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Mourn on the Fourth of July: Inside the Christian anti-patriot movement
Mark Van Steenwyk leads his Mennonite Worker Community in Minneapolis.
July 5th, 2013
05:40 PM ET

Mourn on the Fourth of July: Inside the Christian anti-patriot movement

By David R. Wheeler, special to CNN

(CNN) - Like many congregations, The Mennonite Worker Community of Minneapolis held a worship service and picnic this Fourth of July - but instead of extolling the virtues of America, they called attention to its faults.

The annual service is “a sort of anti-patriotic holiday,” says Mark Van Steenwyk, whose community focuses on simplicity, prayer and peacemaking. Singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” is out. Reflecting on the contradictions between the gospel and the American Dream are in.

“We thank you, O God, for the good things we enjoy in our lives," reads a prayer the Mennonite community recites each year, "but lament that our abundance has brought destitution to sisters and brothers throughout the Earth.”

Anti-patriots like Van Steenwyk say their movement, which has grown more vocal in recent years, is simply an honest way to read – and live out – Jesus' teachings on nonviolence. But it's hard to look at groups like The Mennonite Community and not see an implicit criticism of God-and-country cheerleading by mainstream Christians and ripples of centuries-old church-state tensions.

Some anti-patriots come from pacifist Anabaptist traditions, such as the Mennonite Church. Others come from evangelical backgrounds but have rejected their counterparts' often unreserved patriotism and embraced liberal-leaning communities like Red Letter Christians and JesusRadicals.com.

They may differ on theological details, but they hold at least one belief in common: You cannot serve both God and country.

A Suspicion of the State

Anabaptists such as Mennonites and the Amish were persecuted by state churches in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries, and their descendants bear a lasting suspicion of human authorities.

Many an Amish and Mennonite home keeps a copy of "The Martyr's Mirror," a book thick with testimonies of Anabaptists burned at the stake of orthodoxy. The book's subtitle refers to the martys as "defenseless Christians," a nod to Anabaptists' belief that when Jesus called on Christians to turn the other cheek, he was quite serious.

For that reason, Anabaptists historically do not participate in warfare — or celebrate military victories.

American Anabaptists have been fined or jailed for their pacifist beliefs during wartime. Four Hutterites died from harsh treatment while imprisoned as conscientious objectors during World War I, Bach says. Anabaptists didn’t receive official permission to perform alternative service until World War II.

READ MORE: Bolivia’s isolated Mennonite community

“Some members of Anabaptist groups today are more acculturated and celebrate patriotic holidays just like the rest of the nation,” says Jeff Bach, director of Elizabethtown College's Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. “None of the Anabaptist groups are anti-American. They are typically grateful for the religious freedom permitted in the United States.”

Still, in 2011, Goshen College, a Mennonite school in Indiana, banned the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at sporting events because, according to the college’s president, the lyrics were too violent.

Serving `the King' 

It may be difficult for some Americans to understand why their countrymen would disassociate themselves from patriotism. What’s the harm in celebrating Independence Day, anyway?

But nonpatriotic Christians believe the burden of proof should fall on the other side: Why should peace-loving believers celebrate a bloody revolution? And American history after 1776 isn’t exactly pacifistic either, Van Steenwyk says.

“It is easy to judge Islam for the actions of a relative few militants. Yet when millions of Americans — a vast majority of them claiming the Christian faith — were complicit with slavery, indigenous genocide, and continued economic exploitation, we suddenly see them as separate from our faith,” says Van Steenwyk.

Jesus called his followers to Christian service and humility, which are the opposite of nationalistic rituals performed on the Fourth of July, says David Swartz, author of “Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism.”

“A heightened devotion to the nation can cause a lot of confusion abroad when people see claims of a Christian America alongside a long American history of slavery, economic inequality and overheated Hollywood sexuality and violence,” says Swartz.

Kurt Willems, who runs the progressive Christian blog Pangea, has also joined the rising nonpatriotic chorus. The Anabaptist from Seattle writes an annual post explaining why he no longer celebrates Independence Day.

“Each year I receive comments about how I should leave this country if I ‘hate’ it so much,” he says. “I love Americans, but I’m not willing to compromise my values as a servant of my only King, the nonviolent revolutionary — Jesus.”

Making Toby Keith Proud

Many Christians trace the latest wave of evangelical interest in pacifism to author and activist Shane Claiborne, who worked with Mother Teresa in the slums of Calcutta, ministered to Iraqis during the war in Iraq and now leads a Philadelphia community called The Simple Way.

“My philosophy on patriotic things would be: A love for the people of our country is not a bad thing, but why should love stop at the border?” says Claiborne.

There have been some nonpatriotic gatherings in major cities, such as the Los Angeles Catholic Worker’s “Mourn on the Fourth of July” peace march in 2008.

Still the nonpatriot movement remains small, and finding local communities can be challenging, Van Steenwyk says.

“Everyone knows that other folks think like them, but it isn’t like there are a lot of congregations that self-identify as being nonpatriotic.”

That’s especially true for evangelicals, who lead the country in patriotic fervor.

More than 80% of white evangelicals believe that God has granted the United States a "special role" in history, according to a survey released June 27 by the Public Religion Research Institute.

In a stat that would make Toby Keith proud, more than two-thirds of white evangelicals say they are "very proud" to be an American, outstripping every other religious group polled.

So it's not surprising that some conservative Christians find the nonpatriotic alliance of progressive evangelicals and Anabaptists troubling — even dangerous.

“All Christians everywhere are called to love and serve their nations,” says Mark Tooley, a president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy and a United Methodist.

READ MORE: Celebrating the Fourth of July

“The stance of some evangelical elites influenced by neo-Anabaptist beliefs is often one of ingratitude, and whining, while ignoring the teaching of the universal Church, which has always recognized the God-ordained vocation of the state, and the Christian’s calling to serve as responsible citizens,” he says.

Tooley also disagrees with the nonpatriotic Christians on about military force, which he says is required to maintain order worldwide. Nonpatriot Christians are naïve not to consider the ill effects should the United States abdicate military power, he says

“What would the alternatives be if the USA didn’t exist or withdrew from the world stage? Almost certainly a more dangerous, more anarchic, more repressive, less prosperous world with less opportunity for the poor to escape poverty,” Tooley argues.

No Middle Ground? 

Some patriotic pastors argue for a middle way: honoring America without succumbing to chauvinism or ignoring the country's wrongs.

“Do I agree with every major policy of our government? No way,” says Kyle Vanover, pastor of Cyrus Chapel United Methodist Church in Catlettsburg, Kentucky. “But I’m proud to be an American, and I believe God has truly blessed this land.”

Van Steenwyk, however, says there is no middle ground.

Jesus’ identification with the poor, love of enemies, and refusal to take power are incompatible with the “entire political and economic system” of the United States, he says.

“Let’s face it — the Sermon on the Mount makes for lousy foreign or public policy. We can’t have it both ways.”

David R. Wheeler is a journalism professor and freelance writer living in Lexington, Kentucky. You can follow him on Twitter at: @David_R_Wheeler

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Amish • Belief • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Faith • Foreign policy • Mennonite • Military • Politics

soundoff (1,599 Responses)
  1. mrl

    I always love how cnn tries to make divisions in America... this time trying to divide Christians between those who are patriotic and those who aren't... geezzzzz.... Next it will be writing an article predicting mickey mouse is divorcing Minnie because he is secretly gay and in love with Goofy.

    July 8, 2013 at 2:14 am |
  2. Coldrush

    The IRS purposely targeting Conservatives doesn't help improve the image of state. Hey, maybe those Christians are on to something?

    July 8, 2013 at 2:06 am |
  3. Andy

    Just more of CNN's daily anti-Christian ravings. What's new?

    July 8, 2013 at 1:57 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Balance in the universe ....Christians are now receiving a much milder helping of the distain they've been dumping on everyone else by the freaking dump truck load for centuries.

      July 8, 2013 at 2:04 am |
  4. Hearditbefore

    Some people are more reflective than others. Some people just like to party. This article is just anti-Christian.

    July 8, 2013 at 1:51 am |
  5. EmilioDumphque

    The belt buckle of every Nazi soldier said "Gott Mit Uns" (God is with us)
    Patriotism is more the virtue of Christ's enemies: The Romans.

    July 8, 2013 at 1:49 am |
  6. Saytoday234

    If the USA government wants to crack down on haters who hate a religion they will first have to arrest David R. Wheeler for hatred of Christianity.

    July 8, 2013 at 1:47 am |
  7. odiasuda

    The hypocrisy of these people is unbelievable. Christianity is responsible for more atrocities than most everything else in the history of man. Not some abstract association; like "Hey, the guy who murdered 1000's of people happened to be a Christian" He did it in the name of his Christian god.

    July 8, 2013 at 1:31 am |
    • Austin

      new testament scripture to back up your ignorance?

      do a study on apostacy, but don't pervert the word of God.

      July 8, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • Michael

      And Stalin murdered millions in the name of Socialism. Depraved, evil people will find excuses for their violence. Misusing the name of God for your own evil means does not invalidate God. Did you not read the article? These people represent a 'radical' sect of Christianity that rejects the hypocricy of the Evangelicals and calls for us to live as truely as possible to the words of Jesus. And I say, more power to them.

      July 8, 2013 at 2:24 am |
    • jaina

      No Austin, we will let the evangelicals do all the perverting of the scriptures. They have that market cornered and are all pro.

      July 8, 2013 at 2:40 am |
  8. Atheistically Yours

    No matter the "flavor" it comes in-CHRIST-INSANITY is INSANE AND DEPRAVED! It needs to be eradicated from this planet for the planet to make any progress!

    July 8, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Hex Angel

      All religion does. It's poison.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • Pheh

      You got nothing. I have the word of God.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • Athy

      Well, Pheh, if that's all you've got, you don't have anything either. The word of god? That's ridiculous.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • Michael

      A belief system that stands for non-violence, worldwide peace and goodwill, and helping out your fellow man, is somehow depraved? You, sir, are the depraved one.

      July 8, 2013 at 2:22 am |
    • Ken

      @Michael

      You mean "lack of belief" system, but still a system nonetheless.

      July 8, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  9. allanhowls

    "no one with any sense would pawn all responsibility for life off on everthing else."

    Yet Christians are called to completely surrender themselves to God. It's never their fault...the devil tempts them, and God will make it all OK. No responsibility for their lives.

    July 8, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Austin

      guilt by association? so is God now guilty as well? are you trying to reject Jesus through the dying flesh of sin?

      July 8, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • Benny

      Austin
      If you can judge God as good isn't it also possible to judge him as guilty?

      July 8, 2013 at 1:21 am |
  10. Jaydog

    Its funny how the article almost makes the Christian majority to be anti-patriot which is far from the truth. I am a Christian and absolutely patriotic. If the freedoms of this country are attacked by another I would gladly fight for that freedom if not for me by for my children. Christ did teach and preach about loving our enemies and praying for our enemies but he does not teach that we should be punching bags.

    July 8, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Austin

      -ya but would you sit in the lazy boy and just vote for war? and watch fox news all amped up for bush?

      I am a Christian, and i am no patriot for what is secular. either is Jesus.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • Benny

      Jaydog
      Do you dream of the Rapture, and Jesus coming here to end our democratic rule as an autocratic monarch? Will there even be an America if he ever does what Christians hope for, sooner than later? Me, I dream of America lasting for hundreds of more years; many Christians want it to end tomorrow. Now, who's more patriotic?

      July 8, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  11. Austin

    hey obama, and bush, lets send our money to the taliban and arm the opposition rebels.

    lets re arm the dis armed taliban .

    are we dizzy? yet?

    July 8, 2013 at 12:52 am |
  12. Austin

    As a tax-paying citizen of this country, I am earning my rights,

    this is the biggest bunch of shi.t i have ever heard.

    July 8, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  13. Austin

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f14CZz5SfXQ&w=640&h=360]

    July 8, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Austin

      coming to a neighborhood near you.

      bring back the a bomb.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • Austin

      society of murderous rebels. where are the cops? nowhere. of course they arent . cause they are crooked evil people.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      People can be horrible to one another, especially when they think that a perfect being who created the universe and loves them wants them to be horrible to one another.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Austin

      yes, and the soccer ref got quartered, catch that ref?

      these are the rebels that are spoken of.

      let me ask you this, is that happening around here? anywhere? where people are being tossed off buildings and no cops are anywhere? would you see your neighborhood hobby including these activities?

      July 8, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Benny

      Austin
      Is this really any more violent that the lynchings that were carried out in the Christian Southern states of the USA? Better put that stone down, fella, because your own history isn't without sin.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Austin

      a time to live,and a time to die.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • Austin

      no you are right though about lynchings, but don't dumb these isaamic ding bats down, this is hitler.

      Its time for someone to clean up that mess.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • Observer

      The most radical Muslims are following commands almost identical to those from God in the Bible when he set up all the rules.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • Austin

      Observer
      The most radical Muslims are following commands almost identical to those from God in the Bible when he set up all the rules.

      observer, hitler, the crusaders, muslim extremeists, are diabolical mimicry and fakes.

      do you get it? no, you are more interested in rejecting God than understanding His authority, or the commands of the new testament scriptures. this is intententional ignorance. for you to clearly dictate the new testament and understand apostacy, you would have to incorporate the authority and authenticity of the Holy Spirit.

      Without the Holy spirit, you can not attest to truth.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Observer

      “Whoever does any work on a holy day: put to death”
      “anyone who blasphemes: stone him.”
      “worship other gods: stone the guilty ones to death”
      “stubborn and rebellious son: stone him to death.”
      “man is found lying with a married woman: both of them shall die”
      “virgin engaged to another man and he lies with her: stone them to death”
      “Whoever strikes his father or his mother: put to death”
      "Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother: put to death.”
      “anyone who curses his father or his mother: put to death”
      “man who commits adultery with another man's wife: they shall be put to death.”
      "man or woman who is a medium or a fortune-teller: stone them to death"

      From the Quran? Nope. From the Bible

      July 8, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Ricardo Nogueira

      This video shows how people are EVIL!

      The teaching of Jesus Christ is just the opposite, you give your life to help others instead of killing.

      You protect the innocent, you pray, you do whatever you can to help.

      I wished I never saw this video, it breaks my heart.

      Thank Jesus for the opportunity to live here in the U.S.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Austin

      thats fine with me, you understand the character of God. and you also understand that the new testament prohibits murder or throwing people offf buildings, incenerating them in Hitlers stoves, and you know that perverted evil comes dressed as a sheep.

      you have been given every warning for the evil that is coming upon the world, including antichrist false doctrine.

      this is no an easy road for anyone. stop perverting the association of the new testament with God's authority in the old testament.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • Observer

      Austin,

      "stop perverting the association of the new testament with God's authority in the old testament."

      Read a Bible someday . The God talked about in the New Testament is the same mass-killing "unchanging" God talked about in the Old Testament. Sorry if this is news to you.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • Observer

      Austin,

      – Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change.”

      Unreliable source?

      July 8, 2013 at 1:28 am |
  14. Port Tack Author

    I am a stanch agnostic but thoroughly agree with this article.

    July 8, 2013 at 12:04 am |
  15. PRISM 1234

    Every form of human government since begining of time, no matter how noble and benevelant in its beginning, ended up in decay and corruption. This is the story of humankind. We also see it very clearly in this country, that is, those who WANT to see, and refuse to lullaby themselves.
    To speak the truth about decaying conditions and corruption in it is not unpatriotic.
    I think those who lie to themselves and paint the rosy picture of it, while corruption and injustice goes rampant... they are the ones who lack the love for their country and their countrymen.
    . The Forefathers of this country would turn in their graves if they'd see the present condition of it. They could have never dreamed that the day would come when the Faith they would have died for is labeled as evil, and those who speak the truth according to the Gospel of Christ as evildoers and anti-patriots.
    I Agree with those who take a more somber part in celebration of July 4th or any national holiday. Instead of lighthearted, frivolous celebrations, we ought to hav times of prayer and soul searching.

    July 8, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Observer

      PRISM 1234,

      Yes, some of our forefathers would be shocked to see how the Bible has lost influence. They would be disappointed to see that the slavery they engaged in with the support of the Bible is no longer allowed. They would be shocked that women could vote since the Bible clearly discriminates against them.

      Yep. We really need the old days when the Bible was not overruled by equal rights.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Ah, you poor soul! All you ever keep harping on is "rights, rights, rights". Do you ever even think that you don't deserve any? You came into this world with nothing, you'll leave the same. Your life has been given to you, you didn't earn it. Yes, humans are much more than animals, so therefore we have much greater responsibility and ACOUNTABILITY. You seem to be very hos.tile toward the Bible and God of the Bible, but it is by the words written in it and by God who breathed them into existance that you will be measured. I would not want to be in your shoes.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Observer

      PRISM 1234,

      Do you support slavery like the Bible does?
      Do you support discrimination against women like the Bible does?
      Do you support discrimination against the handicapped like the Bible does?
      Do you support forcing marriage on people who might hate each other like the Bible does?

      or are you a hypocrite who just picks-and-chooses from the Bible?

      July 8, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      PRISM1234, you seem dissatisfied with the direction the US is headed in as a nation. For good or ill, the citizens of the US are responsible for its progress and state. Wringing your hands and calling on the people to turn to God (imaginary) is a waste of time better used to carry out what is your responsibility as much as anyone's – to do your part to make your country a better place and a better asset and resource for the rest of the world. A start would be to hold your elected officials accountable for how they promote education, fight disease poverty and oppression, and work towards a sustainable future for the world, or how they fail to do so. God will not deliver any country from its fate or make it what it ought to be. That is entirely up to the people.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      PRISM

      You have to be a troll...

      You say on one hand this:

      " Do you ever even think that you don't deserve any? You came into this world with nothing, you'll leave the same. Your life has been given to you, you didn't earn it."

      and then immediately follow with this:

      " Yes, humans are much more than animals, so therefore we have much greater responsibility and ACOUNTABILITY"

      The first part makes us out to be drones and slaves.....the second part doesn't square with the first part.
      The greatest con ever was to convince people they were born owing the bloody church everything..even their lives.....

      July 8, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Master

      PRISM 1234
      " All you ever keep harping on is "rights, rights, rights". Do you ever even think that you don't deserve any?"

      Ah, it's so good that you feel this way. I'll be sending some guys around to collect you and bring you here to by my slave. I didn't think I'd ever come up with a way to get all of this work done. Thanks.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:30 am |
    • tallulah13

      Prism, our rights are guaranteed to us by the Constitution and it's Amendments. Your scorn for the very foundation of this nation is noted. As a tax-paying citizen of this country, I am earning my rights, just as my parents did, and generation of my family before them.

      I owe my life to my parents, my education and job to my own efforts and my freedom to my country. I don't owe your imaginary god a damned thing.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Austin

      talullah,

      that was nonsense. you don't owe anyone anything accept to Gods will. you just gave everything over to everyone.

      no one with any sense would pawn all responsibility for life off on everthing else.

      All who are called are predestined.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Observer

      Austin

      "All who are called are predestined."

      Just another Christian disagreeing with the "free will" idea.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • Austin

      wel thats interesting and you are smart. this is good.

      now you just have to understand that God gives you what is good, and the evil witihin you is strong and agressive, and you have help, but you have the evil to reject what is right as well.

      You cant do it without the mediator, and if you cant love and adore the holy spirit, then evil has a choke hold through your mind on your life, and your treasure, eternal life.

      you are held captive.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      What God would that be Austin? Allah?, Yahweh?, God the Father? God the Son?, God the Holy Spirit, the Mormons version of God, – You people cant even keep your own story straight...a million variations each claim that they alone are the true chosen. Don't like the dogma? have a new take? start you own!.

      Mind blowingly stupid

      July 8, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Benny

      PRISM 1234
      Yes, even the governments of Saul, David, Solomon and many of the other anointed kings of YHWH. Corruption even when they supposedly knew for certain that God existed and what he wanted via prophets. Every government since then that has had a heavy influence from Christian authorities eventually became particularly corrupt. The Czars, the kings of France and Britain, none of them made it an aim to elevate the common people, and the Church actually helped keep them down, content with their miserable lot. It was only with America, and the promise of keeping religion OUT of governing the affairs of citizens that this corruption seemed to go away, and ordinary people could rise. If you ask me, it seems that the last thing we need is to start putting religion back into governing our affairs. It has never worked!

      July 8, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      What God would that be Austin? Allah?, Yahweh?, God the Father? God the Son?, God the Holy Spirit, the Mormons version of God, – You people cant even keep your own story straight...a million variations each claim that they alone are the true chosen. Don't like the dogma? have a new take? start you own!.

      Mind blowingly stupid.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      unintended second post

      July 8, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Austin

      you can not attest to truth without the testimony of the holy spirit. you could convey faith, and tell people you have it. then there are sp1itual gifts which are revelations of God. Supernatural gifts.

      and i have experience the gift of prophecy, where the word of God, was revealed to me in dreams before i read it, the night before. i was writing them down, i have evidence, and this is proof of God. this is not the faith that carries and seals me. God is faithful, all faithfulness comes because of the Holy Spirit.

      The Holy Spirit is a sanctifying spirit that bears the truth of God's word on a person's heart. I have experienced this supernatural spirit. I can attest to truth, because of this experience. is this because of personal merit, no, it was a gift. i didn't deserve it or earn it.

      I have to be honest with you.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Observer

      Austin

      "you can not attest to truth without the testimony of the holy spirit"

      Nonsense. Many brilliant truths have been discoverered by atheists and agnostics. Get serious.

      How are your dreams doing picking lottery numbers?.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • tallulah13

      Austin, you can't even prove your god exists. I'm sorry. I don't swear fealty to imaginary friends.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:27 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Just like Joseph Smith eh?

      Austin – I have MS... I literally see shapes in my peripheral vision. This is caused by lesions in my brain. I see them as clearly as a real object. I also experience that sleep paralysis crap.I hear terrible and very loud stuff during this.. also a malfunction of my brain.

      Id bet my last dollar all the visions and prophecies that aren't outright fabrications (or chemically induced) are just like my situation.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:30 am |
  16. Billl

    All religions are bad because they are stupid. Even Christians would think it stupid to worship any of the 18,681 "God"'s that preceded theirs (he[[, they even re-used the fables/parables/stories of those other mythos) . It is even considered "normal" in our society to regard prior deities/belief systems as mythology and folklore, yet to hold some holy reverence (pun?) for these ridiculous Abrahamic religions. Stupid arrogance of human descended from common Great Ape ancestor create religion about themselves where they get to be eternal. cute. but pathetic and trite.

    July 7, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Emma

      Harsh, but...agreed 🙂 I would love to see a world of people excited about being Human, and resolved to bettering Earth...rather than all that silly theism, such a waste of time and life. Oh well, at least they get together and do charitable things. Atheists to not have enough of a coalition yet.

      July 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Benny

      Yup, it's like laughing at somebody's lucky rabbit foot while reading your horoscope.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:01 am |
  17. Jen

    CNN's daily, futile, and this time not-so-subtle attack on Christianity. Keep trying, CNN! 🙂

    July 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • kent

      are your feelings hurt jen? i bet cnn is in the back offices trying to figure out how to attack christianity all day long huh? let me give it a try. christianity is wrong, because it's a myth. man made. for the gullible. keep trying jen.

      July 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Kunt

      lol Kent!

      July 8, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • Benny

      Jen
      Who needs to actually attack Christianity when Christians themselves do such a fine job of making it clear just how ridiculous it actually is? That's what this story is, and probably every other CNN story here that you object to as well.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:05 am |
  18. Whyohwhy

    CNN: How dare you point the anti patriot finger at anybody when your top story for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th was EGYPTIAN INDEPENDENCE and not American independence day. Christians are patriots. You are not. CNN is anti-American and anti patriot. I am sure they will delete this message because they can't handle the truth.

    July 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Observer

      lol.

      July 7, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • JC

      Christ said 'My Kingdom is No Part of This World', which means Christians shouldn't be either. Do you worship the state, or are you part of God's kingdom – simple question. Now shut up.

      July 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Utshay Upshay

      JC
      "Christ said 'My Kingdom is No Part of This World', which means Christians shouldn't be either. Do you worship the state, or are you part of God's kingdom – simple question. Now shut up."

      Do you utilize public roads & transportation, receive fire and police and disaster rescue services, have protection from enemy bombs - simple question. Now shut up and go back to your bloody cave.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • dzerres

      With your knee jerk reaction defending ueber-patriotism with ueber-patriotism you totally missed the whole point of the article. Please re-read this article with a goal of understanding the material and then we'll let you take the test again for extra credit.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • dude

      Time once again for the CNN blog madlibs.

      1. Name a news story on CNN
      2. Name a news story, does not need to be on CNN

      Why is CNN covering (STORY 1) when (STORY 2) is not getting enough coverage. Failure to totally agree with my priorities makes CNN bad journalism.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • Benny

      JC
      Tell that to all the Christians who think that religion should have even MORE influence in government. They obviously don't buy this whole "Heavenly Kingdom" bit. Take it up with them.

      July 8, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • Mark Twain

      Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

      July 8, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  19. cjacja

    The most reasonable approach is the middle ground. If you live in the US it is OK to realize the US has done some really bad things and continues to do so. But also has sme posivitive things going on too. It should be your responsibility to stay and try to correct the problems

    Saying "leave if yu don't like it" is pointless because then you leave and find the same thing, needing to leave again. Best to stay and fix it.

    The problem is we disagree on goals. Some see personal wealth as the goal, others want a better society for all. So this sets up a conflict.

    July 7, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
  20. Vic

    I don't know who keeps bouncing my comments! All day today while all are clean and legit!

    July 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Jack

      Maybe it's html overload.

      July 7, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Austin

      my posts deleted as well. no this is an individual handling this operation.

      July 7, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Russ

      Mine as well, apparently we don't show the kind of arguement the screenier wishes to see/field.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • tallulah13

      I've had several posts deleted as well. I suspect there is no need for paranoia. Probably just a system glitch.

      July 8, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Dippy

      Well, shit, Russ. If you could spell judgment and screener right you might not have a problem!

      July 8, 2013 at 2:12 am |
    • Russ

      Dippy you are right about "screener", but you are long on the judgement. No one in this string of comments mention the word "judgement". What are you smokin'?

      July 8, 2013 at 4:55 am |
    • Cuello Rojo

      Day took er jerbs !!!

      July 8, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Saraswati

      I don't think my memory is sharp enough to track my posts with the attention needed to notice any deletes...

      July 8, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • Dippy

      Sorry, Russ. Meant to say "argument", not "judgment". I really do have a good memory, but sometimes it's a little bit short.

      July 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
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About this blog

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