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January 30th, 2013
05:25 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, January 30, 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.

From the Blog:

CNN: Poll: Quarter of Americans say God influences sporting events
With millions of Americans set to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, a new survey finds more than a quarter of Americans believe that God "plays a role in determining which team wins" at sports events. The survey by the Public Religion Research Institute also found that more than half of Americans believe “God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success.”

CNN: Netanyahu cartoon sparks anger, Murdoch says sorry
Rupert Murdoch has apologized for a "grotesque, offensive" cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published in Britain's Sunday Times. The cartoon by Gerald Scarfe depicts Netanyahu atop an incomplete brick wall with screaming Palestinians and body parts in the mortar. Netanyahu is holding what appears to be a bloody builder's trowel and the wall's mortar is colored red. The wording beneath reads: "Israeli Elections, Will Cementing Peace Continue?" The cartoon was published on Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday and prompted complaints that it was anti-Semitic and insensitive.

CNN: Transgender teacher sues Catholic prep school for alleged discrimination
Mark Krolikowski has shoulder-length brown hair. He likes to wear multiple earrings and French manicure his nails. Students call him Mr. K. Krolikowski, 59, taught for 32 years at St. Francis Preparatory School, a 150-year-old Catholic institution in Queens, New York. Until August. That's when the school laid him off. He alleges that he was discriminated against because he is transgender and that the school's attitude toward him changed in the eight months after he came out.

Tweet of the Day:

Photos of the Day:

Iranian Zoroastrian priests, Moubad Rashin Jahangir and Moubad Henghami (L) set firewood ablaze in celebration of the annual Zoroastrian Sadeh festival in a western suburb of Tehran on January 29, 2013. Sadeh, is an ancient Persian festival that is celebrated by setting a huge bonfire to honor fire and to defeat the forces of darkness, frost, and cold. Sadeh means 'hundred' and refers to one hundred days and nights past the end of summer.

A Belarus Orthodox believer plunges into icy waters as a priest blesses him on the eve of the Epiphany holiday in Pilnitsa some 30 km outside Minsk, on January 18, 2013. Thousands of believers jumped into holes cut in ice, braving freezing temperatures, on January 18 and early on January 19 to mark Epiphany, when they take part in a baptism ceremony.

An Indian Sadhu gives blessings as he sits outside the camp during the Maha Kumbh festival at Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati in Allahabad on January 29, 2013. The Kumbh Mela in the Indian town of Allahabad will see up to 100 million worshippers gather over 55 days to take a ritual bath in the holy waters, believed to cleanse sins and bestow blessings.

Enlightening Reads:

Reuters: Radical Islamists fleeing Timbuktu leave legacy of destruction behind them
The burning of a library housing thousands of ancient manuscripts in Mali's desert city of Timbuktu is just the latest act of destruction by radical Islamist fighters who have spent months smashing graves and holy shrines in the World Heritage site. "It was one of the greatest libraries of Islamic manuscripts in the world," said Marie Rodet, an African history lecturer at London's School of Oriental and African Studies. "It's pure retaliation. They knew they were losing the battle and they hit where it really hurts," she told Reuters.

Reuters: Analysis – Sunni discontent and Syria fears feed Iraqi unrest
Across Iraq's western desert, thousands of Sunni Muslims block highways, chant and pray in protests against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that grow more defiant by the day. In Iraqi cities like Ramadi and Falluja, where tribal ties are strong, many Sunnis have harboured a sense of marginalisation ever since Saddam's fall and the Shi'ite majority's empowerment.

Religion News Service: Arkansas Senate OKs guns in churches
The Arkansas Senate has passed a bill that lifts a ban on carrying concealed weapons in church. The proposal, which goes to the Arkansas House for consideration, would allow churches to decide which, if any, worshippers with concealed carry permits can bring their firearms inside.

NBC: Thousand Oaks Christian School Files Religious Liberty Lawsuit Against Former Teachers
A Christian school in Thousand Oaks is suing two former teachers who threatened a lawsuit over the school’s requirement to provide proof of faith. When the Godspeak Church bought Little Oaks Elementary in 2009, it started requiring employees to fill out questionnaires which asked whether they attended church, which church they attended and what the pastor had to say about their beliefs. Coulson said Lynda Serrano and Mary Ellen Guevara received their questionnaires last summer. After they refused to fill out the form, they were not rehired.

Religion News Service: Pope Benedict XVI says lack of ‘faith’ could be used in marriage annulments
Pope Benedict XVI has asked the Vatican’s highest appeals court to consider reviewing church rules on marriage annulments — a statement that may signal a change in tone more than a change in substance. Speaking on Saturday (Jan. 26) to the members of the tribunal of the Roman Rota, Benedict said that “lack of faith” on the part of the spouses can affect the validity of a marriage.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Case fuels debate over when life begins
A Catholic Church-affiliated hospital used a surprising argument to defend itself in a lawsuit.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (405 Responses)
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    January 1, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
  2. hawaiiguest

    @fred

    The day that you actually have any kind of honest discussion will be an amazing day indeed.

    January 31, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • fred

      The day you learn how to use the reply button will be even a more glorious day! Peace and love to you from the universe.

      January 31, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      The current thread on this page is too long for me to bother scrolling all the way up everytime I want to point to your dishonesty. Not to mention that you still haven't adressed your arrogant bullshit on

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/28/belief-blogs-morning-speed-read-for-monday-january-28-2013/comment-page-2/#comment-2143862

      January 31, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      "oh look at that he's saying naughty naughty words my poor little feelings boo hoo hoo"
      =>sorry I hurt your oversensitive CNN persona.

      January 31, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Tell me, do you even have a concept of being honest? Do you even know how? I ask because all you do is post dishonest bullshit like just now. You pathetic excuse for a human being.

      February 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  3. December

    Chad:

    But your God comes from your imagination, too? No? Or have you actually seen Him with your eyes? Have you touched Him? Has He spoken to you?

    God of the Bible worked outside of Israel, too. The Book of Job – a story of an Edomite and The God. Why did the Hebrews include a story an outsider of God's chosen people?

    Doesn't Jesus talk about the Kingdom of Heaven being within us?

    January 31, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • End Religion

      You should know, everyone who believes has her own personal God. That God is exactly the same as themselves but holier somehow. Their God acts according to the Bible verses you prefer, and ignores the rest. Each nutter's God is the only True one, even though they're all different. You play this game; you don't know the rules yet?

      January 31, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      End Religion is correct. "God" is simply a label people attach to the collection of their highest ideals. Sure, they'll use some "holy" text to justify their opinions by twisted exegesis and personal excuse, but it's a god of their own imagination nevertheless. When a christian tells you that "you're going to hell," what he really means is that according to his highest ideal of morality, you deserve unending torture by fire.

      January 31, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Science

      And the numbers that a fairy might be out in space with the talking snake are close to 0

      mc=^2

      Peace

      February 1, 2013 at 7:03 am |
  4. Atheism is Good for Everyone - Kids Too!

    Different kinds of fundamentalist Christians now as much as ever are arguing with each other with as much sense and rationality as a flock of chickens. (i.e., see below – lol) They can't support their beliefs by any reasonable means, yet they deem themselves fit to judge others from those beliefs or attempt to put others in the midst of their religious infighting. Their beliefs have a very weak foundation and are not consistent, ergo the over 30,000 different denominations.

    Thomas Jefferson

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    John Adams

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    James Madison

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    Thomas Paine

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    January 31, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  5. lionlylamb

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

    January 31, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  6. Chad

    “Thus, when Christians state categorically that Jews, or Muslims, or believers in other faith systems are outside the provisions of God, they utter arrogant nonsense. A respected agnosticism is called for when often there is offered in its place a self-interested certainty. If God is the God of all, and not just a tribal deity, then God has made provision, not necessarily known to us, for the healing and care of all his creation, and not simply our little part of it.” - Peter Gomes

    => This reasoning is badly flawed..
    If the god he is referring to is the "God of Israel", then the bible is extremely clear about the fact that there is only one way to Heaven, acceptance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. If there were ANY other way, Jesus prayer in Gethsemane wasnt answered.
    “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22

    Jesus asked that another way be provided, none way, thus we can and should conclude that there is only ONE way, the way Jesus provided.

    So, the error that Gomes makes, is that of inventing his own god, with attributes of his liking. JD Crossan does the same thing.

    He is calling Christians arrogant for believing in the God of Israel, but amazingly enough, doesnt realize his own arrogance in believing he can invent a god of his own liking..

    amazing..

    January 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Chad

      "none way"
      should be
      "none was"

      January 30, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • December

      He is not calling all Christians arrogant. He is calling some Christians who believe that God only loves them arrogant.

      Jesus preached about loving our neighbor. No??

      Is the Muslim, Hindu, Jew and atheist not a neighbor?

      Why does he ask me to love them, when he doesn't?

      Jesus asks me to love God. And to love the Muslims, Hindus, Jews and atheists. Don't you think He is going to do the same thing?

      Or do you think he is going to love only you and your fellow believers, because you choose correctly?

      I can't imagine that the God who is the creator of all has no plan of salvation for the BILLIONS of other people (our neighbors) in this world, and perhaps even past our own galaxy, exept for a New Testament one.

      Surely God has not forgot our neighbors he asks us to love.

      Doesn't Romans tell us he has not forgotten the Jews?

      Maybe my God is bigger than Chad's God?

      January 31, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • December

      What about the parable that Jesus ends with "The last will be first, and the first will be last."

      Is that statement offensive to one who considers himself as a "first" with God?

      Not good news, if you believe God loves you, the good Christian, and not the Jews, Hindus, Muslims and atheists.

      Maybe Jesus way is even more loving and generous than you believe.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      Chad, I don't think that we can speak for God and a.ssume that we know who He will and will not save. Yes, He says that to be saved one must be baptized and even provided the specific form for that baptism. Does that mean that babies who die during childbirth and were therefore unbaptized, through no fault of their own, necessarily doomed? What about those who are born, live and die in the rare cultures that still do not have contact with the modern world? Does the fact that they have never heard the Gospel doom them?

      Suggested reading:
      http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM (1 page)

      January 31, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      @ December:

      If you can bear to read the one page that I suggested to Chad,

      http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM

      you'll see your question has already been answered within

      What does "catholic" mean?
      830 The word "catholic" means "universal
      Who belongs to the Catholic Church?
      836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God.... and to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God's grace to salvation.".
      The Church and non-Christians
      839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."

      The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People.
      ...”The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. ..

      The Church's relationship with the Muslims.
      ..."The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."...

      The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race
      ...All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God...

      ...To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. the Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. the Church is "the world reconciled." ….

      January 31, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • December

      I belong to the catholic church. The invisible church.

      But not the "Catholic" church that is head-quartered in a building in the Vatican under protection of armed guards.

      Jesus Christ, not the Pope, is my lord.

      How does show they love God with all their minds at heart? How are they loving their neighbor? People are suffering in this world and they are writing about who will and won't receive God's grace when they die????

      January 31, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Chad

      @December "He is not calling all Christians arrogant. He is calling some Christians who believe that God only loves them arrogant."

      @Chad "no.. He is calling anyone that believes that Jesus Christ is the only provision that God has made for reconciliation arrogant:
      believers in other faith systems are outside the provisions of God, they utter arrogant nonsense

      ======
      @December "Jesus preached about loving our neighbor. No??"
      @Chad "God loves everyone, and He has made ONE provision: Jesus Christ.

      ======
      @December "Maybe Jesus way is even more loving and generous than you believe.... Maybe my God is bigger than Chad's God?"
      @Chad "well, my god is the God of Israel.
      who is your god? (did you make it up based on what you want it to be?)
      what are that gods attributes? (again, made up?)
      what is your source of knowledge with respect to understanding these attributes? (your fertile imagination?)

      January 31, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • December

      who is your god? (did you make it up based on what you want it to be?)
      what are that gods attributes? (again, made up?)
      what is your source of knowledge with respect to understanding these attributes? (your fertile imagination?)

      I have found my way to God through Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and He is part of the Trinity. That is the community of God.

      I'm not going to be so arrogant and claim I have the God of Israel and you don't.

      But your God comes from your imagination, too? No? Or have you actually seen Him with your eyes? Have you touched Him? Has He spoken to you?

      God of the Bible worked outside of Israel, too. The Book of Job – a story of an Edomite and The God. Why did the Hebrews include a story an outsider of God's chosen people?

      Jesus Christ, my lord, said all the laws of the prophets are hung on this:
      love the Creator with everything we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

      Where does it say it is my job to figure out who has the God of Israel and who does not?

      You are on this board a lot. Are you actually carrying out what Jesus asks us to do? Or are you just talking about it? A lot.

      January 31, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Chad

      @December,
      Just so that I know where you are coming from, on what basis is your hope of eternal life? Said another way, why are you getting in to heaven?

      January 31, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but December is more difficult to discuss this than even you. I completely agree with you on this, 100% that the NT has made it perfectly clear that to get into Heaven you must accept jesus christ, it's non-negotiable and anyone *cough* December *cough* who thinks otherwise is not following the lords word, directly from his mouth in the bible.

      December shies away from the fact that because I'm not a christian, somehow I can't know about christianity so who knows, maybe you will reach him when I can not, Zeus knows I've tried countless times already.

      January 31, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Chad

      well, give him a chance to articulate his position..

      January 31, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Look back at page 1 and the speed read for the 29th. I've given him ample time to articulate his position. He's instead chosen the road of "You're putting words in my mouth" and "you're not a christian so I don't believe you"

      He also quoted a Lewis Carrol quote that basically, and I'm paraphrasing here, says that Christianity is unlike any other religion in the world because only the christian god extends his grace to everyone with no strings attached. I pointed out that in order to recieve this grace you have accept jesus as lord and savior and then he got all huffy and said he was sure god loves everyone regardless of faith. He makes this claim flying directly in the face of the bible quotes I've shown him and then yells "CONTEXT" when I give one line and not the entire chapter.

      He finds it very distasteful that Christian dogma is that you can't get into heaven and receive gods grace without accept jesus as lord and becoming a christian, which I pointed out is in its very nature and arrogant position to hold.

      January 31, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • December

      >> why are you getting in to heaven?

      I am? I don't know for sure, but I am getting to experience God's Kingdom "on Earth as it is in Heaven".

      Doesn't Jesus talk about the Kingdom of Heaven being within us?

      Maybe I am in Heaven right now? On Earth. As the Lord's Prayer talks about.

      You and Chuckles can talk about who goes to heaven and hell.

      I think Jesus was more concerned about the day at hand.

      If I do go to heaven, it will br because of Jesus Christ.

      Not by anything I do or believe. He has prepared a way.

      For all of us.

      >> NT has made it perfectly clear that to get into Heaven you must accept jesus christ,
      >> December shies away from the fact....

      The NT shows Jesus Christ interacting with people outside of The God of Israel's chosen people.

      The NT says the way to God is through Jesus Christ.

      Jesus Christ loves you. He will take you to God.

      January 31, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Chuckles

      "The NT says the way to God is through Jesus Christ.

      Jesus Christ loves you. He will take you to God."

      Will he do so against my will or do I have to accept him first?........When do I get to meet this god of yours? After I die or right now? Show yourself Jesus!

      January 31, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • December

      >>Look back at page 1 and the speed read for the 29th. I've given him ample time to articulate his position. He's instead chosen the road of "You're putting words in my mouth" and "you're not a christian so I don't believe you"

      You kept posting the quote about Jesus "I am the way."

      I agreed he said that, but also pointed out he was responding to a question asked to him. And that question had nothing to do with 'getting into heaven' or 'muslims, hindus, atheist and jews going to hell' like you claimed.

      >> He also quoted a Lewis Carrol quote that basically, and I'm paraphrasing here, says that Christianity is unlike any other religion in the world because only the christian god extends his grace to everyone with no strings attached. I pointed out that in order to recieve this grace you have accept jesus as lord and savior and then he got all huffy and said he was sure god loves everyone regardless of faith. He makes this claim flying directly in the face of the bible quotes I've shown him and then yells "CONTEXT" when I give one line and not the entire chapter.

      I think Jesus way is bigger and more gracious than your understanding of what it means to accept jesus as lord and savior.

      What about those who don't know Jesus?

      Does God not love a person because they were born in a dictator country that bans Christianity?

      What if a child is abused by a Christian. He can't phathom a Christian God as loving. God doesn't love that child?

      >> He finds it very distasteful that Christian dogma is that you can't get into heaven and receive gods grace without accept jesus as lord and becoming a christian, which I pointed out is in its very nature and arrogant position to hold.

      I think God's plan for salvation is bigger and better than this. The story of God does not end at the NT. His story is still going.

      Are you listening to the Creator? He is alive.

      Heaven is here. Now. Like Jesus says.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • FYI

      Chuckles,

      Lewis Carroll was the author of "Alice in Wonderland".

      You mean C.S. Lewis, who was the author of the Narnia books and also was a Christian apologist.

      (great posts, btw - but I'm sure that you want to be accurate)

      January 31, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @December,

      =>thanks, couple more questions:
      1. when you die, does your consciousness end?
      2. after you die, do you believe you will meet Jesus Christ?
      3. do you believe that after you die, you will experience eternity in one of two places, heaven (reconciled with God) or he(estrangement from God)
      4. what allows you to enter heaven vs hell? What is the criteria?

      January 31, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Jesus

      Here I is!

      January 31, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • December

      Chad

      I asked questions, too. Can you try to answer some of mine, like I have:

      But your God comes from your imagination, too? No? Or have you actually seen Him with your eyes? Have you touched Him? Has He spoken to you?

      God of the Bible worked outside of Israel, too. The Book of Job – a story of an Edomite and The God. Why did the Hebrews include a story an outsider of God's chosen people?

      Doesn't Jesus talk about the Kingdom of Heaven being within us?

      January 31, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @FYI
      –Oopsies. Thanks for the correction. I always get them confused. One writes a story about a child going on a crazy drug trip to another world with talking animals, the other writes a story about children going on a drug trip to another world with talking animals, but this guy also writes christian apologies in his spare time.

      @December
      "I think God's plan for salvation is bigger and better than this. The story of God does not end at the NT. His story is still going."
      –Like.... the book of Mormon?

      In a seriousness though, your entire post either returned to demanding I look at the quote in context, which I've done, and thinking that changes the implications of the quote, which it doesn't. Then you go on talk more about god being unknowable and though he might say things in the bible it's different now because you wish it to be so.

      @December, what is so hard about accepting the fact that you can't receive gods grace unless it's through jesus christ (according to christian dogma)?

      January 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Christ-shaped Pizza Pan Surfacing

      Chad, what is a fossil?

      January 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @December "I asked questions, too. Can you try to answer some of mine, like I have:"

      =>please believe me, I am not trying to be argumentative, but I have a very strict policy against arguing theology with other Christians. It's extremely important to me to first understand what your thinking is..

      So, if I could just ask your indulgence to answer these please:
      1. when you die, does your consciousness end?
      2. after you die, do you believe you will meet Jesus Christ?
      3. do you believe that after you die, you will experience eternity in one of two places, heaven (reconciled with God) or he(estrangement from God)
      4. what allows you to enter heaven vs hell? What is the criteria?

      January 31, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • December

      1. when you die, does your consciousness end?
      God only knows.

      2. after you die, do you believe you will meet Jesus Christ?
      God only knows.

      3. do you believe that after you die, you will experience eternity in one of two places, heaven (reconciled with God) or he(estrangement from God)
      God only knows.

      4. what allows you to enter heaven vs hell? What is the criteria?
      God only knows.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Chad

      Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • December

      =>please believe me, I am not trying to be argumentative, but I have a very strict policy against arguing theology with other Christians. It's extremely important to me to first understand what your thinking is..

      You get to ask questions, but you don't feel you have to answer questions.

      That, my friend, is a great illustration of arrogance.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Christ-shaped Pizza Pan Surfacing

      Chad, how long does it take to form a fossil?

      January 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Chad

      believe me, I am very happy to answer any and all questions. But I need first to clearly understand the position of the person I am talking to..

      Could you just answer those questions?

      January 31, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Chad

      "how long does it take to form a fossil?"

      =>millions of years
      You should know that I am a theistic evolutionist (you thought all Christians believe the earth is ~6000 years old, well we dont, you'll need to do some reading), I believe the earth is billions of years old (see Genesis 1), and that all of the living organisms have common ancestry (see Genesis 2, Genesis 3)

      January 31, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • December

      @December, what is so hard about accepting the fact that you can't receive gods grace unless it's through jesus christ (according to christian dogma)?

      Because I am not a Christian fundamentalist. And I know a bunch of people like myself.

      For me, scriptures are not my God – I used to hold scriptures at the center – not God.

      The scripture, the dogma, people being healed outside of Christian communities: all point to a bigger God.

      That is the just, worthy, grace-filled, loving deity that I have turned to.

      >> fact that you can't receive gods grace unless it's through jesus christ

      I have received God's grace without accepting Jesus Christ. After receiving God's grace, and realizing that he loves us all (even an atheist like me), I did accept Jesus.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • December

      >> Could you just answer those questions?

      You asked me some questions and I answered.

      And I asked some questions.

      And you didn't answer.

      Your turn.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • December

      >> clearly understand the position of the person I am talking to..

      > I have received God's grace without accepting Jesus Christ. After receiving God's grace, and realizing that he loves us all (even an atheist like me), I did accept Jesus.

      This is me. A follower of Jesus Christ.

      I confess this each day:

      I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
      And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
      Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
      Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
      The third day he rose again from the dead:
      He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
      From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
      I believe in the Holy Ghost:
      I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
      The forgiveness of sins:
      The resurrection of the body:
      And the life everlasting. Amen.

      I believe it.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      "I have received God's grace without accepting Jesus Christ. After receiving God's grace, and realizing that he loves us all (even an atheist like me), I did accept Jesus."
      – Um.... and how do you know this thing? If you were an "atheist" as you put it, how do you know you have gods grace until after you became a lutheran and accepted jesus then? For a person who professes not to understand god and his ways you sure seem to know a lot about him that the bible omitted. You keep saying that you follow jesus, not the bible, but how can you follow jesus when you only know him through the bible, unless he's come again and you're hiding him in your house......

      January 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • December

      – Um.... and how do you know this thing? If you were an "atheist" as you put it,...

      I didn't have to go to church or read in the book to understand that the grace I received came from something greater than me.

      After my awakening, I started going to different churches and houses of worshiop and talking to pastors, ministers, Christians and other spiritual people.

      I've been living my life in response to that love. I choose to call that love, grace. From God.

      I think he blessed me so I can be a blessing to others. I try to do that now.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • December

      I am called to love. Like Jesus. Period.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Chad

      oops, so you did. I somehow missed those responses..

      ====
      @Chad: "when you die, does your consciousness end?, After you die, do you believe you will meet Jesus Christ?, Do you believe that after you die, you will experience eternity in one of two places, heaven (reconciled with God) or he(estrangement from God). What allows you to enter heaven vs hell? What is the criteria?"

      @December: "God only knows."

      ======
      @Chad "so I have to conclude from your responses that like JD Crossan, you have become disaffected with the seemingly "narrow" view of Christianity and Salvation, and atoning sacrifice.. and like Crossan you have a viewpoint that says:

      "When I look a Buddhist friend in the face, I cannot say with integrity, "Our story about Jesus' virginal birth is true and factual. Your story that when the Buddha came out of his mother's womb, he was walking, talking, teaching and preaching (which I must admit is even better than our story)-that's a myth. We have the truth; you have a lie." I don't think that can be said any longer, for our insistence that our faith is a fact and that others'faith is a lie is, I think, a cancer that eats at the heart of Christianity" - JD Crossan

      which of course isnt Christianity at all.. it is a view that Jesus was not divine, merely that he was a great man, a man of great understanding of transcendental thought and god in your view is a transcendent concept, but not an actual physical reality in history as recorded in the bible.

      To be a Christian means to accept this as true:
      For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. - 1 Corinthians 15

      If you dont accept that as true, you arent a Christian, regardless of what you call yourself..

      now, if I am wrong, please feel free to correct me..

      January 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @December -

      Is god's love for and treatment of Christians, non-believers, homosexuals, etc. equable?

      January 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...I apologize for the funky formatting.

      January 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • December

      >> If you dont accept that as true, you arent a Christian, regardless of what you call yourself..

      >> now, if I am wrong, please feel free to correct me..

      I am not familiar with JD Crossan. I have not even mentioned him.

      Can I assume your "narrow" view os Christianity and Salvation are similar to Fred Phelps?

      Accept "1 Corinthians 15" (a letter written by Paul to Corinthians) (are you a Corinthian?) or you are not a *real* Christian?

      Jesus Christ loves me. Regardless of what you believe. He is greater and more loving than what you profess.

      Thank God.

      How about:
      >> If you dont accept that as true, you arent a CATHOLIC, regardless of what you call yourself..

      January 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      So pretty much, "I felt it, so it must be true"
      – Go on, keep loving your fellow man, no one is stopping you nor should they, but whenever you preach the gospel of jesus, you are preaching more than just love kiddo.

      January 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • December

      Jesus Christ loves religious people like Chad, too.

      Amen.

      January 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @december "I've been living my life in response to that love. I choose to call that love, grace. From God."

      =>A. great to be as nice to people as possible, a laudable goal, but that alone isnt going to get you into heaven (the afterlife, after you die)
      B. you are choosing to call that grace, I would agree.. that is not the biblical definition of grace, you are redefining it to fit your world view

      January 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @december,
      here's the thing, your concept of Jesus is made up.. it doesn't embrace the actual historical Jesus that we have documented in the bible, the one that said "no one comes to the father except by me", "This is my body, which is given for you", "“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”"

      Your view is that Jesus was some kind of great transcendent teacher, unfortunately that simply is not reflective of who/what the actual historical Jesus was/is.

      As John says " "Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

      January 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Cosette

      Jesus Christ is my God and savior.

      January 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • December

      >> here's the thing, your concept of Jesus is made up..

      My concpet is just as valid as your concept.

      You have your own concept of Jesus Christ. Different from everybody elses.

      Because nobody else has your same experience with Him.

      We are not robots.

      . it doesn't embrace the actual historical Jesus that we have doc.umented in the bible,
      "no one comes to the father except by me",
      ME = BY JESUS, NOT CHAD.

      "This is my body, which is given for you", "
      JESUS CHRIST BODY GIVEN TO ME, NOT CHAD'S BODY.

      “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”"
      NOT AS CHAD WILLS

      How does not believing that Jesus Christ died. Conqured hell. Rose from the dead. Appeared to his disciples. Ascended into heaven not embrace the actual historical Jesus?

      How does not acknowledging important dates in Jesus Christ very real life not embrace the actual historical Jesus?

      What are you talking about?

      January 31, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @December "How does not believing that Jesus Christ died. Conqured hell. Rose from the dead. Appeared to his disciples. Ascended into heaven not embrace the actual historical Jesus?"
      @Chad "The real historical Jesus DID die, conquered hell, rose from the dead, appeared to His disciples. If you dont believe that, you dont believe in the real historical Jesus.

      That's like saying "well, I believe in Abraham Lincoln, but my Abraham Lincoln was a taxi driver who died in 1920.
      Either you believe in the real historical figure, what that actual person did/said, or you are just making something up.

      January 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      They should broadcast these kind of arguments on TV. Highly entertaining.

      January 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Chad

      If the world is divided into three camps
      Will be saved: Jews
      Saved: Christians
      wont be saved: everybody else.

      then, @December is in your camp :-)

      January 31, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • December

      Jesus Christ came to save God's creation. The whole thing.

      Not just the people that go to Chad's church and vote the way he does.

      Something really did happen when Jesus rose from the dead.

      Bigger than Chad's concept.

      I'm not as Christian as you?

      You point at the speck of dust in my eye, and ignore the log in your own.

      January 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      How cute. Chad, if you really wanted to get into a discussion about anything with me, you would have done so when I posted on some of your other conversations in the past few months on multiple articles. The fact that you're responding with that particular asinine post shows that you care nothing about discussion, and only care about any kind of "win" you can delude yourself into thinking you've won.
      At least it's good to know you're still as pathetic as ever Chad.

      January 31, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Cosette

      @December-Your message of Jesus Christ loves all is very nice. I think all mankind needs to hear that positive message :)

      I think we can have more people accepting Jesus when they are told that Jesus loves them, he loved them so much that God showed himself to mankind in the form of Jesus, took the sins of the world and died on the cross and rose again so that all who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life.

      I believe we cannot be a compassionate Christian if we do not share John3:16 with our fellow human beings.

      January 31, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Cosette

      One more thing December, there is another great commission in Matthew 28:19.
      Also, God made it clear in the scriptures in John 14:6.
      Hope we can hear him in our hearts today and accept these scriptures.

      Peace!

      January 31, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Bob

      Cosette, re your standard "Jesus died to save us" spiel, maybe you should think that through a bit more thoroughly. The whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is actually utter nonsense.

      This is a supposedly omnipotent being, a 'god', that we are discussing. How come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Eric The Med

      Great points Bob. Very well and clearly stated.

      January 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @December, I know there are millions of Christians with your position, and I think it's every bit as valid as the fundamentalist view, but you're not going to get much support here. On the one hand people here are more extreme atheists who want to believe every Christian is a fundamentalist, if not of the anti-evolution kind at least of the bible-is-infallible-and-I know-the-one-true-reading kind. On the other hand most of the Christians here are of that second kind. The reason has as much to do with psychological traits as theoretical positions. You may already realize this, but I just wanted to give you a heads up on the environment so you don’t bang your head too hard against the wall.

      January 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Cosette

      @Bob, I can share the gospels but I know that convincing a person is with God. It is my duty as a compassionate Christian to share the message of John3:16 with you

      January 31, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • December

      Thank you Cosette.

      I'm asked to love others. I demonstrate Christ's love through my actions to others. The greatest testimony.

      Saraswati
      >> but you're not going to get much support here.

      I know. They killed Jesus when he started talking about God loving people other than Jews. Say that same thing about Christians, and the "Chads" of the world kick you out of their club.

      Geesh.

      January 31, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Bob

      Cosette, at least show some guts and respond to what I said instead of shoving your god fraud sales pitch at us one more time. You suck.

      January 31, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Saraswati

      I'm sorry but that's nonesense. I am not an extreme atheist nor do I think that every christian is a fundementalist in anyway. However, if someone comes on here and states why the believe in jesus or whatever god they choose, they should be challenged on it, asked the hard questions. December refuses to answer the hard question but instead falls back into playing victim and saying that jesus is love and other nonesense. I challenge him on how he seems to know these things because you and I both know that people make things up to fit their own agendas and that's exactly what December is doing. He wants to believe in jesus super badly but refuses to acknowledge other parts of his faith that he disagrees with. I've somehow " killed Jesus when he started talking about God loving people other than Jews" even though thats what it says in the bible. You don't have to be a fundementalist to know that and December is willfully making up his own version of jesus and parading it around like it's real christianity. Even Chad here called him out on it and December dug in even more.

      Stop being soft on people like December because you are tacitly giving them the nod to go ahead and keep spreading their half truths without filling in people on what christianity really means.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Devoted Christian

      @ Bob You asked why God had to send his son to die for our sins. You misunderstand. It was God himself who took human form, not a son. And if you're wondering why God decided to turn himself into a human so that he could be tortured and killed, the answer is simple: God is into extreme BDSM.

      REPENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 31, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @December "Something really did happen when Jesus rose from the dead."

      @Chad "I may have misread your position, if so I apologize.
      You believe that Jesus Christ was divine, the Son of God, buried and rose from the dead? I thought you earlier said you didnt believe that.."

      January 31, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @December "They killed Jesus when he started talking about God loving people other than Jews"

      @Chad "That's not true at all.. Jesus was killed because He claimed to be divine, the Son of God, the promised Messiah."

      January 31, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chuckles, I agree with you that people make things up to fit their own agendas. And I agree that that's how most (and to some extent all) people who have any freedom to choose end up with their belief system, whatever it is. But I also agree with December that you are trying to tell him/her what Christianity is when you don't own that definition any more than any particular Christian group does. I use a sociological definition, Chad and you are using theological definitions (which, I would argue, each of you has created to suit your own agendas). I don't know what definition Chad uses, but sociologically if he takes instruction from the Jesus story as a central driving force and considers him/her-self a Christian, then that's really that.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • December

      >> You believe that Jesus Christ was divine, the Son of God, buried and rose from the dead? I thought you earlier said you didnt believe that.."

      Yes, I believe that. I never have denied that on here.

      Chuckles has been trying to get me to say "that Jesus said that Jews, Hindus, Muslims and atheists are going to hell."

      And he also freaked out when I pointed out that Christianity was different from other religions, because God comes to us and meets us where we are at. Most other religions people are trying to make themselves better for God.

      >> "That's not true at all.. Jesus was killed because He claimed to be divine, the Son of God, the promised Messiah."

      They were also mad that a man of God would love people other than Jews. They seemed to think he couldn't be God, because he loved gentiles. Who were definitely not of God.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswati "December that you are trying to tell him/her what Christianity is when you don't own that definition any more than any particular Christian group does"

      =>well, I completely disagree.. if you arent drawing your definition of who Jesus was and what He said and did from the bible, you are simply making up your own story (now, you can say the bible is in itself a made up story, but either you get your Jesus from the bible, or you are making up your own).

      I guess on the atheist view, making up your own jesus is no better/worse/valid/invalid than believing in the biblical version (since on the atheist view they are both made up). However, Christianity is based on the biblical view. You can say Christianity is based on something that is made up, but what you can NOT say, is "Christianity is whatever you want it to be".

      if you feel you can say that, words have lost all meaning..

      January 31, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      Chad: "You can say Christianity is based on something that is made up, but what you can NOT say, is "Christianity is whatever you want it to be"."

      (coming from just one voice of something so unfounded it splintered into over 30,000 different denominations – LOL)

      January 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Chad

      @december "Yes, I believe that. I never have denied that on here."
      @Chad "ah, perhaps I did indeed misread you then.
      A person does not have to belong to a religious group to be saved. He doesnt need to go to church to be saved. he doesnt need to do ANYTHING other than realize that humans are estranged from God and the only path to reconciliation is the atoning sacrifice of Jesus."

      =====
      @december "Chuckles has been trying to get me to say "that Jesus said that Jews, Hindus, Muslims and atheists are going to hell."
      @Chad "Jesus DID say that the ONLY way to heaven, to reconciliation, was thru His atoning work, His sacrifice.
      Now, there is a line of thinking that does have biblical support, that says that Jesus saves ALL of humanity, even those that dont believe in Him, by virtue of His atoning sacrifice.
      I dont believe in that view..

      ====
      @december "They were also mad that a man of God would love people other than Jews. They seemed to think he couldn't be God, because he loved gentiles. Who were definitely not of God."
      @Chad "you are WAY off the mark there.. chapter/verse? There simply is absolutely NO support for that view.
      Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Chad

      @saraswati
      off topic question for you: do you believe that an object ceases to exist(physically) if no living being is there to perceive it?

      If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to witness the event, are sound waves generated?

      January 31, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad, I have never said that Christianity is anything you want it to be. I'm saying that once you step out of the sociological definitions (which are really the same basket as "what does it mean to be Chinese?" or "what does it mean to be conservative?" you are already in religion. We are talking about a cultural issue when we talk about Christianity, an anyone who is consciously following within that tradition, even if they don't use all the bits and pieces you like, can make a meaningful claim to the word "Christian". Cultures and beliefs evolve and change, and I wouldn't want to see the word Christian pinned to an eternal definition any more than the terms "conservative" or "democrat" or "Hindu" any other sociological term. That's not how language or culture work. I agree to defining Christian at the start of a conversation about Christianity, because of course otherwise the conversation is pointless. But that's a working term for that conversation. The whole discussion is like the recent Malaysian attempt to limit the use of the word allah to only Muslims despite the common use of that term by Christian Malaysians. The court, wisely in my view, ruled against them.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • December

      Well, they sure didn't like his story about the Good Samaritan.

      And they certainly didn't like him helping non-Jews.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      "freaked out" Boy are you wrong, in so many ways, but we'll start with this one first. If a "freak out" is proving you wrong, then you must have to deal with people "freaking out" all the time huh? I showed you where it says anyone who doesn't believe in Christ is going to hell, I've also shown you where the strings are and that christianity is no different. I understand you suck at reading, but come on dude, did you actually read what I wrote or did you decide that whatever I write I can't be right because I don't agree with you and I'm not a christian.

      @Saraswati
      Question at what when someone keeps redifining a defintion does it change altogether? December has made it clear he doesn't like a lot of bits and pieces, so tell me, if someone says they are a christian, but that doesn't mean they share beliefs with any other christians does that still make them one? Can I say, "I'm a muslim, but I don't believe in the 5 pillars, or the 72 vir.gins thing and a couple of other issues I have with Islam, but I'm a muslim because I believe in Mohammed". What's your sociological defintion of a christian then that you and December both seem to share? You call yourself a christian, ipso facto you are one?

      January 31, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      "off topic question for you: do you believe that an object ceases to exist(physically) if no living being is there to perceive it?

      If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to witness the event, are sound waves generated?"

      My best answer is yes, but I don't know that we mean the same thing by "physically"....or necessarily "exist". My view of the universe is tempered by my rather pessimistic (for lack of a better word...though I don't mean it negatively) as'sessment about how much humans can actually know given the limits of their mental structures and and senses and the circular nature of or understanding about how sense organs interact with the external world.

      January 31, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • December

      you "freak out"

      just like I got "huffy"

      >> showed you where it says anyone who doesn't believe in Christ is going to hell,

      I showed you the question that Jesus was answering. And the question was not about hell.

      It was an answer to a question. The question was not "What happens to people who don't believe in Christ?" and he didn't answer "They go to hell."

      January 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @Saraswati "Cultures and beliefs evolve and change, and I wouldn't want to see the word Christian pinned to an eternal definition any more than the terms "conservative" or "democrat" or "Hindu" any other sociological term."

      =>well, not to put to fine a point on it, but,, tough..
      To a Christian, what it means to be a Christian is not something that changes, ever. The entire point of it is that it is based on the reality of a person that was indeed raised from the dead 2000 years ago.
      That event isnt up for re-definition, neither is the term associated with believing in the truth of it.

      ===
      @december: there is little if any, displeasure recorded in the bible as having been registered by the disciples/jewish leadership with Jesus for his association with gentiles.

      100% of the anger that lead to his crucifixion is associated with His claims to divinity.

      As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him. The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” ” - John 19

      January 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8aWBcPVPMo&w=640&h=390]

      January 31, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "What's your sociological defintion of a christian then that you and December both seem to share?"

      I don't have a single definition of Christianity because I think the relevant definition depends on context. Since I'm not a Christian and don't think it has any inherent god given definition, it is similar to being a "Democrat" or "Republican". You don't have to agree with everything on the party platform to use that term, just feel it is more relevant to you than the alternative(s). The difference here, of course, is that there isn't even a single party platform in Christianity, unless you want to count the bible, which is much more open to wide interpretation...and which no Christian I've ever met supports literally 100%.

      In general, however, I would refer to as a "Christian" anyone who used their interpretation of the bible and Christian traditions as a primary driving force in their moral and lifestyle choices. Yes, I would probably leave out people who actively made up stories like "Jesus ate infants so we should too" while at the same time not incorporating any actual derived interpretations. But I think it perfectly possible for two people to each pick completely different traditions within Christianity and still be Christians, just as I think gun-toting pro-choice fiscal conservatives and anti-gun pro-lifers who oppose the death penalty and want prayer in schools can both be Republicans.

      I used the "Republicans" comparison about to cover the beliefs angle on Christianity. But there's a whole other cultural component with religion which has to do with rituals, behaviors and history. For that I would go back to the "Chinese" example, and look at the differences in opinion on what makes you Chinese. Is it a PRC passport? Han ethnicity? Speaking one of the Chinese dialects? DNA from one of the major Chinese racial groups (how much)? There really isn't a single definition, but one of context.

      "You call yourself a Christian, ipso facto you are one?"

      It depends on the context. For the purpose of surveys and censuses, yes.

      I think the context you guys want to talk about is theological. But the problem is there's no master definition (unless you believe it's given by god).

      January 31, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Chad

      The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”[e] 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?”
      “He is worthy of death,” they answered.

      Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” John 10

      Jesus was killed for claiming to be the Son of God.

      January 31, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles ""You call yourself a Christian, ipso facto you are one?"
      @Saraswati "It depends on the context. For the purpose of surveys and censuses, yes. I think the context you guys want to talk about is theological. But the problem is there's no master definition (unless you believe it's given by god)

      @Chad "regardless of the credibility that you associate wtih the bible, there IS a biblical definition of what it means to be a Christian.
      You cant possibly argue that, it is simply there in black and white.

      It's pretty basic, look up the word "Christianity" in the dictionary. Your (lack of any) epistemology is messing you up..
      How is it possible to negotiate the meaning of every word in every context in which is it used?
      impossible, an unworkable paradigm.

      Christianity (from the Ancient Greek: Χριστιανός Christianos[1] and the Latin suffix -itas) is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion[2] based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings.[3] It also considers the Hebrew Bible, which is known as the Old Testament, to be canonical. Adherents of the Christian faith are known as Christians.[1]
      The mainstream Christian belief is that Jesus is the Son of God, fully divine and fully human and the savior of humanity. Because of this, Christians commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah.[4] Jesus' ministry, sacrificial death, and subsequent resurrection are often referred to as the Gospel, meaning "Good News" (from the Greek: εὐαγγέλιον euangélion). In short, the Gospel is news of God the Father's eternal victory over evil,[5] and the promise of salvation and eternal life for all people, through divine grace.[6]

      January 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad,

      "To a Christian, what it means to be a Christian is not something that changes, ever."

      I would reword that as:

      "To someone who meets Chad's definition of a Christian, what it means to be a Christian is not something that changes, ever. "

      I have a Catholic nun in my extended family who believes in the whole god-jesus thing and prays and reads the bible daily. Like yourself she believes in a god-mediated form of evolution. But she also believes that other religions are other avenues to god and that the subject of how to define Christianity is open and changing. She doesn't know if she has all the answers right and incorporates aspects of other religions and has read texts from many religious sources outside Christianity she believes add value to her view of god. Is she, in your definition, a Christian? Are "Christian Unitarians" Christian? Is someone who believes in just the "red parts" of the bible Christian?

      Those above questions are actually just rhetorical, though feel free to answer if you want. The thing is I'm not worried about the definition of Christian because I don't think there has to be a single definition anymore than there has to be a single definition of "chair". We slip the chair definition around depending on contexts but in the end the lack of a single definition doesn't leave us unable to order up chairs when we need them. Certainly I understand that for some Christians the idea that there is a single definition makes sense...god would have created it. Furthermore, for many Christians it's important to know who's in and who's out of the group. But I know plenty of people who would meet most people's standards of Christianity for whom this isn't the case.

      January 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      You typing in all caps and saying I'm being disingenuous is getting huffy. Me responding to your question with quotes and facts is not freaking out. Whatever though, potato potahto.

      What do you call not going to heaven? If it's hell, then there's your answer kiddo.

      @Saraswati

      "I think the context you guys want to talk about is theological. But the problem is there's no master definition (unless you believe it's given by god)."
      -Christianity can't be looked at outside of the lense of theology, that doesn't make sense, to take your dem/gop analogy, try talking about a political party without the politics. You are taking the side that if someone says they are, that's good enough, but that isn't true. For instance, I can say I'm 36 years old, I've only been on this earth though for 25 of those years and technically my birth year is 1987 but I feel like I should be in generation X and I hang out with some 36 years old. If you really only base someones religion on what they mark down on a census, then your understanding of religoin is deeply flawed.

      January 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I just want to take a moment and ask

      How the HELL did I end up on the same side as Chad? Seriously, chad did you see this coming?

      January 31, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chuckles,

      "If you really only base someones religion on what they mark down on a census, then your understanding of religoin is deeply flawed."

      Reread my comment. I said it depended on context and in one particular context that was the definition. I have given other definitions for other contexts. I think forcing a single definition in contexts in which there is a sliding scale doesn't make sense, particularly when there are complex variables and not just some single numeric scale on which you can set a cut-off point.

      What exactly is your definition of a Christian? Provide one on which everyone can be determined as either in or out.

      January 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles – "How the HELL did I end up on the same side as Chad?"

      A bit frightening, eh?

      Cheers

      January 31, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chuckles, LOL, I've been on Chad's side plenty of times...no worries...you'll survive. I was on Bill Deacon's side earlier today if that makes you feel better!

      January 31, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Saraswati

      I think the definition depends on context to a certain degree but there has to be a cut off point or else it's just anarchy.
      What's my definition of a christian? Someone who believes jesus is their lord and savior, that they agree with the bible and they believe in a single god. If you violate any one of those things, you can't be a christian.

      In this scenario I want to point out I never said December wasn't a christian, he's never said anything that violates those three things I laid out, however December DOES have a severe misunderstanding of his own religion when he doesn't understand the bible or refuses to accept all of it. When I talk about Heaven and Hell he's gotten huffy because he would rather on focus on certain aspects and not discuss other parts of his faith. He keeps tryig to gloss over the afterlife as if it doesn't matter, but it's one of the cornerstones of his religion.

      January 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Chad

      well, since the "chad" definition of Christianity aligns perfectly with the dictionary, wikipedia and common usage world wide, I'm comfortable with it..

      January 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Is the definition I provided at odds with the one you did?

      January 31, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chad, I have no idea what "The Dictionary" is that you referenced – you just gave me a definition.

      Merriam Webster just gives this:

      1. the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies
      2. conformity to the Christian religion
      3. the practice of Christianity

      Seems pretty flexible to me. Is there an issue with that definition where you think December is off?

      January 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "Is the definition I provided at odds with the one you did?"

      Someone who believes jesus is their lord and savior, that they agree with the bible and they believe in a single god. If you violate any one of those things, you can't be a christian

      @Chad "not "at odds", but probably not quite enough detail. I'll go with the wikipedia definition which hits all the salient points.

      Christianity is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion[2] based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings.[3] It also considers the Hebrew Bible, which is known as the Old Testament, to be canonical. Adherents of the Christian faith are known as Christians.[1] The mainstream Christian belief is that Jesus is the Son of God, fully divine and fully human and the savior of humanity. Because of this, Christians commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah.[4] Jesus' ministry, sacrificial death, and subsequent resurrection are often referred to as the Gospel, meaning "Good News" . In short, the Gospel is news of God the Father's eternal victory over evil,[5] and the promise of salvation and eternal life for all people, through divine grace.[6]

      isnt it great to be on the winning side of the debate once in a while!!! :-)
      JK

      January 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Chad

      perhaps I missed it, but where is @decembers definition of what "being a Christian" is.?

      I dont quite have him figured out yet, so I'm unwilling to make any judgement call yet, and in any case it isnt my judgement to make. At Christianities core (the deity of Jesus and the atoning sacrifice) is another truth, namely

      My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. - 1 Corinthians 4

      January 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      Too bad though about those early apologists who said the gospels were not copy-cat stories since the earlier pagan stories were a pre-emptive strike by Satan. They might have been a teensy believable but for obvious uh-oh's like that.

      January 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chuckes
      “What's my definition of a christian? Someone who believes jesus is their lord and savior, that they agree with the bible and they believe in a single god. If you violate any one of those things, you can't be a christian.”

      I still have to disagree that it’s useful to be so tight, except if your goal is to label as few people as possible as Christians. The whole idea of what “lord and savior” would mean just opens up extra issues. Is no one who believes Jesus was human a Christian? What purpose does it serve in excluding them? In what context? When you say they “agree with the bible” do you mean every word? Old and new testaments? Literally?

      “In this scenario I want to point out I never said December wasn't a christian, he's never said anything that violates those three things I laid out, however December DOES have a severe misunderstanding of his own religion when he doesn't understand the bible or refuses to accept all of it. When I talk about Heaven and Hell he's gotten huffy because he would rather on focus on certain aspects and not discuss other parts of his faith.”

      We’re just going to have to disagree here, because I still see no purpose in assigning these detailed attributes to Christianity. You say that you only have those first three criteria, but now you’re talking specifically about heaven and hell. It seems that you are adding levels of detail that are overly specific.

      January 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Answer

      ===quote===

      :: December

      Thank you Cosette.

      I'm asked to love others. I demonstrate Christ's love through my actions to others. The greatest testimony.

      :: December

      >> You believe that Jesus Christ was divine, the Son of God, buried and rose from the dead? I thought you earlier said you didnt believe that.."

      Yes, I believe that. I never have denied that on here.

      ===end quote====

      @Chad

      From the above two combined quotes, December is what you would be now labeling as a "new age loving god" religious person. They tend to grab the more emotional contents and relational stuff that have the feelings that comes with a soft, kind and just god.

      This new age will swallow your old fashioned religious people. Like a new hot flavor of ice cream. It's customized to the individual tastes.

      January 31, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • fred

      Chad
      Jesus at the cross said it is finished. Atonement complete with all sin forgiven for those that would call upon the name of the Lord. The ability to call upon the name of the Lord is given by the grace and mercy of God alone. It does not matter if one is Hindu or dudu God alone gives that gift according to His perfect wisdom.
      By the same token anyone can refuse that gift. Being blinded while involved in some cult or deluded with atheism does not prevent God from offering that gift even at ones dying breath.

      January 31, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh pathetic fred is here...

      I got a religious question for ya.. "who goes to hell?" Give your opinion or state it from your bible.

      Chad the same question to you.

      January 31, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @fred "Jesus at the cross said it is finished. Atonement complete with all sin forgiven for those that would call upon the name of the Lord. The ability to call upon the name of the Lord is given by the grace and mercy of God alone. It does not matter if one is Hindu or dudu God alone gives that gift according to His perfect wisdom. By the same token anyone can refuse that gift. Being blinded while involved in some cult or deluded with atheism does not prevent God from offering that gift even at ones dying breath.

      @Chad " I agree 100%, if I somehow communicated something different, probably just an error on my part.
      Of course, one doesnt remain Hindu(believing in many gods) if you call upon the name of the lord, I'm sure you didnt mean to say that..

      January 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Saraswati

      "The whole idea of what “lord and savior” would mean just opens up extra issues."
      – I think it's pretty clear what "lord" and "savior" means,
      "Is no one who believes Jesus was human a Christian?"
      –No, not a single person. Christianity is very clear on that and if you really believe that jesus was just a man and not god incarnated into a human body then it's a completely different religion altogether. You honestly can't make that a debate topic because christianity hinges on Jesus being the lord and not just a prophet.

      "When you say they “agree with the bible” do you mean every word? Old and new testaments? Literally?"
      – This you can quibble about because I understand it is intentionally va.gue. I think agreeing with the bible is a wide net because there are so many ways you can interpret it, what I wanted to make sure though is that a christian can't look at the bible and think it's wrong. They can read the words and interpret it as they see fit (re: thousands of different sects) but they can't say they personally disagree with say, the 10 commandments, or that god is only an allegory. Sorry to still be wishy washy because obviously there's a lot of room and grey areas here that fit huge amounts of people calling themselves christians, however I don't know of any christian sect that has thrown out the entire bible altogether. do you?

      "We’re just going to have to disagree here, because I still see no purpose in assigning these detailed attributes to Christianity."
      –If this was a new cult that was still looking for followers and had only been around for a year, sure there's room to create new definitions and attributes for it. Christianity however has been set up and refined a couple thousand years ago. You can't change dogma to fit current events and still call it infalliable.

      "You say that you only have those first three criteria, but now you’re talking specifically about heaven and hell. It seems that you are adding levels of detail that are overly specific."
      Heaven and Hell are specifically refrenced within the bible. Anything I discuss about christianity's dogma comes straight from there. Like I said above, it's tough to nail down what "believing the bible to be true" actually means, but heaven and hell are very real concepts within them and christians can not, as part of the holy canon, reject the notion of an afterlife and a heaven and hell without rejecting a key piece of the bible.

      January 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      Stop making me think Answer!!!!! It's happy hour and now you're making me think that the only way we can make Christianity more tolerable is to make our own unscented brand of it. Less filling and tastes great. Like if you took everyone out of a Unitarian Universalist church and put them all in a blender and added some 2% milk. Like Lewis Black said, I have ideas . . . .

      January 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      oh fred. they can't put his brand of scented tissue in the stores anymore. people were falling asleep and dropping like flies in the aisles before they could get anywhere near the checkout stands.

      January 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • fred

      Answer
      We know for certain that Satan and his demons have a place reserved in the lake of fire (hell). As to everyone else we know that to each is given various gifts and to him that much is given much is expected. That tells me I am held to greater accountability because I have personally experienced the saving grace of our Lord and to this day I remain forever thankful. Others were given a different lot in life and they are only held accountable for what was given to them. Certain things bring great damage to children (young in age or immature in the things of God) and Jesus said it would be better that they were never born than to harm a little one such as these.

      Hell is eternal separation from the glory of God which to this day restrains evil. Good and evil will be separated because man cannot and never could live in the presence of the knowledge of both. Being separated from God and even the state of nothingness is an eternity when a soul is separated from the love of God.

      January 31, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      LOL. fred frequently starts "we know" like he's giving a sermon. But we don't actually know and he doesn't know either. He may believe, but he really shouldn't speak for others, especially since it's all belief.

      January 31, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • fred

      ¿¿lol
      We know that if one believes the Gospel of Christ they are born again of God. This means the Holy Spirit dwells within the person and transforms that person. We would mean at a minimum the Holy Spirit and me. If it is more palatable I could say the Bible says this but that seems impersonal.

      January 31, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • fred

      ¿¿lol
      Unfortunately you know now which makes you just a bit more accountable than you were before. The only way you could not know is by building a wall that keeps the truth out and keeps you locked in you present state of denial. Let us just pretend you die and there you stand before a veiled image that says ¿¿lol why did you not believe all those people I sent to warn you? What evidence will you present in your defense?

      January 31, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Bob

      So, fred, your god feels that eternal torture is fair punishment for "sins" of a short mortal life, or merely for not serving his royal vainness. Uh huh. Any modern, reasonable human court would convict your god of human rights crimes.

      You can keep your nasty sky fairy. To yourself. Quietly, please.

      January 31, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      fred – I can say things too. I can say we know that we know our intelligence came from outer space by real beings that are composed of similar matter as we are. There are others who believe this. That would be a belief as well since it, like the case of the god of Abraham, has not be proven nor demonstrated in any reasonable fashion. If what's in your mind fred feels strong enough to be real to you, then fine. But don't expect anyone else to believe it along with you without some reasonable proof which you have demonstrated that you do not have. You should start fred by simply understanding the word knowledge – what it means to actually know something. Know how that differs from belief.

      January 31, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • fred

      Bob
      That is hard to say given that God has put himself through the most inhuman torture imaginable just to save you. I never said you were going to hell for eternity. You seem to think such a place waits for you but you have no proof of that. If there is a God with that much love He will not just let you slip into hell you need to fight your way in. Should you be offered the gift down the line somewhere it seems you do not trust that God would know just the right time.
      Good news is that God wants to give you the best if that Bible is true. If God is who that Bible claims He is you know that nothing is impossible for God. If God is not then look out we are all in for a big surprise.

      January 31, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • fred

      ¿¿lol
      ok, so your excuse will be "hey dude I thought aliens beamed me here"?

      January 31, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      fred, I try to waste too much of my life contemplating what-if's from sources that I've already researched and deemed unfounded. Of course I'm open for someone to show me reasonable proof for their beliefs, but obviously that has not happened. You may want to investigate those early apologists, fred. I mentioned it earlier. Talk about excuses – wow.

      January 31, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      If the bible teaches us anything it's that god will change his mind when he wants to where he wants to for whatever purpose he wants; therefor, no "excuse" or "salvation" matters. God will do whatever he wants when he wants. Add that to the FACT that he is described as stupid, evil, and irrationally inconsistent (even by his own "standards," AND that he is completely invisible and undetectable, and..............well............what's the point of believing again?

      January 31, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • fred

      Moby Schtick
      No, God already knows everything as God is eternal. God does not exist in yesterday, today or tomorrow as God simply is. The concept of time is one that man canot escape because we use past, present and future as a way to measure time. It is all we know and all we have ever experienced. To God everything has already happened and not happened at the same instant which is why there is never a reason for God change. God does not change.

      Where the Bible references a change it is man (the author) attempting to describe what actually happened in terms of time relative to man.

      January 31, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Your reply, however unconvincing, changes none of the logic of my argument.

      January 31, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      Back to what I said, fred. knowledge. Before you start speaking for your god and what he knows, you need to come to terms with what knowledge is. how it differs from belief. time and again you fail at demonstrating anything that you believe is anything more than a belief, anything truly knowable.

      January 31, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Bob

      No, fred, it isn't hard to say at all. Seriously, if indeed your god feels that eternal torture is fair punishment for "sins" of a short mortal life, or merely for not serving his royal vainness, then your god is an ass hole, plain and simple. Any modern, reasonable human court should convict your god of human rights crimes, and maybe even assault, for such violent threats too.

      Now, again, regarding this supposed suffering and sacrifice that your god did, that's all BS too. Really, the whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is simply nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. Note "omnipotent", and think through the consequences of what that word means:

      Christians, think this through a bit: how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 31, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • fred

      Moby Schtick
      Sorry, I fail to see any logic in your argument. The fact God is sovereign does not translate into the human condition that experiences change and is subject to change as God cannot change because God simply is. You logic further fails in that salvation matters if it exists as written.
      You are living out your existence in this time and space. If that is all there is then the Bible was wrong from the very beginning. If you want to argue about what the Bible actually says that is very different and the Bible is a closed loop that has remained a constant to every generation that has heard the truth of God.
      The point of believing is only relevant to the possibility of a soul that transcends our time and space.

      January 31, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      fred, that's BS on all counts. The Bible is not a closed loop of any kind. If it was there wouldn't be over 30,000 denominations of Christianity. But more importantly, back to your notion that if it were wrong, the entire thing would be wrong. Very wrong again. It's reasonable to think that *some* of the fable of both OT and/or NT could represent and have risen from historical reality. We just don't know. What we do *know* is that none of the supernatural claims of the Bible have been demonstrated nor reasonable proof provided to deem such claims as *knowable*. A belief, and that's it.

      January 31, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      So again, fred, get straight in your head the difference between what is known and what is believed. Also, again, look back up to my earlier post regarding early apologists. Come up with an explanation for that if you try. Of course you could just agree with the early apologists which keeps things in the category of circular validation, where you are still stuck now.

      January 31, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • fred

      ¿¿lol
      Socrates said, "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." According to Socrates your atheist “wisdom” concerning God is true wisdom in that you know that you know nothing about God. I suspect you want a grand debate about what is knowledge and what is belief because that issue has yet to be resolved. The moment you moved away from the one truth the absolute truth and wisdom that can only reside in God everything becomes relative and nothing has meaning outside of the present.
      You are the one that has un-tethered yourself from reality by stipulating that knowledge is only based upon evidence that meets a moving standard. When you base everything you believe on knowledge that is without firm foundation you have no belief.
      You problem is not that you know absolutely nothing about God rather that you are completely oblivious that knowledge built upon the standard of relevance is no knowledge at all.

      January 31, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Jill

      fred, Socrates is in your shoes and on your toothbrush. Say no more say no kilowatts. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently. So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      January 31, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      fred: "Socrates said, "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." According to Socrates your atheist “wisdom” concerning God is true wisdom in that you know that you know nothing about God. I suspect you want a grand debate about what is knowledge and what is belief because that issue has yet to be resolved. "

      On pure level of truth I would not argue much up to this point, except to say that 1) as an agnostic atheist I would contend that you think you know something about a possible higher being, when I believe you don't; because if you truly did *know* something you have demonstrated it in someway other than expressing you mental feelings about it; and 2) I'm not looking for a grand debate; however, just as you find it reasonable to dip into some very shaky ancient fable to support what you *believe*, I am comfortable with having researched the issue for my own purposes. The potholes in Christianity don't require Socrates to be seen; those early apologists were a hoot.

      fred: "The moment you moved away from the one truth the absolute truth and wisdom that can only reside in God everything becomes relative and nothing has meaning outside of the present.
      You are the one that has un-tethered yourself from reality by stipulating that knowledge is only based upon evidence that meets a moving standard. When you base everything you believe on knowledge that is without firm foundation you have no belief.
      You problem is not that you know absolutely nothing about God rather that you are completely oblivious that knowledge built upon the standard of relevance is no knowledge at all."

      The rest of that is all BS because it requires one to acknowledge the unfounded claim to a *belief* in the god of Abraham which I do not hold. It also pretends to suppose that such belief is knowledge when it isn't. In others words, it looks like your circle of circular logic will be unbroken and you want to continue to spin in it like some hamster in its play wheel. So be it.

      January 31, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Answer

      @¿¿lol

      ==quote==

      Stop making me think Answer!!!!!
      ==end==

      I must express my apologies to ya. Sorry.

      January 31, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      @Answer – lol. actually sorry – I have no idea why I wrote that. Maybe I was pretending for a moment it would be nice and simple to be the fred wind-up doll and not have to think outside the circle. gosh and I never made happy hour, but that was for other reasons. lol. better for my health anyway.

      January 31, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Answer

      @¿¿lol

      Oh.. so that's the case. XD

      Ya we can't 'all' be that simple wind up doll in life. Things will never get explored or developed without reason and logic.

      January 31, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • fred

      ¿¿lol
      Is there anything you find to be self-evident or does all "knowledge" require proof?

      January 31, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Erin

      December, google "willed ignorance". You exemplify it.

      February 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Science

      @chad

      Is that you stuck over on fridays speed read.. in a tube. growing.

      Test Tube

      February 2, 2013 at 5:53 am |
  7. truth be told

    All atheists are liars. I can't think of a use for one, I can't even think of a use for a dead one. I thought maybe doorstop but they are so foul then no one would ever want to use the door. If the entire 1% of the worlds population that thinks it is atheist all committed mass sui.cide no one would miss them

    January 30, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Dippy

      But, do you like atheists?

      January 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • lionlylamb

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

      January 30, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • lionlylamb

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

      January 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol. Keep on keeping on.
      You'll convert many, I'm sure.

      January 30, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • lionlylamb

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

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

      January 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • lionlylamb

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

      January 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB9kxOle_k4&w=640&h=390]

      January 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Pepperpot Waitress

      Damn it, cowardly, will you cut this video posting bullshit out??? You're making the pages load super slow, you retarded psychopath! Just post the fucking link!!

      January 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • lionlylamb

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

      January 30, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • sam

      ....................../´¯/)
      ....................,/¯../
      .................../..../
      ............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`•¸
      ........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\
      ........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
      .........\.................'...../
      .........."...\.......... _.•´
      ............\..............(
      ..............\.............\...

      January 30, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa2DF5be3dM&w=640&h=390]

      January 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49p0cZEisTA&w=640&h=390]

      January 30, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @lionly

      Are you just trying to find new ways of being a useless tool? If so you're succeeding very nicely.

      January 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7RqT9i5f4c&w=640&h=390]

      January 30, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Akira

      Sam, I see you used MAD's finger already...

      January 30, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Damocles

      @tbt

      Slow down! I have to write all of these awesome things you are saying so I can use it on the people I love! Let's see.... *writing furiously* liar..... no use for a dead one..... damn I can't wait to use these when me and the wifey are being intimate! Oh wait! *writing again* Please.... commit.... suicide..... man I'm gonna get lucky tonight! Wooooooo!

      January 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
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About this blog

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