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August 24th, 2013
08:40 AM ET

Should Christianity be so boring?

Opinion by Jon Acuff, Special to CNN

(CNN) - No one has ever accused us Christians of being fun.

No one has ever said we are a laugh-filled group.

No atheist has ever said, “I might not love Jesus, but his followers sure know how to party!”

And yet, in my favorite story in the Bible we actually see Jesus paint the opposite picture.

If you’re a Christian, you’ve heard the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke referenced in approximately 42 million sermons. If you’ve missed it though, allow me to summarize.

A young son said to his dad, who represents God, “I want my inheritance.” This was the cultural equivalent of saying, “I wish you were dead!” The father gives him the money. The son immediately runs off to the Jersey shore and fist pumps the night away with 4 Loko and Skrillex. [Not a direct translation.]

After squandering all the money and awakening in a pig pen, the son devises a plan. He will come home, apologize and throw himself at the mercy of the father. His greatest hope is that the father will let him be a servant. He can’t even imagine getting to keep the title “son.”

He comes home expecting punishment, but instead something weird happens.

The father sees him from a distance and sprints toward him. He runs toward him and embraces him. Before the son can even get his whole apology out, the father has already started planning the last thing he expected.

A party.

Instead of punishment he gets a party.

The idea that God fixes problems with parties is crazy.

Who does that?

Life doesn’t work that way. Imagine that you messed up at work. Your boss called you in and said, “Johnson you lost our biggest account! You just cost this company more than 3 million dollars. You know what that makes me want to do? Throw you a party!”

Or think about this in the context of a marriage. Have you ever had an argument with your spouse? Not a fake argument but one that lands you on the couch overnight.

You come into the kitchen and your wife is doing that “mad dishwashing” move we all do when we’re upset. Just power scrubbing pots and pans with a vengeance, mumbling the entire time.

You approach her slowly and say, “Heyyyy baby, how do you feel this morning?” Without looking at you, she takes a deep breath and says, “You really hurt my feelings. Last night, you really surprised me by what you did. My mom was right about you. I’m so angry and disappointed. This whole thing makes me want to get an inflatable bounce house and throw a huge celebration in your honor!”

That would be ludicrous.

Our worst mistakes don’t end in parties, but in this story in the Bible, it did.

When given the opportunity to talk to a group of people, the picture Jesus drew of his Father was of a party giver; someone who met sinners with welcome home banners.

What if Christians were like that?

What if churches became the place where failures found new beginnings?

What if we were known for our parties, not for our Pharisees?

It all feels a little crazy, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

Christians should offer hope in exchange for hurt, new in exchange for old, parties in exchange for pain.

Are we there yet?

Nope, we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve still got a lot of things to work through, a lot of progress we have to make.

But when you think about the prodigal son story, I hope you will remember something.

Two people moved.

One walked.

One ran.

And we prodigals are the walkers.

We still have a running God.

And he is ready to throw a party.

Jon Acuff is a keynote speaker and the author of four books including The New York Times best-seller, START. Acuff is also the author of the popular blog, Stuff Christians Like.net.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jon Acuff

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Opinion

soundoff (4,711 Responses)
  1. Lionly Lamb

    God can no more be God if the people dare reject God... The wisdoms throughout the ages did seek out God and then turned away from God whenever the good times became plentiful and then even children themselves are turned against Godly moralism and Godly civilities...

    In our life there will ever be death and no matter does death beckon all to its gates... Those who die believing not in God will never be received by God and those who believe they die and are received into nothingness will be of nothingness while those who ever remain repentant and believe in God will die and be ever received into God's gracious abodes...

    If anyone does not want to be received by God then does such a person know God or..? Consider one then lost and apart from God if one knows of God and remains steadfastly unrepentant and unwilling to acknowledge God by not receiving God as being the creator of all things materially manifested and under all God's principalities within every conceivable manners from the atomized cosmos to the celestial cosmos and beyond......

    Atheists were given many a chance and still are given chances to accept God but alas they continue on rejecting anyone who stands up for Godly moralism and Godly civilities as many nations are now being found out to be godless countries seeking their rulers' vanities and vain reasoning of rather putrid diplomacies... How much longer will this world's people be led down the roadways of godless moralism and godless civilities without the ends meanings coming to bear almightily upon us all?

    That is why the godless nations are now seeing their children rising up against fatherly and motherly advisements forsaking all who speak of Godly moralism and Godly civilities while never even thinking twice abound their abandoning such Godly principalities...

    It boils down to judgmentally reasoning out that there is but a spiritually singular God who stands apart from our ever changing luminous perceptions of what godliness is and stands for... One God standing apart and out from our godly relativisms which portends there to be other gods but alas these other gods are just God's sons who have godlike powers yet they are not the very first God whose spirit is unmatched as being the vastness of spatially infinite nothingness...

    All of God's sons are made out to be materially physical gods living their life upon the atomic realms of all cellular cosmologies and they are bound incapable of overcoming the spatial nothingness which is of the celestially spiritual voids of spatial nothingness that lingers its ways inwardly into all materially manifested cellular bodies deep down into their atomized kingdom domains which are the sons of God's temple abodes residencies...

    Each one of our physically celestial bodies contains inside a singular treed family of but one of God's many sons and their wives along with their birthed generations of children and their children and so on down thru their ages...

    Only when our physically celestial bodies can no longer sustain functionality and are facing their deadening, it will then be of God's spirit (being spatial nothingness), to allow His godly righteous sons' families a passageway of sorts from their dying and decaying cellular kingdom domain residency to seek out a faraway land within the vastness of the atomized cosmos' never ending abyss...

    If one knows anything regarding the atomized and celestial domains then it stands to reason that both of these domains did establish the strategically placed evolutions of all cellular life essences from the very first molecularly atomized living augmentation and onward towards the most complex celled life formations called mankind...

    "One should not fear God but rather fear their children's upbringing in a land where righteous moralism is being subverted by those mostly being and becoming shameless immoralists with no reasoning toward being civilly austere and ever conscious of Godly moralism."-Lionly Lamb

    August 28, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Ken

      The sun was once considered a god, but isn't considered such anymore because people stopped worshipping it as a god. So, even if God were real, he would stop being a "god" if nobody bothered to worship him anymore, right? Along the same lines, he would not have been a god until he had someone to worship him and, since God supposedly created us just for that purpose, doesn't that speak of the kind of ego such a being would have had to have? Either that, or God needed us to make his existence meaningful. I guess it must have been lonely being all alone, without even a universe to have as company.

      August 28, 2013 at 10:43 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Ever read Neil Gaiman's "American Gods"?
        The old gods still exist, though they lose their power as fewer people believe in them.

        August 28, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sire Kenny my lad...

        What you fail to rationalize is humanities falling away from Godly moralism and Godly civilities that have long been the building blocks of any and all nations striving for liberty's values within each and ever mannerism of righteous moralism and Godly civilities... Just how long a nation stands has always been dependent upon its social graces mingling with Godly Moralism and even Godly civilities... Histories have proven that when a nation falls they fall because of immoral principalities subversive ways that shamelessly deny Godliness ideals of righteous moralities and austere civilities rightfulness ways... Humane civilizations that have not Godliness ideals within their socialisms are not worthy their saltiness...

        August 28, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Ja.pan has a long and rich history. Their civilization still stands despite never recognizing the Judeo-Christian God.
          In fact, missionaries were banned from the Island for hundreds of years!

          August 28, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Judeo Christendom has a long history which is undeniably historically enamored within the very fabrics of many nations and their nationalisms...

          August 28, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • Ken

          Lionly
          And the ancient Romans blamed the decline of the Empire on people abandoning their traditional gods for foreign cults, like Christianity. Rome was great under the old gods and became a mere shadow of its former glory under Christianity. That's cause and effect in action, correct?

          August 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Ken...

          The Roman Empire emerged from the Roman Republic when Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar transformed it from a republic into a monarchy. Rome reached its zenith in the 2nd century, then fortunes slowly declined (with many revivals and restorations along the way). The reasons for the decline of the Empire are still debated today, and are likely multiple.

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

          August 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Reality

      And now again returning to the 21st century for the new members of this blog:

      P, M, M, L and J made Jesus into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction. Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et. al.'s "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentine white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      August 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
      • hharri

        lol

        August 29, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  2. Vic

    It just occurred to me to point this out:

    If anyone is still wondering about the message of this article, the clue lies in that the "Question Title" is rhetorical, I believe!

    August 28, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      but then you believe in invisible sky fairies

      August 28, 2013 at 10:44 am |
      • Vic

        Yep. I "believe in God," that's "Faith." I don't believe in religion (boring and ugly, which is obsolete) as way of Salvation! I believe that we are saved by the "Grace" of God through "Faith Alone" in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior.

        August 28, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Ernest T Bass

          "saved" from what?.... there is nothing to be saved from...only your imagination.

          August 28, 2013 at 11:51 am |
        • Ken

          Vic
          What you're describing is still a religious belief and, if you really think about how you came to be "saved", didn't that follow a predicted path that is as much a religious practice as Catholic Confirmation? Catholics get confirmed and protestants get "saved". What's the difference when it comes to expectations parents place on their children, or clerics place on adult converts, for example?

          August 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  3. AE

    "Humility is the only soil in which the graces root; the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure. Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others; it is the root of all, because it alone takes the right atti.tude before God, and allows Him as God to do all."

    I've experienced this as a fact in my life. Seek humility. Insisting that you are humble, is not humility from my point of view. I have yet to see any of the resident internet atheists define what humility is and how to seek it. They just insist Christianity is the opposite of humility or insist their lives are a great example of humility. I encourage those people that keep begging me for proof of God to seek humility. Pride and arrogance will get in they way of seeing and knowing God in your life.

    I know I am not humble. But the more I seek and the more I practice exercises that encourage humility the more I see the evidence and truth of God's existence.

    God is real. I can not deny this fact.

    August 28, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Ken

      AE
      How humble can one be if they view the universe as being made special just for them to inhabit, and that the supposed creator of that universe loves them so much that they will never let them simply die at the end of their lives?

      August 28, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • AE

        I don't know. That is not what I believe.

        August 28, 2013 at 9:59 am |
        • Ken

          You do not believe that God created the universe and the Garden just for man to live in, or that he loves people so much that he will keep their "spirits" alive forever?

          What do you believe then?

          August 28, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • AE

          I believe God is like the father described in this parable; giving extrava.gantly of His love.

          August 28, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • Ken

          AE
          The father described in this parable did not hunt down his wayward son and torture him for disobedience, however. He was fine with just letting him go. Why do you imagine God isn't fine with just letting nonbelievers go?

          August 28, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • AE

          Ken

          Jesus tells this story to a group of pious religious leaders who are offended at the idea that God's grace is available to people like prost.itutes and tax collectors.

          I'm not sure what you mean by your question: The father gave the son freedom to make his own choice. He wasn't fine with it, but he allowed it.

          August 28, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • Ken

          AE
          Yes, the father did give his son freedom, but had the son made a good life away from his father would the father have hunted him down and made him suffer for becoming independent? If God were like this father yes he would welcome back the repentant, but he would also allow his independent children live apart from him, wouldn't he? Don't get me wrong. The Christian concept of God's justice in the afterlife still wouldn't make any sense even if you did remove the condemning of nonbelievers to Hell, but at least it wouldn't be so insulting and horrible. What good father doesn't want to see their children become independent of them, and what kind of father wants to dictate what his children can do forever?

          August 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
        • AE

          Ken

          The son took his inheritance (a gift from his father – it really wasn't something he earned or worked for) and wasted it. The son didn't make a good life for himself. He admitted what he did wrong. He choose to return to his father even though he didn't feel worthy. The father not only thought he was worthy to return; he rejoiced.

          To met is not a story about a father dictating how a child should live. It is a story of how a father loves both of his sons extrava.gantly.

          That is the beauty of a parable: there really is no moral and not right way to look at it. But one can find all kinds of truths.

          August 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Noah's Press Agent

      Well, we can start with what humility is not...your "I know I am not humble" is a good example of false humility.

      BTW, what is an "internet atheist"? Do they not believe in the god of the internet? Or they don't believe the internet is god?

      August 28, 2013 at 9:53 am |
      • AE

        Thanks for input on humility. There is some truth to that.

        An internet atheist is an atheist that does not act like any atheist I have ever met in real life. That is the best term I can come up with to describe what I have encountered on this board.

        August 28, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • Noah's Press Agent

          Thanks, AE, for that clarification...and false humility is a rabid quality among my former brothers and sisters "in the Lord."

          August 28, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • ME II

      @AE,
      "I have yet to see any of the resident internet atheists define what humility is and how to seek it. "

      I'm not sure why you would expect to see this because atheism does not have a doctrine to be taught, it is simply a single negative position.

      Although, from a practical point of view, I would think that some humility is beneficial, but too much is also possible. No one should consider themselves as "unworthy" or "deserving death" simply by nature of being born. That would be unhealthy.

      August 28, 2013 at 10:05 am |
      • AE

        Right. I don't feel I am "unworthy" or "deserving death".

        Thinking less of myself does not demonstrate humility. But thinking of myself less, does.

        August 28, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • ME II

          But I thought that we are all sinners in the eyes of God and do not deserve eternal life. Is that not the case?

          August 28, 2013 at 10:51 am |
        • AE

          You want to change the subject and talk about eternal life?

          August 28, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • ME II

          Didn't realize I was changing the subject.
          So, as sinners, are you or anyone "worthy" and "deserving of life", eternal or otherwise?

          August 28, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • ME II

          " So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” (Luke 17:10)

          August 28, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • AE

          MEII

          I think both you and I are deserving of life. Yes.

          You are quoting a parable. I would suggest looking at the whole thing, the context and who Jesus is addressing.

          August 28, 2013 at 11:38 am |
        • ME II

          @AE,
          "I think both you and I are deserving of life. Yes."

          Ok, so we don't owe God anything for such a "gift"?

          "You are quoting a parable. I would suggest looking at the whole thing, the context and who Jesus is addressing."

          Obviously, it's a parable! Jesus is addressing His apostles and is seemingly saying that they, as servants, are inherently unworthy, even if they "do everything they are told".

          Are you telling me that this is not a common Christian view, that we as people are unworthy of salvation by ourselves, but need the grace of God for that?

          August 28, 2013 at 11:53 am |
        • AE

          ME II

          Correct. I've never heard anyone teach that point of view in the manner you describe, except for far right fundamentalist Christians and internet atheists.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
        • ME II

          Then perhaps I am grossly mistaken.

          Are you saying that we don't need God for salvation? That we are worthy by ourselves, without the need for God's grace?

          August 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
        • AE

          I'd put it more like this: I believe in God, I believe that God made everyone and loves the world. I believe that people need saving and I believe that Jesus can save.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
        • ME II

          @AE,
          "I believe that people need saving and I believe that Jesus can save."

          Why do people "need saving", if they are already worthy and deserving?

          August 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • ME II

          Could it be that:

          "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
          "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a).

          August 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • ME II

          Or, (on this anniversary of the March on Washington):

          “So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!”
          ― Martin Luther (as quoted on http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/29874.Martin_Luther)

          August 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • ME II

          "The Bible says that because of our sin we deserve death; however, God offers us the FREE GIFT OF SALVATION through JESUS CHRIST!
          'For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.' (Romans 6:23)"

          ( http://www.sherwoodbaptist.net/templates/cussherwoodbc/details.asp?id=33770&PID=326949 )

          August 28, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • ME II

          A “Good News Club” children’s activity:
          •Prepare two envelopes. In one place a slip of paper with the word DEATH.

          •Have a child stand with you in front of class, and tell him or her “I’ve got something for you, (child’s name). You’ve earned this. Just like you can earn what’s in this envelope. Do you know what you’ve done? (Let child respond.). You’ve done something we’ve all done—you’ve sinned.”

          •Tell the child, “Let’s see what you’ve earned by sinning. (Have child open envelope and read slip of paper with the word DEATH on it.)… You have earned death—separation from God forever in a terrible place of punishment….”Life of Christ, Book 1, p28

          – See more at: http://www.goodnewsclubs.info/youdeservedeath.htm#sthash.b4oinV3h.dpuf

          August 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
        • AE

          MEII

          Honestly, I am guilty of many crimes committed against my fellow man. But God has had mercy on me.

          And I found God who welcomes me like the prodigal father welcomes his son in the parable mentioned in the article.

          And just like Martin Luther King, JR, who admits he is no saint, I too have heard that voice from Jesus Christ telling me to not give up.

          It was enough to turn this atheist/agnostic into a follower of Jesus Christ.

          Thanks for sharing those Bible verses. Apparently I needed to read them.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • ME II

          As I said, some humility is beneficial, but believing oneself "unworthy" and "deserving death" is not healthy.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
        • AE

          That is what you said. Yes.

          August 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
        • AE

          I am not a member of the “Good News Club”. Sorry, I hope you don't join that club.

          August 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • ME II

      @AE,
      "I have yet to see any of the resident internet atheists define what humility is and how to seek it. "

      I'm not sure why you would expect to see this because atheism does not have a doctrine to be taught, it is simply a single negative position.

      Although, from a practical point of view, I would think that some humility is beneficial, but too much is also possible. No one should consider themselves as "unworthy" or "deserving death" simply by nature of being born. That would be unhealthy.

      August 28, 2013 at 10:06 am |
      • ME II

        Sorry for the dupe post

        August 28, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Ken

      AE
      I will admit that there are some characters claiming to be atheists who are far more crude than any I have ever met in real life, but there are plenty of regulars here who are exactly like the fellow atheists I know, asking intelligent questions about why people believe in the things they do.

      There are also examples of sincere Christians here, alongside with the trolls, but there are also characters here that behave just as belligerently as actual Christians I know in real life, so it becomes a real task to separate the trolls from the actual believers. All in all, I'd say that the average reader of this blog would have an easier time seeing elements of reality in the various characters claiming to be Christians here, even the very troll-like, than all of the characters trying to come off as "atheists".

      August 28, 2013 at 10:35 am |
      • AE

        Yes, I agree.

        August 28, 2013 at 10:50 am |
        • Ken

          Yes, It only proves Poe's Law, doesn't it? There is no level low enough, or disgusting enough for a troll pretending to be a Christian to sink to that everyone would agree that such a Christian could not exist like that in real life. I have actually met some self-described Christians whose att itudes and opinions were so very, very vile, or so very, very stupid that I can't honestly judge any similar character here as a troll. Even Lionly here could be a real Christian, as far as I can tell. I've met some who were even less lucid, if you can imagine that?

          August 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      If it were a fact, you'd have evidence. There is no evidence for a god.

      August 28, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'm an internet atheist and I'm humble.
      I'm the most humble person I know. On a humility scale of 1-10, I'm an 11.
      If they gave out awards for humility, I'd have 3 of them!

      August 28, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  4. What do bored people do?

    TROLL!

    August 28, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Santorini

      Trolls are boring!

      August 28, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      They see me trollin'
      They hatin'

      August 28, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  5. Pentheus

    After more than 30 years of atheism, Anne Rice decided to research the historicity of Jesus for herself. This is what she found:

    “What gradually came clear to me was that many of the skeptical arguments—arguments that insisted most of the Gospels were suspect, for instance, or written too late to be eyewitness accounts—lacked coherence. They were not elegant. Arguments about Jesus himself were full of conjecture. Some books were no more than assumptions piled on assumptions…. Conclusions were reached on the basis of little or no data at all…. The whole case for the nondivine Jesus who stumbled into Jerusalem and somehow got crucified…that whole picture which had floated around the liberal circles I frequented as an atheist for thirty years—that case was not made. Not only was it not made, I discovered in this field some of the worst and most biased scholarship I’d ever read.”

    Why is Jesus so controversial? He is the most ridiculed (and despised) person in history. Yet he is also the most humble (and adored). Why is that?

    http://goo.gl/U8SK0

    August 28, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • Noah's Press Agent

      ...hmmm...Ann Rice's credentials as a textual scholar...(oh, wait, she has none)...

      ...hmmm...Jesus is despised because of Christians...Jesus is adored because of how wonderously Christians have failed to be Jesus-like with over 2000 years of practice...the contrast between them makes Jesus look, well, like a saint.

      August 28, 2013 at 7:57 am |
      • Noah's Press Agent

        BTW...Ms. Rice's opinion is as signifigant or insignifigant as yours regarding any point of theology, cosmology, ontology, or oncology, for that matter

        August 28, 2013 at 8:00 am |
        • Noah's Press Agent

          ...awww...such love and compas.sion from Mr. hharri...based on the tenants of your "God is Love" philosophy, I am lost...quite pleasantly, one might add...

          August 28, 2013 at 8:10 am |
      • Maani

        NPA:

        "hmmm...Ann Rice's credentials as a textual scholar...(oh, wait, she has none)..."

        Neither do Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Victor Stenger, Bill Maher, or the late Christopher Hitchens.

        Glad we got THAT out of the way! LOL.

        August 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I despise Jesus like I despise Zoroaster, John the Baptist, Joseph Smith, Veda Vyasa, Muhammed and Buddha, i.e. about s much as one can hate obscure prophets of ancient mythology.

      Also, if every Christian in the world bases their beliefs on the beliefs of Anne Rice, why all the gay hatred?

      August 28, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Ken

      It gave her another subject to write about after she had milked the vampire thing to death. That's another way to look at it.

      August 28, 2013 at 8:13 am |
      • Noah's Press Agent

        Well said...were she a thinking "atheist" she would have realized her failure at an objective statement...but, it is apparent that faith/belief tends to evacuate the mind of even com.mon sense

        August 28, 2013 at 8:18 am |
        • Noah's Press Agent

          I should see if she needs a new agent....

          August 28, 2013 at 8:23 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Good point Ken,

        Christians love to buy stuff from "converted" atheists, she just opened up a huge new market for herself.

        August 28, 2013 at 9:30 am |
      • Ken

        I've read her "Christ" books, and I honestly can't see how anyone could see them as anything more than the story of a man who was thought by some to be godlike. If I had read them back when I was a believer it would have nudged me towards skepticism, not away from it.

        August 28, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • sciencelady

      Anne Rice is a fiction writer. Maybe she start a new sect of religion, like L Ron Hubbard.
      Her stuff was great reading for a high school/college student female. And then she started believing her own stuff...ghosts, demons and angels.

      August 28, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      After 30 years of being a CHristian and looking into their arguments and lack basis for an Iron age flawed "god" that is claimed to be "perfect" I came to the exact opposite conclusions.

      August 28, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Ken

      Pentheus
      I think Jesus is running a close race with Muhammad for the ti tle of "Most ridiculed and adored person in history."

      August 28, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • ME II

      @Penthus,
      Perhaps it is just the quote, but it seems to me that Ms. Rice is looking from the wrong direction.
      What evidence is there of Jesus' divinity?

      August 28, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  6. saggyroy

    Does Christianity have to be so boring? Heck No ! Let's find us some heretics to torture and kill. Let's burn some witches!

    August 28, 2013 at 6:24 am |
    • Noah's Press Agent

      This is why Christianity really isn't boring:

      Who Has Abortions?

      by Sanct.ity of Human Life Dept

      One in Six

      The Alan Guttmacher Inst.itute is a nonprofit corporation for reproductive health research and policy analysis. The Inst.itute is also a public education arm of Planned Parenthood.

      It reports that one in six women who have had abortions are evangelical Christians. Based on these statistics, 5.6 million women in our churches have chosen abortion as a way out of an unwanted pregnancy. Each year, 1.5 million American women have an abortion. This means 250,000 evangelical Christian women could choose to abort a child this year.

      Interesting that this website has link to "focus on the family."

      Christians living double lives...now that's not boring at all!

      August 28, 2013 at 7:30 am |
      • Noah's Press Agent

        oh...and before you claim a (false) victory that this stat comes from "the education arm of Planned Parenthood," have the courage to ask why a Christian website (with a link to Focus on the Family) is using this info...

        ....be honest...come on...

        August 28, 2013 at 7:34 am |
      • Brother Maynard

        "Each year, 1.5 million American women have an abortion."
        Please take this in the spirit intended.
        This number is WAY too high. I am not PRO-Life and I think what Repub State legislators are doing great harm by limiting access to abortion clinics in there states, ie Texas, North Dakota, Alabama etc.
        But the bottom line is that most unwanted pregnancies are preventable BEFORE the woman even gets pregnant.
        The way to stop abortions is from the 'demand' side of the equation not the 'supply' side. IF there is no demand for an abortion there will be no abortions.
        Now, how do we reduce the 'demand'. Really very simple se.x education. The problem exists with the parent(s) of the daughter. They should stop thinking that their precious little daughter is too inocent for a toe curling org.asm. All girls should be taught that s.ex is no more taboo than brushing your teeth.
        For example, I met this girl from Sweden. In Sweden not only do they show the girls how to properly use contraseptives (sp?) .. but also how to enjoy s.ex. How to have ora.l s.ex, how to do kegel exercises.
        The US is so puritan about s.ex it contributes to the very thing that we want to reduce - un wanted preg.nancies

        August 28, 2013 at 9:55 am |
        • Brother Maynard

          oopps 'their states'

          August 28, 2013 at 9:57 am |
        • Noah's Press Agent

          I appreciate your thoughts...I'm just happy to see an (apparent) Christian website post this...and, having been an Evangelical Christian for the majority of my life, I know what a lie the belief and the believer is, just watching their lives and my own was enough to remove all belief.

          August 28, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  7. Bootyfunk

    religion is going the way of the dinosaur... which, according to fundie christians, never existed.
    the internet and fact-checking is killing religion.
    church attendance is at an all-time low.
    read the introduction to any high school science text book - congratulations, you have now acquired more scientific information than is in all of the bible.
    people are tired of the threat of hell, tired of big brother is watching you
    anyone that has actually read the bible knows what a deranged and bloodthirsty god the christian/jewish god is.
    there are unicorns, satyrs, dragons and c.cokatrice in the bible.
    there are talking snakes and talking donkeys in the bible.
    the bible is irrelevant, full of arbitrary rules and crazy commands.
    you don't need an invisible sky fairy friend to be a good person.

    modern ethics > biblical morals

    August 28, 2013 at 3:26 am |
    • saggyroy

      "...religion is going the way of the dinosaur... which, according to fundie christians, never existed." Sorry Booty, wrong again. Dinosaurs DID exist. Noah had them on his ark.

      August 28, 2013 at 6:34 am |
      • Noah's Press Agent

        "...Noah had them on his ark..."

        I needed a good laugh this a.m. Thanks for that!

        August 28, 2013 at 7:20 am |
      • fintastic

        He has to be joking...........

        August 28, 2013 at 8:17 am |
        • Noah's Press Agent

          or he's on his 2nd case of beer...or filled with the Holy Spirit...no difference between the two....

          August 28, 2013 at 8:20 am |
      • Ken

        Them, along with unicorns and dragons.

        August 28, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I guess you've never been to the Creation Museum.
      They've got exhibits of animatronic dinosaurs living side by side with humans.
      They wouldn't be able to call themselves a museum if the exhibits weren't historically accurate, right?
      The rationalization goes that Dinos existed in the Garden of Eden, but they were all herbivores.
      The carnivores only came to be after The Fall (TM) and dinos in general were all but wiped out in The Flood (TM).
      The friendly relationship between man and dino was clearly elucidated in the old doc/umentary series, "The Flintstones".

      August 28, 2013 at 8:12 am |
      • Noah's Press Agent

        ...lol...thanks for that, Doc...big fan of yours, btw

        August 28, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Thanks! I'm glad (and surprised) you like my diatribes.
          BTW – the Creation Museum people are also the folk responsible for the contruction of a life sized Noah's Ark, built to Biblical dimensions right down to the last cubit.
          You'd think once they were done they'd realize that it's far too small to fit all the world's flora and fauna...

          August 28, 2013 at 8:33 am |
        • Noah's Press Agent

          No surprise, your diatribes are excellent.

          Well, when the Insti.tue for Creation Research has Intelligent Design Research fellows doing their research, I'm not too surprised they keep missing that point...lol

          August 28, 2013 at 8:40 am |
      • Ken

        T-Rex apparently was designed by God to eat things like watermelons with those foot-long dagger teeth, but Adam and Eve's sin turned that peaceful giant into a meat-eater, according to some creationists.

        I give them one thing; they sure do have a lot of imagination.

        August 28, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • Noah's Press Agent

          Now THAT is something for Intelligent designers to do peer reviewed research on!

          August 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I once had a lengthy debate with a Creationist about how antarctic ice core samples disprove the global flood hypothesis.
          Becuase it's light half the year and dark the other, there are very distinct characteristics to the layers of ice that allow for easy ana/lysis of time passed. You can simply count the layers like the rings of a tree. Gas bubbles and sundry debris in the layers reveal the atmospheric/environmental conditions at the time of each layer's creation.
          A huge flood would stand out like a flashing neon sign – and there are no such indications.

          As you can well imagine, logic went absolutely nowhere. The other person simply maintained that there is no conceivable way of knowing how or when the ice layers formed, short of being there in person to observe it.
          Ice cores, fossils, dendrochronology, radioactive isotope decay etc. are all tools of Satan designed to lead people astray and reject the Word of God.
          Biblical literalists are a special kind of stupid. Extra chromosome special.

          August 28, 2013 at 9:51 am |
        • Ken

          Doc
          Yes, when it comes to matters that disprove their claims one has to have been there in person to observe it, but when it comes matters of faith, one need only trust a book, in their opinion. Funny how that works, eh?

          August 28, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Maani

      Your comments are very Amero-centric. Yes, church attendance is down in the u.s. (though not, as you claim, to "record" lows – not even close). But far from "dying," Christianity is actually the fastest-growing religion in the world – even faster (at this moment) than Islam. It is simply growing more in places other than the U.S.

      Every time people like you (and yes, I'm getting "personal"...LOL) talk about the "end" of religion, or religion dying out, or "God is dead," you are proven spectacularly wrong. These claims have been made many times over the centuries, and they have never come to pass.

      Nice try, though. LOL.

      August 30, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  8. ...

    I'm so sorry for the guy who wrote his article. He has no clue!
    BTW, the world is clebration, NOT party. Our culture has given the word "party" a dirty sound to it.

    August 27, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  9. Frank

    I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that is filth just like Christianity.

    August 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Thanks.

      August 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
      • Frank

        Do you do anything besides troll the CNN belief blog?

        August 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I like cake and ice-cream.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
  10. ChrisA

    This is one thing I really don't like about some preachers. They fail to recognize one of the most significant elements to this story... Repentance. The son was TRULY sorry for what he did, humbled himself, and went and asked his father for forgiveness. This is lost on a lot of Christians who are taught that we can just do whatever we want, and God will just ignore it because we said we believe in Jesus.

    August 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Sired Chris A...

      Was it not Christian children's unwillingness to pick up their own life's cross and remain ever repentant never to willfully do that which was made repentant in the first place..?

      August 27, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        I am continually amazed that you speak of these stories as if they were real.

        THEY'RE JUST STORIES!!!

        August 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  11. bostontola

    Best comment I've seen in a long time:

    "Even solid PROOF of "design" or a "deistic creator" would not, in any way, provide any good evidence for any of the gods described by the religions of humanity."
    Cpt Obvious

    August 27, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      True. Even if there were one and only God the Creator etc. and you met him and had lunch, you'd come away with only an impression of God and that would be worth only a little bit more than the stuff people have imagined up. If there is one you can't really know it and it certainly doesn't want or need your worship

      August 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • bostontola

        Yup. That's a key bias of religious people. They can't see that even if there is a god, it's not the one created by the men who created their religion. It's obvious that everyone else's god is false, just not theirs.

        August 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  12. Lionly Lamb

    God can no more be God if the people dare reject God... The wisdoms throughout the ages did seek out God and then turned away from God whenever the good times became plentiful and then even children themselves are turned against Godly moralism and Godly civilities...

    In our life there will ever be death and no matter does death beckon all to its gates... Those who die believing not in God will never be received by God and those who believe they die and are received into nothingness will be of nothingness while those who ever remain repentant and believe in God will die and be ever received into God's gracious abodes...

    August 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Ken

      What if you don't want to be received by God? Only a real psycho would get back at someone just because they rejected him, right?

      August 27, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sired Ken...

        If anyone does not want to be received by God then does such a person know God or..? Consider one then lost and apart from God if one knows of God and remains steadfastly unrepentant and unwilling to acknowledge God by not receiving God as being the creator of all things materially manifested and under all God's principalities within every conceivable manners from the atomized cosmos to the celestial cosmos and beyond......

        August 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
        • Ken

          Lionly Lamb
          You may have a point if someone actually believes in God, but rejects him. Actual atheists, however, do not believe that any gods exist, so they cannot be accused of "rejecting" any of them. For example, you don't reject the love of Zeus, do you?

          August 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired Kenny my lad...

          Atheists were given many chance and still are given chances to accept God but alas they continue on rejecting anyone who stands up for Godly moralism and Godly civilities as many nations are now being found out to be godless countries seeking their rulers' vanities and vain reasoning of rather putrid diplomacies... How much longer will this world's people be led down the roadways of godless moralism and godless civilities without the ends meanings coming to bear almightily upon us all?

          That is why the godless nations are now seeing their children rising up against fatherly and motherly advisements forsaking all who speak of Godly moralism and Godly civilities while never even thinking twice abound their abandoning such Godly principalities...

          August 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • Ken

          Lionly Lamb
          We're all given the same chance to accept Baal, Neptune, Thor, and the thousands of other gods, but nobody accepts them all despite most of them having unpleasant consequences associated with that. Why do you consider the threat of God any more frightening?

          August 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Ken

          LL is a troll (albeit an imaginative one). It's best to avoid any serious debate with him.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          My dear Kenny who asked me, "Why do you consider the threat of God any more frightening?"

          First of all, these gods you so make claim to being are not but sons of the One True God and their God will deal with His sons all according to their Father's will...

          To answer your question Kenny, "One should not fear God but rather fear ones children's upbringing in a land where righteous moralism is being subverted by those mostly being immoralists with no reasoning to be civilly austere."

          August 27, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
        • Ken

          Lionly Lamb
          Either that, or YHWH is subordinate to some other god, or family of them. Maybe he was working for the One. Maybe he's the devil opposite of the One. There are as many possibilities as the human imagination is capable of manufacturing, and all of those possibilities are equally valid in the absence of any real evidence to set one apart from the rest.

          August 28, 2013 at 1:07 am |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Dear Kenneth...

          It boils down to judgmentally reasoning out that there is but a spiritually singular God who stands apart from our ever changing luminous perceptions of what godliness is and stands for... One God standing apart and out from our godly relativisms which portends there to be other gods but alas these other gods are just God's sons who have godlike powers yet they are not the very first God whose spirit is unmatched as being the vastness of spatially infinite nothingness...

          All of God's sons are made out to be materially physical gods living their life upon the atomic realms of all cellular cosmologies and they are bound incapable of overcoming the spatial nothingness which is of the celestially spiritual voids of spatial nothingness that lingers its ways inwardly into all materially manifested cellular bodies deep down into their atomized kingdom domains which are the sons of God's temple abodes residencies... Each one of our physically celestial bodies contains a singular treed family of but one of God's many sons and their wives along with their birthed generations of children and their children and so on down thru their ages...

          Only when our physically celestial bodies can no longer sustain functionality and are facing their deadening, it will then be of God's spirit (being spatial nothingness), to allow His godly righteous sons' families a passageway of sorts from their dying and decaying cellular kingdom domain residency to seek out a far away land within the vastness of the atomized cosmos' never ending abyss...

          If one knows anything regarding the atomized and celestial domains then it stands to reason that both of these domains did establish the strategically placed evolutions of all cellular life essences from the very first molecularly atomized living augmentation and onward towards the most complex celled life formations called mankind...

          August 28, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • Maani

          Ken: "Either that, or YHWH is subordinate to some other god, or family of them. Maybe he was working for the One."

          A couple of comments here. First, keep in mind that YHWH's first commandment is "I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other God before me." This presupposes the existence of other Gods. Thus, YHWH is not claiming to be the "only" God – just that He, and only He, is the God of the Israelites.

          Also, you should read Psalm 82. It is among the most astounding (and little known) passages in all of Scripture. In it, YHWH addresses the other Gods, and clearly comes across as the "chief" God among them. So if there WAS a "family" of Gods, YHWH was not subordinate to them, but (apparently) "superior" to them.

          August 31, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      don't stick around on our account, LL

      if you are sure you will be welcomed into heaven,

      what are you doing down here?

      do you have a sidearm, or tall buildings where you live?

      August 27, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sired sammie boy...

        Such fruitions are not worth my or anyone's wantonness... If it is your nature to do such things yourself then who am I to denounce you from such frivolous ill conceived temptations..?

        August 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
        • sam stone

          Marble Mouthed LL: We are honored to be around such a genius as yourself. Thank you for blessing our hearts, pen-day-ho

          August 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • saggyroy

      "God can no more be God if the people dare reject God..." Pretty hard to reject something that doesn't exist.

      August 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L23tsYZDYfE&w=640&h=360]

        August 27, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • hharri

        pretty silly spending 16 to 18 hours a day on here acting like sam stone trying to prove god doesn't exist

        August 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
        • midwest rail

          The only way you could know how long he spends here is if you were here all that time as well. Pretty silly tracking what other do with their lives.

          August 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence – do you have any for your god yet? You believers claim a god but can provide no evidence. Atheists can never prove that your god doesn't exist – same as you can't prove that Zeus, Kokopelli, unicorns, etc. do not exist. You need to support your claim of a god with evidence.

          August 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
        • Maani

          "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." True. But don't get too smug. Carl Sagan qualified this by adding, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of abscence."

          August 30, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
  13. Ya Hypocrites!

    You have people on here calling for drugs like good ol mary jane to be legalized.

    Those same people (people that think they are so very clever) harp on and on about religion being a drug but yet will complain all the time on here because religion is legalized.

    Hypocrites!! All of them!

    August 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • bostontola

      Religion is more than legal, it is subsidized.

      August 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Anybody who wants religion abolished is a jerk, although apart from Dyslexic Dog and Anvil, I've never heard anybody else here advocate its abolition.

      August 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Ken

      Religion is about personal thoughts. Only a real tyrannical monster would want to punish people for having the wrong thoughts, or beliefs, right? 🙂

      August 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Right.

        August 27, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Some things can never be abolished even if we wanted to. Religion and drugs are two such things.

      August 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Why would anybody apart from a tyrant want to ban religion?

        August 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Sorry, that should say abolish, not ban.

          August 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
        • Peter

          Jesus will ban all other religions once he returns. That, and democracy, of course.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Well said Cpt., I wouldn't want religion to ever be illegal. In a free society people must have that right.

        August 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
      • sam stone

        religion and drugs sounds a bit redundant

        August 27, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      who is calling for making any religion illegal, pen-dy-ho?

      August 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Sara

      Who on earth is calling for religion to be banned. Troll or whacko.

      August 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        There have been rare murmurings of it on occasion.

        August 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • Sara

          Some tiny minority...it's hardly a major trend anymore than Christians who want to ban immigration of all non-christians is a trend.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Mary Jane? Grandma, is that you?

      August 27, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Doobs

      Don't eat the brown acid.

      August 28, 2013 at 12:23 am |
  14. Lionly Lamb

    REJOICE ONE & ALL...

    For when one dies they we be the proudest recipients of a singular big bang universe of their very own to build life as one sees fit.. Imagine that...!!! What more can God offer to us than but a big bang universe of our very own..!?

    August 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      they will be the proudest recipients

      August 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  15. Vic

    I watched a few episodes of :Ancient Aliens" on The "History channel" before, and I was completely baffled by how some people desperately want to believe that we were visited and taught, if not created, by aliens in the past, yet, they won't even entertain the possibility of a God!

    August 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      Vic: Will you entertain the possibility that there is no god? Will you entertain the possibilty that there is a god, but not the one of the bible?

      August 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
      • OOO

        Good point Sam. But if you (Vic) point to some (or any) evidence of a supernatural being, you might get some of us "entertained".

        August 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
      • sam stone

        vic: are you going to answer?

        August 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • Vic

        I have examined that over the past two decades, and the answer is "NO." At least, it is too evident to me that there is a God!

        August 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • OOO

          How is it "too evident" to you, but there exists billions who don't believe, or believe in something different. I would assert that maybe you are too easy to convince.

          August 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • sam stone

          vic: so, basically you are saying that you know what god is and you have no interest in dicussing the existence or nature of said god....?

          you truly are a pompous fvcknut

          August 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
        • saggyroy

          Do you believe in Zeus and Apollo, and Thor, and Odin et al? If not, why not apply the same reasoning to your god of choice.

          August 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
        • Peter

          @Vic
          It's too evident to other people that they've been reincarnated, or that ghosts are real. What you all have in common is a total lack of any real evidence.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        vic, "I have examined that over the past two decades, ...... At least, it is too evident to me that there is a God!"

        Well you know what the next question is then – where is your evidence for a god especially that which is more convincing than the alien proposal?

        August 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • Doesn't Matter

          Why are you asking for something? Even if he provides evidence (please note the difference between evidence and proof, if you don't know the difference, please check out Merriam-Webster.com), you wouldn't believe it. It's a waste of time and energy.

          August 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          doesn't. "Even if he provides evidence ..., you wouldn't believe it."

          It would depend upon whether it is the circular logic evidence often presented here. I would follow the evidence, but so far no evidence has been provided for a god, and the creation described by the bible is mainly explained by science leaving no room for a god in the gaps.

          August 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • AE

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo-6BNtq5RY&w=640&h=360]

          Evidence of God (17:30 to 23:00)

          August 27, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Evidence of Skeletor.

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd-YkMZs6Po&w=640&h=360]

          August 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
        • AE

          @Dave

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsrK6P9QvI&w=640&h=360]

          August 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ&w=640&h=360]

          August 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Athy

      Vic, the alien-visit belief is just as plausible as your god belief. In fact, in many ways, it's even more plausible.

      August 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
      • Vic

        That's sounds like a mere opinion to me! I have researched and investigated science and major ideologies for the past two decades, let alone own observations and sentience, and it is evident to me that there is a God!

        August 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Vic

          "That sounds like a mere.."

          August 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Vic, What science or scientific evidence leads you to believe in a god?

          August 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
        • Ken

          Vic
          " Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." A.C. Clark

          Imagine if we could transport a modern doctor with his medicines back to Jesus' time. Wouldn't he be considered a miracle-worker? We've appeared that way to primitive tribes throughout history. Remember how the Aztecs first reacted to Conquistadors? Is it so difficult to imaging how the ancients would have seen any alien visitor with the technology to get here?

          August 27, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
        • sam stone

          well, well, vic....you have a higher degree of sentience than the rest of us schlubs. thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart that you have shared your amazing gift with us. i will write down this moment and refer to it at the dark times in my life. thank you, vic

          pompous cretin

          August 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Vic, I don't beleve you have any objective, independent, factual or verifiable evidence to support the existence of any alleged god. In other words, I believe you are a lying, mentally ill, delusional believer, but do go ahead and prove me wrong.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • sam stone

          Hot Air: Don't be ridiculous. Vic has every bit as much independent, verifiable evidence as does Austin or Gopher. They are all delusuional cowards. Gopher runs and hides whenever you confont him. Austin squashes cats in his dreams

          August 28, 2013 at 4:21 am |
        • Ken

          sam
          Don't they say that killing animals, of fantasizing about killing animals, is the first step to becoming a serial killer?

          August 28, 2013 at 8:10 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Yup! Vic is just the latest "Run Away christian" not that christians are special – no cult has ever established the most basic of foundations for their oft repeated but never proven allegations and claims.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Vic, Funny how blinders work. You don't accept aliens because of a lack of evidence and regard believers as desperate; but lack of evidence for a god and you believe.

      August 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • Vic

        Not exactly! Aliens, if they exist, would be creatures! See the point?!

        August 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Vic, More presumptions on your part.

          August 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
        • Ken

          Vic
          Plenty of aliens have been imagined which are very god-like, and even incorporeal, like the Q of Star Trek. If the ancient Hebrews had met a being like Q wouldn't they have mistaken him for a god?

          August 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
      • AE

        There is evidence for God. If you can't see it or accept it doesn't make it disappear for us who do see it. God is bigger than your limited understanding of how the universe operates (thankfully!).

        August 27, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Again, AE, it's about measurement. You just don't get it. Evidence does not amount to proof if it cannot be substantiated by VERIFIABLE evidence. Your evidence of your imaginary friend is exactly the same evidence as any lunatic locked away from the rest of society: Personal, anecdotal, and unverifiable.

          August 27, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          At least atheists/agnostics generally accept the limitation of their knowledge of the universe, unlike theists who drag out the old '(Insert deity of preference) did it' cop-out.

          August 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
        • AE

          That's your testimony. I don't agree. And not agreeing with you is not really like being a locked up lunatic.

          The fact that you devote so much time here is very interesting.

          August 27, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          It's not about agreement, it's about acceptance. Either you accept that belief in a personal god is based purely on faith or you deny it. There is no evidence for theism, there is only faith.

          I don't agree that theists are lunatics, but I'd treat a theist's claims regarding theism the same way I'd treat a lunatic's claim that his poo is an inter-dimensional shadow molester.

          August 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
        • AE

          Nope. You might have faith in yourself and whatever theories work for you.

          But I have faith (defined as complete confidence and trust) in God. Because I know he exists.

          And I don't have to prove this to a grown man who spends an incredible amount of time on a faith and belief blog trying to convince others his point of view is more adequate.

          I deny your understanding of what belief in God is.

          August 27, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You know Yahweh exists like I know Skeletor exists. Everybody's a winner.

          August 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • Ken

          AE
          If you are claiming to know that God exists, then the onus is on you to provide proof of this claim if you want anyone to believe you, correct?

          If you don't care if people believe your claim, and don't provide any proof, then we are free to just reject your claim as baseless.

          The ball is in your court.

          August 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          AE, you don't *know* that any god exists. You merely have a strong, perhaps delusional, belief that for which there is not a bit of evidence for exists, and that is faith, not knowledge.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • sam stone

          god is bigger than our understanding, but not yours AE?

          August 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • sam stone

          wow, AE, you have both faith AND knowledge?

          purty darn impressive, i'll tell you

          August 27, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • Sara

          "There is evidence for God. If you can't see it or accept it doesn't make it disappear for us who do see it. God is bigger than your limited understanding of how the universe operates (thankfully!)."

          When I lived in China people said the same thing about the qi pouring up out of the ground. Every now and then someone became addicted to qi and would lie on the ground all day absorbing more. It was so obvious to them that it was there.

          When I was in Europe everyone was convinced (despite all scientific evidence) that their homeopathic medicines were working. It was just so obvious!

          I worked with a client once who tracked UFO landings...

          August 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You are right AE there is evidence for god....it is just really bad evidence

          August 27, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          What we find is that those who say they know God, do so because they have had at least one very convincing experience. You will also notice that those commended for their faith in the book of Hebrews also had very convincing experiences. So, someone can say they believe or they think God is a possibility without experience, but with experience comes knowledge.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Two of my friends have avoided unfounded religious beliefs, but one refuses to vaccinate her children, and the other believes that pervasive B fields cause all sorts of illnesses. Religious beliefs aren't the only infarcts of logic that people can have.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Robert Brown

          What about people who have experienced Ganesha? What of their knowledge?

          August 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Ganesha? Would you like to share your experience?

          August 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I didn't mention a personal experience. Are the experiences of those who've experienced Ganesha valid?

          August 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          I don't know anything about Ganesha & don't really want to. Do you? Either way I'm sure if someone had an experience they would believe it was valid.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          You might conclude that belief by itself isn't worth very much, Robert.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Robert,

          The problem is that some people have a very low bar for their "convincing experience". That is why your person knowledge is no more than a claim if it can't be demonstrated. Lots of people have had convincing experiences for other gods that contradict yours. How is one supposed to tell which is the correct claim? They can't all be right....but they can all be wrong.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Exactly, they would believe it, just as somebody who believed they'd experienced Yahweh would. Believing one's delusions doesn't bestow knowledge.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Tom,

          Belief all by itself can get you started toward something of value. It depends on what happens next.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Blessed,

          True, my experience does you no good. Perhaps if it were someone you knew and trusted it would be more compelling, but even so, you would still need your very own experience.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Dave,

          Yes, but say me, you, Tom, & blessed were all buds since childhood and we all say we have had this experience, would you consider it?

          August 27, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          No.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Seriously? You would assume your buds are nuts and you were the only surviving sane person ?

          August 27, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yes, although I don't class religious people as insane, just misguided.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • AE

          I know God exists.

          The onus in not on me to prove that to a few self-described atheists who spend a lot of time in the message board section of an article about Christianity. It really isn't.

          You are free to continue in your very ironic and questionable decision of patrolling a religious message board and pretend like you are putting people on trial for their beliefs. This is not "court" and I'm not playing "ball". I'm trying to discuss this article. And I got to deal the same few people demonstrating their same insane behavior.

          It is freakin' unbelievable how much in common some of you have with right-wing fundie xtians. Wow!

          I see evidence of something lacking in the lives of many of the atheists that post on here. They can use their love of logic and reason to rationalize their weird behavior; but to me it is obvious what they are looking for.

          Seek humility. Find out who you really are. Find God.

          August 27, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O LORD, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy." And the LORD did grin and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats and large chu... [At this point, the friar is urged by Brother Maynard to "skip a bit, brother"]... And the LORD spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

          August 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Robert,

          I would consider it, but it would take much more for me to accept it. I had a similar experience with a close family member. Her husband died and she was having a difficult time dealing with it. About 6 months later she went to a psychic and related her experience. The psychic seemed to be able to relate information that only we as family members would know, which lead her to absolutely believe it was real. I have a working knowledge on how cold reading works though, so I am pretty certian it was a scam even though I can't know for sure. I have more than a working knowledge on CHristianity....nuff said.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
        • tallulah13

          No, AE. There is no proof of god. Ignorance and special feelings are not proof of god. Misinterpretation of science is not proof of god. Books of mythology are not proof of god. The reason that you think that these things are proof of god is that you really, really want to believe in god and you are willing to rationalize anything in order to keep that belief.

          Also, there is nothing humble about believing that a being powerful enough to create the universe is obsessing about your thoughts and actions 24/7. There is nothing humble about believing that this all-powerful being created a paradise where you can live forever, if only you tell him that you like him best. Christianity is the opposite of humble.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
        • AE

          Think of how many decisions you have to make each day. So many opportunities. And think of how many web sites there are on the internet. And of all the options available, you choose to be on this message board which was intended to foster a discussion about this article on Christianity written by a Christian author. Think of all the messages you have read from Christians posting on here. And you choose to come here.

          I wonder why you choose to come here so much? It is not like there aren't any better options for you. There are certainly very logical and reasonable choices available you could make that to an outsider would make more sense.

          But you choose to come here. An article obviously written by a Christian to Christians. Interesting.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Sh!ts and giggles.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
        • AE

          @tallulah

          God does exist.

          And whatever reasons you imagine why I believe is just that. Your imagination.

          Are you humble? What do you consider as being humble? Is there anything you do in your life to seek humility?

          August 27, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I came to this site one day, following a story on the main page. I stayed because I think it's interesting how other people think, and people are very honest when they are protected by the anonymity of the internet. I comment because religious people post their beliefs as if they were proven, which could not be further from the truth. My parents taught me that honesty is important. Therefore when you post claims such as "there is proof that god exists", I feel compelled to counter your misinformation with reality.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
        • tallulah13

          AE, pretending that you are the center of the universe (as christians do) is not humble.

          I live my life with the knowledge that I am just another being on this planet, no more special than the spiders in my garden. I will live my life, and I will die and be forgotten, and I am fine with that. I have no desire to live forever. Can you say that?

          And no, there is no proof that any of the thousands of gods ever worshiped by humans ever existed, not even yours. All you have is mythology, emotions and wishful thinking. I don't mind that you believe what you want, but when you say there is proof, you are simply lying.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
        • AE

          @Dave
          If one were to believe in God, they might say you are here for a very good reason. Maybe it is time to stop sh!tting and giggling and act like a man.

          What are you? A 14 year old shut in? Or a 40 year old shut in?

          August 27, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
        • AE

          tallulah13

          You are kind of painting Christians with broad strokes there. I don't think it is too wise for me to stereotype Christians or any other groups of people like that. It is certainly not a humble opinion you hold of that group you call Christians.

          That is a nice theory you've got. If that works for you, go for it.

          "To thine own self be true."

          August 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
        • AE

          I honestly believe God exists.

          Listen to how Martin Luther King, JR talks about being at his breaking point. People were threatening him and his family (including specific threats to his infant daughter). And he promises he heard the voice of Jesus and it brought him serenity.

          I have experienced that. My battle wasn't quite on the level of Martin Luther King, JR. But it was sufficient.

          So trust me, I honestly believe in God. I'm not here for sh!ts and giggles.

          And if someone asks about humility... trying to explain how humble you are really doesn't demonstrate humility.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I've yet to hear of a christian sect that does not believe in heaven. Heaven is a reward to be earned from a god that is obsessed with your every move. This is not a humble belief system. It simply likes to call itself humble, while creating a scenario where believers are indeed the center of focus of a being powerful enough to create the universe.

          I certainly don't paint all christians with the same brush, but the belief itself is intrinsically self-important and quite the opposite of humble.

          I have to go now, so feel free to have the last word.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
        • tallulah13

          One last thing, AE. The strength of humanity is not proof of god. It's proof that humanity is capable of strength. You asked me what I have done to show humility. I told you my personal philosophy, which is one that accepts that I am not special and that I don't really need to live forever. You don't get to dismiss my explanation after asking for it.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          AE

          Maybe this will help.

          The protests come every day from the religious, and they go something like this:
          * "Why spend your time disproving God?"
          * "Why not just let people believe what they want to believe?"
          * "Why can't you leave religion alone?"
          As one YouTube commenter said recently, "No one can explain to me why it is so important to convince theists to abandon their beliefs."
          The answer is simple.
          Religion permeates our culture, shows up on our doorsteps with literature, scriptures and threats of eternal damnation, influences our science books, contaminates our political systems, indoctrinates our children and postulates that its doctrine must be followed, lest we be destroyed in body, in soul, or both.
          Non-believers are simply responding to the avalanche of religious messages that bears down upon us daily.
          Religion gets carte blanche to be as vocal as it wants, to knock on our doors and accost us in our homes, in our places of work, in our personal and professional lives. Believers are charged with a life mission to preach, teach, disciple, shout it from the mountaintops and to "go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." Religion...is everywhere.
          Ask yourself. When's the last time an atheist rang your doorbell with the Good News of Humanism? How often do you find Richard Dawkins books in the dresser drawers of your hotel rooms? When was the last atheist temple erected in your neighborhood? Have you ever attended an atheist revival? Has atheism demanded 10% of your household income? How many dedicated atheist television channels come through your satellite dish? How many atheist verses were you instructed to memorize as a child? When's the last time someone thanked a FARMER (or even the cook) at the dinner table instead of God?
          On a more radical front, what's the name of the last atheist who sawed the head off of an "infidel?" Or sentenced a shrouded woman to death for displeasing an oppressive husband? Or strapped explosives to his belt in order to kill hundreds in a public square? Or publicly hung a gay person for his lifestyle?
          It's everywhere. Religion is a pounding drum that has gone mostly unanswered for a long, long time. And religion is not satisfied with merely existing quietly in the homes and hearts of the faithful. Its very nature compels the believer to proselytize, preach, promote, convince, convert and prevail. If you play on the team of the religious, your game plan is to stay, always, on offense.
          Throughout our history, those who raise a simple hand of protest against these advances have been portrayed as the real problem. Religion has attempted to marginalize and defeat legitimate questions and concerns by indignantly portraying any resistors as misguided, immoral, rudderless, angry, miserable, lost and alone.
          And when skepticism challenges wildly improbable (or impossible) stories found in the bible, the Qur'an and other holy books, the religious wail, "Why can't you just leave us alone?"
          The irony is thick.
          And religion impedes curiosity and inhibits learning, as the much-maligned Creation Museum proves. It stymies critical thinking. It stretches us to believe the unbelievable. And it poisons the foundational teachings we are using to train up the generations of tomorrow.
          We offer a counter-argument to ensure that the cacophony of superst.ition does not go unchallenged. And if your belief system is so undeniable, so factual, so provable, so real and so true, certainly it can withstand the opposing viewpoints presented here and elsewhere. Certainly, it can survive the acid tests.
          Just remember. Religion began the argument. It amplifies itself before the world. And it threatens all mankind with punishment upon its rejection.

          And as long as religion insists on fixing human beings who are not broken, we will respond with the evidence that we are not the problem.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • AE

          I haven't mentioned heaven or eternity today. You are the one who brought it up.

          And I don't really seem to fit into your explanation of what a Christian is. And that is ok.

          I am not very humble. So I seek certain spiritual exercises that I believe encourages humility. And I read what other people have to say about humility.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:06 am |
        • AE

          Cheese

          This just sounds like someone scapegoating human problems on a very broad and general defintion of "religion"?

          I wish it were that easy.

          I've seen horrible things done by "religious" people, too. And I've seen horrible things done by "atheist" people.

          Those horrible things I call evil. And I take a stand against that evil.

          A lot of what you posted about I don't know how to address. For instance, I don't go knocking on people's doors. Nor have I had anyone ever knock on my door. And I live in the Bible Belt!

          I imagine it is kind of like what you are doing though. You "knock on my door" plenty of times and start "preaching" your point of view. This is a Christian article, written by a Christian author who addresses a Christian audience. It is quite logical and reasonable to expect people who believe in God to be posting here. And you choose to be here. And choose to preach against Christians.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:24 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You are absolutely right...it is a Christian article, written by a Christian author who addresses a Christian audience. And I spent many years identifying as a Christian, not because I really chose to, but I never had much opportunity to get the opinion of the opposition. I think I have earned the right to give my 2 cents, you have too. I am asking honest questions, and I am allowed to ask them. No one is making you stay here either. That post wasn't really directed at you personally, it was meant to answer your larger question of why we care. I have all kinds of reasons, most of which you have no idea about. I actually like discussing religous issues and opinions, and I will have to deal with all kinds of christian issues most every week of my life, an not by choice. At least here discussion can take place on issues on all of our terms, instead of what I usually have to deal with....Christianity getting the default benefit of the upper hand.

          I also think it's funny Christians want everyone to pay attention to their religion, they want it included in laws and gov't and public school, they put up billboards and have TV channels dedicated to it. And then when atheists pay attention they say "you shouldn't even care, why not just ignore us".

          August 28, 2013 at 12:48 am |
        • Ken

          AE
          This blog has more than a few articles about atheism, and atheism is one entire side of the belief coin. You either believe, or you do not. If you believe in one faith, then you are a non-believer in another, maybe even all others. So, you see, you and I are not at all dissimilar, are we?

          You're making a claim about a god existing and, since this is a discussion board, a lot of us are very interested in why you could believe in such a creature, especially when virtually everyone on the planet has realized that at least 99.99% of all gods are myths. Honestly, how can you not wonder why some of us are skeptical about any gods existing when everyone rejects most of them? Gods are just not that believable. If they were, everyone would be polytheists.

          I know who I really am, and I'm not some sheep, or any other livestock, or any kind of human slave. I am a grown up man, responsible for my own life and mistakes. No demigod should have died to correct my mistakes. I'm humble enough to realize that I'm not that special.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:58 am |
        • Doobs

          @ Robert Brown

          I don't know anything about Ganesha & don't really want to.

          Obviously, a demon has blinded you. Even if you did hear about Ganesha, you wouldn't believe. You've hardened your heart to Ganesha.

          August 28, 2013 at 1:03 am |
        • AE

          Ken,

          Thanks for explaining what you personally believe and why. I still have to side with what Martin Luther King, JR says in the video above. I know I am responsible. And when I need Him, God is there. And there is no shame in that.

          August 28, 2013 at 1:15 am |
        • Ken

          AE
          If you really believed that you were responsible for the things you have done throughout your life then you wouldn't need the symbolic death of somebody else to redeem yourself. Only you can do that for yourself. The shame is that you haven't realized that yet.

          August 28, 2013 at 1:27 am |
        • AE

          Shame is feeling bad about who I am. And I don't feel bad about who I am, or think I am a sheep or any kind of human slave.

          And I really don't feel the shame you attempt to put on me. Thank God.

          I believe I am responsible for what I do. And what I do ultimately matters. I reap what I sow.

          August 28, 2013 at 1:37 am |
        • Doobs

          What the hell business is it of yours how much time anyone spends here? There are plenty of Christians who troll (your word, not mine) this comment section for hours at a time, too. How is that even germane? Isn't the quality of what people post more important than how many minutes or hours they choose to spend here? Why don't you respond to the questions we heathens are asking you instead of trying to divert attention with irrelevant issues?

          This has been pointed out ad nauseum, but just in case you missed it – this is a belief blog, not a religion blog. Anyone can read and comment on any article they damn well please. If you don't like it, tough toenails.

          August 28, 2013 at 1:46 am |
        • AE

          @Doobs

          Oh, I know this is a blog dedicated to faith and belief. It is just interesting how some people choose to come here, yet at the same time complain about things like people knocking on their doors and wanting to talk about religion.

          Really I was just venting about some of the people that routinely demand I give them evidence for God. And they make it my business when they continue to hound me. So it is germane to their actions.

          August 28, 2013 at 1:59 am |
        • Doobs

          It is just interesting how some people choose to come here, yet at the same time complain about things like people knocking on their doors and wanting to talk about religion.

          It's also interesting that you don't understand the difference between choosing to come here to read, learn and discuss, and having an uninvited, unwanted person(s) knock on your door and expect not only that you listen to their spiel, but welcome them and adopt your beliefs as your own, then threaten you with hell when you tell them to leave.

          Really I was just venting about some of the people that routinely demand I give them evidence for God. And they make it my business when they continue to hound me. So it is germane to their actions.

          You said that you have evidence for god, so why are you upset when someone asks you to tell them what it is? If you really have evidence, you wouldn't need to play coy. Instead you say things like "If you can't see it or accept it doesn't make it disappear for us who do see it" and "God is bigger than your limited understanding of how the universe operates". Share the special understanding of god you claim to have and we lack or expect to be called out.

          Whining about it is weak sauce.

          August 28, 2013 at 2:57 am |
        • sam stone

          "What we find is that those who say they know God, do so because they have had at least one very convincing experience"

          This is fine, but it is SUBJECTIVE.

          It may be a great reason to believe, but it is a bad way to try to convince anyone

          Robert, I think you are an intellectual coward. I think you went with the religion of your family and never considered for one moment THE POSSIBILITY that they could be wrong

          August 28, 2013 at 4:25 am |
        • sam stone

          "I don't know anything about Ganesha & don't really want to"

          translation:

          "I will stick my head in the ground and keep it there"

          the experience of those who believe in Ganesha are every bit as valid as yours, Robert

          August 28, 2013 at 4:29 am |
        • Ken

          AE
          Shame can also be a regrettable or unfortunate situation or action, and I consider your dependance upon a presumably outside token action to redeem yourself when only you can do that for yourself to be that kind of shame. If you truly believed that you are responsible for what you do, then you would not need to believe that some god had to sacrifice himself to himself for you to magically be redeemed when all you have to do is work at it yourself. A free person has that kind of independence, the kind to fix their own mistakes, ad not depend on some somebody else to fix their mistakes for them.

          It's all just a belief, I suppose, but how helpful can any belief be when it teaches people to consider themselves incapable of taking control of their whole lives without some kind of, presumably, outside help? Christians voluntarily give up their responsibility for themselves to this belief system, which means they give it up to their priests and pastors, and their Bible, trusting them to tell them what to do. It never lets them mature to the point where they have the tools to make their own moral decisions. Basically, it keeps them at the same level as very young children, and I find that a shame because I allowed myself to grow up, and I wonder why more people don't want to.

          August 28, 2013 at 8:05 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          AE

          You truly are a cretinous moron (or a talented troll). Christianity is the opposite of humility, it is about vanity and egotism. Anybody who claims they 'know' their deity of preference is real and then refuses to disclose why they know is beyond a lunatic. At least a lunatic will try to explain why they know that their socks are alien psychopaths who are stealing people's thoughts.

          Sh!ts and giggles numbnuts, sh!ts and giggles.

          August 28, 2013 at 8:19 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>Oh, I know this is a blog dedicated to faith and belief. It is just interesting how some people choose to come here, yet at the same time complain about things like people knocking on their doors and wanting to talk about religion.

          I think it is interesting I addressed that and you just completely ignored that post. But you have plenty of practice with ignoring and spinning the written word with the bible and all.

          I also find it interesting you keep claiming knowledge, but when asked to verify it, you say it is personal and we just can't/won't understand and insinuate we are close minded to it. You imply we don't have a good reason to reject your belief but then refuse to offer anything of substance for it....and then bristle when confronted on it. If you don't want to properly defend your position why do you keep coming back?

          August 28, 2013 at 8:48 am |
        • Maani

          "...especially when virtually everyone on the planet has realized that at least 99.99% of all gods are myths."

          That is a BREATH-TAKINGLY bizarre comment given that there are 7 billion people in the world, of which 2.2 billion are Christian, 1.8 billion are Muslim, 1.1 billion are Hindu, 1 billion are Buddhist, and another at least half-billion believe in one form of religion or another. That would leave LESS then a billion people who MIGHT have "realized" what you claim.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      To some extent, I agree with you. If one silly idea, why not another?

      August 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • bostontola

      Vic,
      It is baffling. Do you find belief in Hinduism or Mormonism baffling?

      August 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
      • Vic

        Yes. Hinduism does not address a specific god nor creation, too ritualistic, and believes in reincarnation, which I find fascinating! I Mormonism much closer but I don't believe in their doctrine, or any for that matter, that incorporates the Law for Salvation!

        August 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • Vic

          "I find Mormonism.."

          August 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          I think you are thinking of Buddhism, Hinduism has gods and creation.

          August 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You find the belief in a religion you patently know nothing about baffling? Why, as you evidently have no idea of its mythology?

          August 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
        • Ken

          Vic
          There are millions of people who are just as sure about reincarnation as Christians are about the Holy Spirit entering their lives, and have the same kind of "personal evidence" to support their belief. How did you decide that your experience wasn't about some past life of yours?

          August 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
        • Sara

          Mormonism is a materialist religion which essentially believes in aliens and more or less that our god is an alien (no, they don't use those terms).

          August 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Well, one can be almost certain that alien life exists. Our galaxy alone contains about 300 billion stars, our neighbor Andromeda about a trillion. There's about 500 billion galaxies in the observable universe and who knows what exists beyond. To think that only one planet was capable of supporting the evolution of life is incredibly narcissistic. However, there is no evidence of any personal god, nor is there any evidence of even a deistic conclusion of a creator.

      August 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Concept of a creator, not conclusion.

        August 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Even solid PROOF of "design" or a "deistic creator" would not, in any way, provide any good evidence for any of the gods described by the religions of humanity.

        August 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Nope, it certainly wouldn't.

          August 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Ken

      Vic
      I'm skeptical of both religious claims and the kind of new age junk found on the History Channel. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that more religious folks buy into that kind of thing than skeptics. It sure works that way for astrology, anyway.

      August 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I can't believe that they have shows about "ancient aliens" on the History Channel. The people who believe that ancient cultures were informed by alien visitors are no different than those who take the bible as a literal history book. Crackpots, all.

      August 27, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • G to the T

      I'm sorry Vic, my irony meter exploded. Could you repeat that?

      August 28, 2013 at 8:07 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven
    Powerful

    August 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • bostontola

      Prayer does change things, but in the case below, it was prayer that was not healthy for the children who trusted their Christian parents.

      PHILADELPHIA (KTLA) — A judge refused to drop murder charges Wednesday against a fundamentalist Christian couple, whose infant son died of untreated pneumonia.

      The boy, Brandon Schable, died after his parents Herbert and Catherine Schaible chose to pray over the infant rather than seek medical treatment, according to police.

      At the time of the child’s death the couple was still on probation following the 2009 death of their 2-year-old son Kent.

      In that case, the couple was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, but received probation with the requirement they seek immediate medical help if another child was sick or injured.

      The Schaibles are third-generation members of the First Century Gospel Church.
      Their pastor, Nelson Clark, said the Schaibles lost their sons because of a “spiritual lack” in their lives and insisted they would not seek medical care even if another child appeared near death, according to the Associated Press.
      The Schable’s seven other children were placed in foster care.

      Read more: http://ktla.com/2013/08/08/murder-charges-filed-against-faith-healing-parents-after-second-child-dies/#ixzz2d1hqkzyi

      August 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • AE

      "Can we believe that God ever really modifies His action in response to the suggestions of man? For infinite wisdom does not need telling what is best, and infinite goodness needs no urging to do it. But neither does God need any of those things that are done by finite agents, whether living or inanimate. He could, if He chose, repair our bodies miraculously without food; or give us food without the aid of farmers, bakers, and butchers; or knowledge without the aid of learned men; or convert the heathen without missionaries. Instead, He allows soils and weather and animals and the muscles, minds, and wills of men to cooperate in the execution of His will. "God," says Pascal, "inst.ituted prayer in order to lend to His creatures the dignity of causality." But it is not only prayer; whenever we act at all, He lends us that dignity. It is not really stranger, nor less strange, that my prayers should affect the course of events than that my other actions should do so."
      C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Efficacy of Prayer, pp. 9-10

      August 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • Athy

        One would observe precisely the same thing if there were no god.

        August 27, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • AE

          Sure. But I know God exists, so for me it tells me that a prayer is a request, which means it can be granted or rejected. And my intentions in prayer are very important.

          August 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You claim to know god exists, if you cannot demonstrate your knowledge it never rises above a claim.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
        • AE

          You claim you don't know God exists. I believe you.

          August 27, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You should....I am not making the claim...you are, I am just asking why should I believe you?

          August 28, 2013 at 12:20 am |
        • AE

          I can't tell you what you should believe. I'm not qualified for that.

          I'm talking about what I believe. I know God exists.

          And that belief is not dependent on your beliefs. If you honestly and sincerely want to know God, we can talk about that.

          August 28, 2013 at 12:56 am |
        • Ernest T Bass

          @AE.... once again, you are confusing belief with knowledge.

          August 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      if god has a plan, how is prayer not blasphemous?

      August 28, 2013 at 6:50 am |
  17. bostontola

    How many "gods" DON'T you believe in (i.e. how many deities created by religions you don't believe in)?

    There are thousands of gods, if you're a believer you don't believe in almost as many as I don't believe in. In fact, you probably think of those other deities as pure fabrications of people, utter fiction or worse. Of course, believers in those religions feel that way about your god.

    August 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      There is but One God and the rest are but God's sons...

      August 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
      • bostontola

        Lionly,
        Why is the O in one capitalized?

        August 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Emphasizing that there is but One God while all the rest are this One God's sons...

          August 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
        • Zeus

          I am the one god and I did not father your wimpy gods. Well, OK, maybe I did father a few of them. I used to get into some pretty wild orgies when the Greeks had more cash on hand to throw parties with, and ya never know. Well we gods know but whatever.

          August 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • AE

      I know one God.

      I know about the thousands of other gods. But I don't put my trust and confidence in them.

      August 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • Athy

        Why not? There's an equal amount of evidence for multiple gods as there is for one.

        August 27, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • AE

          Not in my experience.

          August 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          AE,
          Thanks for confirming the point of the OP.

          August 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • AE

          Nah, I don't really agree with your theory. I learned about the argument tactic on atheist websites many years ago. I used to use it, too. But I don't agree with it anymore.

          August 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          AE,
          Except your responses are just as I mapped out. I wasn't debating anything.

          August 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
        • AE

          @bostontola

          Actually, you asked a question and then imagined and expressed your opinion as the answer for "believers". And then later insisted you are right.

          Correct, not a debate at all.

          August 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Really for Real Scotsman

      "How many "gods" DON'T you believe"

      Irrelevant to what is actually important. Why does one believe what they believe.

      August 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
      • bostontola

        You know what is really important? Are you god?

        August 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sired Scotsman asks, "Why does one believe what they believe."

        What I dare believe satisfies my intellectual thirst cravings to unify creationism with humanisms needs to find spiritual understandings...

        August 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  18. Lionly Lamb

    Question... "Should marijuana be legalized for recreational usage or should it be used only for medicinal uses only?"

    August 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Johnny

      Legalize It.

      August 27, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Legalize it for medicinal use only or for recreational uses also.?

        August 27, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
        • Johnny

          Leaglize it for anyone who wants to smoke it for any reason whatsoever.

          August 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Nobody beats their wife in a fit of marijuana induced rage.
        Stoners don't rob convenience stores to get money for their next joint.
        While most hard drug users have used pot, most pot users don't touch other drugs.
        Tax and regulate it in the same way as alcohol and the organized criminal insti/tutions built around it shrink to almost nothing.

        Legalize it.

        August 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "While most hard drug users have used pot, most pot users don't touch other drugs."

          While most murderers wear pants, not all pant wearers are murderers...

          While most r a p i sts have arms, not all those with arms are ra p i sts...

          August 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired Ma'am...

          You must be but an elder who has seen her better days or maybe your worst..?

          August 27, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • Joe Friday

          Why do you assume that JTF,M is female? Because of the "ma'am"? You're an old coot. Certainly you remember "Dragnet"?

          And yeah. Legalize it, slap a tax on it, and pay down our national debt. That's one tax I don't mind.

          August 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Just the Facts
          Merely pointing out the illogic of the "gateway drug" fallacy.

          August 28, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • K-switch

      If we "self medicate", it doesn't matter.

      August 27, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxHlEjIQ0X0&w=640&h=360]

      August 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      it should be the same legal status as alcohol

      if pot is legalized nationwide, the sale of alcohol will drop sharply

      August 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H8Cz9woC2A&w=640&h=360]

      August 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      A person dies every 19 minutes from overdosing on prescription medication, no-one has ever overdosed from using marijuana. Alcohol related deaths are numerous, no-one has ever died from using marijuana.
      You're not going to change the fact that people use. By legalizing it you take away the need to go to a 'dealer' and in turn the potential of being able to access far more dangerous drugs such as cocaine or heroine.
      People who use alcohol can become violent, marijuana mellows a person out.
      Legalize it and regulate it, much like tobacco and alcohol are regulated.

      August 28, 2013 at 5:10 am |
      • Johnny

        It was ten times easier to get drugs before than it was to get booze before I turned 21. If you want to cut down on the number of kids using drugs they need to be to be legal since a drug dealer doesn't care how old you are, but a store would have something to lose if caught selling to minors.

        August 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  19. Niknak

    Enough Belief Blog!
    You have wasted more of my precious time.

    Ya'll have a great day.

    Niknak out.

    August 27, 2013 at 3:44 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.