home
RSS
June 14th, 2013
04:05 PM ET

Superman: Flying to a church near you

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog

Baltimore, Maryland (CNN) - As the new Superman movie takes flight this weekend, filmmakers are hoping the Man of Steel lands not only in theaters, but also in pulpits.

Warner Bros. Studios is aggressively marketing "Man of Steel" to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, creating Father’s Day discussion guides and producing special film trailers that focus on the faith-friendly angles of the movie.

The movie studio even asked a theologian to provide sermon notes for pastors who want to preach about Superman on Sunday. Titled “Jesus: The Original Superhero,” the notes run nine pages.

“How might the story of Superman awaken our passion for the greatest hero who ever lived and died and rose again?” the sermon notes ask.

(Disclaimer: CNN, like Warner Bros., is owned by Time Warner.)

Similar campaigns to corral the country's large number of Christians into the movie theater have been used for "Les Miserables," "Soul Surfer" and "The Blind Side," all of which had at least some faith angle.

Baltimore pastor Quentin Scott is among dozens of ministers who received an e-mail invitation from Grace Hill Media, a Hollywood-based Christian marketing firm, to an early screening of “Man of Steel.”

“There was an actual push to say `We’re putting out something that speaks to your group,' ” said Scott, one of the pastors of Shiloh Christian Community Church in Baltimore.

At first, Scott said, he didn’t buy the religious pitch. Then he decided to attend a free midweek screening in Baltimore.

“When I sat and listened to the movie I actually saw it was the story of Christ, and the love of God was weaved into the story," said the pastor.

"It was something I was very excited about that with the consultation of our senior pastor, we could use in our congregation.”

CNN Entertainment: 'Man of Steel' director Zack Snyder on Superman's Christ-like parallels

Grace Hill’s sermon notes are specially designed for churches like Shiloh that integrate multimedia into their services.

“Let’s take a look at the trailer for `Man of Steel,’” the notes suggest after briefly introducing the movie’s history and themes.

The man behind the notes, Pepperdine University professor Craig Detweiler, has prepared similar material for films like 2009’s "The Blind Side" and "The Book of Eli" from 2010.

The spiritual themes in “Man of Steel” are abundant, Detweiler said, and his notes enable Christians to thoughtfully engage with pop culture instead of shunning it.

“All too often, religious communities have been defined by what they're against. With a movie like `Man of Steel,’ this is a chance to celebrate a movie that affirms faith, sacrifice and service,” Detweiler said.

It will be hard for even casual Christians to miss the messianic metaphors in "Man of Steel.”

The movie focuses on the origins of Superman, who was sent from the planet Krypton as an infant to save his species.

He is raised by surrogate parents who help him grapple with his special powers, even though they don’t fully understand the source of his extraordinary abilities.

When he turns 33, Superman must willingly sacrifice himself to save the human race.

Sound familiar?

If that’s not enough, as a boy Clark Kent is shown wrestling with his superpowers, and asks his earthly dad, Jonathan Kent, “Did God do this to me?”

“Somewhere out there you have another father and he sent you here for a reason,” says Jonathan Kent.

Even the visuals hammer home the messianic motifs.

During a fight with his archenemy, General Zod, Superman plunges down to Earth, his arms outstretched as if he were being crucified. Of course, he rises again.

Detweiler writes in the sermon notes, “What Jesus and Superman both give us, through their `hero’ actions but also their `human’ actions – is hope.”

“I think it’s a very good thing that Hollywood is paying attention to the Christian marketplace,” said Ted Baehr, who runs Movieguide, a website that reviews family friendly films from a Christian perspective.

“Where it gets sticky is when they try to manipulate the market and when Christians try to manipulate Hollywood. But here I think we have the right balance.”

But other Christians are heaving a supersized sigh at the movie marketing.

"Any pastor who thinks using `Man of Steel Ministry Resources' is a good Sunday morning strategy must have no concept of how high the stakes are, or very little confidence in the power of God’s word and God’s spirit," writes P.J. Wenzel, a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Dublin Baptist Church in Ohio.

"As they entertain their congregants with material pumped out from Hollywood’s sewers, lives are kept in bondage, and people’s souls are neglected," according to Wenzel, who said he was e-mailed information about the movie.

Scott, the Baltimore pastor, said he knows that Warner Bros. Studios has a financial incentive in pushing the film to pastors.

But he said that’s fine with him. “They’re using us but in fact we’re using them,” he said.

His church won't show clips from the movie this weekend because it had already planned out its service. But he plans to use them later, during meetings with the church’s men’s group.

“If you give me another opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus Christ, and I can do that because of your movie, that’s a win for me, because it is about spreading the Gospel.”

CNN's Erin McPike contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Celebrity • Christianity • Church • Entertainment • Media • Movies

soundoff (6,545 Responses)
  1. *frank*

    This 'article' is the gay-est thing I've ever seen,

    and I've seen gay pron.

    June 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • .

      pron is a deadly sin

      June 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Trace

      What is "pron" and why is it deadly?

      June 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Because "pron" is obviously a misspelling of "prawn" and according to the bible, eating shellfish is a sin.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Keattis

      lol@tallulah13
      Gay shellfish are always horny.
      I don't want to know what shellfish sex organs look like and I'm good with that.

      June 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  2. .

    atheism is a deadly sin

    June 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Keattis

      Thanks for giving me a reason to kill every religious person in self-defense, since your religions have already pronounced a death sentence upon me written clearly for all to see. I may have to shoot first and ask questions later, too. Thanks again.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • tony

      Then I wonder why the number of atheists is growing and the death rate doesn't seem to be connected to religious belief.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Nah. Atheism is a logical response to fact. Accusations of sin are just one way that religious people try to criminalize the simple act of not believing exactly what they do.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Unbelievers live in denial enforcing everyone to do so too. If I believed I was born a kangaroo, lived my life as a kangaroo, insisted everyone consider me a kangaroo and demanded respect that my ego tells me I'm a kangaroo, will NEVER make it true. Fact is = lie.

      June 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    June 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • tony

      It hasn't changed your message or name yet.

      When should we expect the Tee Shirts?

      June 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Drivenb4u

      Hey AinHfCaoLT, you know what one thing you can be proud of is? In all my 18+ years online no one has ever quite goaded or annoyed me more than your stupid unchanging litany. How long now have you been trolling CNN's comments with but a single phrase with which to irk another class of people different from you? Really, kudos man, that's a real accomplishment.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  4. Colin

    overall percentage of people who believe in a god – 90%
    percentage of people who graduated high school who believe in a god – 80%
    percentage of college graduates who believ in a god -68%
    percentage of science post-graduates who believe in a god – 20%
    percentage of elite, practicing scientists who believe in a god – 7%

    Why is it that, the less educated about the universe a person is the more likely they believe in God. Would we not expect the opposite if he were true?

    June 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Colin

      This of course is bull sh it. When you control the information and conclusion the information is suspect.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • devin

      " For consider your calling brethren , that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world, and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God."

      And now you know, although I'm guessing this will not suffice.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • jed

      People sheepishly follow the lead of their peers elite or not.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Trace

      So God makes fun of people? Capital.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Keattis

      @Colin
      Those statistics are flawed because they list people who say they believe or don't believe and also do not qualify the levels or types of "belief" that each person actually has, you are basically taking hearsay responses and equating them to objective data when the responses are always subjective to begin with.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • WarMachine99

      Scientists are going to hell, then?

      June 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Nice post, Colin. (Original post) Good data. Good info to have on hand.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • tony

      I wonder if @colin can come up with any verified different figures?

      June 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Drivenb4u

      While the specific figures themselves may be suspect to some degree, it has been repeatedly established that there is an inverse correlation with level of education and degree of belief in God. Especially so in the sciences.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Keattis

      @Drivenb4u
      Yes, but when openly declaring some religious or non-religious ideology, people are not going to answer truthfully where people with opposing viewpoints can attack them for holding a "wrong" idea.
      Until we get an absolutely error-free method of determining who is lying and about what and how, none of these Q & A polls will mean very much.
      You are basically asking people if they are delusional / schizophrenic and delusional in a widely-accepted way or if they hold an opposing "viewpoint" that is more rational yet is in the minority and subject to violent persecution by the majority religious people around them.
      Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? If you want better answers, give everyone a psych evaluation and brainscan and lie detector tests on every question, and even then there will be a margin of error because you are relying upon a person's responses and what they say about themselves and their answers.
      Very subjective, very unreliable. The number of atheists is likely much higher due to religious persecution of atheists.

      June 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  5. tony

    This helpfully controversial subject is a real winner for the advertising justification for the belief blog.

    June 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  6. tony

    The more apparently powerful the god, the more he/she needs collection bowl contributions.

    Now isn't that strange. . . .

    June 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  7. Vic

    How Does Evolution/Abiogenesis/Natural Selection Explain Male And Female?!

    June 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

      They evolved. Duh.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Have you ever tried reading a science book?

      June 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Vic

      Glory Be To God Almighty, The Father, Son And Holy Spirit.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Colin

      How does Christianity? Magically created out of dirt and a rib.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • tony

      non-transmission of parasite life forms.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Colin

      Magic implies slight of hand there is mystery in creation but no magic. A planned well thought out work from a master planner and craftsman brought to perfection each and every species a unique and compatible work of art. Male and female from common elements given soul and purpose by a loving creator made for each other at roughly the same time and at the same place, nothing left to chance. Praise God

      June 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Trace

      Does the gratuitous use of html tags make a message more meaningful?

      No. But it sure as hell is annoying.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • ME II

      "One of the most widely accepted explanations for the advantage of se[]x lies in the creation of genetic variation." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_seREMOVExual_reproduction

      June 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  8. will4203

    That "House" has already been divided against itself by so-called "Christians". In other word: "Religion" has already devastated and divided (and continues to do so) America...

    June 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Akira

      ITA.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  9. Colin

    If God were real, why did he make the educated people mostly atheist and agnostic and the dumber people Christian? Now, before anybody jumps down my throat, I am not saying all Christians are dumb, but certainly they tend to fall to the bottom of the intellectual pile.

    Why is that?

    June 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Don't tell that to the Christians who founded Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, etc. etc.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Colin

      Ad Yale and a lot of others. So what? Many of them probaly read the astrlogy column, that doesn't make astrology real. Until the last 150 years, there were very few atheists. Fortunately, we are growing like wildfire as young children have the courage to question entrenched religious dogma.

      I put this together a few months ago. Based on the nonsense you are speaking, you would have benefitted from it as a child.

      10 Commandments that every child should be taught.

      1. DO NOT automatically believe something just because a parent, priest, rabbi or minister tells you that you must. They can’t all be right.

      2. DO NOT think that claims about magic, miracles and the supernatural are more likely true because they are written in old books. That makes them less likely true.

      3. DO analyze claims about religion with the same critical eye that you would claims about money, political positions or social issues.

      4. DO NOT accept it when religious leaders tell you it is wrong to question, doubt or think for yourself. It never is. Only those selling junk cars want to prohibit you from looking under the hood.

      5. DO decouple morality from a belief in the supernatural, in any of its formulations (Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc.). One can be moral without believing in gods, ghosts and ghouls and believing in any of them does not make one moral.

      6. DO a bit of independent research into whatever book you were brought up to believe in. Who are its authors and why should you believe them in what they say? How many translations has it gone through? Do we have originals, or only edited copies of copies of copies– the latter is certainly true for every single book in the Bible.

      7. DO realize that you are only a Christian (or Hindu or Jew) because of where you were born. Were you lucky enough to be born in the one part of the World that “got it right”?

      8. DO NOT be an apologist or accept the explanation “your mind is too small to understand the greatness of God,” “God is outside the Universe” or “God moves in mysterious ways” when you come upon logical inconsistencies in your belief. A retreat to mysticism is the first refuge of the cornered fool.

      9. DO understand where your religion came from and how it evolved from earlier beliefs to the point you were taught it. Are you lucky enough to be living at that one point in history where we “got it right”?

      10. DO educate yourself on the natural Universe, human history and the history of life on Earth, so as to be able to properly evaluate claims that a benevolent, mind-reading god is behind the whole thing.

      I sometimes think that, if we first taught our children these simple guidelines, any supernatural belief would be quickly dismissed by them as quaint nostalgia from a bygone era. I hope we get there as a species.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Colin

      My self importance is evident to all by now proving that there is a suc ker born every minute. Bull sh it sways the educated.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Colin I would say the same to you about your secular education but with more support.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Colin

      Edmind- religions like christianty teach the worst thing to children – to believe without evidence, to dumb themsleves down and accept stories about the supernatural and utter primitive nonsense. Religion should be held to the same exacting standards as science and math. Telling a child to believe soemthing because it makes them (or more accuaretle the adult teaching them) feel good is doing them a gross diservice.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Colin

      "And they believe, as though it were true, that all life evolved from matter by pure chance." No biologist I know believes that. Do you REALLY think six days and a talking snake is anything short of completely ridiculous?

      June 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Colin

      Best to recheck the Bible on the talking snake bit. All creation communicates but in that instance you might find that Satan entered the serpent.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Colin

      Oh yes, and a devil making a snake talk makes SO MUCH more sense than God doing so. Fvcking simpleton.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Colin your misguided view of history has really shown itself when you say Christians teach children to believe without evidence. The exact opposite is true. The biblical account of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ is the single most attested to fact of ancient history. The event of Christ's life on the earth even created the need for a new type of literature – a gospel – which is an eyewitness account of the experiences of the men who followed Jesus. These things we heard, we saw, we handled with our own hands, and we gave a true account of those things. This is so attested to that you cannot dismiss it without calling into question any and all historical accounts of ancient history. This is the best established fact of ancient history. Were it not so do you really think our calender would be based on his birth. C'mon Colin. This was not done in some remote corner of the world, in secret, but among people who were vehemently opposed to the message. You are accusing me of being a simpleton?

      June 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Colin

      You said "The biblical account of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ is the single most attested to fact of ancient history".

      Not so. Only four of the 14-18 authors of the New Testament speak about Jesus life or his resurrecetion in any detail – Matthew, Mark, Luke and Joihn. They all wrote well after JC was executed. 40 (MArk) , 50 (Luke and Matthew) and 65 (John). They never even met Jesus, but recounted stories passed dowwn to them. They are also hopelessly inconsistent in many places. Take Jesus birth, his resurrection, the length of his ministry, his divinity, they all disagree. Let's have a quick loo kat his supposed resurrection.

      Who went to the tomb?

      Mark – 3 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome.
      Matthew – 2 women – Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.”
      Luke – at least 5 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and other, unnamed women.
      John – only 1 woman – Mary Magdalene.

      What did they find there?

      Mark – the stone has been rolled back from the entrance to the tomb. There is no mention of any guards. A young man in a long, white robe is inside. His identi.ty is not revealed. He tells the women to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen and has gone to Galilee, where Jesus will appear to them. No angels or other persons, nor any earthquake is mentioned.

      Matthew – the stone has not been rolled back from the tomb and there is no man in a white robe, but there is a great earthquake and an angel from heaven appears, rolls back the stone, sits on it and stares at the women with “a face like lightning.” There are guards posted, who freeze with fear. The angel takes the two women and shows them that the tomb is empty and tells them that Jesus has risen from the dead and will meet the disciples in Galilee.

      Luke – the stone is rolled back. There is no earthquake, no angels, no young man in a robe and no guards. Instead, two men are inside in shining garments. They tell the group of (at least five) women that Jesus has risen as he foretold he would. No direction is given for the disciples to go to Galilee.

      John – the stone is rolled back. Mary Magdalene, who is alone, simply finds an empty tomb and flees. No man in a long white robe, angel with a face like lightening, earthquake, men in shining uniforms nor guards are mentioned. She fetches Peter and one other, unnamed disciple and they return. They find Jesus’ robes discarded on the floor, but the garment from his head neatly folded. Peter and the other disciple leave, but Mary Magdalene stays, weeping. She looks back in to the tomb and sees two angels and Jesus appears. She thinks he is the gardener until he reveals himself as Jesus. He gives no direction about Galilee but simply tells her to tell the others he is ascending to the Father.

      What happens next?

      Mark – Nothing. The original Gospel according to Mark ends with the women leaving the tomb frightened and saying nothing to anybody about what they saw.

      Matthew– The two women meet Jesus and worship at his feet. He tells them to tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Meanwhile, the guards relate their story to the elders and the chief priests who bribe them to lie and say that the disciples took Jesus’ body away. Eventually the 11 remaining apostles see Jesus in Galilee. Jesus tells them to go out and baptize people of all nations and that he will always be with them.

      Luke – Peter runs to the tomb and finds it empty with Jesus’ clothes discarded. Jesus does not appear to him, but does to two disciples who are walking in the countryside. They do not recognize him and he feigns ignorance as they recount the story of his death and of the women encountering angels in the tomb. Jesus walks with them some more, spends the night with them, breaking bread at which point they realize who he is and he vanishes. They tell the others what happens and then Jesus appears to them. He explains the scriptures to them and that it was necessary that he die and be resurrected. He then leads them to Bethany and is carried up to heaven.

      John – This is the longest post mortem account of the four. Mary Magdalene recounts her story to the apostles. Jesus appears to them that night when they are assembled, hiding from the Jews. He shows his wounds to them. Thomas was not there and when they later tell him, there is the famous “doubting Thomas” scene. This scene does not appear in any other gospel.

      Jesus later appears to some apostles while they are fishing. They do not recognize him at first. They catch nothing, but Jesus tells them throw the nets out of the other side of the boat and they do so and catch many fish. Then they know it is Jesus. Jesus eats a breakfast of fish with them and has a conversation with Peter. No mention is made of Jesus’ ultimate departure.

      Ah Greko-Roman mythology, ya gotta love it....
      You said "The biblical account of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ is the single most attested to fact of ancient history".

      Not so. Only four of the 14-18 authors of the New Testament speak about Jesus life or his resurrecetion in any detail – Matthew, Mark, Luke and Joihn. They all wrote well after JC was executed. 40 (MArk) , 50 (Luke and Matthew) and 65 (John). They never even met Jesus, but recounted stories passed dowwn to them. They are also hopelessly inconsistent in many places. Take Jesus birth, his resurrection, the length of his ministry, his divinity, they all disagree. Let's have a quick loo kat his supposed resurrection.

      Who went to the tomb?

      Mark – 3 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome.
      Matthew – 2 women – Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.”
      Luke – at least 5 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and other, unnamed women.
      John – only 1 woman – Mary Magdalene.

      What did they find there?

      Mark – the stone has been rolled back from the entrance to the tomb. There is no mention of any guards. A young man in a long, white robe is inside. His identi.ty is not revealed. He tells the women to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen and has gone to Galilee, where Jesus will appear to them. No angels or other persons, nor any earthquake is mentioned.

      Matthew – the stone has not been rolled back from the tomb and there is no man in a white robe, but there is a great earthquake and an angel from heaven appears, rolls back the stone, sits on it and stares at the women with “a face like lightning.” There are guards posted, who freeze with fear. The angel takes the two women and shows them that the tomb is empty and tells them that Jesus has risen from the dead and will meet the disciples in Galilee.

      Luke – the stone is rolled back. There is no earthquake, no angels, no young man in a robe and no guards. Instead, two men are inside in shining garments. They tell the group of (at least five) women that Jesus has risen as he foretold he would. No direction is given for the disciples to go to Galilee.

      John – the stone is rolled back. Mary Magdalene, who is alone, simply finds an empty tomb and flees. No man in a long white robe, angel with a face like lightening, earthquake, men in shining uniforms nor guards are mentioned. She fetches Peter and one other, unnamed disciple and they return. They find Jesus’ robes discarded on the floor, but the garment from his head neatly folded. Peter and the other disciple leave, but Mary Magdalene stays, weeping. She looks back in to the tomb and sees two angels and Jesus appears. She thinks he is the gardener until he reveals himself as Jesus. He gives no direction about Galilee but simply tells her to tell the others he is ascending to the Father.

      What happens next?

      Mark – Nothing. The original Gospel according to Mark ends with the women leaving the tomb frightened and saying nothing to anybody about what they saw.

      Matthew– The two women meet Jesus and worship at his feet. He tells them to tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Meanwhile, the guards relate their story to the elders and the chief priests who bribe them to lie and say that the disciples took Jesus’ body away. Eventually the 11 remaining apostles see Jesus in Galilee. Jesus tells them to go out and baptize people of all nations and that he will always be with them.

      Luke – Peter runs to the tomb and finds it empty with Jesus’ clothes discarded. Jesus does not appear to him, but does to two disciples who are walking in the countryside. They do not recognize him and he feigns ignorance as they recount the story of his death and of the women encountering angels in the tomb. Jesus walks with them some more, spends the night with them, breaking bread at which point they realize who he is and he vanishes. They tell the others what happens and then Jesus appears to them. He explains the scriptures to them and that it was necessary that he die and be resurrected. He then leads them to Bethany and is carried up to heaven.

      John – This is the longest post mortem account of the four. Mary Magdalene recounts her story to the apostles. Jesus appears to them that night when they are assembled, hiding from the Jews. He shows his wounds to them. Thomas was not there and when they later tell him, there is the famous “doubting Thomas” scene. This scene does not appear in any other gospel.

      Jesus later appears to some apostles while they are fishing. They do not recognize him at first. They catch nothing, but Jesus tells them throw the nets out of the other side of the boat and they do so and catch many fish. Then they know it is Jesus. Jesus eats a breakfast of fish with them and has a conversation with Peter. No mention is made of Jesus’ ultimate departure.

      Ah Greko-Roman mythology, ya gotta love it....

      June 16, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      If all of the accounts agreed they would be suspect. It would show that there was corroboration. The fact that they are different and provide different perspectives without attempt to explain differences only lends credibility to the eyewitness.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Colin

      @Edmund. Wow! You know nothing of your own book, do you. There were no eyewitnesses. None of the 4 authors of the cannonical gospels are witnesses!! They all wrote between 40-65 years after he was killed. They likely weren't even born when he wrote. READ Edmund. Read something about your silly book before you spout of facts that are flat wrong.

      June 17, 2013 at 12:55 am |
  10. edmundburkeson

    Don't listen to Eric! I saw the movie last night. It is awesome! Everything after Christ has been influenced by Christ. Get over it! Every episode of Star Trek using the prime directive was influenced by the incarnation. You won't have much left if you try to remove everything christian from history. That task will be accomplished by God in the judgement. Don't try it at home!

    June 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Amateurs!

      June 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Colin

      Gene Roddenberry was an atheist you fvcking simpleton.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      That would explain why he doesn't understand the influence that Christ had on history! Wouldn't it?

      June 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • sybaris

      "You won't have much left if you try to remove everything christian from history"

      This Christo-centric mentality is exactly why the U.S. lags behind the rest of the industrialized world in education.

      *sigh* You do realize that 2/3 of the world is not Christian and many many other cultures have written their own history.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Colin

      @edmund. Huh? Do you even know who he is?

      June 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      What Rodenberry was teaching us in the prime directive was being taught by the Apostle Paul in the first century. Why did it take atheists so long to discover incarnational thinking? It was only when they soncsidered space travel and the possibility of other worlds. God used it to build a bridge from his world to ours long, long before there was a Gene Rodenberry.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      all other books have one fifth of the publication of the Bible in another language. They don't even come close to the influence of the book of Christ – the holy Bible.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      There would be no industrialized world without the influence of Christ. It is no accident that industrialization and the knowledge of science and technology arose in Christiandom and the belief that God and his creation are rational. Even the printing press was due to the need to publish the Bible and 92% of colleges in the US were part of the Christian mission – even ivy league colleges.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Colin

      oh BS. Religion, and principally Christianity has been the greatest drag on the development of mankind. All progress has occurred despite it. You still believe in Greco-Roman Jewish sky fairies.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      You may ask yourself why the decline of education in America so closely paralleled the secularization of education, and the rise of public schools. Schools were a big part of the christian mission prior to state sponsored education.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Colin – you are a perfect example of secular education albeit misguided. And I wouldn't expect you to present any evidence of your religion-less view of history. You have been endoctrinated in the religion of secularism.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Colin

      Education is the only thing in the history of the world that has proven successful in fighting back religious supersti.tions, like those of the Christians.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Colin

      Edmund- show me one secular school that wants to teach that the entire Universe was created less than 10,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake. lol.....

      June 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Are you sure that is what the Bible teaches. You seem more sure than most. There is room for discussion there.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Education is the only thing in the history of the world that has proven successful in fighting back religious supersti.tions, like those of the Christians.

      Are you talking about the pre-Christian practice of leaving unwanted children in the streets to die? Are you talking about the practice of killing enemies? How about the practice racial, gender, and class discrimination? The bible is the first book in literature to make an egalitarian statement. Also is holds exclusive right to the concept of forgiveness and compassion for the dispossessed.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, the decline of education in America can be linked to the conservative mission to underfund our schools, and by the increased population (encouraged by religion) that fills our classrooms beyond capacity. That's not even mentioning those religious groups who try to insert the false science of "creationism" into school curricula, oblivious to the damage it would do to the futures of the students taught this nonsense.

      If you look at world rankings, it becomes obvious that the best educations are provided by nations where the government supports learning and religion is not a part of the process.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      How many hospitals would there be without the influence of Christ? They are almost exclusively part of the Christian mission. You need to step outside of you circle of influence and read from a much broader perspective of history. don't depend on your liberal professors, news outlets, and high school education to teach you the truth.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Colin

      Oh dear god, have you read the thing????

      To equate the Bible with freedom and equaliety is absurd in the extreme. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are riddled with passages that make it clear that the Bible openly condones and supports slavery, including the $ex-slavery of women.

      This is, of course, due directly to the social views of the time when it was written. This may be exculpatory from a literary perspective but it makes the claims of Christians and Jews that their Bible has the moral high ground on the equality issue nothing short of absurd.

      By the way, the quotes I cite below can easily be checked on line or in any hard copy of a Bible. You can´t make this stuff up.

      However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      The following passage describes how the Hebrew slaves are to be treated.

      If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

      Nice family values there!

      Here is its view on the almost incomprehensible evil of selling one’s own daughter as a $ex slave.

      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

      As to beating slaves…

      When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

      Jesus and Saint Paul, the two towering figures of the New Testament were also open supporters of slavery.

      Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

      Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

      Now, I accept that Timothy was one of the 3-6 of the 13 letters of Saint Paul in the Bible that were forgeries by early Christians, but it still reflects the views of the early Christians on slavery and it is still included in the Bible.

      In the following parable, Jesus clearly approves of beating slaves even if they didn't know they were doing anything wrong.

      The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it..But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

      So, whatever else one might think of the Bible, one must accept that it condoned slavery, set rules for its practice, supported the $ex trade and allowed the barbaric act of beating slaves who “misbehaved.”

      June 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Why should conservatives support something they don't believe. Schools have done their best to weed out God. They beoeve morality, like the villains on the Superman movie, makes you weak. And they believe, as though it were true, that all life evolved from matter by pure chance.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Ed, you have a very simple view of the world. It may make you happy, but it has very little practical application.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Colin

      "God" is nothing more than ignorance with a halo on it. it's the 21st Century. We no longer need to resort to Greco-Roman sky fairies for our answers.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Colin you are truly naive, misguided and have very little knowledge of the Bible or history. The Bible contains references to slavery because that was part of life in the Ancient Near East. What you missed was Galatians: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

      This is a statement about the life in Christ and an imperative for the church that triumphed. This statement greatly influenced Western history from that moment forward.

      Many like you Colin misread Scripture because you think you can pick it up, pull out of it whatever you want, and interpret it without any idea what you are talking about. If you want to be an expert. Read it! Study it! You are not impressing anyone by your hit an miss approach.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Colin

      I love that kind of reasoning. If a Bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a Bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either; (i) taken out of context; (ii) symbolic, allegorical or otherwise means something other than it says; (iii) referring to another verse somewhere else that rectifies the error; (iv) a translation or copyist's error; (v) a mystery of God not discernible by we mere humans; or (vi) just plain magic.

      With a panoply of excuses like that available to the believer Edmund, there is little doubt you maintain you faith. There is no biblical inconsistency too obvious, no biblical error too clear and no biblical absurdity too manifest to be explained away by one of the above excuses.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      It is the secular view that makes people happy. The Christian view holds you accountable. It is not simple! It goes against the grain of this present world because it is incarnational – an attempt to bridge the world between us and God. And it has transformed the world into a much better place. But you believe that evolution must win! Nothing can stand in the way of inevitable progress. Your problem is you have no standard for justice. You have no measuring stick to say if life is heading in a positive direction. And so you are content with whatever direction it takes no matter how cruel, no matter how much of a slave it makes you to the state.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Colin. Like I said! You seem to have all the answers when it comes to the interpretation of Genesis 1. You seem to know that it was not intended as an allegory. I am merely saying that I do not know. It does seem rather odd that Stephen Hawking's view of the the Big Bang Theory looks so much like the Biblical account of creation that he found it necessary to make an unscientific statement like: god was not needed to cause the begininng of the universe. Really Colin! After 2000 years the best minds are saying that the beginning looked like the Biblical account. Doesn't that cause concern for you?

      June 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Colin

      Not really......“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." – Stephen Hawkins, 2013.

      And, while we're on the topic...."The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." Albert Einstein

      June 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Colin

      To this, I could add, “First of all, I’m an atheist. The second thing I know is that the name was a kind of joke and not a very good one.” – Peter Higgs, the discoverer of the Higgs Boson, the so called “God particle,” commenting on how he wishes people would stop using the term to describe the particle.

      97% of the American Academy of Scientists are atheists. Whatever else you thin kabout your Greco-Roamn superst.ition, do not fool yourself into thinking smart people subscribe to your childish fant.asies.

      June 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Keattis

      @edmundburkeson
      The "Christian view" does NOT hold anyone accountable in ANY WAY.
      Just the opposite, in fact.
      By ignoring crimes (turning the other cheek), you refuse to hold ANYONE accountable AT ALL.
      By saying they will only get any punishment or judgment AFTER DEATH you are REFUSING to hold ANYONE ACCOUNTABLE while they are ALIVE.
      And what about your "after death" judgment-fantasy?
      You have ZERO evidence that it happens at all, ZERO evidence that anything happens after death AT ALL, and ZERO evidence of ANYTHING in your religion.
      Your religion is EVIL and blatantly refuses to hold ANYONE accountable in ANY WAY in addition to being INSANE in saying babies are born by their own choice and are thus deserving of eternal torture as well as being somehow RESPONSIBLE for the actions of "Adam and Eve" when we don't EVER hold others accountable for what total strangers do.
      Allegory or not, there is NO FUCKING WAY that ANYONE is responsible for what your religion says is a "sin" against your "god" when you base all of "sin" on what Adam and Eve did and nothing else.
      Admit it, without Adam and Eve's "original sin" your whole religion falls completely APART.
      And if you want to hold me accountable for your fairy-tale fantasy and responsible for the actions of fake story characters done in the fairy-tale, then prepare for death because I am not putting up with that shit AT ALL.
      You don't hold people accountable in this life because your religion was written by CRIMINALS and everything in it is GEARED towards letting all CRIMINALS ESCAPE REAL-WORLD JUSTICE, you pathetic ignorant stunted slime....

      June 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Keattis

      @Colin
      Who the fuck is "Stephen Hawkins"?????????? Are you quoting Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins?

      June 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Keatis: If Adam and Eve are the parents of all creation, it is perfectly logical that we were all there that day when they disobeyed God. You really should read the Bible and Christian theology more often. It states at various places that were partakers not only in their choice, but we share the nature that made that choice. Not only did Adam & Eve choose to disobey, given the same choice we would also disobey. If you don't believe it? Try to keep the commands of God. See how long you last. Could you even last a day? An hour? Without violating a known law of God! It is not just they who have that nature ... we all have it! This is what ancient theologians referred to as total depravity. We have all sinned. WE have all come short of God's will with the exception of this remarkable incarnate man Jesus who took upon himself our sin and became the sacrifice to save us from our punishment for disobedience.

      June 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Hawking! I should have know you were familiar with Dawkins. You share his ignorance about history. Do yourself a favor and read book reviews. Dawkins was called misguided by Publisher's Weekly. In my opinion he did not bother to research his own claims. His views would never pass scholarly muster.

      June 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Colin

      Actually Edmund, if you know your bible as well as you claim you would know that the popular ten commandments are NOT the ones from the Bible. Right? Read Exodus.

      After receiving the set of commandments from God we are all familiar with, Moses descends from Mount Sinai only to find his people worshipping a golden calf. Moses’ anger “waxes hot” and he smashes the stone tablets containing the familiar Ten Commandments in a fit of rage. He later returns to the mountain and God orders him to “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.” Unfortunately, it seems God’s memory was off that day, because the replacement tablets he gave Moses contained the following Ten Commandments:

      Thou shalt worship no other god.
      Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
      Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread .
      All that openeth the matrix are mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. But the firstling of an ass, thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then thou shalt break his neck.
      Thou shalt rest on the Sabbath.
      Thou shalt rest in earing time and in harvest.
      Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
      Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning.
      The first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
      Thou shalt not seethe (cook) a baby goat in its mother's milk.

      If one believes Exodus, the Jews perambulated the Sinai Peninsula and the Negev for the rest of their forty years of wandering, lugging the Ark of the Covenant weighed down with these timeless pearls of wisdom!

      I wish you Christians would at least read your silly book......

      June 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      In rebuttal to your Dawkins Publisher's Weekly distinction I will offer Prospects 2013 selection of Dawkins as the world's top thinker. And Adam and Eve did not exist, so your argument re original sin falls flat.

      June 16, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Colin

      @Edmund – you mean The Dawkins who is one of the most respected evolutionary biologists i nthe World and recently voted one of the best brains in the wrold by a panel of academic experts? To answer tyour question "are you calling me a simpleton?" Not yet, but I gotta tell ya, the evidence is mounting.....

      June 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      I can see Dawkins coming out of you at every turn. Dawkins does not know the difference between a legend, a fable, a myth, etc, etc. The Biblical account of Jesus cannot be called a myth, or mythos, or a legend, or a fable. The events of Christ were recorded as they happened, they may have been passed on by oral tradition among the disciples before being written. But they happened in a place, Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, at a time, during a feast, a wedding, a trial. Myths don't happen in space and time. they occur in metahistory – no particular place, no particular time, usually just meant to explain why certain things happen the way they do – i.e. a conversatation between Zeus and Hercules. Dawkins doesn't seem to understand the difference. This adds to the credibility of the gospels. They were not intended as a religious commentary. They claim to be eyewitness accounts. There is a big difference. get it?

      June 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Secularist from Ohio – are you another Dawkins fan? You don't need evidence? Your word only?

      I was just being kind in the Publisher's Weekly reference. It is obvious Dawkins does not know history and is projecting his own naturalistic presuppositions back into the past. By the way secularism is a religion and you and Dawkins have alot in common with other secular religions – Mayans, Hindus, Daoists. the only advantage you have over other naturalists is scientifc tools, technological advancement, etc. which you seem to think you own. But the only difference is it has hastened your closeness to nature, and made you arrogant.

      June 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Colin

      Actually, strike 3 Edmnd. The Jesus story is heavilly influenced by mythology. here are some examples from the region and time.

      Appolonius of Tyana.

      Before he was born, his mother was visited by an angel who told her that her son would be divine. His birth was accompanied by miraculous signs and as a child he was religiously precocious. As an adult, he left home to be an itinerant preacher, teaching the good news that people should live for what is spiritual, not the material things of this world. He gathered disciples and performed miracles. He raised the ire of those in power who had him brought up before the Roman authorities. His followers saw him after he died and he ascended into heaven. – Bart Erhman

      Horus

      Before Jesus, Horus was a mythological figure from Egypt who was said to be born on December 25 to a virgin. A star in the East heralded his arrival and three kings came to worship the baby. At age 12, Horus was a prodigal child teacher and at age 30 he was baptized and began his ministry. He had 12 disciples, travelled about performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water and was known by terms such as “the good shepherd.” After he died, he was buried, but three days later he rose from the dead.

      Mythras.

      Similarly, two centuries before the appearance of Jesus, the myth of Mithras held that Mithras was the son of the sun sent to save mankind. He was born of a virgin in a cave on December 25, and his birth was attended by shepherds. Mithras sacrificed himself and, on the last day of his life, had supper with twelve of his followers. At that supper, Mithras invited his followers to eat his body and drink his blood. He was buried in a tomb and after three days he rose again. The cult of Mithraism, which evolved out of the earlier Persian religion of Zoroastrism, was popular in Rome at the same time that Christianity was spreading.

      Unfortunatley, there is good reason to think that many of the stories about Jesus are a collage of existing Mediterranean mythology. This is not surprising, given that the frist Gospel, Mark, was not written until 40 years after Jesus' death and that stories about hiw swirled about the superst.itious Greco-Roman Mediterranean for all this time before being captured in writing.

      Indeed, it would be very, very unlikely, to the point of impossibility, for stories about him NOT to grow over time and be influenced by the prevailing mythogy.

      Sorry Edmund, your sky-fairy is nothing more than some nice philosophy dressed un in Greco-Roman muythology

      June 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Well those 4 different accounts of Jesus certainly make everything so much clearer. Eyewitness you say. Certainly reliable testimony. Oral traditions. Ever play telephone?

      June 16, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Dawkins fan? Guilty as charged. But much more a Hitchens fan. Christianity is false and immoral. There's nothing moral about scapegoating and torturing a human being to death to absolve humanity of its sins. I don't think I am absolved of my responsibilities because a human being was murdered 2000 years ago.

      June 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      And even if Jesus did exist, there is nothing to establish his divinity. Which is more likely, that Jesus birth was caused by god or that a frightened jewish girl would lie.

      June 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      You can't call Christianity false. It's not a true false question. It is established, irrefutable, historical fact – the best established fact of ancient history. You, Hawking, Dawkins, or Hitchens cannot change that, even if you do engage in the historical and grammatical issues – which they don't even come close to doing. As long as Christianity has foes like your heroes, Christianity will survive another 2000 years because they fail to engage in the debate.

      Christianity has its own truth claims which have been established long ago. Christ had a mission that followers have kept, in spite of many poor examples of leadership – it has principles that provide for self-correction and steer back onto the path, because the principles are just, timeless and proven. It has not encourage slavery, it was responsible for the abolitionist movement in America. Martin Luther King was a black southern baptist minister. Your accusations against it lack all credibility. As long as you make them you tend to weaken your argument. This is very much unlike religions like Islam – whose message is so mixed that people can't tell if the Koran supports slaughter or condemns it. the Christian message is clear if you study it. None of you have! You rely on second hand information from pop-atheists who are too lazy to even research their subject. Get it together guys! You're going nowhere with this.

      June 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Secularist from Ohio – his divinity and his virgin birth was established by something that would make both very hard to explain. His resurrection from the dead! This is the one thing pointed to by Christ prior to his death, and the 500 witnesses to his resurrection as proof of his divinity. So you see it is not just a simple matter of dismissing the virgin birth because it creates more questions. Why was he unlike any other man? How did he calm the storms? Heal the sick? Raise the dead? Where did he get the insight for his teachings that radically transformed the world? the virgin birth you see is small on the scale of creating questions? The real question is why are you so opposed? It is a curiosity!

      June 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      I can't call Christianity false? Well I just did. There's nothing to backup the idea of original sin and it's a wicked idea. Here we are, created sick and commanded to be well. It's totalitarian. Either I believe or I am punished, how coercive. Before Jesus, when you died, at least that was it. It's only after Jesus, with his offer of alleged redemption, that I risk eternity in hell. The texts are hardly irrefutable. The inconsistency alone attests to different writers and different points of view. There is little reference to Jesus in any other writing outside the bible. It is more likely that the bible was put together over time, with men deciding what went into it. Historical facts – none there.

      June 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      You can't say it because you have no support for it other than your own surmising which you seem to hold in high esteem. More so than the people in history who were actually there.

      June 16, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Other than the bible, there is no evidence for the divinity of Jesus. There was no walking on water, throwing demons into pigs, 500 witnesses to his resurrection, feeding the crowd with little loaves and fishes. All this is only in the Bible. If you want me to except such a claim, you're going to have to provide something besides a 2000 year old book of tales.

      June 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Appolonius of Tyana.

      Horus

      Mythras

      Appolonius of Tyana.

      These are all interesting but they do not have the support that the Christian Scriptures have. the texts were written long after the events and even after the Christian texts were written. They were not subject to the same scrutiny and nowhere near the credibility. The closest you can get to the actual events outside of Scripture is 900 years – Ceaser's Gaelic Wars.

      June 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      It's not true that the Bible is the only other reference to Christ and it is not a valid argument for rejecting the Bible. Josephus, Pliny the Younger, the Babylonian Talmud all make reference to Christ. The Bible does not claim to be a religious book, it claims to be an eyewitness to the events in the life of Christ, his disciples and the early church. Who best to give a firsthand account? It claims: "this is what we saw." Would you throw out a manual on a computer because it is the only and best reference to your computer?

      June 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • edmundburkeson

      Colin: Dawkins should stick to evolutionary biology and leave history to the experts.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      What Rodenberry was teaching us in the prime directive was being taught by the Apostle Paul in the first century.

      The Apostle Paul taught non-interference in alien cultures? Funny, I thought he taught "go out and convert everyone"...which is exactly the opposite.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • Colin

      "It's not true that the Bible is the only other reference to Christ and it is not a valid argument for rejecting the Bible. Josephus, Pliny the Younger, the Babylonian Talmud all make reference to Christ."

      Pliny the Younger makes a very passing reference to JEsus in about 116 AD. Josephus also makes one very passing reference to him about the same time. In the late Middle Ages a christian scribe forged a second Josephus reference. The Babylonian Talmud makes no reference to him.

      Your lack of accurate knowledge about the Bible is jawdropping, given how much importance you place on it..

      June 17, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • maximo

      Colin, you write as though the bible we a single book.
      You also write as though the Bible was dropped from the sky and that is the sole source of Christian faith.

      Just, fro starters, you might want to read about Apostolic succesion.

      June 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Get Real

      maximo,

      Apostolic succession? Really? Maybe you should read about it.

      Wikipedia might elicit a bash from you, but it is a starting point for you to explore outside of your incestuous church propaganda:

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

      June 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  11. FKL

    believe in a higher power!

    June 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Why? What are you talking about? Why is it always higher....why isn't it different or some other adjective like" believe in a yellow power...what makes you think there is a "higher" power?

      June 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Richard Cranium

      Maybe he means Bob Marley.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • FKL

      "Why?"
      B/c It's great.

      "What are you talking about? "

      Believing in a higher power.

      "Why is it always higher"

      B/c God is superior to us.

      "why isn't it different or some other adjective like" believe in a yellow power"

      Yellow power? That doesn't make sense.

      "what makes you think there is a "higher" power?""

      It's faith!

      June 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • FKL

      Bob Marley is NOT my God.

      But he was quite the musician.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Jason

      Recovering alcoholic, are you, FKL? And faith is the worse troll on here; why do you worship that awful thing??

      June 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      I'm not convinced. Because it's great, because god is allegedly superior, and that all persuasive faith. These are not reasons.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Tevii

      I have an idea.... believe in yourself. How about you take accountability for your faults and give yourself credit for your achievements. At least you exist. (unless of course your an existentialist)

      June 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Doobs

      What makes it so great?

      June 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I have no problem believing that my existence is insignificant in the big picture. I also believe that there are very likely species in the universe that are much more advanced than humanity. I don't need to believe in a "higher power" to understand this.

      A "higher power," however, implies a specific being. There is no proof that there is a specific being that controls the universe. A 'higher power" seems like a simplistic designation for what is unknown.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  12. edmundburkeson

    If CNN is going to start moaning about everything that was influenced by Christ and Christianity, I doubt that they have the intelligence to know just how big of a thing they have gotten themselves into.

    June 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  13. saveafricascats

    We as a nation love the mythos of characters created by man (again) as was the stories in the bible, with pagan beliefs (Thor for Thursday, Woden for Wednesday) and all the other man-made deities/superheroes. I can see how the "myth" of Jesus (god) grew and grew into what it has become. People want it to be true, like the apostle Luke says "It is written, so that you MAY believe". We only know that Superman and Batman are true b/c they were created just decades ago. But think about if they were created (made-up) before Jesus' time, people would have believed it as truth.

    June 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • saveafricascats

      We only know that Superman and Batman are *NOT* true b/c they were created just decades ago.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Look at Joseph Smith and Ron Hubbard to see how modern day religions are founded.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Vic

      Even if, for the sake of argument, the Bible was made up by people, still, there is a God!

      This Universe & Life In It ARE "Prima Facie" EVIDENCE Of God

      June 16, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • midwest rail

      No, Vic, it is not – not unless you choose to redefine prima facie.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      The universe is evidence of the universe, nothing more.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Vic

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

      June 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Wrong again Vic...you keep repeating this overe and over, but you clearly don't understand.
      Prima Fascie means at first look....at first look the universe and life indicate god....no that is not true, unless you are a complete moron and cannot figure any other hypothesis...which most likely you can't.

      And why can you keep posting this over and over , yet in response to others direct questions, you make them hunt down links to old posts, which by the way one would only do in extreme curiosity so it really is pointless.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Vic

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prima+facie

      June 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Thank you, Vic, for providing references to prove yourself wrong.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I don't need the definition...it is in the very words:
      Prima...first...prime
      fascie...facing, glance, look
      first glance=prima fascie
      Repeating it over and over, or posting definitions does nothing to explain what YOU mean.

      Use your words Vic, what are you trying to say...is little Timmie down a well?

      June 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      This is from the second link Vic provided:

      pri·ma fa·ci·e
      [prahy-muh fey-shee-ee, fey-shee, fey-shuh, pree-] Show IPA
      noun
      1.
      at first appearance; at first view, before investigation.
      2.
      plain or clear; self-evident; obvious.

      So what Vic is trying to say is that before you investigate it, you might think that the universe was created by god. Which is pretty much the story of religion and history. Before humans knew what caused things, they attributed it to a god. When they learned differently, that god was set aside.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  14. Mel Stricker

    Are they selling God using Superman to are they selling Superman using God?

    Someone is selling someone and it is either for money or ideology.

    June 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • are122

      They sure won on the first half...
      1. "Man of Steel," $113 million.
      2. "This Is the End," $20.5 million.
      3. "Now You See Me," $10.3 million.
      4. "Fast & Furious 6," $9.4 million.
      "Man of Steel," which stars Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, also toppled the record for biggest opening in June held by the Disney-Pixar film "Toy Story 3,"

      June 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  15. lol??

    heroes wanna be mediators. sorry, that position has been taken.

    June 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  16. Theseus

    So let's see, a fictional movie about a character who doesn't exist that has supernatural abilities and tries to use them to save humanity? Sounds Christian to me.

    June 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • One one

      There is a big difference. Superman didn't create a place of eternal torture to send people who don't worship him.

      Also, unlike superman, Jesus is "saving" humanity from a curse (original sin) he imposed upon them in the first place.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • sybaris

      Actually it sounds like any other good v. bad story/legend/myth that predates Christianity

      June 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  17. Rev. BS

    What's next, the comic book version of The Bible?

    June 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Well there is the LOLCat Bible.

      Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I have a comic bok version of the bible...it is called an illustrated bible and is much of the bible in comic book form...of course it is from early 1900's so it is sort of a cross between comic book and pulp fiction.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  18. myweightinwords

    If one tries hard enough, you can find the same themes replayed out in stories from all of man's history, including well before the bible was written.

    It says more about man and imagination and desire than it does about the story itself or the deities/superheroes used to tell it.

    And really, catering to a specific religious group is kind of crass, in my opinion. So is overly religious dialog/imagery in a movie that is not about religion. Subtle always seems to work so much better. Spark conversation, don't kill it.

    I haven't seen the movie yet, though I probably will. And not being a Christian, when I do, I may make passing note of whatever similarities present themselves, but I'm more likely than not to dismiss them.

    June 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  19. Don

    God does not want you to be smart or intelligent. God wants you to be obedient.

    June 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • moderateGuy

      For the last time; Obama isn't God!

      June 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Don...God does want you to be obedient...he also wants you to be intelligent (probably smart too ;). He didn't give us brains with the capacity to learn as a joke. He expects us to use it–and it you truly doubt that that is "biblical" I can give you multiple verses to support that position.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • devin

      And this is at the heart of why many " smart and intelligent" people create so much subterfuge in an effort to avoid the requirement.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • saveafricascats

      Well, your god is wrong then. Think about what you just said and how bazaar it really sounds. "God wants us to be obedient" ...Says Who? Why is he this omnipotent 'being' who Demands our obedience and worship? It goes against everything we as human beings were evolved to strive for. Not to just stop our growth because of some unproven deity who gets off on our misery. It's time we shake off the shackles of ancient beliefs.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • saveafricascats

      Obedience demanded by an unseen, unproven deity is such an insult to my person. It's like the proverbial "fingernails across the chalkboard" in my brain ...I hate it ...PERIOD. I'll fight it with everything I have. God is a concept, not a (T)ruth. Where is the evidence besides what Man has written in ONE book and on based on biased hearsay 40 -70 years after the supposed crucifixion. And you and many others accept this on some sort of faith, which in itself is a form of agnosticism.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • A Conversation

      "It goes against everything we as human beings were evolved to strive for." We strive for rebellion? Actually, that's true–its called sin.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • A Conversation

      saveafricascats,,,actually, most scholars put Paul's letters between 15-25 years after his death, and since there had to be a church in place for those letters to have any meaning, it would mean, just as the book of Acts describes, an immediate church after the cross

      June 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, it's more like 50 years.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • A Conversation

      tallulah13...you and I are going to have to agree to disagree, but I'll ask what is your source?

      June 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • sybaris

      Exactly!

      Religion and the belief in god(s) requires ignorance to perpetuate.

      June 16, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  20. are122

    Great movie, saw it last night! Even those who's parents were meaningless gobs should like it

    June 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Nice of you to choose this Father's Day to insult parents.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Jason

      Really rather rude to speak of your parents that way, are122. Especially since they were nice enough to give you the money and drive you and your little buddies to the theater to see it.

      June 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77
Advertisement
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.