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January 29th, 2013
04:57 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, January 29, 2013

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

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

Belief on TV:

Tweet of the Day:

Photo of the Day:


Photo credit: TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images

Cambodian Buddhist monks sit during a prayer ceremony in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh on January 26, 2013. Tens of thousands of Cambodian Buddhist monks and people gathered to pray for the late former King Norodom Sihanouk, who will be cremated on February 4, 2013.

Enlightening Reads:

Reuters: Russia to rework bill on offending religion
The Russian government asked parliament on Sunday to amend a bill that would set jail terms for "offending religious feeling" – a measure lawmakers proposed after last year's Pussy Riot protest at a Moscow cathedral. In a statement issued on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the government suggested existing legislation, if altered, might suffice to protect faith communities and seemed to question the need for the bill; critics have said it may harm Jews, Muslims and others outside the Russian Orthodox Church that President Vladimir Putin has been anxious not to alienate.

U.S. Catholic: Catholic samba group turns parade into procession after nightclub fire
A Catholic samba group in Rio de Janeiro changed its parade plans after the nightclub fire that killed more than 230 people, most of them students from the local university in Santa Maria. The Catholic samba block group known as Revelry for Christ was scheduled to parade through downtown Rio Jan. 27. Instead, the group turned its parade into a religious procession, with approximately 30,000 would-be party-goers singing Catholic hymns and making their way to Rio's metropolitan cathedral, where Archbishop Orani Tempesta celebrated Mass.

The Jewish Daily Forward: Landmark Synagogue Seeks Right to Demolish Itself
With its imposing blocklike twin towers and sober neo-Gothic design, the synagogue at 60 Norfolk Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side has stood like a sentry at its present site since 1850 — long enough to earn landmark status from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. But now, this synagogue’s own congregation is seeking its destruction. Congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, considered to be the oldest Russian Jewish congregation in the United States, is looking to reverse the landmark status of the venerable structure in which it once prayed in order to demolish it and make way for a multi-use development.

Huffington Post: 7 Things About Prophet Muhammad: A Clarification
In her recent piece, "7 Things That May Surprise You About Muhammad," author Lesley Hazleton offers unique insights into Prophet Muhammad's life. Giving credit where it is due, I've enjoyed Hazleton's TED talk on Prophet Muhammad, and many of her writings on Islam. In fairness, however, several of her "7 Things" are incorrect. This article mentions and clarifies these matters.

The Guardian: The church's sold-out CD proves silence is golden
The news that a CD containing half an hour of silence recorded in a Sussex church has sold out of its first pressing, and that the church is now taking orders from as far away as Ghana, seems a little baffling. "In this day and age, everybody seems to live busier, noisier lives – people sometimes like to sit down and just have a bit of peace and quiet for a little while," suggested Ronald Byng, the member of the congregation at St Peter's, East Blatchington who came up with the idea of recording in the church, although precisely how a CD of silence is supposed to blot out the relentless noise of everyday life remains unexplained.

BBC: Richard Dawkins and Rowan Williams booked for Cambridge debate
Richard Dawkins and Rowan Williams are to discuss the role of religion at a Cambridge Union debate. Prominent atheist Prof Dawkins and the former Archbishop of Canterbury will discuss whether "religion has no place in the 21st Century" on Thursday. They were involved in a public discussion at Oxford University last year. Ben Kentish, president of the union, said it should be a highlight of the debating society's 200-year history.

The Jerusalem Post: Student turns Holocaust survivors’ words into song
As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, 22- year-old Bar-Ilan University student Naama Winetraub has always found the Shoah to be an important and moving subject in her life. This is why she has decided to take on a special project in the hope of “bridging between the generations of the Holocaust and Israel’s future generations.” The initiative, a series of songs composed entirely of messages from the Holocaust generation, began after Winetraub came to a significant realization during her summer break last year: “My generation is the last generation that can still talk to people who lived through the Holocaust,” she told The Jerusalem Post.

Join the conversation…

My Take: An American Jew finds MLK – and a new understanding – on the West Bank…
Arri Eisen, PhD. – professor of pedagogy at Emory University’s Center for Ethics, Department of Biology and Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts – says the symbolism of President Barack Obama’s inauguration falling on Martin Luther King Day was not lost on many of the Palestinians he met while at the West Bank. “Who would have thought in Martin Luther King’s day that you would now have a black president? If that can happen in the U.S., then maybe one day there can be peace here,” he heard.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. Live4Him

    @myweightinwords : It means I have no need of proving my truth to you, nor of accepting yours for myself because I know in my heart what is true

    You're advancing the relative truth argument. Here's another way of stating it:

    It's an absolute truth that there are no absolute truths.

    January 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Chuckles

      how is 1+1 = 2 not an absolute truth?

      January 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Chuckles : how is 1+1 = 2 not an absolute truth?

      THAT'S my point! I, as well as other Christians, argue for an absolute truth. Others, like myweight, argue for a relative truth.

      Think about my statement:

      It's an absolute truth that there are no absolute truths.

      It's contradictory – just like the postulate for relative truths.

      January 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I think I'm misunderstanding here but are you equating a truth like 1+1=2, which is ground is solid evidence and logic to the idea that your "god" has the same truth based simply on belief and feeling?

      January 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      There are a fair number of things in life that are contradictory and yet true.

      I believe in absolute truth. I also believe in personal truth.

      January 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • ME II

      I think you are conflating things that are absolutely, or always, true, like 1 + 1 = 2, with "absolute truth" , or universal / objective morality. Whether there are things that are universally true, such as math, has no bearing on whether there are ethics or morals that are universally true.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  2. lionlylamb

    Anyone remember Dick Tracy and his flying craft? Look here and see it in action!

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

    January 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  3. OldAtheist

    By definition, Jesus is god – all powerful, all knowing and perfect. Jesus/god thus cannot make a mistake. So, why did Jesus come back to give new info to St. Paul?
    Perfect Jesus chose his disciples and gave them a message – the most important single thing to ever happen. Perfect Jesus could not have erred in picking people to pass on his message. Perfect Jesus could not have erred in his message.
    So, why did Jesus have to come back a few years after his death and tell St. Paul things that conflicted with significant parts of Jesus' message in the gospels, and, with the leaders of the Jesus movement who had seen Jesus and heard what he said?
    Backsliding leaders could not be the reason, as perfect Jesus would make the perfect choice of disciples to spread his message. And, since Paul was alive and not too distant, Jesus could have chosen Paul to hear his original message.
    Claims that Paul's core message does not contradict the fundamentalist Jewishness of much of what Jesus is portrayed as saying in the gospels cannot be the reason, at least for those who compare key passages.
    Either Jesus made a mistake in choosing disciples and/or stating his message, or, Jesus is not god, or, St. Paul is a liar. which ever it is, the bible is shown to be an unreliable source of information about Yahweh/Jesus.
    This is why Christians focus on faith. Faith means not thinking about what biblical passages acually say and accepting what preachers tell you those passages mean. Faith is the key to believing any flawed fantasy.

    January 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • December

      Jesus Christ was also a human being. He didn't come into the world being all powerful, all knowing and perfect. He had to learn how to do human being types of things.

      Jesus could not choose perfect people, because there were no perfect people at that time.

      He even choose a disciple that later betrayed him and led to his murder.

      The people he picked were surprising picks. They were not the smartest, or most educated, or richest. They were pretty common people.

      January 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @OldAtheist : So, why did Jesus come back to give new info to St. Paul?

      Jesus didn't give new info to Paul.

      @OldAtheist : So, why did Jesus have to come back a few years after his death and tell St. Paul things that conflicted with significant parts of Jesus' message in the gospels

      What conflict?

      January 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  4. lionlylamb

    Manmade UFO's?

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

    January 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Answer

      The want for "attention". What a child.

      January 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  5. truth be told

    What a great world it would be if all atheists disappeared and were replaced by common sense and decency.

    January 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • meifumado

      Common sense?
      This is something you do not know the meaning of.
      Common sense says religion is a man made thing.

      January 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  6. lionlylamb

    Jet Packs for one person! LoL

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xF2JPQa9RY&w=640&h=390]

    January 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • niknak

      Why are you posting all these stupid videos?
      No one is watching them.
      Can't you just go back to posting your babble?
      I am actually missing it.....

      January 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  7. lionlylamb

    The Light Cycle from Tron!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAFptrSuw7E&w=640&h=390]

    January 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  8. lionlylamb

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0m-cUxMcJw&w=640&h=390]

    January 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • mama k

      That is cool. When in Rome, make sure you have one of these.

      January 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  9. lionlylamb

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

    January 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  10. December

    @ Chuckles

    >All I'm doing is reading what you wrote...

    I have been taught to have compassion for people with different belief backgrounds. I believe God asks me to be loving to all people, not just those I share a belief with. I can love somebody, but also believe there understanding of God is different than mine.

    Look, I’m a Lutheran. We don’t get it all right. Nobody does. We do the best we can with what God gives us.
    > Now, if you were to tell me you are a deist in the purest sense...

    Jesus Christ is my lord. I don’t have all the answers. But I trust in Jesus Christ. I’m not worried about who is right. Because no one is right. We all fall short. I worry about what Jesus would have me do. Who can I help today.

    January 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Science

      @ December you can help education, creation lost in court of law. Based on facrts.

      Science

      @RB yep another day Peace
      Facts work in court of law
      Evolution won in the Dover court trial. ID/creation can not be taught in public schools in US.. Moving forward, take a blood test map your genes.

      Creationists' tactics also have a more profound impact on science education which goes beyond biology because they communicate the idea that there is something lacking or something wrong with evolutionary theory, an idea which is not actually true from a scientific standpoint. This causes students to develop very mistaken beliefs about the nature of science, the scientific method, and how scientific research is used. This cheats students out of the proper science education which they deserve.

      Attempts to use the law to restrict or dilute the teaching of evolution in public schools matters because science matters. As society relies more and more heavily on science and technology on ever more fundamental levels, it becomes increasingly more important that all citizens receive a proper grounding in science and the scientific method. Science education is becoming a key part of what it means to be a well-informed and well-educated citizen of today; therefore, any effort to temper science education in order to placate a vocal religious group cheats the students, cheats society, and cheats our future.
      Peace

      January 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • BU2B

      December, you sound like a polite individual. That is great, but it does appear like you are dodging the points others are making and just going by what you have been taught to believe for years.

      Nobody has any more reason to believe your religion is correct over any other religion, yes including the FSM. It has just as much proof as you do (zero), and its own holy book.

      To me, it's tellilng that your first commandment has to do with not worshipping other gods. It's a control power play and I can't understand why it is not obvious to everyone else.

      As far as evidence goes, the null hypothesis would be that your god does not exist. You would need to prove the alternative hypothesis, that your god does exist. We do not get to assume the alternative hypothesis is true up front; or else we could just claim anything we want.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • December

      I don't understand your point "science."

      Actually, I've seen you copy and paste things a lot.

      I embrace science. I go to a church that does the same thing. 2 weeks ago we had a class on eugenics that asked a lot of tough questions about what we do with the information we are learning from this scientific field.

      We often pray for scientific advances. We believe God is pro-science.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Science

      @ December

      To many adams and eves in gene pool for the bible story to work. and the talking snake.

      Peace

      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      January 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • December

      It is an origin story. It helps describe the character of God and our relationship to him.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Science

      @December

      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 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • meifumado

      Eugenics? Really? You study that in church? You do know that this Science was embraced by the Nazis?

      January 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • December

      > Eugenics?

      Yes. It is being practiced in our society. We looked at the good, and also the bad of it.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • December

      > You do know that this Science was embraced by the Nazis?

      Just to be clear, we do not embrace it as the Nazis did.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • meifumado

      @ December

      You walk a thin line, You said your Lutheran ( German ) and you study Eugenics, Sounds like a Nazi to me.

      January 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • December

      http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/31/us-history-of-eugenics-practice.aspx

      Just as American as it is Nazi.

      The science of eugenics is still be carried out. That is what the lesson was about.

      January 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • December

      "When most people think of eugenics, the practice of "improving" the hereditary qualities of a race by controlled, selective breeding, they think of Nazi Germany and their attempts to exterminate certain ethnic groups.

      But not only did the practice begin long before World War II, and end much later, it also was not confined to Nazi Germany.

      In fact, eugenics was widely practiced in many countries, including in the United States as recently as the 1980s."

      January 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  11. Robert Brown

    Indecision will eventually or potentially yield the same result as confirmed unbelief.

    It's another lonely evening
    And another lonely town
    But I ain't too young to worry
    And I ain't too old to cry
    When a woman gets me down
    Got another empty bottle
    And another empty bed
    Ain't too young to admit it
    And I'm not too old to lie
    I'm just another empty head
    That's why I'm lonely
    I'm so lonely
    But I know what I'm gonna do –
    I'm gonna ride on
    Ride on
    Ride on, standing on the edge of the road
    Ride on, thumb in the air
    Ride on, one of these days I'm gonna
    Ride on, change my evil ways
    Till then I'll just keep riding on
    Broke another promise
    And I broke another heart
    But I ain't too young to realize
    That I ain't too old to try
    Try to get back to the start
    And it's another red light nightmare
    Another red light street
    And I ain't too old to hurry
    Cause I ain't too old to die
    But I sure am hard to beat
    But I'm lonely
    Lord I'm lonely
    What am I gonna do –
    Ride on
    Ride on, got myself a one-way ticket
    Ride on
    Ride on, going the wrong way
    Ride on, gonna change my evil ways
    Ride on, one of these days
    One of these days
    Ride on
    Ride on
    I'm gonna ride on
    Ride on, looking for a truck
    Ride on
    Ride on, keep on riding
    Riding on and on and on and on
    Gonna have myself a good time
    Ohhh yeah
    Ride ride ride
    One of these days
    One of these days...
    (Ride On AC DC)

    Are you going to change your evil ways, one of these days, or just ride on? The road will end someday, don’t ride too far.

    January 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • amy

      But whatever you do, don't believe that government and judicial systems originated from the bible as Robert has previously said.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      It seems to me that the ones that are just riding on are the believers, who continue to cling to their centuries old childish myths despite not having a shred of evidence to support them. So, believer, when are you going to acknowledge reality and join the 21st century, or are you just going to ride on?

      January 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Of course, the wrong decision has the same result as well.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • niknak

      Yawn......

      January 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  12. Thomas Jefferson

    Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science.

    January 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  13. lionlylamb

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4w_dzSvVaM&w=640&h=390]

    This talk is about fusion energy and its potential to bring to the world a cheap source of electrical energy. Basically what the spokesperson is leading towards is harnessing "lightning" much the same way Nicholas Tesla was attempting with his coils but in modern day, the coils and plasma are more focused to such a fineness that their particle emissions are similar to the quasar emissions of outer space but on a scale much smaller.

    January 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Lion

      Beware the promise of new energies.

      Technology has ALWAYS had a tendency to bite us in the rear!

      If I had to choose between more efficient use of what we have, or newer technologies, I would prefer efficiencies.

      This tech in particular may have a potential downside of biblical proportions

      January 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      William Demuth,

      Mr Demuth,

      This system of fusion is scientifically a sound theory that has been around for quite a few years. It took a man with a vision to arrange the needed parts and elements to create and utilize the unstable principles to gain an energy output more than the energy input. Even though there are dangers to such a machine as is described, they have all been speculated with much clarity. The following video is a simple explanation showing the simplicity of contained lightning via plasma induced injections.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVif4hUAJ8c&w=640&h=390]

      January 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      http://www.focusfusion.org is a real website and is up to date in their ongoing refinements.

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

      January 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  14. meifumado

    "For those with faith, no evidence is necessary; for those without it, no evidence will suffice." - St. Thomas Aquinas

    What a bunch of crap , Since when does Religion have any evidence?

    January 29, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • December

      I have evidence that God is real and loves both of us.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • sam

      December, do you feel it in your heart of hearts? Is that your evidence?

      January 29, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • December

      Nope. It is better than that.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • midwest rail

      ** grabs popcorn **

      January 29, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • HotAirAce

      December, unless you an produce the evidence, you are just another delusional believer liar.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • December

      May God have mercy on me, another delusional believer liar.

      God is real. I have experienced this to be true. I know countless other people who feel this same way.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't have any evidence, December. Your feelings aren't proof of anything to anyone but you. You believe. You have faith. You do not have proof and you do not know.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • HotAirAce

      God is probably real. I have experienced this to be true. I know countless other people who feel this same way.

      So, December, you are admitting that you do not have any evidence, and therefore you lied above when you claimed you did.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Oops! Meant to say:

      God is probably not real. I have experienced this to be true. I know countless other people who feel this same way.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • December

      Can you give me evidence that he does not exist?

      January 29, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @December
      Specifics, please. Can you offer any tangible, recorded, reproducible evidence or is your surety based on faith?
      According to a 2005 Gallup poll, 41% of Americans believe that ESP is real – but that doesn't make it so.
      "Facts are sterile, not vulgar nor sublime. And they're not religion – they're for everyone."
      – Dr. Greg Graffin

      January 29, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      December, you made the absolute positive claim that your god exists and went further and claimed you have evidence. I have not claimed that your god does not exist, so have nothing to prove. The onus is on you to prove your claims or admit you are mentally ill, a liar or both. I'm going with both.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • December

      If I was able to muster up evidence for you to prove God.... that wouldn't be God.

      You are my evidence of God. God is within me. And within you. And I see God everywhere.

      I wish I could explain God to my skeptical friends. I try. God asks me to love other people, not prove him.

      Here is the best way to find God:

      Get on your knees. Admit your short comings and human defects. Ask God for help. Ask him to reveal himself to you.

      Just try it.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      I did as you asked, and god revealed himself to me! His name is Allah and he told me how awesome things are in heaven (hint: 72 vi.rgins!!!)

      Same god right?

      January 29, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Science

      @Doc
      Agree facts work best, are for everyone and what is taught in science class in US

      January 29, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Saraswati

      @December, The problem with this argument is that we've all known people who once claimed to feel and know god in this way who later came to believe is was all an illusion. Are we to believe your feeling is different or that these people once felt god but it was so fragile as to invite easy disbelief later?

      January 29, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Yup – just another delusional lying believer that can't back up the most basic of claims.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @December
      Your argument basically consists of "if you want to believe, you will believe".
      For an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being, God sure does like to be cryptic.

      If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

      Plus, He seems to give those who seek His guidance some strange messages.
      In 2008, He told Boyce Singleton Jr. to shoot and stab his pregnant girlfriend.
      Deanna Laney heard God direct her to bludgeon her three sons, aged 9, 6 and 15 months. Only the youngest survived.
      Blair Donnelly received instructions to stab to death his 16 year old daughter, Stephanie.
      Christopher Varian was slaughtered with a cheese knife after God spoke with one of his employees.
      God told Jennifer Cisowski to dash her infant's head on the rocks, so ""Just like Jesus raised Lazarus, I threw the baby on the stones by the pool."
      Khandi Busby got a direct message from God advising her that the only way to save her 6 and 8 year old boys was to toss them off a bridge in Dallas. Fortunately, they survived.
      Angel Rico says he received a divine command to strangle his 4 year old son, so he did just that and left him at the side of the highway.
      Lashaun Harris threw her 3 young kids into the San Francisco Bay after God let her know that He wanted a human sacrifice.

      Since nobody has a psychic decoder capable of intercepting Divine Messages, these people's experiences with the Almighty can't be considered any more or less real than anyone else's.
      It's not like it would be the first time God commanded someone to kill their child....

      January 29, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Science

      New Facts with DNA

      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      Plus the new old tools below.
      Peace

      January 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • FSM

      I see The Flying Spaghetti Monster in everybody too. And I have tangible proof, not the hot air December is blowing. Look at DNA. Can anyone here honestly tell me it does not resemble two strands of fettucine held together by alfredo sauce?
      That is the Noodly Appendage of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, forming the core of all life!

      Now that you know the Truth, try Pastafarianism for 30 days. if you are not satisfied with our Noodly Religion and its Noodly Spaghedeity, feel free to return to your old god. I'm sure he'll take you back.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • December

      > Saraswati
      > Are we to believe your feeling is different or that these people once felt god but it was so fragile as to invite easy disbelief later?

      No.

      > Doc Vestibule
      > Your argument basically consists of "if you want to believe, you will believe".

      That is not what I meant.

      > Since nobody has a psychic decoder capable of intercepting Divine Messages, these people's experiences with the Almighty can't be considered any more or less real than anyone else's.

      I belong to a community of people that believe in God. We gather to sing praises to God and help those in need. We also share an understanding of God, that he wants us to love others. Together we find a way to do that.

      I can't do that on my own. I need help from others.

      Some people claim God tells them to do things, and it turns out it wasn't God. It even talks about that in parts of the Bible.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • December

      The Flying Spaghetti Monster = :)

      Funny stuff.

      But not even close to what God is.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Why is your god more real than the FSM?

      January 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • FSM

      You are right. The FSM is FAR superior to your god because the FSM has bigger balls than your god. And not one person has been killed in His Noodly Name, unlike your god.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Can you please explain to me why youre feeling of god when you pray is more real than the muslims, or the jews, or the hindus, or zoroastrians, or shinto, etc....

      They believe just as fervently as you do, and for muslims, they have more people who believe. Their numbers are greater than yours, so by your own logic, they have the numbers which means Allah is the one true god, not the guy you're praying to.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      December, singing is good but you do not need a god to do good. Lots of atheists do good by donating to humanitarian causes via richarddawkins.net.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • December

      Chuckles, I did not say this:

      "Can you please explain to me why youre feeling of god when you pray is more real than the muslims, or the jews, or the hindus, or zoroastrians, or shinto, etc...."

      You did.

      God is the God of all, and not just the Christians who pray the right way. God loves everyone. And God has a plan, not even know by the best Christians, for the healing and care for his whole creatioin.

      Not just my little part of it.

      A little healthy agnosticism is needed when dealing with God.

      The Bible makes clear that God's ways are not our ways.

      The mind of God is vastly different than the mind of man.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      By following the bible, even parts of it, you are implicitly denying every other god. Furthermore you are saying god is the god of everyone, but what about Shinto or Hinduism that has multiple gods? What about Chinese customary religion that enables the chinese to literally commune with their dead relatives on a consistant basis? What about Feng Shui or Taoism that denies god in favor energies and how best to harness the different feminine and masculine energies of the planet

      Your response might work for monothesitic abrahamic religions becaues you can say that the muslim and jewish god is the same as the christian god and be sort of right both logically and dogmatically, but to say that the indians or praying to the same god you are even though some pray to Vishnu, others to Kali or Ganesh or Brahman is dismissing their religion for your monotheistic one AND convincing yourself you are actually accepting it at the same time.

      Sorry Decemeber but saying "it's all the same god" is either flying directly into the face of christianity or in the face of every other religion and is not accepting at all but is akin to saying to something "you are saying that I'm wrong but all I'm hearing is that you agree with me" or to dumb it down a little further, "la la la la la la, I'm right, la la la la la"

      January 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • December

      > Chuckles
      You sure do seem to like to decide what other people believe.

      My God is bigger than even the best of those that profess to know and love him.

      I'm not a theologian. I'm living my life in response to the grace and mercy I have received from God. I try to do what God asks me: Love God and love others.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      All I'm doing is reading what you wrote. By saying their is only one god, you are immediately discounting all other polytheistic and naturalistic religions, how can that not be true? How can you "accept" someone elses belief when you condescendingly also believe that their belief is wrong.

      Now, if you were to tell me you are a deist in the purest sense of the word, I'd believe you and it would be case closed. Deism is the belief in god, but it's more general belief, there's no dogmatic religion tacked on. Right as you start taking your cues from the bible and church and believe jesus is the lord and savior, you are christian and must automatically, according to your religion AND every other religion reject one another. 2+ religions can't both be right, they are mutually exclusive.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • meifumado

      @December

      As another poster said " The onus of proof is with the believer "

      However, Throughout history's thousands of years of many different gods nobody has EVER been able to prove there are any gods, This in its self is a form of evidence that there are none.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • December

      Chuckles
      @December
      >All I'm doing is reading what you wrote. By saying their is only one god, you are immediately discounting all other polytheistic and naturalistic religions, how can that not be true? How can you "accept" someone elses belief when you condescendingly also believe that their belief is wrong.

      I have been taught to have compassion for people with different belief backgrounds. I believe God asks me to be loving to all people, not just those I share a belief with. I can love somebody, but also believe there understanding of God is different than mine.

      Look, I’m a Lutheran. We don’t get it all right. Nobody does. We do the best we can with what God gives us.
      > Now, if you were to tell me you are a deist in the purest sense of the word, I'd believe you and it would be case closed. Deism is the belief in god, but it's more general belief, there's no dogmatic religion tacked on. Right as you start taking your cues from the bible and church and believe jesus is the lord and savior, you are christian and must automatically, according to your religion AND every other religion reject one another. 2+ religions can't both be right, they are mutually exclusive.

      Jesus Christ is my lord. I don’t have all the answers. But I trust in Jesus Christ. I’m not worried about who is right. Because no one is right. We all fall short. I worry about what Jesus would have me do. Who can I help today.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • December

      > mei

       As another poster said " The onus of proof is with the believer "

      I believe. I got my evidence by attempting to humble myself, and asking God for help. He answered.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Whether you meant to or not, that had some incredibly condescending points you just made.

      "I have been taught to have compassion for people with different belief backgrounds. I believe God asks me to be loving to all people, not just those I share a belief with. I can love somebody, but also believe there understanding of God is different than mine."

      - What you just said here, to paraphrase, is that you are told to have compassion, aka feel sorry for, the poor heathens who don't understand god the way you do. The statement you made immediately discounts every other religion out there because you are sure that your religion (in this case the genral idea of christianity) is right. You back track later on in the post pointing out that there are legitamit quibbles within christianity and so you concede that Lutheranism might not be the right one, but you don't for a moment think that Hinduism is actually correct, or Islam is actually the right path and that believing jesus was anything more than a prophet will send you to hell.
      "Jesus Christ is my lord. I don’t have all the answers. But I trust in Jesus Christ. I’m not worried about who is right. Because no one is right."
      – This statement is literally nonesense. You are saying no one is right but you trust jesus and jesus is your lord so you obviously think you are right.

      I've never understoof why some people are uncomfortable rejecting every other religion from their own as wrong, that's what religion is all about. The rejection doesn't have to be malicious but at least grow some test.es and admit you think you are confident you are right

      January 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Get Real

      December,

      Then go completely humble and admit, "I don't know", like every agnostic on here, and elsewhere.

      Your supernatural fantasies (and those of ancient Middle Eastern Hebrew men) have no verified evidence to support them.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • December

      > Then go completely humble and admit, "I don't know", like every agnostic on here, and elsewhere.

      I do believe in God. I can not deny this.

      Your supernatural fantasies (and those of ancient Middle Eastern Hebrew men) have no verified evidence to support them.

      This is something I've done for myself. Today, I can demonstrate God's love.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Get Real is asking the same thing I am. If you really believe you "don't know" you're an agnostic that leans towards christianity.

      If you think you do know and that god is real and you're proof is your feelings, then admit that you think you are right and everyone else wrong.

      This is the first step to understand that your religion, actually every religion, is inheritly arrogant and that the compassion that you strive for towards everyone whether christian or not is condescending at best. You can try and doublethink your way out of this one, believing that you are both humble and right at the same time, but just like your "proof" of gods existance, your feelings don't make valid, viable proof.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • December

      + chuckles

      Please stop putting your twisted thoughts into my words. That is not my definition of compassion. I say “I like blue”, and you say “What you are really saying is you don’t like red.”

      I do have a big heart for those who are suffering. And the voiceless people in my community. I try to help, regardless of their belief.

      I’m not as hung up on other people’s beliefs and you seem to be. “Live and let live,” is a good motto I try to follow.

      *No one is right. Except Jesus. He was different.

      The gospel of Jesus Christ has shown me a way to live a better life. I embrace it. It helps me. And it also helps people around me.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • December

      > This is the first step to understand that your religion....

      The fruit of our labor is our proof. I can only speak for myself, but I can talk about my small congregation. We gather to do good. We do fail. And there are people like you that point that out to us.

      And we try to do better.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Why do you keep thinking this is *me* inserting words into your mouth. Dogmatically and theologically these are attributes you adopt when you proclaim you are a christian. It's that simple. I'm not denying that you have very real compassion for heathens and that you want to help them, but consider this; your help, whether it be feeding, clothing or housing a person, is you doing it to follow jesus, you believe, and I quote, "No one is right. Except Jesus. He was different." – you don't *know* this other than you feel this must be right and so you tacitly reject allah, or gilgamesh, or zoroaster.

      Why is this so hard for you to accept? Your humility would be more believable if you also accepted that jesus and christianity might be wrong to, fully accept agnosticism as viable and say that everything could be wrong but you believe in jesus because you, with no viable proof, believe he is right just cause. Furthermore that by accepting jesus you are also dismissing every other religion. That's just a fact, so why is this difficult for you to understand?

      Seriously, these questions aren't meant to be rude I'm just confused why you think you can be so amgibuous and still say that Jesus was "right" and "different" but try and still give credence to other religions.

      Oh, also, "I’m not as hung up on other people’s beliefs and you seem to be" – This is a religious blog and we're discussing religion, me being "hung up on others beliefs" extends to here and here alone, nice try at dodging AND hypocritcally saying what I believe without me having said anything of the sort.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • December

      > Why do you keep thinking this is *me* inserting words into your mouth. Dogmatically and theologically these are attributes you adopt when you proclaim you are a christian. It's that simple.

      Nope. I don't let someone who does not believe in God, or who seems to have issues with Jesus Christ, dictate what I believe and practice. You are wrong. That is simple.

      > Why is this so hard for you to accept?

      I do have doubts at times. You seem to assume a lot and jump to conclusions without information. Overall I believe something happened when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. I believe Christ lives and I get strength from that.

      > Furthermore that by accepting jesus you are also dismissing every other religion. That's just a fact, so why is this difficult for you to understand?

      I do look at other religions. I don't know of any other religion where God comes down to man. Most religions I read about, people try to build themselves up to God with good works. I have a religion where God meets us where we are, and loves us.

      > Jesus was "right" and "different" but try and still give credence to other religions.

      I tolerate people with different beliefs than me. It doesn't mean I totally agree with them. I disagree with some people at my church with their concept of God. It doesn't change how Jesus asks me to treat them.

      I have friends that are atheists. I don't think of them as any worst or better than me. As long as they are respectful.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      "I don't let someone who does not believe in God, or who seems to have issues with Jesus Christ, dictate what I believe and practice. You are wrong. That is simple."
      Sigh.... again, This isn't me dictating that you believe or practice, it's the church. If you do not believe or practice this, you are an apostate, plain and simple. Sorry if that upsets you, and if it does, take it up with the church, or Paul, or Jesus, it's their rules, not mine.

      "I do have doubts at times. You seem to assume a lot and jump to conclusions without information. Overall I believe something happened when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. I believe Christ lives and I get strength from that."
      - this isn't the same as saying "you have doubts", this is you saying you've wavered in your belief at one point but now you don't. Why do you keep thinking I'm jumping to conclusions when I am literally quoting your words back at you. Are you typing things you don't mean?

      "I don't know of any other religion where God comes down to man" – Try egyptian religion, greek, zoroastrianism, hinduism, chinese customary religion and shinto. All these religions believed in a living and very real and tangible god or gods that personally interact with the inhabitants on earth. It's clear from this that you haven't done enough research comparing religions and instead you choose to believe you are right, the others are not right all because the relationship you seem to have with god has convinced you it's jesus, which somehow to you equates as legitamet proof.

      "I tolerate people with different beliefs than me. It doesn't mean I totally agree with them. I disagree with some people at my church with their concept of God. It doesn't change how Jesus asks me to treat them."
      –Now we're getting closer to the mark, you might have compassion for a person, but you only tolerate their belief to the extent that you acknowledge that they have a different belief than you. You don't concede however that they might have the right belief correct? Would you ever admit that that a Hindu is right and your idea of god and jesus is wrong? If that answer is no, your humility is only a cover the true arrogance that slinks in all religions. If that answer is yes than you are a) an apostate and b) more of an agnostic than a christian and should practice love and compassion and kindness unto others not because you are following a dead mans rules, but because you want to.

      Comprende?

      January 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • December

      > Sigh.... again, This isn't me dictating that you...

      I don't think you have been to my church. How can you claim to know what they require of me? Jesus Christ is my lord. Not the church. And not your understanding of what this means. I'm not upset, I just choose to not accept your point of view.

      It seems like, to me, you are trying to tell me what it means to be a Christian. I am a Christian. I probably know. OK?

      > this isn't the same as saying "you have doubts", this is you saying you've wavered in your belief at one point but now you don't. Why do you keep thinking I'm jumping to conclusions when I am literally quoting your words back at you. Are you typing things you don't mean?

      You are typing my words back, with your own personal spin and understanding on them. I don't accept them as mine.

      You have asked a lot of questions. I've tried to answer them as best as I can. I probably have misunderstood your point. I've probably done a poor job of explaining myself. But, you do attribute a lot of things to me that I don't agree with.

      "I don't know of any other religion where God comes down to man"

      http://www.graceguy.org/2/post/2010/12/whats-so-unique-about-christianity-cs-lewis-answers.html

      I'm talking about grace.

      "The notion of God's love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. The Buddhist eight-fold path, the Hindu doctrine of karma, the Jewish covenant, and the Muslim code of law - each of these offers a way to earn approval. Only Christianity dares to make God's love unconditional."

      January 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      "I don't think you have been to my church. How can you claim to know what they require of me? It seems like, to me, you are trying to tell me what it means to be a Christian. I am a Christian. I probably know. OK?"
      –A common side step, here's what christianity demands of its followers 1) accept jesus as your lord and savior and no one else 2) that's it.
      You've decided to make up your own definition of what it means to be a christian, but I'm just going by generally theology. Now, if we were discussing atheism, or something less religious like where you are from, you are right that I have no basis to tell someone how they should be based on that single fact alone. Just because someone is from say, California in no way means they must be a surfer, or an actor, or a hippie or other stereotypes. The same can not be afforded to religion however. Religion, specifically religions like christianity has very clear rules on what a christian is, what they must believe in order to be a christian and what they must reject, if you disagree with this then you are an apostate. Like I said previously, if you don't like it, take it up with the church.

      "you do attribute a lot of things to me that I don't agree with."
      –I guess you are finding it unfair to be burdened with labels that you don't agree with even when you identify as a christian. That's the first step, it's one of the biggest reason I started having doubts of associating myself with a particular religion because of the burdens that come with it.

      "I'm talking about grace. "The notion of God's love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. The Buddhist eight-fold path, the Hindu doctrine of karma, the Jewish covenant, and the Muslim code of law – each of these offers a way to earn approval. Only Christianity dares to make God's love unconditional.""
      - That's.... not true, it just isn't. If I could get into heaven regardless of my thoughts or feelings or actions on earth, that would truely be full of grace and god's love without strings. The strings are still there though, in order to receive gods grace, according to christianity, you must accept jesus as lord and savior, that's a string right there. If you don't you are damned for eternity.
      Also, I think you would agree that actions on earth clearly DO matter on earth the same way that jews and muslims agree that to receive gods love you must ... insert action here.

      If you still agree with the quote and site you provided for me, please tell me how I can still receive gods grace even if I was, say an atheist, or a murderer or both.

      January 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • December

      I've been to some churches that preach what you preach. They don't have the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't answer to them. And I don't have to answer to you. I answer to God.

      I belong to a community where we preach Jesus Christ. Not this "church" you talk about.

      >>>I guess you are finding it unfair to be burdened with labels that you don't agree with even when you identify as a christian. That's the first step, it's one of the biggest reason I started having doubts of associating myself with a particular religion because of the burdens that come with it.

      No, you're guess is wrong. That is not what I'm talking about. You are projecting your beliefs onto me. I just can't accept someone who doesn't know me try to tell me what I'm doing.

      >>> "The notion of God's love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached"

      That is most certainly true. It is beautiful. God loves you. Even if you murder, God will still love you.

      Even if whatever "church" you went to told you differently.

      But that is just my experience. And I'm happy I got a chance to share that with you.

      January 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      "I belong to a community where we preach Jesus Christ. Not this "church" you talk about. "
      – I'm talking about any and all churches bud, it's pretty simple. I'm not saying your specific church preaches hate against gay people, or bombs abortion clinics, even those actions are rationalized through churches and jesus christ. What I am saying though is that by belonging to a church, ANY church, or synagogue, or Mosque, or temple, etc... it is impli.ci.t preaching that all other religions are wrong. That's fact.

      "No, you're guess is wrong. That is not what I'm talking about. You are projecting your beliefs onto me. I just can't accept someone who doesn't know me try to tell me what I'm doing "

      -Don't get all huffy now. I'm telling you my experience and once again showing you that churches, christianity, a belief in jesus christ all carry around labels and burdens that you take on when you agree to call yourself a member of a specific group. These aren't beliefs, this isn't something I'm making up here, this is how the world works. If you don't like the negative connotations that come with being a christian, then try to change society, but I won't hold my breath until you do.

      "That is most certainly true. It is beautiful. God loves you. Even if you murder, God will still love you. Even if whatever "church" you went to told you differently. But that is just my experience. And I'm happy I got a chance to share that with you."

      –Bullsh.it. You sidestepped the question and keep repeating god "loves" me, but you are conveniently ignoring that little bit about hell and eternal damnation. Not only is that NOT the hallmark of a loving god, but it's clear there are strings. You can keep trying to share your line of BS to me, but it's clear you haven't completely thought through what you signed up for. To say that god loves me no matter what but I'll still be sent to hell for not being a christian is the worst sort of doublethink that makes no sense.

      Give it a try again buddy, How is it "loving" if I am condemned to hell because I don't accept jesus as my lord and savior? How is that no strings attached? I'll give you that in christianity it's easier than most religions to get gods grace after conversion, but it's idiotic in the extereme to believe that there is no strings attached.

      January 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • December

      >> I'm talking about any and all churches bud, it's pretty simple. I'm not saying your specific church preaches hate against gay people, or bombs abortion clinics, even those actions are rationalized through churches and jesus christ. What I am saying though is that by belonging to a church, ANY church, or synagogue, or Mosque, or temple, etc... it is impli.ci.t preaching that all other religions are wrong. That's fact.

      Nope, that is not a fact. We don't preach that they are wrong. You seem to be focusd on who is wrong and right. We focus on trying to carry out God's work. We believe God has a plan for salvation for his creation, that may include other religions.

      We preach helping all people regardless of their beliefs.

      You seem worried about how people believe. I don't.

      >> If you don't like the negative connotations that come with being a christian, then try to change society, but I won't hold my breath until you do.

      I'm not so concerned about being a "Christian" as you are. I follow Jesus Christ, so society labels me a Christian. I'm not worried how society views me. But when somebody tries to stereotype me as something I am not, I try to correct them.

      You keep trying to twist my words into be intolerant of other people's beliefs. But that is not true.

      It is ultimately up to God. Maybe, I don't think and act how you think Christians should act and think.

      "Give it a try again buddy, How is it "loving" if I am condemned to hell because I don't accept jesus as my lord and savior? How is that no strings attached? I'll give you that in christianity it's easier than most religions to get gods grace after conversion, but it's idiotic in the extereme to believe that there is no strings attached."

      I can't answer this, because I don't believe this way.

      Show me where Jesus Christ said this to be absolutely true.

      I have never heard anyone in my church say a person will be condemned to hell if they don't accept jesus as their lord and savior.

      I have heard that God loves EVERYONE.

      January 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • December

      I'm tired of you trying to tell me what I think and believe. This is just you nitpicking everything I say and trying to accuse me of being something I am not.

      Look at this:

      I said:

      "I have been taught to have compassion for people with different belief backgrounds. I believe God asks me to be loving to all people, not just those I share a belief with. I can love somebody, but also believe there understanding of God is different than mine."

      "Look, I’m a Lutheran. We don’t get it all right. Nobody does. We do the best we can with what God gives us. "

      and you said:

      " What you just said here, to paraphrase, is that you are told to have compassion, aka feel sorry for, the poor heathens who don't understand god the way you do. The statement you made immediately discounts every other religion out there because you are sure that your religion (in this case the genral idea of christianity) is right. You back track later on in the post pointing out that there are legitamit quibbles within christianity and so you concede that Lutheranism might not be the right one, but you don't for a moment think that Hinduism is actually correct, or Islam is actually the right path and that believing jesus was anything more than a prophet will send you to hell."

      Things I didn't say or believe that you think I said or believe:

      "aka feel sorry for, the poor heathens who don't understand god the way you do."
      FLAT OUT FALSE. I NEVER SAID THAT. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT WAY.

      The statement you made immediately discounts every other religion out there because you are sure that your religion (in this case the genral idea of christianity) is right.
      FLAT OUT FALSE. I NEVER SAID THAT. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT WAY.

      You back track later on in the post pointing out that there are legitamit quibbles within christianity and so you concede that Lutheranism might not be the right one, but **you don't for a moment think that Hinduism is actually correct, or Islam is actually the right path and that believing jesus was anything more than a prophet will send you to hell."
      **FLAT OUT FALSE. I NEVER SAID THAT. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT WAY.

      Peace be with you. I'm out of here.

      January 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Do you really think just because your church hasn't explicitly said "we're right, they're wrong" that the pastor and your congregation doesn't believe it? Go today, tomorrow or any time you're at church and ask your pastor point blank, does he believe that Hinduism, Judaism (insert any other religion) have has much or more merit than christianity. Does he concede that christianity could be wrong and another religion is right? I can all but guarantee that the answer will be along the lines of, "eh, sure but probably not". You and him wouldn't be good christians if you truely believed for one minute that jesus was not actually the lord and savior.

      "I follow Jesus Christ, so society labels me a Christian. I'm not worried how society views me. But when somebody tries to stereotype me as something I am not, I try to correct them."
      –No, that's the definition of being a christian, is following jesus christ. Do you seriously not label yourself as christian but still somehow label yourself as Lutheran? That honestly makes no sense. You also aren't exactly trying to correct me here as much as simultaneously rejecting and embracing christianity at the same time. You can't it both ways bud, it might not seem fair but you can't say you are a christian or a follower of christ and also believe with equal ferevency that the Hindus are on to something.

      "You keep trying to twist my words into be intolerant of other people's beliefs. But that is not true."
      - How am I twisting your words @December? religion, any religion at all, has in its deepest foundations intolerance for other religions, not for people mind you please understand the difference. To believe in one religion means you must, MUST reject all others, that's why the 10 commandments specifically spells out you can't have any false idols and why other religions also spell out their own reasons why they are right and everyone else is wrong. If you believe in Jesus and you are sure you are right, then you have, even if it's only a really small part, a bit of arrogance and intolerance that comes with the religion. Sorry if this upsets you and again, if you have an issue with this take it up with Jesus, not me.

      "I can't answer this, because I don't believe this way. Show me where Jesus Christ said this to be absolutely true. I have never heard anyone in my church say a person will be condemned to hell if they don't accept jesus as their lord and savior. I have heard that God loves EVERYONE"
      - Did jesus not say something along the lines of "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. " John 14:6, now granted this quote says nothing of eternal hellfire, that christian concept came after jesus as far as I know so who knows who's lying in the bible or not. The main point I am showing you here is simply, you don't get to go to heaven and get eternal life or bask in gods grace unless you believe in Jesus. That's a string, how can you even debate this?

      January 29, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Go, run away kiddo, lets look at what you "didn't say" anyway though, just for sh.its.

      "The statement you made immediately discounts every other religion out there because you are sure that your religion (in this case the genral idea of christianity) is right.
      FLAT OUT FALSE. I NEVER SAID THAT. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT WAY."
      –If you don't believe this then you aren't a good christian. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Christianity explicity states that you can't believe other religions the same as christianity, if you don't believe that way then tell me why you simultaneously believe you can get into heaven by believing in Allah, Jesus and Moses at the same time when all three say you can't

      "You back track later on in the post pointing out that there are legitamit quibbles within christianity and so you concede that Lutheranism might not be the right one, but **you don't for a moment think that Hinduism is actually correct, or Islam is actually the right path and that believing jesus was anything more than a prophet will send you to hell."
      **FLAT OUT FALSE. I NEVER SAID THAT. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT WAY."

      Do you honestly not believe that jesus is the lord and savior and just think he was a prophet? Correct me if I'm wrong here, this should be good.

      January 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • December

      > "Do you really think just because your church hasn't explicitly said "we're right, they're wrong"..."

      I know that they believe in Jesus Christ. It is not so much about proving other people wrong. It is about doing what Jesus Christ asks us to do. And that is to love people who believe in Hinduism and Judiasm.

      > "No, that's the definition of being a christian, is follo...."

      I have a different definition of what it means to be a Christian than you. I'm fine with that.

      > "How am I twisting your words @December? religion, "

      I just don't agree with your understanding of Christianity, salvation and the after life.

      > Did jesus not say something along the lines of "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. " John 14:6, now granted this quote says nothing of eternal hellfire, that christian concept came after jesus as far as I know so who knows who's lying in the bible or not. The main point I am showing you here is simply, you don't get to go to heaven and get eternal life or bask in gods grace unless you believe in Jesus. That's a string, how can you even debate this?

      That doesn't support your previous statement. Where does it say

      "I'll still be sent to hell for not being a christian"

      or

      "I am condemned to hell because I don't accept jesus as my lord and savior"

      ––

      > Do you honestly not believe that jesus is the lord and savior and just think he was a prophet? Correct me if I'm wrong here, this should be good.

      Jesus Christ is the lord of my life. I strive to do what he asks.

      I know God has a plan of salvation for his creation. I believe my salvation is in Jesus hands.

      God may have other plans of salvation for other people. I don't know.

      I focus on what I can do. What I do is what Jesus asks me to do: Love God and love others.

      I do the best I can, with what I have, where I am at.

      It works for me.

      January 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • December

      >If you don't believe this then you aren't a good christian. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

      That is up to God's judgement. Not yours.

      > Christianity explicity states that you can't believe other religions the same as christianity.

      Where does it explicitly state this.
      You can't believe other religions the same as christianity?

      January 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      "I have a different definition of what it means to be a Christian than you. I'm fine with that."
      That's not my definition, that's what the defintion is outlined at the council of Nicea....

      "That doesn't support your previous statement. Where does it say"
      Depends on your definition of hell. Jewish hell is simply being excluded from heaven, christian hell is eternal hellfire, satan et al. You obviously didn't focus on the crux though, it being that there is a string to get into heaven, to receive gods grace and so the statement you posted by Lewis Carol is false.

      "Jesus Christ is the lord of my life. I strive to do what he asks. I know God has a plan of salvation for his creation. I believe my salvation is in Jesus hands.God may have other plans of salvation for other people. I don't know. I focus on what I can do. What I do is what Jesus asks me to do: Love God and love others. I do the best I can, with what I have, where I am am. It works for me."
      –Are you purposefully ignoring my question or statements? Here is what I outlined in that previous post. Either you believe you are right (that jesus is the lord and savior) which would make, say Islam wrong (jesus was a regular prophet and not a god). You can't say both, that makes no sense. If you agree with the statement that jesus is your lord and that islam is wrong, you are fulfilling the arrogance that is deep within the foundation of any religion but at least you are being truthful and sticking to your beliefs. If you disagree and think that Islam could be right and that jesus was just an interinterant preacher with some solid ideas, then either a) you're a muslim (or insert any other religion you choose to be) or b) your an atheist (welcome to the club!)

      "Where does it explicitly state this.
      You can't believe other religions the same as christianity?"
      First, let me quote this again, "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. " John 14:6
      Jesus didn't say this and then say, "or whatever, if you want to believe in Allah, go ahead, you'll still see dad".

      Honest question, are you having troubles coming to terms with the fact that religion is intolerant? Are you having problems separating yourself from that? Whenever I bad mouth christianity or say what christianity stands for I'm simply showing you the pros and cons you take when you choose to believe in jesus, or any other christian, It doesn't mean you are that or thats specifically what you believe (as you've tried to make clear in every post) but it's the stigma thats attached the community, for better or worse. You being tolerant of a jew or muslim or Hindu only goes so far but if you really follow jesus's words then, as the quote shows above, these people can't get into heaven unless they become christ followers.

      Show me where jesus says that anyone can make it into heaven for whatever reason because god loves them unconditionally and I'll retract my statements, honestly I will. However, if you stick to your "god has a plan to get everyone there" that's just you either making it up to defend your god or you believing that everyone will "bow the knee" as it were and become christian because thats the "right" one.

      January 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • December

      >> Are you purposefully ignoring my question or statements?
      No. I believe in Jesus Christ. I also believe that God may have other plans of salvation for his creation.

      I reject your understanding of God, salvation and Jesus Christ. It is too small and narrow-minded. You assume way too much. God is much bigger than the little box you are trying to put him in.

      >>, "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. " John 14:6
      Jesus didn't say this and then say, "or whatever, if you want to believe in Allah, go ahead, you'll still see dad".

      He did say other things that suggest God has a bigger plan that suggests salvation for people other than Christian.

      >>Honest question, are you having troubles coming to terms with the fact that religion is intolerant?

      Nope. I undertand that some religious people are intolerant. Jesus Christ was not intolerant.

      >>Are you having problems separating yourself from that?

      No, but you see to have problems with it.

      >>Whenever I bad mouth christianity or say what christianity stands for I'm simply showing you the pros and cons you take when you choose to believe in jesus, or any other christian, It doesn't mean you are that or thats specifically what you believe (as you've tried to make clear in every post) but it's the stigma thats attached the community, for better or worse.

      I don't agree when you put your negative and small-minded understanding of Christianity on me. I don't agree with you.

      >>You being tolerant of a jew or muslim or Hindu only goes so far but if you really follow jesus's words then, as the quote shows above, these people can't get into heaven unless they become christ followers.

      Nope, it does not say that. You said that.

      >> "Show me where jesus says that anyone can make it into heaven for whatever reason because god loves them unconditionally and I'll retract my statements, honestly I will."

      Why? Did I make that claim? Where?

      I haven't even been talking about getting into heaven, you keep bringing that up. That is coming from you, not me.

      January 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Really?... I mean, honestly you are going to say I'm putting god into a box because I'm regurgitating quotes from the bible? How? Seriously, how is that possible that you honestly believe I'm the one saying what god can and can't do when it's supposedly god, or jesus himself who are saying these things and I'm just showing you where they say it?

      "He did say other things that suggest God has a bigger plan that suggests salvation for people other than Christian."
      –Show me, it's that simple, show me in the bible where jesus says other things.

      "Jesus Christ was not intolerant."
      –HA! Well if he wasn't intolerant he sure as heck didn't like the pharisees, or money lenders, or the other people he raged against in the bible.

      "I don't agree when you put your negative and small-minded understanding of Christianity on me. I don't agree with you."
      - I'm sorry you don't agree with me, doesn't make it any less true, but thats a shame you can't look in a mirror.

      "Nope, it does not say that. You said that."
      - Nope, Jesus actually said that. I've quoted it twice now. Is it really so hard for you to read jesus's words and realize he's not the jesus that you've created in your head?

      :"Why? Did I make that claim? Where?"
      Uh..... let's see here "GOD LOVES EVERYONE", ""He did say other things that suggest God has a bigger plan that suggests salvation for people other than Christian." et al
      You're screwing with me at this point, right? I mean, you have to be.

      "I haven't even been talking about getting into heaven, you keep bringing that up. That is coming from you, not me."
      –That's kind of a cornerstone of faith, the afterlife. Are you honestly going to excise that entire area because you don't agree with me or christian dogma that discusses how god loves some people and hates others?

      Seriously December, at this point you have to be screwing with me, no one has their head this far in the sand and is still able to type on a computer.

      January 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • December

      No, I am trying my best to answer your questions. And there are a lot.

      I start at Jesus' commandments: Love God. And love others.

      What you are presenting as your idea of "Christian doctrince" doesn't seem to match what Jesus asks me to do.

      I believe in God. My sin seperates me from God. I believe that Jesus is my 'bridge over sin' to God.

      I am familiar with the different types of Christian theology. For me, I have felt God's love. And I was not a good Christian when I first felt it. But if God could love me, a person that hated God, I know he has love for people of different faith.

      I now live my life in response to that love.

      If you want to present a formula that proves that what I believe means I believe Muslims and Hindus will burn in hell for their beliefs, fine. It is not what I think.

      January 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      There are a lot of "I" statements in that post, but I don't a) see anything from the bible showing me that you can back those statements up and b) you rejecting the idea that non christians are going to hell because of their disbelief in jesus as distateful and not something the jesus you "know" would do even though the jesus you know is only a feeling. Please correct me if you want to claim you've actually met a living and breathing jesus, if not the only thing you can go on is the new testment, or rather only quotes directly from jesus if you want to toss out "christian doctrine" and your gut feelings which is in no way holy canon, and maaaaybe the book of mormon if you believe that sort of thing.

      All I'm doing December is showing you from the perspective of an outsider who's done a lot of research on christianity, what your faith actually means for people who don't profess to be christian of any sort. You might be so wrapped up in your bubble you don't see the cons and only truely see the pros, but like I said before, just because you can't see the cons mean they don't exist, and ignoring them won't make them go away.

      January 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • December

      You have a lot of "you" statements in your posts.

      I am more qualified to talk about "me" than "you".

      a) I don't want to start throwing Bible verses around. That usually isn't very helpful. I would suggest reading the Gospel of John.

      b) I didn't say I reject that idea. I'm agnostic about the afterlife. I'm more concerned about today.

      >> the only thing you can go on is the new testment

      Nope, I've met other people that have had similar experiences to the one I described to you.

      >> All I'm doing December is showing you from the perspective of an outsider...

      You seem to want to point out all the cons, and none of the pros.

      I learn more from people who try and do what Jesus Christ asks. Not so much from people who do a lot of research on Christianity.

      It didn't start to make sense to me until it went from my brain to my heart. I hope you can understand what that means. Instead of cerebral, it is much more spiritual.

      Like I said at the beginning:

      "If I was able to muster up evidence for you to prove God.... that wouldn't be God."

      and

      "Here is the best way to find God:

      Get on your knees. Admit your short comings and human defects. Ask God for help. Ask him to reveal himself to you."

      I am logging out and going to the gym. Good night.

      January 29, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      What a load. So far what you've told me is that

      "You are a Lutheran"
      "you are not a christian, but a follower of christ" (somehow these two statements, in your brain, don't step on each other)

      "You are agnostic about the afterlife"
      "You are sure that god has a plan for everyone in the afterlife" (maybe I'm missing something here but you are saying with these two statements that you aren't sure there is an afterlife, but if there is, then everyone gets to go, regardless, neither of the two quoted statements mesh really well with christianity)

      You want me to ignore christianity in look at the actions? Great, lets look at how I've been treated both as a jew and an atheist, not on this forum. I've been called a christ-killer, unfeeling, unable to appreciate beauty, dead inside, going to hell, etc... And that's just to my face, by christians, we could also go into what muslims and fellow jews have called me as well if you'd like.

      Apparently, all I had to do was force myself to believe and then I'd believe, because according to you supplicating myself to an invisible spirit is actually useful somehow. It won't change my life in any discernable way but apparently I'll feel better, except when I don't.

      December, I might be concentrating on the cons, but thats because I have yet to really experience any pros from religion that would not have otherwise happened if religion didn't exist. Charity, goodwill towards all etc... still exist, regardless of religion, it transcends petty beliefs which is why when you even things out, when you start tallying what religion promotes that secularism doesn't, it is overwhelmingly negative.

      Have a good night, I hope you can go to a mental gym and actually skeptically look at the religion you've chosen to follow.

      January 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      December, to some extent you are right about nit picking your beliefs. If you cannot show that your god actually exists and that The Babble is the true word of your god, you are merely debating the rules and fine points of the world's oldest fantasy role playing game, with heavy emphasis on fantasy and game. The more you try to justify your beliefs, the more mentally ill you appear to be. Or you know what you are saying is pure crap so are a liar. Again, I'm going with both – delusional lying believer.

      January 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • December

      > Have a good night, I hope you can go to a mental gym and actually skeptically look at the religion you've chosen to follow.

      Because I must be stupid to be a Christian?

      Is that one of the insults a Christian said to you when you were Jewish?

      Some Christians have a reputation of butting in and not respecting other people's beliefs. They are accused of pushing their views onto other people.

      Are you sure you are not a Christian? Because you seem to be doing that to me.

      I didn't ask for your help. I tried to answer your 49 questions you asked me.

      "You are a Lutheran"
      "you are not a christian, but a follower of christ" (somehow these two statements, in your brain, don't step on each other)

      I did not say "I am not a Christian, but a follower of Christ."

      You tried to pinpoint all Christian views on me. I tried to clarify I'm Lutheran. And personally I do think of myself as a "follower of Christ" instead of a "Christian".

      ----

      I have different viewpoints than HotAirAce.

      Look how he disrespects me:
      "The Babble" "oldest fantasy role playing game" "mentally ill" "delusional lying"

      I have to forgive him. Even for trying to use "mentally ill" as a slur against me.

      I try to help "mentally ill" people in my day to day life. Not disrespect them.

      Say whatever you want, but I don't hear people in my small church's community declaring those things about others. And definitely not putting down the mentally ill.

      Thank you God for the community of people you have put in my life. This whole 1/2 days argument makes me appreciate them so much more.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @December, I'm not a Chritian but I do get and agree with the claim that not all Christians think they are right or have the one truth in the way that a lot of atheists seem to think they do. I think a lot of atheists on a board like this have had limited and negative experiences with the worst kinds of Christians and really don't understand the diversity that can exists in Christianity once literalism and fundamentalism are eliminated from the rule book. I have known many Christians who fully be
      ieve they are experiencing just one perspective on "god" which is not necessarily more true than the Hindu interpretation. Many people of many different faiths have a similar approach.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • December

      Saraswati

      Thank you for this post. First off, it is nice to have a reasonable response, not one that ends with a person trying to insult me.

      I agree with you. And I try not to stereotype people on their beliefs. Luckily I feel this way, because I do learn a lot from atheists. And also people from different belief backgrounds. I would not be open to this if I believed only my point of view is valid.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  15. meifumado

    Cant wait for that Cambridge debate, With those two it's gonna be fun!

    January 29, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • mama k

      That will be interesting, indeed. I remember seeing R Williams jumping up and down like a groupie school girl in the front row of the pop performances that were part of the queen's diamond jubilee (Stevie Wonder, Paul M., Crowded House, etc.)

      January 29, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • mama k

      Sorry – I meant Madness, not Crowded House. They sung "Our House" atop Buckingham Palace:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2154662/Queens-Diamond-Jubilee-2012-concert-Madness-transform-Buckingham-Palace-terraced-housing-amazing-light-show.html

      January 29, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  16. myweightinwords

    Yesterday in conversation with Topher, we talked about the ten commandments (essentially he asked if I felt I had never broken any, and I responded that I did not believe they were god given, or at the very least, not my god, so they do not apply).

    It had me thinking about the ten commandments as given in the bible and how despite what many will tell you, most of them are not absolute.

    The first 4 have nothing to do with most of us, they were clearly for the Hebrews of that time and place. The rest, however, are at best good guidelines for a Utopian world, but when applied to real life there are clearly caveats and addendums required.

    January 29, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • December

      It was helpful for me to replace the word "Thou shall not" with "Love does not".

      Love does not steal. Love does not murder. Love does not commit adultery.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:06 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Does love not steal to feed its children? Does love not kill to protect its family?

        January 29, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • December

      It does. Yes. I believe love is greater than the law.

      If people were more loving, there would be no need to steal to feed a hungry family. The help they needed would be there.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Myweightinwords,

      If we feed, clothe, and house those in need, no need for stealing.

      There is a difference between murder and killing.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Is there?

        Would the mother of the dead person think there was?

        January 29, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • December

      I sometimes think how on this Earth there is enough food to feed everyone. I believe God has provided this for us. But because of human greed and selfishness a lot of people go starving.

      We will never be perfect. God basically said this in the Bible, but also said that it is ok. But we can be doing a lot better.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Thou shall not kill ( except when beleivers think that they should go to war, then killing in gods name would be OK, but then again, the other side is also killing in gods name as well so, kind of nullifies the god dynamic,)

      Everytime I move, breathe, eat, do anything I kill. Timy microorganisms that weren't smart enough to get out of my way, get killed everytime I do anything, is that OK, 'cause I'm not supposed to kill.

      I have to eat, and even if I eat nothing but plants, I still kill them, and all the micro-organisms that inhabit everything, Is that OK?

      Rediculous ambiguous rule.
      I know I shouldn't kill people, but I will in defence. Otherwise I'll just figure the bible is a book of myth as logic indicates and forget it.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • December

      I don't think the 10 Commandments are asking us to not kill plant life.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Myweight

      one of the most important things I learned in Shul (and one of the primary reasons I decided to drop judaism later on) is that all the commandments imply that at the end of each commandment it should say "for jews", so the commandment "thou shalt not kill" should really be "thou shalt not kill another jew".

      It was perfectly acceptable to kill if the person was a gentile. Historically this makes sense, the ME has always had pretty intense tribalism and so the laws were really supposed to only be for our tribe. It's kind of the reason I always grin when I see a christian try and push the ten commandments because their original intent was meant just for me and other jewish people and not the christian.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • myweightinwords

        I actually had this very long post prepared, but lost it when my computer glitched that kind of talked more to this point, Chuckles.

        I hear a lot of talk from Christians about how parts of the law is for everyone and part is just for the Jews of that time and place, but that never really sits well with me.

        It is clearly (to me anyway) law written by a specific people at a specific time in an effort to carve out their own society that differed from the tribal influences around them.

        January 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      December
      thou shalt not kill
      I don't see where there is any leaway.
      It doesn't say it's ok to kill plants. it says you shall not kill.
      Ridiculous ambiguos rule. If it really was gods rule, it would have been more specific, but its mans rule and they kept it ambiguous.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • HotAirAce

      The 10 commandments are asking "plants" (non-thinking humans) to follow an imaginary god.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • December

      > I always grin when I see a christian try and push the ten commandments because their original intent was meant just for me and other jewish people and not the christian.

      True. Jesus commandments are not the 10 commandments.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      I know, jesus decided to legislate different rules for the jews. Then, once he was crucified, Saul of Tarsus (aka Paul) came onto the scene and decided to take that message and include gentiles. He was smart because unlike other groups that had their own messianic leaders to follow, Saul realized that in order for this specific cult to succeed, they had to recruit outside of the israelites. Jesus's message, along with everything in the Torah implicitly is for jews, but since it never really expressly says this over and over again, Paul was able to make the message more palatable for gentiles, especially since Jesus made it so that the law (something specifically desgined to separate jews from the gentiles) had been "fulfilled", gentiles were able to join in without having to keep kosher, or cut their di.cks or any of that other stuff.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • December

      I believe Jesus came to save all of God's creation. Not just the tribe of Israel.

      "I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen."

      He offered and gave help to people that were not Jewish. I think his Good Samaritan parable helps demonstrate this.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Baaaa

      December,

      A shepherd takes good care of his sheep for a couple of reasons:

      - Profit from their wool, and profit from their flesh and skins at slaughter
      - A yummy dinner

      The guy who though up that analogy was just silly.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • December

      I think there might be a little bit more to it than that. Do you understand how an analogy works?

      January 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Topher

      Hi, MyWeight

      I'm glad our conv. got you thinking. But I disagree with your thoughts on the commandments. They are part of the moral laws and are still in play in the new covenant. And the Bible says they are a schoolmaster ... there to show you God's standards and that you can't keep them and thusly need a Savior.

      January 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        But I disagree with your thoughts on the commandments.

        Somehow I knew you would. *grin*

        They are part of the moral laws and are still in play in the new covenant.

        That is clearly your opinion. One I don't share.

        Morality is not absolute, thus these laws are not moral.

        And the Bible says they are a schoolmaster … there to show you God’s standards and that you can’t keep them and thusly need a Savior.

        And again, he's your god, your rules. I don't have to keep them, which is largely my entire point.

        January 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Topher

      So did you find the verse in the bible that says "laws that have thou shalt not in the beginning are moral laws, and all others are not applicable under the new covenant". For that matter, where is the actual verse in the bible that says that only your so-called "moral laws" are applicable under the "new covenant"?

      January 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Topher

      myweightinwords

      "That is clearly your opinion. One I don't share."

      Fair enough. But it's in agreement with the church fathers going back 2000 years.

      "Morality is not absolute, thus these laws are not moral."

      What isn't moral about them?

      "And again, he's your god, your rules. I don't have to keep them, which is largely my entire point."

      Not my rules ... God's. I know you have a "different" God or belief. That's fine. But what we need to find out is which one is true. If the God of the Bible is true, you DO need to follow His rules. (Of course you haven't, so you already need a Savior.) It doesn't really matter what you believe in the end. What matters is if it's true.

      Oh, and P.S., you realize that by making up a God (your own beliefs) you're breaking the first AND second commandments. Not trying to sound snarky, just felt like I needed to tell you that.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Fair enough. But it’s in agreement with the church fathers going back 2000 years.

        And? 2000 years of belief in something I no longer believe to be true is supposed to convince me of what, exactly?

        What isn’t moral about them?

        That is probably a much bigger discussion about morality than this conversation has room for.

        Not my rules … God’s. I know you have a “different” God or belief. That’s fine. But what we need to find out is which one is true.

        I have the one that is true for me. I am a better person for what I believe.

        If the God of the Bible is true, you DO need to follow His rules.

        No, I don't. IF the god of the bible is true, and everything in that book is true, and he judges me and my life worthy of eternal damnation? That is a god I would not want to spend an eternity with anyway.

        (Of course you haven’t, so you already need a Savior.) It doesn’t really matter what you believe in the end. What matters is if it’s true.

        I stand by who I am and what I have done with my life. I am a better person today than I was five years ago, or five years before that. The concept of there being anything I could do on this finite earth worthy of condemnation is ludicrous.

        Oh, and P.S., you realize that by making up a God (your own beliefs) you’re breaking the first AND second commandments. Not trying to sound snarky, just felt like I needed to tell you that.

        Considering that the first and second commandments were given specifically to the Jews brought out of Egypt, you're wrong on that count.

        You're also wrong when you assume I've made up my own god. I haven't really gone into a lot of detail about what I believe about gods and deity here. Nor am I really feeling a need to do so.

        Oh, and PS: you keep saying "Not trying to sound snarky"...but rather than finding a non-snarky way to say what you do mean, you keep going with snarky anyway. Why is that?

        January 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Topher

      myweightinwords

      "And? 2000 years of belief in something I no longer believe to be true is supposed to convince me of what, exactly?"

      Nothing, I suppose. Just want to establish I'm not one of these post-moderns who thinks he knows better than some extremely smart people who have studied this stuff.

      "I have the one that is true for me. I am a better person for what I believe. "

      What does that even mean, true for you? Something is either true or it isn't.

      "No, I don't. IF the god of the bible is true, and everything in that book is true, and he judges me and my life worthy of eternal damnation? That is a god I would not want to spend an eternity with anyway."

      IF the God of the Bible is true, He has shown His love for you by providing a way to be seen as righteous. There is nothing in the world that could be done for you that is more loving or kind. And yes, if God judges you by your deeds, you would be found guilty and given the punishment you deserve. But that is true of all of us. That's why He provided a Savior. And I suppose you are right that you don't have to follow Him. You can live your life however you want. But you will be judged based on that. Knowing what God has done for you, how in the world can you reject Him?

      "I stand by who I am and what I have done with my life. I am a better person today than I was five years ago, or five years before that. The concept of there being anything I could do on this finite earth worthy of condemnation is ludicrous."

      Has God always been first in your life? Have you told a lie? Stolen anything, regardless of its worth or how long ago it was? Have you said, 'Oh, my G-d!"? Have you looked at someone with lustful thoughts? Ever hated someone?

      I know you and I look at something like a lie and say, "So what? It's not that bad. No one was hurt." But the problem is that you're using a man-to-man standard. We need to look at something using God's standards. For instance, if I lie to a child, nothing will happen to me. If I lie to my wife, I'll be sleeping on the couch. If I lie to my boss, I'll be fired. If I lie to the president, I'll be thrown in jail or even killed for it. What changed in this scenario? The crime was the same, but whom it was against changed. So how much more so should our punishment be when it's against a holy, righteous and just God? So yes, one lie is worth eternal punishment.

      "Considering that the first and second commandments were given specifically to the Jews brought out of Egypt, you're wrong on that count."

      Why do you believe this? Jesus confirmed these things, so it wasn't just for those in the Exodus. The first says you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. The second is not to make a graven image (which means a made-up God in your mind as well as something made with your hands to worship.) This things are for everyone, including you and I. Not just for people long ago.

      No one ever said I was eloquent in my speech. I really don't mean to sound snarky, it's just I understand how it can come off that way. I'm sorry if I seem to be mean.

      January 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        What does that even mean, true for you? Something is either true or it isn’t.

        It means I have no need of proving my truth to you, nor of accepting yours for myself because I know in my heart what is true. For me.

        IF the God of the Bible is true, He has shown His love for you by providing a way to be seen as righteous.

        I don’t see it that way. I see a disgusting idea masquerading as redemption.

        There is nothing in the world that could be done for you that is more loving or kind.

        Sure there is. It’s called unconditional love.

        And yes, if God judges you by your deeds, you would be found guilty and given the punishment you deserve. But that is true of all of us. That’s why He provided a Savior.

        If, in this scenario that the god of the bible is true, I have a need of a Savior it is not because of anything I have done, it is because of how I was made….which I had no part in. Therefore if he judges me guilty for his poor design, well, that’s a pretty petty god, don’t you think?

        And I suppose you are right that you don’t have to follow Him. You can live your life however you want. But you will be judged based on that. Knowing what God has done for you, how in the world can you reject Him?

        What, exactly has he done? You seem to be all caught up in this redemption/need for a Savior aspect. My rejection of Christianity starts long before you get to the whole redemption part.

        Has God always been first in your life?

        Again, your god, not mine. If I do not believe your god exists, at least not in the same manner that you do, why would I buy into this concept at all?

        Have you told a lie?

        Is lying always wrong?

        Stolen anything, regardless of its worth or how long ago it was?

        Once, and I took it back and paid for it. It wasn’t worth the guilt.

        Have you said, ‘Oh, my G-d!”? Have you looked at someone with lustful thoughts? Ever hated someone?

        Again, these are your rules, your god. I don’t believe in this concept of absolute morality that you base your belief system on. I believe in personal responsibility, in making amends, learning from mistakes, doing the work to be a better person.

        I know you and I look at something like a lie and say, “So what? It’s not that bad. No one was hurt.”

        Sometimes a lie can save a life. Sometimes a lie is the only right thing to do. Have you ever tried to be 100% honest? You know where you will find yourself? Friendless and alone. What matters are the reasons, the motivation.

        But the problem is that you’re using a man-to-man standard.

        Because that is all we have. Even the bible is filled with man made rules. That is also part of my point.

        We need to look at something using God’s standards.

        You do, he’s your god.

        For instance, if I lie to a child, nothing will happen to me.
        Depends on the child, and the lie.

        If I lie to my wife, I’ll be sleeping on the couch. If I lie to my boss, I’ll be fired. If I lie to the president, I’ll be thrown in jail or even killed for it.

        Again, all depends on the lie, the reasons for the lie, the reaction to finding out the truth. It isn’t just black and white.

        What changed in this scenario? The crime was the same, but whom it was against changed. So how much more so should our punishment be when it’s against a holy, righteous and just God? So yes, one lie is worth eternal punishment.

        So, based on that, when your child tells you he finished his homework, but he didn’t, it is good and right to lock him in leg irons and beat him with a cane every day for the rest of his life?

        Why do you believe this?

        First, I don’t believe the bible is anything more than a collection of stories. Second, I believe it was written by man. Third, I believe the text says specifically, “I am the lord your god that brought you out of Egypt, delivered you from slavery…” I’ve never been to Egypt. I’ve never been a slave. Clearly those words were not meant for me.

        Jesus confirmed these things, so it wasn’t just for those in the Exodus.

        Having already established that I do not believe in the bible as something more than a book of stories, why am I going to take a rephrasing of those original commandments by another person in the book, who also taught in a society that is so different to ours that it is nearly alien?

        The first says you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

        And back to the part where he’s your god, well…truthfully, he’s not even your god, you just co-opted him from the Jews, who created him from various other tribal deities as they emerged from the various and sundry tribes to form a cohesive tribe of their own.

        The second is not to make a graven image (which means a made-up God in your mind as well as something made with your hands to worship.)

        I was wondering when we’d get to that word. Worship. I don’t. I won’t ever again.

        This things are for everyone, including you and I. Not just for people long ago.

        I disagree. The more I studied, not just the bible, but the commentaries and the history of the religion, the archaeological records, the history of the region, the people, the area, the more I came to realize that the bible was just like the Quran and the Gita, and the Veddas. It is the collected myth of a specific people in a specific time and a specific place. There is some value in it, there are lessons to learn. There is some poetry.

        But in the end, it is not what I once believed it to be.

        January 29, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  17. Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

    It's a bright day here today! Time to get out and explore; even see more of the world if possible.

    Speaking of explorers, legendary film composer Ennio Morricone scored a TV mini-series in 1982 – "Marco Polo". Here is the breathtaking original title music, along with a more "horned" version by Morricone (latter video showing original vinyl cover). In the next post, I'll include a version recorded later by Morricone with Yo Yo Ma.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3wDixMp-z4&w=640&h=390]

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOPI-q93z7o&w=640&h=390]

    January 29, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Going back to your other unjustified assertion now? ME II watch out, he might just start assuming that a lot about your past next while claiming he's not arrogant and he's tolerant. Fred you really are a piece of work. Although I doubt you'd use your dishonest asshat tactics in a face to face debate.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      What? Good gosh you must be referring to something else.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  18. Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

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

    Ennio Morricone has scored more than 500 motion pictures, including such titles as The Mission, The Untouchables, most if not all of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, and even the elusive Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven. He won a Honorary Oscar in 2007, presented by Clint Eastwood. The tribute included Celine Dion singing "I Knew I Loved You" (based on "Deborah's Theme" from Once Upon a Time in America). Check out the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ennio_Morricone.

    January 29, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • meifumado

      Once again you have my thanks for the tunes!

      January 29, 2013 at 11:17 am |
  19. Science

    New tools for Robert Brown Chad Topher Live4Him and TBT

    updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago

    Scientists have unearthed and dated some of the oldest stone hand axes on Earth. The ancient tools, unearthed in Ethiopia in the last two decades, date to 1.75 million years ago.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50620121/ns/technology_and_science-science/

    January 29, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • ¿¿lol

      oops. time for a new draft of the great screenplay. get busy apologists.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • William Demuth

      Hell, my first wife was a stone battle ax, and she is WAY older than that!

      January 29, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Science

      @William Demuth

      Did she gave you that classic your dead look ?

      January 29, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Bah flimshaw!
      Satan is making those artifacts seem older than they are.
      Those are not axes. They are obviously tools for grooming pet dinosaurs.
      Prior to Noah's Flood, man and dinosaur lived together in perfect harmony. Dino power was used for everything from dish washing to vacuuming to gravel extraction.
      The end of early man's work day was signalled by the squawking of a bird whose tail was pulled.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • William Demuth

      Doc

      All historic dinosaurs were also purple in color.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Science

      Where is Fred when you need him aye.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • William Demuth

      Was Barney the illegitimate (or merely illiterate) spawn of Dino?

      January 29, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • End Religion

      I'm confused.... is 1.75 million years older than 10,000 years?

      January 29, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,

      I went and read about the tools, cool stuff.

      That sixth day of creation was a long time ago.

      “…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

      And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…”
      (Gen. 1:27-28)

      January 29, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • William Demuth

      Robert

      Are you saying Jeebus was a hermaphrodite?

      January 29, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Science,

      You ever wonder why he said, “replenish.”

      January 29, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Science

      @RB Move forward take a blood test.

      Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

      Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

      January 29, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Question

      @Science
      I'm sure I will get the what an idiot responses but how can scientists date a stone and know difference between when it was used as a tool and when it was just a stone? Serious question not trying to be troll just don't get it.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Science

      By the strike markings on the stone. Stone striking stone.

      Fossil bones too.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • ME II

      @Robert Brown,
      "You ever wonder why he said, 'replenish.'

      You ever wonder why the KJ version uses the word "replenish" and many other versions use "fill"?

      January 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • fred

      If it is the truth you seek you must pound on door as Fred did and ask Wilma to let you in. The knowledge of God is not contained in the created things (stone axe) but in the Creator. Until you break down that door which keeps you from the truth one cannot understand how we are made in the image of God on the 6th day.

      January 29, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      "The knowledge of God is not contained in the created things (stone axe) but in the Creator."
      I guess I don't understand. Isn't the Bible a "created" thing?

      January 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Question, there was a recent NOVA program on Neanderthals showing how they created stone tools (takes quite a bit of practice apparently). Obviously humans did that as well but I don't recall seeing that recently.

      January 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • ME II

      @In Santa we trust,
      "Obviously humans [created stone tools] as well but I don't recall seeing that recently."
      Not entirely certain what you are asking, but the Clovis Culture / People are one example of humans who are identified by / known for distinct stone tools.

      January 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      The serpent asked “did God really say that”….”you will not die” and then “for you will be like God having the knowledge of good and evil”.
      The knowledge of God is not in the created things of man (the written word, the book, the pages, the “Bible” as you say). The knowledge of God eclypises the worlds combined intellect and cannot be added to or subtracted from because that knowledge is just as God is. God was not created we were as is everything we have ever known. We cannot escape what we are or know anything more than that which was created for us (or in the case of an atheist we cannot know anything more than the creation or created things).
      The knowledge of God contained in the above voice of the serpent is an absolute truth for all mankind from the beginning to the end of mankind’s time line. The serpent raised doubt about Gods perfect wisdom. This is the cornerstone of faith, complete trust in Gods perfect way for man. Outside of Gods perfect way you will surly die and this we did. Man will surly die in the presence of the knowledge of good and evil. Those trapped today in their Philosophical Naturalism have all the evidence (entropy) they need of the knowledge of God as it pertains to order and disorder within a confined system (universe). If you wish to argue the system is not confined then you are faced with eternity being self evident. If eternity is self evident then you have established one of the main attributes of God which is His eternal presence and it is eternity and the soul which God addresses.
      God spoke the creation into being and the serpent spoke to the creation. The creation chose the way of the serpent and here we are. That is the knowledge of God out of two verses of the Bible. There are 31,0000 some odd verses to go that cut like a knife separating spirit (the things of God) and flesh (carnal man). This is the Divine Word of God as it fulfills its purpose from the time it was given to Moses to the time John said “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).

      January 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      "The knowledge of God is not in the created things of man (the written word, the book, the pages, the “Bible” as you say). "

      I guess I'm still confused. How is one expected to know that there is even such a thing as "knowledge of God" without looking to created things, such as the Bible, or a lying serpent?

      January 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      Certainly our five senses take in external stimuli and process that information. If this is all there is to existence then we are left with Philosophical Naturalism that is fixated on created things. Read the words on the serpent and you are left with a myth or some delusion that extends from your interpretation of myth. Regardless, you will still be limited by created things (i.e. myth or any extensions thereof are formed visually or figuratively with matter that we know or combinations of matter we know).
      Faith is the key that reveals the knowledge of God. You can read the Bible and have great academic knowledge of the subject yet never embrace a presence that drives you to your knees in loving worship. That which was always present is suddenly visible altering the previous reality experienced. That eternal presence is not only self evident it becomes all encompassing.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      "Faith is the key that reveals the knowledge of God."
      It is possible that you are correct, but unfortunately such logic works equally well for any belief system. Without rational thinking and/or evidence all claims, no matter how fantastic, are equally valid.

      "That eternal presence is not only self evident it becomes all encompassing."
      Perhaps, your definition of "self evident" is different than mine.

      January 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      Self evident is accepted as being fact without proof
      If other beliefs contradict the wisdom of the God they can be dismantled one doctrine at a time. In that endeavor the reason of man would apply since we are speaking of man made beliefs. Now creation bringing to bear various aspects of created things known to man and subject to the constraints of reason and logic would prove only one God possible.

      January 30, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Going back to your other unjustified assertion now? ME II watch out, he might just start assuming that a lot about your past next while claiming he's not arrogant and he's tolerant. Fred you really are a piece of work. Although I doubt you'd use your dishonest asshat tactics in a face to face debate..

      January 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      "Self evident is accepted as being fact without proof"
      I do not accept "that eternal presence" as being fact.

      "If other beliefs contradict the wisdom of the God they can be dismantled one doctrine at a time. In that endeavor the reason of man would apply since we are speaking of man made beliefs."
      Interesting, so human logic is applicable to other beliefs but not your own. I think that is considered a fallacy called special pleading.

      "Now creation bringing to bear various aspects of created things known to man and subject to the constraints of reason and logic would prove only one God possible."
      Unsupported supposition.

      January 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      No, my belief would be subject to the same standards of reason and logic. First we would prove that there can only be one God. If there can only be one God why is the Hebrew God the one while Ala is not and Zeus is not etc.

      January 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      Excellent. I would love to see such 'proofs'. Although, I would suggest starting with showing there are any gods, then only one, then the Hebrew one.

      January 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      Given you do not find the possibility of alternate boundaries (eternity) outside of our known time line to be self evident, with the exception of a purely mathematical construct, there would be no proofs. At best we would digress into philosophical alternatives which the Greeks pretty well covered 2,000 years ago.

      Even Jesus refused to give a sign (proofs) to the Sanhedrin other than the ones already given by Jonah.

      January 30, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
  20. William Demuth

    Does anyone else get the impression that there are actually only a hand full of Jeebus freaks left in here?

    The endless screen names, and the childish grammar and poor use of language seems to increasingly indicate we actually only have about four or five pro-Christian posters left in this forum.

    I guess the cult really is in full retreat.

    January 29, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • ¿¿lol

      Yep.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Answer

      Romans 12:19
      Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

      Proverbs 29:11
      A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

      January 29, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • William Demuth

      Answer for Answer

      Avengers #2 Page #3 Bubble #6

      HULK WILL SMASH PUNY HUMAN!

      Now I realize it is ignorant to base my life on a comic book.

      I just don't understand why you don't realize the same???

      January 29, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Science

      @William Demuth

      Still laughing

      For some humor answer watch The Big Bang Theory on CBS

      January 29, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Observer

      Do you have a job? If you did have a job, would like to know which employer allows you to spend so much time on this blog for you to monitor who is posting; which monikers post; count the number of christian posters on this forum?

      January 29, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • William Demuth

      Observer

      The miracles of modern technology always make capable people seem powerfull

      I suspect I must look divine to your simpler eyes. I men you believe Jeebus is Omnipresent.

      I bet you still use dial up!

      January 29, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • weinerinameatgrinder

      @Bill
      If you think about it...there are really only a handful of atheists on here too. (not to mention people using same handle) What's really interesting is...the same theists and same atheists argue back and forth while the rest of us read to be entertained for 5 minutes...then move on. Thiests: Keep up the good work telling people what to believe. Your logic is hilarious. Atheists: Keep up the good work ridiculing the theist and telling everyone what not to believe. Really makes work go by much faster.

      January 29, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Morpheus

      "Does anyone else get the impression that there are actually only a hand full of Jeebus freaks left in here?"

      What is "here" ? How do you define "here" ? If you are referring to "here" as the belief blog, then the belief blog is nothing but a large quantity of advanced html coding in turn just a large quantity of one's and zeroes interpreted by your pc's central processing unit.

      So William, what pill did you take? Red or blue?

      January 29, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • William Demuth

      Morpheus

      My preferred "pill" was purple, and referred to as a Microdot, due to its diminutive size.

      But, I always preferred the "paper" to the "pill" format.

      For those who might understand, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice variety was by far the best

      We used much better quality control by that point (due to the availability of synthetic glycerin)

      January 29, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • December

      > Does anyone else get the impression that there are actually only a hand full of Jeebus freaks left in here?

      Must be nice to have a lot of free time to notice something like that. Maybe the 'jesus freaks' have moved on to better things, like helping those in need.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • sam

      @December – that was adorable. Have any other passive aggressive nonsense phrases in your bag, today?

      January 29, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • December

      sam

      May peace be with you.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Morning William. I'm about to get on a plane, but perhaps this evening I can be a Christian. Maybe some of us can take turns. Has to be a real effort, though, to fight the good fight.

      January 29, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Akira

      Self-righteous prigs...fun!

      January 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
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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.