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Stephen Colbert roasts the Pope
Comedian Stephen Colbert roasted Catholic leaders, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Thursday night.
October 18th, 2013
10:17 AM ET

Stephen Colbert roasts the Pope

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) –– Declaring himself  "American's most famous Catholic," comedian Stephen Colbert roasted church leaders at a charity event in New York on Thursday, taking aim at Pope Francis and Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

"As an observant Catholic, I believe the Pope is infallible," said Colbert, a Communion-class teacher at a parish in New Jersey. "But he's also wrong about a lot of things."

Colbert, whose bombastic persona on the "Colbert Report" often takes a conservative slant on Christianity, poked fun at the new Pope's humble lifestyle, saying that if the pontiff were in charge of the white-tie charity event, it would have been held at an IHOP, not New York's glitzy Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

“His Humbleness would be out washing the feet of the coat-check guy or something,” Colbert quipped. "We get it, you're modest."

"But it's not just his humble lifestyle," Colbert continued. "He's off message. He says Catholics need to stop obsessing about homosexuality, contraception and abortion. For Pete's sake, we need something to obsess about now that `Breaking Bad' is over."

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

The Catholic comedian also teased Pope Francis for taking a softer line on Catholic doctrine than previous pontiffs.

"Being Catholic is like being in the Admiral's Club of Christianity: Membership has its privileges," Colbert joked. "But if even atheists can be redeemed, what's next, Lutherans?  It's madness."

MORE ON CNN: Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

Colbert was speaking at the Al Smith Dinner, an annual event for Catholic charities in New York named after the the late New York governor who in 1928 was the first Catholic politician to be nominated for president by a major party.

The charity dinner is usually attended by New York's cultural elite. Last year, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney attended and traded zingers less than a month before the election.

This year's event was less politically charged, but Colbert quipped about another kind of election.

Dolan, the portly archbishop of New York and a rising star in the Catholic Church, came thisclose to being elected pope himself earlier this year, Colbert said.

"But he blew it in the swimsuit competition. I would have gone with the one-piece."

On Thursday night, Dolan, who was dressed in a cardinal's traditional small black cape with red trimming, looked like "a matador who's really let himself go," Colbert joked.

"Did you not see the invite? It said white-tie, not 'flamboyant Zorro."

Dolan, who is close friends with Colbert, took the ribbing lightly, saying that his father always told him that the mark of a good night is any one that ends in laughter.

Dolan also quoted Colbert from an event on Catholics and comedy led by both men at Fordham University in the Bronx last year.

"A sense of humor comes from faith, a faith that everything is in God's providential hands, a faith that frees us up to laugh."

Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia has an audio recording of Colbert's keynote address

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Celebrity • Christianity • Leaders • Media • Pope Francis

soundoff (780 Responses)
  1. Colin

    Ctrl-V

    October 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • AE

      I wish I could "like" this.

      October 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  2. Wendy

    @AE, enough dodging. Present your evidence from a refereed medical journal that your god has ever caused an amputated limb to grow back, or else retract your claim in that regard.

    We are waiting. If you cannot respond soon with evidence, we can consider your claim unsupported, and it should be withdrawn.

    October 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • AE

      Who is "we"?

      Where did I say amputees have grown back limbs?

      Who are you?

      October 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • Wendy

        AE, you slippery, cowardly weasel. I quote you directly "God does heal amputees."

        Evidence, please, or show some backbone and retract your claim, coward.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
        • AE

          Healing. Not grown limbs back. Go re-read what I have said.

          And calm down.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • Wendy

          That is some dodge, AE. You are clearly a coward, and a liar. Your god has never healed an amputee. Case closed.

          October 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
        • EZ

          Wendy,

          AE thinks that "God" heals their "spirits" or "souls". It makes her feel all fizzy inside to think that - that's all.

          October 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Dodge.

        It's pretty bad when a Christian has to claim an invisible and undetectable "healing" to attribute to his invisible and undetectable god.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • AE

          As bad as claiming God loves fully limbed people better than amputees?

          October 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE "As bad as claiming God loves fully limbed people better than amputees?"

          How do you account for the fact that your omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient god doesn't prevent the need for amputation or repair the damage (i.e. grow a replacement)? Surely you won't wheel out free will?

          October 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
        • AE

          How do I get through the dark valleys?

          The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
          He makes me lie down in green pastures,
          he leads me beside quiet waters,
          he refreshes my soul.
          He guides me along the right paths
          for his name’s sake.
          Even though I walk
          through the darkest valley,
          I will fear no evil,
          for you are with me;
          your rod and your staff,
          they comfort me.

          You prepare a table before me
          in the presence of my enemies.
          You anoint my head with oil;
          my cup overflows.
          Surely your goodness and love will follow me
          all the days of my life,
          and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
          forever.

          October 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
      • .

        AE, master of bullshit and mind games, as always.

        October 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
        • 9

          Agree, AE is a poe, nothing substantial in his blathering, just trying to get some response to make him feel less lonely.

          October 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • &

          . and 9, welcome! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

          October 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  3. Voice in the desert

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUK2bwOUsLE&w=640&h=390]

    October 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  4. Colin

    "A sense of humor comes from faith, a faith that everything is in God's providential hands, a faith that frees us up to laugh."

    Actually, as a bit of trivia, one thing Jesus does not do anywhere in the entire New Testament is laugh.

    October 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • sam

      Huh. I'll bet he had a sardonic chuckle or two when no one was watching, though.

      October 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        You mean the hundred or so weird "prophets" cloaiming to be the messiah running around Judea during the century in question? Yes, I believe they all had a chuckle at some point in their flim flam careers.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • Reality #2

          Ctrl-V Ctrl-V

          October 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • fred

      Ecclesiastes 2:2
      “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?”

      =>Jesus did not come to overturn the law and the prophets but to fulfill every letter of the law. He was perfect Colin so why would he trip up on such a simple thing such as laughter

      October 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  5. children of Israel

    Isaiah 8:21 and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. *James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? *John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. (Revelation 2:9 and 3:9)

    October 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  6. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Another tedious day on the Belief Blog.

    Stephen Colbert yucks for bucks at a spendy event in one of the most expensive hotels on Manhattan. He appears to have been hilarious and I'm sure the donors enjoyed his speech with their post-prandial brandy, whatever the cost.

    Here, as usual, we have little on topic as God continues to overlook regrowing amputated limbs despite his catalog of supposed miracles and prayer answering while the 'chapter and versers' and the tract-o-matic copy pasters are in overdrive.

    I hope everyone has a delightful fall weekend. For many the trees are in full color and it will be sunny with blue skies. I'm looking forward to it.

    October 18, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  7. AE

    "One problem I have with faith-healing is that it tends to be focused only on the physical aspect of healing. But Jesus always backed away when people came to him only to get their physical needs met. My goodness, he was ready to have you lop off your hand! His real interest was in healing the soul."

    Joni Eareckson Tada

    God does heal amputees.

    October 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Wendy

      Re "God does heal amputees.", can you present any example of that, from a refereed medical journal?

      Didn't think so. And for that matter, why doesn't your god heal the millions of innocent child amputees that have occurred?

      Quite the tall tale you are trying to pull off, AE.

      October 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Colin

      Nice cop out there. Amputees would love to regrow their lost limb, but the sky-fairy always ignores them.

      Millions upon millions of people have prayed for a miracle cure, including millions of amputees. But, God only ever seems to "answer" prayers and perform miracles when the ailment is internal, hidden from view and susceptible to actual, purely natural cures. When the medical condition is open and obvious and not susceptible to a purely natural cure, God is always, 100% of the time, absent, silent and non-responsive.

      Or, put another way, he does not exist and we simply attribute purely natural cures to him. When actually tested in any verifiable way....he fails. 100% of the time, always and forever.

      It is only in the indulgent, gullible mind of the believer that he exists at all.

      October 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • AE

        http://www.joniearecksontadastory.com/

        Personally, I trust her words over your words. She is not an amputee, but paraplegic.

        I know people like her and their actions and how they live their life speak louder than your words.

        God is real. Not your imaginary sky fairy you talk about. God.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Wendy

          Not a refereed medical journal, AE. Enough dodging. Present your evidence from a refereed medical journal that your god has ever caused an amputated limb to grow back, or else retract your claim in that regard.

          We are waiting.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • AE

          I wish God took away my disability.

          But it turns out God had better plans. Today my disability, which some would ridicule me for, is actually more of an asset. I can help other people who suffer from my disability.

          God's healing is like this. Amen.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
        • Wendy

          In other words, god's healing is invisible and undetectable. Uh huh. That is some dodge, AE. You are clearly a coward, and a liar. Your god has never healed an amputee. Case closed.

          October 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Nope. He doesn't. Proved.

      October 18, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  8. children of Israel

    James 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? *Saint Luke 6:24-25 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. *Matthew 24:30 and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,.. *Jeremiah 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black:

    October 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  9. AE

    "Bissonnette works regularly with more than 150 amputees and finds a common pattern. Those who feel positively connected to God and to other people tend to do better in recovery than those who have “hardened” or grown bitter as a result of their injuries."

    http://www.religionnews.com/2013/04/24/boston-amputees-face-a-long-spiritual-struggle-ahead/

    October 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      That leaps to a conclusion.
      If it were me, I have always had a positive att!tude and would heal as well as possible, no god required to have a positive outlook, and I'm sure some of those who have negative outlook are believers.
      I don't see any cause and effect for believers vs non.

      October 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • AE

        Do you happen to work with or help amputees?

        October 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          What does Cranium's profession have to do with his reasoning? Do you disagree with Cranium? Do you think that something that causes a person to feel better is any evidence or proof of any invisible an undetectable beings?

          October 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Sometimes, but that is not the point.

          Positive outlook will generally help ini healing.
          Belief in any gods or not is moot.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • AE

          I could never point to a person I know, like an amputee, and try to explain that they are less of a person or that God loves them less because they are missing a limb.

          Amputees are just as whole and fully human as me. God loves them just as much as people with all their limbs.

          You should listen to their testimonies. Sometimes what you call a curse is actually a blessing. God is like that.

          Trust God.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          What do your points have to do with evidence for god, AE?
          All your posts seem the same to me: People who believe feel nice and happy; therefore, belief is valid. And that's just stupid.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • AE

          This is the 'CNN Faith and Belief' blog. Not prove the 'to Captain Obvious that God is real' blog.

          God is real. And with God you can overcome things like amputations and other setbacks. In God's eyes the amputee isn't any less.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          So, when you can't or won't answer my questions, you just attack and fall back on your absurdly stupid reasoning of "people like to believe and it makes them feel good, so it doesn't mater if god can be proved just because, um... because, um... god is um.... real, and there IS proof!! There really really is! We feel good, so!! "

          October 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Wendy

          AE, enough dodging. Present your evidence from a refereed medical journal that your god has ever caused an amputated limb to grow back, or else retract your claim in that regard.

          We are waiting.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • Wendy

          And further, if you offer more dodging, we will consider your claim unsupported and withdrawn.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • AE

          Wendy

          Where did I say that amputees have grown back limbs? WTH are you talking about?

          October 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • Wendy

          AE, you slippery, cowardly weasel. I quote you directly "God does heal amputees."

          Evidence, please, or show some backbone and retract your claim, coward.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • ME II

      @AE,
      I'm assuming though that none of their lost limbs were regrown.

      October 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • EZ

        We just need to learn the prayers that axolotls and starfish say to have their severed parts regenerated!

        October 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • AE

        They claim God healed them.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Their claims about god run contrary to the facts.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • AE

          No, they don't.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Oh, wow! Let me see if I can conjure up an equally stunning rebuttal. Here goes:

          No, they don't.

          Did that work?

          October 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • AE

          No. It is contrary to the facts.

          October 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          So, AE, are you saying that there is verifiable evidence of limbs human growing back? If so provide a link.

          October 18, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          AE **correction**
          So, AE, are you saying that there is verifiable evidence of human limbs growing back? If so provide a link.

          October 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      And yet not one amputee has ever spontaniously regrown a limb. Guess there are things that your god cant do.

      October 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
      • Angel

        All I know is God does what God wants. If God chose to regrow limbs, limbs would regrow.

        My answer to a skeptic is this: It isn't so much the amputation as it is the reasons for amputation. Amputations happen usually due to disease or injury. Diseases and injuries primarily stem from causes within a fallen creation. I believe an unjust god would be one that withholds consequences of living in a fallen world.

        Rather than focus on why God doesn't regrow limbs, I think it might be more interesting to consider how many people have been spared the loss of life or limb in the first place due to some divine intercession. I've experienced this personally in my own life.

        Another thing to consider is why God WOULD regrow limbs. I'm not a cessationist in the sense that I think the "age of miracles" is over. However, the point of miracles in the Bible is to demonstrate to seekers that the person who comes in God's name really is called of God to deliver God's message. In the case of Jesus, the understanding of the people of the time was such that ONLY the Son of God could do what Jesus did, therefore Jesus must be the Son of God, the promised Messiah. If there are two or more witnesses to something, or even crowds of witnesses, then what Jesus taught is believable. That is important to us as believers now because it provides substantiation for what we believe. We have faith whereas our forebears had none. They didn't have faith because they didn't have a reason to believe. If they had a reason to believe and could begin growing their faith, then we have reason to believe as well. We don't NEED God to regrow limbs to convince us.

        October 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        • Madtown

          We don't NEED God to regrow limbs to convince us
          ----
          Nor do followers of other religions need regrown limbs to convince them. In the absence of anything objectively verifiable to everyone on earth, none of you are correct. Christianity is not the "1 and only correct" religion. It's just your preferred one.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Colin

          The point is, millions upon millions of people have prayed for a miracle cure, including millions of amputees. But, God only ever seems to "answer" prayers and perform miracles when the ailment is internal, hidden from view and susceptible to actual, purely natural cures. When the medical condition is open and obvious and not susceptible to a purely natural cure, God is always, 100% of the time, absent, silent and non-responsive.

          Or, put another way, he does not exist and we simply attribute purely natural cures to him. When actually tested in any verifiable way....he fails. 100% of the time, always and forever.

          It is only in the indulgent, gullible mind of the believer that he exists at all.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • myviewtoo

          Amen

          October 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Sara

      I have no reason to believe that's true or not, but the article doesn't appear to be based on a study but on one guys personal observations. The only study mentioned in the article actually found no difference between the religious and non religious. Am I missing something?

      October 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Wendy

      AE, what you are not proving is that god, or belief in the god, is causing the supposedly improved healing.

      As usual, a solid case for the existence of your particular god is completely lacking. Why do you not just acknowledge that obvious situation?

      October 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  10. Bob

    Some more fine stuff from children's Christian book of nasty, since she's insisting on continuing to dump her bible bile on us:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    October 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      Spam the f.ck out of this board like we are delusional nutjobs.

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

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

      Similarly, before Jesus, Attis of Phrygia was said to be born of the virgin Nana on December 25, was crucified to save mankind and rose from the dead after three days, as did the Indian god, Krishna. So, for that matter, did the Greek god Dionysus. Dionysus was hailed as ‘The Savior of Mankind’ and ‘The Son of God.’ Dionysus was born on December 25 after Zeus “visited” the mortal virgin Persephone. Announced by a star, he was born in a cowshed and was visited by three Magis. He turned water into wine, raised people from the dead and was followed by twelve apostles. His resurrection was a popular myth throughout the Roman Empire, although his name was different in each country. The rituals in honor of Dionysus included a meal of bread and wine, symbolizing his body and blood. Other figures from the Mediterranean who died and were resurrected include Baal, Melqart, Adonis, Eshmun, Tammuz, Asclepius and Orpheus.

      I'm afraid your zombie of a stick is little more than a kernel of truth wrapped in a lot of prevailing mythology.

      You go Bob!

      October 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • MennoKnight

        Oh come on booty, don't get your information on truth from a comedian. Bill Mayer is not a scientist, theologian, even a philosopher.
        As for your Horus hocus pocus and where that myth came look up Gerald Massey and you will see where your precious theory comes from.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • Colin

          Actually, bottyfunks paragraphs come from me. Massey was one of the original proponants of the parallels.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Bob

      I'm the Ctrl-V King! I learned copying and pasting in Colin's internet School 4 Atheists. Best $100 I ever spent in my LIFE!

      For an extra $25 he taught me to type in bold. Yea!

      October 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  11. children of Israel

    Please read the book of James and please start with the first verse (James 1:1) *Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (Isaiah 65:9) *Acts 3:12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this?

    October 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bob

      Some more fine stuff from children's Christian book of nasty, since she's insisting on continuing to dump her awful bible bile on us:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      October 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • Nino

        AMEN...!!!

        October 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        Yea, here is what I like to spam the board with. We suck.

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

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

        Similarly, before Jesus, Attis of Phrygia was said to be born of the virgin Nana on December 25, was crucified to save mankind and rose from the dead after three days, as did the Indian god, Krishna. So, for that matter, did the Greek god Dionysus. Dionysus was hailed as ‘The Savior of Mankind’ and ‘The Son of God.’ Dionysus was born on December 25 after Zeus “visited” the mortal virgin Persephone. Announced by a star, he was born in a cowshed and was visited by three Magis. He turned water into wine, raised people from the dead and was followed by twelve apostles. His resurrection was a popular myth throughout the Roman Empire, although his name was different in each country. The rituals in honor of Dionysus included a meal of bread and wine, symbolizing his body and blood. Other figures from the Mediterranean who died and were resurrected include Baal, Melqart, Adonis, Eshmun, Tammuz, Asclepius and Orpheus.

        I'm afraid your zombie of a stick is little more than a kernel of truth wrapped in a lot of prevailing mythology.

        October 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Many contemporary NT exegetes have thoroughly studied Mark 12: 29 and have concluded that said passage is historically inauthentic.

      For example: From Professor Gerd Ludemann's studies via his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 85-86 :

      "The historical yield of the tradition is nil, since it is firmly rooted in the community and is to be derived from its needs.

      This community has detached itself from the temple cult and justifies this with reference to 'Jesus.' Moreover at another point Jesus gives a completely new definition of the term neighbor see on Luke 10.30-37). "

      And also see http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb201.html

      October 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Bzaro

        Got to love those Appeals to Authority. That's your stock and trade Reality #2.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          For those who are interested in an in-depth analysis of the NT passages see:

          http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=Crossan_Inventory (don't forget to remove the hyphen in ti-tle

          http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html

          o Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/

          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication and discussion of each

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter

          October 19, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  12. Lionly Lamb

    Real eyes realize real lies… The eyes are useless when the mind is blind… Slavery… It works better when you don’t tell them…

    "Poverty is the worst form of violence"- Mahatma Gandhi

    October 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a "super-calloused-fragile-mystic-hexed-by-halitosis"

      October 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Reply

        Too funny... too sad it's also very true.

        October 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        And Gandhi was reincarnated as whom? Cardinal Dolan? Stephen Colbert? Barack Obama? Hmmm??

        October 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
        • Giants

          As you! 😉

          October 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Hmmm, I do like to walk in my bare feet. 🙂

          October 19, 2013 at 12:52 am |
  13. Vic

    "Being Catholic is like being in the Admiral's Club of Christianity: Membership has its privileges," Colbert joked. "But if even atheists can be redeemed, what's next, Lutherans? It's madness."

    Hey Stephen, I am a born again Christian Protestant, and even I am saved!

    Was Jon Stewart watching?! LOL!

    October 18, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Bob

      Vic, your whole premise of being saved by some sacrifice by your sky fairy is rubbish. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      October 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • Vic

        🙄

        October 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • pot

        Can you demonstrate how one should act better? You have failed to show that you are any better than his God. Why should he listen to a nasty and hostile a.hole like you?

        f.ck your spam and your looney tunes atheist websites

        October 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by 'pot' contains instances of both the ad hominem fallacy and the two wrongs don't make a right fallacy.

          http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

          October 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • Dippy

          No it doesn't.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • Dippy

          Yes it does.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Dippy

          Any idiot can label something as a logical fallacy. Only a smart one can demonstrate why.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • Dippy

          Any idiot can label something as not a logical fallacy. Only a smart person can demonstrate why.

          Love me some of your "smart idiots"...

          October 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Falllacy Spotting 101's chosen task is not to demonstrate the fallaciousness of an argument, but to "spot it." Duh. His name isn't "Fallacy Demonstrating 101."

          October 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  14. Dan Dennett at Cal Tech

    One of the greatest thinkers of our age tackles one of the most important questions of our time: why people believe in God and how religion shapes our lives and our future. In this lecture, based on his new book of the same title, Dr. Dennett shows that for the vast majority of people there is nothing more important than religion. It is an integral part of their marriage, child rearing, and community. Dennett takes a hard look at this phenomenon and asks: Where does our devotion to God come from and what purpose does it serve? Is religion a blind evolutionary compulsion or a rational choice? In a spirited investigation that ranges widely through history, philosophy, and psychology, Dennett explores how organized religion evolved from folk beliefs and why it is such a potent force today. Deftly and lucidly, he contends that the 'belief in belief' has fogged any attempt to rationally consider the existence of God and the relationship between divinity and human need.

    Dr. Dennett is a professor and director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, and the author of the highly acclaimed Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Consciousness Explained, and Freedom Evolves.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZYv2WYbK1o&w=640&h=390]

    October 18, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      "many scientists believe," "may have," "suggests," "could have," the language of speculationese...

      October 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • Bob

        Better that honesty than the flagrant lies of supersti.tions of Christianity.

        October 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Lies? No, a lie is telling an untruth when you know better. The Apostles SAW the resurrection with their own eyes, and that is what they taught. Even today, collaborated eye witness testimony is one of the strongest evidences that we have for an occurance.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Terry

          Uh huh, and then others recorded that they thought that was the case only decades after the story had been retold inaccurately many times. I'd agree, though, not intentional maybe, so not lies for certain. Just false and inaccurate.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          Actually, the right type of physical evidence is better. Just look at all the Innocence Project.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Topher

          Terry

          Not others. The eyewitnesses themselves.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
        • Terry

          The trail is now so cold and so old that you can have no conclusive proof of that. So, how come your god can't show himself in the modern world? Like someone else said here recently, reasonable doubt is more than justified, at the very least.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • Madtown

          The eyewitnesses themselves.
          ----
          The alledged eyewitnesses didn't do the writing.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Alias

          If you think eye witness testamony is so reliable, then you must accept the Mohammad moved a mountain.
          There were hundreds of witnesses.

          October 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Harry Potters Quiddich team won their match.
          All of Hogwarts were eyewitnesses.
          By your logic LoA, it happened.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "The alledged eyewitnesses didn't do the writing."

          Of course they did.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Madtown

          Of course they did.
          ----
          Yes, of course they did. Who would know if not you?

          October 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Topher

          Madtown

          "Yes, of course they did. Who would know if not you?"

          Has nothing to do with me. Has everything to do with the first generation after the apostles, who we know about and have writings from, verifying the authors.

          October 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
      • rafael

        This is evidence-based language. Working with objective evidence attaches probabilities, not dogmatic certainties to conclusions as can be done so easily in the absence of objective evidence. You might rely on science for nearly everything you do, but you sure don't understand it.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
  15. children of Israel

    Athesists are nothing but a bargining chip for satanists. *Saint Matthew 22:46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions. *Job 32:15 They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. *Exodus 15:15 Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; *2nd Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (Revelation 16:14)

    October 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I don't know any satanists. You have a lot to say about Satan, though. Satan means a lot to you, obviously.

      October 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  16. Polar Bear

    Just another snarky, elitist, supposedly "smarter than thou" liberal who just isn't funny. Funny how funny they think they are. I guess dope smoking libs laugh easily.

    October 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Irishrow

      Geez, Polar Bear, lighten up. He's just a poor comedian. I mean, NOBODY can get the entire nation rolling on the floor laughing out loud like your buddy Ted Cruz. Every time he repeats that, "I am so important I'm gonna shut down the government and hold my breath until they repeal Obamacare" the rest of us are just reduced to tears of laughter.

      How's everything else going for you today?

      October 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • sam

      Someone's got a pouty face today!

      October 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  17. bigdaddycole

    no god, no easter bunny, no santa claus ad no unicorns

    October 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm |

    • no u

      October 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      I keep seeing this issue with unicorns pop up, and I do wish it would go away...

      Unicorns DO exist, and yes, YOU believe in them.

      The Hebrew word re'em is mentioned eight times in the Bible, and signifies some kind of horned animal that could possibly be the now extinct aurochs – a wild ox related to a cow. In the Latin Vulgate however, the translators used the words “unicornis, unicornium, rinocerota, rinocerotis, and rinoceros” whose English rendering in the KJV is “unicorn” for the name of this horned animal each time it occurred: Job 39:9-10, Numbers 23:22, 24:8, Psalm 22:22, 29:6, 92:10, Deuteronomy 33:17, and Isaiah 34:7. Depending upon the context of the passage however, the authors either use the word “rhinoceros” if the intent was to speak of two horns, or “unicornis” if the intent was to mean a singular horn. In Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary, the word “unicorn” has this as its entry: “An animal with one horn: the monoceros. This name is often applied to the rhinoceros.” It goes on to say under the entry for “rhinoceros” that: “a genus of quadrupeds of two species, one of which, the unicorn, has a single horn growing almost erect from the nose. This animal when full grown, is said to be 12 feet in length. There is another species with two horns, the bicornis. They are natives of Asia and Africa.” Even today, the scientific name for the Asian one-horned rhinoceros is “Rhinoceros unicornis,” (the same word as mentioned in the Latin Vulgate) while the two-horned black rhinoceros is the “Diceros bicornis.”

      October 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • ME II

        So, where are the single-horned wild oxen?

        October 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Logical Fallacy 101

      Comparing belief in God to belief in Santa Clause may be rhetorically effective, but it is logically fallacious. As Paul Copan wrote, “To place belief in Santa Claus or mermaids and belief in God on the same level is mistaken. The issue is not that we have no good evidence for these mythical entoties; rather, we have strong evidence that they do not exist. Absence of evidence is not at all the same as evidence of absence, which some atheists fail to see.”

      October 18, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • Terry

        Way to mis-state the atheist case. Strawman!

        October 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • Sara

        What evidence do you have that mermaids don't exist?

        October 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • rafael

        Atheists have no more need, based on objective evidence, to invoke the existence of a god than the existence of unicorns or Santa Claus. Now maybe you understand better that atheists don't claim evidence against the existence of gods.

        October 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  18. bigdaddycole

    there is no god, no prophets.lol

    October 18, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Alias

      No god obviously. But lots of proffits for a 'chosen' few.
      Amen

      October 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      It is logically impossible to posit a negative absolute. Rather, you must remain agnostic about the existence of God.

      October 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • Terry

        Um, no, but do try a dictionary, dummy.

        October 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  19. The Perimeter of Ignorance

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, explains how God disappeared as an explanation for things humans did not understand about the universe, as the "perimeter of ignorance" receded. The greatest minds dared increasingly brave to question the world around them, but sometimes cowardly copped out along the way when they faced problems -similar to the modern Intelligent Design movement that advocates a "god of the gaps"- until someone else took over and furthered scientific progress.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxiLnC7ikw8&w=640&h=390]

    October 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.