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Proof of heaven popular, except with the church
They claim that they’ve glimpsed heaven but survivors of near-death experiences face a surprising skeptic: the church.
May 19th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Proof of heaven popular, except with the church

By John Blake, CNN

“God, help me!”

Eben Alexander shouted and flailed as hospital orderlies tried to hold him in place. But no one could stop his violent seizures, and the 54-year-old neurosurgeon went limp as his horrified wife looked on.

That moment could have been the end. But Alexander says it was just the beginning. He found himself soaring toward a brilliant white light tinged with gold into “the strangest, most beautiful world I’d ever seen.”

Alexander calls that world heaven, and he describes his journey in “Proof of Heaven,” which has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 27 weeks. Alexander says he used to be an indifferent churchgoer who ignored stories about the afterlife. But now he knows there’s truth to those stories, and there’s no reason to fear death.

“Not one bit,” he said. “It’s a transition; it’s not the end of anything. We will be with our loved ones again.”

Heaven used to be a mystery, a place glimpsed only by mystics and prophets. But popular culture is filled with firsthand accounts from all sorts of people who claim that they, too, have proofs of heaven after undergoing near-death experiences.

Yet the popularity of these stories raises another question: Why doesn’t the church talk about heaven anymore?

Preachers used to rhapsodize about celestial streets of gold while congregations sang joyful hymns like “I’ll Fly Away” and “When the Roll is Called up Yonder.” But the most passionate accounts of heaven now come from people outside the church or on its margins.

Most seminaries don’t teach courses on heaven; few big-name pastors devote much energy to preaching or writing about the subject; many ordinary pastors avoid the topic altogether out of embarrassment, indifference or fear, scholars and pastors say.

“People say that the only time they hear about heaven is when they go to a funeral,” said Gary Scott Smith, author of “Heaven in the American Imagination” and a history professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania.

Talk of heaven shouldn’t wait, though, because it answers a universal question: what happens when we die, says the Rev. John Price, author of “Revealing Heaven,” which offers a Christian perspective of near-death experiences.

“Ever since people started dying, people have wondered, where did they go? Where are they now? Is this what happens to me?” said Price, a retired pastor and hospital chaplain.

A little girl’s revelation

Price didn’t always think heaven was so important. He scoffed at reports of near-death experiences because he thought they reduced religion to ghost stories. Besides, he was too busy helping grieving families to speculate about the afterlife.

His attitude changed, though, after a young woman visited his Episcopal church one Sunday with her 3-year-old daughter.

Price had last seen the mother three years earlier. She had brought her then-7-week-old daughter to the church for baptism. Price hadn't heard from her since. But when she reappeared, she told Price an amazing story.

She had been feeding her daughter a week after the baptism when milk dribbled out of the infant's mouth and her eyes rolled back into her head. The woman rushed her daughter to the emergency room, where she was resuscitated and treated for a severe upper respiratory infection.

Three years later, the mother was driving past the same hospital with her daughter when the girl said, “Look, Mom, that’s where Jesus brought me back to you.”

“The mother nearly wrecked her car,” Price said. “She never told her baby about God, Jesus, her near-death experience, nothing. All that happened when the girl was 8 weeks old. How could she remember that?”

When Price started hearing similar experiences from other parishioners, he felt like a fraud. He realized that he didn’t believe in heaven, even though it was part of traditional Christian doctrine.

He started sharing near-death stories he heard with grieving families and dejected hospital workers who had lost patients. He told them dying people had glimpsed a wonderful world beyond this life.

The stories helped people, Price said, and those who've had similar experiences of heaven should “shout them from the rooftops.”

“I’ve gone around to many churches to talk about this, and the venue they give me is just stuffed,” he said. “People are really hungry for it.”

Why pastors are afraid of heaven

Many pastors, though, don’t want to touch the subject because it’s too dangerous, says Lisa Miller, author of “Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife.”

Miller cites the experience of Rob Bell, one of the nation’s most popular evangelical pastors.

John Price ignored heaven until he met a woman with an amazing story.

Bell ignited a firestorm two years ago when he challenged the teaching that only Christians go to heaven in “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.”

The book angered many members of Bell’s church as well as many in the evangelical establishment. He subsequently resigned.

“Farewell, Rob Bell,” one prominent evangelical tweeted.

“It’s a tough topic for a pastor,” said Miller, a former religion columnist for the Washington Post. “If you get too literal, you can risk sounding too silly. If you don’t talk about it, you’re evading one of the most important questions about theology and why people come to church.”

If pastors do talk about stories of near-death experiences, they can also be seen as implying that conservative doctrine – only those who confess their faith in Jesus get to heaven, while others suffer eternal damnation – is wrong, scholars and pastors say.

Many of those who share near-death stories aren’t conservative Christians but claim that they, too, have been welcomed by God to heaven.

“Conservative Christians aren’t the only ones going to heaven," said Price, "and that makes them mad."

There was a time, though, when the church talked a lot more about the afterlife.

Puritan pastors in the 17th and 18th centuries often preached about heaven, depicting it as an austere, no fuss-place where people could commune with God.

African-American slaves sang spirituals about heaven like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” They often depicted it as a place of ultimate payback: Slaves would escape their humiliation and, in some cases, rule over their former masters.

America’s fixation with heaven may have peaked around the Civil War. The third most popular book in 18th century America – behind the Bible and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” – was "Gates Ajar," written in the wake of the war, Miller says.

The 1868 novel was “The Da Vinci Code” of its day, Miller says. It revolved around a grieving woman who lost her brother in the Civil War. A sympathetic aunt assures her that her brother is waiting in heaven, a bucolic paradise where people eat sumptuous meals, dogs sun themselves on porches and people laugh with their loved ones.

“This was a vision of heaven that was so appealing to hundreds of thousands of people who had lost people in the Civil War,” Miller said.

Americans needed heaven because life was so hard: People didn’t live long, infant mortality was high, and daily life was filled with hard labor.

“People were having 12 kids, and they would outlive 11 of them,” said Smith, author of "Heaven in the American Imagination." “Death was ever-present.”

The church eventually stopped talking about heaven, though, for a variety of reasons: the rise of science; the emergence of the Social Gospel, a theology that encouraged churches to create heaven on Earth by fighting for social justice; and the growing affluence of Americans. (After all, who needs heaven when you have a flat-screen TV, a smartphone and endless diversions?)

But then a voice outside the church rekindled Americans' interest in the afterlife. A curious 23-year-old medical student would help make heaven cool again.

The father of near-death experiences

Raymond Moody had been interested in the afterlife long before it was fashionable.

He was raised in a small Georgia town during World War II where death always seemed just around the corner. He constantly heard stories about soldiers who never returned from war. His father was a surgeon who told him stories of bringing back patients from the brink of death. In college, he was enthralled when he read one of the oldest accounts of a near-death experience, a soldier’s story told by Socrates in Plato’s “Republic.”

His fascination with the afterlife was sealed one day when he heard a speaker who would change his life.

The speaker was George Ritchie, a psychiatrist. Moody would say later of Ritchie, “He had that look of someone who had just finished a long session of meditation and didn’t have a care in the world.”

Moody sat in the back of a fraternity room as Ritchie told his story.

It was December 1943, and Ritchie was in basic training with the U.S. Army at Camp Barkeley, Texas. He contracted pneumonia and was placed in the hospital infirmary, where his temperature spiked to 107. The medical staff piled blankets on top of Ritchie’s shivering body, but he was eventually pronounced dead.

“I could hear the doctor give the order to prep me for the morgue, which was puzzling, because I had the sensation of still being alive,” Ritchie said.

He even remembers rising from a hospital gurney to talk to the hospital staff. But the doctors and nurses walked right through him when he approached them.

He then saw his lifeless body in a room and began weeping when he realized he was dead. Suddenly, the room brightened “until it seemed as though a million welding torches were going off around me.”

He says he was commanded to stand because he was being ushered into the presence of the Son of God. There, he saw every minute detail of his life flash by, including his C-section birth. He then heard a voice that asked, “What have you done with your life?"

After hearing Ritchie’s story, Moody decided what he was going to do with his life: investigate the afterlife.

Raymond Moody revived interest in heaven by studying near-death experiences.

He started collecting stories of people who had been pronounced clinically dead but were later revived. He noticed that the stories all shared certain details: traveling through a tunnel, greeting family and friends who had died, and meeting a luminous being that gave them a detailed review of their life and asked them whether they had spent their life loving others.

Moody called his stories “near-death experiences,” and in 1977 he published a study of them in a book, “Life after Life.” His book has sold an estimated 13 million copies.

Today, he is a psychiatrist who calls himself “an astronaut of inner space.” He is considered the father of the near-death-experience phenomenon.

He says science, not religion, resurrected the afterlife. Advances in cardiopulmonary resuscitation meant that patients who would have died were revived, and many had stories to share.

“Now that we have these means for snatching people back from the edge, these stories are becoming more amazing,” said Moody, who has written a new book, “Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife.”

“A lot of medical doctors know about this from their patients, but they’re just afraid to talk about it in public.”

Ritchie’s story was told through a Christian perspective. But Moody says stories about heaven transcend religion. He's collected them from Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and atheists.

“A lot of people talk about encountering a being of light,” he said. “Christians call it Christ. Jewish people say it’s an angel. I’ve gone to different continents, and you can hear the same thing in China, India and Japan about meeting a being of complete love and compassion.”

It’s not just what people see in the afterlife that makes these stories so powerful, he says. It’s how they live their lives once they survive a near-death experience.

Many people are never the same, Moody says. They abandon careers that were focused on money or power for more altruistic pursuits.

“Whatever they had been chasing, whether it's power, money or fame, their experience teaches them that what this (life) is all about is teaching us to love,” Moody said.

Under 'the gaze of a God'

Alexander, the author of “Proof of Heaven,” seems to fit Moody's description. He’s a neurosurgeon, but he spends much of time now speaking about his experience instead of practicing medicine.

He'd heard strange stories over the years of revived heart attack patients traveling to wonderful landscapes, talking to dead relatives and even meeting God. But he never believed those stories. He was a man of science, an Episcopalian who attended church only on Easter and Christmas.

That changed one November morning in 2008 when he was awakened in his Lynchburg, Virginia, home by a bolt of pain shooting down his spine. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, a disease so rare, he says, it afflicts only one in 10 million adults.

After his violent seizures, he lapsed into a coma — and there was little hope for his survival. But he awakened a week later with restored health and a story to tell.

He says what he experienced was “too beautiful for words.” The heaven he describes is not some disembodied hereafter. It’s a physical place filled with achingly beautiful music, waterfalls, lush fields, laughing children and running dogs.

In his book, he describes encountering a transcendent being he alternately calls “the Creator” or “Om.” He says he never saw the being's face or heard its voice; its thoughts were somehow spoken to him.

“It understood humans, and it possessed the qualities we possess, only in infinitely greater measure. It knew me deeply and overflowed with qualities that all my life I’ve always associated with human beings and human beings alone: warmth, compassion, pathos … even irony and humor.”

Holly Alexander says her husband couldn’t forget the experience.

“He was driven to write 12 hours a day for three years,” she said. “It began as a diary. Then he thought he would write a medical paper; then he realized that medical science could not explain it all.”

“Proof of Heaven” debuted at the top of The New York Times bestseller list and has sold 1.6 million copies, according to its publisher.

Alexander says he didn’t know how to deal with his otherworldly journey at first.

“I was my own worst skeptic,” he said. “I spent an immense amount of time trying to come up with ways my brain might have done this.”

Conventional medical science says consciousness is rooted in the brain, Alexander says. His medical records indicated that his neocortex — the part of the brain that controls thought, emotion and language — had ceased functioning while he was in a coma.

Alexander says his neocortex was “offline” and his brain “wasn’t working at all” during his coma. Yet he says he reasoned, experienced emotions, embarked on a journey — and saw heaven.

“Those implications are tremendous beyond description,” Alexander wrote. “My experience showed me that the death of the body and the brain are not the end of consciousness; that human experience continues beyond the grave. More important, it continues under the gaze of a God who loves and cares about each one of us.”

Skeptics say Alexander’s experience can be explained by science, not the supernatural.

They cite experiments where neurologists in Switzerland induced out-of-body experiences in a woman suffering from epilepsy through electrical stimulation of the right side of her brain.

Michael Shermer, founder and publisher of Skeptic magazine, says the U.S. Navy also conducted studies with pilots that reproduced near-death experiences. Pilots would often black out temporarily when their brains were deprived of oxygen during training, he says.

These pilots didn’t go to heaven, but they often reported seeing a bright light at the end of a tunnel, a floating sensation and euphoria when they returned to consciousness, Shermer says.

“Whatever experiences these people have is actually in their brain. It’s not out there in heaven,” Shermer said.

Some people who claim to see heaven after dying didn’t really die, says Shermer, author of “Why People Believe Weird Things.”

“They’re called near-death experiences for a reason: They’re near death but not dead,” Shermer said. “In that fuzzy state, it’s not dissimilar to being asleep and awakened where people have all sorts of transitory experiences that seem very real.”

The boy who saw Jesus

Skeptics may scoff at a story like Alexander’s, but their popularity has made a believer out of another group: the evangelical publishing industry.

While the church may be reluctant to talk about heaven, publishers have become true believers. The sales figures for books on heaven are divine: Don Piper’s “90 Minutes in Heaven” has sold 5 million copies. And “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back” is the latest publishing juggernaut.

Colton Burpo says he saw heaven and describes the color of Jesus' eyes.

“Heaven is for Real” has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 126 consecutive weeks and sold 8 million copies, according to its publisher.

The story is told from the perspective of Colton Burpo, who was just 4 when he slipped into unconsciousness while undergoing emergency surgery for a burst appendix.

Colton says he floated above his body during the operation and soared to heaven, where he met Jesus. Todd Burpo, Colton’s father, says he was skeptical about his son’s story until his son described meeting a great-grandfather and a miscarried baby sister — something no one had ever told him about.

Todd Burpo is a pastor, but he says he avoided preaching about heaven because he didn’t know enough about the subject.

“It’s pretty awkward,” he said. “Here I am the pastor, but I’m not the teacher on the subject. My son is teaching me.”

Colton is now 13 and says he still remembers meeting Jesus in heaven.

“He had brown hair, a brown beard to match and a smile brighter than any smile I’ve ever seen,’’ he said. “His eyes were sea-blue, and they were just, wow.”

Colton says he’s surprised by the success of his book, which has been translated into 35 languages. There’s talk of a movie, too.

“It’s totally a God thing,” he said.

Alexander, author of “Proof of Heaven,” seems to have the same attitude: His new life is a gift. He’s already writing another book on his experience.

“Once I realized what my journey was telling me," he said, "I knew I had to tell the story.”

He now attends church but says his faith is not dogmatic.

“I realized very strongly that God loves all of God’s children,” he said. “Any religion that claims to be the true one and the rest of them are wrong is wrong.”

Central to his story is something he says he heard in heaven.

During his journey, he says he was accompanied by an angelic being who gave him a three-part message to share on his return.

When he heard the message, he says it went through him “like a wind” because he instantly knew it was true.

It’s the message he takes today to those who wonder who, or what, they will encounter after death.

The angel told him:

“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”

“You have nothing to fear.”

“There is nothing you can do wrong."

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Art • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Culture & Science • Faith • God • Heaven • History

soundoff (4,945 Responses)
  1. A Four Year Old described meeting a miscarried baby sister...

    "The story is told from the perspective of Colton Burpo, who was just 4 when he slipped into unconsciousness while undergoing emergency surgery for a burst appendix.

    Colton says he floated above his body during the operation and soared to heaven, where he met Jesus. Todd Burpo, Colton’s father, says he was skeptical about his son’s story until his son described meeting a great-grandfather and a miscarried baby sister — something no one had ever told him about."

    Besides many other flaws in this "story" what makes me doubt it the most is when they try and throw in the miscarried baby sister. This is just shameless to w h o r e out your child like this to sell 8 million copies. Disgusting.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      you reckon the miscarried sister was still a fetus or was she supposedly grown up or what?

      May 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  2. Whatever

    For all you nay sayers out there who say there isn't a God...Psalm 14...

    The fool has said in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt,
    They have done abominable works,
    There is none who does good.

    2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
    To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
    3 They have all turned aside,
    They have together become corrupt;
    There is none who does good,
    No, not one.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      You are aware that quoting from the bible to those who don't believe the bible is anything more than a book written by people living in the stone age is very unproductive, aren't you?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Peter

      If I was going to make up a story I would certainly add the part about people being fools if they didn't believe the story I made up. In that regard I would be much like the people who made up the bible.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Palm 14: 1-7 "Smack!!!"

      "The fool has said in his heart,
      “There is a God.”
      They are corrupt,
      They have done abominable works,
      There is none who does good.

      2 No Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
      To see if there are any who understand, who seek Greed.
      3 They have all turned aside,
      They have together become corrupt;
      There is none who does good,
      No, not one."

      May 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Lord Satan

      Using a Psalm as a rebuttal to atheists is as ridiculous as threatened adults with Santa Claus. We don't believe that gods exist so why would we give any credence to the made up stories attributed to them?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • protectyourdome

      Quoting the Bible as proof of the Bible is like describing cheese as cheesy.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Why would an atheist call himself "Lord Satan"? LOL can you get that sewn to your jacket?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      Whatever: Quoting a book to those who do not accept the supposed authority of the book is only so effective as an argument technique

      May 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • lol??

      wightywords sayz,
      "............very unproductive, aren't you?..........." Unproductive is women killin' their own offspring, stealing the inheritance, cutting off their own heads by tellin' dad to take a hike and braggin' about being schmart by becoming socies. Those degrees from Frankfurt are hot.

      May 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Atheist WAKE UP! You are trying to be offended!

      If you don't want to see Bible verses, don't come to a 'RELIGION BLOG".

      May 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  3. JonathanL

    the advantage of faith reasoning is you can beliieve anything without facts to support it – you can believe in things that can not be independently verified, like personal halluciantions.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  4. Oneey

    Skeptics or not, I've always felt like we as humans get it right more often than we get it wrong when we focus on loving all man-kind like brothers and sisters. It's the other minutiae (skin color, gender, language orientation) that get us into trouble.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  5. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “I see two problems with heaven and hell. First, heaven supposedly will be full of Christians… so that'll suck. Second, hell will definitely be filled to the brim with "good" Christians… which will without a doubt also suck. So kind of a lose-lose scenario either way.” – LET

    May 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Looks like hell for you either way.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Dill, have you managed to figure out that gay marriage provides the same benefits to society as straight marriages do?

      I hope so, but regardless gay marriage is here to stay.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • JonathanL

      it depends on what kind of mood god is in. remember he is a jealous warrior who didn;t think twice about drowning almost everyone on earth (including children babies and mommies and daddies, and elderly), probably about as many people as Hitler killed. On a bad day he might decide to put everybody in hell regardless. He is now big old and cranky and is currently supervising the slow destruction of our environment.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No tom, I haven't seen that demonstrated and as you point out, you don't feel the need to. That all works for me.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Bill – I prefer Valhalla... I have no doubt that when I go down, the Valkyries will come for me and take me to Valhalla... Odin sees and knows all.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      You will all go to the heII of the FSM if you continue in your disbelief in his Noodley Goodness. But fear not unbelievers, for the heII of the FSM is much like heaven with its beer volcano and strip-per factory. But be not deceived, for in the heII of the FMS the beer is always flat and the strip-pers all have STDs.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Oh, Dill Doe, honey, it's being demonstrated every day in more and more places all over the world. Gays are marrying and having families, buying houses, doing their jobs, paying taxes, and everything else that straight couples do.

      Read it and weep, dear.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  6. Becky

    The Bible says there's one way to Heaven and that's through Christ. And hell is more than just the absence of God. Read on it. More than one Bible says that. Besides what does anyone have to lose and why take the chance?

    May 20, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • snowboarder

      well, considering the myriad of gods man has invented over history the choice is really a crap shoot. it would almost certainly not be the religion you are born into, that would be entirely too easy.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • December

      Jesus spent most of his time on earth with the outcasts – prosti-tutes, tax collectors and the poor. He loved the people that the religious people at the time believed had fallen from God's grace.

      What is the good news?

      For me, that God is greater and more loving than even the best who know to profess and love him. When we die, we will met Jesus. We may not love him, but he loves us.

      Jesus has done it. We are saved.

      God's peace.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Madtown

      What if someone's never heard of Jesus or the bible, then what?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • December

      @ What if someone's never heard of Jesus or the bible, then what?

      I imagine God will love them.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Besides what does anyone have to lose and why take the chance?

      I have never understood this. It implies a definitive lack of judgement, a choice to essentially close your eyes and choose ignorance because you don't want to risk having an opinion of your own.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      The last few centuries of science and history have discredited most of the tales told with in the Bible as false, so why continue to believe? Why trust the word of primitive tribal people who believed in talking donkeys and mud-men over the word of modern scientists and historians who have already successfully answered so many of our questions about nature?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      Spend a lot of time on your knees, Becky?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      December: Free people do not need to be saved, only slaves do

      May 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Could be ignorance, frequently is... but it can also be a realization that any alternatives are pretty bad. Along the lines of CS Lewis.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • December

      @Seyedibar

      There is more to life than the material (science and history). Science and history will evaporate like vapor one day, but our spirits will remain. God is more concerned about our spirit than our body.

      The Bible addresses our relationship with God. It is much more than a scientific or historical manual.

      It is poetry, art, geneology, parables, fables, songs, history, personal letters and testimonies.

      It points to God.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • December

      @ sam stone

      Are you free? Who among us do you consider not free? Are you helping them?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Could be ignorance, frequently is... but it can also be a realization that any alternatives are pretty bad. Along the lines of CS Lewis.

      How many people REALLY explore the alternatives? ALL of the alternatives? Most people who spout this line are clinging to whatever religion they were raised in, or whatever one they converted to in a moment of desperation have never looked beyond their own religion.

      In fact, most of them are not really, fully cognizant that there is more than just those who believe as they do and Atheists. Sure, on some level they are vaguely aware that there are Jews and Muslims, but it doesn't occur to them that people of those faiths are devoted, loving people. They are an abstract at best.

      And that doesn't begin to go into the rest of us. "What have you got to lose" and "Why take that chance" are dismissive of everything outside of what they believe without expressing any true belief or knowledge at all.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Are you free?"

      Relatively free

      " Who among us do you consider not free?"

      slaves, prisoners, pious folk

      "Are you helping them?"

      Nope.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Madtown

      The Bible addresses our relationship with God
      -----
      Christianity is not the only way. If it was, everyone would need to have equal and full access to it. This is not the case. Again, what if someone has never heard of christianity? You said above that "God will love them". So, you're saying we don't need religion? If so, I agree. God obviously doesn't care if we all follow christianity or not, 'cuz there are many who've never heard the first thing about it.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • December

      @Madtown:

      I don't believe Christianity is the way.

      But Jesus Christ is.

      That is the good news.

      God is greater and more generous than even the best of us (Christian, Jewish, atheist, Native-American, etc.) who profess to know and love God.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      December
      The bible has already been proven wrong in so many areas, what hasn't been dis-proven is suspect at best. Basing your life on its contents simply makes no sense whatsoever.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Becky – what a childishly ignorant thing to say... It also implies that you have your doubts, but are too much of a coward to shrug off the chains of your religious slavery...

      May 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • LinCA

      @December

      You said, "God is greater and more generous than even the best of us (Christian, Jewish, atheist, Native-American, etc.) who profess to know and love God."
      By limiting your pool to only those who profess to know their imaginary friend, "the best of us" loses a lot of its luster. It's like saying that of all the shit in the world, horseshit tastes the best. I'll still pass on the horseshit, thank you very much.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • December

      @ Richard Cranium

      The Bible points to God – how do you prove that wrong? It is a collection of stories, songs, poetry, parables, etc...

      How do you prove a parable or a love song wrong?

      Some people don't understand what the Bible is really about. Basing your life on it can be beautiful. I haven't been on this board for 4 months... it looks like you are still on here a lot. I don't think I want for my life what yo have (lots of free time to post on a religion blog – when you hate religion? really?)

      What should I base my life on? Do you know something better?

      What are you looking for?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • December

      @LinCA – By limiting your pool to only those who profess to know their imaginary friend,

      Actually, I included atheists.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      December
      By using science to dispel the myths.
      Genetics proves Adam and Eve and the myth of Noah's ark wrong.
      Biology, physics, meteorology, and oceanology continue to prove Noahs ark wrong.
      Biology, Ichthyology prove Jonah and the whale ( or fish or sea-monster ) wrong.
      Physics, cosmology, Quantum physics and quantum mechanics proves Genesis ( and several other parts) wrong.

      Why do you believe this stuff?...You might just a well try to make a case for the Silmarilian

      May 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • December

      @Richard
      Why do you believe this stuff?...You might just a well try to make a case for the Silmarilian

      Science is great. I'm constantly amazed by the great scientific minds that go to my church – seriously. I'm in the ELCA – we encourage, pray for and support science. It is one of God's gifts.

      I know the difference between an origin story and a historical event. What is important about Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden and Noah and the flood? What is God trying to tell us?

      Why do these stories prove to be relevant to me today? And they are, believe me.

      They contain truths that stand the test of time.

      Truths that can not be disproved by man's greatest sciences.

      Truths about human beings.

      In the end, we are creatures that have a creator.

      May 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @december, all that the adam and eve and noah myths show is that your god is a bumbling oaf of a creator and a nasty vengeful monster. obviously just stories made up by primitive men.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • LinCA

      @December

      You said, "Actually, I included atheists."
      No, you didn't. They are excluded by saying "who profess to know and love God.". Atheists tend to not profess to "know and love" your imaginary friend.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      December
      Genetics has proven that humans did not come from one set of genes. (Adam, and by extension, Eve, allegedly made from one rib of the same genetic material.)
      Also genetics has proven that humans did not come from 6 sets of genes, which were the three mated pairs alive after the flood. It is an impossibility.
      The bible is flat out wrong.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Furthermore
      Your bible has no explanation for why EVERY human on the planet has neanderthal DNA. By the bible, neanderthals never existed.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • December

      Richard –

      A lot of times the Bible speaks in a literary sense – truths about human nature.

      That is why it uses poetry, songs and stories.

      Read Jesus' parables and look for the truths (not morals).

      God seems to be concerned about our spirits, not just our bodies.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      December
      that seems to be a common theme...science proves a section wrong...oh that wasn't supposed to be taken literally...

      You will not find anything in the bible that isn't found elsewhere, your bible is nothing more than a conglomeration of previous stories stolen from previous cultures, general human wisdom, that was then written into the bible.
      Things like the do unto others golden rule stuff....that is found in all religions, and was written into all of them.

      Face it, your bible is wrong, and saying that those sections were not meant to be taken literally is the same weak argument that is given every time another section is dis-proven.

      Furthermore, christianity is an immoral religion. In our society, we do not allow someone to take someone else's just punishment. We do not allow it because it is immoral. But your whole religion is based on that immorality.
      If I have transgressed., I would not allow this jesus character of yours to stand in my place...to me accepting that in the first place is in itself a sin.
      To think that a god would punish me simply because I do not buy the stories that have been proven wrong shows this god to have no sense of justice.
      I would be condemned to hell for eternity because I do not believe, but Hitler, who was one of your brothers in christ, if he repented in his final hours, would go right into heaven.
      You christians sure have a screwed up belief system

      I prefer reality...there is no god, there never were gods, all of the thousands of gods men have created were an answer to their own ignorance. The god of the bible is an impossibility.
      Tell me which is true...god is all knowing, all powerful, or man has free will...it is an absolute impossibility for both to be true.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • December

      I used to think in a similar way as you. I know God is real.

      I'm not sure you understand what my belief system is. What I do is more important than what I believe.

      I'll let the proud atheists carve out their perfect and beautiful belief systems and put them on display on religion blogs.

      I pray each morning for God to provide direction, purpose and meaning in my daily life. I ask him how I can help others and the power to carry that out.

      @ "You will not find anything in the bible that isn't found elsewhere, "

      Jesus Christ.

      May 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  7. Shootmyownfood

    So we can chalk this up to imagination, at least in the case of Colton Burpo. There is no way the historical Jesus would have had light brown hair or blue eyes, being of mediterranean Jewish descent. Right? Jesus was not "white."

    May 20, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Victor

      suppose it wasnt jesus and was something else....

      May 20, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • lol??

      Of course he was white. He spent His summers in south america skiing and didn't get much sun.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @lol, that would be a messiah worth worshiping.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • alex

      He spent lots of time with Jesus alone. Are there many copies of Jesuses or how could trillions of dead have at the same time unlimited access to him ?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • December

      @ Are there many copies of Jesuses or how could trillions of dead have at the same time unlimited access to him ?

      It is beyond our small, Earthly comprehension of eternity. It is spiritual, not material. How could we not have unlimited access to him? There will be NO limits.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @december, religious spirituality is a man standing in a silent room expounding on the sounds he has convinced himself that he hears.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Probably not, but 1) the ancient world didn't have borders per se, so Indo-Europeans could have wandered in; and 2) the relevance of the physical form that a God might take is limited.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Jesus was not at all. Jesus was a folktale character that never existed in life, so it's quite useless to discuss the size of his feet or the length of his bangs.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • December

      @snowboarder

      Spirituality is my relationship with the creator of the universe. Grace, peace and mercy – all rolled into 1 and given to me. What a gift.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @december, what a pretty story. it is not supported by even a shred of evidence, but it is a pretty story.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Colton Burpo

      But the cartoon Jesus in the bible story movies my Dad makes me watch is white with blue eyes so...

      May 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • December

      @ snowboarder

      Do you have a soul?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @december, not noticeably. the soul is likely nothing more than a product of someone's imagination.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      December
      You asked if snowboarder has a soul....by definition that implies some sort of "immortal" portion of a person. There is nothing to indicate that that is true, so no we do not any evidence that anyone has a soul. You are alive but there is no reason to believe that there will be any cohesion of life energy that remains intact into what is defined as a soul.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • December

      I have a soul.

      I believe you 2 do, too.

      May 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • December

      YOU ARE A SOUL!

      You have a body!

      "You don't have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily."
      – Walter M. Miller, Jr.

      Yes!

      May 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Like god, the sould invisible and undetectable, and therefore its existence is irrelevant.

      May 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • December

      Maybe you are just blind. Open your eyes. God is everywhere.

      May 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @december, you have been programmed to see your god everywhere. every adherent to every religion has done the same. there is nothing remarkable about that at all.

      May 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • December

      @ snowboarder

      Programmed to see God by who or what?

      Were you programmed to not see God?

      May 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      If god were visible and detectable we'd not debate his existence and there'd be as much agreement about his will and nature as there is over chemistry and math. People disagree on god's nature because there's nothing to detect or measure; therefore, god is invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @december, through religious indoctrination. conditioning you to see things that aren't actually there. to feel an imaginary spirit. i an quite familiar, having spent my entire young life in parochial school being taught to believe stories that make no sense of a god who is a constant contradiction.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @obvious, not only that, but there is no agreement over any god. there is no universality of god. there is no universality of spirit. there are no globally significant religions. all gods began as locally significant, with their special people and their special representative. why would that be? obviously because they are created in the imaginations of the locals.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • December

      Ok, I have a different experience than you. I didn't find God in parochial school and I am not a victim of religious indoctrination.

      God is real.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @december, apparently you think so. that is where faith comes in. it's what you use when logic tells you otherwise.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • December

      I'm sorry that people at your school harmed you. You don't have to accept their understanding of God – you can find your own.

      Faith in God is better than faith in CNN, the government, science or whatever you worship.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  8. lol??

    It all kinda works out. If the wicked knew about heaven, they'd be killin' everybody in their way to get there.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • NothingLeft2Loose

      @ If the wicked knew about heaven, they'd be killin' everybody in their way to get there.

      Or try to sell admission tickets (I'm looking at you 'Catholic' 'Church'!) 🙂

      May 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  9. Victor

    ok ok everyone, its good to look at both side of the coin and say yea the brain is a powerful organ and can produce fake images and can be a dream. But if it was a dream why are the people not seeing pink elephants and flying carpets or something crazy that doesn't make sense. why are they all seing a person and someone that was dead. Why are they not seeing someone they know thats alive? wouldnt the brain fool you and show you that like a dream? and why not the brain show you wierd light shapes that make no sense like someone would see on drugs or a crazy acid trip. Why is all the near death experience seem sensible and thought out imagery. That doesnt happen in a drug trip or a dream or anything while we are alive. And this is happening to non believers as well and people that dont believe in God or the after life. Wouldnt the brain show them something different if it was a biological thing then a light and people? Everyone that experience near death experience met someone on the other side having a conversation with them thats not alive in this world.....Just an open minded thought here. I would be more skeptical if someone reported someone alive was talking to them on the other side. Has anyone reported that ?

    May 20, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • lol??

      ".........look at both side of the coin..........." Can't get away from thinking dialectically?? Did a Frankfurt Schoolmaster give you a degree in hell??

      May 20, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Victor

      suppose what they are seeing isnt even a heaven or hell. Suppose its something else. Its an open minded thought. Close minded thoughts really dont get you anywhere. If that was the case we still would think we are in the center of the universe. Just saying

      May 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • lol??

      Of course the human race is the center of the universe. God created it to impress man and take away his excuses.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @lol, god created something to impress man? what a pathetic god that would be.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Alias

      There are people who have those dreams.
      They just don't get the attention or honerable mention in articles with an agenda.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • lol??

      He took on a human body, further limiting your choice of worship.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  10. Chris

    The evangelicals, myself included, stand behind the work of Randy Alcorn – Eternal Perspectives Ministries – http://www.epm.org

    May 20, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  11. Reality

    It is called DREAMING, one of the great results of evolution .

    May 20, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Whatever

      Evolution....yes, we were once monkeys...that makes a lot of sense...or yes, the universe starting from nothing....that makes sense to...why does everyone find it so difficult to believe that there is a God who made EVERYTHING...

      May 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • sam stone

      Why do theists make the leap of logic from a possible creator to a "god"?

      No one claims we were once monkeys. If you are going to criticize something, try to understand it

      May 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Reality

      o Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another three- five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

      What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

      8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

      And for $199, you can find out if you are part Neaderthal- not kidding:

      As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
      https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

      For your $199 and a DNA swab:

      "Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."

      o More details from National Geographic's Genographic project: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/
      "Our spe-cies is an African one: Africa is where we first ev-olved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth. The earliest fos-sils of recognizably modern Ho-mo sapiens appear in the fossil record at Omo Kibish in Ethiopia, around 200,000 years ago. Although earlier fossils may be found over the coming years, this is our best understanding of when and approximately where we originated.

      According to the genetic and paleontological record, we only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. What set this in motion is uncertain, but we think it has something to do with major climatic shifts that were happening around that time—a sudden cooling in the Earth’s climate driven by the onset of one of the worst parts of the last Ice Age. This cold snap would have made life difficult for our African ancestors, and the genetic evidence points to a sharp reduction in population size around this time. In fact, the human population likely dropped to fewer than 10,000. We were holding on by a thread.

      Once the climate started to improve, after 70,000 years ago, we came back from this near-extinction event. The population expanded, and some intrepid explorers ventured beyond Africa. The earliest people to colonize the Eurasian landma-ss likely did so across the Bab-al-Mandab Strait separating present-day Yemen from Djibouti. These early beachcombers expanded rapidly along the coast to India, and reached Southeast Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago. The first great foray of our species beyond Africa had led us all the way across the globe."

      May 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  12. Loathstheright

    Heaven only exists here on earth, you make your own heaven or hell. God does not exist.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Whatever

      Heaven on EARTH??? really...???? if this is heaven...we are in big trouble...There IS a heaven as well as a HELL, they are real places....read the Bible

      May 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wiow, Whatever.....nothing more convincing than translated, edited Iron Age hearsay

      May 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  13. Maria

    Hardly the words of a 3 yr old “Look, Mom, that’s where Jesus brought me back to you.”

    May 20, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Shootmyownfood

      Yeah. More likely "look, honey – that's where Jesus brought you back to me." If anything at all. Call out the bunko squad.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  14. Alias

    Please keepin mind how biased this atricle is. It points to the similarities in the reported experiences, but never mentions the vast differences. If you ask about the differences you will conclude there are either MANY different heavens, to this in all inside their heads.
    BTW – if you research UFO sightings, you will see a corrolation between what people saw and the most recent/popular Hollywood scifi movies.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Also participants in NDE studies tend to add more embellishment to their tales each time they are recounted. The human brain is a powerful organ with the ability to fool even ones self.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  15. tom

    check out Jonathan Stone and the Kingdom, by A.R. Duprey. it takes a look at heaven from what the Bible says about it. http://www.amazon.com/Jonathan-Stone-Kingdom-ebook/dp/B00631UCMQ

    May 20, 2013 at 11:22 am |
  16. AtheistSteve

    The eyes transmit nerve signals to the visual cortex of our brain. Blind people aren't nessesarily experiencig nothing from that part of the brain such as complete darkness. Light and color can be generated without eyes. Such as when we dream. It's just that their "visions" are more abstract.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Oops...that was a reply to H Kaye at the bottom of this page.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  17. Adom

    My pastor once said that God forcing people who don't want to be with to be with Him would be torture for the people involved. Hell is just the total absence of God and reading through these posts show that there are people who choose never to spend eternity in God's presence. Yes, being in heaven is a choice, however, it remains an option that some people just don't want.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Madtown

      How does one "choose" to go there?

      May 20, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Well see your first problem here is listening to your pastor instead of thinking for yourself and doing the research to see if he is telling you the truth. Heaven and hell can't be shown with any evidence to exist, so we're not too worried about them. Why would a good loving god send people to be tortured strictly on the fact that they saw no evidence that it existed and therefore, don't accept it as being real? Why would you support human torture like that?

      May 20, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Live4Him

      Good point!

      May 20, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • LinCA

      @Live4Him

      You said, "Good point!"
      I agree. Truth Prevails :) has a solid grasp on reality.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Then surely your wise pastor told you that Hell is a concept borrowed from the Greek Tartarus added to the books in the 3rd century.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care!

      If being in heaven means groveling at the feet of your supposed god, as many in your religion claim, then count me out.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • sam stone

      Would you seriously desire ETERNAL life?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  18. myreply

    People intersted in heaven can do a Bible study to learn all about heaven.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • LinCA

      @myreply

      You said, "People intersted in heaven can do a Bible study to learn all about heaven."
      And anyone interested in flying on brooms can do a thorough study of the Harry Potter series.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  19. I AM

    Momentary 'death', less than an hour will probably produce those experiences, however, if someone were to come back alive after a day or so and report on the afterlife, I would be more apt to believe them. Of course they probably wouldn't like the way their body decomposed, but it sure would be interesting dialogue.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Joseph McCard

      In the story from Plato's Republic, "The myth of Er, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_Er, referred to in the article , spent 10 days out of the body and reported on the experience. Too bad you were not there. And don't forget Lazarus. I imagine you will disregard these as stories, and I acknowledge they are not common occurrences. But, they do present possible counter-examples to your doubt. I think Judas had a related concern.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • I AM

      Joseph;
      I looked up the story of Lazarus again to see if he commented on what he experienced after death. There was nothing said about life after death, nor was he asked by anyone. Strange to me that no one asked.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  20. Seyedibar

    God is Santa Claus for adults with poor educations.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Live4Him

      Is this post your example of your education?

      May 20, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • LinCA

      @Seyedibar

      You said, "God is Santa Claus for adults with poor educations."
      Only sort of. The Santa myth is based on an actual person, while the god myths are spun from whole cloth. Believing in Santa is far more reasonable than any belief in any god.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      And Santa is more fun...brings gifts of plenty and doesn't torture you in a burning pit for not believing.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Oscar

      I beg to differ. What's your education in? Let me ask you something genius...Let's say we all evolved from single cell organisms, like modern science has suckers like you believing... So, A) how is this live organism made out of random atoms and molecules? B) how do you maintain that life for more than a few nanoseconds? C) How do you instantaneously program that life to eat in order to keep living? D) how do you instantaneously program that life to reproduce or duplicate itself? E) What will this organism eat and how? F) How is it programmed to evolve, how does it even know it has to evolve?? I could go on, and on...but maybe you ought to wrap your brain around these questions first.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Any junior high science textbook could answer your asinine questions. Exactly as I pointed out before: prime eample of a poor education.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Peter

      Oscar, please do go on and on, as it only makes you look like a moron.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LET's Religiosity Law #6 – If you routinely ignore physics, geology, astronomy, biology, etc., and are happy with “god did it” then you are mentally retarded.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Billy

      Everyone knows before McDonald's they had McMino's. Best acid around.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:52 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.