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December 14th, 2012
04:50 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, December 14

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:


A Virgin Mary statue stands in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, New York, after Superstorm Sandy destroyed at least 80 homes.

CNN: Survey: One in three Americans see extreme weather as a sign of biblical end times
More than a third of Americans see recent extreme weather as a sign that the world is in biblical “end times,” according to a survey released Thursday. Thirty-six percent of Americans say that the severity of recent natural disasters indicate that we are at the precipice of Jesus’ second coming and the end of the world, according to the survey, released by Public Religion Research Institute. The survey found that 15% of Americans believe the world will end, as predicated in the book of Revelation, in their lifetime.

CNN:#AskPontifex: Twitter questions for the pope touch on faith, sex scandal and lunch
Pope Benedict XVI's first tweet from his new personal Twitter account on Wednesday was simple: "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” But the social media response to the pope's first day of active tweeting has been anything but straightforward. The pope’s Twitter account quickly swelled to over a million followers and tweets about @pontifex – meaning “bridge builder” – swirled around the Internet. Thousands of the pontiff’s Twitter followers replied to his message, which was retweeted more than 50,000 times.

Tweet of the Day:

Belief on TV:

Photos of the Day


Photo credit: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Swedish children take part in a Lucia concert in a church at the open air museum of Skansen on December 13, 2012 in Stockholm. On December 13, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, celebrate Saint Lucia, a celebration of light that sees every school and day care picking one Lucia. Concerts with choirs of children dressed in white dresses and holding candles are typical.

Enlightening Reads:

Reuters: Ten Commandments join Isaac Newton's notes online
A copy of The Ten Commandments dating back two millennia and the earliest written Gaelic are just two of a number of incredibly rare manuscripts now freely available online to the world as part of a Cambridge University digital project. The Nash Papyrus - one of the oldest known manuscripts containing text from the Hebrew Bible - has become one of the latest treasures of humanity to join Isaac Newton's notebooks, the Nuremberg Chronicle and other rare texts as part of the Cambridge Digital Library, the university said on Wednesday.

Religion News Service: Fate of accused abusive pastor in the hands of his flock
The Rev. Travis Smith paced First Baptist Church’s sanctuary while addressing his congregation about forgiveness. Since Smith’s arrest in October on sexual abuse and statutory rape charges, which follow similar allegations from 2010, forgiveness from his congregation has become critical to his survival as its pastor. It is this group of about 100 souls — not a bishop, nor a disciplinary committee nor national church leaders — who will decide Smith’s future in the Southern Baptist Convention. Unlike members of many denominations — such as Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalian and Presbyterians — Southern Baptists don’t conform to a centralized, hierarchical structure.

Huffington Post: End Of World 2012: Mayan 'Doomsday' Part Of Long-Standing Interest In End Times, Apocalypse
Lonny Sundvall doesn't know what will happen on Dec. 21, but he's ready for the worst. He's amassed a year's worth of canned and dry food, dozens of gallons of water, hundreds of water purification tablets, and a small cache of weapons in a old U-Haul truck outside his western Oregon home in preparation for "doomsday," the end-times scenario based upon the ancient Mayan calendar hitting a symbolic turning point this month.

JTA: Jordan warns Israeli tourists on Jewish symbols
The Jordanian tourism ministry warned Israelis not to wear Jewish symbols when visiting the country. The ministry also suggested that visitors to Jordan not perform any Jewish rituals there. In June, six Israeli tourists were assaulted in a southern Jordan market because they were wearing kippot.

New York Times: Secularism in Search of a Nation
In 1976, India made an amendment to its Constitution that inserted the word “secular” to describe the great republic. It was a national aspiration and still is, and is glorified as a national characteristic, which it is not from the evidence in plain sight. By “secular,” India did not mean that it was atheistic or agnostic or that it rejected all religious practices. By “secular,” the people who framed the amendment meant that in India all faiths are accepted, and that Indians are expected to tolerate all religions. Every Indian has grown up listening to the idea of India as a “secular” republic. It is a ceaseless background hum, like all moral lessons. One cannot escape its persistence.

Religion News service: Atheists find holiday refuge in Ha Ha Heathens comedy show
It’s just another night of stand-up at the Punch Line, the comedy club where Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Ellen DeGeneres and other luminaries of laughter got their start. Then, to applause and laughter, Jesus takes the microphone. “Man, this is weird for me too,” says comedian Matt Gubser, his long brown hair flowing freely over a white robe, scarlet sash and a pair of shower shoes. “To be in a room where I don’t recognize a single person. And you call yourself a Christian nation.” Welcome to “Holiday Heathens,” a December comedy show staged by Ha Ha Heathens, a comedy group featuring humor by atheists for atheists.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Police charge man with throwing chemical at rabbi
New York police have arrested a man for throwing a chemical, believed to be bleach, on a rabbi who advocates for sexual abuse victims. Meilech Schnitzler, 36, turned himself in to police Wednesday and was charged with assault, menacing, criminal mischief, and criminal possession of a weapon. He is accused of attacking Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg in Brooklyn's tightknit Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Williamsburg on Tuesday. Schnitzler allegedly threw a chemical on Rosenberg's face, causing his eyes and face to burn. Rosenberg runs a website and telephone call-in line that publicizes claims of sexual abuse in the Hasidic community, and he believes this attack was an attempt to "silence" him, according to Abe George, the rabbi's attorney.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. lionlylamb

    lionlylamb wrote to niknak on December 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm, "Has not science taught us that inside our cells are machines? Who then are behind the steering wheels of said machines? To say that these biologic machines are running themselves seems laughable at best! Surely one cannot stand on their beliefs that our bodies machineries are all interwoven to such a degree of unity that they do not need an operator! I find such belief to be stunkin thinkin! To say one's DNA are the perpetual regulators of all the body's machines puts an eyeful of nearsightedness! Although science sees biological machinery without there being operators running them, I see such sciences having blinders on! DNA is where the Gods take up residence and from this DNA, they rule over all biologic machinery's operators! Can I prove beyond ridicule my stance? Nope, I can't and yet you can't prove any different and your stance that DNA is the perpetrator of running all biologic machineries, there are way too many factors involved in the bio-mechanics of any life form to be made self-regulating mechanisms!"

    Lionlylamb continues, "niknak, Because my stance remains firm that bio-mechanical machineries need operators and the total complexities of running such mechanisms cannot be forthright made as being too simple but rather too complex an issue for said machines to be fully autonomous in all factors of biologic mechanisms! Is it really to profoundly hard to regard my perceptions that biological machines need operators?

    That is why I stand upon 4 verses of scripture and disregard the rest due most scripture is based upon unknowable terms.

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

    niknak, I have made it my life's journey to seek out God's kingdom domains and bring my findings to be made public for all to ponder!

    2.) John 18:36 "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world "

    This verse of scripture may well have brought about the LDS movement.

    3.) Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within/inside you.

    There is only one verse of scripture that declares the whereabouts of the kingdom of God domains and Luke 17:21 is it!

    4.) 1Cr 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    Our being labourers together with God tells me that both we and God are equally doing that which is needed to maintain in equal measuring both our bodies and God's domains being inside our bodies that God and his kind have made our bodies in their husbandry.

    So you see niknak, I am not insane and I try really hard to come to some semblance to be understood.

    December 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • niknak

      Sorry to not get back to your posty sooner, a brotha had to work.

      What seems laughable to me is that you are somehow trying to use 2000 year old proverbs and conjecture and equate it with modern molecular science. The people who wrote those verses did not have a clue about cells or their existence.
      That you try to make them now responsible for the inner workings of cells is to me insane.
      And not just to me. Any molecular biologist would find it laughable and insane too.

      Your argument is no different then the argument previous religious people used back in the day.
      When we did not understand lightening, or solar eclipese, or earthqueake, "believers' like yourself said "Can you explain how that happens, No? Well then it was god..."
      But as fact based science started to unravel the natural processes, like lightening.
      In fact, the more we discover, via science, the more you religious people are pushed into a corner trying to rectify your stone age book.
      Look where your position has been pushed to, all the way to molecular biology and the big bang.
      Why?
      Because science has explained all the other things that has mystified us.

      Do you know the one thing that is missing in all our scientific discoveries?
      Thats right, god.
      Our scientist have not found one schred of evidence of a creator in any scientific research.
      Just because you don't understand molecular biology does not mean "god did it."

      At the end of the day Lion, it is your life. If you want to waste your time believing in some still unproven god, then knock yourself out.
      What bothers me, and other non believers is that instead of keeping your religion personal to you and your family, you have this incessent desire to make us go along with you (YOU being the general you, as in religious people of all faiths).
      You are trying to put your god into our government, our schools, our hostipals, and now with your conjecture into our science.
      Look at all the religious theocracies around the world, they suck. Why? Because of religion.

      If you want to go out on the hill and howl at the moon, go ahead.
      Just don't try to force us to go out and howl along with you.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  2. lionlylamb

    AnVil and Huebert,

    My insanity is no longer a disabling force thanks be to God and my finding God's kingdom domains! The cruelty of others who tend to derail others via belittling them is where social perverts create and are created. Social prejudice upon the emotionally weak is just how many folks tend to do what has happened today in Connecticut. Albeit such cases tend to be focused upon individualism and not socialism becoming the catch all per say. May your body's maker find you worthy of life's continuum and if not may you slip into the vast seas of nothingness no more the wiser.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      niknak,

      Has not science taught us that inside our cells are machines? Who then are behind the steering wheels of said machines? To say that these biologic machines are running themselves seems laughable at best! Surely one cannot stand on their beliefs that our bodies machineries are all interwoven to such a degree of unity that they do not need an operator! I find such belief to be stunkin thinkin! To say one's DNA are the perpetual regulators of all the body's machines puts an eyeful of nearsightedness! Although science sees biological machinery without there being operators running them, I see such sciences having blinders on! DNA is where the Gods take up residence and from this DNA, they rule over all biologic machinery's operators! Can I prove beyond ridicule my stance? Nope, I can't and yet you can't prove any different and your stance that DNA is the perpetrator of running all biologic machineries, there are way too many factors involved in the bio-mechanics of any life form to be made self-regulating mechanisms!

      December 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  3. niknak

    Hey cowardlylion,
    Where was your all powerful god today?
    You claim it has infinate power, yet it seemed pretty powerless to stop that.
    Or 9/11, or the earthquake in Haiti, or the tsunami, or just about any other catastraphy.

    Yeah, but god will be there this Sunday helping all those football players score touchdowns, won't he?

    Face bro, your god does not exist.

    December 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      niknak,

      Did I EVER SAY God was all powerful? You dip for a doorstop! God lives deeply seeded inside all Life and is so small in size His powers are a nothing in our celestial world of gigantic life forms! WE labor together equally with God and he keeps us going in his engineering ways by being at the wheels of all our bodies bio-molecular machines! I believe very little about monotheistic relations regarding those who find God to be our physical equal! I believe wholeheartedly that God and God's kinds live inside us all upon a scale of such small size, the only way we can be reborn there is thru our death. That is why I pray to those who cannot fathom such scalar rationalism that their lives are given time to come to grips regarding the tragedy that happened today.

      People are evil doers nik, not God! God allows people to be what they need to be! Have you not read that, "This world is not God's"? Have you not read that "The kingdom of God is inside you"? Have you not read that "We labor TOGETHER with God:? and have you not read, "WE are God's BUILDINGS"? When you are dead you will then know my words are truth! Until then, enjoy yourself in whatever pleasures you seem fit!

      December 14, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • niknak

      See???
      You can write clearly!!
      That was a very lucid and well written post there cowardlylion.
      Attaboy!
      A few more like that and maybe we can get somewhere.

      As to the reasoning, I am not sure.
      It seems you are saying that god is not the creator, but rather it is like DNA.
      Have you shared this with your family/friends who I am sure might have some follow up questions?

      But again, I must ask you for facts to prove that.
      I know I am kind of a stickler for those.....

      December 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Difficult Questions Regarding the Terror Attacks

      One of the most vexing problems in theology is the problem of ev.il. If God is good why does He permit great ev.ils, such as the terrorist attacks of 11 September? Could He not, with a mere thought, stop all ev.il in its tracks, protecting lives and souls from destruction, physical or moral? Is not His goodness diminis.hed when innocent people suffer at the hands of ev.il men? 
      The complexity of the issue is deepened when the question, which a number of religious commentators have raised, is asked: Did the sins of our own society merit this chastisement? In other words, was God punis.hing or speaking to America through this event? I will try to throw some light on both questions, though ultimately it is not possible to know definitively what is ultimately a mystery of the working of Divine Providence.
      The Problem of Ev.il
      God is by nature infinite and eternal goodness. He cannot do anything ev.il without violating His own nature. One could say that His omni.potence ends there. His power is not actually limited, but it is power capable only of good.
      God is infinite and eternal justice. He cannot act except in accordance with the truth, which He Himself is. He cannot tolerate ev.il. His justice demands that it be rectified. Yet, He is infinite mercy, allowing us time to rectify our own ev.ils through repentance and reparation. If His mercy did not tolerate ev.il for a time, for the sake of repentance, no one could survive His justice.
      In creating angels and men like Himself God gave us the gift of free will. This gift is a great good, because it allows us to participate in God’s goodness, not as robots, but willing and choosing goodness for ourselves. God also created the universe good, free of even material ev.ils. The pride of the fallen angels introduced ev.il into both their own persons (moral ev.il) and into creation (physical or material ev.il). These angels were to have a role in God’s governance of material creation. The good angels still do, but the fallen angels use their knowledge and their power to disrupt the creation they were intended to help govern. Furthermore, they tempted mankind to sin, through Adam, and thus introduced both moral and physical ev.il to the human race. They continue to tempt human beings to join their ranks against God, as part of a primordial battle between good and ev.il, between the mystery of piety (represented by Christ) and the mystery of iniquity (represented by Satan).
      Thus, we can say that it is because of sin, and sin alone, angelic sin and human sin, that moral and physical ev.ils entered the world. When the fallen angels sinned, and they continue to do so, the consequences included disorder in the material universe. When man sinned, despite God’s protection from chaos, he became subject to the consequences of the angelic sin in nature, and brought the consequences of his own sin upon himself. The principle consequence was death, both the loss of eternal life, and the loss of natural life.
      The Problem of Innocent Suffering
      Most of us understand the nature of justice. If we do something wrong we expect to get punis.hed for it. More difficult to understand is why good people suffer.
      In the Old Testament God tried to teach His people about justice. He started with strict justice, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. If Israel was faithful s.he was blessed, if unfaithful s.he was punis.hed. Later on, when Israel seems finally to have learned some of these lessons, God proceeded to teach His people about innocent suffering. God had not changed, but like a good parent He conformed His instruction and His discipline to the capacity and needs of His children. 
      We have an example of this in the book of Job. There we see the just man Job losing almost everything, while holding himself innocent. His friends are happy to disabuse him of this claim, conforming themselves to justice as Israel had understood it until then. However, through means of a dialogue between Satan and God, we see behind the scenes into the working of God’s Providence. The suffering of innocent Job actually ends up glorifying Job in the eyes of man, bringing him greater holiness, and even more magnificent worldly success. That which ev.il, Satan, intended is overthrown, so that after s.hort-lived material suffering, even greater spiritual and material good is possessed by Job than previously. This glorifies God, who is so powerful that He is able to bring good out of ev.il. The act of Creation only brought good out of nothing.
      Ultimately, the greatest model of innocent suffering is Jesus Christ. To the idea of justice contained in Job is now added the idea of justice united with redemptive love. Suffering can be endured for the sake of others, saving them not principally from material ev.ils, though that too occurs, but primarily from the greatest ev.il of all, the loss of God for eternity. As Job teaches us that innocent suffering endured for a time can bring great spiritual and material benefits, Jesus teaches us that innocent suffering endured for a time can bring great benefits to OTHERS. Thus, the innocent suffering of Jesus unites perfect justice with perfect love. It changes innocent suffering into redemptive suffering.
      In summary it can be said that the ev.ils we experience in life have two causes, the sin of the angels and human sin. God permits us to experience such ev.ils, that is, does not routinely intervene to prevent the working out of the consequences of sin, because He foresees one of three goods coming from them. First, the good of justice, disciplining the sinner, inviting him to repentance, and balancing the scales of justice in the world. If this is fruitful converted sinners are spared an eternal spiritual punis.hment through a temporal material punis.hment. If it is not fruitful then the sinner has chosen his own fate. Secondly, there is the good of purification, by which the just are purged of their sins and weaknesses through the patience, the gracefulness, by which they endure suffering. Finally, there is the good of redemptive suffering, by which the just participate in Christ’s suffering for the salvation of others.
      So, whether one endures sickness or calamity at the hands of nature, or tragedy at human hands, the cause is known, sin, but God’s reason for permitting it varies from person to person, according to their spiritual need.
      Is God speaking to America?
      When there is a mas.s calamity, such as a natural disaster or the terrorist attacks, one naturally asks about the divine calculation which permitted it. If the death of a single person involves a special divine providence, since their salvation is determined in that moment, how much more the deaths of hundreds or thousands, or even millions, as in a world war. In such circu.mstances there are quite obviously people who die who are guilty of sin, such as the terrorists or the aggressors in wartime, others for whom the circu.mstances of dying will be spiritually medicinal and lead to their being saved, and others who are just and undeserving, whose suffering makes them holier and/or allows them to participate in the redemption of others. Clearly God alone can make those calculations, such that suffering, even of the innocent, is not wasted. 
      But is there a further value beyond the personal consequence to each of those who died – whether punis.hment, conversion, purification or redemption? Scripture, as well as the words of countless saints and mystics, tell us that there is. God uses such events to warn of the consequences of sin and to lead countless individuals, even nations, to repentance and conversion. Consider how Jesus responded to the issue of tragedies. In the first part of His response the tragedy is the death of Jews, suffering for their faith in God. In the second it is victims of probably an earthquake.
      At that time some people who were present there told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. He said to them in reply, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all peris.h as they did!
      Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all peris.h as they did!"   (Luke 13:1-5)
      Jesus offers the death of the innocent and the guilty alike as a general warning to all. The sin of Adam, from which we all suffer, brought mankind physical death (Romans 5:12), personal unrepentance brings eternal death, a far greater calamity. The physical deaths of so many brings the reality of death dramatically home to others, and becomes for the Lord an occasion to teach us that there is an even worse kind of death. 
      When calamity befell Israel it was God warning the Israelites to repent. We must learn the same lesson today, in the circu.mstances of the terrorist attacks on America. Indeed, so broad is this tragedy that it cannot be intended for a single nation but must be for the entire world, especially the Western world, which has forgotten its Christian heritage.
      Can we say, therefore, that the sins of abortion, sodomy and injustice to the poor, the three traditional sins which cry out to God for vengeance, as well as our own sins, are responsible for this act. No, if we mean personal moral responsibility. That rests solely with the terrorists, those who formally co.operated in their crimes, and those who provided immediate material support. However, to the extent that sin is the cause of death, and that by not ceasing to sin there are millions in our country and billions on our planet, who need to repent and convert, we have all materially co.operated in establis.hing the pre-condition for God’s permitting such a dramatic act of ev.il to take place. As in Sodom and Gomorrah, as in Bethsaida and Chorazin (whom Christ warned for rejecting Him), as it is in all tragedies and wars, the innocent will die with the guilty, for the salvation and purification of those who can be converted, and the judgment of those who cannot.
      Are the Victims Martyrs?
      Given such a vicious as.sault on human dignity it seems reasonable to consider those who died martyrs who went straight to heaven. Two general statements must be made. First, the victims were certainly martyrs in a broad sense, as they died on account of hatred of the Christian West. Despite the secularization of our Western societies, and the hatred by the terrorists of other elements in them which contradict Christian values, it remains true that a misguided religious fervor was behind the attacks. Secondly, notwithstanding that, it cannot be said that the victims were martyrs in the technical sense, which theology and the Church employs. For this is required the fulfillment of two conditions, the conscious decision of the victim to accept death for Christ (which St. Thomas ascribes to the Gift of Forti.tude), and the motive of hatred of the faith. Thus, even if we grant the second condition, the fulfillment of the first would require  a) the rising of those in the state of mortal sin to justice by perfect contrition, and then, b) the acceptance of their death for Christ, through the now present Gift of Forti.tude. It is impossible for a pas.sive act of martyrdom to justify a person and earn them heaven. Unlike the Holy Innocents, who had no personal guilt, adults must freely change their will to attain eternal life.
      Are we justified in thinking, however, that God made some special provision for these souls? I believe we are on two grounds. First, St. Faustina tells us that no human being dies without the opportunity of accepting or rejecting repentance. The statements of mystics, like Blessed Padre Pio, regarding suicides who converted in the moment of death, already suggest this. This gives the families of suicides, as well as the victims of violent acts, a real hope of eternal life for their loved ones. However, it is a possibility, not a certainty. Secondly, the honor and glory of God is the ultimate purpose of the universe. Everything works for that end. In this attack God’s honor was doubly offended. First, it was done in His name, a blasphemy of the first order. Secondly, the West was attacked, at least in part for the Christian faith. Both reasons give us great hope that the desire of the ultimate terrorist (the dev.il) to see large numbers of people die in their sins and be condemned was, at the moment of death, prevented by the mercy of God. If this did occur, whether the individuals who repented went to heaven or purgatory would depend, as always, on the thoroughness of their repentance. Not knowing their fate with certainty, we s.hould continue to pray for the repose of their souls.

      by Colin B. Donovan, STL

      December 15, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • lol??

      chickadee quoting a dude, "......In the Old Testament God tried to teach His people about justice. He started with strict justice, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth............" Well God taught EVERYBODY about mercy first with the Cain and Abel story. At that point in time "they" were His people.

      December 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  4. Jane Oaks

    Personality disorder does not seem to have any connection to this kind of sensless killing. Perhaps, we are looking at a 'Psychotic break' which usually occurs statistically in late teens to early 20's! There needs to be better mental healthcare in this country!

    December 14, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      It is a tragedy. Social conditionings upon a person of emotional instabilities may well be the culprit for such a person to resort to such extremes. The emotional hurts from such a person can only be due to the social upbringing in that persons life before the tragedy took place. I am deeply filled with sorrows and my heart goes out to those families left with the burden and grief to continue on. May society there come to terms and give to those hurt families the time needed to come to grips with such wrong. May the God who reigns inside us give to the deceased a better place in which for them to live again upon a realm and place where no such wrong shall ever be or even become. May society around the grieving families give peace and solemnness to those who cannot cope and may God grant the survivors godly assurances of their lost ones that they are now in a much better place.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hello Mr. Lamb. Sad day today. Your post needs no translation (even if it is B.S.) Carry on.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • niknak

      Dude, can you just write something coherent one time?
      Your family and friends all think you are creepy.
      I know we sure do.

      Oh, is that calling you a name?
      Did I hurt you widdle feelings?
      Or did I mearly point out a fact?

      Read some of your posts, they are creepy.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  5. Jeff

    I simply cannot believe some of what I am reading on here.

    Today was an unspeakable tragedy. Any attempts to blame God or to promote your position is just sad. You are certainly free to believe as you see fit, but if anyone affected by the events in Newtown today sees fit to find comfort in God...or in anything else they see fit...then they should be allowed to do so.

    I have personally been on the phone with some of the churches out there and they are simply trying to help a community completely ripped to shreds this morning. Save your God bashing or whatever you would like to call it for another topic.

    I'm asking you to simply let this be...believe what you would like to believe, but these people...religious and nonreligious...deserve our compassion during this time...

    December 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Jeff, they certainly have my compassion and naturally they will turn to whatever beliefs bring them comfort. However, God is a sick fuck.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Jane Oaks

      Where are you coming from? What is your point?

      December 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Jeff

      Why do you feel compelled to write that last sentence? You are enti.tled to that though process, but can you not simply allow your first sentence to be your position as it relates to this subject?

      December 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Jeff, this is a belief blog, and if you believe in God then you must necessarily give him credit for this atrocity. If he is responsible then he is a sick fuck.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Jeff

      I fully understand that point...but can we not set aside the theological differences we have at a time like now? Perhaps my comments are misplaced, but I often come on here for the spirited discussions had on both sides of the conversation. Just getting thought the blah I'm feeling today led me in here where I though we might come together for whatever reason.

      I don't doubt our differences Apple...I know they are far reaching. If we can't figure out things in here though, how can we expect our society as a whole to do so? I look at these blogs as a microcosm of our society...though the issues we have with each other are magnified. If we can figure out how to live together in here, it's likely going to be a good start nationwide...

      December 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Jeff, I get along with everybody in here Jeff, but I will say what I want when I want.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Jeff, I can tell you are down and who can blame you.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Jeff

      ...I am...it's just a terrible day all around. I just don't feel up to defending my faith. I cannot blame anyone who questions a belief in God with the events of today.

      It is days like today that I have a difficult time with my faith. I believe in God and truly feel something that I will never have the vocabulary to explain.

      ...but I don't understand why things like this happen...

      December 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Jeff, these things happen because of mental illness. I know this might come as a shock to you but this tragedy is directly the fault of a large number of very powerful people, and thus we will never see them held accountable nor will anything be done to prevent such tragedies from happening again.
      There is a pervasive and pernicious lack of due diligence in how most people view such tragedies as this one.
      Frankly, the whole situation is just pathetic. This has nothing to do with any "god" because no gods exist at all.
      Your belief in a god is massively delusional. You may find comfort in your imaginary nonsense while applying your sociopathic religious bias to everything you see, but that doesn't give it any legitimacy, it just makes it easier to ignore your schizophrenia.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  6. Apple Bush

    I see God has been busy in Newtown, Connecticut today.

    December 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Akira

      I am not going to say anything about God, but I sure wish that jerk was a tad bit more selfish and took himself out first.
      If I knew where he'd be buried, I'd organize a urination contest.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Jim

      Ah yes another inconsiderate human being. Im sure your daughter is very proud.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Akira

      Jim, what??

      December 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Jim, why do you say I am inconsiderate?

      December 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • lol??

      "Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"....... Nuthin' new at CNN belief.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Primewonk

      lol?? you ignorant dumbfucker, go a bit further in that same book – Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

      Do you not read your own book?

      December 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Of course they dont read their own book. If they did then they would not believe in it.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • lol??

      Wonk, you don't have the discernment capability for proper applications.... "1Cr 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned." ...........Shortcuts don't work.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Primewonk

      lol?? I quoted from the same fucking book in the same fucking bible you did. You seem to think that your verse has validity and the one I posted does not. This just shows what a total fucking idiot you are.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • lol??

      Peter talking about Paul's writing, "2Pe 3:16 As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

      December 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ PW:

      Isaiah 45:7
      Question from Brian on 5/14/2008:

      Hello Fr. Echert,

      I wanted to thank you for all you do for the Kingdom of God and His Church. I just had a question regarding Isaiah 45:7. "I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things". I am a little confused of how God can create evil. Could you explain this verse?

      Thank you and God bless you.

      Sincerely,

      Brian.
      Answer by Fr. John Echert on 5/15/2008:

      "Evil" in this context can be understood as chastisements and afflictions, which God justly brings upon the wicked, but not the evil which is sin itself.

      Thanks, Brian

      Father Echert

      COPYRIGHT 2012

      http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=541269&Pg=&Pgnu=&recnu=

      December 15, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ PW:

      ISAIAH
      Chapter 45
      7I form the light, and create the darkness,

      I make weal and create woe;*

      I, the LORD, do all these things.

      * [45:7] Create woe: God created and controls all aspects of creation (light and darkness, order and chaos).
      http://www.usccb.org/bible/isaiah/7

      Atti.tional commentary using IS 45:7 as justification:

      The sense of the Peace of Christ

      “Peace” does not have just a secular sense, it being the absence of conflict (Gen 34:21; Jos 9:15; 10:1,4; Lk 14:32), the presence of harmony in the home and within the family (Is 38:17; Ps 37:11; 1 Cor 7:15; Mt 10:34; Lk 12:51), individual and communal (national) security and prosperity (Judg 18:6; 2 Kg 20:19; Is 32:18). “Peace”, is not just when human beings and their societies fulfil their respective duties and recognize the rights of other persons and societies”;[43] and it is not just one of the results of working for justice.[44] “Peace” essentially transcends the world and human efforts.[45] It is a gift of God (Is 45:7; Nm 6:26) bestowed on the “righteous/just”.

      December 15, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  7. Happy Holidays

    The pope just turned on tree and said abortion and g_ay marriage is biggest threat to peace! Go FIGURE!!!
    LOST IN SPACE?

    December 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, it's certainly a threat to his fairy tale club. World peace, is another matter altogether.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • lol??

      Even the pope can figure out it cheapens life, if he said that. I'd say he's too political to risk it.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • ????????????

      Pope lights Christmas tree and cites abortion, gay marriage as threats to peace

      December 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • mama k

      What cheapens life is wasting it on a delusion; buying into unfounded beliefs of one's deluded ancestors; not learning what one's deluded beliefs are based on.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Akira

      The pope needs to sincerely shut his mouth; the biggest pedophilia network on the planet is the clergy His Hypocritness is in charge of.

      War is the biggest threat of Peace, dork.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Pope: True peace in the world requires end of abortion and gay 'marriage'
      by John-Henry Westen

      ROME, December 14, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com)—“Peacemakers are those who love, defend and promote life in its fullness,” said Pope Benedict XVI in his Message for World Day of Peace 2013.
      In the message, which was released today, the pope noted that “serious harm to justice and peace” comes from denying the true principles of respect for life and promotion of the “natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”

      Pope Benedict XVI, boldly stressed that pro-lifers are the ‘true peacemakers’ and that those who would support abortion promote a “false peace.”
      The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace is above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end. True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions, personal, communitarian and transcendent. Life in its fullness is the height of peace. Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life.
      Those who insufficiently value human life and, in consequence, support among other things the liberalization of abortion, perhaps do not realize that in this way they are proposing the pursuit of a false peace. The flight from responsibility, which degrades human persons, and even more so the killing of a defenceless and innocent being, will never be able to produce happiness or peace. Indeed how could one claim to bring about peace, the integral development of peoples or even the protection of the environment without defending the life of those who are weakest, beginning with the unborn. Every offence against life, especially at its beginning, inevitably causes irreparable damage to development, peace and the environment. Neither is it just to introduce surrepti.tiously into legislation false rights or freedoms which, on the basis of a reductive and relativistic view of human beings and the clever use of ambiguous expressions aimed at promoting a supposed right to abortion and euthanasia, pose a threat to the fundamental right to life.
      Along with principle of respect for life, the Holy Father spoke of the “need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society.”
      He noted that these principles are “not truths of faith,” but “inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity.” Efforts to promote them, he said, “are all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, since this consti.tutes an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.”
      Other requirements for world peace mentioned by Pope Benedict include:
      - “the dismantling of the dictatorship of relativism and of the supposition of a completely autonomous morality which precludes acknowledgement of the ineluctable natural moral law inscribed by God upon the conscience of every man and woman.”
      -“for legal systems and the administration of justice to recognize the right to invoke the principle of conscientious objection in the face of laws or government measures that offend against human dignity, such as abortion and euthanasia.”
      -“the right of individuals and communities to religious freedom.”
      On the last point, the pope lamented the lack of religious freedom, even in Western nations.
      “Sadly, even in countries of long-standing Christian tradition, instances of religious intolerance are becoming more numerous, especially in relation to Christianity and those who simply wear identifying signs of their religion,” he stated.
      He urged that “at this stage in history, it is becoming increasingly important to promote” religious freedom “not only from the negative point of view, as freedom from – for example, obligations or limitations involving the freedom to choose one’s religion – but also from the positive point of view, in its various expressions, as freedom for – for example, bearing witness to one’s religion, making its teachings known, engaging in activities in the educational, benevolent and charitable fields which permit the practice of religious precepts, and existing and acting as social bodies structured in accordance with the proper doctrinal principles and insti.tutional ends of each.”

      December 15, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  8. Primewonk

    Where the hell was your god this morning in Newtown, Connecticut?

    Was he watching as 20 kids were violently and painfully murdered?

    Was he well pleased as more than a hundred bullets rang out?

    What kind of sick sadistic putz do you cretins worship?

    December 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Damocles

      When they start blathering about how it was a miracle from their deity that more weren't killed is when I want to hit them in the eyeball with a tack hammer.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Chad

      where in the bible does it say that God of Israel wont allow bad things to happen?

      In fact, the bible clearly states the opposite, what "god" are you referring to that you think has proclaimed that bad things dont happen?

      “I have spoken these things to you so that you shall have peace in me. You shall have suffering in the world, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16

      December 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Damocles

      @chad

      Worst. argument. ever.

      We prosecute firefighters who go around starting fires to try and be the hero. We prosecute nurses who poison babies in an effore to save the day.

      A deity that causes suffering to save from suffering is absolutely sadistic.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @Dam...

      Worst. Argument. Ever.

      God did not shoot those kids–he didn't cause anything (unlike your firefighter who started the fire and the nurse who poisoned the kids).

      December 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Chad you ignorant dipshit. Your fucking god watched with glee as 20 little kids – 5 to 8 years old – were violently ripped apart by bullets.

      Don't you religious idiots dare try to rationalize it. When you do, you lower yourselves to the level of your monster god who caused this to happen.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @Van – your god claims both omnipotence and omniscience. So yes, your god is responsible. Your god pulled the fucking trigger murdering twenty little kids. And you choose to worship this putz.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Damocles

      @vanhagar

      Pay attention: in chad's post he clearly states that his deity allows suffering. Said deity is now responsible for said suffering because it could choose to not have it, but allows it anyway. If you want to argue semantics then I can alter my post to something along the lines of 'a firefighter that allows a blaze to continue until it seems optimal that he is going to get the credit' or 'a nurse that allows a child to suffer until a doctor of the child's parents are there to see her save the day'. Same damn thing.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • ThirdPartyObserver

      Whats really f'ed up is that you atheists love to point fingers at a being that supposedly doesn't exist. Talk about delusional. LOLOLOLOLOLOL

      December 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @Dam & Prime...look, It get it: You're angry (so am I, and so is any person with a pulse and sense of right and wrong), but blaming God, who has made it clear by word and action (or inaction), that he isn't going to intervene all the time, is an exercise is futility. There is no glee in his heart over this. I can go on and on why God has put a system in place that allows for this type of tragedy, but I know there is nothing I can say that will change your mind. There is nothing you can say that will change mine. Leave it at that.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Damocles

      @third

      I can't argue the belief, I can only argue against the ignorance caused by the belief.

      @van

      No, you can't explain it because it wouldn't begin to make sense. Call it what it is: a bad person doing a bad thing, no deity required.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Oldster

      ThirdPartyObserver
      " you atheists love to point fingers at a being that supposedly doesn't exist."

      It just gets too clunky to say "your alleged god, as described by you and your old Middle Eastern Hebrew men" each and every time.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • lol??

      Wonk, when yer socie experiments go awry because of lack of data, will you puuullleeeaaze stop lashing out.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol??:
      And what socie experiments might that be?

      December 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @damocles "Pay attention: in chad's post he clearly states that his deity allows suffering. Said deity is now responsible for said suffering because it could choose to not have it, but allows it anyway"

      =>that makes no sense, right?
      Because God allows us to exercise our own free will, He becomes responsible for the results of our actions?

      December 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Van – your fucking god admits that he created evil – Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. So yes, your god IS responsible for this. Stop trying to spin your way out of this.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Primewonk

      "Because God allows us to exercise our own free will, He becomes responsible for the results of our actions?"

      Don't you get it? You cannot have free will and an omniscient omnipotent god. So which is it?

      December 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Chad,

      If your god allows us to have free will then he is still responsible. All powerful ent ity could stop anything that it wants.

      This is just more evidence that your position is completely untenable.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Jen

      And if god gives freewill, then he is not answering prayers and curing cancer in people, etc. You can't have it both ways. The sickest part is some people actually believe that god was stepping in to help Tim tebow win football games while he sat back and watched 20 beautiful defenseless children get massacred. That makes me want to vomit.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • niknak

      Don't you guys get it, god is only responsible for the good things, not the bad.
      When someone does something good, like score a touchdown, it was god that used its immense powers to allow it.
      But when someone does something bad, then god had nothing to do with it and sat by and let it happen to punish us.
      It is so very clear.

      Hey fundies, answer me this;
      If all innocent babies automatically go to heaven, then at what age does one pass not get the get into jail free card?
      Are those 18 children in heaven now, or roasting in hell for being born with sin?

      Religion sure is confusing.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      When God decided to create the human race, it was inevitable to give them free will–otherwise it would be something other than the human race. He saw this would give an opening to great evils, but also to very great goods. He decided to as it were buy the package.

      There is so much evil in the world. Why? Physical evils result from the frailty of creatures, made out of nothing. To stop all of these, God would need to multiply miracles very frequently–but then He would contradict Himself, constantly going beyond the laws of nature which He Himself had established. Moral evils come from the fact that He gave us free will–opening the way, as we said, to great good, and great evil. Again, to prevent these would take miracles of grace constantly, which would be out of order. And it would reduce human freedom also. However, He can and does draw much good out of evil, e.g., evils provide the material for the patience of the just; physical evils give opportunity for much charity.

      http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/GODA21.HTM

      December 15, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  9. lionlylamb

    Reposted in completeness,

    the AnViL wrote on December 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm, “public service announcement: lionlylamb is an admitted schizophrenic. this isn't hyperbole or ad hominem – it's a flat fact. while you may find amusement in the rantings of the mentally deranged – it's all just noise. tolerance of the mentally ill has to end.

    Lionlylamb responded to the AnViL on December 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm, stating, “I am diagnosed as having a schizoaffective personality disorder. Many folks throughout our history trails have been placed as being outside the boundaries of commoners and still many did contribute. Disregarding my long thought out words just because I am diagnosed for having a 'personality disorder' dare degrades one's self! Debate me my words and don't just label them as being psychotic mumbo jumbo! I may be hardened in my stance but to shun me due my coming out of my shell does neither any good! I am not hiding anything nor am I ashamed for being psychiatrically labeled for having a disordered personality. My thoughts make me whole and my psychiatrist approves of my words I do write!

    Societal toleration toward anyone be they 'mentally challenged' or emotionally impaired by others who feel disgusted by such people is where many societal perverts are suggestively in denial of their own embittered inabilities to grasp upon the millions of people who are mentally and/or emotionally disparaged by yes the social dregs are the ones who drag down those who are socially inept and mentally challenged and emotionally impaired!”

    December 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • the AnViL

      shamelessly copied and pasted from wikipedia – the source of all validated truth and knowledge on the interwebs:

      "'Schizoaffective disorder most commonly affects cognition and emotion. False perceptions and disordered thought processes, such as auditory hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and/or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social and occupational dysfunction are typical."'

      zoop!

      December 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      the AnViL,

      Are you inferring that my words are "False perceptions and disordered thought processes, such as auditory hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and/or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social and occupational dysfunction are typical"?

      Are you declaring my "worded" thought perceptions are lucid dreaming states of thought disorders brought on by delusional thinking? It's quite funny how marginalized ingrates of societal demeaning dweebs dare shun those who dare to enlighten others with thoughtful insights uncommonly held by others. Millions of American citizens are plagued with psychiatric disorders brought about by one's social ineptness and emotionalized social incongruities leading to many mental disparagements due mainly thru other's cynicisms. Some are treated while the many are not found out therefore those not found do create many social ills such as are the cases such as Columbine and just today where nearly 30 people were killed!

      December 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • the AnViL

      to be clear:

      your writings are clearly and obviously the product of "False perceptions and disordered thought processes..."

      you inject noise into discourse. it's not cool. you don't appear enlightened.... because you aren't.

      in fact – you come off as exactly what you are: mentally ill.

      flat fact: mentally ill people, like yourself - are the cause of most suffering on this planet.

      cha cha cha

      December 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Huebert

      AnVil

      "mentally ill people, like yourself – are the cause of most suffering on this planet."

      That is absolutely untrue. The vast majority of mentally ill people are nonviolent and in need of understanding and treatment, not prejudice and derision. The greatest perpetrators of wrong doing are usually completely rational.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Huebert – i agree with you – most mentally ill people pose no threat to humanity.

      as for the rationality of people like adolph hitler and pol pot, for instance, and those who followed their pogroms .... it is arguable.

      religion – being the product of delusional thinking - has done more to bolster the courage of mentally ill people to commit heinous acts.

      ~

      December 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Huebert – i also agree with you that mentally ill people need understanding, care, and treatment.

      i feel we should do more to identify mental illness – and the potential for it – very early and with greater intensity than ever before.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Huebert

      AnVil

      Ok I think I get you now. And I do agree with you that lionly is completely nucking futs.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  10. lionlylamb

    the AnViL wrote on December 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm, "public service announcement: lionlylamb is an admitted schizophrenic. this isn't hyperbole or ad hominem – it's a flat fact. while you may find amusement in the rantings of the mentally deranged – it's all just noise. tolerance of the mentally ill has to end."

    Toleration toward anyone be they 'mentally challenged' or emotionally impaired by others who feel disgusted by such people is where many societal perverts are suggestively in denial of their own embittered inabilities to grasp upon the millions of people who are mentally and/or emotionally disparaged by yes the social dregs who drag down those who are socially inept!

    December 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • the AnViL

      most suffering on earth is caused by mentally diseased people.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  11. lionlylamb

    Civilizations are carrions of gestated conscience whereof the subtle measuring of conscious upheavals dare breaks the unbroken evolutionary trees of the conscientious objectivism rankings. We are all allotted life and livelihoods. What one does with their livelihood is up to the self. Be then a goodly peasant and see fit to break other's molds. My mold is fixed and cannot be broken though. Only by understanding my molded conscience may others find the solutions for life's meanings. Play your games but should you dare to walk in my shoes, you might well find life-questions to be solved!

    December 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Only by understanding my molded conscience may others find the solutions for life's meanings. " Delusions of grandeur.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      How do you do LL? So let me know if I understand your post. Are you basically saying that we can learn things from other people of different religions and/or cultures? And that we should not be judgemental? Or am I lost in left field?

      December 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      midwest rail quoted in part my views iterating, "" Only by understanding my molded conscience may others find the solutions for life's meanings. " Delusions of grandeur.

      rail, Midwest, You did forget to quote what followed which is, "Play your games but should you dare to walk in my shoes, you might well find life-questions to be solved!"

      People of your statures are a dime a dozen Midwestern rail! If all you can do is plagiarize any and all who dare write their words of contentions then what good really are you?

      December 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      lunchbreaker,

      All my life, I was belittled and mocked by many of my social ingrates and it wasn't until recent years that I found the guts to stand up for my beliefs! Because our lives are short and death soon comes to all folks, either one is to understand life or one keeps searching till their dying day. I have made peace with my searches for God's kingdom domains in that I know with much sureness where such godly kingdom domains are! Others who know me think my words are mere delusions unworthy a second glance. Atheists who believe they will become once again part of the all of nothingness are just half-right. Whether they want to or not, all who die upon this plain of relativism will be given another try at living with their memory wiped clean and start anew and afresh with a better body in a place that can only be viewed as a heavenly realm deeply seeded inwardly upon a dimensional plain of such small absolutes one will never really know just where it is they are at!

      Live therefore one's life here and now and tarry naught for the wastelands of cynicisms carry one towards a realm unwanted and not approved of by our masses of mobs who cannot see, but only harken in bitter tributes to bring anyone within their reaches onto their bitterness ride to the unwanted realms after death snares its coils upon one. What goodness comes from knowledge laid wasted? Where are the fruits of wisdom leading towards? When does the good in life become known to all? How can people live without wants? Why therefore are people discouraged and disgruntled and become as disbelievers of others words of wisdoms so planted by being against wise thoughts in many hearts of dissolution?

      December 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  12. lionlylamb

    We all live amid two chasms of cosmological orders. We have the inner-cosmos and the outer-cosmos. The inner-cosmos is atomically made and is the universal construct of the outer-cosmos. One could not have an outer cosmos without there being an inner cosmos. Both are synonymously of the same natures. It stands to reason the inner-cosmos was made first and the outer-cosmos came into being only after the passive finalization of the inner-cosmos was made near complete. The inner-cosmos is transcendent and fixed while the outer-cosmos is ascendant and malleable in their dualities natures.

    The third cosmos is of life itself made from the inner-cosmos living upon the terrestrial planetary faces of the celestial outer-cosmos. This third cosmos is the celled cosmos or the cellular cosmologic orders of all life forms made anywhere cellular life can gain a foothold to evolve and gain in the abundant natures toward the evolution of its structures ever evolving. Without the two main Cosmos coming into existence; living cellular cosmologies could not exist.

    December 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • midwest rail

      If you're using "The Living Library" as anything other than a source of amusement, you're doing it wrong.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      midwest rail,

      Amusement? Other than? Wrong? Where for art thou of demeaned ranting sakes? And why?

      December 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  13. lol??

    Definition of a false prophet:................."Deu 13:1-2 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;"

    December 14, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Which God?

      @lol. Definition of someone with delusions: Quoting from the babble.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • SImran

      "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

      Now how in hell do you test the spirit?
      Dear God, you tell me to test the holy spirit. Now you didnot tell me how? Some of your websites tell me that I should use the scripture. But God, which scripture? How shall I know your scripture is the Bible or the Quran or the Vedas or the gospel of the Flying Spaghetti monster (I like the last one though). Each says they are your word, and that I shall not believe in others (they belong to false prophet!). How to know which is the right scripture among a million?

      Now dear God, could you do us all a favor and come again to tell us which scripture and which spirit to follow? Maybe, it would be easier on you as well to tackle this Satan rival of yours once and for all! After all, you are God.
      But wait, when you do come down from wherever you are, how will we know you are God and not the false spirit? Oh yeah, the heart would know! But God, scientists have figured out that the heart just pumps blood, it is the neurons that create these emotions. SO, while you are down here, maybe you could also consider revising your scripture to a new edition!

      December 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      SImran,

      "Do not tempt the Lord My God with weak fomentations of childish bewilderments meant only as bittersweet sarcasms! Only fools make cynical their thoughts of!

      December 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • SImran

      @LL
      Oh Lord the God, not you too.... You too are gullible to temptation!!!

      December 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY
      The ti.tle of Deuteronomy in Hebrew is Debarim, “words,” from its opening phrase. The English ti.tle comes from the Septuagint of 17:18, deuteronomion, “copy of the law”; this ti.tle is appropriate because the book replicates much of the legal content of the previous books, serving as a “second law.” It brings to a close the five books of the Torah or Pentateuch with a retrospective account of Israel’s past—the exodus, the Sinai covenant, and the wilderness wanderings—and a look into Israel’s future as they stand poised to enter the land of Canaan and begin their life as a people there.
      The book consists of three long addresses by Moses. Each of these contains narrative, law, and exhortation, in varying proportions. In an expansion of the first commandment of the decalogue (Ex 20:5–6; Dt 5:9–10), Moses tells the Israelites how to make a success of their life as a people once they are settled in the land. The choice presented to Israel is to love the Lord and keep his commandments, or to serve “other gods.” That choice will determine what kind of life they will make for themselves in the land. Whichever choice they make as a people carries consequences, which Deuteronomy terms “blessing” and “curse.” Thus the book can be seen as a kind of survival manual for Israel in their life as a people: how to live and what to avoid. This gives the book its hortatory style and tone of life-or-death urgency.
      One defining concern of the book is centralization of worship. As Israel’s God is one (6:4–5), so its worship must be focused in one place, which the Lord “will choose from among your tribes”; there the Lord will “make his name dwell” (see note on 12:5). Thus the privileged status of the Jerusalem Temple is asserted; all other places and all other modes of worship of the God of Israel (the local shrines, the “high places,” “under every green tree”) are proscribed.
      The book was probably composed over the course of three centuries, from the eighth century to the exile and beyond. It bears some relation to “the Book of the Law” discovered in the Jerusalem Temple around 622 B.C. during the reign of King Josiah (2 Kgs 22:8–13). It gives evidence of later editing: cf. the references to exile in 4:1–40; 28:63–68; 29:21–28; 30:1–10.
      Over the book looms the disaster of 722/721, the fall of the Northern Kingdom, Israel. The detailed description of siege (28:49–57) especially echoes the fate the North suffered at the hands of the Assyrian invader. The book draws the minds of its intended readers back to a time before disastrous mistakes were made and their disastrous effects felt, and serves to explain the political and theological dynamics that led to the destruction of the North as well as to warn the surviving Southern Kingdom, Judah, to reform by keeping faith with Israel’s covenant Lord.
      The characteristic and highly recognizable language and theology of Deuteronomy are seen in editorial comments structuring the works that follow it in the Hebrew canon, the Books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. Together with Deuteronomy, these present a history of Israel from Moses to the time of the Babylonian exile. Conventionally this great multivolume work is termed the Deuteronomistic History. The Book of Deuteronomy itself was also incorporated into the Torah as its fifth volume.
      The book presents three discourses by Moses, as follows:
      I. First Address (1:1–4:43)
      II. Second Address (4:44–28:69)
      A. The Lord’s Covenant with Israel (4:44–11:32)
      B. The Deuteronomic Code (12:1–28:69)
      III. Third Address (29:1–33:29)
      IV. The Death of Moses (34:1–12)

      December 15, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      * [13:2, 4, 6] Dreamer: a false prophet who pretended to have received revelations from God in a dream; cf. Jer 23:25–32; 27:9; Zec 10:2. But dreams could also be a means of true prophecy (Nm 12:6; Jl 3:1) and of genuine revelations (Gn 20:3, 6; 31:11, 24; 37:5, 9; Mt 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19; etc.).

      DEUTERONOMY, CHAPTER13

      Penalties for Enticing to Idolatry. 1Every word that I command you, you shall be careful to observe, neither adding to it nor subtracting from it.

      2a If there arises in your midst a prophet or a dreamer* who promises you a sign or wonder, 3saying, “Let us go after other gods,” whom you have not known, “and let us serve them,” and the sign or wonder foretold to you comes to pass, 4do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer; for the LORD, your God, is testing you to know whether you really love the LORD, your God, with all your heart and soul.b 5The LORD, your God, shall you follow, and him shall you fear; his commandments shall you observe, and to his voice shall you listen; him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast.c 6But that prophet or that dreamer shall be put to death, because, in order to lead you astray from the way which the LORD, your God, has commanded you to take, the prophet or dreamer has spoken apostasy against the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst.d

      7If your brother, your father’s child or your mother’s child, your son or daughter, your beloved spouse, or your intimate friend entices you secretly, saying, “Come, let us serve other gods,” whom you and your ancestors have not known, 8any of the gods of the surrounding peoples, near to you or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: 9do not yield or listen to any such person; show no pity or compassion and do not shield such a one,e 10f but kill that person. Your hand shall be the first raised to put such a one to death; the hand of all the people shall follow. 11You shall stone that person to death, for seeking to lead you astray from the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 12And all Israel shall hear of it and fear, and never again do such evil as this in your midst.g

      13If you hear it said concerning one of the cities which the LORD, your God, gives you to dwell in, 14that certain scoundrels have sprung up in your midst and have led astray the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Come, let us serve other gods,” whom you have not known, 15you must inquire carefully into the matter and investigate it thoroughly. If you find that it is true and an established fact that this abomination has been committed in your midst,h 16i you shall put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, placing the city and all that is in it, even its livestock, under the ban. 17Having heaped up all its spoils in the middle of its square, you shall burn the city with all its spoils as a whole burnt offering to the LORD, your God. Let it be a heap of ruins forever, never to be rebuilt. 18You shall not hold on to anything that is under the ban; then the LORD will turn from his burning anger and show you mercy, and in showing you mercy multiply you as he swore to your ancestors, 19because you have listened to the voice of the LORD, your God, keeping all his commandments, which I give you today, doing what is right in the sight of the LORD, your God.

      * [13:2, 4, 6] Dreamer: a false prophet who pretended to have received revelations from God in a dream; cf. Jer 23:25–32; 27:9; Zec 10:2. But dreams could also be a means of true prophecy (Nm 12:6; Jl 3:1) and of genuine revelations (Gn 20:3, 6; 31:11, 24; 37:5, 9; Mt 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19; etc.).

      a. [13:2–19] Dt 6:4, 14–15; 17:2–7.

      b. [13:4] Dt 8:2, 16.

      c. [13:5] Dt 6:4–5; 10:20; 11:22.

      d. [13:6] Dt 17:7, 12; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21–22, 24; 24:7; Jer 28:16; 29:32.

      e. [13:9] Dt 7:16; 19:13, 21; 25:12.

      f. [13:10–11] Dt 17:5–7; 21:21; 22:20–24; Jos 7:25–26; 1 Kgs 21:13–14.

      g. [13:12] Dt 17:13; 21:21.

      h. [13:15] Dt 17:4; 19:18.

      i. [13:16–17] Dt 20:16–18; Jos 6:17, 24; 7:25–26; 8:28.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ lol??, SImran, Robert Brown, et al:

      If you want to read and understand scripture you must first start with a correctly translated copy.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • lol??

      chickadee, 1) I always quote the KJV because of copyright issues. I figure the queen would be too embarrassed to pick on someone as little as me.. 2) You went to a great deal of effort to pick on my definition because your bible splits the chapter and verse ONE VERSE DIFFERENT. 3) Since the originals don't even use these "helps", it's SILLY. 4)For my original purpose of the quote, it still STANDS.

      December 15, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      lol, I went to the trouble of posting this because I think it is nearly impossible to understand the meaning of scripture starting with a middle English translation that is not held in esteem by linguists, and then to read small passages out of context. But, I could be wrong. If I am, please explain the teaching behind your quote.

      December 15, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • lol??

      chick, the quote itself IS the teaching. It's a definition. Now about the KJV "not held in esteem by linguists", I'd say it's their problem in their race for top dog in the field. The language of England as used after 1470 and up to 1650 is known as Early Modern English and .is great for getting out of a rut anyway. (WIKI) Why do I always get the impression you are trying to trick me?

      December 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      IDK, why do you think I'm trying to trick you? I'm just saying there are easier ways to 'getting it'. Speaking for myself, I know I wouldn't feel confident that anything I read from an English style several hundred years old, without authoritative footnotes and historic references was correct. And I am, more often than not, puzzled by conclusions of those who lean toward that sort of study.

      December 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  14. lol??

    Example of a false prophet:"Act 13:6-7 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name [was] Barjesus:Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man;"......... HHHmmmmm, hangin' with a gman.

    December 14, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Which God?

      @ lol = defintion of a delusional person quoting falsehoods for a book of myths

      December 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

      The Acts of the Apostles, the second volume of Luke’s two-volume work, continues Luke’s presentation of biblical history, describing how the salvation promised to Israel in the Old Testament and accomplished by Jesus has now under the guidance of the holy Spirit been extended to the Gentiles. This was accomplished through the divinely chosen representatives (Acts 10:41) whom Jesus prepared during his historical ministry (Acts 1:21–22) and commissioned after his resurrection as witnesses to all that he taught (Acts 1:8; 10:37–43; Lk 24:48). Luke’s preoccupation with the Christian community as the Spirit-guided bearer of the word of salvation rules out of his book detailed histories of the activity of most of the preachers. Only the main lines of the roles of Peter and Paul serve Luke’s interest.

      Peter was the leading member of the Twelve (Acts 1:13, 15), a miracle worker like Jesus in the gospel (Acts 3:1–10; 5:1–11, 15; 9:32–35, 36–42), the object of divine care (Acts 5:17–21; 12:6–11), and the spokesman for the Christian community (Acts 2:14–36; 3:12–26; 4:8–12; 5:29–32; 10:34–43; 15:7–11), who, according to Luke, was largely responsible for the growth of the community in the early days (Acts 2:4; 4:4). Paul eventually joined the community at Antioch (Acts 11:25–26), which subsequently commissioned him and Barnabas to undertake the spread of the gospel to Asia Minor. This missionary venture generally failed to win the Jews of the diaspora to the gospel but enjoyed success among the Gentiles (Acts 13:14–14:27).

      Paul’s refusal to impose the Mosaic law upon his Gentile converts provoked very strong objection among the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1), but both Peter and James supported his position (Acts 15:6–21). Paul’s second and third missionary journeys (Acts 16:36–21:16) resulted in the same pattern of failure among the Jews generally but of some success among the Gentiles. Paul, like Peter, is presented as a miracle worker (Acts 14:8–18; 19:12; 20:7–12; 28:7–10) and the object of divine care (Acts 16:25–31).

      In Acts, Luke has provided a broad survey of the church’s development from the resurrection of Jesus to Paul’s first Roman imprisonment, the point at which the book ends. In telling this story, Luke describes the emergence of Christianity from its origins in Judaism to its position as a religion of worldwide status and appeal. Originally a Jewish Christian community in Jerusalem, the church was placed in circu.mstances impelling it to include within its membership people of other cultures: the Samaritans (Acts 8:4–25), at first an occasional Gentile (Acts 8:26–30; 10:1–48), and finally the Gentiles on principle (Acts 11:20–21). Fear on the part of the Jewish people that Christianity, particularly as preached to the Gentiles, threatened their own cultural heritage caused them to be susp.icious of Paul’s gospel (Acts 13:42–45; 15:1–5; 28:17–24). The inability of Christian missionaries to allay this apprehension inevitably created a situation in which the gospel was preached more and more to the Gentiles. Toward the end of Paul’s career, the Christian communities, with the exception of those in Palestine itself (Acts 9:31), were mainly of Gentile membership. In tracing the emergence of Christianity from Judaism, Luke is insistent upon the prominence of Israel in the divine plan of salvation (see note on Acts 1:26; see also Acts 2:5–6; 3:13–15; 10:36; 13:16–41; 24:14–15) and that the extension of salvation to the Gentiles has been a part of the divine plan from the beginning (see Acts 15:13–18; 26:22–23).

      In the development of the church from a Jewish Christian origin in Jerusalem, with its roots in Jewish religious tradition, to a series of Christian communities among the Gentiles of the Roman empire, Luke perceives the action of God in history laying open the heart of all humanity to the divine message of salvation. His approach to the history of the church is motivated by his theological interests. His history of the apostolic church is the story of a Spirit-guided community and a Spirit-guided spread of the Word of God (Acts 1:8). The travels of Peter and Paul are in reality the travels of the Word of God as it spreads from Jerusalem, the city of destiny for Jesus, to Rome, the capital of the civilized world of Luke’s day. Nonetheless, the historical data he utilizes are of value for the understanding of the church’s early life and development and as general background to the Pauline epi.stles. In the interpretation of Acts, care must be exercised to determine Luke’s theological aims and interests and to evaluate his historical data without either exaggerating their literal accuracy or underestimating their factual worth.

      Finally, an apologetic concern is evident throughout Acts. By stressing the continuity between Judaism and Christianity (Acts 13:16–41; 23:6–9; 24:10–21; 26:2–23), Luke argues that Christianity is deserving of the same toleration accorded Judaism by Rome. Part of Paul’s defense before Roman authorities is to show that Christianity is not a disturber of the peace of the Roman Empire (Acts 24:5, 12–13; 25:7–8). Moreover, when he stands before Roman authorities, he is declared innocent of any crime against the empire (Acts 18:13–15; 23:29; 25:25–27; 26:31–32). Luke tells his story with the hope that Christianity will be treated as fairly.

      Concerning the date of Acts, see the Introduction to the Gospel according to Luke.

      The principal divisions of the Acts of the Apostles are the following:

      The Preparation for the Christian Mission (1:1–2:13)
      The Mission in Jerusalem (2:14–8:3)
      The Mission in Judea and Samaria (8:4–9:43)
      The Inauguration of the Gentile Mission (10:1–15:35)
      The Mission of Paul to the Ends of the Earth (15:36–28:31)

      December 15, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      ACTS
      Chapter 13

      1* Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off.

      First Mission Begins in Cyprus. 4* So they, sent forth by the holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus. 5When they arrived in Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. They had John* also as their assistant. 6When they had traveled through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a magician named Bar-Jesus who was a Jewish false prophet.* 7He was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who had summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. 8But Elymas the magician (for that is what his name means) opposed them in an attempt to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9But Saul, also known as Paul,* filled with the holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all that is right, full of every sort of deceit and fraud. Will you not stop twisting the straight paths of [the] Lord? 11Even now the hand of the Lord is upon you. You will be blind, and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately a dark mist fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12When the proconsul saw what had happened, he came to believe, for he was astonished by the teaching about the Lord.

      Paul’s Arrival at Antioch in Pisidia. 13From Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia. But John left them and returned to Jerusalem.a 14They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath they entered (into) the synagogue and took their seats. 15After the reading of the law and the prophets, the synagogue officials sent word to them, “My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”

      * [13:1–3] The impulse for the first missionary effort in Asia Minor is ascribed to the prophets of the Antiochene community, under the inspiration of the holy Spirit. Just as the Jerusalem community had earlier been the center of missionary activity, so too Antioch becomes the center from which the missionaries Barnabas and Saul are sent out.

      * [13:4–14:27] The key event in Luke’s account of the first missionary journey is the experience of Paul and Barnabas at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:14–52). The Christian kerygma proclaimed by Paul in the synagogue was favorably received. Some Jews and “God-fearers” (see note on Acts 8:26–40) became interested and invited the missionaries to speak again on the following sabbath (Acts 13:42). By that time, however, the appearance of a large number of Gentiles from the city had so disconcerted the Jews that they became hostile toward the apostles (Acts 13:44–50). This hostility of theirs appears in all three accounts of Paul’s missionary journeys in Acts, the Jews of Iconium (Acts 14:1–2) and Beroea (Acts 17:11) being notable exceptions.

      * [13:5] John: that is, John Mark (see Acts 12:12, 25).

      * [13:6] A magician named Bar-Jesus who was a Jewish false prophet: that is, he posed as a prophet. Again Luke takes the opportunity to dissociate Christianity from the magical acts of the time (Acts 13:7–11); see also Acts 8:18–24.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Continuing with the read and understand scripture theme... after obtaining a copy correctly translated from the original texts to modern American English, read the entire passage to understand the context, audience, history and social setting.

      December 15, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • lol??

      chickadee,I see no difference of substance between the KJV and your version for my example of a false prophet. What's the problem? It's not like I used a paraphrase or something. (plenty of versions are something else)

      December 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Sorry, I just don't "get" what you were trying to say by posting that. Is it a reference to clergy that are currently hobnobbing with politicos?

      December 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  15. Akira

    "The Rev. Travis Smith paced First Baptist Church’s sanctuary while addressing his congregation about forgiveness."
    He needs more than forgiveness; he needs freaking prison time.
    Getting extremely tired of the voices purporting to speak for God not being ablke to keep it in their pants.

    December 14, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Fate Of Tracy Smith, Accused Abusive Pastor In The Hands Of His Flock
      Religion News Service | By Tim Townsend

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/14/pastor-tracy-smith-fate_n_2297009.html

      December 15, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  16. Damocles

    @RB

    So if your deity is mum on the subject, you have no choice but to believe. No problem. I don't think I want you sitting on any jury.... 'sorry but I just can't pass judgement on this killer, that's for my deity to do, let the killer go free and I promise that my deity will punish him.... after he's dead'.

    @RB's response to Doc

    Seriously? How would you tell if an evil deity was using your deity's voice to get you to do the wrong thing but couched it in ways that seemed totally reasonable to you?

    December 14, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Akira

      So, I guess that deity telling the prophets to dash their children's brains out could conceivably have been evil.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      That is not what I meant. I could pass judgment. I took it that you were saying that since I didn’t know what the person thought they were told I couldn’t say they were wrong. If their instructions contradict the word of God they weren’t of God.
      Seeming totally reasonable is one of the enemies most subtle and successful tricks.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Akira,
      “So, I guess that deity telling the prophets to dash their children's brains out could conceivably have been evil.”
      I don’t remember that one. Tell me where it is and we will see.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert Brown

      I refer you to Abraham. Apparently, he thought it well within the character of that same god to demand a human sacrifice to "prove his love".
      Now, BEGIN THE SPINNING Wheeeeeeeeeeee.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,
      I wish I could say I had the faith of Abraham. I think Abraham thought if God could give us a child at our age he can raise him from the dead if I do slay him. You will also notice in the account that Abraham told Issac that God would provide the sacrifice.
      God knew that he was going to sacrifice his own son for you. He provided the sacrifice.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Akira

      If believers were honest with themselves they would realize that an all everything deity would have to be evil at some point.

      @RB

      You don't understand.... how can you tell someone else what a deity tells them? Who are you to make that call? If you go on faith, you have no choice but to believe any lackwit that tells you they heard the voice of a deity. Just because the deity said something you don't agree with, wouldn't make it untrue, would it?

      December 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Damocles

      @RB

      Answer this honestly: if you made a habit of sacrificing your children, would it be understandable that your other children make take a rather dim view of you?

      December 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      So instead of spin, you laud human sacrifice. It's good to know the depth of your immorality Robert.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Robert Brown

      I find it quite funny that you speak on behalf of another person/persons who claim to speak on behalf of a god. When it comes to speaking on behalf of the mind of a god...you are lacking in authority and relevance.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      We are going around in a circle. You say I can’t say what God tells someone. I say if it is inconsistent with the word of God then God didn’t tell them to do it. You say I wouldn’t want you to be on my jury if you can’t pass judgment. Back to top.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      Of course it would.
      Now you answer this honestly. If you made a habit of protecting your children even to the point of killing the enemies children in the process, would it be understandable if your children loved you even if they felt sorry for the enemies children?

      December 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT,
      You are ent.itled to your opinion, but what you think of my authority or relevance is limited based on your very own handle.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Damocles

      @RB

      Not if the enemies are supposedly my children as well and certainly not if that is always the only solution I can come up with. Again, if my children's enemies are my children, at some point they have to see the writing on the wall and know that at some point I can treat them as I treat all my children. They may fear me, but that's not love now is it?

      December 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      You are being dishonest. I answered your question honestly. You have to qualify my question before you answer because you don’t want to admit the answer.
      The other problem with your qualification is that it is not applicable. There are only two, God’s children and the children of the enemy. It is impossible to be a child of both.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Damocles

      @RB

      I'm sorry, I must have a spot on my eyeball, looked like you said I was being dishonest. To a believer are we not all children of a deity? If we are all children of a deity then our enemies are still the children of that deity. Is the deity not then murdering some children to save some children? Should the surviving children not be concerned that someday they could be the bad children?

      December 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yay a flase Dichotomy from Robert. How surprising, who would have ever expected that.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Akira

      I took it from the response you gave to Doc.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      Wrong, we are not all children of God. Until we become children of God we are children of the little g god of this world, the enemy,…. Hey… whats my name?
      The default is not, child of God, it is the other way around.
      That is why I said you were being dishonest, so if it was just because you incorrectly assume everyone is a child of God, then I apologize.
      Hopefully, all children of the enemy will become children of God. Whosoever will, let them come.

      December 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Wow, "believe exactly as I do or you're with the enemy because my book says so. My book also says that the enemy should die and be tortured for all eternity. By the way my religion is the most tolerant religion out there".
      Really Robert, people like you is a good example of how religion can completely fuck up a persons mind.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
      – Edmund Burke

      If you can understand Burke's statement, surely you can understand that if one does not actively choose God then the default value is that you've chosen evil by inaction.

      December 15, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  17. lionlylamb

    Seek God's kingdom domains as the gospel tells us to do. Find the answer in the Word. For help please read Luke 17:21 and 1Corinthians 3:9 and you will know quite literally God's kingdom's domains. Manly built things are for people to wallow within never to know let alone believe the Truth of God's Word! God is our bodies engineer and resident and we are God's buildings for God to make habitation therein. Live one's life as one sees fit to be lived.

    All celestial occurrences of life are God's godly buildings and upon terrestrial plains does lay the shorelines of God's opulence in unending parades of life's steadfast onward placements; ever onwards living continuum toward the futures to be had for mankind's sake. Mankind is a quantifiable marking of God to ever search for God and in godliness potentials does humanity lurch forward into the futures for God's pleasantry. God can never be outdone in his creations' manifestations be they celestially made or terrestrially manufactured. God is righteous and we are godly righteousness no matter our ills and forlorn ways!

    1Corinthians 15:40 [There are] also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another.

    Therefore do no haggling over mediocrities permeations unpleasantness ways. We are all of oneness and in oneness we shall ever so be. Religious should love those who are not and likewise the non-religious to the religious should love. We are all God's evolutional creations made from the stardust of the celestially torn apart of an age long remembered by God and only glimpsed of by mankind. In death life is reborn and in being reborn are all remade to live again!

    December 14, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • niknak

      Hey look!
      Cowardlylion is back to post more unitelligible gibberish about his invisible friend.
      You are starting to make me miss the posts from the creepy hindu guy.

      Do you really sit around all day and dream that rubbish up?

      Oh, btw your post is too long, too boring.....

      December 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • lionlylamb

      niknak,

      You must really love your cynicisms to always be posted in the limes of lit others. People of your saturated tyranny against things you care less about are your futures lameness. Remember well that you were the first to impart ill and I am you worst nightmare! You are nothing of nothingness! Just a clump of sand ready to be dispersed upon the shoaled shorelines are you and the others of semantic protrusions! If debate is what you want, then let's debate! But I digress, you are but a perverted peasant, a dreg of a peon wanting to be noticed by other dregs!

      December 14, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Bob

      niknak I couldn't agree more!

      December 14, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • niknak

      Debate?!?
      How does one debate with the insane?
      When facts don't count, and you can just make up stuff to fit your argument, they how could we possibly debate?

      Look, you are the one making the claim that god exists.
      You want to debate, then lets start with your proof of your god, and we can go from there.

      And another thing, why all the name calling?
      I have been posting here for awhile now, and I have never called any of you fundies a name.
      I make fun of your myth, and some of your screen names like yours, but I have never resorted to name calling.
      Funny that you do, the one who supposedly is following jesus' teachings.
      Did he call people names he disagreed with?

      December 14, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Let's debate about "geometric cosmologies" central to the well being of our cellular cosmologic constraints then shall we? Or are you too infantile to bargain in such worded leavening?

      December 14, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • lionlylamb

      niknak, "And another thing, why all the name calling? I have been posting here for awhile now, and I have never called any of you fundies a name. I make fun of your myth, and some of your screen names like yours, but I have never resorted to name calling."

      Is not calling one a "cowardly lion" name calling? Surely your gestating commentary is name calling and I have every right to retaliate in like manner! You pulled the trigger but I hold a machine gun!

      December 14, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • lionlylamb

      niknak, "Funny that you do, the one who supposedly is following jesus' teachings. Did he call people names he disagreed with?"

      Your ever want to use Christ against those who are "Christ-like" dares the Christianized of shallowness means to shrink away from the petty dregs who connive to regurgitate the Word to defend themselves against Godly referendums seen by peasant peons; those illiterate dregs of religious socialism!

      You niknak are not worthy my time to debate the issues yet nevertheless I made a challenge to debate you starting with geometric cosmologies that will lead to Godly anthology. Shall we play a game?

      December 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Akira

      Don't bother, people.
      A vanity writer doesn't care if his unintelligible natterings are understood or not; he writes only for his own pleasure, and not for any communication purpose.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Which God?

      Get back on your meds. lamblylioness.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      @ Which God?,

      Your tail wagging is telling you to be a misfit of a dregs' ill gotten verbalizations meant to soothe one's own emotionally centralized easing. Do continue selling yourself a wanton need to make breezes blow on! I am up for debate. Do you want to play a game? Thought naught!

      December 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • the AnViL

      public service announcement: lionlylamb is an admitted schizophrenic. this isn't hyperbole or ad hominem – it's a flat fact.

      while you may find amusement in the rantings of the mentally deranged – it's all just noise.

      tolerance of the mentally ill has to end.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      the AnViL,

      I am diagnosed as having a schizoaffective personality disorder. Many folks throughout our history trails have been placed as being outside the boundaries of commoners and still many did contribute. Disregarding my long thought out words just because I am diagnosed for having a 'personality disorder' dare degrades one's self! Debate me my words and don't just label them as being psychotic mumbo jumbo! I may be hardened in my stance but to shun me due my coming out of my shell does neither any good! I am not hiding anything nor am I ashamed for being psychiatrically labeled for having a disordered personality. My thoughts make me whole and my psychiatrist approves of my words I do write!

      December 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • the AnViL

      from wikipedia – the source of all validated truth and knowledge on the interwebs:

      "'Schizoaffective disorder most commonly affects cognition and emotion. False perceptions and disordered thought processes, such as auditory hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and/or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social and occupational dysfunction are typical."'

      zoop!

      December 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • niknak

      @ Cowardlylion

      Dude, I am teasing you with a play on your screen name, tying it into The Wizard of Oz as in "don't pay any attention to that silly little man behind the curtan." Since that is how I view god(s). NOT calling you a name.
      Is humor one of the things you have to give up when going down the religious path?

      Geometric cosmologies?!?
      What?
      I asked you for some proof of you god. Bring it, if you gotz it.
      If not, then it is all just conjecture on your part.

      Everyday, science is pushing you religious people further and further into oblivion. Look where you are now, 14.5 billion years in the past as all you have left is "Well, how did the big bang happen?"
      And guess what, science will solve that too.

      You have one of two options,
      Comming out and saying you have absolutely zero proof of the sky fairy, therefore making me win the debate.
      Or finding and killing me and all the others who are non-believers.

      A mind is a terrible thing to lose, to religion.........

      December 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  18. niknak

    Morning all,
    It is such a nice and sunny day here, and even more beautiful without any trace of god(s).
    New coffe place just opened up around the corner, and they roast all their own beans.
    It smells wonderful just walking by the joint.
    Coffee good, religion bad.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • God needs cash

      Don't forget to tip.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  19. Robert Brown

    Primewonk,
    If you just jump in there somewhere and read something out of the OT you are making a huge mistake. Some instructions were for a specific group at specific time in a specific place, or conditional. Some instructions are unconditional. Some prophesies have been literally fulfilled. Some are yet to be fulfilled.

    December 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Robert Brown

      ooops

      December 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • niknak

      It must be so very convenient Robert Brownstreak to be able to pick and choose what you feel applies today from you magic book.
      And those other parts you can just say they applied to someone/sometime else.

      Another reason to leave religion in the trash heap.
      I am so thankful I don't have to live in the country ruled by people like you.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Mr. Brown,

      niknak is seemed as being literally young and perversely outspoken. Forgive him and the dregs that follow and do lead themselves in bitterness ways all for self aggrandizements issues meant only to appease others who stand apart of and in soulless attenuations against the religious appraisals of the many.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • SImran

      RB
      So who gets to decide which instruction is conditional and which unconditional and who conditions what? Oops, this reminds me of how biologists condition lab rats!
      How do you pick and choose what is for your time and space?

      December 14, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Niknak,
      I am not doing the picking and choosing. If you approach the OT like you approach the latest novel you will quickly get lost.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Lionlylamb,
      Forgive them father for they know not what they do.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      SImran,
      I am not saying anyone gets to decide. What I am saying is that you have to read it in context. For example, some of the instructions in the OT were for the children of Israel and were conditioned on God allowing them to stay in the land that he gave them. They fouled it up, he kicked them out.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  20. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    "You cant build your life on just one favorite Bible verse. You must follow ALL that God says to do, which requires balance."

    If only God would speak.

    December 14, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Mirosal

      And in which language? ;)

      December 14, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God speaks to people all the time.
      In 2008, He told Boyce Singleton Jr. to shoot and stab his pregnant girlfriend.
      Deanna Laney heard God direct her to bludgeon her three sons, aged 9, 6 and 15 months. Only the youngest survived.
      Blair Donnelly received instructions to stab to death his 16 year old daughter, Stephanie.
      Christopher Varian was slaughtered with a cheese knife after God spoke with one of his employees.
      God told Jennifer Cisowski to dash her infant's head on the rocks, so ""Just like Jesus raised Lazarus, I threw the baby on the stones by the pool."
      Khandi Busby got a direct message from God advising her that the only way to save her 6 and 8 year old boys was to toss them off a bridge in Dallas. Fortunately, they survived.
      Angel Rico says he received a divine command to strangle his 4 year old son, so he did just that and left him at the side of the highway.
      Lashaun Harris threw her 3 young kids into the San Francisco Bay after God let her know that He wanted a human sacrifice.
      All of these people have been found legally insane by the judicial system, so if you hear God's voice speaking to you, it's time to check with your local psych ward to see if you need a huggy jacket.

      December 14, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • Mirosal

      As they say, if you talk to "god", you're religious. If "god" talks back, you're insane. All those names you mentioned.. I guess "god" only speaks English now? lol

      December 14, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God don't speak no english!.
      He talks 'Murican

      December 14, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,
      He does, sing it with me to the tune of Martha speaks; God speaks…., he speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks…., God speaks.
      Seriously though, God speaks through his word. The word of God is alive. You can read a passage and the holy spirit will use it to impress one thing on your heart and mind today. You read the same passage another day and the holy spirit can use is to impress upon your heart and mind some other spiritual truth.
      A person was asked one time, “what is your favorite bible verse?” The reply was, “it came to pass”. In explanation the person said that no matter what was happening peace was found in this verse because whatever was happening would come to pass.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,
      These people were obviously insane. If you perceive that God is telling you to do something that is contrary to his word you are not hearing from God.

      December 14, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Robert – so today, when people claim that your god spoke to them, and told them to brutally kill their children, they are obviously insane.

      But 6000 years ago, when people claimed your god spoke to them and told them to commit unimaginable horrors on their kids and others – then they were prophets.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Primewonk,
      Yes, that is true and I am glad to see that you are catching on. The OT was the age of law. We are now in the age of grace. The age of law was an eye for an eye. The age of grace is forgive your enemies.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Akira

      Primewonk brings up a good point.
      I have always wondered if the prophets from long ago were suffering from schizophrenia.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Akira

      Really?
      So, RB, when the insane were telling people to kill in the OT, it was laying down the law?
      Yeah, ok.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Primewonk

      Robert – again, your very own Jesus stated that all his daddies bizarre sick psychotic rules and laws must be followed until heaven and earth pass away. And again, as far as I can tell, earth is still here.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • SImran

      @ Robert,
      So what do you reckon the next age would be? Mmmh... Maybe the AGE OF KNOWLEDGE when some come back to their senses and realize that fariy tales are just that – fairytales.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • New Alias

      Correct me if i'm wrong, but god only speaks to individuals.
      He spoke to Moses, but only when he was alone.
      Ditto for Noah.
      Ditto for the prophets.

      Could a few people with voices in thier heads possibly be behind this whole bible thing?

      December 14, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Akira,
      If you are having trouble with a specific OT passage I might be able to help, but no, the prophets weren’t crazy. They were telling the people what God said.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Primewonk,
      If you just jump in there somewhere and read something out of the OT you are making a huge mistake. Some instructions were for a specific group at specific time in a specific place, or conditional. Some instructions are unconditional. Some prophesies have been literally fulfilled. Some are yet to be fulfilled.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Robert Brown

      SImran,
      Tribulation then the kingdom.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Robert Brown

      New Alias,
      Jesus spoke to thousands of people at a time.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Robert – First of all, a grand total of zero prophecies have been "fulfilled".

      Secondly, your god commands you go and kill gay folks. Doesn't get any clearer than that. No beating around the bush. No "open to interpretation". Simply the command to kill them.

      The majority of you nutters simply choose to ignore that because even some of you nutters still have a very small region of brain tissue with some rational thought left in it.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Damocles

      @RB

      How can you, as a person who relies pretty much only on faith, tell when a person does/does not hear the voive of a deity? If a person swears that a deity told them to murder their child, how can you possibly say 'oh, no, that didn't happen'? Your belief system relies on faith, if a person says a deity spoke to it, you can't not believe that person. You can't pick and choose... 'oh, this person says the deity we share faith in told them something good so I just know that our deity spoke to that person' vs 'oh, this person did something I find distasteful so I know it couldn't possibly have been my deity that spoke to them'.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Nobody has a psychic message interceptor to decode communications from the Divine, therefore no messages from God are any more or less credible that others.
      Someone claiming to have an important message that was coveryed to them by God via a talking snake, donkey or flaming foliage, should be considered bat guano insane, regardless of if it was yesterday or thousands of years ago. To those who examine the world with a critical eye, Abraham, Moses, Joseph Smith, and all those people I mentioned originally are in precisely the same category.
      All the magic stories in Holy Books rely on faith – the willingness of people to suspend their rationality in order to bask in the warm, comforting fuzziness of faith.
      And once a proposition is accepted on faith, it can no longer be evaluated rationally.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Primewonk,
      Isaiah 44:28, That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
      Here is Isaiah saying 200 years before Cyrus was born that he was going to cause Jerusalem to be rebuilt. This was literally fulfilled and this just happens to be where I was reading last night. The OT is filled with fulfilled prophesy.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      I am not the one determining anything. The word of God does. It is not my word against the axe murderer, it is the word of God against him.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,
      Those who are his know his voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Couldn't a person be crazy and a prophet? Assuming prophets exist of course.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Damocles

      Ahhh crap, posted my response up top. Ah well, if you're interested in reading it, that's where it is.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Roger that

      "Jesus spoke to thousands of people at a time"

      I highly doubt that it was thousands or even one thousand, but regardless you could make the same claim about David Koresh. It doesn't say much.

      December 14, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Primewonk

      Except, of course, that your verse is no prophecy at all. Show me the prophecy where some nutter in 2000 BCE states that "in the year 1948 CE, after 2 world wars, the nation of Israel will be formed by United Nations decree".

      December 14, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Akira

      Primewonk:
      "But 6000 years ago, when people claimed your god spoke to them and told them to commit unimaginable horrors on their kids and others – then they were prophets."

      Robert Brown:

      "Yes, that is true and I am glad to see that you are catching on. The OT was the age of law. We are now in the age of grace. The age of law was an eye for an eye. The age of grace is forgive your enemies."

      Now, exactly HOW is what Doc Vestibule saying those people killing because 'God told them to' any different that the old prophets telling people to kill others to do it because 'God told them to?'
      According to everyone, it is God that spoke to them.
      And THEN saying the OT was a time a law and this is a different age, and therefore the OT doesn't apply anymore?
      Please...there IS no difference...the only difference is that you are justifying what happened in the OT was Godspeak, and written down...well, these people believed 100% that it was God speaking to them, too.
      There is no difference at all.
      None.
      And claiming that people just know when it's the voice of God is totally, and completely, absurd.
      If those prohets were alive in today's world, they would be given Lithium and a Thorazine drip, after they were committed.

      December 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Lunchbreaker,
      I suppose they could. God seemed to train his greatest servants in the wilderness. I would imagine that when they showed up on the seen some people thought they looked wild.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Roger that,
      That was in response to New Alias who said that God only speaks to people when they are alone. Jesus (God in human flesh) spoke to a lot of people with other people around, believers and nonbelievers.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Primewonk,
      Don’t know about that one, but there are prophesies about the new Jerusalem, which were not fulfilled in 1948 and won’t be until Jesus comes again.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Akira,
      I didn’t say the OT does not apply and I apologize if the way I wrote gave you that impression. The instructions in the OT are specific. Pick one and I’ll see if I can demonstrate.
      OT prophets were held to a very high standard. If they stated a prophesy and it didn’t come true they were immediately labeled a false prophet. If they made a prophesy and it came true then the people paid attention to them. If I told you today that 2 years from now country x would invade country y and it happened just as I had predicted you might be inclined to listen to the next thing I said.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      It's hilarious to me that a book inspired by a supposed "perfect being" needs so much spin to make it seem nice. You will never find any other book that needs so many excuses made for it than the "holy" bible.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,
      The only things in God’s word that nonbelievers are going to understand are that they are sinners in need of a savior and the savior says come to me. The rest is for believers because without the holy spirit to teach you cannot comprehend. Flesh is flesh, spirit is spirit.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      The same bullshit as ever.
      "Believe it's good then you can see how it is good."
      Can you say confirmatory bias?

      December 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Damocles

      So the only way to believe is to be a believer and the only way to be a believer is to believe. In other words, in order to be glassy-eyed you have to approach it with glassy eyes.

      December 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,
      No, just believe he is.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      If you are a die hard confirmed atheist and know for certain there is no such thing as God, I think it is very unlikely that you will come to God, until and unless, you have a change of heart and mind.
      But, no, you can’t start with the faith I have. I believe even faith itself is a gift from God. I believe even the desire to know God is a gift from God. Do you have a desire to know God for yourself?

      December 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      So you come back with an even more useless one line answer. How pathetic.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Damocles

      @RB

      Ah, ok, you are going with the tried and true 'my deity thinks I'm special and gave me special knowledge (faith) that you poor non-believers just aren't privy to'. That's cool, everyone wants to feel special. It's a good way to attract those that want that 'special feeling' that you seemingly have. For me, if I'm somewhat special to my family and friends, that's more than enough.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      No, I don’t think that way. I am thankful, but I in no way think I am better than you. You have access to God too. He wants you to give him a try.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Damocles

      @RB

      So it's a gift, but I have to beg and plead for it? Laugh.

      December 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Damocles,
      No, that is why I said even the desire to know God is a gift. Do you think God is a possibility?

      December 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      LOL So by your own admission, those who don't believe in your god do so because of your god witholding certain "gifts".
      Thank you Robert, according to your own beliefs, your god is directly responsible for every non-believer in history.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,
      You’re a trip. I think you just like to argue. Let’s switch sides. You argue my side. I’ll argue yours. Just kidding.
      I don’t believe he withholds the offer. It is open right now. He may have called you repeatedly and you continued to reject the offer or he may not have called you yet. Either way, I think we all get the opportunity and I don’t see how anyone could turn it down.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      So, when you say
      "that is why I said even the desire to know God is a gift.'
      What you really mean is "Whatever I say will be spun to whatever I want it to be at the time".
      Got it.

      December 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      PART THREE
      LIFE IN CHRIST
      SECTION ONE
      MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
      CHAPTER ONE
      THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
      ARTICLE 7
      THE VIRTUES
      1803 "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."62
      A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.
      The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.63
      I. THE HUMAN VIRTUES
      1804 Human virtues are firm atti.tudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our pas.sions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good.
      The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.
      The cardinal virtues
      1805 Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called "cardinal"; all the others are grouped around them. They are: prudence, justice, forti.tude, and temperance. "If anyone loves righteousness, [Wisdom's] labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice, and courage."64 These virtues are praised under other names in many pas.sages of Scripture.
      1806 Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circu.mstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; "the prudent man looks where he is going."65 "Keep sane and sober for your prayers."66 Prudence is "right reason in action," writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle.67 It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid.
      1807 Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. "You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor."68 "Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven."69
      1808 Forti.tude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of forti.tude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. "The Lord is my strength and my song."70 "In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."71
      1809 Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appeti.tes toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: "Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart."72 Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: "Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appeti.tes."73 In the New Testament it is called "moderation" or "sobriety." We ought "to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world."74
      To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul and with all one's efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is forti.tude). It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).75
      The virtues and grace
      1810 Human virtues acquired by education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever-renewed in repeated efforts are purified and elevated by divine grace. With God's help, they forge character and give facility in the practice of the good. The virtuous man is happy to practice them.
      1811 It is not easy for man, wounded by sin, to maintain moral balance. Christ's gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues. Everyone should always ask for this grace of light and strength, frequent the sacraments, cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and follow his calls to love what is good and shun evil.
      II. THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES
      1812 The human virtues are rooted in the theological virtues, which adapt man's faculties for participation in the divine nature:76 for the theological virtues relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have the One and Triune God for their origin, motive, and object.
      1813 The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.77
      * Faith
      1814 Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God."78 For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will. "The righteous shall live by faith." Living faith "work[s] through charity."79
      1815 The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it.80 But "faith apart from works is dead":81 when it is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.
      1816 The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it: "All however must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way of the Cross, amidst the persecutions which the Church never lacks."82 Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation: "So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."83
      Hope
      1817 Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."84 "The Holy Spirit . . . he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life."85
      1818 The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men's activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beati.tude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.
      1819 Christian hope takes up and fulfills the hope of the chosen people which has its origin and model in the hope of Abraham, who was blessed abundantly by the promises of God fulfilled in Isaac, and who was purified by the test of the sacrifice.86 "Hoping against hope, he believed, and thus became the father of many nations."87
      1820 Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus' preaching in the proclamation of the beati.tudes. The beati.tudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the disciples of Jesus. But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Pas.sion, God keeps us in the "hope that does not disappoint."88 Hope is the "sure and steadfast anchor of the soul . . . that enters . . . where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf."89 Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation: "Let us . . . put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation."90 It affords us joy even under trial: "Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation."91 Hope is expressed and nourished in prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything that hope leads us to desire.
      1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.92 In every circu.mstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere "to the end"93 and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for "all men to be saved."94 She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:
      Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything pas.ses quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.95
      Charity
      1822 Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
      1823 Jesus makes charity the new commandment.96 By loving his own "to the end,"97 he makes manifest the Father's love which he receives. By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus which they themselves receive. Whence Jesus says: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love." And again: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."98
      1824 Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and his Christ: "Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love."99
      1825 Christ died out of love for us, while we were still "enemies."100 The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself.101
      The Apostle Paul has given an incomparable depiction of charity: "charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."102
      1826 "If I . . . have not charity," says the Apostle, "I am nothing." Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, "if I . . . have not charity, I gain nothing."103 Charity is superior to all the virtues. It is the first of the theological virtues: "So faith, hope, charity abide, these three. But the greatest of these is charity."104
      1827 The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which "binds everything together in perfect harmony";105 it is the form of the virtues; it articulates and orders them among themselves; it is the source and the goal of their Christian practice. Charity upholds and purifies our human ability to love, and raises it to the supernatural perfection of divine love.
      1828 The practice of the moral life animated by charity gives to the Christian the spiritual freedom of the children of God. He no longer stands before God as a slave, in servile fear, or as a mercenary looking for wages, but as a son responding to the love of him who "first loved us":106
      If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves. If we pursue the enticement of wages, . . . we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for the sake of the good itself and out of love for him who commands . . . we are in the position of children.107
      1829 The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion: Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.108
      III. THE GIFTS AND FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
      1830 The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
      1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, forti.tude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David.109 They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.
      Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.110
      For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.111
      1832 The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chasti.ty."112
      IN BRIEF
      1833 Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good.
      1834 The human virtues are stable dispositions of the intellect and the will that govern our acts, order our pas.sions, and guide our conduct in accordance with reason and faith. They can be grouped around the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, forti.tude, and temperance.
      1835 Prudence disposes the practical reason to discern, in every circu.mstance, our true good and to choose the right means for achieving it.
      1836 Justice consists in the firm and constant will to give God and neighbor their due.
      1837 Forti.tude ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.
      1838 Temperance moderates the attraction of the pleasures of the senses and provides balance in the use of created goods.
      1839 The moral virtues grow through education, deliberate acts, and perseverance in struggle. Divine grace purifies and elevates them.
      1840 The theological virtues dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have God for their origin, their motive, and their object – God known by faith, God hoped in and loved for his own sake.
      1841 There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. They inform all the moral virtues and give life to them.
      1842 By faith, we believe in God and believe all that he has revealed to us and that Holy Church proposes for our belief.
      1843 By hope we desire, and with steadfast trust await from God, eternal life and the graces to merit it.
      1844 By charity, we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for love of God. Charity, the form of all the virtues, "binds everything together in perfect harmony" (Col 3:14).
      1845 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon Christians are wisdom, understanding, counsel, forti.tude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

      December 15, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      It is, after all, the gift giving season. Ask God for wisdom, understanding, counsel, forti.tude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Those gifts bear the fruit of charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chasti.ty. Then watch you life transform for the better.

      December 15, 2012 at 11:42 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.