home
RSS
My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy
A woman prays in church. Many Christians say they can audibly hear the voice of God.
December 29th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy

Editor's Note: Tanya Marie (“T.M.”) Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and the Watkins University professor in the department of anthropology at Stanford University in Stanford, California. She is the author of "When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God."

By T.M. Luhrmann, Special to CNN

(CNN)—In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job. But to your neighbor down the street?

Most people reading the ancient scriptures understand these accounts of hearing God’s voice as miracles that really did happen but no longer take place today, or maybe as folkloric flourishes to ancient stories. Even Christians who believe that miracles can be an everyday affair can hesitate when someone tells them they heard God speak audibly. There’s an old joke: When you talk to God, we call it prayer, but when God talks to you, we call it schizophrenia.

Except that usually it’s not.

Hearing a voice when alone, or seeing something no one else can see, is pretty common. At least one in 10 people will say they’ve had such an experience if you ask them bluntly. About four in 10 say they have unusual perceptual experiences between sleep and awareness if you interview them about their sleeping habits.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

And if you ask them in a way that allows them to admit they made a mistake, the rate climbs even higher. By contrast, schizophrenia, the most debilitating of all mental disorders, is pretty rare. Only about one in 100 people can be diagnosed with the disorder.

Moreover, the patterns are quite distinct. People with schizophrenia who hear voices hear them frequently. They often hear them throughout the day, sometimes like a rain of sound, or a relentless hammer. They hear not only sentences, but paragraphs: words upon words upon words. What the voices say is horrid—insults, sneers and contemptuous jibes. “Dirty. You’re dirty.” “Stupid slut.” “You should’ve gone under the bus, not into it.”

That was not what Abraham, Moses and Job experienced, even when God was at his most fierce.

For the last 10 years, I have been doing anthropological and psychological research among experientially oriented evangelicals, the sort of people who seek a personal relationship with God and who expect that God will talk back. For most of them, most of the time, God talks back in a quiet voice they hear inside their minds, or through images that come to mind during prayer. But many of them also reported sensory experiences of God. They say God touched their shoulder, or that he spoke up from the back seat and said, in a way they heard with their ears, that he loved them. Indeed, in 1999, Gallup reported that 23% of all Americans had heard a voice or seen a vision in response to prayer.

These experiences were brief: at the most, a few words or short sentences. They were rare. Those who reported them reported no more than a few of them, if that. These experiences were not distressing, although they were often disconcerting and always startling. On the contrary, these experiences often made people feel more intimate with God, and more deeply loved.

In fact, my research has found that these unusual sensory experiences are more common among those who pray in a way that uses the imagination—for example, when prayer involves talking to God in your mind. The unusual sensory experiences were not, in general, associated with mental illness (we checked).

They were more common among those who felt comfortable getting caught up in their imaginations. They were also more common among those who prayed for longer periods. Prayer involves paying attention to words and images in the mind, and giving them significance. There is something about the skilled practice of paying attention to the mind in this way that shifts—just a little bit—the way we judge what is real.

Yet even many of these Christians, who wanted so badly to have a back-and-forth relationship with God, were a little hesitant to talk about hearing God speak with their ears. For all the biblical examples of hearing God speak audibly, they doubt. Augustine reports that when he was in extremis, sobbing at the foot of that fig tree, he heard a voice say, “Take it and read.” He picked up the scripture and converted. When the Christians I know heard God speak audibly, it often flitted across their minds that they were crazy.

In his new book, "Hallucinations," the noted neurologist Oliver Sacks tells his own story about a hallucinatory experience that changed his life. He took a hearty dose of methamphetamines as a young doctor, and settled down with a 19th century book on migraines. He loved the book, with its detailed observation and its humanity. He wanted more. As he was casting around in his mind for someone who could write more that he could read, a loud internal voice told him “You silly bugger” that it was he. So he began to write. He never took drugs again.

Now, Sacks does not recommend that anyone take drugs like that. He thinks that what he did was dangerous and he thinks he was lucky to have survived.

What interests me, however, is that he allowed himself to trust the voice because the voice was good. There’s a distinction between voices associated with psychiatric illness (often bad) and those (often good) that are found in the so-called normal population. There’s another distinction between those who choose to listen to a voice, if the advice it gives is good, and those who do not. When people like Sacks hear a voice that gives them good advice, the experience can transform them.

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

This is important, because often, when voices are discussed in the media or around the kitchen table, the voices are treated unequivocally as symptoms of madness. And of course, voice-hearing is associated with psychiatric illness.

But not all the time. In fact, not most of the time.

About a third of the people I interviewed carefully at the church where I did research reported an unusual sensory experience they associated with God. While they found these experiences startling, they also found them deeply reassuring.

Science cannot tell us whether God generated the voice that Abraham or Augustine heard. But it can tell us that many of these events are normal, part of the fabric of human perception. History tells us that those experiences enable people to choose paths they should choose, but for various reasons they hesitate to choose.

When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sat at his kitchen table, in the winter of 1956, terrified by the fear of what might happen to him and his family during the Montgomery bus boycott, he said he heard the voice of Jesus promising, “I will be with you.” He went forward.

Voices may form part of human suffering. They also may inspire human greatness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of TM Luhrmann.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God

soundoff (7,765 Responses)
  1. Bob

    From the beginning God wanted to talk to us He wants to walk us through our daily walk and help us. We have so much more than they had in the Old Testament. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden, can you imagine what that must have been like? Humans ruined it for themselves by sin or separation from God. In Jesus God gave us the ability to hear from Him again but the Bible says we have to search with all our might. Sometimes I wonder if its more about us going beyond the flesh and that's why it takes so much because I know that in my life and others God was always there, saved or not. We may not have recognized who it was until we got saved but once saved it became clear that what the Bible says that we couldn't even know God unless He first called us becomes apparent. My only regret in coming to the Lord was that I didn't do it sooner, I didn't know He was that good and loving and had already accepted me and made the way for me to be His. He was calling me from childhood and fear kept me away. To all who are on the wall thinking they are not good enough to start this great journey and want to wait to clean up first, I say come just as you are. He already knows all there is to know and is calling you, don't let the lies that you have to clean up first or you have to do it by yourself first allow you to stop experiencing one of the greatest life changing experiences there is. We are the sheep He is the Shepard He helps us in every way, He cleans us up, He makes the daily provision for what ever it is we need. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He will also remove any addiction and bondage or situation that you need help with. WE are not alone we don't have to do it by ourselves and He loves us with a everlasting love, HE WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.

    January 1, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • End Religion

      Whether god will disappoint is at the heart of why the religious delusion exists: it depends on your one's outlook and expectations. From my perspective, your god seems to do nothing but disappoint, "allowing" so much pain and suffering to exist in a game he controls. From your perspective of course he won't disappoint, because "his ways are mysterious" so even things that make no sense don't NEED to make sense, and then when you die, there will be no disappointment because you'll be dead with no soul or afterlife which to blame your imaginary buddy for his non-existence.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Bob

      My expectation is that God will answer and I am not disappointed in that. You should also understand that man has a will to do what is contrary to what God has ordained we do. We make the choice just like you have made a choice. I guess you haven't really been looking at any tv and stories of people who have died and come back and all seem to tell the same stories. Some have turned their lives around from the bad things they were doing to good things to help. I know my God and wish that all would do the same.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • End Religion

      So you base your belief in god on TV shows?
      We've posted over and over again here about NDE. The brain is complex. It plays tricks near death. There is no secret about it. There is nothing unexplained or supernatural about it. You simply don't want to agree to the science of it and choose ignorance instead.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Robert Brown

      A 1990’s European medical study of
      terminal patients who died experienced weight loss of 1/3000th oz. at death indicating that the soul may have physical
      properties.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Bob

      You have presented no science that disproves it are not open to understanding it, Ive already stated that mans studies cannot quantify or qualify God and yet you want to try to rebut what I have said. It is not ignorance on my part but fear or your part not wanting to accept the truth. You choose to stay ignorant about God and what is available to all rather than exploring the possibility that what is talked about is true. I have done the research first person you have not so now who is choosing to remain ignorant?

      January 1, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • End Religion

      @RobBrown: why not tell the whole turth where all the "soul has weight" studies have been debunked? They are simply people who are looking for a result and skew their data to find the result.

      http://www.snopes.com/religion/soulweight.asp

      January 1, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • End Religion

      @bob: "You have presented no science that disproves it"

      You've been here long enough to understand "you can't disprove it" isn't an acceptable retort. You can't disprove my god, Elephus, is a large pink polka-dotted elephant who pinched her trunk and farted the universe into existence.

      ***
      "Ive already stated that mans studies cannot quantify or qualify God"

      Of course you stated that. You believe that puts you outside of any attempts to debunk or rationalize your delusion. You do not want discussion, you simply want to be able to post biblical platitudes. Might want to try another forum for that.

      ***
      "It is not ignorance on my part but fear or your part not wanting to accept the truth."

      If NDE's were proof of god you would be able to illustrate it as such, yet you cannot. This is not "truth" - it is the opposite. but I don't expect much else from you: nutters redefine words to suit their needs.

      ***
      "You choose to stay ignorant about God"

      I am anything but ignorant about your god.

      ***
      "I have done the research first person you have not so now who is choosing to remain ignorant?"

      Please post all of the scientific research you have so we can all learn from it.

      January 1, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  2. Terri

    I heard God's voice. It was booming and unmistakable. I was sober, outside and around other people. I wasn't in prayer. I was walking back to my college dorm room after a class. He told me something that would happen in my life. It came to be. It was at a time when I kept Him at a distance. This was 10 years before i became a true follower of Jesus. At the time I heard God's voice I wasn't willing to give up control of my life. Funny thing is, I never had control.

    January 1, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      If you heard a man's voice, it is NOT God, for God is neither he or she.

      January 1, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • George WillNot

      Terri: next time, if you heard a man's voice while walking on campus, be smart and run to the nearest security office. It is likely be a stalker !

      January 1, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Bob

      Terri I have heard many others say the same thing. My friend was a bit shaken by the experience because it was so loud and sounded like a thousand trumpets all going at once. But it is a experience you never forget. Thanks

      January 1, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • End Religion

      The brain is complex. If you're hearing voice there could be a physical problem. Get checked out. You know that in some cases of brain tumours one will experience "phantom smells" like oranges when none are nearby. This doesn't mean oranges created the universe and are giving you hints to their existence.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantosmia

      January 1, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • End Religion

      Phantom sounds: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/21/health/turning-down-the-phantom-noise-inside-the-head.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

      January 1, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Bob

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

      January 1, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  3. Kev

    It's an interesting perspective showing that those who believe in having direct communication with God is closer to the border

    January 1, 2013 at 3:35 am |
    • Kev

      And by border I mean to the border of being considered as the norm.

      January 1, 2013 at 3:40 am |
    • Butterfly

      I agree that it is a perspective. Although, caution should be taken when reading it. It should not be accepted as fact or as a credible source, until more research has been done by the reader: did other psychological anthropologist verify her work? Where is the data/research that she has acquired/done? How did she identify and resolve her possible confirmation bias? Which god did her research subjects channel? Did any of their accounts of god conflict? What was the demographic of her research subjects? Etc.

      Without more information this article is mere opinion. The reader should, however, err on the side of skepticism before letting their own confirmation bias blind them.

      January 1, 2013 at 5:12 am |
    • Bob

      its really interesting to think that we have to commend a study and research to understand if we heard God. This is a typical atheist point of view, confirmation comes in many other ways but you will never qualify or quantify God, we don't even have the ability. What possible study of man could allow us to know God? When in the desert and many wanted to build a alter to God for thanks or worship God said the way to do it was get round stones and stack them one upon another and that was His alter. Nothing man has or creates glorifies God, it will all pass away but God is eternal, we are eternal.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • End Religion

      its really interesting to think that we have to commend a study and research to understand if we heard Leprechauns. Confirmation comes in many other ways but you will never qualify or quantify Leprechauns, we don't even have the ability. What possible study of man could allow us to know Leprechauns? When in fields of clover and many wanted to build a alter to Leprechauns for thanks or worship Leprechauns said the way to do it was get blarney stones and stack them one upon another and that was King Leprechaun's alter. Nothing man has or creates glorifies Leprechauns, it will all pass away but Leprechauns are eternal, we are eternal.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Bob

      End why are you so bitter against God what happened to you?

      January 1, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • End Religion

      Jesus is just alright with me. Jesus is just alright, aw yeah!

      I can't be bitter about imaginary creatures. I can, however, deride those who chose willful ignorance and practice religion. I don't really even mind religion so much but there's an unavoidable problem what comes along with it, and that is the mob mentality. If you wanted to be a little crazy in your own home, fine. But that's not good enough for religion. It is insatiable. It wants to take over other people's choices, and when it grows large enough it does. It sinks its noisome tentacles into everything until all reason is subverted.

      I'm just here walking the wall today, keeping nutters in check so others can sleep safely knowing we won't let religion send us back into another Dark Age. So, I say to you, Happy New Year! And please keep your religious fantasies to yourself.

      January 1, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Bob

      Keeping nutters in check huh well I hate to tell you that the ones that did the most damage to society were atheists. Hitler being one shinning example.

      January 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Bet

      Hitler had shin splints? Maybe that explains the constant bad mood. Those things are painful.

      P.S. Hitler was a christian.

      January 1, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      Again, Bob, my dear idiot brother, you've been here long enough to know that's an unacceptable retort.

      Debunked and refuted about 10 times a day... it isn't just Hitler that makes you look silly. Hitler was a Christian who felt his actions honored god.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

      The actions of Mao and Stalin were totalitarian. They sought total authority, which means getting rid of religions which would compete with that authority. The pursuit of atheism was not the cause for the bloodshed; it was the pursuit of control over a people.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:46 am |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I hear voices all the time and it is God telling me I am NOT crazy.

    January 1, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • Butterfly

      That's great. Now demonstrate that you are actually hearing god and that it is not a mental illness.

      January 1, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • Lori

      Faith is not crazy–extremism is- no matter what form! But faith and a moral compass is always rooted in God.

      January 1, 2013 at 1:59 am |
    • Franklin

      Lori
      All the extremists firmly believe that they are rooted in God too, and that what they are doing is exactly where God's moral compass is really pointing. Extremism is just an expression of a slightly higher level of faith than the average, that's all.

      January 1, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • Butterfly

      Then please tell me how you distinguish hearing voices from faith versus mental illness. Also, how do you distinguish which god faith and a moral compass come from? Is it Jehovah? Yahweh? Allah? Para-Brahman? Thor? Zeus?

      January 1, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • End Religion

      "moral compass is always rooted in god"

      Lori, you realize lying is one of the top 10 sins, right?

      Morality: Using empathy as a guide for human interaction. AKA, "treat others the way you want to be treated" and "put yourself in my shoes". It has nothing inherently to do with the bible.

      Karen Wynn of Yale has a study showing even babies have an idea of wrong versus right. Neuroscientist Christian Keysers has done research to show that the brain of those who see others receiving pain themselves have similar neurological responses. There is a curve to empathy; some feel it more than others. But it certainly doesn't come from a hateful book about imaginary people.

      Frans de Waal shows that even monkeys employ "morality"...
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcJxRqTs5nk&w=640&h=390]

      January 1, 2013 at 10:18 am |
  5. >

    God is intricately interwoven in life. Connection comes in experiences. No doubt found within the experiences. One constant.

    January 1, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • tallulah13

      No proof of god. Any god. People "hear" what they want to hear.

      January 1, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • Franklin

      More like, life is intricately interwoven in life. You just choose to call it "God".

      January 1, 2013 at 2:23 am |
  6. Bob

    For once in these blogs a person who actually has a clue and writes about it. I really liked what she had to say it was so true I only wish that she would get filled with the Holy Spirit and learn the real truth about talking to God. Its always better from a first person perspective rather than he said she said. It is very scriptural and its one of the most awesome and comforting experiences we can truly have. We are commanded as Christians to desire spiritual gifts and they are imparted by God through the Spirit. As a Christian it should be odd not hear rather than hearing Him. The Holy Spirit is the comforter He is the one Jesus said Joh 16:7 "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. Do you know Him, do you want a walk knowing the power and who the Lord really is then find out who this person is and ask God for Him.
    Mat 16:17 And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
    Mar 13:11 "When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.
    Joh 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
    Luk 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."
    Act 1:16 "Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
    Act 15:28 "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials:
    Act 28:25 And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, "The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers,
    Heb 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
    oh 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
    Joh 16:14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Bob

      Eph 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. We have a new and better covenant than they had in the Old Testament. We have the power of God within us to do the things that He calls us to do. Are you feeling weak call on Him are you worried, upset, in a bad spot call on Him listen carefully for He is not far. He is s friend that is closer than a brother and He will not disappoint. Jesus ministry did not start till He had the baptism not only in the water but with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our example in Jesus we have the forgiveness of sins and the healing of our body we have redemption, in the Spirit we have the power to minister.

      January 1, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      What a stupid, stupid book that inspires such silly belief.

      January 1, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • Donna

      And those who believe in spiritual mediums, the people who claim to be able to speak to ghosts, feel about the same as you do, but that doesn't compel me to take them any more seriously. The author never really did explain how this was any different than schizophrenia. Maybe it's a form of schizophrenia that people can work themselves into?

      January 1, 2013 at 2:31 am |
    • Kevin

      Why doesn't god just tweet us? Is he computer illiterate?

      God was invented before modern communication, so the clerics running the show had to say their ideas/laws were told to them by god, to give their power grab more legitimacy. In our modern world the idea of an all-powerful omniscient loving god who can't be bothered to communicate clearly is patently absurd.

      No clear communication = god is dead or never existed. (Hint – all-powerful immortal beings cannot die.)

      January 1, 2013 at 7:50 am |
  7. Dave

    I have always had a belief in god but have never been a devout worshiper and the question of god and the story of Jesus even being real has been in my mind for several years until an experience a few months ago that scared me and changed me for life. I cannot tell you anything for sure other than god is as real as anything you can touch around you. I believe now that he will forgive you in the face of the worst sins you can commit. This was not an audible communication and the only thing I can tell you for sure is the understanding I now have.....you need to get right with the lord because he is real!

    December 31, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Dave, if it is not an audible voice, it is NOT from God. You are foolin yourself. Trust me

      January 1, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • Lori

      Contrary to what others may say, people experience God in many, many ways, audible, inaudible, mankind can be very ignorant but God does reach the senses of those who have sense enough to be open at some point in their life. Some people more than others.

      January 1, 2013 at 1:55 am |
    • Donna

      I think that you fear telling us about your experience Dave because you know that someone here will expose it for what it actually was, right?

      January 1, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • End Religion

      Lori, there's nothing special about you. In fact it is your desire to feel special that makes you think you have some closer connection to a god than others. Why haven't you heard Zeus talking?

      January 1, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  8. amy

    If our president said that God was talking to him through a hairdryer, we would have a national crisis. I fail to see how removing the hairdryer makes everything ok.

    December 31, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  9. Lori

    You cannot speak for what is personal to someone else simply because you have not experienced it. There is NO EGO in the worship of God, the ego comes in if you believe you are God!

    evensteven

    When people hear voices in their head, it is almost always one of their own egos . . . even if it sounds all holy and righteous. In fact, righteousness is the favored disguise of the unhealthy ego . . .

    December 31, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Donna

      And I'm sure that the people who think that aliens have implanted receivers in their brains really do believe this as well, but that doesn't do much to convince me that those receivers are actually there, and that THEY are talking to real aliens.

      January 1, 2013 at 2:53 am |
    • End Religion

      lol @ no ego in worship... You're simply trying to "save yourself" from eternal damnation. What could be more selfish?

      January 1, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  10. evensteven

    When people hear voices in their head, it is almost always one of their own egos . . . even if it sounds all holy and righteous. In fact, righteousness is the favored disguise of the unhealthy ego . . .

    December 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • TLDR

      When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sat at his kitchen table, in the winter of 1956, terrified by the fear of what might happen to him and his family during the Montgomery bus boycott, he said he heard the voice of Jesus promising, “I will be with you.” He went forward.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Rational Humanist

      And got murdered for wanting equal rights. Christianity is not about equal rights, yet he was a pastor. Hmm. Time to wake up.

      January 1, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • Sue

      King was no saint. For all that he deserves credit for he was also a charismatic womanizer, and someone that nobody could ever accuse of not having a powerful personality. Definite qualities for an overinflated ego.

      January 1, 2013 at 2:59 am |
  11. tomterry

    My take on God's voice is a bit different. http://bit.ly/Z576EV.

    December 31, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  12. Lori

    Other than mummies in Egypt what proof is there that any recorded historical person is real? dating back 2000 years+

    realbuckyball
    What an idiot. A Stanford professor, who actually knows so little about that book, that she actually thinks those mythological men were real ? Just fricking amazing. She really needs a course from a scripture scholar.

    December 31, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Sue

      Did you know that Josephus, the historian who mentions Jesus, also wrote claiming that it was the Emperor Vespasian who was predicted in Jewish scripture to be the messiah?

      January 1, 2013 at 3:08 am |
  13. Too much blow

    i heard her mom taught her her manners. sad

    December 31, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  14. lionlylamb

    Our universe, being but one of untold numbers within a cosmos of also untold numbers is in theory a very plausible consideration. Only one problem. Science is still yet not ready to broaden their scope of fielded understandings because they cannot fathom such a sound theory of plausibility. It would mean their mathematical equations would need to be tweaked to account for the gravity other universes nearby our universes which would cause gravitational shifts ever so minute but nevertheless shifts of gravity pulling at our nebulas and galaxies.

    I can see in my mind's eye the outsides of this universe's boundaries where there are other universes that go on and on without any end in sight! I can also see with my mind's eye the infinitesimally small realms of the atomized cloisters being just like the universes are of our realms. The only differences between the inner and outer cosmological realms are size and time variations. The inner cosmological realms' time is increased and the outer cosmological realm is decreased in timely fashions. A day's worth of time within the outer realm of celestial cosmological orders is as a thousand or so years gone by within the inner realm of atomized cosmologies.

    December 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Kevin

      Get help. Professional help. Do it now.

      January 1, 2013 at 7:54 am |
  15. mama k

    Robert: "Yeah I agree, but even the courts are politically populated, so we effect them too."

    Yes, of course, that's always a challenge. Oddly I often fine I'm in disagreement with the side of the court that one would think goes with my political persuasion – go figure. (i.e. Imminent domain)

    But at least in our system of government, I don't see any other way to fairly legislate among different rights that people would want unless they are weighed against a certain standard set as in the Const itution. And I think that's the only thing that keeps us from stepping on each others' toes.

    December 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • mama k

      (intended reply relocated to page 63 –mk)

      December 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    December 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • JJ

      Atheism is bad for broccoli? You Christians are so wacky.

      December 31, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    I hear voiiiiiiiices . Pray on !

    December 31, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  18. TLDR

    I'm thinking of starting a "Kickstarter" event to raise money for a psychiatric evaluation of "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son".

    As much as I would love for him to have a 'coming to Jesus moment', I think he really has some issues that need to be dealt with. Things that even a call to the altar at church may not be enough for.

    Anyone willing to pitch in $5 or $10? I think if we got about $500 it would really be helpful for him. I promise I won't read bible quotes to him afterward.

    December 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • mama k

      You must be new. Because you obviously don't know very much about Tom Tom. Lol.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • TLDR

      Where I'm from he would get the crap beat out of him for the way he talks to women.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • the AnViL

      tldr – you're really big on displaying your particular brand of delusional thinking – on a national public forum, no less.

      i'd suggest you follow rule 33 of the internet. lurk moar – it's never enough

      tomtom yanked your delicate chain... crying about it won't help.

      stand back – gather yourself... bite your pillow...

      cry it out, son.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      TLDR,

      "He" is a woman. LOL

      December 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      TLDR,

      Tom is a girl, I just can't say she's a lady though,,, more a tramp than a lady. ladies wouldn't say the things sh girlishly says

      December 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • the AnViL

      TLDR ignorantly shat: "Where I'm from he would get the crap beat out of him for the way he talks to women."

      lolz

      December 31, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ahahhha! Oh, boy, I caught a whopper, didn't I?

      You poor little thing, TLDR. You just didn't see that one coming, did you? I'm female. I don't give a ripe fvck about what you think of me or my posts. I ripped you a new one and you're sore about it. And now you think you can appeal your case to the rest of the posters here. Good luck with that, dearie. I suggest you go lick your wounds, change your screen name, and come back another day. Or not.

      December 31, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • the AnViL

      SNAP!

      December 31, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      Where TLDR is from they enjoy beating up people who use words they don't care for. Is this Texas or Alabama?

      December 31, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • the AnViL

      the less evolved always resort to violence.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • TLDR

      I was going to say it would have been a woman that would have beat him (now her) up.

      the AnVil
      >tomtom yanked your delicate chain... crying about it won't help.
      >stand back – gather yourself... bite your pillow...
      >cry it out, son
      I've been more than civil. She on the other hand, I think is rude and kind of over-reacts

      Maybe she could take your advice.

      And 'where I come from' is not Christian. Just my town, believer – non-believer, we are at least decent to each other. The one's that aren't usually get the sense knocked into them.

      And if they can't deal with that then they probably resort to posting things like "Tom Tom" does on the internet.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • TLDR

      > Where TLDR is from they enjoy beating up people who use words they don't care for. Is this Texas or Alabama?

      Chicago.

      If you act like an as.s, you get knocked on yours. It is not 'words we don't care for'.

      It is being a complete as.s.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • the AnViL

      no one cares if you're offended...

      so what!?!!?!?!?

      this is the internet... deal with it, princess.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • lol??

      TLDR, TT is one of those women trapped in a mans body, a whatchamacallit? Obamacare is gonna hep her out. She named both her sides Tom. Classic doubleminded person.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • TLDR

      You sure do care! Thanks.

      But it seems like you do the same thing you point out as a flaw in me.

      What a certain poster keeps following me around and saying horrible.

      Say what ever you will about me being 'delusional'. Or any other person that demonstrates sound decisions and lives a good life, but happens to believe in God.

      I stand up against people like that poster. Regardless of what the believe.

      Don't read it and get so worked up and reply to me if you don't like it. Follow your own advice.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • TLDR

      Edited – sorry – autocorrect

      You sure do care! Thanks.

      But it seems like you do the same thing that you are pointing out as a flaw in me.

      When a certain poster keeps following me around and saying horrible things, I stand up to them.

      Say what ever you will about me being 'delusional'. Or any other person that demonstrates sound decisions and lives a good life, but happens to believe in God.

      I stand up against people like that poster. Regardless of what they believe.

      Don't read it and get so worked up and reply to me if you don't like it. Follow your own advice.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "When a certain poster keeps following me around and saying horrible things, I stand up to them."

      um – no... you came to this page and made an appeal to the masses to donate to a completely non-needed fund to get mental health help for someone who clearly does not need it.

      you're the one who needs help.

      December 31, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • TLDR

      I was posting supportive messages to a couple of people that were being ridiculed. And nobody was standing up for them, it was kind of like a gang of people that were kicking them when they were down.

      And some poster kept egging me on – and I did my best to ignore it. But I'm weak. And I posted a little jab at her.

      But, I really do think that poster could use some help. She is very hateful, and it really only hurts herself. I don't ultimately care what she or you thinks of me. But I have concerns. Unchecked anger can lead to dangerous situations.

      December 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • TLDR

      People were and do post some pretty heinous things.

      And then there are people who are so worried about their 'belief system' and explaining it and defending it they don't demonstrate some common decency and ask others to stop posting heinous things.

      They decide to ridicule those who make sound comments, but believe in God.

      They have tolerance. They just use it in the wrong places.

      - boom -

      December 31, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "I was posting supportive messages to a couple of people that were being ridiculed. "

      no – actually you were posting veiled passive-aggressive comments.

      "A lot of people here are APPALLED by belief in God, but tolerate horrible behavior that I stand against.

      Don't stay too long, some people spend A LOT of time here."

      might i remind you – as tomtom pointed out.. this is not a private forum – it's open... your comments are free to read by everyone... and as such – everyone is free to comment as they see fit.

      you got called on your trash... and got your feewings hurt – so much so – you even advocated violence towards someone who disagrees with you – because that's how you roll in the windy city.

      too bad, so sad.

      suck it up, pull up your panties – and keep on truckin.

      here's some free advice: educate yourself a little bit – and try to stick your head OUTSIDE of the bubble it lives in before you start posting comments on an OPEN PUBLIC national forum – and ffs lurk more – it's never enough.

      you'll be happier that way – i assure you.

      better yet... just turn off your pc – it's only way to remain completely safe from these people who tolerate "horrible behavior".

      December 31, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • TLDR

      I know this is an open forum.

      I saw a lady posting, and she seemed to be getting upset by people.

      I STAND BY SAYING THIS TO HER:

      "A lot of people here are APPALLED by belief in God, but tolerate horrible behavior that I stand against.

      Don't stay too long, some people spend A LOT of time here."

      A lot of people accept abusive behavior against others. They allow it. They tolerate it.

      They don't accept a person believing in God. They ridicule it. They are INTOLERANT.

      I'm standing up against INTOLERANCE.

      I know it is an open forum. I'm baffled by the irony of people who hate God but feel like they have to post on blog posts written postively about believing in God. In just a few days I see the same people resorting to mean-spirited tactics.

      They are worst than those they profess to oppose. They don't see it.

      I hate soccer, but I don't have to monitor soccer blogs all day and attack people who believe that soccer is entertaining. I'm not that delusional about soccer, thank God!

      I won't turn off my computer and walk away. I'll stand up for what I believe in. I oppose those intolerant people and the vial words and tactics they use.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "I won't turn off my computer and walk away. I'll stand up for what I believe in. I oppose those intolerant people and the vial words and tactics they use."

      that's great.... just don't act like a b1tch about it...

      k thnx bai

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

      > act like a b1tch about it...

      I am a hypocrite. It is one of my many flaws. I'm working on it. I sometimes criticize people for doing things I do.

      As a confessed hypocrite I think I am qualified to say: I know one when I see one... and I think you might be a hypocrite too.

      December 31, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • OTOH

      TLDR,
      "I hate soccer, but I don't have to monitor soccer blogs all day and attack people who believe that soccer is entertaining. I'm not that delusional about soccer,..."

      Quite a number of believers here (and in the nation) consider religion more than "entertaining" and want to rule our country (yea, the World) according to their fantasies and superst-itions. That's just one of the reasons that we visit and comment here.

      If widespread adherence to soccer rules and traditions was being bandied about and was suggested - demanded - to be part of your daily life, I'll just bet that you would have a thing or two to say about it...

      December 31, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • TLDR

      I kind of understand what you are saying, but..

      Believing that God exists does not mean that I want to rule the world according to my fantasies and superst-tions.

      It is actually the opposite. I think we have the help the world needs. We try to help those who need it.

      A lot of wars and violence in this world are brought on by property disputes. I don't blame property owners for wars or think they ultimately want to take over the world.

      I don't think going on to real estate blogs and attacking will help any.

      The people that want to take over the world with religion are not reading this blog. They actually don't care about God. They care about power. Attacking people who come on here and believe in God is unfortunate. You are mostly attacking good people, that are just like yourself.

      December 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      TDLR, you're NOT from Chicago, you lying sack of sh!t. I know who you are, and you did get one thing right~you're a hypocrite, and a lying one at that. And that woman was Bonnie, she posted once, and she left. You're defending your own ego, you narcissistic wad of crap.

      lionlylamb,"more a tramp than a lady"?? What the hell do you know about women, you creepy celibate piece of sh!t? Blah blah cosmos blah blah blah husbandry, blah blah nutard.

      January 1, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • TLDR

      Argle Bargle

      I am from Chicago.

      There is no way you could know one way or the other. Honestly, I haven't disclosed that kind of info about myself.

      I wasn't talking about Bonnie – it was another woman and she posted plenty.

      Wow, you are very wrong.

      January 1, 2013 at 2:18 am |
    • TLDR

      Argle Bargle
      I now remember talking with you. You seemed decent... not so much anymore.

      I was born and raised in Chicago. I moved away from there. I've lived in many cities, I now live in Denver.

      Now do me a favor and leave me alone. I was honest and released info I normally shouldn't to you on a open forum filled with indecent people. And you used tried to use it against me.

      January 1, 2013 at 3:40 am |
    • End Religion

      lol @ super idiot TLDR who espouses tolerance by threatening to beat up people who disagree with him! The irony is almost too much to bear...

      January 1, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • TLDR

      I was implying that a man that bullied and was abusive toward a woman would be taken care of.

      January 1, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  19. realbuckyball

    ANyone who hear voices from imaginary beings is seriously in trouble. Make no mistake.

    December 31, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  20. realbuckyball

    "In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job. But to your neighbor down the street?"
    What an idiot. A Stanford professor, who actually knows so little about that book, that she actually thinks those mythological men were real ? Just fricking amazing. She really needs a course from a scripture scholar.

    December 31, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

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