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What Dave Ramsey gets wrong about poverty
Financial advisor Dave Ramsey is also an evangelical Christian.
November 30th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

What Dave Ramsey gets wrong about poverty

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN 

(CNN)– Dave Ramsey is rich. And he makes his living telling other evangelical Christians how they can get rich, too.

Host of a nationally syndicated radio program and author of multiple best-selling books, Ramsey targets evangelical Christians with what he calls a “biblical” approach to financial planning, one that focuses primarily on the elimination of consumer debt. His for-profit Financial Peace University is billed as “a biblically based curriculum that teaches people how to handle money God's ways."

Much of what Ramsey teaches is sound, helpful advice, particularly for middle-class Americans struggling with mounting credit card bills. I have celebrated with friends as they’ve marked their first day of debt-free living, thanks in part to Dave Ramsey’s teachings and all those white envelopes of cash he urges his students to use instead of credit cards.

But while Ramsey may be a fine source of information on how to eliminate debt, his views on poverty are neither informed nor biblical.

Take, for example, a recent article by Tim Corley posted to Ramsey’s website. Entitled “20 Things the Rich Do Every Day,” the article presents some dubious statistics comparing the habits of the rich with the habits of the poor, including:

“70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.”

“76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.”

“63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.”

One need not be a student of logic to observe that Corley and Ramsey have confused correlation with causation here by suggesting that these habits make people rich or poor.

For example, a poor person might not exercise four days a week because, unlike a rich person, she cannot afford a gym membership. Or perhaps she has to work two jobs to earn a living wage, which leaves her little time and energy for jogging around the park.

A poor family may eat more junk food, not because they are lazy and undisciplined, but because they live in an economically disadvantaged, urban setting where health food stores are not as available: a so-called “food desert.”

Critics were swift to point out these discrepancies and among the critics were some of Ramsey’s fellow evangelical Christians who also noted that, though the book of Proverbs certainly heralds success as a common return on faithful labor, nowhere does the Bible guarantee that good habits lead to wealth.

The writer of Ecclesiastes observed that "under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all."

And far from having contempt for the poor, Jesus surrounded himself with the needy and challenged the excesses of the rich. “Blessed are you who are poor,” he said, “for yours is the kingdom of God. … But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort” (Luke 6:24).

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," Jesus famously said, "than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

It’s hard for the wealthy to flourish in the kingdom that Jesus inaugurated because the economy of that kingdom runs so contrary to the economies of the world. It rewards the peacemakers over the powerful, the humble over the proud, the kind over the cruel, and those who hunger to do the right thing over those whose wealth has convinced them they already are.

Ramsey responded to the pushback with an addendum to the original post calling his critics “ignorant” and “immature” and instructing them to “grow up.”

“This list simply says your choices cause results,” he said, again committing the false cause fallacy. “You reap what you sow.”

The list, he said, applies only to people living in “first world” countries, where Ramsey believes economic injustices are essentially nonexistent. While the poor in developing countries are so as a result of external circumstances beyond their control, the poor in the United States have no one to blame but themselves.

“If you are broke or poor in the U.S. or a first-world economy, the only variable in the discussion you can personally control is YOU,” Ramsey says. “You can make better choices and have better results.”

America, he argues, has prospered as a direct result of its “understanding and application of biblical truths” which have led to “life-changing industry, inventions and a standard of living never known before on this planet.”

“There is a direct correlation,” he concludes, “between your habits, choices and character in Christ and your propensity to build wealth.”

For Christians, Ramsey’s perceived “direct correlation” between faith and wealth should be more troubling than his other confused correlations, for it flirts with what Christians refer to as the prosperity gospel, the teaching that God rewards faithfulness with wealth.

Ramsey’s particular brand of prosperity gospel elevates the American dream as God’s reward for America’s faithfulness, the spoils of which are readily available to anyone who works hard enough to receive them.

But such a view glosses over the reality that America was not, in fact, founded upon purely Christian principles (unless one counts slavery, ethnic cleansing, gender inequity, and Jim Crow as Christian principles), so we should be careful of assuming our relative wealth reflects God’s favor. (The Roman Empire was wealthy, too, after all.)

It also glosses over the reality that economic injustice is not, in fact, limited to the developing world but plagues our own country as well.

When medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy in the United States, there are systemic injustices at work.

When people working 40-hour weeks at minimum wage jobs still can’t earn enough to support their families, there are systemic injustices at work.

When approximately 1% of Americans hold 40% of the nation’s wealth, there are systemic injustices at work.

When the black unemployment rate has consistently been twice as high as the white unemployment rate for the past 50 years, there are systemic injustices at work.

And throughout Scripture, people of faith are called not simply to donate to charity, but to address such systemic injustices in substantive ways.

The 17-year-old girl who lives in a depressed neighborhood zoned for a failing school system who probably won’t graduate because her grades are suffering because she has to work part-time to help support her family needs more than a few audio books to turn things around.

People are poor for a lot of reasons, and choice is certainly a factor, but categorically blaming poverty on lack of faith or lack of initiative is not only uninformed, it’s unbiblical.

God does not divide the world into the deserving rich and the undeserving poor. In fact, the brother of Jesus wrote that God has “chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him” (James 2:5).

God does not bless people with money; God blesses people with the good and perfect gift of God’s presence, which is available to rich and poor alike.

And that’s good news.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Business • Christianity • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith • Leaders • Money & Faith • Opinion

soundoff (2,299 Responses)
  1. Chris Williamson

    This author sounds like she as an axe to grind. She has jumped to some unnecessary conclusions based on her biases against Mr. Ramsey. I took the time to read the entire link she alluded to on Dave Ramsey's page, and his response to the afore mentioned "list" is very biblically sound, balanced, and direct. I happen to know Mr. Ramsey personally and I can say that he is motivated to helping a lot of people experience financial freedom from debt. He also helps the poor in ways that he doesn't promote publicly.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Mr. Ramsey is perfectly willing to promote the more lucrative side of his work – that's called self-promotion and its purpose is to bring in more wealth for himself. What he does for the poor may be admirable, may even be significant, but he hides that under a basket. Why? I thought the purpose of wealth for a Christian is to have something to give to the poor. Or is that Islam? always confuse those religions.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • deegeejay

        He teaches self discipline and touts THAT as true wealth. Don't degrade someone you can and should learn from.

        November 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • Pangie

        one of the principles of Christianity is NOT to boast about your good deeds. Good grief. You'd think if you were going to bash an aspect of one's faith, you'd know that.

        December 1, 2013 at 10:13 am |
        • joshuapostema

          Unfortunately, with people like Rachel around, if a Christian who is not poor -doesn't- proclaim what they do to help the poor, they have articles like this written about them.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • irony

          i don't think she was concerned about what he does for the poor. It's what he tells the poor to do that bothers her.

          December 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  2. Set

    I trust in God, not money.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • bostontola

      I trust in particular people, not God or money.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:53 am |
      • Set

        That is what you have been brainwashed to do.

        November 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          Brainwashed to trust particular people?

          November 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
        • Set

          I'm just mimicking the troll logic found on this board. (all religious people are brainwashed, all atheists are enlightened)

          November 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
      • irony

        good job. you showed that stranger.

        December 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Scott

      That is what you've been brainwashed to do

      November 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • Set

        Brainwashed to trust God?

        How?

        November 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
        • Relictus

          Religious beliefs tend to follow geographic boundaries. You tend to adopt the religion of your parents, in general. Brainwashing is a harsh term, but there is not much thinking involved in being a christian in a christian family.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
  3. Dennis

    Some of the most Godly people I have ever met were poor by worldly standards but rich by heavenly standards.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • doobzz

      Which heaven and which deity decided the standards?

      November 30, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  4. starrgirl49

    Neither Dave Ramsey or Rachel Held Evans has a corner on truth. However, each has good points. I have heard Dave Ramsey deal with people with great compassion and has helped many. But, some of his ideas are plagued with tunnel vision and RHE has pointed out a few of them. Can we not discuss issues without calling names and reacting in Niger? Come ON, people!!

    November 30, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • starrgirl49

      *anger, NOT Niger!! stupid autocorrect!!

      November 30, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Dennis

      Ah, but that would be logical. Most people can't do logical.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Jeff Foster

      Amen, the reality is only God can take the blame for poverty and the claim of wealth. Ours is to follow Christ example to both the rich and poor, sinners and saints whom he loves equally.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  5. Dennis

    By the way, look at the scripture, Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

    Yes, we need to look out for the poor but please be careful about misquoting scripture.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • doobzz

      Be careful about misquoting Harry Potter, too.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  6. bostontola

    "God does not divide the world into the deserving rich and the undeserving poor. In fact, the brother of Jesus wrote that God has “chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him” (James 2:5).

    God does not bless people with money; God blesses people with the good and perfect gift of God’s presence, which is available to rich and poor alike."

    And there it is, the core of the religion con. Most people are not monetarily rich by definition. Convince that majority that God is on their side, better than material wealth in this life, God will give you spiritual wealth for eternity. There are many takers.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • ahem

      Says the man who is possessed by his possessions.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • bostontola

        Do you know me? Have you met me? You presume much, that may have come from your religious way of thinking.

        November 30, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • ahem

          -Do you know me?

          No.

          -Have you met me?

          No.

          -You presume much, that may have come from your religious way of thinking.

          Typical ignorant way of thinking. Do exactly what you accuse me of.

          I'm saying that is the kind of thing a person possessed by possessions would say. I didn't say that you are.

          November 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          You said "says the man who..." when you replied specifically to one person's post. So you should be able to determine exactly why bostontola imagined you were naming him.

          And yes, your reply seemed rather arrogant and presumptuous regardless of who you were addressing.

          November 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • irony

          you seem like you have a religious complex or phobia. i don't see anyone trying to convert you. what are you even arguing? no one in the world should be religious because it bothers you? I really don't understand your point. this is coming from an atheist. why try to get someone to toss their beliefs? you are the worst kind of person. you are a converter

          December 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • doobzz

      Mother Teresa built a fine career by telling the poor of Kolkata that they should consider their suffering a blessing from god. She and her death tents raked in millions of dirty money from dictators and felons.

      When she got sick, she flew in private jets to state of the art hospitals. She was above suffering the same conditions she claimed was a gift from Jesus.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • bostontola

        As you point out, religion is more than a con game, it is rife with hypocrisy, immoral crime, etc. Yet the followers look the other way and march on.

        November 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        • irony

          how is someone following the example of jesus who loved all people an immoral crime? you must be a teenager. I'll stop arguing with you because you won't realize you are an idiot for another ten or twenty years if you ever do. again this is coming from an atheist. you make us sound ignorant and foolish

          December 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
      • Set

        That is not what she preached.
        And an individual donated the use of his jet to her. He also donated the use of his jet to benefit poor Indians.
        Can an individual not use his private funds to help others?

        November 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • doobzz

          That is exactly what she preached. She told a dying woman that her suffering was "kisses from Jesus", to which the poor woman replied, "Please tell Jesus to stop kissing me."

          Of course an individual can use his private funds to help people. Charles Keating donated millions to Mother Teresa. She then wrote a letter to the courts requesting leniency in his sentence for fraud.

          The millions she raked in went into the Vatican's general fund, despite being designated for charitable purposes. There is no record of how much money was given, and no accountability that it was used for what the donors intended.

          My point was that if she tells people that suffering is a blessing from god, she should have been willing to receive the same "kisses from Jesus" as the helpless people she routinely refused to give appropriate pain medication to.

          November 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        A few words by Hitchens on MT:

        http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html

        November 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • Set

        Yea, we all know he hated her. Hitchens drank and smoked himself to death.

        November 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • doobzz

          Why don't you provide evidence to the contrary instead of attacking the man?

          Smoking and drinking was CH's personal choice that affected only him. MT refused to give helpless, dying patients appropriate pain medication, took dirty money and consorted with dictators like Baby Doc Duvalier.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Rather than attacking Hitchens personally, how about attacking his claims in the article?

          November 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • that doesnt make sense

          They seriously believe that if you're going to be a Christian, that means you have to be perfect.

          They do not realize that Christianity teaches that only one person – ever – was perfect, without sin, and this is Jesus.

          It is scapegoating: their hatred isn't really at Christians, they just aim it at Christians while they work out what they are really angry about.

          December 3, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
  7. Jeff Foster

    Rachel make a strong point that there is a danger when we assume too much about wealth and for that matter the author of wealth. God indeed blesses everyone with wealth, but its not always visible to human eyes. To trade contentment for millions of dollars is a living hell. That being said, Ramsey deserves a little grace here. Let's especially read his books if we are above the poverty line because that person will get the most from his teaching. For a person who may be working for every penny there is a principle of faith (and physiological well being) that requires rest and relaxation. That time can be spent in prayer, study and enjoying the fruits (no matter how small) of ones labor. If I want to become less dependent on every paycheck it is my choice to control my debt to income, live simply and study to become a better worker or even entrepreneur. Is that hard? Yes! Can it be done? Sometimes and even the attempt will add purpose and worth to a life that might be dismal currently. Health Care reform would be a blessing albeit at great expense to a government in debt. Better health options such as eliminating food desserts, more food pantries (often seen in churches) free gyms at schools and places like YMCA (founded for benevolence) and school pickup from tough areas to safe zones. There is plenty that communities and governments can do to help families become prosperous. Prosperity is the Gospel message, if the message is not about hoarding wealth and living above ones means. If you have then God expects you to share what you are blessed with. Even if you don't believe in God, your continued wealth (peace of mind and future for your children) requires that you invest in a better society. The rain falls on the just and the unjust and we are who we are by both effort, chance or divine appointment. All that really matters is what you are doing with the blessing to be alive.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  8. tallulah13

    This guy sounds like a financial planner who decided to use religion as a means to become rich and famous. Or perhaps he's just another christian playing fast and loose with the bible. I wonder if he could point out where in the bible Jesus said that different rules apply to third world countries. As far as I recollect, Jesus didn't make a lot of exceptions.

    Mr. Ramsey is offering sound financial advice, but his moral advice is pure corrupt conservative republican.

    And for the record, this is the first article by this author that I found worth reading.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • joshuapostema

      How about you read what he says before telling us what you think about it.

      December 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  9. Natfka

    Wow, cnn opinions attack a man that helps people. Have you every spoke to him Rachael, truthfully? Or do you just attack him because he has faith in God? I have spoke to him, and he is passionate about helping people, meanwhile Cnn opinion piece is just here to tear him down. Nice.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Rachel is a believer. Oops.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • tallulah13

      Try reading the article before going on the attack. The author complimented the financial advice but criticized the misuse of words of bible.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • nateofthenorth

      Of course. Having faith in God, and being passionate about helping people, those things totally excuse someone of emptying the Gospel of any and all content. No problems here, carry on.

      "But he's FAMOUS so MUST be right!!!"

      November 30, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • CFranco

      Ramsey is just another republican 'Christian' using the Lord's name in vain to make himself famous and rich. I bought his DVDs and it all sounds good except when you lose your job, At least I know Jesus doesn't judge me by what I have but what I give of myself.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  10. Doc

    So, I guess that means that over 65% of the American population is poor since that's the % of us that are overweight & obese. I mean, if the rich aren't eating junk food and are exercising so much, it can't be them. Riiiiiight.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  11. JJ

    These are just more religious nuts, out to make a killing and no not that of which they speak. A radical Jesus would trash their temples in a hurry!

    November 30, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • doobzz

      I don't understand what is so great about a guy who goes psycho, braids himself a whip, and starts attacking people who are conducting legitimate businesses outside the temple's inner walls. Not everyone had livestock to provide a sacrifice, so there were people who sold doves, sheep, etc.

      He sounds more like Adam Lanza.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  12. sam stone

    O here we go. Dodo arguing with dodo so she can appear to win.

    November 30, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • tallulah13

      Oh here we go. Name stealing troll pretending to have something of value to say. Dream on, little troll. Dream on.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  13. Robert Brown

    "It’s hard for the wealthy to flourish in the kingdom that Jesus inaugurated because the economy of that kingdom runs so contrary to the economies of the world. It rewards the peacemakers over the powerful, the humble over the proud, the kind over the cruel, and those who hunger to do the right thing over those whose wealth has convinced them they already are."

    That was pretty good, Rachel.

    November 30, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • sam stone

      Right on time bobby. Do u prophecy in your meetings? Speak in languages of angels? Yes or no? Dodo, whoooops!

      November 30, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Science Works

      You mentioned the world Robert , maybe you would like it better there ?

      Religion dangerous stuff !

      The stoning crowd ?

      Posted: 1:38 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, 2013

      Afghanistan considers return of stoning for adulterers

      http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/national/afghanistan-considers-return-stoning-adulterers/nb4SW/

      November 30, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • tallulah13

        They don't often commit adultery where stoning is the punishment

        November 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  14. sam stone

    Deletion time. Athies caught with pants down, again!

    November 30, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  15. Haime52

    This article is speaking a truth that needs to be told. Way too many evangelicals ignore true Christian principals to justify worship of the almighty dollar. It is a form of idolatry, make no mistake. Stats show that the lower income "class"(if you must), donate more per capita to charity than the higher wage earners. A lot of these are upper income evangelicals who cry against redistribution of wealth to the poor. On the other hand, they want that redistribution to themselves and see no contradiction! How? In tax cuts! There was a time when the tax rate on the rich was in the 90%'s, yet we still had wealthy folks. Today that rate is nowhere near that high and the rich whine and complain that they are being robbed. What will they do if the tax rate is raised? Say, "If you raise taxes, I'm pulling all my money out of the system and I refuse to make any more money."? BALONEY!!!

    November 30, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • truthprevails1lies

      Exactly how way too many is way too many?

      November 30, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • CFranco

      Case in point: Detroit BORROWED money from rich people instead of TAXING them...now they have to sell all the art works and public assets that belong to TAXPAYERS to those rich people.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  16. Gina

    Thank you for your fair, gracious, and well-reasoned approach to this topic.

    November 30, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  17. Martin Luther

    Dave Ramsey is an ignorant buffoon.

    November 30, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Perhaps we can agree that the greatest evil in our nation is reactionary conservatism that would have us believe that poverty is deserved and proper housing, nutrition and healthcare are not. They are rejoicing now at what they hope is the imminent failure of Obama and his Affordable Care Act, believing that there will be poor always and they should be shit out of luck as always if they fall ill. They are dedicated to the idea that, by God, there must never be another champion of the poor in the White House.

    November 30, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • sam stone

      Deletion city! I am above a genius.

      November 30, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  19. Reality # 2

    R. Evans went to Bryan College where she majored in English Literature. She received her Bachelor of Arts in 2003. And somehow she is now a biblical exegete. Give us a break!!!

    November 30, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Sun

      Kind of like listening to one of the atheists on here talk about science?

      November 30, 2013 at 10:21 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Whenever someone is discussing science, all it takes are facts to show that the person is correct or wrong. That's what is so cool about science. With religious belief, there's never any way to determine who is right and who is wrong because it's all just opinion. There are no measurements to be made that verify one belief is wrong and another correct.

        November 30, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • Sun

          Unfortunately most atheists posting on this blog are not interested in facts. Whether scientific or religious facts, they have closed their minds to new ideas. You have to stay pretty closed-minded to call yourself an atheist.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:26 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Sun, please provide a specific example of your thus far general and unsupported claim, not unlike believers' claims that some unproven god(s) exist.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:30 am |
        • Sun

          Read some of the posts by the atheists on this blog. They sound very arrogant. Are you an atheist? Please understand I'm not saying all atheists are like that. Just the majority of the atheists that post on this blog. I would not classify them as open minded or rational.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Examples please. You made a specific claim about science and atheists – back it up with examples or admit you are full of sh!t.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:37 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          My experience on this blog does not confirm your findings. I observe many more believers acting hypocritically than atheists. Yes, there are dipsh!ts on both sides of the aisle, and some atheists can be hypocritical.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • Sun

          Read through some of the posts by atheists on this blog. They are not interested in science. They are interested in proving they are superior to "believers". These atheists on this blog are not posting on science and tech blogs (yes, CNN has one)... they are posting on this blog all day long.

          Science is studied by both atheists and believers. Both have proven they are capable of understanding it.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • Sun

          Cpt. Obvious, well, duh, you are one of the anti-religious posters that spends way too much time here.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Again, Sun, your an@lysis of the atheists on this blog does not match my experience. I find that the majority of atheists on this blog care about the facts and are not behaving as you describe. If you have a particular post or person you would like me to consider, I will look into it.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:45 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Sun, what does my time here on this blog have to do with any of your statements against atheists? Why do you assume so much about my perspective? You seem more concerned with accusing atheists of "wrongs" that you have lost sight of the benefit of reasonable conversation. Has it occurred to you that YOU are acting wrongly by simply looking for ways to attack?

          November 30, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • Sun

          Cool, Cpt. Obvious. We have a different opinion. I look at you and Hot Air Ace and I don't see open-mindedness, logical thinking or love being displayed. Just arrogance.
          You want facts to back this up? Take an honest look at yourself. Most of what we attack others for is REALLY about something within ourselves that we are upset about.
          Believers are not your problem. YOU are your problem.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • HotAirAce

          There you go again Sun, throwing out crap with no specifics. It's looking like you are just full of sh!t. . .

          November 30, 2013 at 10:52 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Sun, give me just one example of a new idea that I have discarded out of hand?

          November 30, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • Sun

          You mean I'm doing the exact same thing you do Hot Air Ace? You sound delusional. You want me to prove your personal biases and prejudices are wrong?

          November 30, 2013 at 10:56 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Sun, all you do is accuse. You should consider why you have such a need to pejoratively categorize atheists.

          If you would like me to consider your perspective, you would need to provide examples and reasoning to show why your an@lysis is correct. Simply telling me to look at myself honestly isn't going to accomplish anything.

          When you are ready to discuss the evidence for your claims, let me know. If you're just going to continue to accuse with no offers of examples or evidence..... well, you're about like most other Christians on this blog exhibiting hypocrisy and poor social behavior.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:57 am |
        • Sun

          Hot Air Ace, you declared Rachel Held-Evans is delusional. And implied all believers are delusional. I don't share a religion with her. But I know that statement of yours is ignorant and small-minded. I also know most atheists don't act like the atheists that post on this blog. Thank goodness. Most atheists are open-minded and caring. Maybe you should read some of their things and ignore their ramblings and rants on this blog.

          They are not mentally healthy.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • Sun

          Cpt. Obvious? Are you saying I'm doing the same thing to atheists that you do to believers?

          November 30, 2013 at 11:01 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Sun, feel free to attempt to prove anything you like, but you are going to need some facts. So far you are just blathering and likely projecting.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • Sun

          "you're about like most other Christians "

          I'm not a Christian. You could of easily said "you're about like most other atheists".

          What about that?

          November 30, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • HotAirAce

          I said "apparently" delusional, leaving room for her beliefs to be non-delusional and that she might be able to provide some actual evidence to support her beliefs.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • Sun

          HOT AIR ACE,

          Please direct me to any posts of yours that demonstrates kindness, tolerance and acceptance of other human beings.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          No.

          I'm saying that all you do is accuse. You just want to cause strife and dissension. Instead of making your point squarely and proving it with examples and logical reasoning, you just point and yell. It's childish behavior and beneath most atheists and some Christians that post here.

          You embody that ethic within yourself that you claim to despise in others. You're a hypocrite, pure and simple, and every additional post you make today proves that fact.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Whether or not you are a Christian is irrelevant. You are behaving like most Christians do on this blog: Long on accusations and hypocrisy, short on rationality and fact.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • HotAirAce

          And "They are not mentally healthy." is a great example of open-minded, rational thought. Does the word hypocrite apply here?

          November 30, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • Sun

          And, you, too, Cpt. Obvious. People can easily say that about you.
          Who usually resorts to personal attacks and demeaning language on this board? Atheists or believers?

          November 30, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • HotAirAce

          It shouldn't take you long to find an article where I said it was not nice to wish anyone dead. Once you stop foaming at the mouth. And where are your examples supporting your initial claim? You don't think that you can deflect your lack of support for your claims by making even more unsupported attacks, do you?

          November 30, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • Sun

          People who claim to love logic, science and facts yet spend all day long attacking Christians are not mentally healthy.
          Mentally healthy people who love logic, science and facts do something related to that field.

          They don't irrationally use logic, science and facts to justify their bad behavior.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Most atheists on this board value logic and rational response. Most believers value unverifiable accusation and hypocrisy. Your perspective is exactly backwards, Sun. Sorry you can't see the truth when it's staring you in the face.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • Sun

          Hot Air Ace – I just have an opinion that some atheists on here are not as open-minded as they imagine they are. They attack Christians for being ignorant and closed-minded, but in fact some of these atheists are just as ignorant and closed-minded.

          That shouldn't be offensive unless you happen to be one of those ignorant and closed-minded atheists.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • tallulah13

          So, as far as I can tell, Sun is insulting people just to insult them. He/She is unable to provide specific examples, so he/she is simply making vague accusations. I wonder why this sort of behavior makes him/her feel superior?

          November 30, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • Sun

          Cpt. Obvious – you just defined your arrogance. You are not logical or rational. You just imagine you are.

          ar·ro·gance
          noun \ˈer-ə-gən(t)s, ˈa-rə-\
          : a way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people

          November 30, 2013 at 11:21 am |
        • Sun

          3 (out of 12) of the biggest CNN Religion Blog trolls are upset with me for doing the same thing they do.
          Funny. 🙂

          November 30, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Sun, the more you lie, the more you make yourself a fool for everyone to see. You have not offered one piece of evidence in this entire diatribe, but instead, you just make one unfounded accusation after another--each one more wrong headed and preposterous than the last.

          Continue, please. Show the members of this forum how big of a lying hypocrite you can be. It's all good.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Sun, thank you for admitting that when you wrote

          "Unfortunately most atheists posting on this blog are not interested in facts. Whether scientific or religious facts, they have closed their minds to new ideas. You have to stay pretty closed-minded to call yourself an atheist."

          you were merely providing your opinion, not speaking factually, and that you cannot support your opinion with concrete examples. Have a nice day.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Tallulah, Sun is just that arrogant and contrary. Enjoy the show.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • HotAirAce

          "3 (out of 12) of the biggest CNN Religion Blog trolls. . ." – yet another unsupported claim. Name the 12 and inform us of how you came up with the list.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Sun

          HotAirAce, Cpt. Obvious, Bob, Richard Cranium, Science Works, tallulah13, truthprevails1, Observer, AtheistSteve, dyslexic dog, In Santa We Trust

          The 12 disciples of unscientific, resentmentfilled, angry-sounding atheist trolling.

          Not a single science degree between them all.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • HotAirAce

          That's 11, with no methodology provided. BCIT '73 Control Electronics. 40+ years in IT. Retired.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:42 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I have two degrees in science. Oops.

          Your accusations are just silly, and the only thing you have accomplished here, today, is convincing the reader of this thread that you are a fool without the capability to construct a rational argument or response.

          Thank you.

          November 30, 2013 at 11:46 am |
        • Sun

          If you actually have scientific degrees (you haven't provided any evidence) than you probably know most scientists are not atheist.

          November 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
        • doobzz

          Two science degrees and fifty years of bible study here, Sun.

          November 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          What are your educational and experience credentials, with indisputable evidence of course?

          And go ahead, argue with this:

          "“I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t.”
          ― Neil deGrasse Tyson"

          And we're still waiting for a single fact from you. No more questions and answers until you catch up.

          November 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Believers accept scriptural exegesis from other believers with far less credentials.

      I often wonder why Christians are most often so extremely hypocritical. When it comes to "evidence," they'll accept it if it supports their belief, but they won't if it doesn't. Similar examples occur all the time.

      November 30, 2013 at 10:21 am |
      • Sun

        Did you know that atheists are also extremely hypocritical? It must be human thing, not just a Christian thing.

        November 30, 2013 at 10:28 am |
      • Sharideth Smith

        You are absolutely right, Cpt. Obvious. In this case, Reality #2 skips right over addressing the argument and goes after Evans credentials. A typical ploy when the conversation is above your head.

        Ramsey has unfortunately become a golden calf to many Christians and defended for all the wrong reasons. He is right when he says better choices can improve quality of life, but not when he says it WILL improve quality of life. Evans' point about correlation vs. causation is right on the mark in my opinion.

        November 30, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Martin Luther

      And she is 10 times more intelligent than Dave Ramsey.

      November 30, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • parsnipprince

      You either didn't read the article, or are so preoccupied with criticism that you can't even comment on what the article is about. Next time I'd love to hear some intelligent and pertinent discussion.

      November 30, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Josh

      And what did all of the first disciples major in that made them so qualified to share the Gospel? And what qualifications did the Pharisees have that had no use in God's Kingdom? What do you trust for matters of faith, experience and life with God or the ability to pass doctrine exams? And what does your life with God tell you about Rachel's perspectives? Could you at least start there?

      November 30, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • Bob or Bob, spelled backwards

        Physics - they were 2,000 years ahead of their time.
        They were the top of the food chain.
        I trust the person with a PhD in Animal Husbandry
        It tells me nothing, because this article tells me little about Rachel's perspectives (on life).

        November 30, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Given that she apparently is a delusional believer, I thought she made a surprising amount of sense.

      November 30, 2013 at 10:33 am |
      • KeepItCivil

        Way to elevate the discourse.

        November 30, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Was I being too kind?

          November 30, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • Sun

          No, you have failed to demonstrate kindness.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • KeepItCivil

      She never claims to be an expert in exegesis. If you have a theological argument, make it. Don't build a straw man to distract from the issue at hand.

      If we were doing that I would point out that Dave Ramsey is not an economist.

      November 30, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  20. George Carlin

    Funny how god needs money.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo&w=640&h=390]

    November 30, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Inger

      God doesn't need money. He can use it, but he doesn't need it. Human beings created and behave as though they need money.

      November 30, 2013 at 10:10 am |
      • God

        Now pass me the collection plate. Get your dirty hand out of it. I'm watching every coin.

        November 30, 2013 at 10:15 am |
        • Inger

          But you don't need money. Oh, wait...

          November 30, 2013 at 10:16 am |
        • Inger (the real one)

          Human beings pass the collection plate.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • Inger (the real one)

          God, if you are perfect, why do I need to pass gas so often?

          November 30, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • Inger (the real one, not the hypocrite troll)

          You are the one that eats like crap.

          November 30, 2013 at 10:27 am |
        • Inger (the real one, not the hypocrite troll)

          I ate too many beans. God why did you make beans and beer? Why are there no free beans?

          November 30, 2013 at 1:20 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.