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Christ was persecuted, but what about Christians?
Roman persecution of Christians was depicted in paintings such as "The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer" by Jean-Leon Gerome.
March 30th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

Christ was persecuted, but what about Christians?

CNN examines the tumultuous early years of Christianity in a special narrated by Liam Neeson. Watch “After Jesus: The First Christians,” Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - She walked into the Roman arena where the wild beasts awaited her. She trembled not from fear but from joy.

Her name was Vibia Perpetua. She was just 22, a young mother singing hymns as the crowd jeered and a lion, leopard and wild cow encircled her.

One of the beasts attacked, hurling her to the ground. She covered an exposed thigh with her bloody robe to preserve her modesty and groped in the dust for her hair pin so she could fix her disheveled hair.

And when a Roman executioner approached Perpetua with a sword, her last words before collapsing were aimed at her Christian companions: “Stand fast in the faith, and love you all one another and do not let our sufferings be a stumbling block to you.”

Millions of Christians worldwide will celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on this Easter Sunday. But the story of how the church rose to prominence after Jesus’ death is being turned upside down.

According to a belief passed down through the centuries, the church grew because of Roman persecution. The blood of Christian martyrs such as Perpetua became “the seed of the church,” said third-century church leader Tertullian. It’s the Hollywood version of Christianity reflected in epic biblical films such as “Ben-Hur” and “The Robe.” Vicious Romans relentlessly targeted early Christians, so the story goes, but the faith of people like Perpetua proved so inspiring that Christianity became the official religion of Rome, and eventually the largest religion in the world.

But that script is getting a rewrite. The first Christians were never systematically persecuted by the Romans, and most martyrdom stories - with the exception of a handful such as Perpetua's - were exaggerated and invented, several scholars and historians say. It wasn’t just how the early Christians died that inspired so many people in the ancient world; it was how they lived.

“You had much better odds of winning the lottery than you would have becoming a martyr,” says Joyce E. Salisbury, author of “The Blood of Martyrs: Unintended Consequences of Ancient Violence.”

“The odds were pretty slim. More people read about martyrs than ever saw one.”

Do Christians have a martyr complex today?

The debate over exactly how many Christians were persecuted and martyred may seem irrelevant centuries later. A scholarly consensus has indeed emerged that Roman persecution of Christians was sporadic, and that at least some Christian martyrdom stories are theological tall tales.

But a new book by Candida Moss, a New Testament professor at the University of Notre Dame, is bringing that message to the masses.

Moss says ancient stories of church persecution have created a contemporary cult of bogus Christian martyrs. She says too many American Christians are acting like they’re members of a persecuted minority, being thrown to the lions by people who simply disagree with them.

Professor Candida Moss, author of "The Myth of Persecution," says most stories of Christian martyrs were fabricated.

She cited former Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Romney claimed last year that President Barack Obama was waging a “war against religion,” and Santorum said the gay community “had gone out on a jihad” against him. Other Christians invoke images of persecution when someone disagrees with them on controversial issues such as abortion or birth control, says Moss, whose "The Myth of Persecution" was recently released.

The problem with invoking persecution is it implies your opponents are evil - and no common ground can be found with evil,  Moss says.

“When someone is persecuting you" she says, "there is no room for dialogue."

Others say Moss’ claim is dangerous.

People such as Perpetua did die because of their beliefs. The first Christians were tortured, reviled and held in contempt by Romans - and their example helped the church grow, they say.

The Rev. Robert Morgan, author of  "On This Day in Christian History: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs and Heroes, " says it’s true that some of the accounts of martyrdom were “undoubtedly embellished” and that many of the persecution stories were “handed down in an atmosphere of confusion and pressure.”

Still, being a Christian in the first century was a risky move - persecution was significant. Jesus and most of his apostles were executed, he says.

“To deny the history of the movement is a way of attacking the movement,” Morgan says.

Some opposition to contemporary Christians is indeed evil, Morgan says. Christians are being killed today in places such as Nigeria and North Africa.

“Christians do not have a victim’s mentality,” Morgan says. “They take their stands, they know what they believe and they do good in this world. They are the ones who have established orphanages, hospitals and charitable institutions. For some reason, there’s this animosity against them.”

Hatred of Christians is woven into much of the New Testament. Jesus constantly warned his followers to expect persecution. The Apostle Paul wrote many of his epistles from jail. And the death of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, is dramatically recorded in the New Testament book the Acts of  the Apostles.

The Easter message itself is a story of martyrdom - Jesus, unjustly executed by the Romans. The idea that Christians are at war with demonic forces in the world is reflected throughout the New Testament, says Bryan Litfin, a theology professor at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

“If Jesus was just a soft moral teacher who taught us to love one another and petted little babies, the Romans wouldn’t have crucified him,”  Litfin says. “Jesus is a polarizing figure, then and today. The early Christians weren’t foisting a narrative out of the blue about being martyrs. ”

'Like the action heroes of the ancient world'

If the first Christians pictured themselves as waging war against the world, the martyrs were their version of the Navy SEALs. They were the elite Christians who inspired and united others of their faith.

There was a purpose behind spreading stories of persecution: Nothing brings a new group closer together than a common enemy, Moss says.

“The idea that you are persecuted forges a concrete identity,” Moss says. “It really solidifies your sense of group identity.”

The stories of Christian persecution were so popular that they spawned a market during the first centuries after the crucifixion. The places where martyrs were born and died became early tourist stops. Towns competed with one another to draw rich pilgrims seeking martyr memorabilia, Moss says.

“People would go and buy the equivalent of a T-shirt,” Moss says. “You’d have all these little combs with saints on them that people would buy, and lamps with saints on them. People would also buy fruit from trees that grew in the vicinity of martyrs’ graves. Of course, the prices were completely jacked up.”

Church leaders began to embellish and invent stories of martyrdom to inspire the faithful but also to settle theological feuds, Moss says. If, say, a bishop wanted to denounce a rivals’ theology, he spun a story in which a martyr denounced the same doctrine with his last breath, Moss says.

“Martyrs were like the action heroes of the ancient world,” Moss says. “It was like getting your favorite athlete endorsing your favorite brand of soda.”

But how often did Romans force Christians to endure torture or die for their faith? Christianity took roughly 300 years to conquer Rome. The emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 312 and gave Christians religious freedom.  Christianity became the official religion of Rome by the end of the fourth century,  scholars say.

For the first 300 years of the church, Christians were often ridiculed and viewed with contempt. But Roman leaders spent about "less than 10 years" out of the first 300 actually persecuting Christians, Moss says. There are only six reliable cases of Christian martyrdom before A.D. 250 out of “hundreds of stories,” including Perpetua’s, she says.

Many scholars have greeted Moss’ contention that Roman persecution of Christians was exaggerated with a shrug. They say it was common knowledge in the academic world.

“There weren’t that many Christians who were persecuted,” says Gail O’Day, dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity in North Carolina. “When you actually read the Roman historical records, the Christians just weren’t that important to them. Most Christians just got along with empire.”

When Roman persecution did occur, though, it was vicious. The Emperor Nero covered fully conscious Christians with wax and used them as human torches. Other Christians were skinned alive and covered with salt, while others were slowly roasted above a pit until they died.

Perpetua’s passion

One of the most famous martyrs was Perpetua.

She lived in Carthage in North Africa (modern-day Tunisia) and was arrested in March 203 with four others as they prepared for baptism. The Roman Emperor Septimius Severus had decreed that any new conversion to Christianity would result in death.

History remembers Perpetua because she kept a diary during her imprisonment. It’s called "The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity" (Felicity was a slave girl arrested with Perpetua). It’s the oldest-surviving document from a Christian woman. The emotion in the diary is almost unbearable. Perpetua describes the pain of leaving her infant son, who she was still nursing. She describes a prison visit from her weeping father, who kissed her hands while trying to get her to renounce her faith.

Perpetua's father visited her in prison, begging her to think of him and renounce her faith.

A narrator picks up the story in the diary after Perpetua was sent to her death. He says in the diary that Perpetua’s faith was so inspiring it caused the prison’s warden, a man called Pudens, to convert. The narrator also describes Perpetua's death.

While she was imprisoned, Perpetua says God gave her visions to reassure her. After one, she wrote:

“I understood that I should fight, not with beasts but against the devil. But I knew that mine was the victory.”

You can’t discount the power of such stories, even if persecution “wasn’t extremely common,” says Litfin, the Moody Bible Institute professor.

Persecution was central to the rise of the early church, he says.

“How many people in your church would have to be pulled out and executed and tormented for it not to have a tremendous effect for many years on your memory and self-perception,” Litfin says. “The early Christians are not foisting a narrative out of the blue about being matyrs.”

The early Christians' secret weapon

Other scholars say it wasn't simply persecution that helped the church grow. Instead, they say, Christians had a secret weapon.

The martyrs may have gotten all the press, but it was ordinary Christians who got it done by the way they treated friends and strangers.

Life in ancient Rome was brutal and nasty, says Rodney Stark, author of "The Triumph of Christianity." Stark’s well-regarded book gives one of the most detailed descriptions of the early church and ancient Rome.

Forget those antiseptic portraits of Roman cities you see in biblical moves such as “The Robe.” Roman cities were overcrowded, raw sewage ran in the streets, people locked their doors at night for fear of being robbed and plagues were rampant. Soap had not yet been invented, Stark says.

“The stink of the cities in the summertime must have been astounding,” Stark says. “You would have smelled a city miles before you got to it.”

Christians stood out because they created a “miniature welfare state" to help the less fortunate, Stark says. They took in infant girls routinely left for dead by their parents. They risked their lives to tend the sick when plagues hit and others fled in terror. They gave positions of leadership to women when many women had no rights, and girls as young as 12 were often married off to middle-aged men, he says.

Ordinary Romans might have thought Christians were odd but liked having them for neighbors, Stark says.

“If people had really been against them, I don’t think they would have grown like they did,” Stark says.

Christianity became so popular that when Rome did unleash one of its sporadic waves of persecutions, the empire couldn’t stop the church’s momentum, Stark says.

“If you knocked off a bishop, there were 20 guys waiting to be bishop,” Stark says

Christian belonging, not blood, is what drew many people, another scholar says.

The Easter story of a risen savior wasn’t distinctive in Rome’s competitive religious marketplace. Dying for one’s beliefs wasn’t considered heroic; it was expected in the Roman world, says Selina O' Grady, author of "And Man Created God: A History of the World at the Time of Jesus."

The early church, though, was radically inclusive. First-century Rome was undergoing globalization. The peace of Rome had made travel easier. People left homes and tribal ties for Rome. The empire was filled with rootless and excluded people: immigrants, traders, slaves.

The Christian message offered guidelines for living in this strange new world, she says.

“Its universal message, its proclamation of equality, unconditional love, offered everyone in the Roman Empire a new family, a new community, and a way to live,” O’Grady says.

Roman rulers eventually found reasons to support the church, she says.

The Christian message of obeying earthly masters - “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's" - reduced the potential for social unrest, O’Grady says.

“Christianity told the poor and lowly that their status was noble and that there would be recompense in the afterlife,” O’Grady says. “It was a wonderful recipe for creating good, obedient Roman subjects.”

A turning point for the early church was the conversion of Constantine. Scholars still debate Constantine’s motive. By that time the empire was rife with division, and Christians had become a major political bloc with members in the highest reaches of Roman society, says Stark, the sociologist.

“Constantine was interested so much in church affairs for the rest of his life, but I don’t think there’s a reason to not think he was a sincere Christian,” Stark says. “But he was also an egomaniac and an emperor.”

The growth of Christianity was too complex to be attributed to any one factor - whether it be Constantine, persecution or Christianity's message of compassion and inclusion, Stark says.

“I don’t think there was a primary reason,” he says. “It was a collection of things. It was all part of a package.”

Wrapped in that package, though, were the persecution stories of people such as Perpetua.

Today, churches have been named after Perpetua; films and graphic novels have been made about her life. She is considered a saint.

Her words still inspire. People still read her diary. There’s probably a Christian somewhere in the world now facing danger who is taking courage from Perpetua’s ordeal.

One passage in Perpetua’s diary is particularly luminous.

Perpetua stopped keeping her diary just before she was sent into the arena. No one knows for sure what she felt when she faced her moment of death, but she did write what she expected to see afterward.

She wrote that God gave her a reassuring vision while in prison. In the vision, she saw a great bronze ladder ascending to heaven. At the foot of the ladder was a great serpent surrounded by swords and knives.

Perpetua said she ignored the serpent and climbed the ladder. When she arrived at the top, she saw a great garden and a white-haired man in shepherd’s clothing milking a sheep. He was flanked by thousands of others Christians dressed in white.

“And he raised his head and beheld me and said to me: Welcome child.”

The man gave Perpetua curds from the milk of the sheep, and she said it tasted sweet.

She then wrote:

“And I took it with joined hands and ate it up: and all that stood around said, Amen.”

Centuries later, millions of people who look to Perpetua are still saying amen.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Easter • Faith • History • Jesus

soundoff (6,965 Responses)
  1. Salero21

    Atheism is stupidity in full bloom! If stupidity can bloom, which it does.

    April 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Is that really the best you have? Come on. If you are going to insult people for not thinking exactly like you do, put a little effort into it!

      April 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • fintastic

      Next he'll be calling us poopy heads...... or "i am rubber you are glue"

      April 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Salero is one of the least interesting posters, right up there with the prayer bot.

      April 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • skytag

      More evidence religion makes people stupid.

      April 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • wade moran

      Drugs, abortion, aids, illegal immigration,,,,,,,don't liberals just kill ya!

      April 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Pepperpot Waitress

      Hey wade, did ya know 83% of women getting abortions are christian? Wanna shut up now? Do a little research. And educate yourself.

      April 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Wade, there's no "a" in your last name. 2 "o"s, remember. TWO!

      April 5, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • WASP

      @wade moran
      statistics:
      " 92 percent of people living in the Unites States believe in God or a higher power."

      "18 abortions per 1,000 women among 15-19-year olds. The African-American abortion rate is 41 per 1,000 women among that age group, which is four times higher than non-Hispanic whites abortion rate at 10 per 1,000 and twice as high for Hispanics at 20 per 1,000."

      "Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers. ("Women and Violence," Hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, August 29 and December 11, 1990, Senate Hearing 101-939, pt. 1, p. 12.)

      One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1991)."

      I COULD GO ON AND ON POINTING OUT HOW IT'S YOU "LOVING CHRISTIANS" DOING ALL THIS STUFF; HOWEVER YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS TO BE FACT.

      April 5, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • sam stone

      yeah, wade....and those things never existed before the liberals came to power.....

      fvcking imbecile

      April 5, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • The real Tom

      From the sh!twit who can't even compose a sentence, we get called "stupid"?

      April 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Oh, wade, why don't you look back over the last 30 years immigration data and see which party has actually taken a harder stand against illegal immigration in practice.

      April 7, 2013 at 12:34 am |
  2. Reality

    Persecution comes in many forms:

    The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

    M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

    The Muslim Conquest of India

    "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

    1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

    2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

    3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

    4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

    5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

    6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

    7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

    8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

    9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

    10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

    11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

    12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

    13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

    14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

    15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

    16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

    17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

    18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

    19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

    20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

    April 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Reality
      We read history too and most of these are a far stretch if not lies!
      Be more creative by loving Christians as yourself!

      April 5, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • Reality

      Obviously, some failed to read the cited reference:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u

      April 5, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • james

      I do not see any Jehovah's Witnesses in your list nor will you see them in any war. can you say that about any other religion?

      April 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Reality

      Jehovah Witness:

      "Member of an international religious movement founded in Pittsburgh, Pa., by Charles T. Russell in 1872. The movement was originally known as the International Bible Students Association, but its name was changed by Russell's successor, Joseph Franklin Rutherford (18691942). The Witnesses are a millennialist group whose beliefs are based primarily on the apocalyptic sections of the Bible, notably Daniel and the Book of Revelation. They refuse to perform military service or salute the flag, actions which have brought them into direct conflict with governments around the world. They are famous for their door-to-door evangelizing and for refusing blood transfusions; they believe there is scriptural justification for all their actions and beliefs. Their goal is the establishment of God's kingdom on earth, and they hold that Jesus who is believed to be God's first creation rather than one person in a trinity is God's agent in this plan. Their national headquarters is in Brooklyn, N.Y.; their major publications, the Watchtower and Awake!, are published in about 80 languages. millennialism."

      And now for some commentary on the Book of Revelation, one of JW's operating manuals:

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      April 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Reality

      And how do we keep our citizens safe from terror and horror? :

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      – Ditto for Abu Yahya al-Libi on June 5, 2012

      April 5, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  3. faith

    his visage was marred more than any man's

    April 4, 2013 at 4:32 am |
    • Science

      you giong to post for dorothy

      April 4, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • An Awesome Message from P.W. Swivel

      Moderated post

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbD3Hlbvafo&w=640&h=360]

      Thanks for watching.

      April 4, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • james

      not bad boris but now that I have listened to you will you listen when I come to your door to share a hope and like you I believe the real hope for the future. I understand what religion has done to drive people away from the Bible and their god and they will pay for that but if you would discuss with me your reason for your belief and listen to mine I really believe there is a solution to the problems we all face and until we are ready to have sincere discussions we will not find them. so please try to be civil and not slam doors in the face of people that put a lot of love and faith in their efforts to share good news in this world of increasing bad news. thanks, j

      April 4, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  4. dante

    he who endures to the end shall be saved

    April 3, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
  5. adolf

    i obey our father which art in heaven the good book says to kill all boys and men and women. so i did.

    April 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • dante

      no gods ever told you to hurt anyone.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • adolf

      why do you think atheists call me jesus?

      April 3, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • dante

      they love you, Adolf.
      you are their god
      because you are sick and evil

      April 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • adolf

      i am christ-like. i kill all

      April 3, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • dante

      you are sick and evil.

      you hate god

      atheists love hate

      April 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • dante

      "They just don't see any evidence there is such a being."

      how come?

      April 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • dante

      hawaiiguest

      tom?

      April 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • dante

      Moby Schtick
      Who cares about this moron idiot "god" fellow that's as imaginary as he is invisible and undetectable. Does anybody have a clue about gravity?

      who?

      April 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • biggles

      If you were more moral than god, god wouldn't exist. You are less moral, ergo god exists

      April 4, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • faith

      Blessed are the Cheesemakers quoted a poster who said,
      "atheists love hate"

      he added, "That is funny because one of the reasons I rejected the Christian god is because the Christian god condemns good people because of lack of belief. The only conclusion is, that god is vindictive and is contradictory to a god of love. I am more moral than the god of the bible..... so the god of the bible cannot exist."

      where is your proof that god hates good folks if they have no faith?

      "the only conclusion is" you make claims without proof

      April 4, 2013 at 4:41 am |
    • sam stone

      "If you were more moral than god, god wouldn't exist. You are less moral, ergo god exists"

      wow.

      that's dumb, even for you biggles

      April 4, 2013 at 5:23 am |
  6. One one

    Are atheists Persecuted ?

    April 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I don't have any dust on my feet. I wear shoes, you dumb cvnt.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • red delicious

      That is awful to talk to someone like that Tom. What if they are crying now?

      April 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Then maybe you can give "them" a hankie.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • red delicious

      Tom, if you know lol?? is a she, and you are talking like that to her, then you are awful.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, shove it, lolly.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • red delicious

      You should apologize and tell her you're sorry.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why? I'm not.

      And knock off the troll routine, you moron. You're terrible at it.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • red delicious

      Would you say those things if she was crying in front of you?

      April 3, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Akira

      "Are atheists persecuted?"
      I will let Sam Yaza answer that one.
      Reposted from the other persecution thread:

      Sam Yaza says:
      April 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      or it when a christian yells get the pagan then beats your with bats, stones you or shots you,.. all of which happened to me.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think lol? is hilarious so keep it up my brother!

      April 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Tim

      lol?? is the equivilent of a schoolyard bully trying to annoy you by saying "Nuh uh" after anything you say or just repeating it back to you in the whiny little voice of a likely abused child with serious self confidence issues.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • lol??

      "Nuh uh"

      April 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  7. JustTheFacts

    Why The Sky Is Blue…

    Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue? Ask any scientist and they'll give you some fancy explanation for it. The only problem is none of it is true. My pastor teaches us that the blue sky you see is nothing more than a gigantic curtain the Lord has stretched across the heavens. And that there is a day coming when he's going to pull that curtain back and you're going to see an angry God staring down at you. And there will be no place on earth you can hide. People everywhere will be running and trying to hide from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, but they won't be able to. No matter where they go they'll still see his face. Many will be trying to kill themselves rather than to see his face. But they won't be able to do that either because death will be fleeing from them. Many will try jumping off brides or will pick up a gun and try to blow their brains out, and even after they've pulled the trigger and their brains are scattered everywhere, they'll still be alive and still be able to see his face. And this is not fantasy, this is confirmed in the scriptures:

    Revelations 6:14 – And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

    April 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • fintastic

      @Just The Lies.............. "Ask any scientist and they'll give you some fancy explanation for it."

      WOW! That has to be the funniest post I have read so far here on the belief blog....... just hysterical...

      April 3, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Wedding Planner

      fintastic,

      Yeah, and I also particularly liked: "Many will try jumping off brides..."

      April 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Rick

      Bible cosmology imagines that the "sky" is actually surrounded by a hard "firmament" where the stars are stuck and where holes let out the rain from a water layer outside of it. Yup, they imagined liquid water up there. Heaven was that close as well. That's why God supposedly hung out on mountain tops, and why Jesus' Ascension wouldn't have taken very long. By this model jet airliners fly up in "Heaven", but before the invention of the telescope how was anyone to know any different?

      April 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • fintastic

      @rick............ "but before the invention of the telescope how was anyone to know any different?"

      Yes but this is 2013 and I can't tell if the OP really believes this to be true,.... or perhaps it's a late April Fool's joke??

      April 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • fintastic

      @just the lies........... "and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne"

      What I leave behind when I sit on the throne stinks a lot like your post.

      April 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Just the Facts:

      Jumping off brides? Way to mess up the wedding night.

      By the way, the process that determines how we perceive the color of the sky is understood. Your pastor is a liar. He lies because you let him lie, and he lies because you would rather hear a lie than understand the truth. Don't you think it's time you grew up and took responsibility for your own life?

      April 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Justthefacts is apparently so "knowledgable" about the bable that he thinks there is an "s" in Revelation.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:28 am |
  8. Mass Debater

    I see the delete facist is out again today. By the way, I have not left, the deleter just forced me to use a myriad of different names to post under so I do not get posts automatically deleted just because my name is on it. So instead of keeping me silent it just sounds like dozens of other voices shouting the same truth from the rooftops. Well done facist.

    April 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you ...

      April 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      What the heck is a "facist?"

      April 5, 2013 at 12:29 am |
  9. Quest ion

    WITW is going one?

    Why a whole page was deleted?

    Could it be an attack by North Korea?

    ??

    April 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Its the delete bot...bethenay, lol, lie4him, and several other names it goes by. It destroyed around 50 pages from the christians play nice piece as well.
      It is using communist tactics of censorship, and should be taken out and forced to think.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      quest ion
      I did not say anything of the sort.

      North Korea COULD be doing it, but extremely unlikly.

      The evidence that the belief blog editor has shows it to be a frequent user of the blog doing 95% of the damage, while some is other users. It started by targeting atheists posts, then tried covering its tracks by deleting random comments, and by this time there was some retaliation, but then it just started cleaniing house to cover its tracks.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      How can she delete? I thought only CNN staff would be able to do that? The "abuse" button doesn't do anything.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Quest ion

      So, then are you still saying that only Christians do that?

      Do you really believe that ONLY Christians do that?

      Who are you covering for?

      April 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • To state the obvious

      You blame North Korea?!?!?!?! Wow, really? Kind of a delusion of grandeur to think North Korea is out to get you, and that they would focus their efforts on the belief blog, and that they would be so ineffective that they would only get a page here and there, and they would target atheists.

      No, it's Bethany/lol?? This has been going on for weeks now, and the pages of atheist posts that were removed while the Christian posts remained repeatedly told the story.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Cheesy
      The report abuse button used to not work...now they have done a 180 and it deletes all posts reported for abuse, regardless of content...that is how one perverted little self righteous fundie started wiping out anything it didn't like....many of mine that were not controversial in the slightest, just I P'd it off one day, so now it hunts my ( and certain others) down and deletes them from wherever it can find them. I have been changing up my name so I am now really using this name for better tracking by the editors.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Good to know,

      I have not noticed mine being deleted but I am sure it is only a matter of time.

      April 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Could it be Al-queda?

      Could it be Kim Jung Un?

      Could it be that Chinese military Unit?

      Could it be CNN's archenemy Al-Jazzera?

      How do you know is not one of them?

      How can anyone know?

      I don't know?

      If I don't know you don't know either?

      April 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Is CNN under siege by anonymus?

      April 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Quest ion

      Are you just trolling, or are you really that stupid?

      April 3, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Quest ion

      hawaiianguess,

      Answer your question as thyself!

      April 3, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Science

      By the way dorothy looks like it got stuck here maybe ?

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/23/the-money-man-behind-atheisms-activism/

      April 4, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • sqeptiq

      It's not North Korea, it's North Carolina.

      April 5, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  10. A Frayed Knot

    Where is page 61 of these comments? I had a fairly lengthy convo with biggles, Roth and a few others earlier this morning, and now it is gone.

    Has the slasher struck here too? **sigh**

    April 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Science

      The page where biggles claim a negative ?..............................it disappeared.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Science

      dang.......... claims

      April 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Go back a little farther, I have notice when something gets removed from previous pages everything will move back sometimes to previous pages.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      biggles aka bethany is running around censoring everything again...it can't come up with logic or reason to defend its position so it thinks it can silence people by deleting ther comments.

      Just a self rightious idoit.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      salero
      The actual data shows that the lower the intelligence, the more belief in religion. Smarter people do not need the emotional crutch that is religion.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      http://hypnosis.home.netcom.com/iq_vs_religiosity.htm
      http://500questions.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/18-why-does-belief-in-god-decrease-as-intelligence-increases/
      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201005/the-real-reason-atheists-have-higher-iqs

      That should get you started...ask an adult to help you with the hard words.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      solero
      That is just the start. There is much more data available, but since you believe in fairytales, I'm sure you aren't smart enough to fathom it.

      Where is your source indicating atheists are stupid ( which you claim to have proven)?
      I'm certain you do not have any because every study indicates the higher the intelligence, the less the need for religion. Religion is making great headway...in poor countries with poor nutrition ( which is a factor in developing intelligence), and losing ground in areas with highly developed education systems and better social services.

      April 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Salero

      Still got that self-loathing I see. How sad you must be to have to come here posting complete stupidity day after day. Keep going, I'm sure you'll convince yourself you're not a complete pile of shit someday, meanwhile the rest of us will see you for the pathetic moron you are.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Salero21,

      "PS 14:1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God.""

      A quite old, and unfortunately sometimes effective, tactic – declaring that those who do not believe your story are 'fools'. Nobody wants to be considered 'dumb' for not seeing the Emperor's new clothes, or a 'bas.tard' for not seeing the Sultan's new turban, or a 'cuckold' for not being able to see the Miller's gold thumb.

      Even Joseph Smith used it when he gathered his 'witnesses' to his golden plates. He told them that only those with 'true faith' would be able to 'see' them.

      The ancient, primitive Hebrews who originated those Bible stories were quite adept at manipulative mind-games.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Solero
      Seriously???? You try to quote the bible as your source that atheists are stupid??? really???

      Why not quote any other fictional work to make your point.?

      There are none so blind as those who believe the bible.

      The data collected is not as subjective as you claim, you just clearly have not done your homework.

      You got a lot of laughs here from my colleagues with that "because the bible says so" crap as your defence.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yes Salero, continue to post your bigoted, hateful stupidity. All it does is showcase the damage religion does to the mind.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Salero

      LOL
      You project far too much troll. You saying anyone else is devoid of reasonable arguments is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black.
      You have nothing, and you never will as long as your responses consist of "bible bible listen to me I'm right because I want to be. Don't dare disagree or I'll cry".
      Why don't you run away from the thread like the coward you are?

      April 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Salero

      Tell me, why should anyone bother to respond to your vitriol with anything but ridicule? It's not like you care about reason and evidence. All you do is spew out random idiocy against atheists cloaked in a self-righteous, arrogant certainty of things you cannot demonstrate.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Your most recent posts are enough to back up my point. You don't care about reason, only easing your own self-loathing beat into you by your religion.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  11. Dasboots

    Guess what all you haters. God love you too and when you meet your maker, then you can answer to him.. Enuf said. Blessed are they who do not see but believe.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Dasboots sez:
      "Blessed are they who do not see but believe."
      Please tell me where you got this quote ( fair warning I'm setting you up for a fall )

      April 3, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Guess what all you haters.

      What does it benefit you to begin with an insult? Who exactly are you hoping to reach when you call them "hater"? Does this term not merely showcase your own hatred of those who do not believe as you do?

      God love you too and when you meet your maker, then you can answer to him..

      And, what is this mixed message meant to compel me to do? You're telling me that your god loves me, but then warn me that when I meet him I'm going to be in some kind of trouble? If he loves me, there should be no fear in meeting him.

      Not exactly the most consistent message nor is it a very good marketing strategy.

      Enuf said.

      Is it? I don't think it is. I think maybe you should go back, re-think your approach. Try to form a coherent and cohesive message, then try again. You might begin by examining what it is you really believe and why. Articulate that for yourself. I find bullet points work well. Then you may be able to communicate your message without the ambiguity.

      Blessed are they who do not see but believe.

      Blessed are those who love without condition.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Well, obviously it's not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturer of dairy products."

      April 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Not taking the bait Dasboots?
      That's ok ... I'll just let your curiosity grow and grow and grow until you cannot handle it anymore

      April 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • John

      Jhn 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

      You have to believe Jesus died and raised again to be saved, without seeing it firsthand. You have to believe the recorded history provided by the witnesses to it, the apostles Jesus gathered at the start. You have to trust them in their going to their deaths without denying him or getting anything for their efforts. If you believe Jesus died for your sins and repent of them, you are blessed by God with forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
  12. Reality

    For more on the infamous Resurrection con, see Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, ( Mark 16) and also http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb275.html.

    For more on the infamous Ascension con, see the same book, Luke 24:50-53 and

    http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb480.html

    So where are the bones???

    According to Professor JD Crossan's many exhaustive studies, they still are a-mouldering in the ground outside of Jerusalem or were eaten by wild dogs and are now cycling through nature's recycling system.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    April 3, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • John

      The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is real, he exists and he made everything, the entire universe. There is no other God anywhere. God sent his son Jesus to die and raise again for others sins that believe him. The Holy Spirit exists and is just as potent as ever. You saying otherwise does not change anything. I will not hesitate to say God did what he said he did, because I know he did. You do not know the truth, so you lie and make claims against God hoping it will have some effect. Anything you say or do, will not change what I know. It is impossible for me to forget God, and I love him for that, and what he did for me and everyone else that would believe him. Unlike you, I will tell God thank you for making everything, and thank you for being there.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • fintastic

      @John....................... All you have to do is leave out the word "other" and you're on your way to eradicating your delusion.

      "There is no other God anywhere"

      April 4, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      April 4, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • John

      F, you are so wrong. Times when God does things, the odds of them occurring I've seen are similar to picking the right atom out of the observable universe, beyond anyone's comprehension. It's nothing for God to do that, if he wants to. But people that reject him, they get a much simplier view, they get odds like no atoms right out of any atoms to pick from, even one... they get nothing... you for instance... nothing. And that's what you wanted, you wanted nothing to form the universe, so you get to commune with nothing, you get to talk with nothing, get answers from nothing, and when you want to be saved, you get... nothing. Enjoy nothing I guess.

      R, there is so much misinformation out there, you can find whatever you want to find. Finding God is the best. The Rabbi's would be better off to read their prophet's and figure it out, it's right there waiting for them, for the ones willing to look.

      April 4, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • fintastic

      @John.............. "F, you are so wrong. Times when God does things,..."

      You are complicating the issue to cover your lies. ...it's very simple.... you are making a claim, "god does things" and I am simply asking you to show evidence of your claim. Your opinions and interpretations of an ancient book are not evidence, ....more like a pack of lies. I don't need a phony god

      April 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • John

      F, it's really simple, do the odds calculations for when God is active, look at the numbers and realize he's there. Granted, you only accept God interacting with you directly so until he does that, you'll never know the truth that only you will believe if it's presented the way you want it. Else, grab a bible and read it, then calculate away to your heart's content. You won't believe me or anyone else telling you much the same thing the bible tells you, and really, it's best if you get it direct from the bible, or God if you can convince him to do such for you... which is not likely if you reject him and don't believe anything he says or does.

      Dilemma... a difficult situation or problem... where you claim to want God to prove himself, but don't believe him, and he won't prove himself until you actually believe him, for real. Similar to the chicken and egg problem... which came first? God won't help you believe him, until you actually believe him. Or, just snuggle up with nothing and wait for nothing to do something for you.

      April 4, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
  13. John Brown

    Whenever the Romans had a period of persecuting Christians, it was due to the belief that Christians caused various calamities suffered by Rome (e.g., the Great Fire under Nero in 64 CE) because they refused to worship or offer sacrifices to the Roman deities, thus bringing on collective punishment.

    Isn't it ironic, then, that some modern Christians tend to categorize today's national calamities (Katrina comes to mind) as collective punishment caused by those who refuse to properly worship their god.

    April 2, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yup.
      Christianity, the double standard king.
      And duke of rewriting history.

      April 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • sensible

      It's fuuny how the same delusions and nonsense wish thinking produces the same results. They all hide their god behind nature or completely outside of space and time. One can claim any mythical figment of the imagination had something to do with any natural phenomena and nobody can disprove it if it only exist within the mind of the believer. Why the faithful sheep can't see this is as being absurd is beyond any rational person's comprehension.

      April 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Vic

      History:

      Nero deliberately set Rome on fire and accused Christians of doing it to wipe them out!

      About Creation:

      Acts 17:24-28

      "24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’"

      [Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)]
      http://www.biblegateway.com

      April 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • skytag

      That's one of the dangers of religion. There are many examples of believers deciding to blame those who don't share their beliefs for bad things that happen, which often leads to persecution.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • Rick

      It's like some kind of superst.ition. Bad things happen so it has to be somebody else's fault. In the old days they'd burn independent women as witches in hopes of turning their luck around. Nowadays, they think that being tolerant of gays is the cause of America's troubles. Same mentality, really.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  14. And Now For Something Completely Different

    Does anybody know what the purpose of the building with the three huge vibrators was in that picture above? It looks like matinees at the Coliseum where pretty darn kinky!

    April 2, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • Akira

      No, but I'm thinking Trump might have his next idea for a themed casino.

      April 2, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Rick

      They were what they look like, phallic symbols of Rome's might. Not much different from modern-day office buildings, where companies compete to have the biggest outward symbol of their might.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  15. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    my Muhammed was put in an arena to face the tiger too, but he ate tiger, ha ha ha

    April 2, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  16. Just Call Me Lucifer

    There are no gods, only weak-willed fearful idiots.

    April 2, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • red delicious

      God exists, get over the fact.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • red delicious

      Knowledge has told off Lucifer.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      There's no Lucifer. I don't see any evidence that your god or your devil are anything but imaginary.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • red delicious

      Tom, I got an email the other day telling me God exists. What more do I need?

      April 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I got one telling me I can double my penis size.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • red delicious

      I think my email was better. Phone calls are nice too.

      April 3, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • red delicious

      Mom called today, she said God exists too. She thought I should study art and suggested reading the bible more often. She's always right.

      April 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
  17. the overplayed Flying Spaghetti Monster card

    345 dooshy reference to the FSM... each one believing in his mind to be so brilliant.

    April 2, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      May his Noodly Appendage open your mind to his truth.
      Ramen.

      April 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Doobs

      345,000,000,000 dooshy reference to the Jeebus... each one believing in his mind to be so brilliant.

      April 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Blam!

      "Jesus" is an ancient Aramatheic word that means "oozing", and "Christ" of course means "cancre sore."

      April 2, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The mind of the FSM is average, it is his balls that are AWESOME.

      April 3, 2013 at 12:40 am |
  18. HeavenSent

    I have accepted Jesus truth. His truth is big, and it hurts quite a bit when you accept it. I'd suggest some KY first.

    Moses 2:16

    Amen

    April 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Science

      you must have a box car full of it then HS

      April 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Science

      By the way HS try crater grease will stay with you longer .......... (fyi...... greased used for box cars nasty stuff)

      April 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Heaven Sent

      I have accepted Jesus, and my lips and jaw hurt.

      April 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  19. Bob

    Since we've got Vic dumping bible bile on us again by the bushel, it's time to present some other choice bits from his horrid Christian book of nasty. And read more carefully this time, Vic. These, as previously, are pulled from NT and OT:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    April 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Context

      The atheists kryptonite.

      April 2, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      So many religious people whine about "context, context", yet either never give what the context is in their mind, or the "context" is contradictory to other parts of the bible, and it merely turns into excuses and assertions.

      April 2, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Damocles

      Oh yes, context, because this:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Really means 'show love and affection for all' when read under a certain light.

      April 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  20. HeavenSent

    I can't comprehend how anyone would miss a few cats. Down the hatch. Breakfast sets you up for the rest of your day.

    April 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
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About this blog

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