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The faux religion of Steve Jobs
August 17th, 2013
09:00 AM ET

The faux religion of Steve Jobs

Opinion by Brett Robinson, Special to CNN

(CNN)— Forget the forbidden fruit logo and the cult of Apple jokes. The legacy of Steve Jobs is anything but religious.

Apple was conceived in the heady days of the counterculture movement. While Jobs and friend Steve Wozniak were busy hacking into AT&T’s long-distance phone lines from a Berkeley dorm room in the 1970s, the culture was awash in New Age experimentation and social unrest. Traditional institutions were under siege by idealistic youth rejecting what they viewed as mass-marketed delusions.

At the top of the hit list was organized religion. When Jobs and Wozniak got the phone hacking device to work, their first call was to the Vatican. They proceeded to hang up on the pope’s personal secretary before he could connect the call to the Holy Father. Jobs the iconoclast relished the prank.

Apple’s Garden of Eden logo is one of several religious parodies aimed at the establishment. A 2007 iPhone ad with the tagline “Touching is Believing” mocks the Biblical story of the Apostle Thomas, who needed to touch the wounds of Christ in order to believe in the Resurrection. Apparently, the iPhone apostles needed the same reassurance leading up to the launch of what came to be called the “Jesus phone.”

Jobs left the Protestant church as a young man and sought spiritual enlightenment in the East. At a pivotal moment in his career, Jobs’ moral compass led him to a Zen monastery in northern California, where he considered becoming a Buddhist monk rather than continuing with Apple. But his close friend and Zen priest Kobun Chino Otogawa told him he could do both.

Jobs embraced the challenge by combining the physics of computing with the metaphysics of Eastern spirituality. The minimalism and intuitive design of Apple products are material expressions of Jobs’ Zen ideals. When Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid, told Jobs to remain at the intersection of technology and the humanities, Jobs knew he had landed at the nexus of a powerful cultural movement.

When a statue of Steve Jobs was erected in Budapest in 2011, it was one of many tributes to the demiurge of digital culture. But to truly immortalize a media technology hero like Jobs, a movie would need to be made.

The din of digital media has eclipsed the dignity of statues, and the screen has become a sacred means for commemorating cultural heroes. Lincoln, Gandhi and Christ have all had their day in the Hollywood sun.

It is fitting that the new movie about his life, "Jobs," edited on Apple computers and eventually distributed to millions of Apple devices, will proclaim the technological gospel fashioned by its creator.

The medium is the message after all.

But baked into Apple products is a troubling paradox. Like a technological Trojan horse, Apple products assail our senses with sumptuous visuals and rich acoustics while unleashing a bevy of addictive and narcissistic habits. The ‘i’ prefix on Apple devices is a constant reminder that personal technology is ultimately all about us.

In addition to his Zen Buddhist leanings, Jobs claimed that trying LSD was one of the most formative experiences of his life. One occasion sounds like a treatment for an iPod ad. After dropping acid, Jobs found himself in a wheat field and felt as though the crops were pulsating to a Bach symphony. It was a sublime experience for the young seeker who saw drugs as a gateway to expanding consciousness and thinking differently – a theme he would return to years later in Apple’s iconic “Think Different” campaign.

Altered perception has become a hallmark of personal technology. The “Music Every Day” ad for the iPhone 5 is a series of visual snippets of Apple users enjoying their music. The study hall, the dance hall and the city are all transformed by the presence of the musical device. Freed from the humdrum of everyday life by their personal soundtrack, many of the actors appear stoned as they enjoy the heightened pleasure of being plugged in.

The Apple religion is not a religion at all, but a celebration of the self through personalized pleasure.

Reflecting on religion later in life, Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that different religions were all just doors to the same house, “sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t.”

If Jobs had actually spoken to the pope from that Berkeley dorm room years ago, he may have heard something akin to what Pope Leo XIII said in 1885, a century before Macintosh:  “To hold…that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads…to the rejection of all religion. ... And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name.”

Steve Jobs did some amazing things, but he was not a prophet. And Apple is not a religion. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Brett T. Robinson is the author of Appletopia:Media Technology and the Religious Imagination of Steve Jobs . He is a Visiting Professor of Marketing in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. 

The views expressed in this column belong to Brett Robinson.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Buddhism • Media • Meditation • Movies • Opinion • Technology

soundoff (974 Responses)
  1. HeavenScent

    Beach days I hate lists degree in philosophy Oxford comma. My height and shoulders dubstep local sports teams my goofy smile Netflix, watching a movie I'm a good listener jazz cafes happy hour Ethiopian. Just looking to have some fun optimistic the simple things in life Indian food pickles watching a movie.

    Only looking for something casual I'm a big fan of Netflix home brewing. I'm really good at coffee snowboarding working on my body and my mind vinyl records, fixing up my house strong and confident I'm really good at my cats listening to music. Tattoos long-term dating whiskey honest and direct vinyl records Breaking Bad.

    August 21, 2013 at 6:47 am |
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    August 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • hharri

      Get lost. What an idiot

      August 21, 2013 at 2:36 am |
  3. Nan de Andrade

    I think the author misguides us when he uses a 19th-century pope to say that Jobs is wrong. This pope was probably railing against Christian thinkers who disagreed with the Pope, much less other religions. I don't want to defend Jobs, but I do want to defend openness to more than one way of understanding and relating truth and God. To be open to the truth in other religions does not have to exclude and deny the truth in one's own faith. God is big enough for many paths.

    August 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Gustaf

      The traditional Catholic view is "extra Ecclesiam nulla salus", there is definitely no room to believe that other religions can lead to salvation. You may have a different opinion but there really is no question where the church stands on this.

      August 20, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Using a pope to relay truth about a religion that doesn't exist.

      Good times.

      August 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
  4. Hickersonia

    I have to ask... why is it that Buddhism is so rarely mentioned on the CNN Belief Blog, and then it isn't usually any more than a cliff-note?

    August 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • hharri

      Jeeeeeebus was Buddha reincarnated. Great deal of evidence proves it. For example, Buddha lived be fore jeeeeeebus did!

      August 19, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • hharri

      And Horus. Don't forget Horus cause he was a myth before jèeeeeeeeebus.

      August 20, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • hharri

      In case you don't know that's an argument they use to support their belief that Jesus, the real one, the nice one, was heavily influenced by Buddha. Maybe there really is no hope for some

      August 21, 2013 at 2:39 am |
      • myweightinwords

        What point is it you're trying to make?

        Yes Horus and Buddha came before Jesus. So did many, many other gods and myths. And yes, many parts of the story of Jesus bear striking resemblance to those stories that came before him. And some of the things attributed to Jesus sound an awful lot like the things Buddha is supposed to have said.

        ....so...what was your point?

        August 21, 2013 at 9:50 am |
        • hharri

          what did they say?

          August 23, 2013 at 12:41 am |
        • hharri

          hharri

          "Yes Horus and Buddha came before Jesus. So did many, many other gods and myths. And yes, many parts of the story of Jesus bear striking resemblance to those stories that came before him. And some of the things attributed to Jesus sound an awful lot like the things Buddha is supposed to have said.
          ....so...what was your point?"

          from where did those things attributed to jesus come? what was attributed to him? that bore a striking similarity to buddha?
          to all sinners, she will never answer. no athie dare! cause if you do, you are going to realize that jesus is.
          not to worry. i promise you, now, in advance, they will not touch it.

          i love this. observertomtomkatenoreligionskydoggiedyslexicidiot wax on and on regarding how jesus was greatly influenced by buddha. asked to share the accounts which reveal their similarities, these lying atheists bolt. got to love em. got to.

          August 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
  5. jack

    the columnist states that: "Apple is the opposite of religion... that Apple is a celebration of the self through personalized pleasure." but is it not true that religion is a celebration of self? the focus on self is a primary reason why religion is so dopey... spending all one's time believing that the universe was made with them in mind... that they are special... have a purpose... a plan just for them

    August 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Hickersonia

      Certain religions are a sort of celebration of self. I'm aware of only one belief system that focuses on the principle of non-self and impermanence.

      If Apple is a religion, it is one of economics above all else I'm sure. Meh...

      August 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  6. hharri

    No proof for god. We are here. No reason. No gods required. Just atheists to tell you what to think, how to think, what questions are important, emotions are for wimps, science is god and everything you need to know we have already thought about it for you. So stop it. Pay attention. No gods. Get that. No gods. No evidence for gods or FSM. We know. We know. Al qeada knows. We love Adolf. Heil divine insight!

    knows.

    August 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Paul

      @hharri
      "No proof for god."

      So why is there something rather than nothing.

      "We are here. No reason. No gods required. Just atheists to tell you what to think, how to think...and everything you need to know we have already thought about it for you."

      So atheism is like a cult.

      August 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        @Paul,

        you appear to have misinterpreted this poe. Don't waste your time.

        (Oh and atheism isn't a cult by any definition.)

        August 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        • Paul

          It is by hharri's definition.

          August 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • hharri

      No gods. How do I know? Alqeada said so. Divine insight, observer, tom tom someone, plus thousands more who all say exactly the same thing on cue, say so.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
      • Al Queada

        Prove I never said there was no God. Post it or be called what you are: a liar.

        August 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
      • Akira

        Well, hi, faith! How's that lawsuit coming along? Still eagerly awaiting my subpoena.
        Hope you're doing well. I am!

        August 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
      • Midtown

        Members of Al Quaeda believe in Allah, who is...wait for it...God. Unsure what you're talking about; you make very little sense.

        August 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  7. Doobs

    I'm not surprised that a professor of marketing would be here shilling his book about Jobs just before the release of the movie about him. I am surprised that the premise is so ridiculous and that his writing is so poor.

    Brand loyalty isn't anything new. You can find furious debates about Ford vs. Chevy, Star Trek vs. Star Wars, any video game vs. any other video game, Army vs. Navy, Mets vs. Yankees and just about anything else online. How about the faux religion of the Dallas Cowboys or the faux religion of Harley Davidson?

    August 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • I wonder

      Large, successful companies tend to develop "cultures". IBM had one way back in the 60s, and AT&T before that; GE, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Police & Fire Depts, even the U.S. government have them. They are not religions.

      I can't really figure out what this author is trying to say, though. He contends that Apple is a religion and then says it's not one...?

      August 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • Doobs

        I wasn't referring to a company's internal culture, although successful companies do develop them. They foster cooperation and teamwork. I was referring to customer/fan bases that develop around the products they sell. But in either case, no, it's not a religion, if that's what you thought I meant.

        And I agree completely, the author fails to make his point clear. For a marketing professor, he's doing an awful job of selling anyone on his book.

        August 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Sara

      Maybe this piece is a clip from the middle of his book somewhere. That might explain some of the lack of thesis and focus.

      August 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • Akira

        This was altogether one of the worst essays I have read. He seems to be quite envious of Mr. Jobs.

        August 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  8. Stephen

    I am reminded of the Words of Yeshua: "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Jesus (Mark 8:36) Jobs gathered a great fortune in his lifetime, only to leave it all behind, and at a young age. How foolish. This life is less than a speck on the time line of eternity. I am so glad I have made my peace with God through faith in Yeshua. I know that when this life ends a far better one begins. Baruch Hashem. Shalom

    August 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • skytag

      Why was it foolish? Would it have been wiser to live in poverty until he died young?

      "I know that when this life ends a far better one begins"

      Actually you don't know this, you believe it. Unfortunately you've been brainwashed to believe the two are the same.

      August 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Doobs

      I am reminded of the words of Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

      August 19, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
      • Bob

        Very appropriate.

        August 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Gesundheit.

      August 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  9. CommonSensed

    What is the point of this article?

    Brett, you're really reaching here.

    Jobs was just a man.

    Jesus was just a man.

    Mohammed was just a man.

    Get over yourselves.

    August 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Rocket surgeon

      One big difference.
      Jebus never existed. Mohammad never existed.
      Jobs did exist.

      August 21, 2013 at 6:47 am |
  10. bostontola

    I didn't understand this article until I read the author's bio at the bottom. There is no faux religion associated with Jobs. He was a hard nosed business man that was hell bent on winning. His spiritual beliefs are not far out of the mainstream of his time and place. The author has a false premise and wants to sell his book based on it. Weak.

    August 19, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Yup, whole thing is a moronic sales pitch for his book.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Steve Jobs is not in any sense a 'religious' leader.

      Had the article been a serious look at the aftermath of 'new agism', being the rise of 'spiritual but not religious' it might have been an interesting article.

      As we see in the myriad back and forth articles on Ms. Held Evan's piece, millenials are leaving evangelical Protestant churches in droves. (Catholics too, but their numbers are being replaced by Latinos.) While some of them are ready to call themselves atheists, most of them are much more likely to self-identify with the 'spritual but not religious' label.

      They will have a belief in some kind of mysticism – God, deism, or reincarnation – but won't associate with a particular organized religion and do the 'choose your adventure' / a-la-carte version of faith. (And yes many of them own lots of Apple products.)

      August 19, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Chlorinestic

      Ah how narrow is your field of indignation. Jobs "Faux" religion is nothing new. The Roman Catholic idolatry reveals Faux religion. The Anglican/Episcopalian Liberalism is Faux religion also. Jobs would hate to hear this because he probably thought of himself as postmodernist and Liberal. The true radical and alternative is real Christianity which very very few people can find.

      August 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
      • Akira

        Yes. The "No True Scotsman" approach to Christianity.
        Is it any wonder people are confused when the definitional goalposts keep getting moved?

        Not to mention the liberal, gratuitous use of "liberal" to make a non-point. Well done.

        August 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  11. Reality

    I just received the following message on my iPhone:

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    August 19, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      In all reality your temporary biblical scholars will receive all the contempt they deserve on their judgment day.They received NOT the LOVE of the TRUTH.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Reality

      Love of the Truth? Like what, that angels and satans really exist?? Give us a break!!!!

      August 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        Standard Christian Doctrine,

        "2Cr 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."

        Socies know all about this, from wiki,

        "Transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale, and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms. ............................................." Quit playin' dumb.

        August 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • Reality

          Putting an end to Christian doctrine yet again:

          Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

          From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

          Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

          To wit;

          From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

          "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
          Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

          Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

          Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

          The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

          Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

          The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

          "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
          http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

          The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

          With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

          An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

          p.4

          "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

          p.168. by Ted Peters:

          Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

          So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

          August 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Doobs

      Three fingers point back at you? What are you, a kindergarten teacher?

      August 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
  12. myweightinwords

    Just because someone's choice of religious/spiritual expression doesn't fit into your narrow world view, doesn't mean that the person has none.

    The phenomenon the author talks about, the evolution of technology in every day life, the pleasure people get from music, from socializing with friends via their devices....it doesn't belong to Apple.

    He speaks as though music has never been a religious experience for him before. And judging the technology because the actors in a commercial look stoned? Have you ever been to a charismatic or Pentecostal worship service? Talk about looking stoned...are we to judge them based on this same criteria?

    Relax, Mr. Author and accept that Jobs was a man who made amazing things happen. He was, by all accounts, brilliant, and he furthered the world of technology immensely....and this is coming from someone who is vehemently anti-Apple.

    August 19, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And if you're going to tut-tut about personalized music, shouldn't the author be pointing his finger at Sony?
      Most people over the age of 20 were using Walkmen before Ipods...

      August 19, 2013 at 10:04 am |
      • Doobs

        My RCA transistor radio was the shit! It had an earphone, so I could surreptitiously listen to the Cubs games during school. Oh, the evils of technology!

        August 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  13. PennyK

    If Apple was the product of 60s counterculture, then so are modern evangelical churches and Christian music, which both were heavily influenced by the "Jesus Freaks" movement.

    August 19, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  14. Doc Vestibule

    Say what you will about Jobs and the Cult of Mac – he took a piece of Star Trek tech (the PADD) and made it reality.

    August 19, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Ken

      I think it goes back even further, to the old 3.5" floppy disks, which look pretty much like the ones used on the original series.

      August 19, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Very true.
        The LCARS panels from TNG are another Roddenberrian prop made popular by Apple.
        So much of technology began as Sci-Fi, even some of the most mundane things.
        In the late 60's, Charles Hall tried to patent his design for a waterbed only to have it rejected on teh grounds that Robert's Heinlein descriptions of waterbeds in several Sci-Fi novels consti/tuted "prior art".

        http://www.technovelgy.com/ maintains a list of Sci-Fi tech that has become reality!

        August 19, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Apple never invented anything.

      What they did (and did well) was fuse existing technology with a fabulous industrial design ethos.

      August 19, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  15. Zooterist

    Not a religion, huh? Is that intended as a put down? Apparently you think most or even many of Apple users are so ardently devoted to Apple products that their adherence might be compared to a religion. I don't think that's the case, though I've observed teenagers who might fall into that category. Jobs's youthful pursuit of "truth" and "meaning" is pretty common among the young. I spent years on that journey, though in my adult years I was never a theist. I'm glad Jobs didn't create a religion. Quite enough people around the world are dying as a result of clashes between religious zealots.

    August 19, 2013 at 9:11 am |
  16. MarkinFL

    Just another article railing against the modern world that no longer needs religion as an opiate. By the way the "i" in all that stuff stands for "internet".. Much like 'e' has been used for "electronic" e-mail e-commerce etc.
    Religious folk just hate people relying on their own judgement and not the self-proclaimed authorities of religion.

    August 19, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  17. Free Fram

    wow, great article. I didn't realize apple was a faux religion. I'm thinking that maybe Coca Cola is too. Logo all over the world, claim to be the best... It's all about ME self-indulgently exploiting my senses. I need to give all of this stuff up, crawl in a hole and be mad at what it did to me on a religious level.

    August 19, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • PennyK

      Couldn't the same be said about American patriotism?

      August 19, 2013 at 9:15 am |
      • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

        Patriotism is passe. Now socialistic matriotism is a whole 'nuther story. Feels gud.

        August 19, 2013 at 11:11 am |
  18. ItSoNlYmE

    Who said Steve Jobs was a prophet? Nobody I've ever heard. He *was* a brilliant mind – certainly one of the top minds in human history. He was a visionary. He was also a jack@## a lot of the time. I don't think anybody has nominated him for messiah as far as I know though.

    More CNN drivel...

    August 19, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • PennyK

      Maybe Jesus was a jack@## a lot of the time too? Turning over tables.

      Drinking with tax collectors. Having perfumed feet.

      Sounds pretty eccentric to me.

      August 19, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • Doobs

        That whole deal with the woman who was a "sinner" crying all over Jeebus' feet, kissing them, pouring perfumed oil on them and drying them with her hair always seemed like a rather porny pedicure to me.

        August 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.