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.
I was watching the Super Bowl (I think the Lakers are up at half time) and then the Grammy Awards started. I thought that was next week?
Now they turned off the lights and it is just nothing but tomfoolery.
They are just grab assin' out there. Grab assin'!
You dishonor you sister.
It seems to be that the issue here is once again one of remorse and rehabilitation. David Biro was 16 years old at the time of this killing, and he showed no remorse – per Jeanette Bishop's own words. That is old enough to know right from wrong and to show (feel) remorse for such actions.
Rehabilitation is another story – one which the majority of us are not qualified to answer. But I think if a person is capable of knowing the difference between right and wrong, can feel remorse yet shows none, and/or cannot be rehabilitated, they should be a candidate for a sentence without parole.
And how will you feel if he gets out and murders someone else? If there are no repercussions that stick, what is to prevent anyone from repeating their heinous crimes? Will your god convince you that the next victim was in his design also?
Does anyone know who won the SuperBowl 10 years ago? Does anyone care? 22 grown men being paid millions of dollars to chase a pigs bladder down a cow pasture, when they could each afford their own ball, all in desperate need of rest, with 80,000 fans in desperate need of exercise. What is going to matter 500 years from now? It will matter if you are in heaven or hell. Hell is eternal. There is no game about that. Death is like Game 7 Sudden Death overtime in Hockey –at any moment it is over. There is no next season. Like it or not God made you and he owns this stadium and he made the rules. Ever told a lie? You broke his rules. Ever stolen? Thief! Lust is adultery. Hatred is murder. You will go to hell if found guilty in your sins. Jesus died while we were yet sinners. No one else died for you. Jesus is God and only his death satisfies a holy just God. We don't choose the devil's team. We are born on it. That is why Jesus said YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN. You need to get traded to God's team. Repent, and believe the Gospel. No ticket you aren't going to enter the Super Bowl. No Jesus you aren't going to enter Heaven. Salvation is A PERSON. Jesus. Not a prayer or performance or in a pew or in a pool of baptism. Don't miss life because you had your head in the game the whole time. And don't miss eternal life because you let the devil keep you distracted from thinking about what really matters by focusing on game after game after game. Games are for children. Death is for everyone. Where will you spend eternity? I am on the winning side. I hope you join me.
MikeyJoe, there is no heaven or hell. Religion is a shell game. Take your thumb out of your mouth and grow up.
"only his death satisfies a holy just God."
Wow. Just.........wow. Wow. Woooooooooow.
Just a tip: Don't vote. Nobody wants loonies having a part in deciding issues of societal importance.
Michael Joseph, your claims are nonsense and you are losing bigtime. Think again about your claims:
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 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.
Michael Joseph, you said exactly one true thing: "Death is like Game 7 Sudden Death overtime in Hockey –at any moment it is over."
The problem with your post is that you immediately contradict yourself and start talking about an afterlife. There is no evidence of any afterlife, god, satan, heaven or hell. There, however, is plenty of evidence to show that your god is exactly like every other one of the thousands of gods created and worshiped by humans: Imaginary.
Da slobster mobsters in Illinois stopped the death penalty. They go gaga over Gacy.
People got p.ssed when Jesus suggested that God's prophetic mission typically pushes beyond human boundaries.
He wasn't killed just because He claimed to be God. People were angry that he said God's mercy and healing are extended to those regarded as "outsiders".
Outsiders can = murderers, atheists, Buddhists, humanists, the over-churched
Anytime we draw a line, and say us and them – God asks us to love "them."
Doug, your god and your jesus never existed. They said none of what is purported, and further none of the things you have imagined they said.
I draw a line and ask for a crisp $20.
December, Jesus' whole claimed "mission" is a load of horse manure. 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 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.
Christians, 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.
First off, I don't reject the advances in medicine and technology – at my church we pray for, pay for and contribute to their advances.
> Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there.
This is how God has revealed himself to us. He says his people are the poor, orphans and widows. And asks us to help them.
it may be the right thing to do but I could not forgive or pray as Jeanne Bishop has. I firmly believe that if you parole violent killers like Biro, they will kill or commit violence again.
I am watching the Super Bowl right now and there is some football being played.
Yeah, I've been watching too. It's a weird sort of football, though. Something's wrong with the ball. It's out of round and won't roll. The players have to carry it and throw it, which they can't do all that well because they're wearing armor and some sort of blinders that make them run into each other.
Tom, they ran out of chicken wings and the people in the hole watching got mad a smushed all the balls. Plus I think they are wearing the armor and helmut because I have a short attention span. Anyway that is why strange metals can be super conductors.
Michael Joseph, your Jesus claims are a steaming pile:
Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
Jeanne Bishop, author of this piece, seems to be affected by something like Stockholm Syndrome. Her faith seems to have facilitated it by encouraging excessive sympathy with the killer. Just one of the evils of religion, I suppose.
evil comes from the heart of men, not religion.
Austin, define evil and then we can go to work on your anatomy skills (hint: brain.....)
no i wont define evil. the heart of man is desperately wicked and deceptive beyond measure.
A former striper turned ministry leader who claims she once considered becoming a lsbian has offered up a rather unusual explanation for homsxuality.
In an article for Charisma magazine, writer Cedric Harmon interviews a woman named Contessa Adams who claims that she was once possessed by sxual demons.
i think it is real and true. i wont elaborate on how peverse demons are.
during sleep paralysis people experience demonic attack and many cases of mental molestation. you tube
and i have my own experience with it that i wont talk about. but it was during a "dream"
Where do you, like, meet these sexual demons, Austin?
Austin, with a all due respect to the mentally challenged, are you retarded?
no the devil is real. trust me. I am called to faith. thats all. it sounds mantally insane but it isnt.
THIS SHT IS REAL
austin, is this the same dream where you ran over a cat and then fucked the roadkill?
no different dream.
one night i woke up and there was a whirlwind of light in my room and a high pitch noise to it. and i turned on the light and it was gone. no one believes that one either. it looked like i was inside a light tornado
end religion, why do say things like that that are so grossly perverted, when i am being serious. that the demon showed me in my dream that the cat was dead, and it was the only day i had ever seen the cat. and it was dead when i woke up.
this isnt a game. its not funny.
What I want to know is how are these things connected:
– sex with feline roadkill
– your DUI jail time with inmates who "picked on you" (feel free to share more intimate details)
– a bright, loud vortex in your bedroom
– your obsession with prophecy and not so surprisingly the bible
– your obsession with 9 AV or whatever the hell that is
– your need to post the exact same information under many different names
Want to know what the connection is? We've been telling you for some time but you don't seem to want to know. It's either a chemical or physical problem in your head combined with a possibly tiny IQ. Go get'r checked out, will ya? I'll miss your bugnutty crazy posts but I'll be happier to know you're getting some help.
christianity is such an illogical and rationally flawed religion that it never ceases to amaze me. to follow anyone that advocates pardoning evil people without rehab or retribution is stupid and wrong.
You criticize for lack of logic but you don't offer a logically sound argument to support your assertion. Do you actually understand logic?
Look at the basic premise of the New Testicle. If christian cultists readily accept that, they will accept ANY cra-zy idea. And we've already seen their willingness to accept nonsense in action. Slavery? Check. Subordination of women? Check. Marginalization of minorities? Check. Destruction of cultures around the world? Check. Stupid grounds for denying gay rights? Check. All justified using the Holey Babble.
TANK, that isn't even remotely a logically sound argument.
Because the way you refute an argument is to cross your arms and say "Nope. It's not logically sound."
Id-iot. Why would a dumbas-s like yourself think that he is qualified to evaluate an argument?
Tank, OK, I'll show you a sound argument so you know what one looks like.
All U.S. States each have a capital. (Premise)
Kansas is a U.S. state. (Premise)
Kansas has a state capital. (Conclusion)
Now here's one that isn't valid.
Some birds can fly.
All birds are animals.
All pigs are animals.
Pigs can fly.
The reason that I initially responded to Dean Edward is because he called Christianity illogical but didn't follow by demonstrating a knowledge of logic himself.
TANK, just for yuks, did you ever notice that 7*7 = 6*8+1 ? Works for all n - n*n = (n-1)(n+1)+1
Initial case, n = 1
1*1 = 0*1+1
1 = 0 + 1
1 = 1
n+1 case. ^ means raise to the power. That is 2^4 is 16.
(n+1)(n+1) = (n + 1 – 1)(n+1+1) + 1
(n+1)(n+1) = (n)(n+2) + 1
n^2 + 2n + 1 = n^2 + 2n + 1
That's an inductive proof. Do you still have doubt that I can recognize a proof?
If you do, where's my error? - math challenge only without the name calling.
Nice non sequitur copy-and-paste you've got there. You still haven't addressed the alleged illogic in dean's post or mine. You still look as dumb as before.
One of the two teams in the Super Bowl will win IF they score more football points than the other team.
Heretic. Hockey is the One True Sport.
Silly tallulah13, you can't score football points in a hockey tournament!
Besides, hockey is a reindeer game.
Bowls are for fruit. Football is for wimps. Rugby Oi Oi Oi!
talullah who is your favorite hockey team?
I knew a reindeer sir or madam. You are NO reindeer.
just wondering, what is your favorite toe?
Gotta agree with talullah13 on this one!
Akira, you seemed to have missed the point here too. You can't win the Super Bowl unless you score more football points than the other team, even if you dunk more hockey discs.
The team that will win is the team that baby Jesus picks.
Yes JJ, but that little shit never tells the truth.
Sports Fan, oh, I agree; you are a most wise sage.
This game most definitely be won if one team doesn't score more points than the other.
Red Wings all the way! If there is a god, his name is Steve Yzerman. (I know he's retired and now working for the Bolts, but my faith is true.)
Yes, they make outstanding work boots.
@fernando : Josephus : Born 3 or 4 years after jesus was supposed to have died.
So you're argument is that I could not gather any information on a president born before my time from those who were alive earlier? False.
I'm heading out now.
L4H, your position keeps getting weaker. At other points you were claiming eyewitnesses, now not even that.
Good riddance. Hopefully we can say the same for your religion soon.
This generation and surely the next will be the end to their sophistry and lies.
These maggot creationists can't escape the influence of the internet.
Here is a link to a cite which shows why Josephus is not a reliable "witness" to the existence of Christ.
We have primary sources with contemporary and corroborating evidence for each president. The primary sources for the christian myth of which we are sure are not contemporary, and often not corroborating.
I have had a dream where a demon presented to me that a cat was dead, and i went outside and it was dead.
also , revealed "word of knowledge" is a type of special revelation that I have experienced 3-4 times
also, special revelation of scripture that i was unfamiliar with happened, 5-6 times about scripture that i was going to read the next day.
I am one hundred percent positive that there is a devil, and God. and that I have a soul . and apparently it is obviously eternal. I believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that He is God in the flesh, and that His name and blood are the most precious things on earth.
Austin, the basic premise of your religion is absurd, and false. 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 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.
Seriously..........dude, I gotta ask. Do you pick and choose when to turn on your thinking faculties when engaging in sophistry?
austin, tell us more about your time in prison and how the other criminals "bothered" you.
maybe someday you will realize evil and sin are a reality. look, there is a God, and you hate Him. those who love Him, that brings glory to Him. it comes down to loyalty to what is good. loyalty to the one who gave you life and a soul. and you cant fathom God allowing evil and so you blame Him....that is where we all struggle. but instead of you being responsible for you self, He took responsibility for your nature. eternal life is the whole reason sin was alowed. glorification of God, and those who choose Him. but you dont believe that because you are too proud to ask and rely on God to sustain your faith. this pride is evil, and the most foolish thing a man can do. spiritual suicide. faith is a gift, not a personal quality.
jail not prison. if i was relying on my own assets to attract you into my testimony i would leave out anything to prop up a bunch of crap. but that is not why i am here. I am here to convey to you the reality of the living God. that no personal merit qualifiied Israel or any believer, and that God loves all of you. everyone has been justified. none of us are faithful, but God is faithful in love. He will give you faith if you ask for it, if you need it. If you realize sin and evil are real, He is victorious through His resurrection and He will be back. in the mean time, He is calling you to salvation through the name and blood of Jesus.
Again, austin, give your beliefs some more serious examination. 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 utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. 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.
This is my paraphrasing of the words that Christopher Hitchens had once said...
"Even if you give the maggot creationists everything they claim in their bible as true they still can't tell you what is a divine event."
The fact that creationists have not been killed by their own monumental stupidity is miraculous. All praise jeebus, who sustains the liars and sophists who commit crimes against their fellow man in his name!!
Most apologists/exegisists who post on here want it both ways: their Truth is supernatural but is responsible for everything natural (except nasty unsightly things like evil – that would be our doing).
A divine event ... judgment and retribution (what goes around comes around)
Having a drunken lying blasphemous self deceived atheist die with its throat rotted out at a relatively young age. The same throat that thought it was being so smart by insulting God.
You looking at your toilet and finding that floatie?
Buddhist are one of the most kind, loving, and forgiving of people and yet they don't believe in your "God". Christians don't corner the market on good values (hardly!), nor do those who believe in God. It's the self-righteous moralizing that makes people so very angry. Please believe in whatever you choose, but please don't demonize those of us who may not share those beliefs or assume that you walk on higher moral grounds. I believe Jesus cautioned about judging others....
Y'see, jeebus is a fickle id-iot who rejoices when christian cultists flout his absolute ordinances. In fact, he's so pleased that christians think he's so stupid that he intends to spend an eternity hanging around with these liars. Isn't that great?
Psychopaths should be locked up until they die. No amount delusions about an imaginary being can cure psychopathy.
No cure can overcome your outrage over what a psychopath may have done. Besides, keeping them locked up is the least we can do for their victims. Right skytag?
oh..........and this is the uniformitarianism theory debunked 18 centuries ahead of time. thanks lyell and hutton for crediting Peter with his nul hypothesis.
2 Peter 3:3-6
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
and the bible says the earth was round, spinning on an axis, and that stars are as the sands of the seas.
is that true that physics is falling apart, and doesn't know what is going on?
"the earth was formed out of water"
Time to throw modern chemistry out through the window then.
Austin, the bible actually contradicts itself on the shape of earth and on many other fronts. Care to try again, at defending your disgusting, evil Christian delusions? Have a look at this fine stuff in your horrid Christian book of nasty:
17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”
Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.
Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.
And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.
So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.
tank, you arent reading that properly, out of water :not in the water resting on the water, floating on the water...
Bob, i can understand if you are wanting stem cell research to cure someone. I am not big on the pandering in law and lobbying, but a democracy is a democracy. i responded about the slavery and the other stuff as the vehicle of israel that had to survive, not that they were special, but the message and atonement and the redemption through the blood is all that mattered about Israel.
You have no chance.
you need to stop shaking your fist at God. your whole outlook on the old testament is like a criminal trying to justify burning a library down.
@ austin Of course! I'm not reading it properly unless I ascribe to your particular and baseless interpretations.
"floating on the water"
There goes centuries of work in Geology as well! Jeebus be praised!!!!!!!
Austin, actually read what I presented. It is NT and OT both. So again, look more closely at your beliefs. 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 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.
And furthermore Austin, your analogy was a false one.
Live4Him- you are wrong. Concede this round to Akira.
I have to agree with you the below post by Live4Him is a blatant LIE
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
February 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
Reported for copy-cat
The jacker is quaking.
Creationists don't even know that the first Seahawks franchise was in Miami ! lol!
Please do not report me for copy cat!
Only for the eyes of Jeanne Bishop who still has not responded to my original message:
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
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.
(References used are available upon request.)
@Reality : Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by many semi-fiction writers.
There are many non-Christian writers who acknowledge that the rumor of his resurrection occurred. Why would they record this history if his body was still in the tomb?
Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
Josephus, Flavius, Antiquities 18.3.3
John 6 – "53So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.54“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.55“For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.56“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.57“As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.58“This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
The tomb was empty because you ravenous Chrisitans gobbled up your own savior. How do I know? Because the tomb was empty!
Josephus : Born 3 or 4 years after jesus was supposed to have died. Antiquities written a few six decades later, around the time the oldest biblical manuscript emerges. Not a contemporary account.
That particular quote from Josephus has been shown to have been added generations after the initial writing. One can only suppose that unscrupulous clerics decided to "create" proof for the gullible and illiterate. There is certainly no reason now for a moderately educated person to believe in such a fabrication.
Fernando, all historical accounts are written after they occurred. Please, pay attention, because if your claim is that an account written afterwards "just has to be wrong", then to you, all historical accounts must be wrong. And if you claim all historical accounts have to be written before they occurred... well, then I guess I can see why you aren't able to comprehend God existing.
There are many historical events which were reported on-the-spot in real time. The purported most important event since the beginning of time (Jesus's life and alleged astounding miracles), and not a single real-time (that's what 'contemporary' means, you know) report? Not. A. Single. One. ?
@ John Stop putting words in my mouth. As I told Live 4 Him above:
"We have primary sources with contemporary and corroborating evidence for each president. The primary sources for the christian myth of which we are sure are not contemporary, and often not corroborating."
The earliest primary sources of the christian account do not date beyond 100 AD and the authors for all except Paul's epistles cannot be concretely established.
And I said nothing about the question of god's existence. If you think the falsity of the christian myth is an argument against the existence of all versions of "god,". .............well, I can't even begin to fathom why you would think that.
For anyone with the mental power to use google, look up saviour myths... Christianity was only one of a long line of pagan savior myths and was not the first by any means. its time for people to wake up and realize what this religion is all about.....mythology.
Fernando, the account is accurate and says Herod Archelaeus was the ruler at the time of Jesus's birth. Herod the Great had died in 4BC, his three sons, all names Herod, became rulers of their specific regions then. Archelaeus was banished later, before Joseph was visited by the angel when Joseph said he didn't want to go back because of Archelaeus... can't get any better historical account... but it's like anything where YOU want to reject God, you won't believe anything... I could tell you God said X, Y, and Z, and you won't believe it... anything, nothing is good enough if you want to reject the truth. It's always been that way, you're not the first, and God knows how to deal with you, just turn his back on you and reject you, like you rejected him.
John, if it were 2113 and I want to make up a lie about Zippo The Odd-Snouted Miracle Worker being born in 2013, apparently all I would need to do is say an angel appeared and told me Obama was President when Zippo was born. Suddenly it is historically accurate? You see what you want to see, however there isn't one single credible eyewitness. Your jesus never existed.
ER, it looks like you're admitting the eye witness accounts in the New Testament are historically accurate. Good. Because Herod Archelaeus, did rule during the time of Jesus's birth, and like Jospeh feared going back later, the angel told him he didn't need to worry anymore and to go back. Herod Archelaeus was banished by then, gone, so Joseph went back. It says Joseph also feared the family of Herod, the two other brothers named Herod still ruled. That's accurate. Now your claim is that "Jesus was just made up" and the account is accurate. What ever... nothing is enough... everyone is a liar... God can't exist because you don't want him to exist. But ER... I know he exists... I know you're wrong. I know what God said, and I know you're wrong... it's you that has to wonder, I don't have to wonder. I simply tell you he's there, and you deny it.
@ John Well, the Greek myths also mention the city of Athens. Therefore Athena must exist, and Zeus as well.
"can't get any better historical account"
Well, we can rule out a career in textual and historical analysis for you right away.
" I could tell you God said X, Y, and Z"
The implication being that we should accept you as a mouthpiece of god?
And it is YOU who will not accept the truth, which is why you fabricate nonsense arguments like the ones you've given so far. If lying to yourself and rubbing your hands at the prospect of those who don't agree with you being "rejected by god" makes you feel better of yourself, that's fine. but think twice before presenting faulty arguments like the ones you've presented in public. Not everybody is as prone to self-delusion as you are.
Tank, this is the typical pattern, the people that hate God, or hate what he wants, typically do so without knowing that the account is historically accurate. After that, the only thing left is their desire for God not to exist, and saying anything said by eye witnesses, just has to be a lie. And this is where you hide in a hole saying nothing else exists... only you exist... everything else is a lie. OK, for you, everything else is a lie. Like I said, I already know God is there, you can hide in a hole and hope he isn't. There were multiple witnesses then, 12 at the time, and more after. Notice though, you have faith that the entire universe formed from your god called "nothing", and you also deny that God did even the most simpliest of miracles through Jesus, basically insignificant compared to a universe forming. You must really not want God to be there... but I'm telling you, he's there.
John, disbelief in god is not hatred of god or hatred of what you believe your god wants. Most of us who don't believe simply looked at the facts and realized that there isn't a single rational reason to believe in your god or any god. You have decided that you want to believe in something because it makes you feel good. Sorry. This doesn't impart any special virtue upon you.
John, now you're just devolving into lies which is very sad since it appears I will be the source of your burning in hell for all eternity. I feel a tear coming on.
You want to know what existed? Your mom. Of all the books and films and classes taught in the name of Jesus, there doesn't exist any credible evidence your jesus existed, however I don't know a single thing about your mom. I would bet there probably weren't any books or films written with her as the main subject, no classes taught in college about her, but I *do* believe your mom existed. I guess she'd be disturbed you're lying.
There is no empirical evidence of the tiniest miracle (supernatural event) ever occurring, not in "jesus' time" and not in ours. People do not walk on water. They do not rise from death after a few days. They do not fly up to the clouds to live with other sky fairies. The whole shebang was developed by goat herders more ignorant than our average 10th grader is today, in an attempt to explain their world. It's preposterous for anyone to carry on with it today, and even moreso to expect any sort of respect for the childish notions known as religion.
@ John Why do you keep putting words in people's mouths? Just because you can't argue the facts is no warrant to start setting up straw men. And stop begging the question. The validity of the "historical record" of jeebus has not been proven. The basis of your sophistry is still as weak as before.
"There were multiple witnesses then, 12 at the time, and more after."
The Babble makes the claim of miracles, and the same Babble says there were witnesses, so it must be right. In the same vein, I have five billion dollars stacked in my garage that I'm willing to split with you, and I'm telling the truth because I tell you that 5000 people passed by my house and saw it. Do you believe me?
ER, not to discount Jesus raising from the dead, but really, there are endless numbers of accounts of people waking up at their own funerals, and some where they were found to have woke up after being buried... in the ground... and then dying again in their casket. IIRC they used to add a rope for people to signal they're alive. Look it up if you're interested. Regardless, it's not a problem for God to do any miracle, IMO, after creating a universe, and all the predictions he's done, knowing people's hearts and minds, what they'll do, and say later... think about it. God already knows what you're thinking... you have no excuse.
Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/
From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.
From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:
"Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.
Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.
Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.
The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.
Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.
The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "
"In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.
With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:
An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,
"Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
p.168. by Ted Peters:
Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "
So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.
@John: "there are endless numbers of accounts of people waking up at their own funerals"
We're talking about dead people, not people who we thought might be dead but who weren't. We didn't always possess the medical knowledge we have now. I heard about the rope in the casket before, in a documentary about how medical knowledge used to be poor and how the funeral business took advantage of people's fears of being buried alive by selling these caskets. Don't quote me but I think the show also said they didn't know of a case where anybody was saved via such a rope/bell in the casket.
"Regardless, it's not a problem for God to do any miracle"
Obviously it is a problem. There aren't any miracles. All events are perfectly natural.
"IMO, after creating a universe, and all the predictions he's done, knowing people's hearts and minds, what they'll do, and say later... think about it. God already knows what you're thinking... you have no excuse."
I understand you have a strong emotion that makes you want to believe god created the universe, however we happen to have zero empirical evidence for any god and on the other hand we have much EE that the universe's creation was a natural process that started with the Big Bang. That is our reality.
There is no EE any god exists, let alone that such a being can read minds or whatever other parlor tricks you can imagine.
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.