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5 takeaways from new Pew survey on global religion
December 18th, 2012
02:31 PM ET

5 takeaways from new Pew survey on global religion

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The world is religiously diverse and overwhelmingly faithful, according to a study released Tuesday by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The study, which is a snapshot of world religions in 2010 and does not show trends, brings to light a unique religious landscape that's defined by a burgeoning Islam, a shifting Christianity and a large group of religiously unaffiliated. It took Pew three years to compile.

Five big takeaways from the study:

1.) Muslims and Hindus are noticeably young

The median age of Muslims (23) and Hindus (26) is significantly lower than the global median age of 28 years old.

“Those with a large share of adherents in fast-growing, developing countries tend to have younger populations,” the Pew report says. “Those concentrated in China and in advanced industrial countries, where population growth is slower, tend to be older.”

Other than Muslims and Hindus, all other religious groups have a median age that is older than the global median.

“Christians have a median age of 30, followed by members of other religions (32), adherents of folk or traditional religions (33), the religiously unaffiliated (34) and Buddhists (34),” reads the study. “Jews have the highest median age (36), more than a dozen years older than the youngest group, Muslims.”

According to Hackett, these young median ages for Muslims and Hindus are largely because of high fertility rates and “indicates that they have a significant growth potential.”

2.) The world is faithful and diverse

According to numbers compiled by Pew, more than 80% of the world’s population identifies with a religious group.

While Christians are the largest group, with 31.5% of the global population, Muslims (23.2%), the unaffiliated (16.3%) and Hindus (15%) together make up more than half of the global population.

Jews, a religious group that makes up 2% of the United States, have a tiny share of the global pie. Only .2% of the global population practices Judaism, a number that puts the religion behind Buddhists (7.1%), folk religionists (5.9%) and a combination of religions like the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism (1%).

3.) The unaffiliated are third largest global group, equal with Catholics

The religiously unaffiliated, a group that has experienced marked growth in the United States, make up 16% of people worldwide, according to the Pew survey. With 1.1 billion people worldwide, the number of religious unaffiliated people is equal to the number of Catholics.

The Asia-Pacific region dominates that number, where almost 900 million, or 76% of the worldwide population of ‘nones’ – a term used to describe people with no religious affiliation – reside.

China, with 700 million, boasts the largest population of religious nones. The Chinese government mandates state atheism, a practice that promotes the practices of disbelief and, in some cases, suppresses religious freedom.

The Pew study acknowledges that getting accurate numbers that reflect religious populations in China is extremely difficult, largely because the country does not conduct a census to understand the faithful. In their methodology, the study states that “the unaffiliated are all who do not identify with one of the other religions.”

“For China, we had to look at a number of different sources to come up with estimates for all the groups we looked at,” said Brian J. Grim, a senior researcher at Pew.

Previous studies of nonbelievers in China have found numbers much smaller than the one published by Pew. According to Grim, this stems from how you define belief.

“This study does not look particularly at whether people believe in god or believe in a higher power,” Grim said. “If you look at just belief, you would find a much larger number of Chinese people that believe in some supernatural force.”

Grim went on to say that if the definition of belief was broadened, the number of Chinese folk religions, which currently makes up 21.9% of the country, would increase and the number of nonbelievers in China would go down.

Japan, with 72 million, boasts the second largest population of religious nones, followed by the United States, with around 50 million religiously unaffiliated – or 16.4% of the countries population.

“The unaffiliated population in China is almost twice the entire population of the United States,” Hackett points out.

These nonbelievers are also younger than their religious brethren. In Africa, North America, South America and Europe, the unaffiliated median age is lower than the age of the faithful. The overall average age of the unaffiliated – 34 years old – is pulled up, however, by the mass of followers in Asia.

In previous studies – like a study released by Pew in October – this lower average age has some demographers assuming that this group will be growing in the next few decades.

4.) Less than 1% of global Christian population resides in the religion's birthplace

Though Christianity emerged in the Middle East and North Africa, it's practiced by less than 1% of the population there.

A combined three-fourths of Christians now reside in  Europe (26%), Latin America and the Caribbean (24%) and sub-Saharan Africa (24%). North America is home to over 12% of the global Christian population.

In the Middle East and North Africa, which includes Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, Christians are experiencing little growth, according to Conrad Hackett, a demographers with Pew.

“In Egypt, for example, it seems that the Christian population just hasn’t kept pace with the Muslim population,” Hackett said. “The data we have says they have lower fertility than the Muslim population.”

But the Pew report shows that Christianity has become dominant in other parts of the world. One-in-three people worldwide identify as Christian, and 87% of them live in a country that is majority Christian.

Of the 232 countries studied, 68% have Christian majorities, according to Pew.

5.) To Pew, this is the definitive study of world religions

Branding it as the “largest project of its kind to date,” Hackett says that the Pew study used censuses, large-scale demographic surveys and country specific general population surveys.

“In order to present data that are comparable across countries, this study focuses on groups and individuals who identify themselves in censuses, large-scale surveys and other sources as being members of five widely recognized world religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism,” the survey says.

In total, Pew worked through data through 232 countries and territories that the United Nations Population Division provides 2010 estimates in.

About 45% of all the people in the world were counted by government-sponsored censuses, the study says.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • China • Christianity • Faith Now • Hinduism • Islam

soundoff (531 Responses)
  1. Pedro

    Atheists believe in myths. They think a frog can turn into a prince! FAIRY TALES. They believe that those children that were murdered will be gone forever

    December 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Pedro, they are gone forever.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Pedro

      Do you have a point?

      December 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Just today, I thought to myself...that frog might turn into a prince! Thanks for the heads up Pedro!

      December 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  2. TV1

    >Why don't you sell everything and follow Jesus, as he requests in the Bible? The reason is simple:
    Jesus and God are imaginary, and you know it. If Jesus were real, you would do what he says.

    Christians actually do sell all their belongings and follow Jesus. It does happen.

    By your reasoning that mean he actually exists!

    December 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      No, that means you dont even beleive what he says, or you are blatently defying him, since you have the resources to be posting on the internet.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      TV1 = hopeless

      December 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      A couple of interesting side note here; first, Jesus was speaking to a select group of disciples here, not everyone. Remember audience is important to understanding the message. Second, He was not giving commandment to sell all possessions, but telling them to deny oneself (very different concepts). Check out the KJV which is, by many, if not most, people of Christian faith, considered the most correct version, if difficult to understand at times, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Clearly He is speaking of a spiritual denial of the physical world and its possessions, not necessarily a literal one. He and His Father must mean more than any possession, amount of gold, hobby, or person. See also the first and great commandment.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      "the KJV which is, by many, if not most, people of Christian faith, considered the most correct version"

      Hilarious. Delusional cult members should be trusted to interpret the bible better than other delusional cult members.

      You REALLY don't see how stupid you are?

      December 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • TV1

      ReligionIBS

      > No, that means you dont even beleive what he says, or you are blatently defying him, since you have the resources to be posting on the internet.

      GUESS WHAT? I can not perfectly uphold what Jesus says I need to do.

      NO ONE CAN! If they could they would not need Jesus.

      Only He could. That's why He is my Lord.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      "GUESS WHAT? I can not perfectly uphold what Jesus says I need to do.

      NO ONE CAN! If they could they would not need Jesus.

      Only He could. That's why He is my Lord."

      Wait a minute, WHAT? Did you seriously blow a circut tryng to think. Reread what you just wrote. "I have no idea what jesus is saying, if I could, I wouldnt need him." ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      December 18, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      @Apple

      You can't prove my statements incorrect so you devolve to simple name calling and statements of your opinion. I had so hoped for an intelligent conversation.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      @Religion

      You actually expect perfection out of Christians? No wonder you are disappointed.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      Where did I say I expected perfection? I didnt. Which means you're lying. Which means you dont beleive in gods commandments or you are blatently breaking them.

      However, I did insinuate that I would expect christians to know what their leader is asking of them. But you guys cant even seem to agree upon that. Pretty funny if you ask me.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • TV1

      /ReligionIBS

      +++ Wait a minute, WHAT? Did you seriously blow a circut tryng to think. Reread what you just wrote. "I have no idea what jesus is saying, if I could, I wouldnt need him."

      I know! The gospel of Jesus Christ will blow your mind. God's logic is not our logic. It defies logic.

      It is beyond your understanding. God has unlimited patience, intelligence, creativity and love.

      If I could live how God wants me to live (OBEYING ALL 10 COMMANDENTS) I would be living within God's will for me. And I win a *grand prize*.

      I can't uphold them.

      Nobody can.

      Jesus Christ came into the world and he obeyed all 10 Commandments. He won! He gets the *grand prize*!

      If I accept Jesus, he will share that *grand prize* with me. Pretty neat, hu?

      Now that I have Jesus I have serenity in my lfe. I live in response to that gift. I didn't work for it or earn it. It was free. He is that good!

      Thank you Jesus for your gift.

      December 19, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • PHguy

      "And I win a *grand prize*."

      TV1, this is among the most ridiculous and moronic logic many Christians possess. Your religion is always about this grand prize which... will never come. LMAO!

      This is the same mindset that brought the Crusades killing thousands of people because of some sort of Paradise.

      Get a life... a real human life. Not some sort of flying mythical BS governing your choices.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • craniumthedumb

      @religious

      Quote “No, that means you dont even beleive what he says, or you are blatently defying him, since you have the resources to be posting on the internet”

      This statement implies that people can’t make mistakes… “Either you don’t believe or you are blatantly defying Him.” – You do not leave room for the possibility of mistakes or errors therefore you insinuate by your very argument that the supposition is “humans have to be perfect”. Your argument doesn' t make sense otherwise. If you have stated … or are defying him, whether it be intentional of un-intentional.” You would have allowed for that possibility.

      You actually do the same thing when you attempt to call me down for pointing this out...
      Quote” Where did I say I expected perfection? I didnt. Which means you're lying. Which means you dont beleive in gods commandments or you are blatently breaking them”

      You again state that I don’t believe in Gods commands if I happened to lie, which do not correlate unless the expectation is perfection. To answer that, no I am not perfect in acting upon the command of my God. I do try my best however.

      With both of these statements you charge down one line of logic without regard to the fact that there are multiple as valid lines of logic available. So either you supposed perfection or your logic is invalid. You choose.
      Your statement above, is unequivocal.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  3. Taylor

    Dear Atheists, I believe in the beginning God created. You believe in the beginning nothing, now you tell me who has more faith. Neither one can be proven. Yet you say you don't believe in "religion", which proves you contradict yourselves. I don't want your blood on my hands. We Christians are trying to warn you before it is to late. You are on a road heading for a cliff I do nothing. How would you feel when you got there, my reason: I don't want to make you mad. I am warning you, there is a cliff and there is a Lake of Fire at the edge of it. Your choice. You will remember this for all eternity. Please heed Gods' warning which I told

    December 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Taylor, your grammar and grasp of the English language is an abomination in the eyes of your Lord. Shame on you. God gave you a brain and you have wasted it.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      you say I beleive that we came from nothing, but you belive you came from god...who came from nothing. Not really any difference there. Neither one of us can explain where we came from, you just pretend you can. Guess what, all those other religions mentioned in the article have warning for me too, that i should follow them, or end up in there version of hell. Why should i beleive your religion. Why should you beleive your religion? Why not heed their advice?

      December 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • PHguy

      Dear Taylor (or should I say brainwashed dunce),

      I believe you need a dose of cold hard logic, reality and science. You're ruining humanity with your baseless cult AKA religion. Thanks.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • sam stone

      how does this mean that atheists contradict themselves?

      your empty proxy warnings are laughable

      December 19, 2012 at 5:15 am |
  4. Just call me Lucifer

    If there is room for interpretation from a book supposedly sanctioned by a god, that god is imperfect. Therefore, every book that claims to either be the words of a god or sanctioned by a god is a lie. I'm the devil and I approve this message.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

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

    December 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Will you please post a picture of that tattoo here? We all want to join in the fun.

      December 19, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Dmitri

      You could post it if it were a YouTube video. We used to get those things all over the place not so long ago..

      December 19, 2012 at 2:23 am |
  6. Apple Bush

    Christians, Mormons, Islam, etc., cling to religion and continue to endorse it as reality and insist that it somehow should govern morality and law-making. One can lay out all the evidence and build (and have built) an airtight case against every single religion on Earth past and present, but still believers will not budge from their point of view, even when presented with the lies and contradictions in the very scriptures they base their beliefs on.

    Understand, I am not talking about a belief in God. I do understand that. I am talking about religion. Every one of which has been empirically proven false but yet clings like moss to ancient rocks.

    I believe the single most important factor in this inability to see through the foolishness of religion is fear. Children’s stories of heaven and hell. The initial indoctrination for many, simply cannot be undone.

    Secondly, there is a feeling of community that comes with any “club” Naturally this is not relegated to religion so it does not qualify as an excuse.

    Lastly some minds are unable to think creatively enough to imagine the more plausible alternatives. What are those alternatives? Well we have to turn to science, but also we have to accept what we don’t know and keep looking. And in truth, we don’t really know anything about how the universe came to be, what came before and where it is going. If there are multiple universes and time lines through which we move, these would be marvelous discoveries. There was a wonderful article in Scientific American a few months ago regarding a new spin on the Quantum theory. That being the quantum universe could have foamlike fluctuations that rule spacetime, not unlike the 0’s and 1’s that are the foundation of computing and storing information.

    If we wish to believe in the supernatural, we have to make things up. Hence religion. It doesn’t mean there is no god, or gods, or aliens, but it does mean that we don’t have the answers and most likely never will.

    Now we arrive back at fear. What will happen to me when I die? For me, I look forward to an eternity of nothing. Others fear this prospect and prefer to believe in fairies and fantasies and are not even ashamed that their mental description of an after life is akin to that of a 5-year-old’s picture book.

    I believe the Universe and the “everything” are FAR more bizarre than we could ever imagine with the faculties we have thus far obtained via evolution on this planet. And I wonder how many millions of civilizations across the vastness of space and time have pondered likewise.

    Finally, the entire planet is affected by the irrational belief systems of the various mainstream religions. It affects the global economy, it affects world peace, it affects our secular life style in the United States. These ancient belief systems are based on superst.ition and mythology. One would think humans would have moved forward by now but instead we as a species behave in the same self-destructive manner now as we did thousands of years ago with more at stake then at any other time in history.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      Your arguments are invalid.

      First you assert that it has been proven that every religion is incorrect. I have not seen any argument that is not rife with assumptions based on opinion. You will have to provide empirical proof of such to be able to assert that and there is no valid source you have quoted. This argument is therefore not valid in its construction and therefore invalid as a whole.

      Your second argument, well frankly I can't even figure out what your second argument is supposed to be. Perhaps you are talking about the fact that like minded people tend to move in the same circles or congregate together. This is a fact of social interaction and has nothing to do with religion.

      Your third argument is based in your opinion, “some minds are unable to think creatively enough to imagine the more plausible alternatives.” Plausible by whose definition? Are you saying you are the authority on what is and is not plausible? Obviously your opinion of what is plausible is entirely separate from what my understanding, and a third person would have an entirely different understanding. Plausible is opinion and as a result this argument is based in opinion and not fact.

      Your assertions mean nothing as your arguments are all invalid.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      It is totally my opinion. Since there is absolutely no proof of God, my opinion trumps religion easily.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      By your logic you must the be last and final authority on religion.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Indeed.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      Your arrogance is never ending.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      craniumthedumb, why do you say that?

      December 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Dmitri

      @Apple Bush – That was a great speech. Too bad there are massive holes in it.

      @dumbcraniumguy – You are apparently more ignorant than Apple Bush, so I wouldn't bother trying to argue if I were you.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • craniumthedumb

      @Dmitri

      Another person who devolves to name calling when they have nothing to add to the conversation. And I had hoped for so much more.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  7. TV1

    > ReligionIBS

    > WHy didnt you explain the revelations quote to me? and please explain how the following jesus quotes would help the world

    I clearly explained about taking quotes out of context.

    I promise you ALL of those quotes have good explanations.

    Google them. You can read for yourself.

    You can also learn about what critics have to say about them, too.

    And decide for yourself.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      LOL. Thats what I thought. They have no logical explanation and you cant provide one, because none exist. If they did exist, you cold explain it. Telling me to google it means you dont know. And I posted about another 10 teachings from jesus that clearly make no sense at all, even if you try to put nonsense spin on them. Go ahead and explain these to me. ITs pretty obvious by these direct quotes from the bible that jesus gave horrible advice.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Yeah, this makes sense.

      Christianity – The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Christians ignore Jesus

      Christians are Liars

      Jesus made a number of very clear statements about money and wealth in the Bible. For example:

      Matthew 6:19
      Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

      Luke 14:33
      Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

      Matthew 6:24
      No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.

      Matthew 19:21-24
      Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

      Matthew 19:28-29
      Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

      Luke 9:23-25
      Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

      Matt 13: 22
      The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

      Hebrews 13:5
      Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

      Phil 2:3
      Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

      Acts 2:44-45
      All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

      The message is clear. If you want to follow Jesus, you need to "sell your possessions and give to the poor." It is a very simple message, and easy to do. Have you done it? The fact that you are reading this page would indicate that you have not. Chances are you own a computer, pay for an Internet connection every month, live in a home or apartment, have a car, etc. In other words, you live a life at a level of wealth unimaginable in Jesus' time. Meanwhile, billions of people on the planet live in startling, abject poverty.

      Why don't you sell everything and follow Jesus, as he requests in the Bible? The reason is simple:
      Jesus and God are imaginary, and you know it. If Jesus were real, you would do what he says.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • TV1

      >ReligionIBS

      You gave me 9 verses, and expect me to explain them all to you??

      I can understand them. I have tested and accepted them. And you can look them up yourself.

      It is not a logic problem.

      Do you know anything about spirituality?

      Mind (Logic)
      Body (Material)
      Soul (Spirit)

      The spirit is not *logical*.

      I love logic. That is a survival skill granted to us by GOD. And I use it. Every day. I would be lost without it.

      YOUR LOGIC IS SCREWED UP. To me you sound like "If you don't agree with ME you are illogical." How narrow-minded and small. Not very enlightening. I actually do learn from atheists on these boards. But I have not learned a thing from you. And I'm trying to help you!.

      His teachings do make sense, to a lot of people. People that may even be smarter and more logical than you.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      LOL. You still cant explain your gods nonsense. Dont want to explain them all? Explain 1. Surely that would be easier and quicker than just refusing to answer me and posting more nonsense..

      And you say you love logic and spirituality, but spirituality is not logic, which means its illogical, which means your sentence stated that you love logic and illogical fallacies. Do you ever make sense? Man, you are embarrasing yourself and religion.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • TV1

      >ReligionIBS

      > LOL. You still cant explain your gods nonsense. Dont want to explain them all? Explain 1. Surely that would be easier and quicker than just refusing to answer me and posting more nonsense..

      I CAN explain them. But I WON'T. They are not easy and quick to explain. And you will just read into them whatever your want.

      AND YOU POSTED 9.

      And I did explain about the "hating parents... etc" one. And you didn't respond to what I explained.

      >And you say you love logic and spirituality, but spirituality is not logic, which means its illogical, which means your sentence stated that you love logic and illogical fallacies. Do you ever make sense? Man, you are embarrasing yourself and religion.

      I can understand spirituality and logic. And I use both of them. Both are gifts from God.

      Is logic your God? Is that the most important thing to you in life?

      December 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      I dont have a god. Logic is not a god. Yes, logic is one of the most improtant things in my life. Still avoiding the questions, I see. LOL. "I CAN, I JUST WONT!" Your explanation of the first example made no sense. Where did you get the secret translation from? How do you know its correct, if its not in the bible?

      December 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • TV1

      ReligionIBS

      > "I CAN, I JUST WONT!" Your explanation of the first example made no sense. Where did you get the secret translation from? How do you know its correct, if its not in the bible?

      I really can! You probably won't undertsand my explanation.

      I don't want to take the time to study and respond to those 9 verses you posted. Sorry dude. I get the "secret translation" by reading more than 1 verse. I ask people questions. I look into people's different viewpoints. I ask God to reveal the truth to me. I look at the consequences of what happen if I try to live that way.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Dmitri

      LOLOLOLOL

      December 19, 2012 at 2:45 am |
  8. I hate hate

    I love the religious and the non religious alike. I love everyone I don't care what you believe or if you believe...you're okay in my book. I love you because at the rate we're all going we need as much love as we can get. And I hate hate. I hate hate alot.

    December 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Dmitri

      It's refreshing to see a sensible opinion. Thanks.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:49 am |
  9. Rational Libertarian

    The Church of the SubGenius is the only church for me.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Dmitri

      Don't you mean sub-intelligent? Because that is what Libertarians tend to be. You can't be both rational and Libertarian. Nope.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:51 am |
  10. Concerned in Cleveland

    I hope that this young generation of Muslims correct and restore their Religion to something to be proud of. Once Islam was the light of a hurting world, when Europe was trapped in the dark ages, until the Khan's burned Baghdad. I will reach out to them in peace and hope that a new day is coming soon for Islam. But I will remain wary so long as Women are enslaved wherever Islam takes supremacy.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Beth

      Replace Islam with the Christianity of 300 years ago, same deal. Better to have no religion. The Golden Rule is a better source for morals than religions are anyway.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      As in Khan from Star Trek? The limits of his evil never cease to amaze me.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • TV1

      > Beth

      > Replace Islam with the Christianity of 300 years ago, same deal. Better to have no religion. The Golden Rule is a better source for morals than religions are anyway.

      I think Jesus Christ said some similar things. :)

      December 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      He just stole his teachings from Confucius anyway.

      December 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  11. Waco Lover

    Religious people are all niqqer faqqots. Fvck those people.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Concerned in Cleveland

      It is a shame that you enjoy life, while others, more worthy, are denied it. Be thankful that God has not delivered to you what you so richly deserve.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Beth

      Oh, that vicious punishing Christian god again. What a jerk he must be, so please keep your sky fairies to yourself.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Wow

      You managed to insult the right and left wing in one shot all while being a racist. That was an ugly display.

      December 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      Yep... he works for me.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Dmitri

      Troll harder. I only give that a 3 out of 10.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:52 am |
  12. TV1

    Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT
    (I don't know why I'm responding to a guy who belittle mentally retarded people and people who suffer from mental illness, but... {God have mercy on this guy and me})

    Actually you do put 100% faith in the men who followed him and "spoke on his behalf". Your christ has been long dead for 1000's of years. He was no where to be found as the childrens brains were scattered all over the classroom. I wonder if after another 2000 years if there will still be retards yelling the end is near. Elvis left the building and the lights were turned the lights off. ...some of you dumb as s es are still sitting in the bleachers ...lol

    I have faith in some, but not all people who followed and follow Him. Christ spirit is alive.

    Did you know there is more to life than meets the eye?

    We know his body died. And he was raised from the dead. And he ascended into Heaven to dwell with our Heavenly Father.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Beth

      'Concerned', actually, you know none of that. But thanks for coming out; idiots like you are fun to laugh at.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • TV1

      > Beth

      > 'Concerned', actually, you know none of that. But thanks for coming out; idiots like you are fun to laugh at.

      Wow, did you see all the grammatical errors and misspellings from that guy, and you question my use of the word "know". I "believe" that. Sorry.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  13. Apple Bush

    Hypothetical question for the Christians. Can you accept that life may have begun on Mars and arrived on Earth from there? If that were proven by science, would you then accept that the Bible is not the truth? It could happen some day.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • ttwp

      Not really...it just moves it to another planet. You still have to explain who created that life. Life come from life...not from non-life.

      I am the way, the truth and the LIFE...Jesus Christ

      December 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      ttwp, where does it mention Mars int he Bible? That was question, if life came from Mars, then the Bible is false and it sound like you agree?

      December 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Dmitri

      @Apple Bush – To prove such a thing we would have to be able to see exactly what happened in the past, so I think you are overestimating something or perhaps you don't understand how we would need a time machine of some sort to do what you say.
      Maybe you should read up on how epistemology can help you figure things out, since you have clearly failed to do that in some areas. Look it up. It's a big word, I know, but sometimes you can discover interesting things by looking them up.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:57 am |
  14. wjmccartan

    Remember to keep looking up.

    Were already here.

    Tick,tock.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  15. Reality

    Summarizing using added sources:

    http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

    Religion………………………… Adherents

    Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

    Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion (look out world, here we come)

    Hinduism 900 million
    Chinese traditional religion 394 million
    Buddhism 376 million
    Animist religions 300 million
    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
    Sikhism 23 million
    Juche 19 million
    Spiritism 15 million

    Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

    Baha'i 7 million
    Jainism 4.2 million
    Shinto 4 million
    Cao Dai 4 million
    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
    Tenrikyo 2 million
    Neo-Paganism 1 million
    Unitarian Universalism 800,000
    Rastafari Movement 600,000

    “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today

    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    December 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • TV1

      > disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues...

      The most narrow-minded, intolerant and hateful viewpoints on these CNN message board comes from self-confessed non-believers.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • ReigionIsBS

      Vioelence? From non-beleivers? LOL. I suggest you read Penn Jillettes latest opion article on CNN. He states that if atheists are declaring war on Christmas, perhaps religious people could take note on how to fight a non-violent war, and that all wars should be handled in this manner. Please provide an example of a person using violence in the name of atheism. If you cant, you are full of it.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • ReigionIsBS

      narraowmindedness and intolerance? LOL. Said the christian who is opposed to gays and pretty much anyone not like themselves.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • TV1

      No war has ever been fought "in the name of Jesus Christ".

      Some corrupt governments have fought in the name of Christianity. But that was false.

      People fight wars because of fear, intolerance, greed and envy.

      These are things that Jesus Christ spoke against.

      Martin Luther King, JR is a good example of a Christian changing the world in a non-violent manner.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • TV1

      > narraowmindedness and intolerance? LOL. Said the christian who is opposed to gays and pretty much anyone not like themselves.

      Jesus says to love God and all people. ALL. Especially those who are not like ourselves. Gays are welcome in the kingdom of God.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • ReigionIsBS

      George Bush said god spoke to him and told him to invade Iraq. George Bush is a christian. The christianity myth is partially/if not fully responisble for the war in Iraq.

      "No wars have ever been fought in the name of jesus christ". Did you fall asleep during church history class? The crusades. The Spanish Inquisition. Wars clearly started over the name jesus christ.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • ReigionIsBS

      If gays are welcome into the kingdom of god, you might want to share that with the millions of christians who disgree with you.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • ReigionIsBS

      You also didnt answe my question about violent atheist attacks. Stop pretending you didnt see it and answer me. Or where you lying, which is against your gods commandments?

      December 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • TV1

      > George Bush said god spoke to him and told him to invade Iraq. George Bush is a christian. The christianity myth is partially/if not fully responisble for the war in Iraq.

      Sometimes people lie. Sometimes people are wrong. That was not a religious war. It was fought for oil (money).

      > Did you fall asleep during church history class? The crusades. The Spanish Inquisition. Wars clearly started over the name jesus christ.

      Not the true name of Jesus Christ. He was against war. 100%. There are a lot of political, economic, and social causes for those wars. And even religious. But those wars were not fought by the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • TV1

      >You also didnt answe my question about violent atheist attacks. Stop pretending you didnt see it and answer me.
      You just answered my statement about the intolerance and hatefulness here. The kid that shot the innocent children in Newtown was an atheist. There is 1.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • TV1

      . If gays are welcome into the kingdom of god, you might want to share that with the millions of christians who disgree with you.

      Some Christian people are intolerant of others. Not all.

      Some atheists are intolerant of others. Not all.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • TV1

      I put my faith in Jesus Christ. What he said and did.

      Not the people who followed him. They are human and will fail. I try and do the best I can, but human power (religion, atheism, wars) will always let me down.

      Jesus Christ will never let me down.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • ReigionIsBS

      You are missing the entire point. Autrocities happen because of christianity, I could care less if christians arent supposed to start wars, THEY DO! Becuae christianiy makes you stupid and act irrational

      The kid from the Sandy Hook incident was not an atheist, in fact, he attended a christian school. Just like a christian, ESPECIAL YOU, to not take responisiblity and try to blame someone else.

      Sorry, but everyone reading this is seeing how illogical you are being.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      TV1

      I put my faith in Jesus Christ. What he said and did.

      Not the people who followed him. They are human and will fail. I try and do the best I can, but human power (religion, atheism, wars) will always let me down.

      Jesus Christ will never let me down.
      ----

      Actually you do put 100% faith in the men who followed him and "spoke on his behalf". Your christ has been long dead for 1000's of years. He was no where to be found as the childrens brains were scattered all over the classroom. I wonder if after another 2000 years if there will still be retards yelling the end is near. Elvis left the building and the lights were turned the lights off. ...some of you dumb as s es are still sitting in the bleachers ...lol

      December 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • TV1

      > You are missing the entire point. Autrocities happen because of christianity, I could care less if christians arent supposed to start wars, THEY DO!

      They are not caused by Christianity. That is ridiculous if you believe that. They are caused by people and their sins.

      > Becuae christianiy makes you stupid and act irrational

      Nope. You have never meet a smart or rational Christian? Come'on. Stop stereotyping. That is ingorant. Try to be a little more open minded about others with different viewpoints from you.

      > The kid from the Sandy Hook incident was not an atheist, in fact, he attended a christian school. Just like a christian, ESPECIAL YOU, to not take responisiblity and try to blame someone else.

      I really don't think he believed in God. Atheists have murdered people, though. I'm sure you realize this. And I went to an atheist school, but I am a Christian.

      > Sorry, but everyone reading this is seeing how illogical you are being.

      Maybe. I know you do. But you seem pretty ignorant, so I'm not worried.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      "Sorry, but everyone reading this is seeing how illogical you are being."
      .
      It is mind blowing to see christards have no clue at what they are really saying. lol

      December 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      Putting the kibosh/”google” on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      Added details available upon written request.

      A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      December 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "They are not caused by Christianity. That is ridiculous if you believe that. They are caused by people and their sins."

      NO KIDDING THEY ARE CAUSED BY PEOPLE,THATS WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      The problem is, you think that theres an invisible man in the sky pulling the strings. Christianity keeps causing people to kill, persecute and hate, but you just attribute that to not being "true chrisitians." You think this christianity thing is some sort of perfect plan, that if we all follow, everything ill be ok, Well people do keep following it and do keep committing autrocities because of it. Yourt logic is insane. "Its not chrisitainitys fault if christians murder people for horrible reasons, christians are people and people sin." In your eyes, christianity can do no wrong, becuase every christian isnt a christian by your measures.....while the rest of the world suffers the consequences.

      December 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • TV1

      > NO KIDDING THEY ARE CAUSED BY PEOPLE,THATS WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      People. Atheists. Christians. Muslims. Agnostics. All are people, yes. Not just Christians.
      And who is this "we"? Are you posting under different names?

      > The problem is, you think that theres an invisible man in the sky pulling the strings.

      I do not think that. Don't assume you can stereotype me and my beliefs. I never said anything like that. That is ignorant of you.

      > Christianity keeps causing people to kill, persecute and hate, but you just attribute that to not being "true chrisitians." You think this christianity thing is some sort of perfect plan, that if we all follow, everything ill be ok,

      No, sin *causes* those things.
      Jesus Christ says there will be joy and sorrow in this world. Everything will not be ok. If you follow Jesus you will be persecuted because the world hates Him.
      If we all did what Jesus said the world would be a lot better. I actually think my church has what the world needs. And all are welcome to come hear about it.

      > Well people do keep following it and do keep committing autrocities because of it. Yourt logic is insane. "Its not chrisitainitys fault if christians murder people for horrible reasons, christians are people and people sin."

      You are putting a lot of blame on Christians. You seemed to say that the Crusades were just Christians fighting over religion. There was much more going on. The Catholic Church was corrupt as hell at that time. A lot of followers of Jesus Christ didn't consider them as a good thing.

      > Yourt logic is insane.

      A man can say he is an atheist. And then he murders people for horrible reasons. That does not mean all atheists are horrible people.

      A man can say he is Christian. And then he murders people for horrible reasons. That does not mean all Christians are horrible people.

      Yes, it can happen. Christians can do bad things. I have never met a Christian or reasonable atheist who undertands this.

      Some Christians are reasonable people. Not all. But some have done great things. Rev. Martin Luther King, JR?

      December 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • TV1

      **Yes, it can happen. Christians can do bad things. I have never met a Christian or reasonable atheist who *doesn't* understand this.

      December 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "If we all did what jesus said, the world would be a better place."

      please explain:

      “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” – jesus christ, luke 14:25-26

      December 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • TV1

      >“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” – jesus christ, luke 14:25-26

      That quote is taken out of context. I don't think it was meant to be read alone, but I'll try:

      He is not calling us to hate our family.

      He is not telling us to hate our family.

      Jesus Christ wants people who love Him more than their own family. It is very clear in other passages that Jesus Christ wants us to honor our parents. Just like he did. But, if your family rejects Jesus Christ, you may have to reject your family.

      You have to lose your life to follow Jesus Christ. You may lose your comforts. People will hate you. You have to let your fear go. You have to love your enemy. You may have to do some very difficult things.

      This world is corrupt. Jesus Christ is the only non-corrupt thing that has come from this world. He can save you. Your father, mother, wife and children can not.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "That text is taken out of context"

      LOL. I didnt even say anything about the text, I just asked you to explain it. Then you cant! "Thats not what I think it means, even though thats EXACTLY what it says.

      No wonder so many autrocities are carried out in the name of chrisitianity, you guys cant even agree on what its telling you to do. Why is everything in code and nothing means what it says?

      December 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "If we all followed jesus, the world would be a better place."

      please explain

      "So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead."- jesus christ, revelations 2:22-23

      December 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • TV1

      > LOL. I didnt even say anything about the text, I just asked you to explain it. Then you cant! "Thats not what I think it means, even though thats EXACTLY what it says.

      Are you serious?

      You pulled a line of *text* out of a book. Reading the entire book is very helpful in understanding that line of *text*.

      There are sentences befor that line of *text*. And after that line of *text*.

      And reading those gives the sentence *context*.

      It wasn't meant to be quoted as an absolute truth.

      God gave you a brain, why don't you use it?

      > No wonder so many autrocities are carried out in the name of chrisitianity, you guys cant even agree on what its telling you to do.

      Athiests have done some of the worst things I could ever imagine. But I don't stereotype all atheists as murderers. That would be ignorant.

      Yes, there are autrocities that are carried out in the name of Christianity.

      And there are beautiful things that are carried out in the name of Christianity.

      If you fail to see this you are a blind fool.

      > Why is everything in code and nothing means what it says?

      It's called a *parable*. He goes on to explain what they mean later. He was hiding some messages from the masses and sharing the truth with His disciples.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      test

      December 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      WHy didnt you explain the revelations quote to me? and please explain how the following jesus quotes would help the world

      December 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      If you do something wrong with your eye or hand, cut/pluck it off – Matthew 5:29-30
      Marrying a divorced woman is adultery. – Mathew 5:32
      Don't plan for the future. – Matthew 6:34
      Don't save money – Matthew 6:19-20

      December 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      Don't become wealthy. – Mark 10:21-25
      Sell everything and give it to the poor – Luke 12:33
      Don't work to obtain food. John 6:27

      December 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      If you lose a lawsuit, give more than the judgment. Matthew 5:40 If anyone asks you for anything, give it to them without question. (Matthew 5:42)

      December 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      @Reality

      Both of your synopses have no basis in fact, only in your opinion.

      @ReligiousisBS

      For your Luke scripture reference Matthew 10:37, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Your quote is a poor translation from the original, or perhaps not a perfect or clean translation. This is bound to happen in a book that has been translated and one of the reasons I take my time to understand thoroughly before I argue points. Further, I could continue on to debunk every point that you have made as mis-informed, based in opinion or simple ignorance, but I prefer this statement:

      The only true evidence that God does or does not exist is based in each persons own experience and understanding.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • TV1

      > ReligionIBS

      > WHy didnt you explain the revelations quote to me? and please explain how the following jesus quotes would help the world

      I clearly explained about taking quotes out of context.

      I promise you ALL of those quotes have good explanations.

      Google them. You can read for yourself.

      You can also learn about what critics have to say about them, too.

      And decide for yourself!!!

      December 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      Craniumthedumb,
      "I could continue on to debunk every point that you have made as mis-informed, based in opinion or simple ignorance."
      No you cant, thats why you wont.
      Thats like me saying, I can fly, but im not going to show you for no good reason.
      And are you going to blame all the nonsense in the bible on bad translation? You dont have very high expectations for your god. It seems that if he were god, he would have thought about the translation glitches.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      TV1
      All of those bad teachings in the bible are clear as day bad advice. Telling me to google the "real meanings" clearly states that you cant defend them. Go ahead and google all the debunkings of your debunkings if thats the way you want to play it. Or we could rationally discuss them right here, right now. But you dont want to do that for some reason.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • I think

      @ TV1 (chad, is that you buddy?)

      you are Christian, yes? What denomination do you subscribe to? Chances are you believe in one particular brand....that means (going by Reality's numbers) that 5+ billion other people got it dead wrong and will be suffering in H ell for eternity.
      The muslim are quite sure you will be in for the same fate... ect. ect.

      ...... The god of the desert – no matter what position you re coming from, is about as bloody as you can get (he was a war god before his promotion after all, see Yahweh for details) and you call Atheists narrowminded, intolerant and hateful?

      We may be too late to turn this ship now, but Atheists are just about the only ones that can pull humanity back from the brink... We need input from the best minds we have, wherever they are India, China, Europe, the US and yes the Middle East, without the distraction of religion....Atheism removes the dogma so Science can work faster.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      @ ReilgionIsBS

      Please note any scriptures I speak of are my opinion of the meaning. Given that you obviously have a different opinion of the meaning your assertions of the meaning of these scriptures are invalid arguments based on the fact that they are opinion only.

      Post@4:06 Assertion: “He states that if atheists are declaring war on Christmas, perhaps religious people could take note on how to fight a non-violent war, and that all wars should be handled in this manner.”
      -There is no such war, Atheists are simply being more vocal about their opinions. This is a result of a society that is more allowing of alternative viewpoints. A plus in my book.

      Post@4:08 Assertion:“narraowmindedness and intolerance? LOL. Said the christian who is opposed to gays and pretty much anyone not like themselves.”
      -You have presented your supposition of what he believes. You have stated opinion.

      Post@4:26 Assertion:” Wars clearly started over the name jesus christ.”
      -In all fairness wars have been started over the name jesus Christ. Your statement is technically correct. The unsaid argument here is that this is a reflection on modern Christians. The are sad but of no bearing on modern Christians. Just as I am not responsible for slavery in Early America and you are not responsible for the killing of millions of American Indians. You are transferring the blame from the rightful persons and groups for reasons that have no bearing what Christianity is about. There is a disconnect here. Your argument is therefore invalid.

      Post@4:27 Amusing Snark. No real assertions other than a statement that you believe most Christians hate gays.

      Post@4:41 No assertions. Simple baiting of your debating opponent.

      Post@4:57 Assertion: Atrocities happen because of Christianity because Christianity makes you stupid and act irrational.
      The Atrocities line is a red herring and means nothing to your true assertion. Your true assertion in this comment is “Christianity makes you stupid and act irrational.” Clearly this is opinion as what is stupid and irrational are both opinions. On a side note, you are correct in that far too many people (not just Christians) attempt to transfer blame to someone or something else.

      Post@5:59 Assertion 1: There was no Abraham and therefor Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.
      First part that I left out is the dead giveaway, As far as one knows or can tell. It is not provable and therefore an invalid argument.
      Assertion 2: begins with same sentences as assertion 1. Enough said.
      Assertion 3: There was no Gabriel.
      This is a statement of opinion as you were not there and have no emperical evidence either way. This makes this argument invalid.
      Assertion 4: There was no Easter.
      This is a statement of opinion as you were not there and have no emperical evidence either way. This makes this argument invalid.
      Assertion 5: There was no Moroni.
      This is a statement of opinion as you were not there and have no emperical evidence either way. This makes this argument invalid.
      Let me be more brief from here out.
      Assertion 6: Statement of opinion
      Assertion 7:Statement of opinion.
      You make no real assertions about Taoism, but have no empirical evidence that Lao-tzu’s teachings are not direct revelation from God. Therefore there is no valid argument against them.

      Post@6:06 Assertion: Christianity keeps causing people to kill, persecute and hate
      What is causing people to kill persecute and hate is debatable based on opinion of what truly caused wars and hatred. Example is that I would suggest those things are caused by selfishness and not Christianity. Essentially you are attempting to assign the blame for what some Christians have done to all Christianity which is invalid because not all Christians do so.

      Post@6:58 I have already set forth an alternative that is just as valid and argument as yours.

      Post@7:25 Several questions, No real assertions.

      Post@7:30 Question, no assertion

      Post@7:49 test post

      Post@7:50 More questions

      Post@7:52 Matthew 5:29-30 In this scripture you are taking something literal that was meant to illustrate a point and accepting it as literal fact. Always before it was taught that the sin is in the action. Here he teaches that the sin starts much before that action, it starts when you desire that thing in your heart and it is better to remove that from your inner-self before you act than to commit the sin afterwards.
      Matthew 5:32- Speaking of a customer of marriage and divorcement where the woman was given and taken and divorced as property. He is setting standard that only adultery, and in another scripture, being unequally yoked are the only reasons divorce is condoned. You make no real assertions but seem to ask this. I don’t know about all Christians but I live by this law.
      Matthew 6:34 Context is incorrect in what I believe to be your asserting, look at 6:33 which states “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Most important is to seek the kingdom of Heaven, not worry about where your next meal is coming from (remember audience as well… it would have been poor shepherds and the such who struggle for every meal).
      Matthew 6:19-20 is not saying to not save, it is stating you should seek the spiritual treasures of Heaven. If you happen to get rich, it doesn’t matter, what matters is the kingdom of Heaven.

      Post@7:57 Mark 10:21-25 Jesus was pointing out to an individual that he loved his money more than Christ. See the first and great commandment, Love the Lord the God with all thy might mind and strength. The man was in violation of that commandment. This is why he stated what he did, he wasn’t saying don’t become wealthy.
      Luke 12:33 Again, you see Him speaking of money when he is speaking of the need of turning your heart from money and toward Him.
      John 6:27 Once again, speaking of turning towards the spiritual and not the temporal.

      Post@8:01 Matthew 5:40-42 I’m not really certain what you are attempting to insinuate from this passage, but I again find your interpretation lacking. He is setting a rule to do more than is expected of you whenever you can. Another rule, like divorce and blaming that far too many who profess to be Christian fail at. Still, they are not Christianity, they are only individuals who make mistakes and the entire Christianity cannot be faulted for their error.

      I can and I did. Your arguments are all opinion and assigning blame to a group based on the actions of some members of a group which is an invalid assertion. Every single one, an invalid arguments by the rules of logic. Your entire argument is emotional misdirection.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      Complete drivel. All opinions. You have explained nothing. Why dont you ever beleive what jesus says? Why dont you beleive the bible as written? Who are you to decide what the possible hidden meanings are? Where are yo getting these secondary meanings from? Bible 2.0?

      December 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • TV1

      > I think

      > @ TV1 (chad, is that you buddy?) NO

      > you are Christian, yes? What denomination do you subscribe to? Chances are you believe in one particular brand....that means (going by Reality's numbers) that 5+ billion other people got it dead wrong and will be suffering in H ell for eternity.
      The muslim are quite sure you will be in for the same fate... ect. ect.

      I'm a Lutheran. God has a plan for redemption for His fallen creation. I don't know all the details of this. I just live in response to His grace. He helps me on a daily basis.

      >...... The god of the desert – no matter what position you re coming from, is about as bloody as you can get (he was a war god before his promotion after all, see Yahweh for details) and you call Atheists narrowminded, intolerant and hateful?

      Yea, the Bible is very honest and truthful about the ugly state of human condition in the Old Testament times.

      I said some atheists post narrowminded, intolerant and hateful messages.

      > We may be too late to turn this ship now, but Atheists are just about the only ones that can pull humanity back from the brink... We need input from the best minds we have, wherever they are India, China, Europe, the US and yes the Middle East, without the distraction of religion....Atheism removes the dogma so Science can work faster.

      Yes. God uses atheists and people from other faiths. Even the Bible declares this true.

      December 18, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Sayings on Discipleship.* 25Great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and addressed them, 26l “If any one comes to me without hating his father* and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.m

      * [14:25–33] This collection of sayings, most of which are peculiar to Luke, focuses on the total dedication necessary for the disciple of Jesus. No attachment to family (Lk 14:26) or possessions (Lk 14:33) can stand in the way of the total commitment demanded of the disciple. Also, acceptance of the call to be a disciple demands readiness to accept persecution and suffering (Lk 14:27) and a realistic assessment of the hardships and costs (Lk 14:28–32).

      * [14:26] Hating his father…: cf. the similar saying in Mt 10:37. The disciple’s family must take second place to the absolute dedication involved in following Jesus (see also Lk 9:59–62).

      l. [14:26–27] Mt 10:37–38.

      m. [14:26] 9:57–62; 18:29; Jn 12:25.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      revelations 2:22-23

      THE BOOK OF REVELATION

      The Apocalypse, or Revelation to John, the last book of the Bible, is one of the most difficult to understand because it abounds in unfamiliar and extrava.gant symbolism, which at best appears unusual to the modern reader. Symbolic language, however, is one of the chief characteristics of apocalyptic literature, of which this book is an outstanding example. Such literature enjoyed wide popularity in both Jewish and Christian circles from ca. 200 B.C. to A.D. 200.

      This book contains an account of visions in symbolic and allegorical language borrowed extensively from the Old Testament, especially Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Daniel. Whether or not these visions were real experiences of the author or simply literary conventions employed by him is an open question.

      This much, however, is certain: symbolic descriptions are not to be taken as literal descriptions, nor is the symbolism meant to be pictured realistically. One would find it difficult and repulsive to visualize a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes; yet Jesus Christ is described in precisely such words (Rev 5:6). The author used these images to suggest Christ’s universal (seven) power (horns) and knowledge (eyes). A significant feature of apocalyptic writing is the use of symbolic colors, metals, garments (Rev 1:13–16; 3:18; 4:4; 6:1–8; 17:4; 19:8), and numbers (four signifies the world, six imperfection, seven totality or perfection, twelve Israel’s tribes or the apostles, one thousand immensity). Finally the vindictive language in the book (Rev 6:9–10; 18:1–19:4) is also to be understood symbolically and not literally. The cries for vengeance on the lips of Christian martyrs that sound so harsh are in fact literary devices the author employed to evoke in the reader and hearer a feeling of horror for apostasy and rebellion that will be severely punished by God.

      The lurid descriptions of the punishment of Jezebel (Rev 2:22) and of the destruction of the great harlot, Babylon (Rev 16:9–19:2), are likewise literary devices. The metaphor of Babylon as harlot would be wrongly construed if interpreted literally. On the other hand, the stylized figure of the woman clothed with the sun (Rev 12:1–6), depicting the New Israel, may seem to be a negative stereotype. It is necessary to look beyond the literal meaning to see that these images mean to convey a sense of God’s wrath at sin in the former case and trust in God’s providential care over the church in the latter.

      The Book of Revelation cannot be adequately understood except against the historical background that occasioned its writing. Like Daniel and other apocalypses, it was composed as resistance literature to meet a crisis. The book itself suggests that the crisis was ruthless persecution of the early church by the Roman authorities; the harlot Babylon symbolizes pagan Rome, the city on seven hills (17:9). The book is, then, an exhortation and admonition to Christians of the first century to stand firm in the faith and to avoid compromise with paganism, despite the threat of adversity and martyrdom; they are to await patiently the fulfillment of God’s mighty promises. The triumph of God in the world of men and women remains a mystery, to be accepted in faith and longed for in hope. It is a triumph that unfolded in the history of Jesus of Nazareth and continues to unfold in the history of the individual Christian who follows the way of the cross, even, if necessary, to a martyr’s death.

      Though the perspective is eschatological—ultimate salvation and victory are said to take place at the end of the present age when Christ will come in glory at the parousia—the book presents the decisive struggle of Christ and his followers against Satan and his cohorts as already over. Christ’s overwhelming defeat of the kingdom of Satan ushered in the everlasting reign of God (Rev 11:15; 12:10). Even the forces of evil unwittingly carry out the divine plan (Rev 17:17), for God is the sovereign Lord of history.

      The Book of Revelation had its origin in a time of crisis, but it remains valid and meaningful for Christians of all time. In the face of apparently insuperable evil, either from within or from without, all Christians are called to trust in Jesus’ promise, “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). Those who remain steadfast in their faith and confidence in the risen Lord need have no fear. Suffering, persecution, even death by martyrdom, though remaining impenetrable mysteries of evil, do not comprise an absurd dead end. No matter what adversity or sacrifice Christians may endure, they will in the end triumph over Satan and his forces because of their fidelity to Christ the victor. This is the enduring message of the book; it is a message of hope and consolation and challenge for all who dare to believe.

      The author of the book calls himself John (Rev 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8), who because of his Christian faith has been exiled to the rocky island of Patmos, a Roman penal colony. Although he never claims to be John the apostle, whose name is attached to the fourth gospel, he was so identified by several of the early church Fathers, including Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Hippolytus. This identification, however, was denied by other Fathers, including Denis of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzen, and John Chrysostom. Indeed, vocabulary, grammar, and style make it doubtful that the book could have been put into its present form by the same person(s) responsible for the fourth gospel. Nevertheless, there are definite linguistic and theological affinities between the two books. The tone of the letters to the seven churches (Rev 1:4–3:22) is indicative of the great authority the author enjoyed over the Christian communities in Asia. It is possible, therefore, that he was a disciple of John the apostle, who is traditionally as.sociated with that part of the world. The date of the book in its present form is probably near the end of the reign of Domitian (A.D. 81–96), a fierce persecutor of the Christians.

      The principal divisions of the Book of Revelation are the following:

      Prologue (1:1–3)
      Letters to the Churches of Asia (1:4–3:22)
      God and the Lamb in Heaven (4:1–5:14)
      The Seven Seals, Trumpets, and Plagues, with Interludes (6:1–16:21)
      The Punishment of Babylon and the Destruction of Pagan Nations (17:1–20:15)
      The New Creation (21:1–22:5)
      Epilogue (22:6–21)

      To Thyatira.* 18“To the angel of the church in Thyatira,* write this:

      “The Son of God, whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like polished bras.s, says this: 19“I know your works, your love, faith, service, and endurance, and that your last works are greater than the first. 20Yet I hold this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, who teaches and misleads my servants to play the harlot and to eat food sacrificed to idols.* 21I have given her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her harlotry. 22So I will cast her on a sickbed and plunge those who commit adultery with her into intense suffering unless they repent of her works. 23I will also put her children* to death. Thus shall all the churches come to know that I am the searcher of hearts and minds and that I will give each of you what your works deserve.f 24But I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not uphold this teaching and know nothing of the so-called deep secrets of Satan:* on you I will place no further burden, 25except that you must hold fast to what you have until I come.

      26“To the victor,* who keeps to my ways* until the end,

      I will give authority over the nations.g

      27He will rule them with an iron rod.

      Like clay vessels will they be smashed,

      28just as I received authority from my Father. And to him I will give the morning star.

      29“Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

      * [2:18–29] The letter to Thyatira praises the progress in virtue of this small Christian community (Rev 2:19) but admonishes them for tolerating a false prophet who leads them astray (Rev 2:20). Her fate is sealed, but there is hope of repentance for her followers (Rev 2:21–22). Otherwise, they too shall die (Rev 2:23). They are warned against Satanic power or knowledge (Rev 2:24–25). Those who remain faithful will share in the messianic reign, having authority over nations (Rev 2:26–27), and will in fact possess Christ himself (Rev 2:8).

      * [2:18] Thyatira: modern Akhisar, ca. forty miles southeast of Pergamum, a frontier town famous for its workers’ guilds (cf. Acts 16:14), membership in which may have involved festal meals in pagan temples.

      * [2:20] The scheming and treacherous Jezebel of old (cf. 1 Kgs 19:1–2; 21:1–14; 2 Kgs 9:22, 30–34) introduced pagan customs into the religion of Israel; this new Jezebel was doing the same to Christianity.

      * [2:23] Children: spiritual descendants.

      * [2:24] The so-called deep secrets of Satan: literally, “the deep things of Satan,” a scathing reference to the perverse teaching of the Nicolaitans (Rev 2:15).

      * [2:26–28] The Christian who perseveres in faith will share in Christ’s messianic authority (cf. Ps 2:8–9) and resurrection victory over death, symbolized by the morning star; cf. Rev 22:16.

      * [2:26] Who keeps to my ways: literally, “who keeps my works.”

      f. [2:23] 1 Sm 16:7; Jer 11:20; 17:10.

      g. [2:26] 12:5; Ps 2:8–9.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:27 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Matthew 5:29-30

      Teaching about Adultery.

      27* “You have heard that it was said,r ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29* If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.s It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

      * [5:29–30] No sacrifice is too great to avoid total destruction in Gehenna.

      s. [5:29–30] 18:8–9; Mk 9:43–47.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Mathew 5:32

      Teaching about Divorce.

      31* “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’t 32But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.u

      * [5:31–32] See Dt 24:1–5. The Old Testament commandment that a bill of divorce be given to the woman as.sumes the legitimacy of divorce itself. It is this that Jesus denies. (Unless the marriage is unlawful): this “exceptive clause,” as it is often called, occurs also in Mt 19:9, where the Greek is slightly different. There are other sayings of Jesus about divorce that prohibit it absolutely (see Mk 10:11–12; Lk 16:18; cf. 1 Cor 7:10, 11b), and most scholars agree that they represent the stand of Jesus. Matthew’s “exceptive clauses” are understood by some as a modification of the absolute prohibition. It seems, however, that the unlawfulness that Matthew gives as a reason why a marriage must be broken refers to a situation peculiar to his community: the violation of Mosaic law forbidding marriage between persons of certain blood and/or legal relationship (Lv 18:6–18). Marriages of that sort were regarded as in.cest (por.neia), but some rabbis allowed Gentile converts to Judaism who had contracted such marriages to remain in them. Matthew’s “exceptive clause” is against such permissiveness for Gentile converts to Christianity; cf. the similar prohibition of p.orneia in Acts 15:20, 29. In this interpretation, the clause consti.tutes no exception to the absolute prohibition of divorce when the marriage is lawful.

      t. [5:31] 19:3–9; Dt 24:1.

      u. [5:32] Lk 16:18; 1 Cor 7:10–11.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Matthew 6:34

      Dependence on God.

      * 25n “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?o 27Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?* 28Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. 29But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. 30* If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ 32All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides. 34Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

      * [6:25–34] Jesus does not deny the reality of human needs (Mt 6:32), but forbids making them the object of anxious care and, in effect, becoming their slave.

      * [6:27] Life-span: the Greek word can also mean “stature.” If it is taken in that sense, the word here translated moment (literally, “cubit”) must be translated literally as a unit not of time but of spatial measure. The cubit is about eighteen inches.

      * [6:30] Of little faith: except for the parallel in Lk 12:28, the word translated of little faith is found in the New Testament only in Matthew. It is used by him of those who are disciples of Jesus but whose faith in him is not as deep as it should be (see Mt 8:26; 14:31; 16:8 and the cognate noun in Mt 17:20).

      * [6:33] Righteousness: see note on Mt 3:14–15.

      n. [6:25–33] Lk 12:22–31.

      o. [6:26] Ps 145:15–16; 147:9.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      I'm being paged...gotta go till manana

      December 19, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses.

      (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      December 19, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Reality

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      December 19, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • craniumthedumb

      @ ReligionisBS

      My post got you to make my point for me, therefore it served its purpose perfectly... "Complete drivel. All opinions." Exactly what I was saying about your posts. You present no hardened fact on religion being false. You only present opinion. This has been the point of all of my posts, to get you to understand you have nothing to stand on other than your perception of what is or is not. Every person has to decide for themselves. Which brings your original post, which spreads vitrious accusations directed at any religious person, into much sharper focus. If you have an opinion, state it as such, do put on heirs pretending to have facts and proof which you do not have.

      Essentially, engage in a positive and open-minded conversation, don't browbeat others with harsh words and negativity.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • ReigionIsBS

      Id still like to kow where you're getting these secondary meanings from? Why arent the secndary answers just listed in the bible? YOu agree the teachings make no sense, so you just give them your own meanings. Thats my evidence that your religion is garbage. That, and the fact that jesus isnt ever going to return.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      Go read the first sentence of my comments. I declared unequivocally that those interpretations where my opinion. Beyond that, prove to me you have feelings. Then perhaps I can answer your questions in a meaningful way.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ Religion & Crainium:
      The footnotes explaining the passages and cross referencing to other passages are not my opinion. This is from the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

      Do you REALLY want the rest of them, or is this thread at its end?

      If you want to look them up yourself, they are here:

      http://www.usccb.org/bible/books-of-the-bible/

      December 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      That makes them someone elses opinion and not necessarily hard fact.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  16. Apple Bush

    I wonder if whales / dolphins believe in God.

    December 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Colin

      Naa, they're way too smart.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      They might have a creation story. That would be cool.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Flipper, Frolicking God of the Cetaceans!!!

      They do have a god, a real one, not like your zombie guy. It's me! Flipper!

      All fins shall bow! All blowholes shall confess! I am the true god!

      December 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Aequitas

      No, they believe in poseidon :)

      December 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      dolphins believe in god because they feel that life must have a porpoise

      December 19, 2012 at 5:19 am |
    • Apple Bush

      sam stone, that cracked me up! why didn't I think of that??? lol

      December 19, 2012 at 6:24 am |
  17. Honey Badger Dont Care

    1. No big whoop.
    2. The world is not faithful, people are. And they are ridiculous for being so.
    3. And growing!!!
    4. And this means what? People spread xtianity at the point of a sword.

    December 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • TV1

      > 4. And this means what? People spread xtianity at the point of a sword.

      I don't know what you think xtianity is...

      You can't force someone to accept the salvation that Jesus offers. It is a gift.

      You are free to accept or reject it.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • ReigionIsBS

      TV1
      I dont think you have any idea of how christianity spread. A little research might make you sick to your stomach.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • TV1

      The holy spirit. Anyone other way and it is not Jesus Christ. They may think it is. You may think it is. But they and you are wrong.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • ReigionIsBS

      You are correct, war isnt jesus. That wouldnt even make sense. War exists, jesus doesnt. You can try and rewrite history all you want, nobodu is buying it. Its a fact christianity was spread by the sword. It may not have been the way "jesus"" wanted, but thats the way it happened nontheless. You cant change the facts.

      December 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • TV1

      > ReigionIsBS

      > You are correct, war isnt jesus. That wouldnt even make sense. War exists, jesus doesnt. You can try and rewrite history all you want, nobodu is buying it. Its a fact christianity was spread by the sword. It may not have been the way "jesus"" wanted, but thats the way it happened nontheless. You cant change the facts.

      God's most important commandments: "Love God, Love Others."

      God gives us free will. We can chose to love Him or reject Him. If someone is forced to worship him, that is not love. That is not what God commands.

      And that is not actually Christianity you are talking about. Sounds actually more like atheism to me.

      Can you provide as an example of someone's testimony to Jesus Christ as the Lord and how they accepted Him "by the sword".

      December 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      TV1

      The holy spirit. Anyone other way and it is not Jesus Christ. They may think it is. You may think it is. But they and you are wrong.
      -

      I guess we should just put faith in what you speak of. But then again you put faith in men to dictate your belief. The circle of man worshipping man not a god.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      TV1

      > ReigionIsBS

      > You are correct, war isnt jesus. That wouldnt even make sense. War exists, jesus doesnt. You can try and rewrite history all you want, nobodu is buying it. Its a fact christianity was spread by the sword. It may not have been the way "jesus"" wanted, but thats the way it happened nontheless. You cant change the facts.

      God's most important commandments: "Love God, Love Others."

      God gives us free will. We can chose to love Him or reject Him. If someone is forced to worship him, that is not love. That is not what God commands.

      And that is not actually Christianity you are talking about. Sounds actually more like atheism to me.

      Can you provide as an example of someone's testimony to Jesus Christ as the Lord and how they accepted Him "by the sword".
      ..

      None of what you speak of comes directly from a god...only man. You may choose to worship those men but some do not.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • TV1

      > Christianity is a form of mental illness? – FACT? nope?

      > I guess we should just put faith in what you speak of. But then again you put faith in men to dictate your belief. The circle of man worshipping man not a god.

      I'm not trying to tell you what to do. But I'm just responding to some ignorant things that people are posting.

      Nope, don't put faith in me. I'm human, I will fail. I put some faith in people who teach me about Jesus Christ. Nobody dictates my beliefs. Not at all.

      I put all faith in Jesus Christ. Who will never fail me.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      TV1
      "Can you provide as an example of someone's testimony to Jesus Christ as the Lord and how they accepted Him "by the sword".

      Muslims, Jews and Pagans during the crusades. Theres also the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Burinings. Why do I keep having to tell you about your own religion?

      December 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • TV1

      ReligionIsBS

      TV1
      "Can you provide as an example of someone's testimony to Jesus Christ as the Lord and how they accepted Him "by the sword".

      Muslims, Jews and Pagans during the crusades. Theres also the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Burinings. Why do I keep having to tell you about your own religion?

      The Roman Empire used a false form of Christianity to persecute people. The Catholic Church as corrupt as hell at the time.

      What they did was not what Jesus Christ preached.

      Christianity is spread by the Holy Spirit.

      A lot of atheists would probably horrified to be categorized with you, because you are intolerant, rude and narrow-minded. Just like what you profess to hate about Christian.

      Take a look at yourself. Most things we hate about something, is actually something we hate about ourselves.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Im just telling the facts about the damage your religion causes. It probably sounds harsh and intollerant to you because its true. If thats being a militant atheist, you can call me that all day, because I dont kill, harm or cause injustices over it. I simply type on keybpard. I dont go around killing entire civilizations of people over it because they disagree with me...then pretend I didnt do it. Then again, im not a christian.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      False christianity sounds a lot like christianity to me.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • TV1

      >ReligionIsBS

      > Im just telling the facts about the damage your religion causes. It probably sounds harsh and intollerant to you because its true. If thats being a militant atheist, you can call me that all day, because I dont kill, harm or cause injustices over it. I simply type on keybpard. I dont go around killing entire civilizations of people over it because they disagree with me...then pretend I didnt do it. Then again, im not a christian.

      You are not teaching me anything I do not know or that I haven't thought about.

      Yes, some horrible things have happened in the name of God.

      I used to be an atheist, and I used to ask a lot tougher questions than you are.

      I am a Christian.

      I belong to a church that provides aid to the hungry, poor, disabled, elderly and homeless.

      I know atheists do this, too.

      But that is our mission of our church. And we do the best we can.

      We do quite the opposite of killing entire civilizations of people because they disagree with us.

      We help them. Even people that hate us. Because Jesus Christ says God is with those people.

      And he asks us to love the poor, the forgotten and the weak.

      And that is straight up Christianity.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      An accurate account of history includes all of the killings, mamings, persecution and injustices of christianity as well. You may try to ignore them, but history will not. Also, all of the good things attributed from christianity can be accomplished by atheists and people of other religions. Christianity doesnt have a monoploy on being good. In fact, the bad probably outweighs the good it has accomplished.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • TV1

      > An accurate account of history includes all of the killings, mamings, persecution and injustices of christianity as well. You may try to ignore them, but history will not.

      I am not ignoring them. I have admitted they happened.

      > Also, all of the good things attributed from christianity can be accomplished by atheists and people of other religions.

      I know this. I have admitted I believe this.

      > Christianity doesnt have a monoploy on being good. In fact, the bad probably outweighs the good it has accomplished.

      I know this. Christians make mistakes. Horrible mistakes. Christianity has done more good than bad for me in my life. That I know.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  18. Facts

    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.
    Human Evolution (1 of 2)
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIE2cHumanevo.shtml

    December 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  19. Post a comment

    Where does that leave the atheists that flock this blog???

    December 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Ted

      Atheists are apparently included in the 16% unaffiliated.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • ReigionIsBS

      Gaining a bunch of traction if you havent noticed. 20% not religious, with a huge number unafilliated (what does that mean, probably that theyll eventually dump it) and a huge number of "folk religionists" and other rediculous religions. This sudy shows that christianity is shrinking and isnt even practiced by 1/3 of the world anymore. It shows that there are tons of rediculous religions out there, and if one of them is true, MOST people are going to end up in that religions version of hell. This poll also shows how rediculous reeligion is. Funny how less than 1% of the people that live in the land where christianity started are even christians. Kind makes you think why the people who supposedly knew jesus dont think hes god.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Wallabee Bob Plumpkin, Amateur Gynocologist

      Since the question was not asked in the survey, we must use other studies, all of which find that atheism and secularism are exploding. We are doubling our percentages every 15 years. No other area of choice regarding religion is growing anywhere near as fast.

      So we are doing quite well, thank you. The hideous Christian response to the recent tragedy has doubtless spiked our numbers up even furhter.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Dippy

      Ridiculous, not rediculous.

      December 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  20. Rational Humanist

    Dan Merica, could you go back and include the actual median age for Muslims? You left that out. Thanks.

    December 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Dan Merica

      Hi there. Thanks for reading. The actual median age is included in the story – it is 23 years old. The global median age is 28. Cheers.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Rational Humanist

      Opps! You're right. I read it too fast. Sorry.

      December 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
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About this blog

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