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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. Chuckie

    Belief basically comes down as a means of a person becoming comfortable with our astoundingly brief life here on spaceship Earth. There are a lot of comfortable Christians, but there ae a lot of comfortable Buddhists, atheists, etc. As long as they are tolerant of other belief systems any way is OK.

    "Just a box of rain, wind and water
    Believe it if you need it, if you don't, just pass it on
    Sun and shower, wind and rain
    In and out the window like a moth before a flame"

    From "Box of Rain" by the Grateful Dead

    Whatever belief system allows you to get up in the morning and go out to face the world is as good as any other.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • I sht on your BS, on your Jesus, and your "god"

      No. Ideologies are NOT all the same. Giving ideologies the right to exist and more rights than actual living people is insane.

      October 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  2. Karen

    I don't have Aspergers and sometimes I feel like an alien in church too. I am grateful to have found a church where people are trying to be real and we "do life with God" as the pastor says. I am amazed by Jesus because He loves me in my stupidity and sin. Anything I'm doing right is because of Him. I really appreciate this article because Brant has chosen to be raw and honest. I lack that much of the time.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Rett

      Thank you for your honesty Karen. Would that more Christians followed suit. Jesus said only the sick needed a physician and therefore he was no help to the self-righteous. I heard a believer say one time that he was just a poor beggar showing other beggars where the bread is. Too many Christians have forgotten how pathetic by nature they are and that it is solely the grace of Jesus that they are what they are.

      October 20, 2013 at 12:28 am |
  3. Been There Done That

    Reading the story made my thinking calm down, instead wind up tight.
    My guess is that he's telling a truth, in a very loving way, to people (like me) who are used to "feeling" other people's opinions rather harshly put across.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  4. Bootyfunk

    you don't need god to be a good person or to know love.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  5. Arrogant Atheist

    There is only one correct way to think and that is: the scientific way!

    October 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tyrannical Theist

      There is one True God and you will meet him when you die.

      EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW....

      October 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • I sht on your BS, on your Jesus, and your "god"

        Ha ha ha! "every knee shall bow" What a crock of pure disgusting faggotry.

        Yeah, you are filled with lust over knees and tongues. You sound like a pervert whose eyes "bung out" over anything in the dominatrix line.
        You probably get a hard on over rubber restraints, too.

        Yeah, "every knee" will crush your stupid head like an eggshell, you sick fuck.
        Take your religious BDSM fantasies and go see a shrink. You really are twisted inside. Yuck.

        October 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • Tyrannical Theist

          I bow to Poe as I can't tell if this is honest or satirical.

          October 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          Ummm, trolling doesn't help.

          October 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • I sht on your BS, on your Jesus, and your "god"

          Sick, twisted bags of sadistic shit are easily found in religion, especially with christards who reveal their sick lusts so openly like this sick fuck.
          Trolling? No, I'm showing the sick troll that he doesn't fool me a bit. I see right through this crap.

          October 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • bostontola

      No one claimed that there are no arrogant atheists. Do you claim there are no arrogant Christians, Jews, etc?

      October 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  6. Michael O'Brian

    Fascinating piece. It seems to me that this has nothing, whatsoever, to do with aspergers. The part where the author is conflicted about not connecting with god and the religious experience is not aspergers, it is rational thinking. Interesting that in a fundamentalist family he is made to believe his lack of acceptance of these irrational beliefs is a sign that there is something wrong with him.

    Here's a better way to play out this dialogue. Totally rational kid doesn't buy the kooky man in the sky nonsense despite his parents crushing pressure to indoctrinate him. Puzzled parents don't get why the same cult tactics that work on most other children aren't working on their kid.

    Not too long ago he would have murdered as a demon for this very conflict. Now we just make him feel defective.

    The things people do to their kids in the name of religion. Shameful.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Excellent an.alysis cogently formulated. Thank you.

      October 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • God is a concept

      Exactly!

      It can be really, really hard to stand up and say "I don't believe!" in the face of a dominant culture. I imagine if one already has a condition where people judge "there's something wrong with you", then lacking belief in their religion is one more point of "wrongness" that a person might really want to overcome, in order to feel "right" around everyone else. In so many parts of this country, it's just assumed you're Christian, and you're an oddity if you aren't.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • JessicaM

      It isn't just in church that he has a sense of not fitting in. He feels it everywhere all the time:
      "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."

      October 22, 2013 at 1:26 am |
  7. Key

    Are you self-diagnosed?

    October 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Angela

      I listen to Brant just about every afternoon on Air1. He's not self-diagnosed.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  8. Johnny zep

    Well said, Brant. Religion divides, Christ unites!

    October 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • bostontola

      We're close on this; religion divides, Jesus unites Christians.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Not according to Christ himself. Don't pay much attention to the red-letter words?

        October 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Sorry, my reply was to the original poster. My bad.

          October 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          Correct.

          October 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          No worries.

          October 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Michael O'Brian

      What a silly, contradictory post.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • bostontola

        Not at all. You don't think Christians and Muslims are divided, Catholics and Protestants, etc.?

        October 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  9. ThinkForYourself

    Beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing your experience. Jesus is truly the love he talked to us about.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  10. ManicMom

    I am the mother of five. My three boys are all on the spectrum. The older two have Asperger's and the youngest has Autism. Spock is our home hero and I happen to be an ordained minister who finds comfort in the black and white logic of medical science so I am also an ultrasound tech. Since Asperger's wasn't really being diagnosed in the 80s and early 90s I never knew what was wrong with me and it was only through the diagnosis of my children that I received that much needed AHA moment. There was never anything wrong with me, I knew it, I was right. It really WAS everyone else! I'm just a forgotten child of Spock. I'm so incredibly happy and pleased to know that there are other children of Spock out there. We should have a reunion. Think Dad would come lol? I know he's not really Spock...but his portrayal of that character has become so symbolic for so many reasons. I think this reason, at least for us Aspies, is the best of all. It gives us a point of reference, someone to relate to so we don't feel so alone amongst these alien humans and their free usage of emotions and social rules and rites. Thank you for the pure Vulcan awesomeness of your story.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • bostontola

      Quaint, but Vulcans are not without emotion, they have learned to completely control them. Autism is not about control of emotions, it is a cerebral condition that alters them.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      Spock would find your response......illogical.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Christina

        WWSD

        October 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          Fictional characters can be made to do anything.

          October 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  11. Christina

    Here's a radical idea: people have a right to believe things that you think aren't true.
    Stop trying to control their beliefs.
    Stay out of their minds just like you want them to stay out your bedrooms and uteruses.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      You have the right to believe whatever you want. You don't have the right to act on all of your beliefs though.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • bostontola

      You have those rights, that is a fact ensured by the US Consti.tution. It is extreme religious people that want to distort science texts and curricula.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      christina: wouldn't application of that sort of shoot evangelism out of the water?

      October 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  12. Christina

    Atheists are the ones who have a problem with freedom of conscience.
    Let people believe what they want.
    Don't try to control what they can and cannot believe.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      Way to play the martyr card. No one is trying to control you. Just the opposite in fact. Atheists want to be free of YOUR CONTROL and undue influence. The only way to do that is to reduce your voting majority through enlightenment and the wonder of the natural world free of fantasy beliefs.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
      • Christina

        What control is that?

        October 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          Really??? You don't see the undue influence and control Christians attempt to assert on this country? Gay rights, abortion, science in the classroom, tax exempt status, super pac candidate funding, the entire state of Utah are you that naive?

          October 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Christian: You're a controlling person

          Atheist: No, you're a controlling person

          Christian: No, you are! And God hates that about you!

          etc.

          October 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          Preventing you from forcing others into following your deluded rules is not persecution. Preventing you from making religious laws, is not persecution. Preventing you from injecting your fantasies into public schools, is not persecution. You have churches on every street corner in America. You have 100% representation in government. You have your motto imprinted on every dollar bill and uttered at every baseball game. You are the persecutor, not the persecuted. You confuse "not being in charge" with persecution.

          - SP

          October 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • bostontola

      Your assertion is a typical assertion of the religious, hollow assertion not based on any facts. You know, like Jesus is our savior.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      christina: how many atheists knock on your door to tell you that there is no god?

      October 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
      • Tyler

        Because atheist were not directed to be fishers of men by their God. But hey feel free to knock on my door as I would love to have a conversation with you the beliefs of non believers are interesting. I will listen to you of you will listen to me.

        October 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • bostontola

          Read the OP. your response indicates you are having trouble following.

          October 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Ahoy

          Tyler,

          "Fishers of men"?

          - Catch 'em
          - Kill 'em
          - Gut 'em
          - Sell 'em for food, fertilizer and other products

          The guy who thought up that analogy was silly.

          October 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • Steel On Target

        Did you ever see the video of the Australian atheist comedian who tries that out in Salt Lake City. The "christians" acted pretty "unchristian" towards him.

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-bWz74h518&w=640&h=390]

        October 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • Christina

        None, I must admit, but many come to this religion blog to do so:

        http://religion.blogs.cnn.com

        October 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          Ummm, this is a public forum. This where people are supposed to come to exchange their positions and ideas.

          October 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Michael O'Brian

      You've got that one backwards Christina. Atheists don't care what you believe, as long as you don't try to force your beliefs on others. Sadly, the very nature of religion is to convert and control other individuals.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Christina

        People believe in God because they want to. Nobody puts a sword to my neck and forces me to believe in God.

        October 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          No they just put a figurative "spiritual" sword to your neck and say believe or we will torture you forever. Yes a very loving belief system indeed.

          October 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  13. besidesearth

    Thank you so much Brant! I love using you as an example with the people I work with who are on the ASD spectrum. You are an example to us all.

    I often think the rise in ASD is in part because God knows His people need those who will look the evil society accepts and say, "That's not good!"

    Thank you for being up front and honest. Thank you for loving Jesus in such a way others will come to Him too!

    October 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  14. bordencbands77

    I find it interesting that this man, a HUMAN, who has Aspergers and has chosen to share his faith, despite the struggles he walks through (like ALL people walk through) has opened up so wrecklessly.

    Yes. Wrecklessly.

    And I applaud him for it.

    I see many comments on here by so-called atheists who ridicule him for Brant's admission of faith. What do you base your ridicule on? You all said it yourself- you do not understand. So how exactly does that give YOU, who do not understand, a right to ridicule?

    Were this an article on athiesm, or on some other social aspect, you would be applauding his bravery. You would be applauding his sticking to his guns, for admitting that he is flawed, for sharing his struggles, and you would encourage him to keep moving forward.

    However, because athiests are as guilty of being judgmental as they accuse Christians of being, that will never happen, and you will never see the speck in your own eyes.

    I am a Christian. Despite the fact that I am secularly educated, despite the fact that I am an environmentalist, or that I am a naturalist. I am human- which means I am flawed, imperfect, and yet loved deeply with a love that I KNOW deep in my heart and soul. You want proof of this love?

    Proof?

    Do you ask your partner, your girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse for PROOF of love? Do you ask your child for PROOF of love? What about your pet? So because you can't prove that love in a tangible means, does that mean its not there? Does that give me the right to ridicule YOUR view of what love is, or faith, or religion?

    Again, I applaud Brant for sharing his faith on such a public venue. I pray he is blessed, and that his post reaches others who can relate to his experieces.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Girlnextdoor

      Very well put! Not all Christians are as judgmental as some atheists would love to believe. No one has the right to judge. We all sin and fall short. Not one of us is perfect. That's why we need Jesus.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Steel On Target

        Oh? So judges don't have the right to judge now? This would sort of highlight why Atheists take issue with many religious people.

        October 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      It depends on what way you want the love to be proved. Most of us have a sense of when we are loved or when we loved by the feelings we have and the actions we do and see our loved ones do for us.

      We can also tell when we are being ignored. There is ZERO evidence of god or any love from such a character. The ONLY evidence we can conjure up for god is lack. Either god doesn't exist, or god is completely ignoring us. The same result.

      October 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • God is a concept

      The fact that you have strong religious or spiritual feelings is not in question, just as the strength of your love for others in your examples is not in question.

      It's the object, or origin of those feelings that is questionable in the case of religion. As for your love, you can see your girlfriend, your parents, your pets, et al. They are real. They are before you.

      Even if I still feel deep love for a deceased person, that love was once based on a relationship with a person who existed and I actually knew.

      Now, what if I sincerely believed I loved a movie star whom I'd never met? My love might, in my mind, be genuine, but nobody would rationally claim that I had a relationship with the movie star. It would all be in my mind.

      Sincerity and genuineness of belief in religion is no qualification for assessing the validity of the Bible or any other "sacred" writings, nor is a professed relationship with a character in a book anything other than one-sided.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:29 am |
  15. dcull71

    Geez people! Aren't we all speaking different languages here and refusing to come to the table and question our beliefs and find some common ground?
    The Atheist finds our words and beliefs ridiculous and we Christians do the same to Atheists.
    Seriously, is it so bad if an Atheist confronts me with something and I say, "Yeah, good point there. Not sure I can explain that in a way you'll find non-cheesy and stupid."
    And Atheists, is it so entirely degrading if you say, "Well this Jesus guy I don't get, I don't even think he's true, but a lot of what "he" says sure would make the world a better place if we all perhaps tried some of that."

    Hey FELLOW CHRISTIANS, want to get along with Atheists the way Jesus treated the Samaritan woman? (Jews hated Samaritans, and Jesus crossed the cultural line speaking to a Samaritan woman unaccompanied by a family member, BIG TIME!) Stop using confusing language that an Atheist is not going to understand; we quote Biblical verses that make utterly no sense to a non-believer and expect that to solve their unbelief. Hypocrites! Remove the log from your own eye before you attempt to remove the speck of sawdust from someone else's eye. You will be held accountable for your bashing and hypocritical behavior that drives Atheists even further from dialogue. Be an example, not a blubbering mouthpiece.

    Hey ATHEISTS, as soon as you call God a fairy tale, you shut down any chance of allowing Christians to be part of a conversation about their beliefs. Question, question, question; not bash, ridicule, shame. Don't look to most Christians to accurately give you a sense of the underlining message in the Bible, you'll have to look at the words yourself, look for the Christians that mirror what Jesus did teach. Additionally, many of you pretend to say there is no proof of God yet offer no proof there is no God. None of us was there before or during the beginning of the universe, so you cannot say you know there is no being that put it all in place. Remember, scientific laws are provable, theories are not; none of us know exactly what went on before the four dimensions came into existence. Physics and biology seem, to me, far too complicated to arise from nothingness.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      The common argument, “well, what caused the Big Bang?” with the implication that, because we have only theories and no iron clad explanation for the Big Bang yet, [the Christian] god must have caused it – does not make sense to us. “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god. We feel the answers to such a question are much more likely to be found in Einstein’s equations, quantum physics, large particle accelerators and radio telescopes than in Genesis Chapters 1 through 20. We’re crazy aren’t we?

      October 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I experience the same disconnection that Brant Hansen feels when I contemplate the ideas behind religious thinking. No feeling of rejection, though. I feel unloved by God. I also feel un-hated by God. There is complete silence from God. In fact, when I'am alone, I never feel like there's anybody there except me. I conclude that God is not there. It is a shame that Jesus is not around. We could be pals, like Jesus and Brant. I'd remind Jesus when necessary that he's completely barmy.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      but soften the barmy comment by telling him you love his birkenstocks.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Rdneckav8r

      I doubt The Christ wore footbeds made of cork and rubber from Germany, but I wasn't there. And being a sceptic, I would also suggest that "Don't touch that. It's hot!" would be barmy to a 4 year old child. To paraphrase a popular quote; the truth is barmy. And so is autocorrect when you try to type barmy.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  17. Golem

    Mr. Spock is Jewish

    October 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  18. Reticuli

    Spock doesn't have Asperger's. The character is highly emotional and comes from a historically violent people who have learned to control their emotion's effect on the rest of their mind and their actions.

    And the average person finds evangelical Christian tent revivals to be bizarre.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  19. tony

    I made terrific eye contact witha girl on a seat a few rows from me when I was a teen traveling on a commuter train back in the sixties. Whe never spoke or moved towards each other, and sortly she got off at the next stop.

    But I could tell in tjhat moment that she loved me. And although I never saw her since, I know she still does, and always will.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • I sht on your BS, on your Jesus, and your "god"

      Awww! How romantic. The classic brush with a stranger on a train. How sad that you never got together. *snif*

      October 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • Check

        C'mon, man, tony was purposefully being over-the-top for fun and mock poignancy. Get it?

        October 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • I sht on your BS, on your Jesus, and your "god"

          Yes, I noticed that it was not on topic and was trolling. Thanks anyway.

          October 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • God is a concept

          I sht fails to grasp that this was a good example of people convincing themselves of something that doesn't exist, and base their belief in its truth on the depth of their feelings.

          Surprising, because it seems the poster and I sht would find common ground, but I sht seems too committed to being annoying.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  20. colleen

    Hi Brant! I hope you eventually get to reading this. I love your show on Air1, it's sometimes the highlight of my day to hear what you have to say. God works through you in amazing ways. I want to thank you for sharing this, I know God will use it for His glory. You are very courageous to speak up about your faith and tell others what a true relationship with Jesus is all about. You are an inspiration Brant 🙂 For those of you who haven't experienced a relationship with Jesus, I encourage you to find out, it will change your life forever.

    October 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • bostontola

      Your last sentence goes a long way to explain why non-Christians are annoyed by some Christians.

      October 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • Rett

        Are you denying that Colleen's relationship with Jesus totally changed her life?

        October 20, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • God is a concept

          Colleen's belief possibly changed her life, but as for a "relationship with Jesus", it's a one-sided relationship.

          People have had religious beliefs so strong that they *sincerely* believed the would be immune from bullets, as they attacked with lesser weapons. And they predictably died.

          Belief can confer transcendental feelings without the object of the belief even existing. In other words, it's all in the mind.

          October 20, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      infantile slave mentality

      October 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      colleen: how has this relationship changed your life?

      October 19, 2013 at 1:37 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.