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November 23rd, 2013
07:13 AM ET

How Catholic was John F. Kennedy?

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - When John F. Kennedy was a boy, his mother counseled her children on Good Fridays to pray for a peaceful death.

Young Jack joked that he’d rather pray for two pet dogs.

If you’re looking for the CliffsNotes version of Kennedy’s Catholicism, that anecdote touches on the key themes: the pious Irish mother, the light-hearted irreverence, the ever-present prospect of death.

But there’s much more to the story.

In the words of one biographer, Kennedy was Mr. Saturday Night but also Mr. Sunday Morning, rarely missing a Mass.

He was famously unfaithful to his wife but fiercely loyal to his church, even when it threatened his quest for the presidency.

One scholar suggests that Kennedy was becoming more religious as the Cold War wore on. Another says that Kennedy’s public displays of piety were little more than political lip service.

As the country marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death - and it was far from peaceful, as we all know - almost every aspect of his life is again under the media microscope. But for all the ballyhoo about Kennedy being the first and only Catholic president, the topic of his faith remains largely untouched.

We’ve been told that he was venerated by many who shared his religion and vilified by many who didn’t. We know that his family shared sacraments with popes and confidences with cardinals. And we’ve heard about Kennedy breaking more than a few Commandments.

We also know that Catholics, particularly Irish Catholics, revere Kennedy, hanging his portrait in their parlors next to images of the Sacred Heart, naming their schools and children after him.

But the halo around Kennedy’s head has dimmed in recent decades as revelations about his marital infidelities and carefully concealed health problems have come to light.

“Being the first of any group to get to the White House is worth taking seriously and showing respect for,” said the Rev. John Langan, a Jesuit priest and ethicist at Georgetown University. “But there is bound to be a very ambivalent reaction to Kennedy at this point in our history.”

That still doesn’t tell us much about what kind of Catholic Kennedy was, to the extent that we can ever know.

“It’s hard to look into the soul of a person, especially a person who’s been dead for 50 years, and judge their religion and belief in God,” said Thomas Maier, author of “The Kennedys: America’s Emerald Kings.”

No doubt Maier is right. But Kennedy's Catholic faith remains central to questions about his character and his legacy. And even if we reserve final judgment for the Almighty, we can still probe history for clues about how religion inspired and guided his short and star-crossed life.

The Irish Catholic ideal

When Kennedy was 13 and attending a Catholic school for the only time in his life, a visiting missionary spoke to the students about his work in India.

Afterward, Kennedy eagerly informed his parents that “it was one of the most interesting talks I’ve ever heard,” according to the Robert Dallek biography “An Unfinished Life.

The Catholic missionary inspired two aims that day that would drive Kennedy for the rest of his life, according to Ted Sorensen, one of his closest advisers: the desire to enjoy the world, and the desire to improve it.

Few historians argue that Kennedy’s reputation as a womanizer isn’t well-warranted. But even tough-minded idealists such as Eleanor Roosevelt, who once regarded Kennedy as cocky and callow, eventually saw him in another light.

“My final judgment is that here is a man who wants to leave a record (perhaps for ambitious personal reasons, as people say), but I rather think because he is really interested in helping the people of his own country and mankind in general,” Roosevelt said after meeting Kennedy in 1960.

Kennedy put his personal mission another way: “Those to whom much is given, much is required.” That phrase echoes Luke’s Gospel, which, like many parts of the Bible, he learned from his mother, Rose.

Joseph Kennedy, the family patriarch, was often away making his millions and insisted that his children attend top private (and secular) schools such as Harvard. That left the nine Kennedy children’s religious education to Rose, a devout Catholic.

“At the time, it was the Irish Catholic ideal,” Langan said, “a big and active family where the father was successful in business and politics and the mother was the spiritual center, the person who held it all together.”

In other ways, the Kennedys were anything but typical Irish Catholics, said Kean University historian Terry Golway. They were lucratively rich. They mingled with Boston Brahmins. They went to Harvard, not Holy Cross.

“Some people saw them as a faux Catholic,” Golway said, “too big for their britches.”

But few historians doubt Rose Kennedy’s devout attachment to Catholicism.

She attended the country’s top Catholic schools, and she supervised her family like the nuns who ran those schools, according to biographer Barbara A. Perry.

Rose neither spared the rod nor tolerated emotional outbursts. Any bumps and bruises were to be “offered up to God,” the matriarch insisted, no complaining allowed.

“She was terribly religious,” John Kennedy said as an adult. “She was a little removed.”

Still, many say the stoicism Rose Kennedy instilled helped her son deal with the debilitating health issues that plagued his short life. Other historians theorize that Kennedy's poor health - he was twice given last rites before recovering - played a role in his wanton womanizing.

“His continual, almost heroic sexual performance,” wrote Catholic scholar Garry Wills, was a “cackling at the gods of disability that plagued him.”

Well before her son's playboy days, Rose neatly noted her children’s medical histories and church milestones such as baptism, confirmation and first Holy Communion on small index cards.

She left rosaries on their beds, tested their knowledge of the Catholic Catechism and oversaw their prayers for hints of apostasy.

Rose regularly took the children on walks to the local parish or the zoo, where she would show them the lions and explain how they once devoured faithful Christians. It was an effective, if morbid, method to hold the children’s interest, Perry notes in her book “Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch."

As the Kennedy kids grew up, Rose pinned questions about priests’ sermons and Holy Days on the family blackboard, expecting the children to discuss them at dinner, according to Perry.

The matriarch continued preaching the faith well into her children's adulthood, advising them that praying the rosary was as good a way to relieve stress as any drink or pill, and a good bit better for their figure.

And Rose wrote to Jacqueline Kennedy to “remind Jack about his Easter duty” to attend the sacrament of confession. “I’m sure that the church is quite near” to their home in Washington, she nagged.

Teasing and testing

Surrounded by his mother’s intense piety, Jack Kennedy couldn’t help but tease and test her.

He interrupted her Bible stories to ask odd questions such as what happened to the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday? Who took care of the ass after the crucifixion?

Later, Kennedy’s questions grew more probing.

Traveling through the Middle East as an adolescent, he visited Jerusalem, where Christians believe Christ ascended into heaven and Muslims believe the same about Mohammed.

Upon his return to the United States, Kennedy promptly asked a priest, “Mohammed has a big following and Christ has a big following, and why do you think we should believe in Christ any more than Mohammed?”

Get this boy some religious instruction, before he becomes an atheist, the priest told Kennedy’s parents, according to Dallek’s biography.

Later, Kennedy teasingly threatened to teach a Bible class - then a strictly Protestant practice - when his parents pressured him to dump his married girlfriend, Inga Arvad.

“Don’t good works come under our obligations to the Catholic Church?” he needled his mother and father.

“We’re not a completely ritualistic, formalistic, hierarchical structure in which the Word, the truth, must only come down from the very top - a structure that allows for no individual interpretation - or are we?”

Kennedy even ribbed Rose and Joe while fighting in the Solomon Islands during World War II. He told them he had dutifully attended Easter Mass at a native hut, even as enemy aircraft circled overhead. And his parents would be pleased to know a priest had devoted all his energies to Kennedy’s salvation.

“I’m stringing along with him,” Kennedy wrote, “but I’m not giving over too easy as I want him to work a bit - so he’ll appreciate it more when he finally has me in the front row every morning screaming hallelujah.”

The lion’s den

Joking aside, Kennedy took his faith seriously, according to several biographers, especially when it became a political issue.

In 1947, when Kennedy was a representative from Massachusetts, Congress held a hearing on public funding for parochial schools. He exploded when a Freemason testified that Catholics owe their loyalties to their church, not their country.

“I am not a legal subject of the Pope,” Kennedy countered. “There is an old saying in Boston that we get our religion from Rome and our politics from home.”

The congressional contretemps was just a prelude to the prejudice Kennedy endured during his 1960 presidential run.

Protestant leaders - from backwoods evangelists and radio preachers to prominent pastors such as Billy Graham and Norman Vincent Peale - warned the country would go to hell with a Catholic in the Oval Office.

“I’m getting tired of these people who think I want to replace the gold at Fort Knox with a supply of holy water,” Kennedy complained.

Against some advisers’ counsel, the candidate decided to directly confront the anti-Catholic bias with a televised speech to a group of Protestant ministers in Houston in 1960. It was like Daniel walking into the lion’s den, a journalist said at the time.

In the now famous speech, Kennedy said he believed that America’s separation of church and state is “absolute” and that a presidential candidate’s religious beliefs are “his own private affair.”

“I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me,” Kennedy said.

The Protestant ministers pressed Kennedy on those pledges in a question and answer session that followed, according to Dallek, but the candidate’s calm reassurances seemed to win many of them over.

“He responded with such poise and restraint that the ministers stood and applauded at the close of the meeting, and some came forward to shake his hand and wish him well in the campaign.”

A ‘little less convinced’

As president, Kennedy continued to say his daily prayers, morning and night, his sister Eunice told historians. But “that doesn’t mean he was terribly religious,” she said.

“He was always a little less convinced” than the rest of the Kennedy clan, Eunice continued, especially his brother Robert Kennedy, who took after Rose.

Still, Eunice said John always hustled off to Mass on Sundays, even while traveling. Maier, the Kennedy biographer who called him Mr. Saturday Night and Mr. Sunday Morning, said The New York Times’ index of the president’s travels show him faithfully attending Mass once a week, wherever he happened to be.

“The popular perception is that he wasn’t all that religious,” Maier said, “but by today’s standards he would be called a traditional Catholic.”

Dallek said he believes Kennedy attended religious rituals more out of duty than desire. “This is the faith he was reared in, and something his parents expected him to do,” the historian said.

“As president it was kind of mandatory to go to church, to show that he was a man of good Christian faith. But was it something that informed his daily life and decisions as president? I don’t think so.”

Others, however, see echoes of Kennedy’s Catholic upbringing in his most famous speech, the 1961 inaugural address. In it, the new president urged Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

“The words chosen seem to spring from a sacramental background,” the Rev. Daniel Coughlin, first Catholic chaplain in the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote in a recent blog post.

“In fact, the whole speech was framed by his belief in a living and ever-present God both at its beginning and in the end,” Coughlin wrote.

Two months later, in a move that may have harkened back to meeting the Catholic missionary, Kennedy founded the Peace Corps.

A monk predicts the assassination 

Regardless of how faithful Kennedy was, Irish Catholicism is as much a culture as a set of religious rules and rituals, said Peter Quinn, author of “Looking for Jimmy: A Search for Irish America.

Kennedy’s gift for gab and love of language; his fierce loyalty and clannishness; his temper and his wit; his concern for the poor and sense of the tragedy of life - he lost a beloved brother and sister at a young age - all are hallmarks of Irish Catholicism, Quinn said.

“The church was the building block of Irish identity, and Kennedy was imbued in that culture.”

Golway agrees. “There was a chip on his shoulder, a sense of being embattled and having to fight for everything. That’s a very Irish-Catholic thing.”

Other historians believe Kennedy was becoming more religious, in the traditional sense, as the threat of nuclear war loomed over his presidency.

“He never talked about his religion, never,” said James W. Douglass, author of “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters.” “But at great personal risk, he was turning from war toward peacemaking.”

Kennedy would not have been the first president to “get religion” in the Oval Office.

Lincoln, an unorthodox believer, once said that “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go.”

Historians say Kennedy kept a note on his desk paraphrasing another quote from Lincoln, “I know that there is a God and I see a storm coming. ... If he has a place for me, I am ready.”

If Lincoln’s storm was the Civil War, Kennedy’s was the Cold War.

As Douglass notes, some Catholics had little confidence that Kennedy, the youngest elected president in American history, had the wisdom and humanity to carry the country through the existential threat.

“Maybe Kennedy will break through into that some day by miracle,” Thomas Merton, the American Trappist monk and author, wrote to a friend.

“But such people are before long marked out for assassination.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Leaders • Mass • Politics • Prejudice

soundoff (1,019 Responses)
  1. My Dog is a jealous Dog

    Frankly, I could care less about what JFK believed or how well he followed the doctrine of his faith.

    I was born in the middle of the Cuban missile crisis and truly believe that if LBJ was POTUS instead, the human species would have ended it's brilliant flame right then and there. I owe my life to this man, and I think the every person alive today should give a little thanks to this man, and mourn the fact that the price he and his family has paid was so high.

    I hardly knew you JFK, but I thank you for your sacrifice to this country and the world.

    November 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Olivia

      Thank you for your comments. Very well said. I was 12 during the Cuban Missile Crisis and JFK saved us. After the Cuban Missile Crisis I could go to bed at night and not worry about whether the bomb was going to drop at night. Cold World tensions eased from that time forward. And I might add that JFK is the most over-analyzed President in history. Do we ask the same question of LBJ, who slept around all over the place? Do we ask the same question of any of our "heroes" who also are not perfect which a smaller group of people know about because journalist and biographers don't continuously bring it up like we do with JFK? And they always act like it is so important that we know this and it so important that we judge him for it. But why aren't they judging everyone else who has done the same?

      December 22, 2013 at 3:24 am |
  2. Live4Him

    @JW : So Michael the archangel is Jesus in his prehuman existence.

    This posit doesn't agree with scripture. While Michael cannot rebuke Satan, Jesus did.

    Jude 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

    Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!

    November 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • JW

      Jesus is not God, therefore he could say: "may the Lord rebuke you!" Or " May YHWH rebuke you!

      See Zechariah 3:2

      November 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        U r a liar.

        Unless u have proof

        November 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          stealing my name to post is feeble, whoever you are ...

          November 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
        • Observer

          Real Dyslexic doG,

          faith / hharri / fake Observer / fake everyone can't find ONE PERSON to support her IGNORANCE so she has to make up dozens of names and steal handles.

          November 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          I imagine this one typing with their thumbs!

          November 23, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          ... guess I'll be next. Do you think it will fool anyone?

          November 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @JW : See Zechariah 3:2

        That passage state: The YHWH said to Satan, “The YHWH rebuke you, Satan!

        So, both YHWH and Jesus are able to rebuke Satan. Yet, Michael could not.

        BTW – I thought you didn't want to continue our discussion?

        November 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
        • Beeohbee

          He decided to answer. Why be an ass about it?

          November 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
        • Billy

          It looks like a decision to not rebuke for a specific reason; not that MIchael was not capable of doing so.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • JW

          " YHWH said to satan: May YHWH rebuke you".. This type of translation is trinitarian biased...On the Byington Translation the footnote says" " and Jehovahs angel said" As well the NWT includes "Jeahovahs angel said".
          Keep in mind that the Jewish people are not tinitarians.

          Sorry i could not resist to replay :), but soon ill have to leave.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Beeohbee : He decided to answer.

          Not exactly. He answered a different issue, rather than address the points I made last night. For example, I raised the following points:

          1) If wisdom is a metaphor for Jesus, then who is 'prudence', 'knowledge' and 'discretion'. Since they are also mentioned, they must refer to others.

          2) Since Jesus created all things, and since the first act of creation is the creation of matter, energy and time, then that would mean that Jesus came before time – negating any inference that Jesus is a created being.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
        • JW

          Live4

          I answered those questions, maybe you didnt see because it was deleted, but that will be for another day!

          November 23, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @JW : "YHWH said to satan: May YHWH rebuke you".. This type of translation is trinitarian biased

          Ummm... Sorry, but this is what the HEBREW words say, and thus is not a translation. So, why would God say 'May God rebuke you"?

          @JW : Sorry i could not resist to replay 🙂 , but soon ill have to leave.

          No problem. But if you respond to me, I'll respond back, but not trying to pull you into a debate. I understand you've got limited time like me. Its just that I have time available at this moment. Maybe next time, I'll be the one short on time. 😉

          November 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @JW : I answered those questions, maybe you didnt see because it was deleted, but that will be for another day!

          Nope, haven't seen any answer to such. Perhaps you can repost when you have time to debate?

          November 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
        • Billy

          You're still basing your opinion on your supposition that Jesus created all things and not a separate Father. Jude 9 addresses a specific reason and a decision not to rebuke, not that the capability was not there. Now if you're willing to show something to convince otherwise L4H, then go for it. But please try not to spin in the hamster wheel, OK?

          November 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
        • JW

          Live4

          The Jewish people would never understand that "Jehovah said to Jehovah"... They are not Polytheists nor trinitarians

          November 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Billy : You're still basing your opinion on your supposition that Jesus created all things and not a separate Father.

          JW and I already reached such agreement, but since you want to dispute it, I'll post my reference.

          John 1:1-3 ... 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. ... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @JW : The Jewish people would never understand that "Jehovah said to Jehovah"...

          Then why did Zechariah write such? Second, have you ever heard : "I was talking to myself"? When you did, did you think that person was talking about a trinity?

          November 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • Beeohbee

          Semantics. He answered; so it was a different point. My point remains; why add something as juvenile as "BTW – I thought you didn’t want to continue our discussion?"

          November 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
        • Billy

          OK. Still, regarding:

          Jude 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

          How does that specifically state that Michael did not have the capability to rebuke...?
          Convince me that it is not describing a decision not to rebuke for a reason...

          By the way, of interest is that James H. Charlesworth, the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminary, wrote regarding Jude 9 that there is no evidence the surviving book of this name ever contained any such content in his Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, p 76.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
        • JW

          Live4

          God doesnt talk to himself, What do you think of people talking to themselves?

          Zechariah wrote "YHWH said to YHWH"? Why some bible translations translate that verse as "Jehovahs angel said to JEhovah"?

          Does YHWH said to YHWH even make sense? Ask a Jewish Orthodox person if he believes that his God can speak to his God...

          November 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
      • hearties

        Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Son of God, he is the right one to believe.

        November 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          infantile slave mind

          November 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Billy

      Obviously this is a point of difference of interpretation since JW also references this same verse somewhere below to support his view.

      November 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • kirk1

      Jude verse 9 calls Michael “the archangel.” The prefix “arch” means “principal” or “chief,” and the word “archangel” is never used in the plural form in the Bible. The only other verse in which an archangel is mentioned is at 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where Paul describes the resurrected Jesus, saying: “The Lord [Jesus] himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet.” So Jesus Christ himself is here identified as the archangel, or chief angel.

      November 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @kirk1: The only other verse in which an archangel is mentioned is at 1 Thessalonians 4:16

        Do you understand why that is? In Greek, the term 'arche' means beginning, ruler or founder. Thus, you cannot have two such rulers.

        @kirk1: So Jesus Christ himself is here identified as the archangel, or chief angel.

        You're jumping to conclusions here without sufficient facts. Do you conclude that Jesus is also a trumpet? No, but using your interpretation he would be.

        November 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
        • kirk1

          Revelation 12:7-12 says that Michael and his angels would war against Satan and hurl him and his wicked angels out of heaven in connection with the conferring of kingly authority on Christ. Jesus is later depicted as leading the armies of heaven in war against the nations of the world. (Rev. 19:11-16) Is it not reasonable that Jesus would also be the one to take action against the one he described as “ruler of this world,” Satan the Devil? (John 12:31) Daniel 12:1 (RS) associates the ‘standing up of Michael’ to act with authority with “a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time.” That would certainly fit the experience of the nations when Christ as heavenly executioner takes action against them. So the evidence indicates that the Son of God was known as Michael before he came to earth and is known also by that name since his return to heaven where he resides as the glorified spirit Son of God.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @kirk1 : Revelation 12:7-12 says that Michael and his angels would war against Satan ... Jesus is later depicted as leading the armies

          There are two military leaders in a battle, the king and the army commander. Only in small conflicts are they the same person. In Biblical times, a white horse was used by the King to proclaim victory. However, the king never lead the battle in a large conflict since he was too valuable.

          We get our game of chess from such ideas – the king is overall leader, but has no power. Once he is captured, the game is over. Which is why you NEVER attack with the king unless you have no other option.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • kirk1

          @Liv. gotta eat my friend, perhaps we could continue another time. take care

          November 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @kirk1 : gotta eat my friend, perhaps we could continue another time. take care

          Take care too! Later!

          November 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

      Luk 17:22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.

      Luk 17:23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.

      November 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      HAHAHA! You have got to be amused by the jesus freak nutters arguing about what part of the BS is true. HALLELUJAH.

      November 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Bob

      The whole Jesus-sacrifice thing is a giant crock of BS. It's a giant bull story that too many gullible people have fallen for. 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/

      November 23, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    christians you are splitting my sides with all this "scripture" you post.

    using the words of someone who was in the same cult as you, who was just as deluded as you, to prove any sort of point is hilarious!

    hilarious!

    November 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I no what u mean. My sides r killing me. U have no proof to support your nonsense. Yoke's on u, my beloved.

      November 23, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    CNN: why isn't the article on St Peter's supposed bones in the Belief Blog?

    November 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  5. JW

    Who is "wisdom" on Proverbs chapter 8?

    Who is the king of Tyre on Ezekiel chapter 28?

    November 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Hello again. Shall we continue where we left off last night?

      November 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • JW

        Hi Live4

        Not today, i have been speaking to Vic for very long already, getting tired, but we can continue later or another day for sure.

        I replayed back to you yesterday but the Kids here helped to delete our conversation...But we can resume next time

        November 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • kirk1

      satan

      November 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • JW

        Good answer. What makes you think that way?

        November 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • kirk1

          the same reason you do. are you using the new revised nwt yet?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • JW

          OH YES..an amazing edition!! Plus JW library...amazing!

          November 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
      • kirk1

        @JW. technology sure is speeding things up. perhaps fulfilling Isa.60:22 🙂

        November 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • JW

          Its in fact impressive. Jehovah has blessed his people in an immense way, i cant even express in words all the good things Jehovah has done for us!

          November 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • kirk1

          i second that. what part of the world do you live? i am in cal

          November 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • JW

          Im in Ont, CAD... nice to meet you! Enjoy the sun because here is freezing 🙂

          November 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
        • kirk1

          nice meeting you as well. while my wife & i special pip in ireland i froze my ars (as they say in ireland) off. i will soak up some rays for my brother in ont. take care.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
        • JW

          Nice to meet you as well! Keep up the good work! 🙂

          November 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • kirk1

          that was supposed to be special pioneers. you keep up the good work as well. going lunch, adios

          November 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  6. Jesus' Beloved

    “But such people are before long marked out for assassination.”

    Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Prov. 18:21

    Words are VERY important. The creation of the universe was by the spoken word. What existed in the spirit realm was called into being in the physical realm.
    There is a spiritual force behind the words we speak. In life we only speak two things: life or death. Choose to speak life over every situation in your life.

    November 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Pete

      Yes, words can create a God out of nothing at all. The human imagination can be very powerful.

      November 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Powerful enough to ignore evidence that one doesn't want to see?

        November 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
        • Pete

          Live4Him
          What "evidence" would that be? Where imagination comes into play here is in seeing divinity where only nature is evident. Once you come to believe, accept the premise that God is everywhere, and put those God-colored glasses on, you can't help but "see" God in everything, correct?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Pete : What "evidence" would that be?

          Dino blood cells / vessels, soft tissue, etc. Prior to finding such, scientists concluded that based upon the evidence DNA (much less soft tissue) could only survive for about 10,000 years in a temperate environment (where it was found). So, do you accept this evidence as indicating that dinos were alive less than 10,000 years ago?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          "Prior to finding such, scientists concluded that based upon the evidence DNA (much less soft tissue) could only survive for about 10,000 years in a temperate environment (where it was found). "

          Why would DNA be more long-lived than simple soft tissue, as you seem to be implying?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
        • Beeohbee

          L4H, you have concluded that what you state is true. The majority of people haven't swallowed that theory.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : Why would DNA be more long-lived than simple soft tissue, as you seem to be implying?

          When you build a house using 2×4's, which survives the longest – a room or a 2×4? The latter. The same is true of soft tissue and DNA. The DNA is a subcomponent of the cell, which is a subcomponent of the tissue. the tissue will breakdown into individual cells, which will later breakdown into individual DNA, and then fragments of such, etc.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Beeohbee : you have concluded that what you state is true. The majority of people haven't swallowed that theory

          I've posted my references many times on this forum, but I'll do it again.

          DNA could only survive 10,000 years in Temperate environment
          Lindahl, T. 1993. Instability and decay of the primary structure of DNA

          DNA could only survive 100,000 years in icy environment, but other proteins such as collagen probably completely degrade in less than 30,000 years
          Poinar, H. N., Höss, M., Bada, J. L., and Paabo, S. 1996. Amino acid racemization and the preservation of ancient DNA. Science 272:864-866
          Smith, C. I., et al., 2001. Neanderthal DNA: not just old but old and cold? Nature 410:771–772.
          Willerslev, E. and Cooper, A. 2005. Ancient DNA. Proc. R. Soc. B 272:3–16

          November 23, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          Ah, logic by faulty analogy, I see.

          If you think that a strand of nucleic acid is more durable than collagen, then you are sadly mistaken.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
        • Science Works

          L4H since you are posting nature stuff, here is the latest information on DNA !

          By comparing the genetic data of modern day cancer patients to that found in fossils of our genetic ancestors, the Neanderthals and Denisovans, researchers learned that the same viruses that infect us today also infected Neanderthals more than half a million years ago. Pictured is an electron micrograph showing human immunodeficiency virus (spherical) on human lymphocytes. (Photo : CDC/C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManus))

          http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/5009/20131121/ancient-neanderthal-viruses-found-modern-human-dna.htm

          November 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • Beeohbee

          I do not care how many references you post to back up your point; my point is that the majority do not share your opinion.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          I think your entire argument is based on a misunderstanding of decomposition and fossilization. These are two different things and in all cases fossilization is rare, and usually occurs on decomposed remains. Both processes can take a long time, but decomposition is usually quite rapid (including hard parts like bones – otherwise we would be knee deep in bones) and fossilization is usually quite slow. Fossilization is the slow replacement of mineral for organic material. In both processes the speed of the process is highly variable and can be influenced greatly by special circu.mstances. There is nothing in either theory (decomposition or fossilization) that says the two time frames cannot overlap. This would have to be a very, very special situation in which decomposition is incredibly slowed and fossilization is incredibly speedy. It would be very rare indeed, but not impossible.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • Darwin was in love with the Orangutan in the zoo at the very first sight hence evilution has to be true

          "This would have to be a very, very special situation in which decomposition is incredibly slowed and fossilization is incredibly speedy. It would be very rare indeed, but not impossible."

          And that very very special and indeed a very rare situation 'must' support your position, othere wise, it's impossible and has to be non-existing, right?

          November 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • ME II

          While it is widely accepted that proteins have the potential to survive significantly longer periods of time than DNA. [1], persistence of original bone proteins in fossils at least 68 million years old is controversial [2], [3], despite multiple lines of evidence supporting this hypothesis [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]. Current temporal limits for survival of original biomaterials [10], [11] are based upon theoretical kinetics and laboratory experiments designed to simulate protein diagenesis through exposure to harsh conditions (e.g. low pH and high temperature [10], [12]) and predict complete degradation of measurable biomolecules in well under a million years if degradation proceeds at simulated rates. Modeled degradation of DNA [13] places temporal limits of ~100,000 years (at a constant 10°C), whereas models of protein degradation (e.g. [1], [14]) extend this to a few million years (at a constant 10°C). However, these predictions have been surpassed (e.g. [15]), supporting the suggestion that current models may not be appropriate, in part because they do not consider the molecules in their native state (i.e., folded, closely-packed, cross-linked or, in the case of bone, stabilized by association with the mineral phase [16]). Recovery of what appear to be cells, blood vessels and tissues from multiple fossils from varying ages and depositional settings [4], and protein sequence data from two dinosaurs [5], [6], [7], [9], also suggests that these models may be incomplete.

          (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0020381)

          November 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Orangutan

          My position is that it is possible for soft tissue to be fossilized or for soft tissue of any kind (including DNA), in some state of decomposition, to be found inside fossilized material.

          November 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        • Doris

          You mean like that 46-million year old mosquito they just found that still has blood in it, Dog??

          November 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Doris – exactly!

          November 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Doris

          ... and someday we will have the technology to extract that blood and analyze it to determine what it's last meal was. Probably even be able to match it to the fossil record. Just not yet.

          November 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          Just checking but, above are you quoting or paraphrasing the scientific articles you cite or some creationist spin of scientific articles?
          Such as, http://www.icr.org/article/how-soon-will-jurassic-park-open/

          November 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • Doris

          Still haven't found my Little House in the Big Woods, Dog. 😦 I may have to go get one somewhere. I've only read it I think one other time since it was read to me in school. I would not e-book that one. Need a book I can hold with decent size print and candle light and hot tea while the fall winds blow about outside. These winds feel like they came down from Lake Githigoomie – I might have to put on some Gordon L. once I get that book again.

          November 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Doris

          Thanks – the leaves start to change and I get a little homesick. Go down to the local Goodwill and pick up a copy and an old kerosene lamp. The odor may be an issue, but for me it brings back the memory of "game night" when the power went out – which was every big thunder/snow storm.

          November 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
        • Doris

          OKay, Dog. Hmm, If i'm going to have a kerosene lamp, I'll just sit out there with that and a foot heater. Hmm. Will need more heat – may hot tea and some fresh hot beignets.

          November 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
        • Darwin was in love with the Orangutan in the zoo at the very first sight hence evilution has to be true

          So, that must be very very special special situation though indeed very rare has or had to be occurring because you posited it, right?

          November 23, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
        • Darwin was in love with the Orangutan in the zoo at the very first sight hence evilution has to be true

          @Doris

          My 81-yr. old neighbor had blood stain on her undies, thus, she must be on a period, right?

          @ Dog

          Therefore, she must be safe when safe and will not get preggy after she had a quickie inside the chicken coop with her 18-yr old care taker, right?

          November 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Orangutan

          I am not sure what you are asking. I am saying that soft tissue be preserved for a very long time. If you are asking if I believe that a completely preserved dinosaur is somewhere out there fossilized right down to the stomach contents, I think it is possible but highly unlikely, and our chances of finding something like this to be virtually zero. I believe the chances of finding a very small dinosaur completely encased in amber to be much more likely, but still highly unlikely.

          November 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          Orangutan

          I'm sorry – but based on your postings, it is obvious that you're not interested in real discourse, so I will ignore you from now on.

          November 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
        • Darwin was in love with the Orangutan in the zoo at the very first sight hence evilution has to be true

          Dog

          Honestly I wasn't. My point there is, 'possibility same as uncertainty is infinite. But what pi.s.ses me off are warped-minded individuals that think that only their side can use it (possibility) to prove that they're position.

          Unless, both sides accept that they have an equal share of the benefit of the doubt, this war of words would never end and make any sense at all.

          I'm not sure but based on your most recent response, it's safe to presume that you're vulnerable to a deep-seated thinking and type of argumentation hence, I would say that, the feeling is mutual.

          November 23, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
        • Darwin was in love with the Orangutan in the zoo at the very first sight hence evilution has to be true

          *to prove their position is right, rather.

          November 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  7. Jesus' Beloved

    I don't think it's important how Catholic he was.
    The fruits of his spirit tells the type of person he was. (The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace etc.)
    Did he love his fellow brethren. That's what is important.

    November 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

      November 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • Surrender to

        a tissue (but then please flush and Purel before finishing your grocery shopping).

        November 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • typically

      Agreed. His Catholicism is irrelevant. I admired him. He resisted lamay and other joint chiefs who were eager to bomb Cuba, bolt into Viet Nam, etc. A good friend of his was gay. Didn't matter to him and I love the guy for that. He was addicted to seeccks.

      HE WAS A LEADER

      November 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    Kennedy’s public displays of piety were little more than political lip service

    November 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      But we don't judge

      November 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  9. Markus Robbins

    A really interesting book that discusses JFK's religious beliefs as well as what would have happened had he survived and had a second term – The Memoirs of John F. Kennedy. Fun to read, heart-breaking though to know that his greatness was never realized.

    November 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Depends on which one of his mistresses you ask.

      November 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  10. Vic

    I apologize in case of multiple postings but I think the thread was deleted.

    This was for poster JW:

    In extreme short:

    Jesus Christ, when on earth, was fully man and fully God; He confined Himself to the realm of human life to fulfill the heavenly requirement, and He fully supplicated God the Father as a human, on our behalf. As humans were required by God to fulfill the Law, which no man can, God the Son (Jesus Christ) incarnated in the human flesh to do so.

    The "Holy Trinity" is one of the most imponderable concepts of Christianity, just like eternity, but that's only limited to this life realm and our human limit. That in itself is a testimony to Revelation from God.

    p.s. Apostle Paul did believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ from the beginning on the road to Damascus where He appeared to and commissioned him through Ananias (Read through the Book of Acts, Chapter 9 & Romans, Chapter 1, for starters.) You are quoting passages related to the man (son of man) aspect of Jesus Christ on earth that was the entire purpose of incarnation to fulfill the Law as a human on our behalf.

    November 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Butthead

      huh huh huh huh.. he said imponderable. huh huh huh and in italics.. huh huh huhuh huh

      November 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • JW

      "The trinity is... only limited to this life realm and our human limit."

      If you cannot understand a concept , in this case the trinity, then the concept is Wrong...not valid!

      Please read Acts 7:55

      AND

      There is no evidence that Paul believed in the devinity of Jesus...

      Acts 9:20 :" and immediately in the synagogues he began to preach about Jesus, that this one is the SON OF GOD."

      Rom 1:7: "May you have undeserved kindness and peace from God our Father ( one person) and the Lord Jesus Christ.( Another person)

      November 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
      • Vic

        What I mean by imponderable is the form of One Godhead and Three Persons for a human mind.

        Also, yes, Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit.) In the New Testament, it is customary to refer to God the Father as God, and God the Son (Jesus Christ) as Lord. Lord means God. Apostle Paul constantly referred to Jesus Christ as Lord and son of man, which is Fully God and fully man.

        November 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          abject foolishness.

          November 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • JW

          Jesus made a clear distinction between him and his Father when he said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) If we believe Jesus and understand the plain teaching of the Bible, we will respect him as the divine Son of God that he is.

          November 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Vic

          Yes, Jesus Christ the man on earth (God incarnated in the human flesh.)

          Jesus Christ Fully God Fully Man

          John 1:1-5
          "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

          John 1:14
          "14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."

          Philippians 2:6-8
          "6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

          1 Timothy 3:16
          "16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:

          He who was revealed in the flesh,
          Was vindicated in the Spirit,
          Seen by angels,
          Proclaimed among the nations,
          Believed on in the world,
          Taken up in glory."

          Hebrews 1:3
          "3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,"

          Hebrews 2:17
          "17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."

          1 John 5:6-8
          "6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement."

          All Scripture Is From:

          New American Standard Bible (NASB)
          Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

          http://www.biblegateway.com/

          November 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
        • Pete

          Vic
          John was the last of the canonical gospels written, so an evolution of Jesus towards divinity after he failed to return is only natural, but where does Paul specifically say that Jesus was God? I mean, sitting at the right hand of a king doesn't actually make someone that king, right? Aren't you just reading into Paul what you hear the later gnostic gospel of John proclaiming?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • JW

          John 1:1-5
          "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
          Who was the Word in the beginning WITH God, if hes a trinity?

          John 1:14
          "14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father"
          Compare with John 3:16 and 1 John 4:9. "only begotten son FROM the father" Not trinitarian based

          Philippians 2:6-8
          "6 who, although He existed in the form of God..
          What do you understand by "existed in the FORM of god?"

          You forgot to use the context:
          "Keep this mental attiitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus,+ 6 who, although he was existing in God’s form,+ gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God.

          1 Timothy 3:16
          "16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:

          He who was revealed in the flesh,
          Was vindicated in the Spirit,
          Seen by angels,
          Proclaimed among the nations,
          Believed on in the world,
          Taken up in glory."

          This Scripture doesnt prove nothing

          Hebrews 1:3
          "3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,"

          "Sat down at the right hand of God or the MAjesty" Is this even trinitarian? Jesus sat beside God

          Hebrews 2:17
          "17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."

          "high priest" is not God

          1 John 5:6-8
          " the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement."- Are not The GOD father God son and God holy spirit. Jesus was Baptized by Spirit in the waters of the Jordan, and his blood relieve us from sin

          November 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • kirk1

          if jesus was god on earth that means god died. which contradicts the scripture that says god can not die.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • JW

          Awesome logic Kirk!

          November 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Billy

      I would say as an atheist, that for me, it is no more difficult to disbelieve the unitarian or JW view of Christ as it is for me to disbelieve the trinity. In a roundabout way I am saying the non-trinity view seems just as reasonable if I were to try to weigh both on some level of reason. Does anyone know how many non-"trinitarians" there are in the world? How about the Assyrian church – what is their view?

      November 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • JW

        Non-trinitarians? Almost 8 Million JWs in more then 236 countries for sure!

        November 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Billy

          Yeah – thanks, JW. And then there are Unitarians. But it seems there might be more. I'm curious if there is something prior to the reformation that is generally non-trinity. Assyrian church or Oriental Orthodoxy perhaps.

          November 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
        • JW

          The bible account of the New testament shows that Jesus and the first century Christians where non-trinitarians. Only by the 3rd century the already counterfeited christian church, started to believe in the trinity, then Constantine seal that belief within the church. The trinity was already known for the pagan religions...why that belief was added I dont know...but history shows that the believers in the trinity have spilled much innocent blood from Constantine untill now a day!

          November 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Vic

        I believe you are referring to Arianism which was founded by a Greek Christian theologian named Arius in the Church of Alexandria, who was declared a heretic for denying the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

        November 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • Pete

          Isn't "heretic" just what the winning variety of Christianity called the other varieties that it forced into extinction? Had the Arians been the group based in Rome where all the power was, and became the official theology after Constantine, you'd be arguing against Jesus's divinity right now, correct?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • Billy

        Evidently Oriental Orthodoxy is trinitarian as expected. The Assyrian church (of the East) which has included various levels of Nestorianism along the way, is a very different animal it seems from the trinity view and unitarian view. They did split very early on (Council of Ephesus- 431).

        November 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Billy

          that council was held near present-day Selçuk in Turkey

          November 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • JW

          The trinity early origins:

          The worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was also common before Jesus was born. “From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity,” observed historian Will Durant. In the Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, James Hastings wrote: “In Indian religion, e.g., we meet with the trinitarian group of Brahmā, Siva, and Viṣṇu; and in Egyptian religion with the trinitarian group of Osiris, Isis, and Horus.”

          November 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
        • JW

          The New Encyclopædia Britannica describes one major factor that led to twisted (trinitarian thinking) reasoning: “Christians who had some training in Greek philosophy began to feel the need to express their faith in its terms, both for their own intellectual satisfaction and in order to convert educated pagans.” An important doctrine that was given a pagan twist had to do with the identiity of Jesus Christ. The Bible calls him the Son of God; the lovers of Greek philosophy insisted that he is God.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • Vic

          The "Holy Trinity" reference in the Holy Bible appeared in Genesis.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
        • JW

          Vic- Where in Genesis?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Vic

          The "Holy Trinity" reference in the Holy Bible appeared in Genesis.

          Genesis 1:26

          "26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [ak]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”"

          November 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
        • Vic

          Us

          November 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • JW

          "Let us"

          If God is trinity, how could he be talking to himself?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
        • Pete

          Vic
          Or those references are relics from back in the days when the Hebrew people were polytheists? Much of the OT details the struggle of the prophets and kinds to force the common people to give up their other gods and we are pretty sure that YHWH originated as just another god in the Canaanite pantheon. There is even evidence that YHWH had a consort goddess wife. Monotheism didn't just happen overnight, right?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • G to the T

          Vic and JW – Genesis – "Us" = Elohim – how about the most obvious answer? The early hebrews were polytheistic and only later developed monolatry and then monotheism. Some elements of this earlier polytheism still exist in the bible.

          November 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • My Dog is a jealous Dog

        I can fill you in on the Unitarian Universalist church a bit for you. I am an atheist and also a member of a UU church, we have members that consider themselves to be Christians, Jews, Muslims, and even Wiccans. The Unitarian church has basically no dogma at all. The only piece of "dogma" that I have ever heard is that their is no hell. It is not really about what you believe, and more about how you behave and the public commitments you make to help your community. Here is a list of their principles:

        1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
        2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
        3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
        4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
        5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
        6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
        7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

        November 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
        • Billy

          There have been many interesting Unitarians: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, N.C. Wyeth, Daniel Webster, Joanne Woodward, Kurt Vonnegut, Pete Seeger, Albert Schweitzer, Paul Revere, Christopher Reeve, Linus Pauling, Paul Newman, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson..

          November 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          The cast of the touring company of Hairspray performed at one of our services recently, and it brought in a large number of people from the LGBT community in to visit, and their reaction to the regular members in the congregation was quite interesting, lively, and positive. I believe that the principles of the church are an excellent basis for personal ethics and morality, and yet it makes no promises or threats. We as humans require community interaction in order to promote a healthy society, and I like the way the UU church does things. The youth education programs should be the model for providing ethical and moral education to children, and 80% of the money that comes into the church goes back out to charity.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
        • Saraswati

          http://www.famousuus.com

          November 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • My Dog is a jealous Dog

          If I had to say there was any belief that is preached in a UU church it is that no one deserves eternal punishment, and therefore hell does not exist. And even then it is not something that is actually "preached", it is more the common ground that we can all agree on.

          November 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • heartties

      Are you saying Paul was blinded by the divinity of Jesus?

      November 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
      • Vic

        Funny you should ask!

        Apostle Paul (then Saul) was purposely blinded for a little while when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared (metaphoric for talked) to him on the road to Damascus. I personally believe this is consistent with the nature of God not showing Himself to anyone, so Jesus Christ Who Is God The Son did.

        November 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • JW

          "God the Son"

          Do you even understand that concept?

          November 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • Vic

          Yes I can; however, I cannot picture the form in my human mind!

          November 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • JW

          your quote:

          "but that's only limited to this life realm and our human limit."

          November 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • Vic

          The form of One Godhead and Three Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is imponderable by the human mind. That imponderability is limited only to this life realm and the limit of the human mind; in the next life realm, we will be transformed into a glorified form where we will be immortal and can comprehend what we couldn't in this life realm.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • JW

          "The form of One Godhead and Three Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is imponderable by the human mind. That imponderability is limited only to this life realm and the limit of the human mind; in the next life realm, we will be transformed into a glorified form where we will be immortal and can comprehend what we couldn't in this life realm."

          John 4:22 "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know..."

          November 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
        • Billy

          JW – I read somewhere that JWs believe that Jesus was this angel Michael prior to God making him flesh. Is that what you believe?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
        • Pete

          And yet, Jesus went around healing blind people in life instead of creating them. Why no light then?

          Maybe it was just Paul having some kind of seizure? He did often complain about "the thorn in his side", so maybe it was something like a tumor? Regardless, Paul reshaped Christianity completely, making it altogether a different movement from what Jesus intended and passed onto the apostles who actually knew him personally.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Billy

          and I think it said Michael and Satan were separate distinct sons of God.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • JW

          Billy

          The same situation occurs with names in the Bible. For example, the patriarch Jacob is also named Israel. (Genesis 35:10) The apostle Peter is named in five different ways—Symeon, Simon, Peter, Cephas, and Simon Peter. (Matthew 10:2; 16:16; John 1:42; Acts 15:7, 14) How can we be sure that Michael is another name for Jesus? Consider the following Scriptural evidence.

          Read Dan 10:13,21: Dan 12:1: Rev 12:7: Jude 9: 1 Thess 4:16

          It is important to note that the human birth of Jesus was not the beginning of his life. Before Jesus was born, Mary was visited by an angel who told her that she would conceive a child by means of holy spirit and that she should name the child Jesus. (Luke 1:31) During his ministry, Jesus often spoke of his prehuman existence.—John 3:13; 8:23, 58.
          So Michael the archangel is Jesus in his prehuman existence. After his resurrection and return to heaven, Jesus resumed his service as Michael, the chief angel, “to the glory of God the Father.”—Philippians 2:11.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • Billy

          Thanks, JW – this is interesting. I noticed earlier when looking for clues about this that it seems people like to compare JW to Mormonism at least regarding the view of Jesus, before, during and after flesh. Do you see those similarities as well?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • JW

          Jesus was Created by God, his first Creation...then the other things where created THROUGH Jesus as a Master Worker. God Used Jesus as his Word. On earth Jesus came to die for the sin of humanity. When he died he went to heaven, where he sat at Gods right hand. Eventually God made Christ King, Christ will lead Humanity to perfection and eliminate badness. But as 1 Corinthian 15:27,28 say Jesus himself will Give His Crown back to God so God can be all things to everyone

          I dont know if mormons view it this way?

          November 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
        • Billy

          I think I read that Mormons think that God created Jesus and Satan as spirit brothers. I also read that about JW. I'm not sure about Mormons, because much of the pages from LDS don't go into that detail. I'm wondering if that concept is just old and not part of their doctrine anymore.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
        • JW

          Billy – Its hard to understand the mormons doctrine since they base most of their doctrines on the "Book of Mormon"a book that contradicts alot with what the bible says!

          November 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Pete

      If Jesus was fully God why would he bother praying to himself?

      November 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • JW

        Good Question!

        November 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • hearties

        The spirit of God dwells within us, and we pray to God.

        November 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  11. Luke 12:48

    When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

    A honorable mission to adhere to and a fantastic a scripture verse to live by!

    November 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Bruno

      How catholic was JFK?

      –If that was his mission, then very much a catholic!

      🙂

      November 23, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Jerome Ivan

      Amen! 🙂 🙂

      November 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Cosmos

      What about the poor who have no families and have a lot of time and spend all their time on this blog even on holidays and the Sabbath?
      Are they excused?

      November 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • Bruno

        Looking at the verse, if you were gifted with time, you will be accountable for the time that was given you and how wisely you had used your time.

        Time is precious, use it wisely!

        November 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  12. 98beecher

    If JFK were a Protestant, would anyone be questioning his particular religion? After fifty years, it is kind of a moot point.

    November 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Martinez

      1 out of 10 atheists would be questioning his religion. And then they would flock to this board and talk about it all day long. And then go to sleep and have dreams about it.

      November 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • That dream

        deal is that you Austin ?

        November 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Actually, it appears to be the atheists on this board who really don't care about JFK's religion. You may not have noticed this because you are more interested in blindly insulting atheists.

        November 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I suspect they are running fluff to avoid stories like this:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/methodist-pastor-goes-to-church-trial-for-marrying-his-gay-son/2013/11/18/de86d75a-501a-11e3-9fe0-fd2ca728e67c_story.html

      November 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
      • Vick

        Yeah, tal, or that story about judge Crabb's latest ruling about churches and tax exempt status.

        November 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • Science Works

        Or this follow-up on Bishop Exorcist. Wonder if Scalia was present and no word from the pope.

        Bishop Paprocki stages exorcism as gay marriage becomes law: ‘Be gone Satan’

        BY DAVE MCKINNEY Springfield Bureau Chief November 20, 2013 7:22PM

        http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/23891467-460/springfield-bishop-stages-exorcism-as-gay-marriage-becomes-law-deliver-us-from-evil.html

        November 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  13. Jesus Speaks

    Some larger fish have worms.

    November 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Jesus Speaks

      Others do not.

      November 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Still others we cannot be sure about.

        November 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • ?

      Jesus
      Skinny women in a Baptist church choir usually have tape worms, just saying.

      November 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  14. tallulah13

    Fifty years after the man's over-analyzed life and death, does JFK's view of religion even matter?

    November 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  15. CBP

    JFK was a Catholic. How he practiced his faith was his own business.

    Why is CNN carrying this piece? No one should have to prove their religion – it is personal and private.

    November 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Maddy

      Especially 50 years after the man died.

      November 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
      • Bert974

        Atheism is not a religion. Religionism is a religion.

        November 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
        • Bert974

          For some reason that comment showed up. No idea why.

          November 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Bert974

          What happened to " #comment-2769139 " ?

          November 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
        • Maddy

          Well, that's just odd....random.

          November 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If you are an elected official and your religious beliefs influence your actions, every voter has a right to know them in determining what you are likely to do. if a politician wants to stand up and say "My religion is X but it has no influence on my actions" we can reconsider, but I have yet to hear a politician say that.

      November 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  16. Apple Bush

    Don’t it always go…you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone?

    They paved paradise, put up a church.

    November 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Are you Ok AB? I was watching college ball but the game is a runaway. The good news is that they tore down another church in my area and there is talk of a strip joint filling the spot, the irony.
      PS: I am not at all in favor of strip clubs, they are demeaning to woman and run by biker gangs, just so the righteous do not take my comment out of context.

      November 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Hey CQ, yeah I am great, you? Well, I am never exactly ok, but good for me!

        That was a take on a old Joni Mitchell song.

        November 23, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Good AB.
          Love a little Joni until a Big Yellow Taxi drove me away.

          November 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        That's the one!

        November 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  17. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

    @Vic – "When in Rome, follow the Romans,"

    Oh Vic, really? Follow the Romans?

    November 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Vic

      You mean an altered version?

      November 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
      • Hmmmmmmmmm

        You might try Googleing "when in Rome."

        November 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Vic

          The moral of the story is "it is polite to follow the customs of the mainline church/society," as applicable, of course.

          November 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • Martinez

          You want him to watch a Kristen Bell movie?

          November 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  18. Vic

    I cannot get through the entire lengthy article without first points popping in my head.

    First, just to show you that the proverb "When in Rome, follow the Romans," though ironic, holds true. The American mainline Christianity revolves around Protestantism, so go the politics. John F. Kennedy was not the norm for that, since he was Catholic.

    Second,

    [
    "We know that his family shared sacraments with popes and confidences with cardinals. And we’ve heard about Kennedy breaking more than a few Commandments."

    "We also know that Catholics, particularly Irish Catholics, revere Kennedy, hanging his portrait in their parlors next to images of the Sacred Heart, naming their schools and children after him."
    ]

    I wonder what earns a person such status other than money and fame, let alone politics, as opposed to personal qualities.

    [
    "“Being the first of any group to get to the White House is worth taking seriously and showing respect for,” said the Rev. John Langan, a Jesuit priest and ethicist at Georgetown University."
    ]

    Third, who Killed J.R.?! LOL!

    November 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Test

      I wish somebody would kill J.R.

      November 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Vic

        Bad (evil) wish!

        November 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
      • Test

        The character (fiction) was never killed. Therefore it is not a wish, it's a joke.
        If I give you a dollar will you buy yourself a clue?

        November 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
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About this blog

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