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January 6th, 2013
07:28 AM ET

College students raise funds to fight slavery

By Jordan Hultine, CNN

Atlanta (CNN)–More than 60,000 young Christians packed the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for worship and inspiration at the Passion 2013 conference that wrapped up on Friday. They came together from 56 countries and 2,300 universities, according to organizers, “to shine a light on modern-day slavery.”

“We believe when you fill a dome full of people who say they follow Jesus, there should be some tangible action,” said Bryson Vogeltanz, chief steward of Passion’s freedom initiative. That tangible action came in the form of tens of thousands of towels and socks donated by conference-goers to be handed out at local homeless shelters in the weeks following the conference.

Vogeltanz and his team also wanted a global initiative. They focused on four key goals, which they called awake, prevent, rescue and restore. They identified 19 nonprofit organizations working around the world to eradicate modern-day slavery and human trafficking. The organizations were showcased during the conference and students and volunteers had the opportunity to donate money to the cause.

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The United Nations estimates 27 million people are entrapped in modern-day slavery at any given time around the world in a market valued at $32 billion.

Last year, Hagar International was one of the recipients of those donations. Hagar helps women and children recovering from horrific abuse and human trafficking in Cambodia, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

“We have been able to serve children who have been released from egregious abuse of being trafficked for sex, both boys and girls, in Cambodia,” said Jane Tafel of Hagar. “Those children have a new life now because of Passion 2012.” Tafel returned to the conference this year for the organization and was anxiously waiting to hear final donation numbers.

Wellspring Living, an organization that provides restorative services for girls who have been trafficked or suffered sexual abuse, said it was able to open a new transition facility as a result of the gifts that conference-goers gave last year, according to president and CEO Mary Frances Bowley.

Read More: The new Christian abolition movement

“This generation has the potential not just to end slavery, they have the potential to do anything,” Vogeltanz said. “Jesus was the original abolitionist. We’re just following what he’s already done in our lives for us," he said, referring to the Christian belief that Jesus saved all mankind from slavery and sin.

Students spent each day of the four-day conference participating in “community group” learning sessions and praise and worship led by well-known Christian musicians like Chris Tomlin.

An Atlanta-based pastor, Louie Giglio, started Passion in 1997. The goal, he said, was to see college students around the world “awaken to the reality of an omnipotent and glorious Creator.” Since then, organizers said, millions of students have joined the movement at Passion events around the world.

Sarah Stone is a college student from Atlanta who came to Passion with her church group. She said she came looking for a way to live her faith more fully. “Christianity is not just about saying a prayer and going to church on Sunday, it’s about living for Christ with every single thing you do,” Stone said.

CNN's Belief Blog the faith angles behind the day's big stories

Belmont University student William Dodd said it’s inspiring to be surrounded by so many other college students who are gathered for the same purpose, and he is leaving with a desire to “get in the fight to end (slavery). God made us powerful creatures with a really big voice.”

“It’s inspiring to see a generation so engaged and looking out of themselves and looking at things like slavery and actually committing to making people aware of it and it’s only the beginning,” said Jolie, who declined to give her last name, a conference volunteer who traveled from Australia to be a part of the Passion.

Passion organizers said the students gave $3,170,639 in support of their freedom initiative. Beyond fund-raising, organizers said, the goal was to shine a light on a worldwide problem and to inspire action.

Ramses Prashad, a college student from Orlando, Florida, said he has no other choice but to make a change when he gets home. “I can’t say that I didn’t know and say I wasn’t aware, so I have no other choice but to raise awareness and to do as much as I can for the cause and for the people.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (801 Responses)
  1. Johnny 5

    The bible endorsed slavery and the physical beating of the slaves. President Lincoln ended slavery so praise him instead.

    January 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • dzp

      keep cherry picking bro. youll need a bigger house to store all those cherries of yours

      January 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Church Lady

      Mmm.. The bible says a lot of stuff. – Rev. Lovejoy

      January 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • K from AZ

      Johnny, the Bible does not endorse slavery: the Bible reflects historically the conditions that existed at the various times in history. I realize that everyone has a right to be stupid: you, however, are abusing the privilege!

      January 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      doesn't endorse slavery? are you joking? god TELLS people to take slaves in the bible. there are rules for selling your daughter into slavery. the bible wholeheartedly supports slavery. come on, you're just ignoring parts you don't like. yep, slavery was the fare of the day - which seems weird for an all-knowing god. you'd think he'd know from day one that slavery is wrong. you'd think it'd be in one of his commandments... but it's not. instead, jesus tells slaves to obey their masters if they want to get into heaven. disgusting.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • lol??

      While the A&A's have been hating the Scripture they've been busy enslaving americultians.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The US const'itution also endorsed slavery...does that mean US citizens cannot speak out against it? I'm not a Christian but even I can see that the book evolved and the religion has evolved. What the hell is wrong with people that they can't accept good acts where they see them even when done by people who we disagree with. Yes, I have issues with beliefs and acts of many Christians, but I'll post those thoughts on the appropriate stories.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  2. incredulous

    Looks like the atheist trolls are getting busy.

    January 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  3. toydrum

    No matter what the personal religious beliefs of these kids are, it is good to see young people coming together to actively trying to do good in the world. For positive impact, it sure some of the stupid stuff you see like beats binge drinking and street racing.

    January 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  4. Daniel in Denver

    Just a quick question for all the nice folks who use the phrase, "What the freak?' If god is omniscient, doesn't he/she really know what you mean? I don't even count myself among the 3,500 or so 'gods' that have been made up and recorded in the years since humans developed the ability to write, and I know.

    January 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      Dude, what the hell are you even talking about? Gibberish.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Daniel in Denver

      Oh, sorry. I had just read a lot of comments on this article and that phrase appears frequently.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  5. Michael

    I just love Christians picking and choosing what they like from the Bible, even though the whole book is "the words of God". The first half basically endorses slavery but that's not nice so they ignore that, yet listen to everything Jesus said and other things from the Old Testament.

    January 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • dzp

      do you understand the relationship of the old testament to the new testament? if not, then don't act like you do.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • DigDeeperPls

      Got a question for you. In 19th century U.S., which group was best hearing and responding to the overarching narrative of scripture, "old" and "new"? A) Those Africans held in slavery, represented by Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas etc. who acted on the conviction that God is a deliverer and no respector of persons. "Didn't my Lord deliver Daniel, then why not every man?" OR B) slave-holders who used guidance for Christian slaves (how to cope and also win friends and influence people) in a completely different context to justify themselves and their self-serving racist and historically regressive social arrangment, much worse than the greco-roman system?
      I'd go with A) and think history bears out the socially subversive character of the narrative.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • lol??

      Crow wants to eat you mikey.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • John A

      I enjoy how unbelievers look for excuses to justify their lifestyle.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • fintastic

      @DZP......... question for you...... is the bible the word of god? yes or no....

      January 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Nice response DDP. I like a person who digs a little deeper.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Have you read the US Consti'tution and the Bill of Rights?

      No, I'm not a Christian, but I understand how it works. Claiming they support slavery is just ignorance.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Stank-eye

      DZP, don't waste your time. You are talking to people that have their minds made up AND they think they are somehow superior intellectually. Pearls before swine my man, pearls before swine...

      January 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • .

      "You are talking to people that have their minds made up AND they think they are somehow superior intellectually."

      Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      What most christians have theinability to see is that when they say "god" they are referring to ancient kings who ruled. And when they say "Jesus", most of them have no clue that Jesus is an amalgamation of different religious messiahs.
      So giving glory to God or Jesus is a completely meaningless action.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  6. Rundvelt

    If the Christians had worked the time that they were at the conference, I bet they could have provided a lot more then towels and socks.

    January 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • John A

      Nobody has your back Rundvelt outside of Christ.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  7. Rundvelt

    Christians who oppose slavery. I also bet those Christians haven't read their bible.

    I mean, God's a big fan of slavery.

    January 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • John A

      Everyone is slave to their own (spiritual) slavery.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  8. sybaris

    1 pair of hands actually doing something physical about a problem will get more done than 60,000 pairs praying for it to happen.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      My best friends mother used to say "Pray like it is up to God. Work like it is up to you." Sound advice.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Nogimus Prime

      So, you're implying that your pair of hands are doing something about it? Or are you another couch potato doing nothing, criticizing people who are doing something? Yep, that's what I thought. Troll Bridge: Beware!

      January 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  9. JustSayin55

    This is great! Very good news to see so many come together to get involved. I think these are the kind of things that proove you know Jesus Christ.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Seyedibar

      You think? Sounds to me like their beliefs on slavery do not match the feelings of the New Testament and Jesus.

      "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ." (Ephesians 6:5)

      "When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." (Exodus 21:20-21)

      The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48)

      January 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  10. John-117

    99.99% will do nothing about slavery, aside from spamming Facebook newsfeeds with posts about slavery. Slavery will grow and millions of college age kids will think they made a difference with their facebook posts.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • incredulous

      They donated over 3 million dollars to Christian and secular agencies that train law enforcement, actively fight traffickers and that help victims, including the Internional Justice Mission and the city of Atlanta. sounds like more than Facebook spamming to me.

      Your cynicism is so very clever.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • dzp

      its cynicism like yours that's putting the world in danger, check yoself before you wreck yo'self

      January 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  11. adrian gmv

    I just KNEW that after reading this story, I would scroll down to see a bunch of atheists once again spewing their BS comments about Christians and the bible sanctioning slavery and blah, blah, blah. Where the freak is your effort to fight the slavery that's going on today?! When are you all going to band together to do some good in the world, rather than just proliferate this nonsensical and bigoted hate speech toward anyone who happens to believe in God. What's your beef? Who hurt you and why must you take your angst out on the rest of us. What these folks did last week at the GA dome was a good thing and countless lives will be changed for the better by it, whether you believe in their God or not. If you can't get off your high horses and recognize that, then your opinions are meaningless and your drivel of 'apparent' knowledge laughable!

    January 7, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • mark

      "proliferate this nonsensical and bigoted hate speech toward anyone who happens to believe in God"
      Because put a 'not' in front of believe and you have what christianity and the majority of other religions on the planet have themselves done over the course of human history. The only difference is, we have facts to back up our disgust and contempt for your 'beliefs'.
      I will say it's a nice change to see people like this actually practice what they preach instead of preaching and doing nothing, again, like the majority of their like minded brethren. More power to them if that's ALL they do, but I GUARANTEE they'll be spouting their BS as they hand the stuff out to the people that would just appreciate a clean pair of socks.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Tom

      Some of us actually do do things to end slavery. Ever conduct survellaince and reconnaisance to provide information to governments to prosecute traffickers? Ever pick up a rifle and hunt down people that abduct children for slavery? Ever participate in raids on third world brothels? Ever do anything besides pray and "speak out"? How about your financial investments, are you sure you aren't supporting corporations that engage in human trafficking?
      What is funny to me is that none of my brothers in arms are believers in any mythology. Perhaps you'd like to join us though. Send an e-mail to alb.pers@gmail.com with your qualifications, and we'll be in contact.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Crow

      "atheists once again spewing their BS comments about Christians and the bible sanctioning slavery".

      Actually, a person can be very religious and NOT a Xtian. Also the Bible DOES clearly state that a slave should serve his master. What is your point? Humanism while a noble goal is clearly not Xtian. Always remember what your god said makes a person happy: "Happy the man who shall seize and smash your little ones against the rock!" (Psalms 137:9, New American Bible) – does this sound like a "loving" father to you? Slavery is deplorable BUT a true Xtian would not believe it is against the will of god let alone raise money to stop it, OTOH, a non-Xtian humanist would..

      January 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Nogimus Prime

      @Mark-No, you don't have facts to back up your beliefs either. Most scientific facts, like the creation of the universe, evolution, ect. are not facts, they're theories that have been widely accepted by much of the scientific community, and however likely or unlikely they are to be true, they are still not "fact". You mistake facts for accepted theory. Most scientifically inclined folks like myself believe there's a black hole at the center of most galaxies. This is not fact though, it is highly likely, but still theory. If I were to ask you what your facts are, and to back them up, it's highly likely that you would quote wiki to me, so I won't bother. But again, there's a big difference between facts and theories(not matter how accepted they are in the scientific community). So next time you want to pick on someone's belief in a myth as you put it, remember, all your beliefs are based upon theories as well.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Tom Bomb

      Oh Tom, You've done none of those things, folks that do don't waste time in CNN newsfeeds posting about it.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • want2believe

      Funny, I just KNEW that after reading this story, I would scroll down to see a bunch of Christians once again spewing their BS comments about Atheists... I don't condone either sides BS, but you suggest atheist do no good in the world? A simple search of "Atheist Charities" would lessen your ignorance and provide you with numerous examples if you cared enough to educate yourself. In an article that does display the great deeds and intentions of your faith you managed to attack others, display your own ignorance, and further the stereotype that many non-believers have of Christians in the same way many atheists further their own stereotypes.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      > I just KNEW that after reading this story, I would scroll down to see a bunch of atheists once again spewing their BS comments about Christians and the bible sanctioning slavery and blah, blah, blah.

      Yes, because it is hypocritical to say you're against slavery and hold a belief in something that is true that upholds slavery.

      > Where the freak is your effort to fight the slavery that's going on today?!

      I donate to charities that help with this.

      > When are you all going to band together to do some good in the world, rather than just proliferate this nonsensical and bigoted hate speech toward anyone who happens to believe in God.

      Atheists aren't a group. And it's not bigoted. It's factual criticism.

      > What's your beef? Who hurt you and why must you take your angst out on the rest of us.

      What angst? I find your position as ridiculous and I'm notifying you of it. I hope that everyone is able to put down believing in nonsense.

      > What these folks did last week at the GA dome was a good thing and countless lives will be changed for the better by it, whether you believe in their God or not.

      I agree. I think that if they feel strongly, they should investigate and quesiton why their belief upholds slavery. How can you be for something and against it at the same time?

      > If you can't get off your high horses and recognize that, then your opinions are meaningless and your drivel of 'apparent' knowledge laughable!

      True arrogance is believing you have the answer to the universe without evidence and that this God loves you and has a plan for you. My arrogance pales in comparison.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      James, here is my retort to you garbage

      ***We need the Bible more than ever.***

      I agree, if more people actually took the time to read the whole thing instead of cheery picking what they like people would realize it is BS.

      ***Your shallow materialism and ego-seeking represent 100% of the problems in this world.***

      Claiming truth on unfounded premises have a far larger negative impact.

      ***Your small mind, unable to grasp the obvious metaphysical principles of Jesus (and Buddha for that matter) – are the reason sheep like you belong in Church, where you should just do what you are told.***

      If christianity is so obvious why are there over 33,000 different versions and christians going around saying other christians aren't really christians? How do you tell them apart? I know we can't. And I thought your god gave us free will, now you want to take it away and think it is better to do what you are told, you enslave yourself and think others should do the same.

      ***If you were a 'free thinker' you'd be able to see Spiritual truth in the Bible for what it is.***

      We do...it is neither "spiritual" nor is it "true".

      ***It's your choice to live in ignorance and darkness, in stark contradiction to the very nature of who you really are – which is divine expression – but please keep your bigotry to yourself.***

      Which of the thousands of claimed gods "expressed" us? Prove it is yours...you can't. Accepting unproven claims as truth is self-delusion.

      ***You need look no further than the obvious: an article about freeing millions from slavery – and young people TAKING ACTION for a good cause, while your contribution is a big fat, bigoted comment.***

      That is still more than your god ever did to stop slavery, he didn't even comment other than to put regulations in place which in turn gives slavery implied religious legitimacy

      ***Perhaps might want to consider moving to Stalinist Russia, where they burned all the Churches? Enjoy your Atheism and gulags.***

      Meaningless, straw man argument James, your Chriistian god is the religious equivalent of Stalin. He is an abusive monster.

      Signs you are in an abusive relationship
      - Monitors what you're doing all the time
      - Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
      - Threatens to hurt you, or your children if you don’t love him
      - Blames you for his or her violent outbursts or shortcomings
      -Being s.e.x.ually controlling
      - You have an impending sense of consequence that will come if you don't "obey."
      -Tells you that you are “nothing” without him and you don’t deserve his love

      January 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • lol??

      Crow, do you always eat crow?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Of course you will find us atheists debating your silly primitive beliefs. The majority of the world sees your religion as misplaced, so it should come to no surprise that most people will scoff at your fables.
      I bet you yourself would chide an adult for believing that Santa Claus is real. And you certainly wouldn't want that person around your children. This is no different.

      January 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  12. Origin of Life

    Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics
    Dec. 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway - which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells - has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week

    January 7, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • adrian gmv

      What the freak does this have to do with the article being discussed?

      January 7, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Corey

      Adrian the fact that you don't know says a lot. But FYI It's lab created life. You know, something you only thought your imaginary friend can do?

      January 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • darth vader

      I havit on good authority that aliens made it with monkeys

      January 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • darth vader

      I have it on good authority that aliens made it with monkeys

      January 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  13. Wrathbrow

    It is good people are trying to raise some money and awareness for modern forms of slavery.
    Too bad it can't be done in a way that everyone would feel welcome regardless of their belief, but that does not bring in the same crowds and reactions.
    Atheists (I'm one of them) need do more to get involved and involve other people in good causes if they are ever going to be seen as much more than just non-believers. Some do, but not at the levels that some faith based organizations do.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Bishop

      Why is it "too bad" that a group of like-minded individuals, college students who are spending their time at a worship conference focusing on how to bring positive change to the world instead of being out causing trouble, are raising this money but making all of the poor little atheists feel bad because they have nothing to rally around except their superiority complexes and hatred for Christians. Go ahead and organize your own anti-slavery rally, but I bet a bunch of Christians will show up and offer to help, at which point you might be forced to admit that even if you don't believe in God, there are Christians out there who aren't trying to suppress women's rights or take over the government, but who actually just want to do good things in the world.

      I'm disgusted by the posters on here bashing these folks for actually doing what they as Christians were called to do, which is put hands and feet to do good in the world. No, instead it's the same old "they're deluded", "they believe in fairy tales", and "well, Christians 150 years ago supported slavery so they must too" arguments instead of supporting these people who are doing something here and now to combat the problem, which is apparently more than you are willing to do.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Tom

      It is quite difficult to organize atheists, I've been a member of a local meet-up for several years, and we do do charitable works, but so long as the social stigma exists for atheists in America (hate speech from religionists) then it will remain difficult to organize on a larger scale.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Bishop

      @ Tom – I ask you this honestly. You mention the "hate speech from religionists", but do you not see that atheists engage in the very same type of "hate speech" against religionists, much of it on display on this very website? Every article about the Christian faith on this site devolves into the same morass of Flying Spaghetti Monster references and potshots at the beliefs of Christians from the atheists, even if the article is about folks just doing good works to help others.

      Also, I'm not sure what "social stigma" there is against atheists. My sister is an atheist, yet every month, she accompanies my mother and her church group to Produce for People, a local charity that supplies food to folks in one of our city's poorest neighborhoods. The folks from the church welcome the help she provides, and in return, my sister doesn't make snide or derisive comments about the Christians, because to each of them, the most important thing is seeing that people in need get served, not proving their superiority over the other.

      I know this will probably fall on deaf ears around here, but if atheists spent a little less time belittling Christians for their beliefs and a little more time engaging with them, they might see that many of us Christians just want to help the poor, take care of the widows and orphans, and generally try to make the world a better place for all people, religion or lack thereof notwithstanding.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      Bishop, I did not bash these organizers for what they are doing, I actually gave them credit for doing so, and stated how it would be nice if it was open to an even broader group of people of any faith or belief to join in the process and contribution. I did not say the people were bad, just the opposite. Others may come here to bash one side, or the other. If you can I would offer to not let the anger of either side influence people.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Bishop

      @ Wrathbrow. I guess I read your initial post the wrong way, as it seemed that you were down on this event because it was Christian and not open to folks of other faiths. While it is true that Passion is a Christian praise and worship conference and as such, it would probably be uncomfortable for those of other faiths or no faith to attend, their goal is noble and I'm sure they would welcome anyone who wanted to stand against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. My apologies for misunderstanding your point.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      @Bishop

      Pointing out to someone that their beliefs have no basis in logical or rational thought is not bashing.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Bishop

      @ Rundvelt – Of course it isn't. You're just trying to help them understand that you are so much more intelligent and enlightened than they are, because you told yourself that you are.

      Look, I've read your other posts, and I'm not going to get into some protracted argument with you, because the end result is going to be a wasted afternoon for at least one of us. You've made it perfectly clear that you think Christians who oppose slavery are hypocrites based on your cherry-picking of some OT passages, that these 60,000 college students were wasting their time even though they collected needed supplies and donated over $3MM to anti-slavery efforts, and that Christians are the root of evil in the world.

      You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe. Difference is, I'm willing to let you believe it without telling you that you're stupid, childish or insane, treating you as I would like to be treated. However, I somehow doubt I'm going to get that same courtesy from you.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      > @ Rundvelt – Of course it isn't. You're just trying to help them understand that you are so much more intelligent and enlightened than they are, because you told yourself that you are.

      It's never been about intelligence. You seem to have a chip on your shoulder. Smart people and stupid people believe in God, so why is this about intelligence. It's about critically examining your beliefs, which people don't do. Perhaps you shouldn't try and interpose your own thoughts onto others.

      > Look, I've read your other posts, and I'm not going to get into some protracted argument with you, because the end result is going to be a wasted afternoon for at least one of us.

      Because you know I'd win.

      > You've made it perfectly clear that you think Christians who oppose slavery are hypocrites based on your cherry-picking of some OT passages,

      It's only cherry picking if there are other statements about slavery that are contrary to the first. In fact, Jesus clearly states that he's ok with slavery by endorsing the book of law by Moses. So, you have slavery upheld in both books. That seems like a consistent trend to me.

      > that these 60,000 college students were wasting their time even though they collected needed supplies and donated over $3MM to anti-slavery efforts, and that Christians are the root of evil in the world.

      Again, you're transposing your own thoughts onto others. It's a habit you should drop. It's very unbecoming. My point was is if you can't hold two positions at once. Either you're against slavery and therefore pro human rights or you're for slavery as God outlined. You have to reject one.

      > You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe. Difference is, I'm willing to let you believe it without telling you that you're stupid, childish or insane, treating you as I would like to be treated.

      You believe what you believe on faith and you don't bother to question what you're told. I do. Sure we all have beliefs, but when logic and reason say "You shouldn't believe in that, it doesn't make sense", I sit back and say "You're right, I don't believe that anymore." Do you do that?

      > However, I somehow doubt I'm going to get that same courtesy from you.

      You act like if I don't pander to your beliefs and give you the respect you think you're due that I've somehow offended you. I'm sorry that you have this problem. Perhaps instead of villifying people you should spend time trying to refute what I'm saying. Some of the smartest people in the world surround themselves with information from perspectives from the other side. Perhaps you should try that and see what happens.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  14. Kevin

    Wow, I thought they would be speaking out against modern American temporary-agency-employment slavery where they make more per hour than the slaves they "hire". These are the same slave-labor agencies that the few manufacturers left here in America use just to make their monthly quotas. They pay $15-$20 an hour and the slave-labor agency turns around and pays their slaves $7-$8 dollars an hour. With no benefits or job security.
    Yeah that's fair.

    January 7, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  15. ethicalwriter

    It's disgusting to see all of the anger towards these Christians. Here are some people willing to stand up and generate assistance for so many who cannot themselves and instead of encouraging their actions you berate them and ridicule their choice of spiritual following. Maybe if ALL religious groups did the same thing when they organized we would have a better world. For the record, I also consider Atheism a form of religion.

    January 7, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • CMNSNS

      Sorry, but atheism is KNOWING BASED ON FACTS that all written religions are false. It is anti-religion.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • gijames1225

      Exactly. What this really should demonstrate is how good it would be if everyone, secular of religious, started trying to bring about positive change. It's pretty embarrassing that people cannot stand to see a differing worldview do something right.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • lolol

      @CMNSNS

      Then that's funny since you have no facts and some evidence that proves nothing and will never prove anything.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Tom

      So, for the record, justify your consideration.
      How is atheism a religion?

      January 7, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Really??

      unethical wronger
      Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a se xual position.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      > How is atheism a religion?

      It's not, but some people like to equate it as such so they can be dismissive about the claims made. Just like how they're dismissive about Muslims, Jews, Buddists, etc.

      Hindus and Atheists both deny their God and their holy books. Christians don't have venom towards Hindus, because they can generally sit back and say "Yeah, they believe just like me, they can't say I'm wrong, I can't say they're wrong."

      But with atheists, we provide rational reasons why their thought is flawed. They have to claim we're "bigoted" because it's the only thing they have left to be dismissive about our comments.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • John A

      Worship of self. The trinity of me, myself and I.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  16. Dave

    But when will they free themselves from the slavery they languish in?

    January 7, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • gijames1225

      You know, that horrid slavery of having a different set of metaphysical and epistemic presuppositions and beliefs from you.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • love

      christians are free from the slavery that this world has put on evry ones shoulders, money , nice cars , doing whatever it takes to get ahead of all others, and ....death...your are misinformed to think christians are in slavery...its the opposite, So much love is in my heart through all the tribulations that I have gone through, and I give all the thanks to the Lord for shining the bright light into my life , and freeing me from the common worrys of so many. Christians are generally a very happy group of people.. and by the way real christians , Jesus himself, do not hate athiests but try to bring them the joy we have in our hearts, thats all. Yes there is a judgement day , but for a christian on this earth to judge another person for their non beliefs would be going against what God teachs in the Bible.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  17. PraiseTheLard

    Brainwashing by organized religion is also enslavement... the promotion of fairy tales should be relegated to the study of fiction.

    January 7, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • james

      Thankfully, millions of Christians have founded and built a civilization in which your hate and bigotry are tolerated such that you can express your stupidity freely for all to see.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Dave

      James, they founded this nation ON slavery, and committed murder and genocide in an effort to force their own personal slavery on others who didn't want it.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • love

      Jesus and many of the stories in the bible are form actual events that are in other history books, as well as other religuons books. ( Jesus was mentioned in the Koran)...You dont make as prominent of a mark on the world as Jesus did without being a significant person in history ,,....and Jesus was a poor carpenters son....not a king ...all the kings mentioned in the bible are not fairy tales..they are real kings form history...the bible talks about the Pharoah many times and Jesus talks about abraham thousands of years before His time, These are not fairy tales ..do some research my friend..

      January 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      > Thankfully, millions of Christians have founded and built a civilization in which your hate and bigotry are tolerated such that you can express your stupidity freely for all to see.

      And it took a secular position to achieve that. Read the 10 commandments. God is against free speech.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Really??

      love
      Jesus being mentioned in the Quran is the same as him being mentioned in the bible. Stories written about a man, years, decades after he was alleged to exist, and in the case of the Quran centuries after.

      Find me one roman age historian (not story-teller) that mentions him once. I have studied roman historians, and haven't once found a reference to someone actually seeing or interacting with him, and if the stories were true, he would show up somewhere, but he doesn't. Perhaps I missed one.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • John A

      So should PraiseTheLard opinion.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  18. We left the cave long ago

    No need for it (bible) anymore. Do we want to go back to this time ?
    One of the most difficult things to comprehend about this story is the degree to which slavery was an accepted part of American life. It was sanctioned in the Bible, certainly all over the place in the Old Testament, so slaveholders used that as justification.

    January 7, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • End Religion

      The bible very clearly instructs that slavery is good and expected of its adherents. I find it wonderful that these college students are standing up for free thought and proudly showing their atheism by fighting back against the ultimate oppressive slave master, god and his semi-retarded son jeebus.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Bill

      Slavery was simply part of the culture of the day. to say that it was endorsed is a fallacy. There were many things in early human culture that God allowed to be done away with over time.
      For the record, it was Christians who fought the fight to end slavery in England and in America ... NOT atheists.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • james

      We need the Bible more than ever.

      Your shallow materialism and ego-seeking represent 100% of the problems in this world.

      Your small mind, unable to grasp the obvious metaphysical principles of Jesus (and Buddha for that matter) – are the reason sheep like you belong in Church, where you should just do what you are told.

      If you were a 'free thinker' you'd be able to see Spiritual truth in the Bible for what it is.

      It's your choice to live in ignorance and darkness, in stark contradiction to the very nature of who you really are – which is divine expression – but please keep your bigotry to yourself.

      You need look no further than the obvious: an article about freeing millions from slavery – and young people TAKING ACTION for a good cause, while your contribution is a big fat, bigoted comment.

      Perhaps might want to consider moving to Stalinist Russia, where they burned all the Churches? Enjoy your Atheism and gulags.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • DaTruth

      And what are you doing james? Stop being a hypocrite. I say god doesn't exsist. Because i know there aren't any people floating above the clouds. You say god does exsist. Now is when you provide evidence. Go ahead, i'll wait

      January 7, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      James, here is my retort to you garbage

      ***We need the Bible more than ever.***

      I agree, if more people actually took the time to read the whole thing instead of cheery picking what they like people would realize it is BS.

      ***Your shallow materialism and ego-seeking represent 100% of the problems in this world.***

      Claiming truth on unfounded premises have a far larger negative impact.

      ***Your small mind, unable to grasp the obvious metaphysical principles of Jesus (and Buddha for that matter) – are the reason sheep like you belong in Church, where you should just do what you are told.***

      If christianity is so obvious why are there over 33,000 different versions and christians going around saying other christians aren't really christians? How do you tell them apart? I know we can't. And I thought your god gave us free will, now you want to take it away and think it is better to do what you are told, you enslave yourself and think others should do the same.

      ***If you were a 'free thinker' you'd be able to see Spiritual truth in the Bible for what it is.***

      We do...it is neither "spiritual" nor is it "true".

      ***It's your choice to live in ignorance and darkness, in stark contradiction to the very nature of who you really are – which is divine expression – but please keep your bigotry to yourself.***

      Which of the thousands of claimed gods "expressed" us? Prove it is yours...you can't. Accepting unproven claims as truth is self-delusion.

      ***You need look no further than the obvious: an article about freeing millions from slavery – and young people TAKING ACTION for a good cause, while your contribution is a big fat, bigoted comment.***

      That is still more than your god ever did to stop slavery, he didn't even comment other than to put regulations in place which in turn gives slavery implied religious legitimacy

      ***Perhaps might want to consider moving to Stalinist Russia, where they burned all the Churches? Enjoy your Atheism and gulags.***

      Meaningless, straw man argument James, your Chriistian god is the religious equivalent of Stalin. He is an abusive monster.

      Signs you are in an abusive relationship
      - Monitors what you're doing all the time
      - Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
      - Threatens to hurt you, or your children if you don’t love him
      - Blames you for his or her violent outbursts or shortcomings
      -Being s.e.x.ually controlling
      - You have an impending sense of consequence that will come if you don't "obey."
      -Tells you that you are “nothing” without him and you don’t deserve his love.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      DocV says...

      The doubter says:
      "I could never follow Stalin. He sends people to the Gulag"
      The truth is that Stalin does not send anyone to the Gulag. It is those who have hardened their hearts against him who send themselves to the Gulag through their bourgeois attitudes and counter-revolutionary thinking. This was not Stalin's plan at all. He truly wants everyone to go to the Worker's Paradise. It grieves him that so many harden their hearts against him. But he will not force anyone into the Worker's Paradise against their wishes. He respects their free will.
      So if you don't want to go to the Gulag, just open your heart to the love of Stalin.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  19. kevobx

    What is the definition of mankind? That's one giant step for mankind on the moon and human beings are not included. Control time and space, and that kind of man can rule the world through the stars. The sun gives light in hours. And God is light, and he called the light Day. *Obadiah 7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have decieved thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him. *Revelation 18:23 for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

    January 7, 2013 at 7:34 am |
  20. kevobx

    (*Genesis 36:24 of Esau lineage asses & mules*) *Job 39:5 Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? *Luke 19:31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

    January 7, 2013 at 6:47 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.