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'Mr. Spock goes to church': How one Christian copes with Asperger's syndrome
Brant Hansen, a host on Christian radio, says his Asperger's syndrome once made him feel like an alien at church.
October 19th, 2013
10:28 AM ET

'Mr. Spock goes to church': How one Christian copes with Asperger's syndrome

Opinion by Brant Hansen, special to CNN

(CNN) - In the book “Jim and Caspar Go to Church,” an atheist turns to a Christian minister as they're watching a Sunday morning church service and earnestly asks, "Is this what Jesus told you guys to do?"

I've grown up in churches and I'm a Christian, and I'm right there with the atheist.

I honestly don't get the connection. (To be fair, I've grown up on Earth, too, and there are times that I don't understand any part of this place.)

You see, years ago, I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome - and like a lot of "Aspies," sometimes I'm convinced that I've landed on the wrong planet.

For those of you who don't know the medical lingo, Asperger's syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, but not as severe as what most people think of as autism.

It basically comes down to this: those "normal human" rules for things like eye contact, when to smile, personal distance - we just don't get them.

What's more, Aspies like me don't like those rules. They make no sense to us. So usually, we just say stuff - bluntly - and stare uncomfortably at the ground. That's how we roll.

But it gets even trickier for people of faith like me.

Feeling out of place at work is one thing. Feeling like an alien at church is a whole other matter.

Imagine Mr. Spock at an evangelical Christian tent revival, and you’ll get the idea.

And my father is a pastor, so I was in church a lot.

Multiple times, each week, every week, I found myself wishing I'd be moved by the worship music, or that I could shut off my skeptical mind during the sermons.

I'd see people in church services, Christian concerts and Bible camps overcome by emotion and enraptured with charismatic speakers, and I wondered why I didn't feel that way.

Why did I always feel like a cold observer?

After going to college, I was convinced my lack of feeling meant I was missing something, spiritually, so I joined charismatic Christian groups in which emotional manifestations of the Holy Spirit are common.

I desperately wanted to have what they had - an emotional experience of God's presence - and asked them to pray over me.

It didn't work.

When I didn’t move with the Holy Spirit or speak in tongues, they told me it was because I had rejected God.

I worried that it was the other way around: God had rejected me.

Maybe I felt like an alien because I deserved it. I deserved to be alienated, irretrievably and forever far from God.

I tried to pray, read the Bible, and do all the "right stuff." But I still felt out-of-touch.

I wondered if I was so broken, such a misfit that God simply took a look at me and decided to move on.

I wish I’d known then that I was an Aspie. And that God loves Aspies.

I still feel alienated from many parts of Christian culture, but Jesus himself finally reached me.

And man, did I feel that.

To people who are beaten down or befuddled by religious rules, Jesus offers something that no one else does: rest. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest," he says.

And he sums up the entirety of complex and confusing religious laws with this: “Love God, and love your neighbor.”

Beautiful. Even children can understand that.

The Bible tells a story about a man who approaches Jesus and admits that he has faith, but also strong doubts.

"Help me in my unbelief," he asks Jesus.

Jesus doesn't blast him. He loves him. To me, Jesus is the only one who really makes any sense.

Oddly enough, considering my medical condition, I'm now a radio personality on a network that plays Christian music.

It’s a beautiful fit, in many ways, because I get to talk to many people who also don’t fit in, and wonder if God loves them.

It’s true, though, others won’t understand me. I know that. I’m still an alien in the American Christian subculture.

Each evening I retreat from it, and I go straight to the Gospels.

It's not out of duty that I read about Jesus; it's a respite.

I long for it, because I'm awash in two strange and baffling cultures, both the irreligious and religious.

And I long for someone I can finally understand, and someone who might finally understand me.

Brant Hansen is a radio host on the Air1 network, where his show airs from 3-7 p.m. CT. He also writes a popular blog at air1.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Hansen. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Faith • Health • Jesus • Opinion • Spirituality

soundoff (3,030 Responses)
  1. Steel On Target

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tw3i3k4zCs&w=640&h=390]

    October 21, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • ScottCA

      Brilliant. Hitchens is yet another brave hero of humanity who spoke logically in the defence of reason against the insanity of superstltion called religion.

      October 21, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  2. Steel On Target

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmPe77m7aCs&w=640&h=390]

    October 21, 2013 at 12:52 am |
  3. bananas

    U r gonna make me, or r u a widdle chicken? Widdle chicken. Lol

    October 21, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Crom

      😄

      October 21, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Chiquita

      Make like a banana and split. k

      October 21, 2013 at 12:19 am |
  4. Jesus Christ Son of God

    Another Sunday almost done, and a bunch of religious sheeple all upset because we are here, in there blog, in their space, in their head, just like they think god is, but the message we bring is they are mindless robots worshiping something that only exists in their head.

    October 21, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  5. bananas

    P R I S O N

    October 21, 2013 at 12:05 am |
  6. Steel On Target

    "One is presuming (is one not?) that this is the same god who actually created the audience he was addressing. This leaves us with the insoluble mystery of why he would have molded ("in his own image," yet) a covetous, murderous, disrespectful, lying, and adulterous species. Create them sick, and then command them to be well? What a mad despot this is, and how fortunate we are that he exists only in the minds of his worshippers."
    Christopher Hitchens

    October 20, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • bananas

      Golly gee whiz, you are smart. Holy cow.

      October 21, 2013 at 12:17 am |
      • Ganesh

        Holy cow?

        So now you've become a Hindu? Make up your mind.

        October 21, 2013 at 12:23 am |
      • Steel On Target

        You are not very good at being a troll.

        October 21, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • bananas

      Well gee. U r too smart. I never noed god done it this a way.

      Even devils and snake no full well and they b a trembling. They ought a b a trembling.

      October 21, 2013 at 3:47 am |
      • ScottCA

        Indeed you are completely bananas. In fact I would say you are stark raving insane.

        October 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  7. tony

    The wheel was invented when a pre-historic bishop, in fit of anger, rammed his staff down into the middle of an unusually empty collection plate. Praise god!

    October 20, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  8. justin

    Praise God! I just read this and was brought to tears. I too deal with Asperger's syndrome, as well as a new born Christian. At 22 years old I never thought anyone understood, praise God!

    October 20, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • ScottCA

      I hear sacrificing a bull to Aphrodite will bring you great blessings. Quickly now to the nearest ranch.

      October 21, 2013 at 1:27 am |
  9. Richard M

    Thank you so much this article. I went from atheist (born into a strong atheistic family) to born again believer in Christ when trying to disprove the Bible in 1998, but realized it was an exact description of our human depravity and gave the only validated promise of eternal life as heirs with Christ. In 2006 I learned I too am an Aspie. I finally learned how to relate in church as even there I felt like an odd ball. With my own type of zeal for the Lord I followed my calling to be a bible teacher/missionary to China where I've been over 10 years. I met my wife, a Chinese believer from a Buddhist family, at a charismatic church where we go. You article helps me in why I sometimes don't relate. 🙂

    October 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Yep, christianity gives us the disease (sin) and then offers the cure. I think it is sad you view humanity in such a way, but I do understand, since I was raised christian and realized the bible is an awful source of morality.

      October 20, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
      • Nope

        Nope.

        October 20, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
        • You made a video too....!!!!?

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75aGG27dGUA&w=640&h=390]

          October 21, 2013 at 1:00 am |
        • ScottCA

          Lol the video is great.

          And helps illustrate my point about believing in 6ft tall blue closet monsters, that have no evidence of existing is exactly as crazy as believing in a god that has no evidence of its existence.

          October 21, 2013 at 1:47 am |
      • Steel On Target

        Create them sick, and then command them to be well.

        October 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
      • bananas

        Wow. God made us like snake. It is his fault! Brilliant. Just genius!

        October 21, 2013 at 3:43 am |
        • ScottCA

          There is no evidence to support the existence of any god.

          The universe displays no signs of design, but instead displays every feature one would expect from a random happening.

          Science (otherwise known as rational deductive reasoning) correctly predicts events.
          Religion on the other hand fails to correctly predict anything at all.

          Nor does the proposition of a god serve to answer any questions, it only complicates the initially simple question of how the universe was formed, into a series of senseless questions that are even more complicated than the originally simple one.

          October 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • tony

      The existence of "missionaries" clearly disproves the existence of god. A god that can't communicate with 80% of the world's population by "himself", si an oxymoron of the first class.

      Heck if rainbows worked for the flood apology, he'd only need to add moving banner text and it's all done

      October 20, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
      • bananas

        Wow tony! You are really smart man. Thanks, honey.

        October 21, 2013 at 12:15 am |
      • Crom

        You guys have got me laughing a lot. Thanks.

        October 21, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • bananas

      I was raised by sam stone and because of her example, I am a christian, bible teacher, evangelist and I speak to abused kids. Thousands have left atheism as a result of my deliverance from the horrors of being tortured by a demon-possessed black mamba devil worshiper.

      October 21, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  10. bananas

    Count the days scrum. And the wind cries PRISON

    October 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • faith

      You first, scum>. You'll be in prison for harassment.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Crom

      Are the Rugby Finals coming up? Prison? Is that one of the teams? I do hope you weren't referring to me. I don't play rugby.

      October 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
      • bananas

        30 years

        October 21, 2013 at 12:07 am |
      • bananas

        Poor widdle baby.

        Domkey hunch sore but spray face tween legs retarded kid pleasurin on your knees inmates galore, Fifi. Perfect match

        October 21, 2013 at 12:10 am |
      • Crom

        ha ha ha ha! Since I have done nothing wrong, I can only laugh. You should go with the rugby angle, it makes more sense.

        October 21, 2013 at 12:22 am |
        • bananas

          Without the possibility of parole

          October 21, 2013 at 12:23 am |
        • Crom

          For wasting my time talking to idiots like you? Sounds like a nice vacation, actually. That's how bad you suck at this.

          October 21, 2013 at 12:51 am |
        • bananas

          U r right stanks.

          October 21, 2013 at 3:27 am |
  11. Laura

    I read an article earlier about atheists who wish that believers would respect them and then I read this... Wow and typical. None of us will ever come to terms with each other as long as this stuff just goes on and on and on.. Does none of us any good at all. I agree with the author.. Love God...Love your neighbor. Even a child can understand that.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • atheist, religies

      same thing. avoid them like the plague.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Wow and Typical. Doesn't sound like love to me. Sounds like you have already made up your mind about how atheist act. Just because a few angry atheist post here it does not represent the majority. That same argument could be used for the handful of religious nuts that post here. But I would say that a Majority of believers are calm and thoughtful people.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Gigantic claims of a deity's existence with absolutely no evidence to support them, deserve open ridicule.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
      • Jeddek

        You say no evidence, yet there is evidence, just not the kind you would probably be happy with. Personal evidence is still evidence. People try to get evidence for something totally meta-physical, yet that is impossible. We can look at what He has done, but that's about it. The personal evidence I mean are things like personal experiences. Sure, other people may view them as crazy, or stupid, or just wanting something to believe in...but until someone has that kind of experience, one cannot refute such "evidence". I'm not saying this will prove it to you, I'm say that this is how it proves it to me.

        October 20, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Actually, personal anecdotes are not evidence unless they can be substantiated with viable proof. Your special feelings and emotions are filtered through the your belief, and thus are not reliable.

          October 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          You can't claim a feeling as evidence. Nothing you have stated is quantified as evidence.

          October 20, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
        • sam stone

          personal evidence is not evidence if you are attempting to use to convince others

          the music i like is the music i like, but is worthless in trying to convince others of its quality

          October 21, 2013 at 3:09 am |
        • bananas

          "Personal evidence is not evidence" u r the dumbest moron in history. Keep that line handy when u r charged with criminal threats.

          What an idiot. Where do they find these loonie tunes? She went to public school? We r in trouble and desperately need prayer

          October 21, 2013 at 3:37 am |
      • bananas

        Oh baby. Brilliant! Absolutely incredible!

        October 21, 2013 at 3:39 am |
      • Paul

        See this is where I will politely disagree with you (leaving aside any religious stuff). I live my life by the code by the nobody deserves open ridicule. Simply by virtue of them being a human being means they deserve respect. Christians/Theists or Atheists will never solve any problems in this world as long as they treat each other with callous disrespect.

        October 21, 2013 at 9:47 am |
        • G to the T

          Sometimes a calm word will work, but often times a hysterical person needs a good smack to snap out it...

          October 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And why exactly would the creator of the unverse require love?

      October 20, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
      • Jeddek

        He doesn't. We do. He created us in such a way that our "real purpose" is to love him and love others. When we fulfill our true purpose is when we are made whole. He made it so that both us and him gain something, though mainly us. He needs nothing, he did it for us because He know the best thing for us would be to love Him and be shown love by him.

        October 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          That is such a weird and silly logic. Your god created humans, he then decided to create humans to love him and each other, he did this so that he and humans would feel better about themselves. So why does your god need love and why did he create humans then to need to love him? He could have made them contently happy in the first place now couldn't he? Most of these god arguments fall down with this omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent nonsense.

          October 20, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Well he seems to require love in order to forgive....because otherwise he doesn't.

          October 21, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      A lot of the christians on this blog whine and moan when anyone criticizes their religion. Why would I want the respect of such spoiled children?

      October 21, 2013 at 2:12 am |
  12. Anon

    Sometimes I wonder if aliens purposely avoid earth a la prime directive because of this abrahamic reliigous insanity that has plagued humanity.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      You know at the very least they point and giggle.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
      • ScottCA

        either that or they would cry at the senselessness of so much religious violence and the centuries of brutality carried about in the name of religion.

        Let us not forget that it was not very long ago that Christians used to break atheists on the wheel, burn them at the stake, and otherwise torture and mutilate our bodies.

        And worse yet there are still places like Saudi Arabia where due to religious influence witchcraft is still openly a crime, people are stoned to death, beheaded, have their limbs amputated, genitals mutilated, and are regularly crucified.

        October 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Colin

      I have often envisaged an alien who travelled accros the cosmos standing open-jawed, staring at the Vatican and asking his human hosts, "so you really thought it was all about you?"

      October 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
      • JON STEWART

        I kind of imagine they would say that if they read one of your tests.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
        • faith

          You"re no Jon Stewart. Better quit while you're ahead.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  13. Grey Atlanta

    There's only one problem. You are confusing God with Jesus, Creator with a fictional character. That's why you never experienced the awesomeness of God. Looking for God in Jesus is like looking for God in Yoh-dah. Star Wars is a great story just like the New Testament, and both are completely fictional.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Thanks for clearing that up.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I'm glad you figured out that the new testament is fictional. However, I'm confused how you haven't figured out that the rest of it is also fictional, including the parts about a creator. Care to clarify?

      October 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Colin

      Good t osee you have enough sense to reject the hero of Volume II, but why do you still beive in Volume I?

      October 20, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Jewish?

      October 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • bananas

      Look, idiot, we don't mind that u know nothing. Just take it elsewhere. Golly gee. Or get something new to regurgitate. Have u no pride at all?

      Time to get deny all atheists the right to vote, post endlessly and drink alcoholic beverages. No firearm purchases, neither.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
      • Lamb of Dog

        Golly

        October 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
      • Crom

        Yes, we wouldn't want rational people to have guns but only religious terrorists. Good plan, Sherlock.

        October 20, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • G to the T

      I don't trust anyone who can't spell "Yoda"...

      October 22, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  14. TV1

    It's called the argumentative theory of reasoning, and it says that humans didn't learn to ask questions and offer answers in order to find universal truths. We did it as a way to gain authority over others. That's right - they think that reason itself evolved to help us bully people into getting what we want. Here's how a proponent puts it:

    "'Reasoning doesn't have this function of helping us to get better beliefs and make better decisions,' said Hugo Mercier, who is a co-author of the journal article, with Dan Sperber. 'It was a purely social phenomenon. It evolved to help us convince others and to be careful when others try to convince us.' Truth and accuracy were beside the point."

    And as evidence, the researchers point out that after thousands of years of humans sitting around campfires and arguing about issues, these glaring flaws in our logic still exist. Why hasn't evolution weeded them out? The answer, they say, is that these cognitive flaws are adaptations to a system that's working perfectly fine, thank you. Our evolutionary compulsion is to triumph, even if it means being totally, illogically, proudly wrong.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Its painfully obvious that logic never took hold. Look at all the people that believe in a sky fairy.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
      • JON STEWART

        Do you even know what logic is? You are NOT using it.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • Lamb of Dog

          Who me?

          October 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • JON STEWART

          NO THE OTHER ILLOGICAL TROLL

          October 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
      • bananas

        Painfully obvious, agreed, so, point being, I'm thinking

        October 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • faith

          Shut up, you ignorant twit.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
        • bananas

          Oh, okay. I will, I will. The moment you make me

          October 21, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • bananas

      Name em! Same old same old. Dorothy believes in the stooges

      October 20, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • faith

        And bananas believes in chimps.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
  15. Robert Brown

    I had a few minutes earlier today and was flipping through channels, settled on a show about how the Romans constructed all those huge structures from stone. They were discussing all the theories on how they accomplished these great things and I thought, we don't know. We don't know how they did what they did only a couple of thousand years ago and yet people have confidence in the theories of how the universe, the earth, and living things got to be the way we perceive them today. Go figure.

    October 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      ?

      October 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Anglican

      We live on a tiny island in the middle of nothing. I agree, but I know why.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
      • Lamb of Dog

        Why?

        October 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Anglican

      Purpose.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
      • Anthony Crispino

        Porpuses are smart, but not that smart. Although by sister in law's astrologist told her he once saw one point to his sign in the night sky – you know, the fish one.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Crom

      Go back to watching tv, you clueless pos. Your lame and limp speculation are easily dismissed. You lost. Deal with it.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        It is true that you are lost Crom, but for a limited time I can tell you how to be found at absolutely no charge.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • Lamb of Dog

          No charge just a lifetime of mental slavery.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • Crom

          Having problems dealing with it, eh? Imagine my surprise.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • Colin

          Crom, you are an irritating little sh.it who does nothing else but sit back and take cheap shots at other posters. We all, atheists, believers and those inbetween ,are bored by you. Please f.uck off.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
        • A Knee for Christ

          Colin is right in a way, Crom. You add very little. God bless

          October 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
        • Crom

          Cheap shots, eh? LOL
          Yeah, I'm not making you pay for them, am I? No, you do that yourself when you read my words. Not my fault then, is it?

          October 20, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
        • Crom

          And I love how one of the little turds I pissed off is now claiming to speak for all people. Great stuff. I may get some popcorn. 😈

          October 20, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Anglican

      Crom , I believe you need an analyst.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
      • Crom

        Analysis is beyond you, I see. That's okay, we get all kinds of ignorant dipwads here. I'll, um, make a note of your swell idea.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think what Robert is saying is that science confuses him.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        I will readily admit that a lot of things are way over my head, but I was referring more to the broadly accepted speculations that some make from scientific discoveries.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • Lamb of Dog

          You mean theories? You do know what a theory is don't you?

          October 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Science is confusing stuff.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Anglican

      Einstein died confused. No one on this side of the curtain knows all. We are all confused, as we should be.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • tallulah13

        I'm not terribly confused. I know there is a lot of stuff I don't know, but I don't let that bother me. I like to learn. But I do know that there isn't a rational reason to believe in any god.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • Crom

        No, you are confused. Being confused is okay. We don't hate you for being confused. But you're a jerk, so don't expect a kiss.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
        • Crom

          That was to Anglican, of course.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Imagining how soemone built a stone structure 2000 years ago is more difficult, in part because there are a number of ways it could have been done and perhaps no obvious way to get at which guess is correct. Natural phenomena are sometimes more accessible. They arise from things that are ongoing or can be recreated.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
      • Robert Brown

        True, and even without know how they were built, we can have confidence that they had a builder.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • Lamb of Dog

          Giants did it. I read it in a book.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
        • Crom

          Aha! So it's giants that put the turtles there. That's going into my best-selling expose about turtle pollution I might write someday.
          Thanks.

          October 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
      • Lamb of Dog

        Giants did it. Why aren't you people listening do I sound crazy?

        October 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      It was built by giants. Don't you read Greek Mythology?

      October 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Just because I don't know exactly how my mom made meatloaf, does that mean I am then incapable of dissecting meatloaf and through experimentation figuring out how to cook it myself and even improve upon her recipe?

      Just because we don't know the exact method of something doesn't mean we are incapable of duplicating and improving on a process. That's what science is all about.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
      • Crom

        They get confused with facts, which is a good argument for not coming here unless it has entertainment value in some way. )

        October 20, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      you have theories, too, robert. you just dress them up as KNOWLEDGE

      October 21, 2013 at 3:14 am |
  16. Anglican

    Been off this blog for a year and it is still inhabited by pis-sed atheists. Article about nice guy and you cut him to bits.

    October 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      See you in another year.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Crom

      Nice guy? I see someone who either decided to cash in using lies or someone who decided to cash in because of greed. Any so-called sincerity is worthless as he is in it for the money. Did he volunteer to spout his lies for free? No.
      I have yet to see anything ethical from this guy. Maybe he's "nice" enough to fool gullible folk, but I'm not that stupid, thanks.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
      • judge judy

        hahahaha you took offense. guilty.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
      • JessicaM

        If you are referring to the author of the article, Brant, then there is plenty of evidence that he's a nice guy. The note about the author is true, he does have a radio show on Air1. He's been on for over 3 years now, I think, and he hasn't seemed fake for a day of it. You can download the podcast of highlights from his show for free in iTunes to see for yourself. He really does talk about his Aspergers and not feeling like he fits in in Christian society. He is very relateable to many people and he talks about real issues. He's my favorite host on that channel. I'm not much of a "Christian": I believe in science as much as I do faith, I support marriage equality, I don't think we should go around flaunting or proclaiming our faith to random people, I believe that the English translations of the Bible are inaccurate in small but important ways, and I disapprove of the way Christians and Christianity are portrayed in the media and perceived by the masses. We should be loving and accepting but people become misguided and judgemental and that is sad. So when I say that Brant is a breath of fresh air (although I don't agree with EVERYTHING he says), I mean it and your evidence that he is in fact nice and not in it for the money is readily available for you to listen to online. I don't count myself gullible, but I don't think someone can fake a personality for that long without slipping occasionally. He's convinced me that he's pretty nice.

        October 20, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • Crom

          So? That doesn't mean anything about your religion is true, it just means he isn't burning any witches today. Fine.

          October 20, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Anglican

      Crom seems bitter.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      Yeah he does.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Crom

      Bitter? lol
      Why would I be bitter in simply stating I have not seen any "nice" stuff from this supposedly "nice" guy?
      Better try harder at trolling. Better try making some actual sense while you're at it, too. Nutbars.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
  17. Lamb of Dog

    But Leonard Nimoy is Jewish.

    October 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      And Spock was half Vulcan. And the actor playing Spock in the new movies, Zachary Quinto, is gay. I'm not seeing any incarnation of Spock in the christian church.

      October 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Crom

      Ironic that a guy who plays a logical being is not rational himself, identifying with a racist misogynist group of murdering rapists simply because he was born to parents within the group. But he looks really cool with a goatee, so let's ignore the racism, right.

      October 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
      • TV1

        Are you logical? Or human?

        October 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
        • Crom

          That goatee sure looked cool, didn't it. Yep.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • TV1

          We're Not Programmed to Seek "Truth," We're Programmed to "Win"

          Atheists just want to win arguments. Christians seek truth.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
        • Lamb of Dog

          That makes no sense.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Christians seek only the truth that they want to find. They tend to stop looking when the facts contradict what they want to believe.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • Crom

          I'm not saying Nimoy was racist, I'm saying that if he identifies as being a Jew, he is identifying with a group that is racist by definition. It isn't even an actual race, adding insult to injury. He might not have ever done anything racist, but the group itself is an imaginary ethnic supremacist group. You cannot escape this fact.
          Some of them may reject any racism, but cannot escape the culture so easily as that, which has many die-hard racist rabbis to drive everyone away from Judaism and make all Orthodox a laughing-stock as they should be.
          I don't have to do anything. Their corruption and insanity is self-apparent and self-defeating.
          It is like that for every religion.

          October 21, 2013 at 12:37 am |
        • a reasonable atheist

          As long as I don;t have to hear that Bilbo Baggins song again. I have sympathetic trips every time.

          October 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  18. Laura

    I like this article. I love Jesus and I love when people can just put it all out there. 😉

    October 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • tammy

      mmm.. i love it 2 when people put it all over the place. the more the better. hmmm.

      October 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I love dog.

      October 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I love Paris in the springtime.

      October 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
      • Anglican

        Purpose.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Porpoise.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I love bacon.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Anglican

      The word love is often misused. Bacon and Paris?

      October 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
      • Lamb of Dog

        I think about bacon all the time. I would start a bacon radio station if I could.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Would you have a bacon beacon?

          October 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • tallulah13

        It's a Cole Porter song, Anglican:

        I love Paris in the spring time
        I love Paris in the fall
        I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles
        I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles

        I love Paris every moment
        Every moment of the year
        I love Paris, why, oh why do I love Paris
        Because my love is here"

        To tell the truth, I've never been to Paris. But I like the song.

        I do love Edinburgh. It's the most beautiful city I've ever visited.

        October 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • Crom

          Aha! Never been to Paris! You are sooooo busted! lol

          October 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Just quoting a song lyric. No crime there to be busted.

          October 20, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
        • Crom

          No worries, as I was being majorly unserious. "Busted" as in no big whoop but I can tease you about it. Lame joshing fail, ok.

          October 20, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Lamb of Dog

      I once asked an Egyptian who had changed his religion to Christianity why he changed his religion. His answer was bacon. So he loves bacon also.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
      • atomD21

        You just created the new and best conversion tool! "Come to Christ, he allows bacon!" Switch out the bread and wine with bacon and beer, and you will never have an empty pew!

        October 21, 2013 at 1:58 am |
    • he man

      I love b o o b i e s

      October 20, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      if you love jesus, why are you not taking every opportunity to go be with him?

      October 21, 2013 at 3:16 am |
  19. Steve

    You would have been better off turning to atheism.

    October 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  20. bostontola

    "Wrong. You were bound for hell from the moment you were born (because you were born in sin)."

    This is a perfect example of biblical morality that is anathema to most people's sense of morality. A child being guilty of the transgressions of it's forefathers. In the bible, god also punishes the next 4 generations of descendants of a transgressor. The Bronze Age morality doesn't fit today any more than the notion that the earth was created before light, or that a bat is a bird.

    October 20, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's pretty abhorrent to punish children for the acts of their parents. Morally dubious, indeed.

      October 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • anonymous

      If you have accepted you are a "sinner" then you are a child who has been molested by false beliefs.

      October 20, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
      • Opposing View

        Psalms 51:5 – Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

        When Adam and Eve committed sin in the Garden of Eden, the whole human race fell into sin, because all races came out of Adam. The whole human race died "spiritually" on that day. Jesus came that we might have life. He came to restore man back into the Kingdom of God. Therefore, every child that is born is born into sin, and will remain in sin until they are saved. Once they are saved (by following Acts 2:38), they will then reenter the Kingdom of God. If they do not get saved or refuse to get saved, then they will continue on to hell…

        October 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • Crom

          And of course all that psychotic raving you just did means we should believe anything you say. Right.

          October 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Crom... If you want to go to hell, then no, don't believe anything I say...

          October 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • Crom

          Silly rabid turd, I know there is no hell and no heaven and no gods and no magic. Your vicious threats bounce right off. 😀

          October 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • G to the T

          Yeah – no evidence of adam and eve (even the word "ADAM" means "man", so that should be a hint we're talking mythology here). No original sin, etc.

          October 21, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Most people's "sense of morality" is of the devil. And they're too ignorant to even know it. And that is the very same problem that people like you have. You feel that you're more "self-righteous" than God. That your own personal opinion and perspective is somehow superior to God's. What fool deluded you? What you think, what you feel, and what you perceive in your mind, wouldn't be superior to God's in a billion years. And to show you just how ignorant and deluded you are, at this very moment you're actually living in sin – you're walking in sin, thinking in sin, and even talking in sin. Every word you say is said in sin. Yet, that very reality eludes you, and you can't even perceive it. In fact, you're on your way to hell, and you can't even perceive it…

      And that is the very same mistake Lucifer made – comparing himself with God. And look where that got him….

      October 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
      • Anonymous American

        Actually, atheists don't feel superior to God. That would require the belief that God exists. This person merely points out that the Bible holds its followers to a standard that is impossible to fulfill and doesn't even necessarily make them better or more moral people.

        October 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • Opposing View

          Anonymous American… Atheists don't even know what a God is. Any atheist that doesn't believe in God is actually making themselves as a god, whether they intend to or not. Their god is themselves because that is what they are following. And any man who follows himself will end up in hell. Only by following the true and living God can you make it to heaven…

          October 20, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Actually, that's not true about the Bible holding one to a standard that's impossible.

          Salvation is the EASIEST thing to obtain. No work is involved. One only has to believe that Jesus the Son of God was born to a virgin... that He died on the cross 2000 years ago for their sins... Christ came and fulfilled the Law (10 Commandments) 2000 years ago... He was the only person who was able to do so.

          Christ became sin so that we could become the righteousness of God. He was crucified- judged and punished for all the sins that you or I will ever commit. All our sins are already forgiven...this includes past, present and future sins. Christ bore it all at the tree.... your health/healing, salvation, provisions etc. are already provided for. It's all a finished work...that's why after going through all the punishment at the cross, Jesus cried... "Finished"....Everything has already been paid for... so there's no need to live in fear or condemnation that God is out to get you...to punish you... or to send you to hell.

          Only believe that Christ Jesus died for you.... confess him as savior of your life, and you are hopelessly and irreversibly saved.

          Did you read that top part.... Christ Jesus became sin for us... He who had no SIN became our sin.... so that we who had no RIGHTEOUSNESS became His righteousness.
          It's all a finished work... and this is the gospel of Grace – the unearned, unmerited favor of Christ in our lives. Good News isn't it.
          One only has to Believe that Jesus did all those things.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
      • bostontola

        You're the one acting like you think you are god. Read your own words, spoken with complete certi.tude, only a god could have that certainty.

        You are right about one thing, man's intellect, senses, and feelings are limited and error prone. Those limits on our senses are at the base of man's belief in imaginary things. You must believe that unless you think the Hindu gods are real. I don't. I think your belief is no different than any Hindu's.

        October 20, 2013 at 8:56 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.