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My take: A word to Christians - Be nice
February 9th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My take: A word to Christians - Be nice

Editor's note: John S. Dickerson is author of the book “The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors that Will Crash the American Church ... and How to Prepare” and senior pastor of Cornerstone in Prescott, Arizona. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter @JohnSDickerson

By John S. Dickerson, Special to CNN

Last week a high-profile American writer and news personality asked me a painful question: “Hey pastor, can a Christian tweet hate?”

It was not a hypothetical question. He was asking because some of his 1.3 million Twitter followers claim to be “Christian,” and some of the meanest, most perverse hate-tweets he receives come from these self-proclaimed Christians.

We’ve all seen folks, Christian and otherwise, lose their cool in a Facebook face-off or in the comment section under a controversial news story. But as I scrolled through the “Christian” hate tweets to this news personality, I was baffled and ashamed by these so-called followers of Christ. One user describes himself not merely as Christian but as “sharing God’s message of Grace with everyone I encounter.” The messenger of Grace recently tweeted that he doesn’t merely hate this news personality, he despises and loathes him.

These are the moments when it’s embarrassing to be a Christian. I’m not embarrassed to believe the extravagant claims of Christianity: that Christ was born to a virgin, died for our sins, physically rose from the grave and is returning to rule the world. But I am embarrassed to be associated with some of the people who claim his name.

I have written in the past about the bad reputation that Christians have in America. Some argue that it comes from misrepresentation by the media. Others argue that “all who live godly will suffer persecution,” and that’s why we Christians have a poor reputation. Maybe there’s some truth to those claims, but we Christians have to acknowledge another reason why we are perceived as hateful: because many of our number are.

More and more, I see hateful Christians chalking up their disrepute to “persecution.” God tells us otherwise. In 1 Peter 4 we’re told, “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed. …” And that’s the truth; sometimes we are insulted for proclaiming the good news of salvation in Christ. But listen to what follows: “If you suffer, however, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.”

The Apostle Peter is more or less saying: If you suffer for sharing the good news of Christ, great, you’re blessed. But if you suffer just because you’re being a criminal or acting like an idiot, then don’t blame it on Christ.

Some 2,000 years ago, Peter knew so-called Christians would be criminals and “meddlers.” He knew some would claim, “Wow, I’m really suffering for Jesus,” when they are really just suffering for being jerks.

The word “meddler” means busybody: someone who inserts himself into matters that are not his own. Might this include some people involved in the Twitter, Facebook and “comments” showdowns of our day?

So yes, “all who live godly will suffer persecution.” But let’s not be jerks, get persecuted and then blame it on Christ. American Christianity, with its past position of cultural superiority, gave birth to some self-righteous and condescending so-called Christians. These folks may be culturally Christian, but they know little of Christ and his actual message of humility and repentance. I am convinced that, if Jesus Christ were here walking among us, he would have nothing to do with those who claim his name and consistently spew hate.

Theologians and academics will argue about that last sentence. Isn’t Jesus “a friend of sinners?” Yes. Doesn’t Jesus’ grace wash away the sins of those who trust in him? Yes. Wouldn’t that include the sin of "hate tweet"? Yes.

In seminaries and churches, we tend to engage in obscure questions about theology. For example, “Is it possible for someone to truly trust Christ and spend their entire life tweeting hate?”

Maybe so. But Jesus didn’t engage in such esoteric abstractions. He taught simple truth with clarity, authority and practicality. On controversial issues—“Are hate tweeters true Christians?”—I find myself drawn to the simple words of Scripture. Theologians will argue and debate, but God’s word is simple and clear.

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” (1 John 2:9,11)

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (James 3:9,10)

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20)

Jesus put it this way in Matthew 12:34-36: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”

If we will give account for every careless word spoken, might we also give account for every careless comment typed or tweeted?

Christians aren’t the only ones hurling hateful blows on the Web. But we are the only ones who claim to follow the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. So let’s be nice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John S. Dickerson.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (10,298 Responses)
  1. rchoetzlein

    Scientist: Look, we can release energy from atoms!
    Christian: God made atoms. Should we meddle with such things?
    Politician: Doesn't matter. We can, so let's try it!
    Christian: To use this power goes against God! We must foresake it!
    Scientist: Don't look at me.. I just make things.
    Politician: Great, let's try it!
    Christian: We must change our ways! The end is near!
    Scientist: Hmm, I'm not sure.. Oh, by the way, I just make things.
    Politician: You two argue amongst yourselves. I still say we try it.
    Capitalist: I'll take 10,000. Can they be made stronger?

    February 10, 2013 at 5:47 am |
    • You fail

      What a lame straw man! Christians never tried to stop the bomb. Heck, the people who started the Manhattan project, oversaw it, paid for it, and ordered the bombing of two Japanese non-military cities were Christians.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:52 am |
    • rchoetzlein

      It's not meant to be taken literally, but a metaphor for how humanity has responded to modern technology. Religion was previously a moral compass, but it has been largely discredited by Science, or otherwise confused by globalization (plurality of religions). Science has increased quality of life, but also threatens it, while also offering no moral input. Politics plays with the distribution of these powers, while the instinctive Capitalist nature takes whatever it can get.. I mean to say that none of these groups, religious, scientific, or otherwise is behaving rationally in the modern world for the good of the whole. Humanity is fractured. We need a world where each person has a bit of all of these things.. One could write a similar article about how scientists are lazy as they have essentially nothing to say about the use of what they make (and yes, they should), or how capitalists are self-serving (an easy criticism). Balance, as the author says, is elusive.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:12 am |
    • No Gods No Master

      Religion was useful(somewhat) in ancient times. However, in modern day society it has made attempts to hinder any and all forms of social and scientific progress

      February 10, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • Lowell Thomson

      Morality exists without religion. There are numerous societies around the world that wouldn't know judeo-christian values if you tattooed the 10 commandments onto their butts, but they still have moral and social codes.

      Morality exists as part of human social development; in order to survive, we had to get along. In order to get along, we had to codify rules.

      All of the rules in Christianity existed in other cultures BEFORE christianity sprung from Judaism.

      So obviously morality has nothing to do with which flying spaghetti monster in which you choose to believe.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • frank

      Ugg. More of this Christian ownership of a "moral compass" choetz.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  2. No one

    Being religious is nice, but justifying bigotry and stupidity because 'god' told you to is particularly annoying.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:44 am |
    • phillie

      Proper nouns are capitalized, whether you believe in the subject or not. The quotation marks should not be used eithier. When you refer to other names that you deem fictional, i.e. Moby Dick, do you also forget the capitalzation and place the name in quotations? Or, I expect, that is your feeble attempt and being mean. Hopefully, however, my attempt toward you is quite telling.

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

      atheists never disrespect christ or his followers. they don't believe in sarcasm or subtle criticism of those they hate, i mean those they disagree with violently.

      jeebus promoted slavery and if you follow him, you are an advocate of slavery. like wilberforce

      March 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  3. Bruce

    I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are nothing like your Christ.
    – Gandhi

    February 10, 2013 at 5:41 am |
    • Gandhi Jr

      Not that your Christ was anything particularly worth imitating.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:46 am |
    • goops

      too bad ghandi lumped all christians together

      March 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • goops

      Gandhi Jr
      Not that your Christ was anything particularly worth imitating.

      what was your christ like?

      March 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
  4. dogmandg

    Everyone should be nice, Atheists included. I see a lot of hate posts coming from Atheists. Many confrontational billboards as well. You'll get more street cred if you're nice.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:41 am |
    • Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      You see many atheist billboards? Where? I have never seen any, and I live in a major city. I do see literally hundreds of religious billboards in the course of a year, but I have not seen a single atheist billboard in person.

      February 10, 2013 at 5:48 am |
    • jim

      Sure, everyone should be nice. But the Bible says to take out the stick from your own eye before you point out the speck in your brother's eye. The Christian community as a whole, sadly, still hasn't removed the stick.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:09 am |
    • Tim Jordan

      When was the last time atheists killed one another over differences of belief or engaged in The Crusades?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:13 am |
    • Lone

      Hmmmm- You don't recognize what is wrong with your statement? One person, one city, and that passes for reality everywhere else? And don't be hyperbolic, the only way your seeing that many billboards is by counting the same ones over and over during a commute.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:14 am |
    • Rachael

      There is no difference between the religious advertising their beliefs than an atheist doing the same thing. Your comment reveal your contempt for those who do nor share your belief and that type of contempt is almost always accompanied by hatred.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:24 am |
    • thefactsmatter

      Lone, try to think outside the box...Hmmmm could be a truck driver and see hundreds of billboards "over the course of a year". Why limit his/her statement to a "commute"?! Apparently you are unable to see what's wrong with your own statements.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:40 am |
    • HenryB

      Rachel – Atheists have no belief in anything. Christians love to have people think that atheists have opposing beliefs because they like the fight; Christianity versus evil. And we fall for this nonsense all the time. I have not see an atheist talk about what they believe in because they don't.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • Atheists Gone WIld

      Tim Jordan "When was the last time atheists killed one another over differences of belief or engaged in The Crusades?:"

      Let's see. How about the many atrocities committed by the atheistic regimes of the Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, and Kampuchea (to name just a few)?

      February 10, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Lowell Thomson

      Problematically, believers see attacking ideas as the same thing as attacking people.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Lowell Thomson

      Atheists Gone Wild, they were atheists in name only; their belief system - their bio-chemically derived need to group for self-protection - just turned communism into their "religion."

      All humans are susceptible to group belief. What they call it is irrelevant.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • phillie

      Tim Jordan...you mention the Crusades to make us think you are student of history but I'm baffled that you don't know any atrocities that have occured in the name of no religion. Communists are atheists. There have been many communist atrocites. I won't pretend to educate you on a message board to them all, but the Soviet Union, espeicially brutal from 29-39, required people to profess atheism. Many were killed during this period in the name of this requirement.

      February 11, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • Susan StoHelit

      We've been nice and in the closet for some hundreds of years. Hasn't done much for us.

      I like positive billboards (even though Christians tend to have a problem with them no matter how nice they are), and I'm not a fan of the stupid obnoxious little posts that some make – but I can't say that being quiet has worked well.

      February 11, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • goops

      "jim
      Sure, everyone should be nice. But the Bible says to take out the stick from your own eye before you point out the speck in your brother's eye. The Christian community as a whole, sadly, still hasn't removed the stick."

      likle that is somehow a big deal? why would you expect believers in a fairy tale to to do anything like that? are you a fool?

      March 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • goops

      Lowell Thomson "Problematically, believers see attacking ideas as the same thing as attacking people."

      you lump christians together

      March 25, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  5. Science

    Is that Chad above waiting for the sock.?

    February 10, 2013 at 5:39 am |
  6. mique

    Stay out of politics and no one will care what you think.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:39 am |
    • Science

      And public education and health care!

      February 10, 2013 at 5:44 am |
    • Bob

      So be sure and pay for everything, just do not have or share an opinion? But you can push your "religious" beliefs and that's ok?

      February 10, 2013 at 6:37 am |
  7. Chief Ten Bear - My words of life and death are true.

    The tragedies will continue until we get a handle on mental illness, like the delusional / schizophrenic tendencies of the average human being.
    We live in an open-air mental ward with the crazy people running the show.
    We humor them while trying to avoid their vicious and irrational responses to virtually everything around them.
    We watch the insanity and can do little or nothing to counter the madness of religion.
    So these tragedies continue, the only enduring aspect of human affairs that I can see.
    And "being nice" does absolutely nothing to change anything for the better beyond humoring violent crazy people so they don't hunt us down openly. Good times.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:30 am |
    • bobk52

      Like +1 You are indeed correct!

      February 10, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • That Guy

      'Murrica, land of the stupid, home of the scared.

      February 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • carl

      its the "United States of America", land of brave and home of the free
      I love it.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • phillie

      So, Bear, as long as "being nice" doesn't apply to you...right?

      February 11, 2013 at 4:32 am |
  8. Arvn Huac

    Gotta love that art work up top. Christians as smiley faces gone psycho. That's about right.

    February 10, 2013 at 2:07 am |
    • That Guy

      "I only wish to live in peace with all of you...UNLESS YOU'RE GAY OR HAVE DIFFERING OPINIONS! BURN IN HELL, HERETICS!"

      February 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • phillie

      That Guy....how do you not see the irony in your post?!

      February 11, 2013 at 4:12 am |
  9. Sarcasm

    I've got five of them hiding in my attic. Don't arrest me, I didn't know they were there.

    February 10, 2013 at 1:53 am |
    • Caleb

      Sarcasm is an anti-Christ.

      February 10, 2013 at 6:18 am |
  10. End Religion

    Noe here are some role model, all around nice Christians:

    http://www.cafemom.com/articles/in_the_news/150838/westboro_baptist_church_members_escape

    February 10, 2013 at 1:37 am |
  11. Johnny Guitar

    "Jesus didn’t engage in such esoteric abstractions. He taught simple truth with clarity." – Yeah, that's none of his followers can agree on what he meant.

    “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” (1 John 2:9,11)" – I didn't know John invented the No True Scotsman fallacy.

    Let's face it: Christians think their acceptance of Jesus is a get-out-of-jail-free card that allows them to be as evil as they want. That's how they behave. That's why Christian parts of America and the world are more violent and crime-ridden than secular places. That's why there are almost no atheists in prison, but there are lots of Christians.

    Religion is nuts, and the people who follow it are bastards.

    February 10, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • That Guy

      Well of course, didn't you hear? So long as they ask Gawd for forgiveness before they die, it's all gravy. I wonder how they'd react when they run into some of history's greatest monsters in "Heaven"?

      February 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • sportzriter13

      Some Christians do have the "get out of jail free card" mentality, to the frustration of those that don't. Personally, I think this mentality completely miss the point. No one is perfect, no matter what they do or do not believe. Rather, confessing can be seen as a fancy way of acknowledging the mistakes made. Further, it's a reminder not to be blinded by hubris. To realize that while we are not perfect, we are capable of change, and doing better. "we confess that we have sinned against you, in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone...we are truly sorry and we humbly repent". If they truly repent, they work on NOT DOING IT AGAIN. Otherwise, you're just saying "I'm kinda sorry but...ha ha, I'll do it again. Same time next week?"
      There is no doubt that there are those who will use religion to try to cover up, execute, or try to "even out" evil. They also tend to be the loudest bible thumpers out there. Those who just want to live their lives, and try to do right (by God, by society, or whatever it may be) are drowned out. So all most people see are the evil, and those who use god as a pretty cover to disguise the inner rot. I feel sad for them, because they don't get the benefit that can be offered by belief. Furthermore, belief is not required- an atheist can also grasp the concept...it's just done a bit differently.

      March 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  12. Jake Gittes

    There are nice people who happen to be Christians, but there is no one that Christianity has made nice. However, there are huge numbers of people that Christianity made very mean.

    February 10, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Sarcasm

      Lets gas em. Hating a large religious group always works out so well for civilization.

      February 10, 2013 at 1:53 am |
    • Jake Gittes

      Sarcastic Christian didn't catch the point of the article, did he?

      February 10, 2013 at 2:01 am |
    • NorthVanCan

      Christopher Hitchens ? Where are you ?

      February 10, 2013 at 5:44 am |
    • mark

      What a leap Jake! Christ made me nicer. Theory blown. Let's not make generalizations. Your probably a good person. Although I don't know:}

      February 10, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • carl

      nice twist of words to mean nothing.
      Christians have done plenty of good. Most universities were organized by Christianity.
      most charities are Christian-based. most volunteer work is Christian based.

      so, I would reconsider your opinion AFTER you study the facts.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
  13. End Religion

    "Nurse, tbt needs an intravenous pint of this article, STAT!"

    February 10, 2013 at 12:08 am |
  14. Akira

    Somebody needs to tell truth be told this...

    February 9, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  15. ☼Illuminary☼

    In the nearly 50 years I have lived, I have only ever met One Christian that exemplified what I perceive to be the teachings of Christ. ( I am not a theologian) It took just that one person, to make me reconsider my lack of respect for the religion as a whole. What I fear that most people forget is if you are very public about your faith, those not of your faith, base their beliefs about your faith, on YOUR actions. So being Nice, would be a nice start....

    February 9, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      ya good point, Christians should start with removing "no trespassing or you will be shot" signs from their backyards.

      February 9, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • Akira

      Mo...LOL!

      February 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • That Guy

      Nicest woman I ever met was Christian. She was the most pleasent and happy-go-lucky lady you'd ever meet, if not a tad eccentric.

      Doesn't change the fact that the majority of people I know to be of Christian or Catholic faith are hate-filled people who hide behind the God-window.

      February 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • phillie

      That Guy...I don't know, you seem quite hate-filled to me, and from reading all of your other posts you are an Atheist. But, since you don't have a "Gawd" to answer to, I guess it is quite fine for you to spread your hate.

      February 11, 2013 at 4:26 am |
  16. Reality

    Being nice and at the same time truthful:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    February 9, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • goops

      Reality

      Being nice and at the same time truthful:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      requested. not links, though.

      i met a nice god-hater once. lovely woman. kind, thoughtful, generous. she was a devout atheist for 64 years. became a christian and changed completely into the delightful soul i described when i met her.

      can you dig it?

      March 25, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  17. Ungodly Discipline

    He just figured out that lots of Christians are mean-spirited and phony? Ok....

    February 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • That Guy

      I've noticed it is a common practice that people of any faith or organization do not usually, if ever, look inwardly at their guiding principals and see the problems within. There's a fairly good chance that up until he was specifically told by the news anchor, he had never even bothered to look for an extended period at the hate-spewing members of his religion.

      February 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  18. Brampt

    Matt 7:21 – Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing THE WILL of my Father who is in the heavens will

    February 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Hey Brampt, wuts hup honey?

      February 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • That Guy

      The thing is that nobody is really certain what God's will is supposed to be. Many cultures believe it was God's will that they eradicate other cultures who believed differently than them. As an example, many of the early settlers to America believed it was God's will that they take over the entire continent. Manifest Destiny.

      February 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  19. Mohammad A Dar

    it gives me an impression that pastor Dickerson loves to use street language to make his points like ".......when they are really just suffering for being jerks.", or just simply because he is a Christian !!

    February 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Delte this one too, moron.

      April 2, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Science

      Science

      Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story'

      In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the cosmologist shares his thoughts on death, M-theory, human purpose and our chance existence

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/may/15/stephen-hawking-interview-there-is-no-heaven

      February 10, 2013 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |

      April 2, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  20. Donovan

    The problem is that the "church" has made claims that many millions are now finding out to be false. For example. How many years and times have we been told that Jesus was coming back- if not this year next year for sure. How many times have people been told that Jesus changes your heart- and then people witness the hatred of those who profess Christ. How many times have we been told that "real" Christians vote Republican. I could go on for hours. Point being, with the internet, we now have access to so much more information and can check facts. The "product" of evangelical Christianity simply does not hold up to the facts of what the church says and does. And just because people are leaving the church, does NOT mean they are leaving their faith in Christ. They simply have decided they want an authentic relationship with him- not one of culture and politics. peace out. Donovan Moore, spiritnewsdaily

    February 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • December

      Nicely put.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • tttt

      ...

      March 12, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • ssss

      ...

      March 12, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • jjj

      jjj

      March 12, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • End Religion

      "And just because people are leaving the church, does NOT mean they are leaving their faith in Christ. They simply have decided they want an authentic relationship with him- not one of culture and politics. peace out. Donovan Moore, spiritnewsdaily"

      You go ahead and tell yourself whatever you need. Leaving a church for good is a massive move away from religion. It won't be much longer before these people abandon faith altogether, which will be wonderful. it is called "moderation" and it happens slowly until you're out of a faith altogether. Thanks for promoting it!

      March 12, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • zzz

      zzzz

      March 12, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • lol??

      lol??
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      "K.C.s Sunshiney Disco Apocalypse
      sayz, .............................
      Actually, I don't want to know any more. It creeps me out that there are people like him walking the streets. At least as a felon he cannot own a gun."

      You don't get "crime and punishment", do you?? After somebody pays the fine and does the time they should be free and fully restored. Got a demon livin' in your temple?? BBBBBwwwwwahahahaha

      March 17, 2013 at 5:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
      lol??
      And no, I didn't demonize you. It was your own DIY project...BBBBBBWWwwwaaaaahahahaha......

      March 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Come on delete bot...keep up.

      March 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Science

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice/comment-page-3/#respond

      lolCAT2000

      Atheism currently behaves like an aggressive cult with polarizing us. vs. them retorics and claims of "access to the truth" (scientific evidence) et cetera.
      Christianity on the other hand is moving slow...

      The picture over this article is dangerous, it reminds me of the way Jews were depicted during the 3rd Reich.
      It's easy to discredit people with propaganda like that.

      Somewhat shameful for CNN.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:07 am | Report abuse | Reply

      SixDegrees

      What goes around, comes around. After centuries of being browbeaten with hateful rhetoric – and sometimes much, much worse – atheists are not going to welcome their persecutors with open arms.

      Maybe if christians stopped trying to ram their religion down everyone's throat and let those who disagree with them live their own lives as they see fit, without having creationism hijack science in the classroom, or without having to risk one's life to have a simple medical procedure performed, atheists would be more tolerant. Until that happens, though, expect your own hatred and intolerance to be reflected right back at you.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |

      truth be told

      There have not been that many so called atheists but those there have been have been horrible. Atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      For all creationists and bible thumpers !

      Earth’s timeline works better than the bible's timeline !

      Trace our planet's geological and biological ages .

      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/33184839/ns/technology_and_science/

      Peace

      Interactive timeline
      East to find FACTS.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      Oops EASY to find facts .
      .

      February 10, 2013 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |

      lolCAT2000

      @SixDegrees
      Who exactly is "prosecuting" you?
      Our current situation is very different than that of previous generations.

      A siege mentality and polarizing retorics will not increase peace and understanding for sure – on either "side".
      But I don't think there really are theses "sides" anywhere else but in the heads of people who are religiously involved in their respective individual cult.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |

      lolCAT2000

      @Science
      indeed, religion doesn't seem to make sense in the binary of "evidence" vs. "delusion",
      but what you are overlooking is the gap between "evidence" and "common sense".

      An "us" vs. "them" / "good people" vs. "evil people" dichotomy is what characterizes cults of any denomination,
      and Atheism is no exception to that.
      BTW – no cult will ever admit to being one!

      February 10, 2013 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven; it's a fairy story'

      In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the cosmologist shares his thoughts on death, M-theory, human purpose and our chance existence

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/may/15/stephen-hawking-interview-there-is-no-heaven

      February 10, 2013 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      We are in a test tube

      News Release
      Jan. 30 2013

      3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

      University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

      February 10, 2013 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      It is Called

      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions

      February 10, 2013 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |

      lolCAT2000

      @Science Science itself doesn't really have much to do with this – this is about an agreement on how people should treat each other.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      They should not have created the wedge

      February 10, 2013 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |

      Karen Stewart

      @truth be told...you might want to go and do some reading. Ex.christian.net (a blog encouraging those thinking about leaving Christianity behind), has quite a bit of info for you.

      15th century: Crusades against Hussites, thousands slain. [DO30]
      1538 pope Paul III declared Crusade against apostate England and all English as slaves of Church (fortunately had not power to go into action). [DO31]
      1568 Spanish Inquisition Tribunal ordered extermination of 3 million rebels in (then Spanish) Netherlands. [DO31]
      Between 5000 and 6000 Protestants were drowned by Spanish Catholic Troops, "a disaster the burghers of Emden first realized when several thousand broad-brimmed Dutch hats floated by." [SH216]
      1572 In France about 20,000 Huguenots were killed on command of pope Pius V. Until 17th century 200,000 flee. [DO31]
      17th century: Catholics slay Gaspard de Coligny, a Protestant leader. After murdering him, the Catholic mob mutilated his body, "cutting off his head, his hands, and his genitals... and then dumped him into the river [...but] then, deciding that it was not worthy of being food for the fish, they hauled it out again [... and] dragged what was left ... to the gallows of Montfaulcon, 'to be meat and carrion for maggots and crows'." [SH191]
      17th century: Catholics sack the city of Magdeburg/Germany: roughly 30,000 Protestants were slain. "In a single church fifty women were found beheaded," reported poet Friedrich Schiller, "and infants still sucking the breasts of their lifeless mothers." [SH191]
      17th century 30 years' war (Catholic vs. Protestant): at least 40% of population decimated, mostly in Germany. [DO31-32]

      That's just the wars. We haven't even gotten into burning witches or all of the native peoples of MANY lands who were killed when they refused to become Christian.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |

      infiddleaway00

      Karen: If the NT were written to include the level of killings in the name of God as in the OT there will
      be revulsion. Hand it to the OT writers. The NT stops way short of what happened after and the consequences
      of the NT religion. Killings started from the get go as soon as it became the accepted religion by Rome.

      It's a lesson for what we read about wars in our own era. Perhaps "understanding," "empathy," "knowledge," "information" will be the wave of the future.

      February 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |

      Aldewacs

      @lolCat2000: I'm sorry the bad, bad atheists have decided to no longer be the easy targets that religions have, over the centuries, been able to treat them as. Distressing news for you: the cat is out of the bag, buddy ... don't expect to return to the "good old days" of being able to crucify those who refuse to proclaim that they believe the fairy tales that you obviously are a sucker for. Atheists are not being 'Aggressive' – they are just warming up to the assertiveness required to be able to live a decent life without having to kiss religious a$$. I fail to weep for the erosion of religion's superiority complex.

      – – – – –

      " 'I'll tell you what you did with atheists for about 1500 years. You outlawed them teaching at the universities, or any teaching careers, besmirched their reputations, banned or burned their books or their writings of any kind, drove them into exile, humiliated them, seized their properties, arrested them for blasphemy. You dehumanized them with beatings and exquisite torture, gouged out their eyes, slit their tongues, stretched, crushed or broke their limbs, tore off their breasts if they were women, crushed their scrotums if they were men, imprisoned them, stabbed them, disemboweled them, hung them, burnt them alive. And you have nerve enough to complain to me that I laugh at you?"

      -Dr. Madalyn Murray O'Hair "

      – – – –

      February 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
      lolCAT2000

      @Science of course the people who wrote the bible didn't have the science we have today, but just because *that aspect* of its message is out of date, but there is a lot more to the bible than "the earth is 6000 years old".
      In fact, it never even says that in the bible in the first place.

      February 10, 2013 at 7:49 am | Report abuse | Reply

      Science

      Young earth creation look it up please it does not work.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      Young Earth creationism (YEC) is the religious belief[1] that the Universe, Earth, and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of the Abrahamic God during a relatively short period, sometime between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago.[2] Its primary adherents are those Christians and Jews[3] who believe that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days, using a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative as a basis.[4][

      Peace

      It does not work that way.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |

      .

      god-haters have a fetish for lying.

      if i wanted to reject god and christianity, i'd search for some solid reasons. since there aren't any, if i was a heathen, i would do what our dear god-haters do.

      March 31, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
      Science

      Well maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!
      The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic
      convictions.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

      February 10, 2013 at 7:59 am | Report abuse | Reply

      JJ

      This is one of the most detremental acts of Christians. Christians have always been on the forefront against reason and science.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |

      Science

      @JJ agree

      They lost at the Dover trial and they are still pushing.

      Glad they can not teach craetion/ID in public schools in US .

      Education suffers becuase of the wedge.

      Peace

      February 10, 2013 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |

      April 1, 2013 at 9:13 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.