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A killing, a life sentence and my change of heart
Jeanne Bishop, left, and her sister Nancy visit Scotland in 1990, the year before Nancy's murder.
February 2nd, 2013
10:00 PM ET

A killing, a life sentence and my change of heart

Editor's note: Jeanne Bishop is the sister of Nancy Bishop Langert, who, along with her husband and their unborn child, was shot to death by a juvenile. Since the murder of her family members, Jeanne Bishop has been an advocate for gun violence prevention, forgiveness and abolition of the death penalty. She is a criminal defense attorney in Chicago.

By Jeanne Bishop, Special to CNN

(CNN) - I have been paying close attention to the changes coming since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down any mandatory life sentences for juveniles who kill.  A teenager killed my sister.

He killed her dream, too. She wanted to be a mom.

My sister Nancy married young.  She was overjoyed when she got pregnant at age 25.

That dream died three months later, when she and her husband walked through the front door of their home and found their killer waiting for them.

He was a 16-year-old with a history of violence.  He wanted to see what it was like to kill someone. He found out when he broke in and shot Nancy, Richard and their unborn baby and left them to die on a cold basement floor.

When the killer was arrested, details emerged that turned my stomach. He had joked about murdering my family members, even attended their funeral.

When he was convicted of the murders, he was remorseless. When he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, I was glad.

After sentencing, my mother turned to me in the courtroom and said, “We’ll never see him again.” I was glad of that, too.  I wanted to wipe him off my hands like dirt.

I never spoke his name. I wanted his name to die and Nancy’s to live.

When a coalition of people (including law professors such as Bernardine Dohrn and Randolph Stone whose advocacy on behalf of children I have always admired) launched efforts to abolish juvenile life sentences, I was appalled. The last thing I wanted was to attend parole hearings year after year, to beg bureaucrats not to release the person who had slaughtered my loved ones.

So I publicly fought any change in the sentence.  I told myself that fight was not just for my family, but for other family members of loved ones murdered by juveniles who would be affected.  I was like Saul early in the Book of Acts, the righteous one with a zeal for justice, before he was struck down and humbled and given a new name: Paul.

Then, I repented.

My road to Damascus moment didn’t come in a blinding light or a voice from heaven. The voice that changed my heart was that of a Mississippi-born, Vietnam veteran, Yale-educated  Southern Baptist pastor and academic named Randall O’Brien.

O’Brien told me something true - that Nancy’s killer and I are both children of God, equally beloved and equally fallen. O’Brien reminded me of Jesus’ example on the cross of what to do with those who have harmed us: pray for them.

I had never prayed for the person who killed my loved ones; I had never even uttered his name.

I say it now: David Biro. I began praying for him in the only place I could: the garden where Nancy and Richard and their baby are buried. I dropped to my knees and asked God for something I never could have imagined, that Nancy’s killer get well enough to get out someday.

I don’t know that he will; he is not there yet.  But I do know that no one, including him, is beyond the forgiveness and redemption and purpose of God.

My two young sons taught me that. We were talking about loving your neighbor as yourself.  Stephen asked, “What about the person who killed Aunt Nancy?”

Brendan replied, “We can’t love what he did. But we have to love him, because God made him for a purpose.”

Brendan is right. God made each of the juveniles serving life sentences for a purpose.  I can no longer support a sentence that says never.

Repenting privately would be cowardice, since my past support for locking up some juveniles forever has been so public.  So when lawmakers in my state of Illinois consider bills next month that would abolish juvenile life sentences, I will be there to speak in favor of the mercy of a second chance.

Dr. Marcus Borg, a biblical and Jesus scholar, notes that the roots of the Greek word for “repentance” mean “to go beyond the mind that you have.”

My mind is changed; my heart is remade, and a new task lies ahead.

- kramsaycnn

Filed under: Belief • Guns • Violence

soundoff (1,981 Responses)
  1. Roger that

    If David Biro hasn't found Jesus in prison, it's probably just a matter of time before he does. Then he and Jeanne can have a nice chat in heaven about the day he mowed down her sister. God loves the murderer that asks to be saved. Does God love the person born in India that was raised to believe Hinduism? Nah, it's to the eternal fire pit for them. Does God love the Jews thrown into the crematories in Poland? Nope. Back to the flames you heathens. He's such a loving and just God.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Bob

      Roger that indeed. Great point.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      And that Gandhi guy? He's probably burning the hottest over his belief in a different god. Bet Satan can't wait to get the Dalai Lama down there with him too, evil turd that he is.

      Christianity is pure silliness, isn't it?

      February 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Bob

      Pure silliness, yes, but often quite harmful silliness. For example, religion has delayed, pushed aside, and even extinguished advances in medical science many times.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  2. David Gibson

    I think that Ms. Bishop demonstrates a powerful case against religion.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • dale

      what about Jesus Christ, does she alter who He is? are you psycho or deceptively selfish and manipulative?

      February 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Bob

      dale, the whole core premise of Christianity that the death of Jesus would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. 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/

      February 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • dale

      you are a slave off the devil,, you are aligned with evil, and i have experience and personal evidence of spiritual life, satanic evil, and the ministry of a Truth bearing Spirit. There is no power on earth, or in hell, that can change the life that is in the Spirit of Truth. Because he is creator, God, and redeemer of the sin that you live to deny. you are obedient to spiritual death, and you and your posse hang around these places because you are replicating what it is to be a demon. You tear at the mind and flesh of truth. this is your joy.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Dale
      I seek truth, and after having read it thoroughly, I can tell you that your bible does not contain truth.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  3. massms

    "I dropped to my knees and asked God for something I never could have imagined, that Nancy’s killer get well enough to get out someday. I don’t know that he will; he is not there yet."

    Perhaps the author is sincere in her beliefs but she is also deeply gullible. The crime was committed in 1990. If Mr. Biro hasn't 'gotten well' by now, it's unlikely he ever will especially since he has a history of violence including attempting to poison his parents. Some articles claim he tortured the Langerts before murdering them which, if true, Ms. Bishop conveniently omitted from her article. She would be better served spending her time and energy on a more realistic cause. Biro is the epitome of evil; he is unworthy of anyone's empathy.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  4. dale

    atheists are satanists by default in all reality. they promote murder, the freedom of undetected evil persona, with no remedy to the cause. Shame on you, you are of your father the devil.

    I have personally witnessed demonic activity. divination and mental telepathy. you satanists who lie about the reality of God are pitiful, but yet justified by the blood of Christ. Repent, today is the day of salvation.
    John 3:16
    For God So Loved the World
    16 “For God so loved the world,9 that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "dale", but "the devil", "Christ", "God", and "Son" are all elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL".

      February 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Devoted Christian

      Do not puncture a loon
      Oh mouse-like mattress!
      The spleen shrieks.

      Our auctioneers rotate
      Just before the banshee strangles a turbot.
      The butterflies shout "Wow!"
      Terribly.

      False goats are vicious
      Though not really radioactive.
      My bugle-player stupidly
      Garottes the Viking warrior.

      Surely unsound gorillas read newspapers?
      A drenched turbot shrieks.
      My cliche-ridden banshee wobbles indefinitely
      Disguised as a lumpy passer-by.

      Never consult a weasel
      Oh ye auctioneers!
      Surely the anglers plague rubber ducks?

      Our turbot catches a train.
      Loofahs are plump.
      Oysters are bouncy.

      The scarlet policeman nocturnally pummels wicket-keepers.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • dale

      join your legion and evil alliance hal. No one is going to stop you if thats who you choose.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • paula

      I'm no atheist, but that's just ridiculous. Promote murder? Get real. bud.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Bob

      dale, the core premises of your fairytale are absurd and self-contradictory.

      For example. the 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 utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. 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/

      February 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • End Religion

      @dale: "I have personally witnessed demonic activity. divination and mental telepathy"

      Quick, dale, you can go scoop up a cool million as the first human to have ever actually proven to exist any of your fiction:
      James Randi Challenge
      http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

      ....or maybe you're just another bugnutty crazy douchewaffle? Hmmm... such a tough decision to make.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • dale

      garbage. if you are an athiest, you promote the cloaked freedom of Satan, who will instill thoughts in peoples minds. The holy
      spirit convicts the world of sin, and you cloak the Holy Spirit. you promote evil, and suppress the battle against evil.

      YOU ARE PROMOTING SATANIC OPPRESSION, EVIL , AND MURDER. you are of your father the devil.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Bob

      dale, you should see a psychiatrist. Urgently.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      You need help, Dale. Satan doesn't exist. It must be terrible to walk through life seeing demons all around you.

      They do have medication for that problem.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Dale
      Your god made satan, knowing the repercussions. So your god is to blame.
      Atheists are not satans minions. There are no gods and certainly no demons.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • dale

      i found a pixture of the devil. it is real and you are suppressing the BATTLE against this devil.
      http://www.willallen.com/WLA4/wla4_04_Halloween_Devil2.jpg

      February 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  5. nicolebarwinski

    I do believe in forgiveness. But there are limits and certain times where I would never apply it. I find this whole "say you're sorry, repent, do the hail Mary" routine appalling. What an easy ticket – and then screw up again. That said, I would never forgive somebody who killed another human being. This kid (and at 16 more adult than kid) clearly has something wired wrong in his brain. He is sick. To think that he could be among us again, is very scary. I would think that the chances that he will do something horrific again are extremely high. If Jeanne needs to forgive him in order to move on with her life – it's her choice, but I sure hope he'll stay locked up.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      You seem to be confusing forgiveness with repenting.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |

  6. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKNd_S3iXfs&w=640&h=390]

    February 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • John

      There are quite a few eye witness accounts in the bible where someone acknowledged that God exists. Any hardened skeptic can deny ANYTHING up until someone asks them, "do you exist?", and that they can't deny. It is always your choice if you want to believe anything outside of your own existence... including God. I know God is there and I'm quite happy and content with knowing such.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Texts that date back to no earlier than decades after their subject has supposedly died are eyewitness accounts?

      February 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • End Religion

      John, there does not exist a single credible eyewitness. And even if there were, we know eyewitness accounts aren't very reliable in general, let alone when it comes to religious zealots. Your god and your Jeebus never existed.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Bob

      What ER said. Exactly. And furthermore, how come Christian goddy boy can't show his face explicitly in the modern world, rather than sit silently for >2K years, after having left behind not even eyewitness accounts, at best ? Reasonable doubt is more than justified, on those grounds alone.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • John

      ER, you're not a "true skeptic" until you doubt everything else but your own existence. If you are going to deny written history, well, all historical accounts are after the fact written up and passed on accounts. Typically they are copied texts after the originals rotted. Sorry, but I'm not going to throw away history, just because someone denies history happened. A hardened skeptic has as much credibility, as the person that doubts they have food in the frig, and has to go check it again to prove it to themself before their next meal. Grow up.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • End Religion

      John, don't be obtuse. Abraham Lincoln existed, your Jesus did not. It's that simple.

      There is much credible evidence that Lincoln existed. There is zero for miracle Jeebus. Any claim of your magical fruitcake miracle-worker is not credible, and has been debunked ad nauseum. There is only your faith in imaginary creatures, which I understand you laughably claim as "truth".

      February 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It sounds as if John is willing to believe what he wants to believe. That's fine for him. I prefer to believe in things that are supported by evidence, not by wishful thinking.

      February 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  7. Brad C

    When I was 15 my 19 yr old sister was MURDERED. A young man was walking down the sidewalk with a boombox radio minding his own business. 2 losers were sitting in thier car waiting for one of thier fathers to get off work at the local brewery, so they could get more beer from him. You see these fine upstanding LOSERS spent the day drinking, smoking and whatever else they could do on a Tuesday night. They decided they needed that radio. They got out of thier car and tried to take it by force but due to ther condition they couldn't. So one of them went to the car and grabbed a .22 rifle from the trunk and shot the young man 4 times. As this happened on the sidewalk outside my sisters window, she was inside cutting coupons to head to the grocery store. She had just got done working at 11pm. She heard the noise and opened her curtain to see what the noise was. One of the losers noticed the light, turned and put 4 shots in my sister. She turned and told her botfriend she was hit. He freaked out and ran out the front door, scared and cowardly. He returned some 20 minutes later to find the cops and paramedics working on the young man that died on the sidewalk, he asked the cops if they got to my sister......they had no idea she was bleeding out in the apartment right next to them. They ran inside, asked her name and started to revive her. One of the medics knew the name......my mom was a Nurse at the local trauma hospital for 41 yrs.....they all knew my mom....my mom who was working that night. They rushed my sister to the ER and proceeded to find my mom, my mom that taught Sunday school, gave her life to care for GODS children.....good ones and bad ones. Where was that GOD now?? My sister was pronouced dead in the same hospital.....

    The losers were caught. One decided to hang himself in the jail cell before admitting what he did. The other was given 25 yrs....I don't know where he is....I don't want to know.....I think he is better off that my brothers and I don't know. I took a photography class in high school that fall, one of our assignments was take some black/white photos of buildings with contrast.....I chose the black trimmed, white siding apartment building my sister died in. As I developed the photos a girl in my class freaked out on me...come to find out she lived in that building...2 floors up. She also looked out her window that night in August..........thankfully her lights were off at the time.

    I often wonder what the Holidays/Birthdays, heck just normal days, would be like if my whole family was there..always seems like something is missing.

    I believe there should be a DEATH Penalty.
    I am for ownership of guns.
    I believe we should all treat people the way we want to be treated, you want to kill and hurt people then you yourself should be dealt with in the same manner.
    Criminals should be put on notice that thier behavior will not be tolerated, we need fewer criminals not more prisoners. The military is now taking the kids with goals and ambition to be successful in life. We are losing a generation of good upstanding young men and women....and filling prisons with losers that want to kill and ruin the lives of others for thier own benefit large or small..........sometimes for just a boombox.

    I stopped believing in a GOD that shows us the way and all the other crap. Your story greatly bothers me that you feel sorry for this loser and forgive him. It hurt to read your story. I wonder how you will feel if he never gets better? I wonder if it is just easy for you to feel this way knowing that he has a life sentenance? I wonder how you will feel, if this bill passes, when the first repeat offender is caught and another life ruined because YOU found GOD? Do us all a favor, put down the good book, come back to reality and think about that same individual that took your sisters life....coming and doing the same to your family....because he wanted to see how it felt to kill members of the same family?

    February 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      Sorry for your loss. Congrats on escaping religion. Good luck in the future.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • JJ

      I'm so sorry for your loss but am glad to hear that one of the pieces of shit offed himself. Let's hope the other did as well.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • KarenB

      Very well written and expressed. My faith is strong enough to know that we can forgive, but punishment should fit the crime. A life sentence is fitting, especially for the crime you described. I hope you find peace one day.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • BertW

      Some people forfeit their right to be part of the human family. They need to be gone.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Karen B
      Your god does not see it that way. According to the bible, since I don't believe, I am to be sentenced to an eternity in hell...is that just?

      February 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mohamed

      I am so sorry to hear about your loss. That is why if you kill someone in cold blood then you have to pay back with your own life. No life sentence rather an electric chair or lethal injection is the just punishment. God is there but He is just not a man or a woman or has a son or daughter. But God is there and has given us a set of rules to live by. If you take away a human life then you don't deserve a life either. The issue is with humans implementation of God's rule rather than God being agnostic of human pain.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  8. Peter Jenning

    What a beautiful writing. I love your courage and your love. Very sorry for your sister and her family :(

    If you believe in God or NO then respect others feelings and belief. NOBODY is forcing you to chose either way. Prayer is a powerful nutrient.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      wishing on a star is a powerful nutrient.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • End Religion

      Prayer is less powerful than a pork and bean fart.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  9. Antonio

    god? Get over it. Religion should be stricken from all text books and media sources. It smells.

    Sure, forgive and get forgiven then you can do the same thing over and over. That is so krappie.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • lol??

      Leap a lot?

      February 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      Nice philosophy. Don't forgive, burn books, censorship. Go all Pol Pot on us.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • frank

      That's a bit harsh. If it's an older bible and has been kept in a clean dry place, it can be a good subst itute for TP in a pinch. I find the book of psalms to be the most like Charmin.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • lol??

      frank was never taught to love da neigbors in a respectable manner.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Nclaw441

      Freedom for you, but not others. Right?

      February 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      Isn't it always?

      February 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      Leap, lol??? You mean like those early Christian apologists who said the the reason the gospels looked so much like earlier pagan writings was that it was a pre-emptive strike by Satan! LMAO!

      February 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • lol??

      Well dude, how do your trials work out?

      February 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • lol??

      "1Cr 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."

      February 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • sarah

      The lol?? idiot loves to quote Gullible's Travels.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • lol??

      try AMTRAK . They be concerned about your final destination. Don't dose in da station. Won't work.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  10. Universe

    Islamic scripture (Quran says)

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    “The life of this world is no more than illusion and vanity, while the abode of the Hereafter is far better for the righteous. Do you not understand?! [6:32]

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      The quran and the bible are equal in the fact that they are both fictional works of men.
      There is nothing holy about either of them.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Paul

      The Quran and the Bible, as well as the works of all other religions, are the works of mortal men. This is just scriptural mythology. They are fictional stories that were never intended to be taken literally. Imagine how silly the Quran would look if it used the story of the Three Bears as its baseline.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  11. Reality

    Only for the eyes of Jeanne Bishop:

    The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    February 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • lol??

      Already seen your references.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      Don't forget those early Christian apologists who said the the reason the gospels looked so much like earlier pagan writings was that it was a pre-emptive strike by Satan! LMAO!

      February 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  12. dale

    “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” -Romans 3:23

    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16

    “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” -Acts 16:31

    February 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Devoted Christian

      Do not puncture a loon
      Oh mouse-like mattress!
      The spleen shrieks.

      Our auctioneers rotate
      Just before the banshee strangles a turbot.
      The butterflies shout "Wow!"
      Terribly.

      False goats are vicious
      Though not really radioactive.
      My bugle-player stupidly
      Garottes the Viking warrior.

      Surely unsound gorillas read newspapers?
      A drenched turbot shrieks.
      My cliche-ridden banshee wobbles indefinitely
      Disguised as a lumpy passer-by.

      Never consult a weasel
      Oh ye auctioneers!
      Surely the anglers plague rubber ducks?

      Our turbot catches a train.
      Loofahs are plump.
      Oysters are bouncy.

      The scarlet policeman nocturnally pummels wicket-keepers.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • George says it best

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjVLJKR6g7U&w=640&h=390]

      February 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • JJ

      "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit Not a nasty, dirty wet hole, filled with the ends of earth worms and an ozzy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole, with nothing to sit down on or to eat; it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort."

      From the book of Bilbo, 1:1

      February 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  13. lol??

    Women are forbidden to teach in church. Da Pale Horse is a different story!

    February 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  14. End Religion

    I'm finding all these comments really hilarious. Mostly Christians have climbed onto their high horse to say that as good upstanding people of God they would forgive this murderer, yet every day they rail against abortion as if its the greatest and most unforgivable crime of humanity. This murderer killed 2 adults and aborted a fetus. Why so much compassion now? If you want to forgive this monster then forgive abortion doctors and get back to concerning yourselves with what you do best, organizing bake sales.

    February 3, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Dennis

      Great post, ER.

      February 3, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • FreeFromTheism

      XD

      February 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      Is someone putting the doctors in jail for life?

      February 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Reality

      Beyond the Paul myths and onto the scourge of abortion and STDs:

      The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
      Followed by:
      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      February 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • gbsk

      Why is everyone bashing this lady? I am not a Christian but another religion. She is being a true Christian and loving. Something I do not see on these comments. Who said anything about abortion? I saw nothing about that in the article. I can understand there is some hypocrity in religion but none in this article.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      I can't figure it out either. It might be pain old misery loves company.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  15. LFSLBB

    How dare any of us feel the place or right to judge her or anyone else for how they deal with their burdens. Because she prayed for someone who is obviously totally and incredibly broken and sick she needs to "grow up" and "makes you sick"??? Her beliefs are "mumbo jumbo" just because you don't believe the same thing??? Tap the freakin breaks people.

    February 3, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • what do they mean?

      Like breaks in a song? Breaks between the pavement? Hmmm.

      February 3, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  16. Fiona

    Snobberies and prejudices often seep between the lines of someone trying to appear magnanimous. Bishop's description, "...of a Mississippi-born, Vietnam veteran, Yale-educated Southern Baptist pastor and academic named Randall O’Brien" is revealing. Why include his Yale credentials? Why does it matter that he's an academic? Because Southern Baptist pastor doesn't sound smart enough for her to admit she as swayed by him, that's why.

    February 3, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  17. Sally

    Why is this story on the first page of CNN? What a crock! This essay belongs in a church bulletin. The monster that murdered her family in cold blood without remorse should NEVER get out of prison. The fact that he acted out his sociopathic tendencies so early in life and was caught is the blessing here. Forgive him if you want to but please let him remain in prison where he belongs so that the world can be a little safer.

    February 3, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • John

      I think the real tragedy here is that the kid was trained to become a serial killer, and the idea to try it out in real life caught him on a day when he was "off" just enough to imagine it was the right thing to do. It must have been odd to find out you don't get points in real life for doing that, and instead, you get punished, no reward, no resetting the game to get a new life.

      February 3, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Bob

      Couldn't agree more. Just think, had this murderer been executed, she would never have to worry about seeing him again or going to parole hearings. Society would be protected from him. She could still forgive him and then we wouldn't have to pay for his room and board. Seems like a win-win to me.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Darnkid

      I am sick of hearing people complain of what is on the front page. If you thought it was a crock and belonged in a church bulletin, pass it up, ignore it, don't open it, read it, and then comment on what a crock it is to be on the front page.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  18. Jaimie

    This juvenile should be incarcerated for the rest of his natural life. Then we pay for his crime through tax for room and board. Imagine that.

    February 3, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • yes

      ...but why should we pay E4EYE

      February 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • grrrrrrrr

      ya we arent talking $15 an hour like $500 and hour

      February 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  19. myweightinwords

    To forgive someone is to release the weight of the anger and hatred the lives inside you and festers.

    One can forgive, and not behave stupidly. You'll notice she says that she knows this man who killed her family is no where near ready to get out. She isn't being stupid about it. He may never be ready. He may be one of those who can not be redeemed or rehabilitated.

    That doesn't mean she should carry around the anger and hatred any longer.

    February 3, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • John

      This is why Jesus said to forgive, it's a lifting of the pain you'd feel if you didn't forgive. I've tried it, going back to where I've forgiven, and thinking about not forgiving... and there is physical pain when that happens, real pain. When someone tries to hold on all their life to all the wrongs, and not forgive, they are burdened with pain of all those wrongs... it's misery. And to let go and forgive, is to let go of the misery and pain, and let bliss take back your life to where it should be. I believe this is what Jesus was after, to help others find God, and help them live a happier, less pain filled life, until they go to heaven to be with God.

      February 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        And yet, forgiveness is possible without god as well.

        In fact, I never found it until I had walked away from Christianity all together.

        February 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • John

      MWIW, that's sad, because you missed out on knowing the most dynamic being in all existence, dynamic in so many directions all at once, beyond our comprehension, beyond our imagination... because you didn't want to know him, and didn't expect he could be who he is, God.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        What was sad, John, was the number of years I wasted believing I was a vile, horrible, evil creature unworthy of love or redemption.

        The best thing I ever learned was forgiveness and unconditional love, for myself and for others.

        February 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  20. nora

    I believe she is so angry that if she actually showed it – it would probably be very scary. She is hiding her hurt with the bible – and she should be hurt he took alot away from her but she is in denial.

    February 3, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • concerned

      Nora, I promise that anger can be completely removed and not just "hiding".

      February 3, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Marti

      Too bad you don't know what Jeanne does. I'm sure she would pray for you, too.

      February 3, 2013 at 11:50 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.