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My take: Science, faith communities unite to protect millions from disease
A Somali boy is vaccinated at a refugee camp in Kenya.
February 7th, 2013
09:51 AM ET

My take: Science, faith communities unite to protect millions from disease

Editor's note: Dagfinn Høybråten is a vice president of the Norwegian Parliament and chairman of the GAVI Alliance Board. GAVI is a public-private partnership that works with governments, vaccine producers, faith-based organizations and others to expand access to vaccines and immunization. Since its launch in 2000, GAVI has helped immunize 370 million children in the poorest countries.

By Dagfinn Høybråten, Special to CNN

Despite their political, religious and ethnic differences, leaders from around the world are coming together for today's National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. As they do, it is worth noting that faith and science are also coming together around the world to promote healing and equality in the form of access to vaccines.

Vaccines are a triumph of science due to their incredible capacity to save lives and protect health. Yet vaccines reach only four out of five children who need them. To reach the fifth child, science has found an important partner in the faith community, which helps bring vaccines to the most remote areas and the children who need them most.

Zambia is one example. It is one of the first African countries to adopt the human papillomavirus vaccine, which is given to girls so that when they mature as women, cervical cancer will no longer be what it is today: the most common cancer affecting Zambian women. It kills some 1,300 Zambian women each year (PDF), according to the World Health Organization.

Rural churches across the country worked with the government to find and vaccinate groups of girls on Sunday mornings, ensuring that even girls in the most remote villages received the vaccine. Community and religious leaders are committed to reaching all eligible girls with these life-saving inoculations.

In Pakistan, senior clerics have worked with the government to assure parents that vaccinations against polio are in keeping with their devotion to Islam.

LDS Charities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints funded a $16.4 million measles and rubella initiative and supported it with 64,000 volunteers who have provided more than 800,000 hours of service in 37 countries. Mormon volunteers in Ghana, for example, arranged for 1.5 million text messages to be sent to fellow citizens in support of the country’s launch of vaccines against pneumonia and rotavirus, two diseases that together claim the lives of more than 2 million children around the world every year.

Over the past century, vaccines have helped lower the child mortality rate in many European and North American countries from well over 200 deaths for every 1,000 births to fewer than 10. But a lack of vaccines is a key reason high child mortality rates persist in many resource-poor countries of Asia and Africa.

We will make good on the promise of vaccines only when we cover the last, and hardest, mile. The last mile may lead to a child in a forest village, a refugee camp, a tiny island, a city under siege. The challenge of reaching such children is both daunting and surmountable. Lack of infrastructure — roads, electricity, refrigeration — can make it daunting. Political will, public support and the involvement of compassionate, capable partners make it surmountable.

This is where we are fortunate to have leaders from the faith community who so quickly grasp the simple but profound moral imperative of immunizing children to ensure that they have a chance to live and to grow up healthy. The mission of the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) and all of our partners is to get life-saving vaccines to every child, everywhere. Our focus is on the world’s poorest countries, where the disease burden is greatest. Faith-based organizations are a vital and growing part of our global effort to end childhood deaths from preventable diseases.

Our mission is huge: We aim to immunize another 250 million children and prevent 4 million deaths by 2015. To do this, we will work to ensure that 50 countries introduce the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines by 2015 and that many more countries complete the work of vaccinating children against diseases like measles and rubella, diphtheria and pertussis — diseases practically written on the headstones of small graves in cemeteries across the continents.

Faith-based organizations are critical partners. They share fundamental values of compassion, human dignity and respect for the individual and families. And they have always ministered to the sick and comforted the dying.

According to the WHO, an estimated 30% to 70% of health care delivery in Africa is provided by faith-based organizations and faith institutions. They also provide education and training for a significant portion of health workers, especially nurses and midwives. These women and men are among those on the front lines of vaccine delivery.

Communities of faith are present virtually everywhere, active in every country and often active in the poorest, most remote and unstable regions. In addition, religious leaders often have the stature to advocate and negotiate with the most senior national decision-makers as countries make tough decisions on how to allocate scarce resources for health.

With the tools in hand that save lives, action is a moral imperative. Immunization is one of the most cost-effective health interventions ever known for lowering childhood deaths and disease. It is a right that must be guaranteed for all children, and faith-based organizations are crucial to ensuring this right.

On this day, we offer a prayer of thanks that so many people of faith have chosen to join us in the spirit that animates so many religions: the golden rule to do unto others what you would like them to do unto you, and a belief in equity, charity, and the elimination of unnecessary suffering in the world.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dagfinn Høybråten.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Asia • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Faith & Health • Ghana • Health • Health care • Pakistan • Zambia

soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. niknak

    The author said it clearly, vaccines are the product of science.
    But they only reach 1/4 of the population because non science religious fanatics won't let science into their countries/lives.

    Hurry up and die off believers, we can't progress as a species with you still around.

    February 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • December

      I love fricken' love science.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Chuckles

      December "frickin' loves science" until it's applied to his religion, then it doesn't matter because religion is only a feeling. Funny how that works.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      It also says faith based care is responsible for 70% of all healthcare in Africa. Science inventing a vaccine doesn't mean much unless it gets to where it needs to go.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
  2. Bill Deacon's Translator

    How many Catholics in Africa have AIDS?

    What Bill really means is, "I'd better throw out an irrelevant question. Maybe it will distract them from the fact that I have no good answer for this."

    February 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon's Translator

      Meant for thread below.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Eric G

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yswIr2iEXY&w=640&h=390]

      February 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      *Fires translator for one who demonstrates facility with "reply" function* Bonus offered for education prior to 1980.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon's Translator

      What's the matter, boss? Your scrolling finger broken or are you too busy trying to type one handed?

      February 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  3. Thoth

    It's a shame that we consider people "leaders" who promote creeds written by men during far different times, with substantially less understanding of the world they lived in, and in many cases proven to be incorrect, contradictory and bigoted.

    February 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • niknak

      That is a nicer way to define religion, Sloth.
      You are kinder then I, as my definition is; dilusional people who still cling to stone age myths.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  4. The Truth

    The fact is that there are no religious persons able to prove their faith because if they could it would no longer be "faith". If there were no gaps in their logic and reason and they had hard evidence of their religion and of their specific God's existence then we would be debating the evidence and not the lack thereof. This is why the "faithful" should just shut up and stop reading these boards because until their God provides them with something more substantial than "a feeling" they have nothing to offer in defense of their hate, bigotry, ignorance of science, violence and exclusion.

    February 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Eric G

      Dude! You gonna scare away the Fundies! What fun would that be?

      February 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      I disagree. It's amusing to watch them try to justify their belief in myths. Comment away, religious loonies!

      ..............although it is sad to see the depths to which nutters like Stupid4Him will stoop.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think I and many Christians have been telling you all along that there is no empirical evidence. Your camp is the one that continues to insist on something that cannot be provided and then scoffing when it isn't. Christians also have more than a feeling. Feelings a fleet and temporary. Christians have faith, hope and charity which are eternal. We have witness and tradition which collect us with other believers into community. These communities have works and witness whereby we share the love of God amongst all mankind. Hence, we reach the fifth child.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • December

      Bill, that reminds me of what I've been reading this week in Corinthians:

      Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

      Love never ends.

      As for prophecies, they will pass away;

      as for tongues, they will cease;

      as for knowledge, it will pass away.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      In summary, they have absolutely fuck all other than childish delusions.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • The Truth

      All I ask is that when you are asked for proof of your claims of God and an afterlife and ever-living souls to say truthfully, "We have none." instead of quoting another random scripture as if it provides anything other than subjective opinion.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  5. Bootyfunk

    this is a joke. religion has fought science tooth and nail from the beginning. helping? the same way religion helped the HIV fight when the pope told everyone in africa and asia and latin america NOT to use condoms because it's a sin? the pope and religion has caused millions of cases of HIV by telling people not to use the only method out there to protect against transmitting or receiving HIV. way to go, catholics.

    February 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The pope also tells them not to be promiscuous. Why do you blame him if they take the condom advice but have nothing to say about the behavior which exposes people to the disease. That dang pope! He should get a law passed against fornication!

      February 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      I's all about PR.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bible also tells people to kill non-virgin brides, all g.ay, disobedient children and anyone working the weekend – should we do that to? the bible gives lots of terrible advice. when you go to a poverty stricken region and say, "don't have s.ex" - do you really expect that to work? but you know what does work? telling people not to use condoms. and if the pope could pass a law against s.ex, he would. funny that it's a guy who never has s.ex himself that hates s.ex. lol.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Tommy

      Telling people not to have s.ex until they are married and expecting them to listen to you his the height of stupidity.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • December

      .. religion has fought science tooth and nail from the beginning.

      Except for the religious people that embrace science. And the scientists who happen to be religious that have contributed to scientific breakthroughs.

      The religious people who have accepted scientific help from the secular community would disagree with you.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I would say having seex with so many partners you expose yourself to AIDS would be the height of stupidity but then, I'm not a slave to lust.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Eric G

      "I'm not a slave to lust."

      I have an ugly friend who says that all the time!

      February 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Tommy

      Luckily for us, Bill, your god had someone invent condoms so that we don't get it.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      In the begginning the scientist were religious scholars of their various faiths and wrote the basis for mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, and physiology. But don't let historical facts slow your roll.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Poltergeist

      @tommy Which is precisely why most women are already raising children alone this generation and the STD rate has steadily climbed. And why most of you are divorcing a couple of years in. So many in this generation can't even get a solid marriage with children to last while they laugh at old people's "antiquated courtship nonsense."

      February 7, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • Galileo

      @ Poltergeist

      In the begginning the scientist were religious scholars of their various faiths and wrote the basis for mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, and physiology.

      The pope wasn't too keen on my research. But don't let historical facts slow your roll.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Poltergeist

      Religion didn't begin in the Middle Ages.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • Poltergeist

      Neither did those areas of science.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:34 am |
  6. Nii

    Hawaii
    Got locked up somewhere? but where? Give me a clue,ok! Philosophy is thinking through ideas. Whether we do it based on a false premise or not is up to each individual. You assume that only the intelligent mind is valid. I maintain that is simply not true and Science does bear me out. However Atheism has some ideas which are valid too. Divine right of kings for instance is not right though some religions push it.

    February 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      what ideas does atheism put forth that is NOT valid?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • ME II

      @Nii,
      "You assume that only the intelligent mind is valid. "
      Theists are fond, it seems, of claiming foundations for things. How exactly does one speak, let alone understand higher concepts, without an, at least minimally, intelligent mind.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "Science does bear me out."

      Say what now? And what do you mean by a valid mind?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  7. Eric G

    Can't somebody get this poor kid a kleenex?

    February 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I didn't want to raise the issue, but it was a really bad choice of photo. Snot isn't something that makes people warm to a cause, and showing someone dripping bodily fluids, particularly a child, reeks of invasion of privacy.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Yep... I'm having to scroll really fast past that each time I refresh... ewwwwww!

      February 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Eric G

      When you kiss your Honey
      and your nose is runny
      you might think it's funny
      but it snot.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • ME II

      Prepare yourself for the Coming of the Great White Handkerchief! The end is nigh.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Science

      When it is cold and snowing it is pouring out the blow holes.

      In fact you snotcycles.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Science

      Oops get

      February 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Eric G

    Many seem to have a question as to which (science or prayer) is more valuable to humanity in our attempt to cure disease.

    Can anyone please post verifiable evidence that shows any diseases that have been cured or irradicated by science, and also provide verifiable evidence that shows any diseases that have been cured or irradiated by a particular faith?

    Once the evidence has been verified, we can compare the numbers for both groups to determine what method best serves humanity, and what method should be discarded.

    February 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Did you read the article? It describes how science, through technology, by scientists and doctors many educated in religiously founded universities have found allies in religious organization, motivated by faith and compassion for humanity to distribute medicines to h to reach populations that these missionaries are willing and able to minister to. What part of co-operative construction eludes you?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Eric G

      Easy, big fella! Why the hostility? I did not reference the article or the value of cooperation of those with different beliefs.

      I only referenced the posts by others on this blog who seem to claim value to either a faith based method or a scientific method for dealing with disease.

      Are you upset because I asked for verifiable evidence that supports either position? Or, are you upset that only one side is capable of supplying supporting verifiable evidence?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Science

      Just like the WEDGE (memo) right Bill

      February 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Frustrated is probably more accurate than upset Eric. Here is a perfectly well written article which describes how the marriage of faith and science is helping people in concrete ways and all you and others you shield yourself with can focus on is who Mom likes best.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      science is about to cure another one. polio. last year polio cases world-wide were only 250. the entire world. vaccinations (science) is making one of the deadliest killers go away.

      prayer on the other hand is shown to be a waste of time.

      science wins.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Bill: I am sorry you feel frustrated. Perhaps you should try yoga?

      First, I am not the one who seems to require a "shield". I speak and act only for myself. I fight my own battles, and you sir, are a little below my weight class.

      Second, I don't care what anyone likes best. I want to cure disease. If that position upsets you, too bad. Go tell your god on me if you feel the need.

      Third, present your evidence or shut your pie hole while the adults talk.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      " marriage of faith and science"

      Yawn.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • .

      @Eric G,
      You any relation to Ali G, because you sound about the same level.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Eric G

      @.
      No Sir, we are not relations.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bet

      @ .

      You any relation to Ali G, because you sound about the same level.

      Yet more proof that religion not only rots away your intelligence, but it also destroys your sense of humor.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • .

      @Bet,
      What makes you think I'm religious?

      "...present your evidence or shut your pie hole while the adults talk."

      February 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Eric G

      @.
      I guess you have no verifiable evidence to present?

      Are you going to play the "persecuted Christian" card now?

      February 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • .

      @Eric G,
      I don't disagree with your position, just your method.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Bet

      I suppose it was your ad hominem attack on Eric G. It's usually the default argument of believers. If I have erred, and you are just a random pot stirrer, then you have my sincere apologies for putting you in the believers group. Feel free to continue trolling.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  9. Tommy

    I see they failed to mention the part that the Catholic Church has played in helping AIDS to spread in Africa. Their stance proves they care more about religious dogma than they do human lives.

    February 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • The Truth

      Christian feelings about AIDS are mixxed. Some believe it to be a scourge created by God to wipe out "the gays" but never question why God didn't develop something to kill off pedofile priests using his name to prey on children while he was at it...

      February 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      yawn

      February 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon's Translator

      yawn

      What Bill really means is "That makes me very uncomfortable. I don't have an answer for it. I'll just pretend it's irrelevant."

      February 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Akira

      I wonder if those priests use a condom while raing those kids, or does it go against their dogma? Realizing, of course, that not using a condom is supposed to facilitate feeling closer to his, er, victim.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Akira

      Oops, that should read "while raping those kids."

      February 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes, my arguments are often edited into easily disputed statements by my opponents. What I really mean is I am bored of supplying data, statistics, legal references, historical facts and valid philosophy to argue with retards. It was just simpler to yawn.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      So what argument would you have presented against Tommy's statement that the Catholic Church has ruined lives in Africa due to their stance on contraception if you hadn't chosen a pejorative "yawn"? Just curious.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      How many Catholics in Africa have AIDS?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Tommy

      The only retards are the ones who don't see, or refuse to admit the churches role in the spread of HIV.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      in africa and asia, it's straight people, not g.ays, that are most infected. so that theory of god wanting to punish g.ays is stupid. oh, also because there's no such thing as god.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bill Deacon's Translator

      Yes, my arguments are often edited into easily disputed statements by my opponents. What I really mean is I am bored of supplying data, statistics, legal references, historical facts and valid philosophy to argue with retards. It was just simpler to yawn.

      What Bill really means is "My usual quote mining won't work here. I need more time to cobble together some sort of rationalization. Arrogance and feigned boredom might buy me a little."

      February 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Apologetics BS

      Bill Deacon
      You and the others of your ilk provide twisted half truths as information but only if it makes you look good. How about providing the total amount of dollars the RCC paid to the victims of their crimes, woldwide, billions? Your holier than thou posts are disgusting, no crime is so bad, as long as the church does not get caught. A personal question, you walk into a room and a bishop and priest are having a go at a couple of altar boys, what would you do?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Bill Deacon's Translator

      How many Catholics in Africa have AIDS?

      What Bill really means is, "I'd better throw out an irrelevant question. Maybe it will distract them from the fact that I have no good answer for this."

      February 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Apologetics BS

      Bill Deacon
      No answer to my question of what would you do if you walked into a room and saw a bishop and priest having a go at a couple of altar boys? Multiple choice may help.
      A. do your best to stop the abuse.
      B. call the Cardinal and report what you have seen.
      C. call the police and report the crime.
      D. fall to your knees and beg god to forgive the perps.
      E. take out your camera to record the event for future use.
      F. fall to your knees and join the party.
      G. none of the above, a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest. Paul Simon, catholics do this a lot.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • December

      ..Bill Deacon's Translator

      You are worst at Chuckles at trying to project your viewpoints on others.

      And childish.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • December's Translator

      You are worst at Chuckles at trying to project your viewpoints on others.

      And childish.

      What December really means is, "I can't think for myself, so I'll just call you a poopy head."

      February 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • December

      troll
      ugh

      February 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • December

      sorry, i shouldn't of talked to the troll

      everybody is doing good ignoring him

      February 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Rude. I don't need to switch handles to fight my battles. That was someone else. Nice try though.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • December

      I didn't say it was you.

      I said they were just AS bad as you for putting words into other people's mouths.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • December's Translator

      sorry, i shouldn't of talked to the troll

      everybody is doing good ignoring him

      What December really means is, "When confronted with an uncomfortable truth about your imaginary sky daddy, call the person a troll and refuse to address the issue."

      February 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • December's 4th Grade Teacher

      " i shouldn't of..."

      WTH? Perhaps you meant "shouldn't have" - "shouldn't've" is pretty tricky to type, but that's what you are really trying to say there.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  10. Chuckles

    So I'm a little lost here:

    God puts man on earth in paradise, god knows man is going to sin and so he exiles all of mankind to live outside of paradise. god creates disease to plague man. god allows man to cure disease, god mutates disease, man cures it again because god helps man cure it, god makes disease evolve again, god helps man cure the disease ad infinitum. It sounds like god is playing chess with himself and can't decide who's going to win.

    I've seen many comments already from believers saying that they pray for medical advancement that medicine is just a tool of god .... to fight gods own creation of disease......because god needs tools that are beholden to natural laws instead of just zapping away disease.... because he's omnipotent but must work within his own framework of universal laws.....

    A little help please?

    February 7, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If you work on your mind with your own mind how can you help but be confused. There, does that help?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Bill

      Are you saying I'm thinking too hard?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Nii

      Can you hear the answer over your smirks and chuckles? If you can you will be a whole lot wiser.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Nii

      No Chuckles! You are not thinking hard enough.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Nii

      So, I'm apparently both not thinking hard enough AND overthinking it because I'm approaching it from a sarcastic POV? Yet you are unable to provide enough an attempt at answering it .... interesting....

      February 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I think the idea of "omnipotent" that people had 200 years ago is different from what we mean today. Because the meaning has changed to allow more power over the physical world, the Christians have had to wedge "free will" in to fill the gap.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Saraswati

      make that "2000"

      February 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Saraswati

      I'm still confused, 1) what would a different definition of "omnipotent" mean exactly, seems pretty clear to me. 2) even "free will" doesn't really apply here because god is actively trying to kill us with disease and actively trying to save us by using us as tools to cure the disease. Free will doesn't really apply unless a scientist is "inspired" enough to find the cure and then choose to keep it a secret ....

      February 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Taking up the "thinking" discussion I would say you are thinking too hard with a corrupt mind, thus you are not really thinking hard enough. Maybe well enough is a better expression. Firstly the conundrum you posit doesn't really exist theologically. It is a child's version of God's creation. Why not grow up, put on the mind of Christ and discover reality? All you have to do is acknowledge that there is a God and it isn't you.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Nii

      Chuckles,
      A question that has been answered when asked again in a mocking tone shows the questioner is being stupid. How can an evil person be a good person? Or how can a good God do evil? Simple things like this. Imagine Hitler donating his money to help poor Germans cope with the Russian siege of 1944. Can you tell me who the bad guy was? Was it Hitler or the Russians?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Why should anyone acknowledge something for which there is not a shred of proof despite the bleating of delusional believers for 2,000+ years? A more mature stance is to shed unfounded myths, but withdrawing from a cult can be difficult – seek professional help.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Bill

      That's priceless, so you've decided that my mind is "corrupt" because I'm not a christian right? So because of that, all my questions are moot because I'm challenging the idea of god instead of asking unbias questions. I like how so far you and Nii both choose not to answer the question but attack me instead (fallacy alert!) and choose to ignore the questions themselves. Come on billy boy, help me out here. Instead of accusing me of not thinking right, hows about you answer the question here: god creates man, god creates disease. god pits these two creations against eachother and then intercedes on behalf of both to help one. How does that make any sense?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Chuckles,

      "I'm still confused, 1) what would a different definition of "omnipotent" mean exactly, seems pretty clear to me."

      I think if you look at the story of the flood you see that the God of that story had to come up with a bunch of convoluted mechanisms that drew on natural processes to bring about his ends. The word "omnipotent" was of course not used, but the idea, as for many gods at the time, was that of "maximum" power. Today we understand climate and physics much better and don't think in terms of primary forces like "fire" or "lightening" or "floods". So over the years what it means to be all powerful, what one would actually control, has become far stronger.

      " 2) even 'free will' doesn't really apply here because god is actively trying to kill us with disease and actively trying to save us by using us as tools to cure the disease. Free will doesn't really apply unless a scientist is 'inspired' enough to find the cure and then choose to keep it a secret ...."

      Yeah, it doesn't mean as much as it would in the scenario where a mass murderer is on the loose. But I think many would argue that it acts as a test of free will, but witnessing the actions of the players. Don't ask me to get more detailed than that because I think the whole thing is bunk, but that's the general logic I find they're working with.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Nii

      Chuckles are u really sure that your question was unbiased? Not a shred of mockery in sight? Well you could have fooled me with your other posts. As I said judge my story it is an answer!

      February 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Nii

      "A question that has been answered when asked again in a mocking tone shows the questioner is being stupid. How can an evil person be a good person? Or how can a good God do evil? Simple things like this. Imagine Hitler donating his money to help poor Germans cope with the Russian siege of 1944. Can you tell me who the bad guy was? Was it Hitler or the Russians?"

      - Another priceless answer attacking me instead of answering my questions, I must be stupid because when I ask a question and then don't get answer I ask again, really idiot over here! As for your little "hitler" case, since I don't deal in absolutes it's pretty easy for me to say that Hitler was a bad guy because you he began a war killing millions and tried to committ genocide, his goal of helping germans besieged by Russians would probably be intended only to stave off the russians and keep committing his genocide. The Russians who lay seige on the Germans are fighting back in self defense from being attacked after the Molotov-Ribbentrope agreement went up in flames. Now if the Russians are ra.peing in pillaging their way across Germany and not simply conquering germany but razing it, then they can be bad too. Turns out there doesn't always have to be a good guy and a bad guy in wars, more often than not it's bad guys vs. worse guys.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • December

      > That's priceless, so you've decided that my mind is "corrupt" because I'm not a christian right?

      In your dreams. He didn't say that, at all.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I don't know if you're a Christian or not but the corruption of your mind is evidenced by your line of questioning.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      "since I don't deal in absolutes"

      If I were you I'd take another look at that claim.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Nii

      I think the wording of my post may be harsh but it is better for me to be honest than pamper you. If you agree that good and evil are subjective issues then you must declare both of them as evil. If both were evil then both were good. So then there is nothing evil. Hence you cannot judge "genocide, pillaging and rap.e" as bad or "charity" as good. We humans tend to however do this automatic judgement between Good and Evil. This is what is explained in Genesis 1 & 3 as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. or more appropriately the Tree of Judgement between Good and Evil. It does not have to be true literally but it is a theory that says that what we call good is the principal torce in the Universe and it abhors evil. That is why we are happy to be good and unhappy to be bad as we were designed to be good and evil is an abherration of that plan.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Who's stalking whom again?

      @Bill

      ahh, so it doesn't matter what my religion is, but the fact that I even have the nerve to question something, poke holes in logic makes me corrupt. Gotcha, so to be a christian I have to suspend all logic and reason, not question god and just go with it, I've heard that one before, it had sometihng to do with nazi's goosestepping to Hitler's orders, but hey, whatever you want bud.

      and my "claims" being in absolutes, sorry I should probably amend that and say I don't deal in moral absolutes. when they're facts I have no choice but to accept that 1+1 = 2, or that my claims that disease and man are in a neverending struggle of mutation and cures that apparently god has a hand in both.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      All the religious responses have a whole bunch of "you're not thinking with the preconception that god is always good, therefore you're wrong". Talk about bullshit.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Nii

      That was a whole lot of pseudo-philosophical bullshit.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      First they feign attempts at logical debate, then retreat to the "you just don't understand" position. When pressed, they retreat yet again to the "We'll be right in the long run" position. Soon, they'll be threatening you with eternal damnation. This trend never fails.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      What I am saying is that the presumption of your initial question is childlike, or theologically corrupt. Not that it is an evil question, just that is flawed in its foundation. It's eighth grade. As to absolutism. I think NII is trying to tell you that human perspectives on good and evil are subjective. What seems evil to the rabbit is good for the wolf and what is evil to the wolf is survival to the caveman. Unless you have an eternal perspective, you are not in a position to make moral claims for or against the cycle of adaptation that creation endures. The fact that you persist verifies the corruption of you mind. Of your way of thinking. To "put on the mind of Christ" would allow you to suspend your inquisition of God, the creator, Abba, the Father and put you in right relationship with Him. Then, question you asked would be fruitful instead of merely argumentative. You could ask "I wonder if I should go and take medicine to people who cannot otherwise get it?" and such.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Nii

      Hawaii
      Got locked up somewhere? but where? Give me a clue,ok! Philosophy is thinking through ideas. Whether we do it based on a false premise or not is up to each individual. You assume that only the intelligent mind is valid. I maintain that is simply not true and Science does bear me out. However Atheism has some ideas which are valid too. Divine right of kings for instance is not right though some religions push it.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Science

      Nil go wedgie yourself Genisis is out datrd.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Nii

      What the hell are you talking about locked up? Oh that's right. I'm atheist, therefore evil so I must have been in jail somewhere. Wow aren't you the tolerant accepting person.
      As for your other bullshit, I never said the intelligent mind is the only valid, and that's such ill-defined drivel that I don't even think you know what you mean by that. Not to mention just spouting "science supports me" doesn't actually demonstrate anything.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      You continue to say "it's so elementary, it's eigth grade, it's wrong", yet you never give any specifics. How is it wrong? Just saying over and over and over that it is is useless.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Bill

      "What I am saying is that the presumption of your initial question is childlike, or theologically corrupt. Not that it is an evil question, just that is flawed in its foundation. It's eighth grade."
      –Is that so? Where's the flaw? You keep attacking me but you can't seem to actually answer the question or find the flaw that you keep insisting is there so tell me, where is the flaw exactly?

      "To "put on the mind of Christ" would allow you to suspend your inquisition of God"
      - For the love of Zeus, this goes back to, "go with the flow and then it'll make sense. Suspend logic and reason, don't question it" I seem to remember people doing that before but then I visualize goo.seste.pp.ing n.az.is. So tell me Bill, why in the name of Odin should I stop asking questions? Because they make too much sense? Because po.king ho.les in gods ways makes you sad? Want a ti.ss.ue?

      @Nii

      Sli.ppe.rly slope fal.lacy isn't going to work. Saying that if both people are evil then both people are good which means both don't exist is stupid and simple-minded. Society says through laws and social pres.sure what we accept and don't accept. Ra.p.e is a no no but during vi.ki.ng times it was A-ok, I look at that action now and say it was evil, but that word of course carries diffe.rent weigh.t than your defintion of the word because evil is just another synonom of bad, or deplorable, or destesable, your defintion reigns you in to a very specific, narrow minded view. That's a shame.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • sam

      Irony: Bill Deacon telling others they have corrupt minds. Oh man.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • December

      @Who's stalking whom again?

      This would have worked better if you hadn't already been posting at me today on this same page.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Only responding to you bud, but hey if you want to get your "christian persecution complex" on, so much the better.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Unless you have an eternal perspective, you are not in a position to make moral claims for or against the cycle of adaptation that creation endures. The fact that you persist verifies the corruption of you mind. Of your way of thinking. To "put on the mind of Christ" would allow you to suspend your inquisition of God, the creator, Abba, the Father and put you in right relationship with Him."

      First, nothing we know of in the entire universe is eternal, not even the stars themselves so accepting any "eternal perspective" is blatantly bogus. To claim your deity, that you have no proof of, exists outside of our reality where nothing is eternal and then proceed to ask us to "suspend our inquisition" in which you mean investigation, is beyond preposterous. It's quite frankly, insane. Essentially you are saying "Stop questioning our invisible man and you too can be like us, knowing his good and bad, blaming his invisible enemy for your failures and thanking him for all your successes, but don't bother questioning him because he's outside our understanding so don't even try...and if you insist on having some actual proof, some hard evidence, well then you are a corrupt mind that should be culled from the herd..."

      February 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  11. truth be told

    The atheist medical care plan ... no cost and requires only one session... science at its finest
    In the last 100 years atheists have tortured and murdered more innocent people than in all previous centuries.

    February 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • bobk52

      GOD murdered everyone on the face of this planet! No one could possibly be as stupid as you.
      Troll or Poe fur sure!!!!

      February 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    How about we do a controlled experiment.
    The religious fundamentalists can all gather in a group and pray as hard and sincerely as they for these diseases to disappear.
    The scientists will go about administering vaccines and other tools of modern medicine.
    We'll check back in a year or two and see which group had more children die.

    February 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • I am a Doctor and I am a Christian!
      February 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • December

      It is not a contest.

      I don't know about your town, but in my town, most hospitals are named after saints. And they were started by faith organizations.

      Faith and medicine can work together.

      We pray for medical advances. And help the scientists.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • VanHagar

      How about a twist on your prayer challenge. How about we pray that God will reveal to our scientists the tools they need to fight disease. You know, we're not all living in the Dark Ages. Many of us value science and its contributions to the welfare of all mankind. Why do you feel the need to pigeon hole us? Lack of creativity? Ignorance? Bitterness?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Just goes to show that even as religious groups strive to reach the hardest to reach that haters will still condemn.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Doc, VanHagar, I don't think either of your experiments is quite right. Yes, Doc's does assume that prayer and medicine are polar opposites which few forms of Christianity have claimed. But your experiment, VanHagar, is not verifiable as we won't know whether god really revealed the answers to the researchers or whether they came up with them on their own. I say pray for God to come down himself and start handing out new science texts...and do it on national and international news. If he doesn't come he's either a jerk or doesn't exist...or, of course, working in very mysterious ways.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • truth be told

      Atheists murdering innocents trumps any other sources for loss of life.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Science

      @ Doc

      When can we start ?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Science

      Prayer did not work back in 1978 for a lady that tried to heal her sick daughter, go figure.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @Saraswati...the absolute irony of your post is that He did come down. Jesus, God himself, came. Many believed. Many more did not. Why do you think it would be different today?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Van

      I think the real irony here is that you believe that an omnipotent god would think the best way to reveal himself to man on earth would be to come down during a time on earth where there were a lot of other madmen claiming to also be prophets, do some magic tricks and then get crucified with a bunch of people and expect everyone to totally buy that it was him and not just one other crazy crackpot who claimed to be all powerful but coulnd't even stop a tiny crucifixtion.

      Ho ho ho.....

      February 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Chuckles...so you believe your more deserving than the people from 2000 years ago? Your timing is better than God's?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @VanHagar, I don't think it would be any different today, that's the whole point. If your god was to give everyone a fair chance he'd visit now rather than expecting us to believe mostly second, third and fourth hand stories passed down and filtered by a lot of religious leaders with their own agendas. But no, this god apparently decided one little group of people would get the "good" evidence and everyone else would have to settle with evidence that under any other circu,mstances would warrant the label "massively gullible". Sorry, the whole story just doesn't hang together. If the Christian god really wanted to win people over they'd all get the same, high quality evidence.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Van

      and why am I not more deserving or at least just as deserving? Even if I'm not the one who deserves to have jesus come back, why aren't you? why aren't the most super duper extra special christians on earth today?

      That's not the point I'm making though. The time would be better simply because if god wanted to get his message to the world, why not return in a time where we have the technology to record his coming and transmit it instantaneously across the globe. Sure it could take longer to reach places that aren't connected, but it would still reach them, so why would got choose the absolute worst way and worst time to spread his message to only a small handful of people and hope that we'd get it right?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • December

      >> Chuckles

      Maybe that is what he is trying to do.

      Are you going to help? Or just complain and point out all the shortcomings?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Nii

      The message is as simple as love your neighbor as yourself cos then you'll be loving God. However this is a cure to many things our societies grieve over. Try it!

      February 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • December

      > why not return in a time where we have the technology to record his coming and transmit it instantaneously across the globe.

      In answer to that.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Maybe that is what he is trying to do."

      Seriously? Because he's not very competent or powerful if that's the case. Assuming you even think there's reason to believe he exists, he pretty much just looks like a jerk who only helps people who pray to him but is too dumb to realize better evidence would yield more worshipers.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Um.... what? Are you saying god is trying to come back but is..... failing? What a crappy god. It would be pretty easy, let's pretend that god couldn't zap himself a phone, a computer with internet access and then film himself performing a miracle and posting it on youtube. He could just choose a busy intersection, perform a miracle or two and let other people do it......

      February 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • December

      > Seriously? Because he's not very competent or powerful if that's the case....

      God sometimes works through people.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • December

      > Um.... what? Are you saying god is trying to come back but is..... failing?

      I said maybe.

      Maybe he will return in a time where we have the technology to record his coming and transmit it instantaneously across the globe.

      I really don't know. And I don't really think so. But it could be a possibility.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I've often wondered why God doesn't do things the way I think he should. I sometimes think "If I ran the universe, I would do it different." Then I realize I don't have a universe.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • The Truth

      "God sometimes works through people."

      Since there is zero evidence he's done any work at all, those people have to keep working to keep up the facade that he exists. The whole foundation of their faith would implode if the wizard behind the curtain stopped pedaling.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • December

      One difference between me and God is... God doesn't go around thinking he is me.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      You have read the Bible and know that God generally presents Himself through the darkness, in smoke, behind the curtain, in the spirit and radiance upon Jesus a man then today in man by the power of the Holy Spirit.
      Likewise God was in the ark, in the temple and then God in man through the Holy Spirit. Gods truth is revealed in the capacity of mans ability to comprehend God.
      You act as if God is some being that man can comprehend and give a wink to on occasion. The only thing man can understand about God is what God has revealed in a manner that the chosen ones (those who accept the offer God presents) have capacity sufficient to grasp what cannot be seen and what cannot be of this world.

      I assume you have heard about the attributes of God but it is clear you don’t understand the meaning of the attributes. If you did it would be self evident that the transcendent eternal omnipresent God has such power and glory that the presence buckled the knees of Abraham, Moses, Isaac and all the hero’s of old. What exactly is this prideful arrogance in you that allows you to believe that if this God exists you would not fall on your face in dread?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • December

      >> Since there is zero evidence he's done any work at all...

      Or there is all the evidence in the universe that he is the Creator.

      God has worked in my life through other people.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Bet

      @ tbt

      Atheists murdering innocents trumps any other sources for loss of life.

      Except when gawd murdered everyone on the face of the earth except Noah and his family.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • The Truth

      "God has worked in my life through other people." Prove it. Oh, right, you can't. You make the claim, I call your bluff and ask you to prove it, your next response will no doubt be something along the lines of "I know it was God" or "This unusual are rare coincident happenened so it must have been God" and then I will tell you that empty hands and earnest hearts do not count as evidence.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December /BIll Deacon

      Love it, so the usual sidestep. "I'm not god" is a great way to explain some of gods poor decsions because he's supposed to be all powerful so whatever he decides was probably the best way. I take this to mean that what I've suggested isn't just me then, but it makes sense to you guys too but you refuse to believe that we would be smarter than god. It's sort of like watching a TV show where the villain is said to possess the greatest intellect on the show, he's super smart and is shown to outthink everyone, but then the show throws in a mcguffin and the villain is defeated (because of course he is) through a lot of stupid moves on his part. We don't question why such a smart guy would do some stupid things because the show or movie ends how we want it to.

      So god decides not to reveal himself now because he's smart and we're dumb, is that it?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @ tbt: Atheists murdering innocents trumps any other sources for loss of life.
      @Bet: Except when gawd murdered everyone on the face of the earth except Noah and his family

      Lol...best exchange of the day. :)

      Of course based on intentional murders by percent population religious folk have been the worlds biggest killers and tbt and Chad are talking through their ... opinions. But yeah, the Judeo-Christian god himself takes the prize.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • December

      >The Truth
      >> Prove it. Oh, right, you can't.

      Love. True love I've received from another person when I didn't deserve it.

      And they shared it because God had loved them in that same way.

      And then I saw where God had loved me that same way all along.

      Even when I hated God.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @December,

      "God sometimes works through people."

      Because....? What, he doesn't have the power to do it in a more efficent and useful way? A way that maybe would actually convince a few more people?

      Do you even realize the convolutions you have to go through to try and make this stuff look just marginally less silly?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • December

      @ Chuckles

      > It's sort of like watching a TV show where the villain is said to possess the greatest intellect on the show, he's super smart and is shown to outthink everyone, but then the show throws in a mcguffin and the villain is defeated

      Uh, no. That is not what it is like.

      > So god decides not to reveal himself now because he's smart and we're dumb, is that it?

      Speak for yourself. God reveals himself to people today.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • The Truth

      I think most Christians rationalize God killing humans as a rights issue. Because they believe God created us he has the "right" to annihilate us.

      I wonder though, how they would feel if they found out that it was some alien race that seeded our planet with life. Will they bow down to the aliens and worship them as God's and allow them to cull mankind as they see fit after finding out their God's are just flesh and bone from another galaxy? Would they still be so willing to lay down their lives at our alien rulers feet and desire to be our creators slaves?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @December

      "Speak for yourself. God reveals himself to people today"

      To those who are what...willing and ready to receieve him? This is the line I keep hearing: Why should god reveal himeself to those who aren't ready? After all, the Christian argues, if he did the atheist wouldn't believe him. The problem with this is its absolute bunk. If a god opened up the skies and cam down into stadium after staium filled with thousands and offered up new scientific facts and other good quality evidence 99% of the earth would be believing in that god within days. To think otherwise you really have to have your head in the sand. To argue otherwise is just to make up a story that justifies the fact that this god doesn't, ever, "show himself".

      February 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • December

      Saraswato
      >> Because....? What, he doesn't have the power to do it in a more efficent and useful way? A way that maybe would actually convince a few more people?

      Doesn't Jesus ask us to love others? Love is pretty powerful, isn't it? Maybe he wants us to do it through love?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Speak for yourself. God reveals himself to people today."

      Just like a baseball player wearing the same dirty socks game after game because he hit a three run homer while wearing them a few years ago, Christians will never admit they have no evidence to support their superstltions and will continue to convince themselves that they have experienced the divine.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @December

      Saraswati nails it. You keep beliving that god only reveals himself through abstract emotions, that's fine. It's stupid, but whatever floats your boat. If god's only way to reveal himself is making someone feel an emotion, talk to a brain surgeon who can litearally make people feel certain ways during surgery by prodding diffrent parts of the brain, that's all. So your evidence that god reveals himself by sticking you in the brain every often sounds very silly ... because it is very silly.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • December

      >>Saraswati
      .... If a god opened up the skies and cam down into stadium after staium filled with thousands and offered up new scientific facts....

      I used to think God would have to do something like that in order for me to believe in him.

      Turned out he had a better plan.

      I don't think that way today.

      ***I needed to change my ways.***

      GOD DIDN'T NEED TO CHANGE HIS WAYS.

      i had it backwards. whoops.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • fred

      Saraswati
      Two problems:
      1)The Bible states the consequences for one to reject God after receiveing all the information that person needs is significantly greater than one who does not know God for other reasons.
      2)The Kingdom of God is defined as unity with God. The construct of God is not what 99% of man can understand or what man would accept. Adam had it all including the presence of God yet wanted that which was not of God. We are the same DNA as Adam just look at every one around you.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • The Truth

      I used to think my car salesman would have to do something like show me a reliable vehicle and let me test drive it and tell me exactly how much it would cost in order for me to buy a car from him. Turned out he had a better plan. I don't think that way today. ***I needed to change my ways.*** CAR SALESMAN DIDN'T NEED TO CHANGE HIS WAYS. i had it backwards. whoops. After he set me straight I took whatever car he offered me at whatever price he said it would be sight unseen... I'm sure nothing could go wrong...

      February 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      HAHAHA That's your problem. You think God is a used car salesman.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • The Truth

      I would be happy to believe God is not a car salesman though so far not a single Christian can even prove his existence let alone prove his profession.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Eric G

      What kind of car would God drive?

      February 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      I'd trust a used car salesmen before any unproven god, unless of course he believes in an unproven god.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • I wonder

      Eric G
      "What kind of car would God drive?"

      Well, maybe believers would say an "Infinity"... and non-believers would say a "Mirage"!

      February 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  13. Brother Maynard

    Posted this in a different story ... but seems more appropriate here
    Xtians please answer question in the following example:
    Jim is a christian. He has accepted Jesus Christ as is personal savior.
    He is a good man, never cheated ( or even thought about cheating ) on his wife.
    He has raised two daughters in the faith and they, like him, are up standing believers in faith.
    Jim volunteers at a food shelter one day a week and has done this for 15 years.
    He is financially secure and could retire today comfortably, but even with this he donates a portion of his personal paycheck to numerous charities consistantly
    Everyone likes Jim. Basically he is your model christian.
    One day Jim goes the Doctor. The Doctor tells Jim that he has cancer and unless he starts treatment immediately he has only 6 months to live.
    Why would Jim choose treatment?
    Think about this
    Jim is a believer. He knows that heaven is a better place than this current life.
    He is financially secure. He has provided for his family. He has 6 months to get all of his earthly affairs in order and to say good bye to his family
    This cancer is obviously god's will and god is calling Jim to heaven. Why seek treatment and defy gods will?

    February 7, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • December

      I don't think refusing medical treatment is God's will for me. God works through people.

      "The Doctor tells Jim that he has cancer and unless he starts treatment immediately he has only 6 months to live."

      God is providing an opportunity for Jim to survive. Why not accept it?

      February 7, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Chuckles

      @Brother Maynard

      I think it's like that old joke, "a flood is coming and a guy decides to stay in his house. A neighbor comes by and yells "get into the car" and the guy says "no god'll save me". The water comes and pretty soon it's up to the second story, a guy on a motor boat comes up and yells "get in!" and the guy again says, "no, god will save me". The waters reach further up and the man is forced to retreat to his roof. A helicopter hovers overheard and over the bullhorn yells "take the ladder and climb up!" and the guy says "no, god will save me". The water overtakes him and he goes to heaven. At the gates he asks St. Peter, "why didn't god save me?" and peter says, "He sent you a car, a boat and a helicopter, what more do you want?"
      -Bad joke, I know, but the moral is apparently this god doesn't like to scoop people up, he just nudges other peoples free wills to protect his own flock, or something like that.

      The real thinker though in your case is why god would give this guy cancer, one of the most painful and elongated ways to die. If god is calling Jim to heaven, why not zap him with lightening, or burst his appendix? If god wants him to live, then why make him go through the horrible chemo process, potentially lose faith and end up dying and going to hell because at the end of his life he was betrayed by god?

      February 7, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Thank you December
      "God is providing an opportunity for Jim to survive. Why not accept it?"
      Actually isn't it really
      God is providing an oportunit for Jim to go to heaven Why not accept it ?

      Additionally, 100 years ago Jim would not have that option ( the opportunity to survive ) Why take it now ?

      February 7, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • December

      Because, today that options is there.

      To me, it would be foolish to not accept treatment. Unless you are ready to die.

      Jim has a lot going for him, I'm sure he wants to live and be with his family.

      At my church we pray for medical advances. They are a good thing.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Think about this

      Jim is driving and is at a 'STOP' light. It is Jim's turn to go however, Jim spots a car drving at high speed.He knows fully well if he took his leg off the brakes and decided to move he will get killed.It was Jim' turn at the stop sign but sees this other car driver who had decided to disregard the 'Stop' sign . What should Jim do? Should he use common sense?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • VanHagar

      The only problem with your hypothetical is your presumption that it is God's will that Jim die. If it was God's will that cancer MUST mean death, I question why He would have allowed treatments to be developed (let alone any medicine for any disease).

      February 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      @December

      So basically what I'm hearing you say is that it is better to suffer the pain of treatment for the cancer here on earth and be able to LIVE than to be in eternal bliss and pain free at the right hand side of jesus?

      THAT sound counter intuitive

      February 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • December

      @ Brother Maynard

      Well, I know the Bible says we all will have both joy and suffering in the life. I, myself, would turn to God if I needed to suffer the pain of treatment for cancer.

      I like this world. I'm prepared to go to the next, when it is my time.

      Maybe I survive a painful treatment and am cured of cancer. And then I can help another man get through that same painful treatment.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      VanHagar sez
      "I question why He would have allowed treatments to be developed
      (let alone any medicine for any disease)."

      EXCELLENT question
      God could be testing his flock to see if they really do BELIEVE.
      God will note that "believers" that take the treatment are playing a game with him ...
      ONLY believing when it is easy.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      December sez
      "I like this world. I'm prepared to go to the next, when it is my time.

      Maybe I survive a painful treatment and am cured of cancer.
      And then I can help another man get through that same painful treatment."

      yes but Jim will LOVE heaven. Isn't getting terminal cancer a clear message that it is Jim's time
      Jim HAS helped his fellow man his family his neighbors.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Bro...the problem with your second question is your presumption that God is not clear enough on this issue. He is. There is nothing in the Bible (and I mean nothing) that says we are to reject medical advancements. Indeed, historically, Luke was understood to have been a physician. You'll see nothing in the Bible about him rejecting his trade. You are applying a test that is not in the Bible–you are making it up.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The fallacy in your question is that Jim's dilemma isn't whether to collect his heavenly reward or continue to suffer in the temporal. As a Christina, Jim's dilemma is whether he has fulfilled God's calling on his life. Jesus could have turned away the cup of His suffering and we would be none the wiser but he didn't. Likewise, Jim must seek the will of his heavenly father and press on to complete the work set before him, whatever that might be.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Brother Maynard : Jim is a christian. He has accepted Jesus Christ as is personal savior. He is a good man

      Mentioning 'good' and 'man' in the same sentence is an oxymoron according to the Bible. For ALL have sinned... We ALL deserve punishment. Why SHOULDN'T bad things happen to fallen beings?

      @Brother Maynard : This cancer is obviously god's will and god is calling Jim to heaven.

      God's Will is a perfect world – one without cancer and other evils. Man, influenced by satan, has corrupted God's Plan. Given this understanding, the most you could claim is that this cancer is satan's will. So the question then becomes: Why should Jim avoid treatment to follow satan's will?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • December

      @ Brother Maynard

      >> Isn't getting terminal cancer a clear message that it is Jim's time

      Maybe Jim has a strong will to live.

      Not if there is a treatment available.

      And Jim accepts that treatment.

      And now Jim helps somebody else through their treatment.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      @VanHagar
      so what is the Bible verse that says you HAVE to take EVERY medical treatment known to man?

      Also just because there is no bible verse that says " we are to reject medical advancements" doenst preclude that we cannot - through free will - NOT choose medical advancments.
      the Jehova Witnesses do that all the time.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Live4Him sez
      "Why should Jim avoid treatment to follow satan's will?"
      OK .. so if Jim takes the treatment ... and dies anyway ( which in reality we all will ) that means that satan's will is pretty much supreme

      February 7, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • December

      I know a man, who is 80 years old, and has had 3 cancer treatments.

      He needs to have another one. And it will be risky. And very hard on him.

      He is rejecting it.

      He said he doesn't fear death. He is ready to go be with God.

      If he was younger and stronger he would take it. But the consequences at his age are too much for him.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Bro...you asking good questions, but your assigning something to God that isn't there. In the end, I think Bill Deacon's post above answers your last question to me. I won't speak the for the J.W.'s - I'm not an adherent to their extra-biblical positions.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Bill Deacon sez:
      "Jesus could have turned away the
      cup of His suffering and we would be none the wiser but he didn't."

      Ah yes ... but jesus being all knowning god new prior that he would have this cup
      and voluntarily drank from it.
      Jim did not. Jim is not omniscient.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • just wondering

      Would Jim be required to keep a sliver in his hand to satisfy your warped sense of the divine? Would it cause you to discredit God if someone besides God or Jim removed the sliver?

      February 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Jim doesn't need omniscience. He's already been told and freely accepted that he will experience suffering. It isn't even bad news to him.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      December sez
      "If he was younger and stronger he would take it.
      But the consequences at his age are too much for him."

      I guess this is the crux of the question
      WHY now ? WHY is this 80 year old NOW NOT taking treatment
      He is ending up in the same place. He's life has been one suffering cancer treatment after another
      He could have been in heaven pain free 30 -40 years ago?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Bill Deacon sez
      "Jim doesn't need omniscience. He's already been told and freely accepted that he will
      experience suffering. It isn't even bad news to him."
      Then your comparison to jesus is invalid.
      And exactly when was Jim "told and freely accepted that he will expeience suffering"?
      I wasn't "told" until after the fact.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Brother Maynard : so if Jim takes the treatment ... and dies anyway ( which in reality we all will ) that means that satan's will is pretty much supreme

      So it would appear. But appearance can be deceiving – and are in this case given that Christ has conquered death. In the end, this system will be replaced by a perfect system and Jim will 'move-in' when Christ saves him.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      JIm would also deny any comparison of himself to Jesus but he would still look to Him as an example. AS to when he was told, it's part of the training manual:

      Romans 5:3-4
      Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character, hope.

      Philippians 1:29
      For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him.

      Romans 12:12
      Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful

      February 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Feel free to topple your king at any time Bro.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Bill Deacon sez:
      "Feel free to topple your king at any time Bro."

      Not really sure what you mean by that

      All of the Bible verses you quoted are after the fact.
      I was born ... then read your verses and found out at THAT time that suffering will occur
      Jesus new PRIOR to being born - by being GOD - that he would suffer, die and be raised again.
      Jesus is god god is ominscient therefore jesus is omniscient.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Bill Deacon,

      Re: "Philippians" and "Romans"

      What makes you think that Paul of Tarsus knew anything special?

      February 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Doesn't matter what I think. It matters what Jim thinks. He's the casting central Christina in this exercise. He would be well acquainted with the yoke of Christ.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  14. WhenCowsAttack

    I very much respect the fact that they (along with many unmentioned secular coalitions such as Doctors Without Borders) are trying to get these people the health care they so desperately need.

    I would be cheering them on even more if they left the indoctrination out of the equation entirely, and focused solely on health. Unfortunately, religious indoctrination and the desire to convert these 3rd world countries also plays a major role in their motivation.

    Notice I did *not* state that they don't genuinely care or that the vaccination efforts are in some way a cover up. I just have a problem with brainwashing vulnerable, poor, uneducated human beings having ANY part of their mission.

    February 7, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Chuckles

      Right?! Doesn't it gross you out that these people go after people at their most vulnerable and then pretend like they're just trying to help? I've been reading more and more about homeless people who refuse to go to shelters or soup kitchens because they would rather starve than get food or a place to sleep and listen to some bible thumper that tries to push jesus on them.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Not surprising a lot of people would rather do anything than hear about God's love. A rich person would rather go to the country club and hide in the bar. A poor one would rather sleep in the ditch. Not much difference if you ask me, between the two.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Bill Deacon's Translator

      Not surprising a lot of people would rather do anything than hear about God's love. A rich person would rather go to the country club and hide in the bar. A poor one would rather sleep in the ditch. Not much difference if you ask me, between the two.

      What Bill really means is, "I am completely without regard for humanity. I don't have a compassionate bone in my body. I blather on about gawd's love, but I show none of that in my own life. I have convinced myself of my own superiority and piety and anyone who doesn't think exactly the same as I do doesn't deserve another thought. I also like to bite my own toenails."

      February 8, 2013 at 12:55 am |
  15. Ray

    There are some faiths who sponsor free medicine to the sick and needy. Then there is also one particular faith which shoots the aid workers giving out free polio vaccines to children.

    February 7, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  16. December

    Yea, I've volunteered with secular and religious charities, neither were trying to push their viewpoints.

    They were too busy actually helping other people.

    You do have to be pretty bitter to bad mouth an operation that is providing aid to suffering people.

    February 7, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • December

      whoops, wrong thread

      February 7, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • alias

      Even if this is the wrong thread, that comment only works in specific context.
      Hamas does charity work and kills innocent people.
      KKK members support childrens hospitals.
      Priests are pedos. Bishops enabke them to continue.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I agree many religiously affiliated charitable activities do not preach or proselytize. I avoid the ones that do.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • December

      alias – Good point. Very true.

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers – I avoid those, too. Because it does happen. 'Come in and have a hot meal, right after our sermon.'

      February 7, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  17. December

    "I went up to a man and said ‘Jesus loves you’ …but I realised that it didn’t mean anything unless I did it."

    – Jackie Pullinger

    February 7, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  18. Christ said..

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Luke 6:31

    February 7, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Trump said..

      Do unto others before they do unto you.

      February 7, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • alias

      Just for the record – a LOT of people said that. Including John Wayne and Confucius.
      and Confucius said it 1000 years earlier.

      February 7, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Joe

      That verse is found in the Bible!

      February 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • bobk52

      Hearsay evidence cannot be accepted in any court of law. Unless you heard yourself ! Oh no voices in your head!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  19. ???????

    Malaria – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    http://www.gatesfoundation.org › Home › Topics

    We're working with partners around the world to reach a day when no human being has malaria and no mosquito on earth is carrying it.

    February 7, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  20. Which God?

    And while we give you that vacination, we will tell you that it is by the grace of god that allows you to get it. We will preach to you and your village, toen ,etc.. It's all "moral" bullschiit, with the religious string attached to it. These folks only do it because of their religionsays so. No altruism there at all. Fukknutz, all of them.

    February 7, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Poltergeist

      That's just pure bitterness there. People do missionary/volunteer work for a variety of reasons. Believe it or not there are people(religious and nones) that aren't completely self centered and do enjoy helping the less fortunate.

      Science made the vaccine, volunteer orginizations get them to where they would otherwise couldn't. If thats inspired by faith, I'm not complaining. Neither are the Africans.

      February 7, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • VanHagar

      Our church operates a school back-pack program: we provide backpacks full of food for underprivileged children to take home over the weekend (no free school lunches on Saturday and Sunday if you haven't noticed). We work with the public school system so there is no preaching, not tracks, nothing that says it comes from our church. We do it beause we truly care of these kids. I guess that means your wrong.

      February 7, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Saraswati

      You are massively oversimplifying what's happening here. There are thousands of different organizations which all act very differently. Some Christian religions, such as Quakers, actively discourage proselytizing. And no, I’m not a Christian, but I live in the real world not some fortress of bitterness and hatred.

      February 7, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • December

      Yea, I've volunteered with secular and religious charities, neither were trying to push their viewpoints.

      They were too busy actually helping other people.

      You do have to be pretty bitter to bad mouth an operation that is providing aid to suffering people..

      February 7, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Akira

      I don't care if Santa Claus is delivering the vaccinations, as long as they are getting where they are needed.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The Bishop of Myra died in 345. 20 years after signing the Nicene Creed. His successors have proceeded since then.

      February 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.