very "sin" as he is calling out.

        December 10, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • sophos86

      The truth like Senator Reid's accusation from a "highly reputable source" that Mitt Romney hadn't payed any taxes in a decade?

      December 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  5. Open Mind..

    God in Quran says, (holy Islamic scripture)

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    ‘They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper." [2:135]

    God will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary did you say to the people, `Make me and my mother idols beside God?' " He will say, "Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets.[5:116]

    The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate! [5:75]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    When My servants ask you about Me, I am always near. I answer their prayers when they pray to Me. The people shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided. Quran [2:186]

    'Say, "We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters." [2:136]

    “God: there is no other god besides Him, the Living, the Eternal. Never a moment of unawareness or slumber overtakes Him. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Who could intercede with Him, except in accordance with His will? He knows their past, and their future. No one attains any knowledge, except as He wills. His dominion encompasses the heavens and the earth, and ruling them never burdens Him. He is the Most High, the Great.” [2:255]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Jacob

      Okay, I read your post, but it simply cannot be true that Jesus was a prophet who admitted himself to be messiah. Saying such means that the one speaking was unfamiliar with the message of Jesus, therefore has little right to say EITHER way what he is or is not. Respectfully.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  6. MaryJ

    Isn't all of this guy's talk about "loving" the critics of Christianity just another way of distracting believers from the reasons why they are being called "bigots" and such? Heaven forbid that a Christian actually start wondering whether or not they deserve the ti tles.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  7. tallulah13

    I find it strange that the author criticizes the President, who at least tried to achieve bipartisan accord, yet has no words for the Rovian lie-machine that has powered the republican party for far too long. Where is the condemnation for the "swiftboating" of John Kerry, or for the lies about President Obama's place of birth and religion? Does the author believe that these are proper values to teach children, while the values of equality and fairness are not?

    The author of this article appears to be just another self-serving republican shill, wearing his tarnished armor of religious self-righteousness.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • BeadlesAz

      Tallulah – right on!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • John

      Hear hear!!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • mb2010a

      My thoughts exactly...and still unwilling to accept the fact that their guy lost the election (even though they "ordained" him as the chosen one)...

      December 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  8. Mohammad A Dar

    Metaxas "Americans who had worked hard to build businesses, and who had given millions to charity and to the government, were denounced as fat-cats who weren't "paying their fair share [Tax!!!]" and whose wealth was ill-gotten gain."

    why do churches should care?

    December 10, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  9. Reality

    Bringing Mr. Metaxas into the 21st century with a prayer:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    December 10, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • niknak

      Too long, too boring.....

      December 10, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      too inaccurate, too rude....

      December 10, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Reality

      For those who are reading-challenged:

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Jacob

      For those who are reading-challenged:

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WAS A BODILY RESURRECTION AND THERE WILL BE BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E.EASTER, CHRISTIANITY.

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY EXISTED.

      SAVING PROBABLY 0 ATHESIST:
      BLIND PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE ART CRITICS

      There! Fixed!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • darkomni

      lol, too funny. Can't decide if this is a troll or if "Reality" is actually serious.

      btw, your added comments have no "details," no "proof" and a serious lack of any basis or grounds for any type of argument. As all our perceptions are actually based on electrical impulses to our brains, I can actually call in to doubt this life or what we percieve as reality as we have no other proof to the contrary that what we see and feel is in truth actually there. For all we know we're in the Matrix. So saying that there's no proof of Jesus isn't saying there is no Jesus.

      As long as it brings no harm to them or others, let them believe what they will.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  10. niknak

    This guy gets down on the Obama campaign for going after people that they feel are not paying their fair share, yet where was he when the right was going after Obama on his race, his religion, his citizenship, his pastor, his wife?
    Yeah, thats right, that was all ok.
    But heaven forbid someone goes after the ubber rich.
    I am sure jeebus would really want to protect them too.

    Also, how is that people like this guy can try to sound authoritative on god like an actual scientist/researcher?
    It is made up babble, like all religions.
    He is no more authoritative on that fairy tale as anyone else is.
    It was all done with magic, so anyone can invoke their believe in how that magic worked.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • MaryJ

      The real religion of America is doing whatever it takes to get rich and famous.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  11. jamiecain

    Odd that most of these comments ignore the thesis of Metaxas's argument–that even political speech can and should be virtuous–and attack Metaxas himself. Does Metaxas make a valid argument or not? Does he provide adequate support? Neither his thesis nor his supports depend on Christianity. Virtues like tolerance and generosity are valued by the religious and irreligious alike. After all, we teach them to our kids!

    December 10, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  12. jamiecain

    Thanks for all the red herring comments. Although he mentions his Christian faith, Eric Metaxas makes a point that does not depend on the Christian faith or a "literal" reading of the Bible. Instead, he appeals to kindergarten principles of hearing out our opponents and even giving them the benefit of the doubt. Then he suggests that we might walk the talk–even in politics.

    How odd that most of these commenters ignore the point of the article, or reject it, based on Eric Metaxas's faith–a faith, I might add, that President Obama professes and practices. That fallacy (the genetic fallacy) undermines the practice of principled life–the kind of principles that even atheists teach their children. "Don't make fun of other children, don't tear them down with your words, don't shame them"–all these reflect Christian principles, yes. But they also reflect basic human virtues that cross faith (or faithless) lines.

    Why not evaluate Metaxas's editorial on its merits, instead of on its origin? Does Metaxas support his thesis with logical validity and consistency? Does he make a defensible case that even political speech ought to reflect human virtues like tolerance and generosity? If so, does it matter that he's a Christian?

    December 10, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Cranch

      Christian or not, the merit of this piece is hog wash in my opinion. He mentions Obama (and his campaign) as the only ones demonizing their opponent. The Republican attack on the President was personal and demeaning in nature but yet not one mention of it by this "so called" author.

      December 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  13. Chick-a-dee

    Welcome Frank. It's so very nice to see another reasonable, rational and well written contributor here.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Guy

      Chick-a-dee
      By all means welcome and congratulate Frank but when reading the last line of his post, he is really tyring to distance himself from you and those that think like you.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Guy, I've never tried to force my beliefs on you or anyone else. I've corrected inaccuracies posted by others. I've left teaching material for those who actually want to know the truth. What anyone does with it, is their business. If I were a better person, I'd probably care what that was but I can't seem to muster up the energy to try pushing a wet rope.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chickie, I don't know if you read Frank's post very carefully:"I give God a lot of praise for giving us this kind of freedom and responsibility rather than the structured framework of often outdated and silly stuff that literalists cling to."

      Seems pretty clear to me that he was talking about people like you there.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Guy

      Chick-a-dee
      I suppose the folks trying to thrust a copy of the Watchtower into your hand are just attempting to "educate", the JW's are good at that. I agree with Tom, Tom, TPS, that you are more of a literalisats than most. I have sometimes thought that you maybe the feminine side of the Chad, an insult you may wish to refute.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Sounds like you don't know me very well. Then again, how can anyone here say they know anyone else through some b/w typewritten words with out inflection, facial clues or body language? I am far from a literal translationalist. I have, however, made a commitment to catechize our middle school set which requires that I actually know what it is that Catholics (are supposed to) believe. Quite frankly, not a lot of us do. While I've got a great deal of patience with youngsters, adults are a different story. I'll grant that I lean toward the dogmatic. I hate to waste time. I figure it this way. I know it's right. I don't mind letting others know what's what. If they want to know more, I'll help. If not, it's not my fault how badly they want to screw themselves up.

      p.s. If you take out the staples and ball up that j.w. literature, it makes good kindling.

      December 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      " I know it's right."

      I rest my case. No, you don't. You BELIEVE it is right. You don't know anymore than anyone else does.

      December 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      So say you, Tom. You can believe what you want. I know what I know.

      December 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  14. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    Yet another delusional (mentally ill) believer as he has no more proof for his irrational beliefs then anyone else. Or he could just be a liar, Or both.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • niknak

      He is not different then the store front preacher or the televangelist, except he has some fancy fairy tale degree from some actual university somewhere.
      He is a religious scammer, like the rest. Using his "authority" on the fairy tale to enrich himself.

      I don't blame the scammers are much as I blame the sheep. If the sheep would stop being sheep, the scammers would go and find something else to hawk, like weight loss cream or male enhancement pills.

      Religion is the oldest, biggest and most lucrative ponzi scheme ever invented.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  15. Frank Maston

    Eric Metaxas may be authoritative regarding Eric Bonhoeffer and William Wilberforce because he likely did exhaustive research before writing his books. He relied on "facts", I would expect. On religion, however, he seems to rely on a literal interpretation of the Bible as his starting point. This is where I, and many other Christians, have a problem with his thinking. Since the Enlightenment, lots of serious research has been done on the Bible. It's full of inconsistencies, cultural norms, and myths. The question is, "Can one find God in such a book?" I think so. However, the God I find is not the anthropomorphic God of Hebrew tradition, the one who is always intervening in history and essentially managing it and, by extension, each of us. Instead, I find a God who has communicated in Jesus, the Bible, and other sources principles for humans to live by – and then left it up to us to understand and follow these principles, or not. Consequently, Christians like me accept the assignment to sort out all sorts of complex issues and make tough choices about which courses of action best line up with the principles God has communicated. I give God a lot of praise for giving us this kind of freedom and responsibility rather than the structured framework of often outdated and silly stuff that literalists cling to. But, God gave them the freedom to choose that road, and they can have their opinions as long as they don't try to enforce their rules on me.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      well said.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Guy

      Frank
      A reasonable Christian, not enough of you, but if religion is to survive it will take a whole lot more like you.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • MaryJ

      Frank
      Can "God" not just be an ideal, the perfect parent figure that we all strive to make proud of us?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • SWIowa

      Very well stated.
      As I have stated since I was a child and drug to sunday school and church camps and choir practices, etc etc... I have no problems with folks having the faith, just please don't push it onto me.
      I am a man of faith, however, I do not push the 'word of the lord' amonst people. In fact, hardly anyone that knows me would know this about me as I do not go to church every Sunday. I believe in practicing it, not in going to church for an hour or so and claiming to be a Christian, and then in all my shortcomings try to make you a believer.

      Regardless of his intentions, the article was accurate. It was not done so during the election which may be seen as an attempt to sway any votes. He did it after the fact as a plea to the President to become the man that he had found respect for at one point.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Steven

      Sounds a lot like Buhdism to me, but pidgeon-holing someone into a set of religious beliefs might not be very Christian of me.

      December 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  16. Mohammad A Dar

    self promoting article, and the book

    December 10, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • zachames

      It's a great book, you should read it.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      I will Zach, thanks!

      December 10, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  17. karenjewel

    Amen, Mr. Metaxas. I pray that Obama, as well as everyone else, will listen to your words of wisdom. I hope that all Christians will remember that our first responsibility is to pray.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Remind me – how successful was Perry's praying for rain in Texas?

      December 10, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  18. Guy

    Another christian writer that has difficulty in dealing with the real world. The christian right who are the most uncompriomising (read Tea Party) are the main problem with the politics of the country. My way or the highway atti*tude of the GOP is what is causing the major problems in congress.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Mirosal

      Did you know that a grouping of apes is also called a "congress"? Conicidence?? I think NOT!! lol :)

      December 10, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      Did you know that a grouping of Taliban is also called a "congress"? Coincidence?? I think NOT!! and it's not funny

      December 10, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Mirosal

      Well gee, and here I thought that a grouping of religious zealots who want EVERYONE to follow THEIR way regardless of one's personal beliefs is called a "Taliban" .. so that makes you an ape, doesn't it?

      December 10, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  19. masterdavid

    Get your faith out of politics, its what is tainted

    December 10, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  20. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    The federal courts have said can not teach ID or creationism in public schools OK. Happy Holidays !

    December 10, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • Akira

      Religious-based ideas may be taught in religious-based settings, such as Sunday School and Catechism.

      Happy Holidays to you, also.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:07 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.